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October 21, 1988 - Image 70

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-10-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Melaniesomething

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70

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, 1988

Indeed, she has just wrap-
ped up another film, starring
as Jeff Daniels' wife in Check-
ing Out. And she has check-
ed out splendidly in past per-
formances in such films as
Harry and Tonto and You
Light Up My Life; on televi-
sion's "Rhoda"; and in the
telemovies Hustling, The Best
Little Girl in the World and
the concentration camp-
situated Playing for Time.
But Mayron's time is now,
playing in an ensemble cast
dedicated to yuppie-ism.
Uh-uh, Mayron says.
"Thirtysomething" is no
Saab story. The only time-
sharing these characters face
is in trying to get away from
work and spend some time at
home.
"It's not a yuppie show," she
says. "That's a catchphrase
that people have used. Sure,
most of the characters are
upscale, but it's not a yuppie
show."
Not that ABC would com-
plain even if it were. While
finishing 40-something in the
ratings this past season,
"thirtysomething" proved a
big hit with women ages 18 to
49, a perect target audience.
While the show was
targeted for barbs by critics
early on, even some of those
gainsayers have gained
respect for this extended
television family of friends
from Philadelphia and
suburbs.
And Mayron has generated
much attention. A recent ar-
ticle in the New York Times
referred to her as the
"delicious Melissa." It is
enough to make a onetime
starving artist hunger for
more.
But all Mayron craves is
continued good work. "I like
how they deal with reality,"
she says of the cast and crew.
"The show has taken some
time to find itself?'
But there's no identity
crisis now. "Thir-
tysomething" is a major coup
for commercial broadcasting,
focusing on topics as touching
as aging parents, illness and
familial struggles, and love
with an unerring feel for the
fracas that is real life.

This is no mere network
show about networking — it
is a cogent argument that
quality programming can
pull in audiences who will
listen — and the dialogue
demands attention. It is
clever, bright and
sophisticated, even when
some of the characters get
sappy.
"Look," says Mayron, "I
heard the complaints about
the show being whiny. In the
beginning, I was ready to

Melanie Mayron has held out for meaningful roles, even at the expense
of turning down work. Here she appears in a scene from another
'thirtysomething' episode.

shoot Hope and put her out of
her misery myself."
But there was hope for
Hope (Mel Harris), who has
evolved into one of the series'
more developed characters.
'Ib a degree, Mayron, a
photographer herself, had a
hand in developing her own
role. "I was the one who sug-
gested she be a
photographer,' she says.
She likes the show's picture
of Melissa. "I like her daring,"
she says. "I like the fact that
she doesn't want to corn-
promise, a person in a free-
lance career who doesn't want
to settle."
Much like Mayron herself?
"Well, I think they're writing
her more confrontational
than I am," she says. "She's
more blatant; I'm more
graceful."
They're both Jewish. "I
haven't had any real Jewish
issues to deal with" on the
program; although the
character of Michael (Ken
Olin), Melissa's cousin, has.
But there is Mayron's feel for
her Jewish heritage that
comes across readily.
"My own background of
Judaism makes me what I
am," she says. "My Jewish up-
bringing can't help but come
into play."
Whatever the level of
achievement, there is little
time to play now. In that
sense, success has meant lit-
tle change for this gifted ac-
tress. "I don't know that
anything is really different"
from when she was out hunt-
ing down work.
Mayron doesn't have time
to slow down; there is no easy
F-stop for this actress's zoom-
lens of a career.
"I'm thrilled at the oppor-
tunity to be with this show,"

she says, delighted that "thir-
tysomething" has captured so
much acclaim and attention.
It's a long way from "Ralph,
Potsie and Maxine." Muses
the thirtysomething woman
with the millionsomething
dream: Isn't life something?

Music Contest
Is Planned

The Michigan Young Musi-
cians Competition, sponsored
by the Jewish Community
Center of Metropolitan
Detroit, will be held on Feb.
5 at the Maple/Drake
building.
This competition is sup-
ported in part by the
Michigan Council for the Arts
and is designed to promote
and encourage young artists
in Michigan. Pianists,
violinists and cellists in
grades seven through 12 may
apply.
The deadline is Dec. 5. To
receive an application and the
guidelines, call Annette Cha-
jes, 661-1000, ext. 335.

Mime Theater
At The Center

The Yoram Boker Mime
Theater will be at the
Maple/Drake Jewish Com-
inunity Center on Sunday at
2:30 p.m. and there will be a
workshop.
Israel's Yoram Boker Mime
Theater is on tour in the
United States. Founder/Direc-
tor Yoram Boker and troupe
members, Edit Limor and Uri
Thnnenbaum, will present a
program of vignettes about
Jewish life in Israel and the
Diaspora.
There is a charge. For infor-
mation call the Center,
661-1000, ext. 348.

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