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October 28, 1978 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-10-28

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The Michigan Daily-Saturday, October 28, 1978-Page5

'Lover'
By RICH LORANGER
The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, a
comedy of the woes of middle-age, is
being presented this week by the Black
Last of the Red Hot Lovers
By Neil Simon
Black Sheep Repertory Theatre
Barney ........................Phillip Bowman
Elaine.....................Susan Freridge
Bobbi .........................Barbara Thorne
Jeanette....................Roberta Owens
Celeste Bell, director; William
Marschner, Robert Beaupre, Celeste
Bell, set designer and construction;
William Marschner, lighting; Barbara
Thro Thorne, costues
Sheep Repertory Theatre in Man-
chester. This Neil Simon farce pokes
duly at love, sex, drugs, morality, and
the middle-age crisis. Mostly, though, it
is a comedy of characters.
The play is concerned with Barney

an emotional tug-of

war

Daily Photo by ANDY FREEBERG
Trombonist George Lewis performed at the Residential College Auditorium
Friday night.

RECORDS

Live Bursting Out
Jethro Tull
'212 1201

By MARTY LEVINE
Ian Anderson is happy. You might be
able to tell this from his cheery in-
troduction of the band and the rest of
the songs - but Scottish/English ac-
cents have a way of fooling American
ears. You might even hear the subtle
changes that have entered his music for
the live performance. But you can't
help but notice the change in his voice.
That voice! That voice that has
kicked so many people in the stomach
and cried so much pain in songs over
the years; that voice that even when
singing of England's elfin woodlands
and all manner of cute, furry creatures
has managed to sound devilish, coarse,
Poetry workshop Nov. 8-11
Students, teachers, senior citizens,
kids - people who moonlight as
aspiring poets - can find a place in the
sun for their work at a new workshop,
Nov. 8-11, sponsored by the Department
of English.
The four-day event, with emphasis on
instruction by teacher-poets, is geared
toward a different clientele from
programs traditionally offered by the
department, according to its poetry
reading coordinator, Prof. Stephen
Dunning. The workshop is supported, in
part, by a grant from the Michigan
Council for the Arts.
Poet William Matthews, will be
featured at the workshop. Matthews is
chairman of the Literary Panel of the
National Endowment for the Arts and
director of writing at the University of
Washington. He also has several
volumes of poetry to his credit, in-
cluding Running the New Road, Sleek
for the Long Flight, and the forth-
coming Rising and Falling.
Anyone may apply to the workshop.
Up to 60 persons will be enrolled. The
registration fee for the event, which
will be held in the Pendleton Room in
the Michigan Union, is $6 a person, in-
cluding a lunch on Nov. 11. Applications
available at the Pendleton Room,
should be completed by Nov. 3. For
more information, call 764-5272.

and downright obscene; that voice that
sings of love by deep brown rivers and
still seems to leer from some dark alley
strewn with broken wine bottles - that
voice is happy!
IAN ANDERSON and the band has
been known as Jethro Tull since 1968,
and Bursting Out is their first live
double album. Anderson has always
been aware of the toll highly personal
writing has taken, both in performance
and critical assessment. Now, able to
view his ten years from the perspective
of country squire and successful
musician, he seems to enjoy perfor-
ming his music immensely - perhaps
even more than does his audience.
The relaxed Anderson is most evident
in the acoustic numbers. There is a
lively, puckish version of "Skating
Away on the Thin Ice of a New DAy,"
and "Jack in the Green" is sprite where
before it was uneven.
Anderson delights in his music when
the audience recognizes a tune - and
even when it doesn't: "Here's the last
of the acoustic songs for the time being.
This one is actually inspired by the
Scottish poet Mr. Robert Burns, who,
had he been able to tune his guitar in
open E tuning would have certainly
written this song, dedicated to 'One
Brown Mouse;' an ode to, thank you,
hm? (scattered applause) Yes?
Maybe? Good, well, that's good enough,
that's good enough, don't strain your-
selves." The magic has started - he
hums the opening bars to himself,
laughs, and is off into his musical
world. Best of all, his delight is infec-
tious.
JETHRO TULL music is inseparable
from Anderson's flute. In the past he
has been able to twist the sweet in-
strument into a snarling beast, but his
five-minute flute solo/improvisation on
Bursting Out is truly comic. Anderson
teases us with bits of famous flute licks
from "My God," "Bouree," and a
baroque "God Rest Ye Merry Gen-
tlemen." In between a few pretty runs
he hums, talks, snorts, spits, gasps, and
screams into the flute; he is not playing
the flute, but playing with it, and with
the crowd. You could call this one of the
few flute pieces that is orchestrated for
laughter.
The flute playing throughout the rest
of the album is generally as fine as any
Anderson has recorded - when it is
there. When the flute doesn't enter at

some appropriate places one must
realize, after seeing the band in con-
cert, that Anderson is sometimes too
busy pirouetting about and taunting the
crowd to play. Still, during some of the
more obvious lapses, one finds oneself
whistling in the original flute part. It's
slightly annoying at times, but under-
standable.
TULL'S FACELESS but fine
musicians get a chance to show off in
the album's two new works. "Conun-
drum" and "Quatrain," instrumentals
written by lead guitarist Martin Barre,
are reminiscent of the best instrumen-
tal breaks on Songs from the Wood,
and, oddly, chamber music.
In keeping with the mood of the
album, Anderson has transformed the
passionately angry and painful work
"Thick as a Brick" into something sur-
prisingly gentle and joyous. In fact the
only song which has not been affected
by this new attitude is "Too Old to Rock
and Roll . . ."-it must still hit home a
bit, for it is cut considerably, becoming
a fast run-through with little feeling.
Anderson approaches Tull's down
and dirty finale trio with seeming
irreverance. Can "Cross-Eyed Mary"
survive when it now starts with "Pop
* Goes the Weasel?" What is to become
of "Locomotive Breath" if it segues in-
to an English march while, the concert-
goer finds, Anderson tosses huge
orange balloons into the audience? And
why does Anderson reprise the classic
"Aqualung" at the end of the album
with the lyric "Aqualung my friend,
don't you start away uneasy; you poor
old sot, you see it's only - could be
anyone!"?
THE ANSWER comes from the rest
of the album. A contented Ian Anderson
is bursting out from under the grip of
anger that held him, and is ready to
face his song-writing future with little
trepidation. He also appears to be bur-
sting out of his acoustic slumber (which
produced some sweet dreams, but alas,
only dreams) and is ready to steer Tull
back toward hard rock.
Of course, that title could simply
refer to those giant balloons that a Tull
concert features. Then again, knowing
Ian Anderson, he probably called the
album Bursting Out because the front
cover features a picture of him splitting
his pants.
Yeah, that last one sounds right.

Cashman, a nervous, lunking (in this
production, somewhat obest) owner of
a fish restaurant. Wonderfully played
by Phillip Bowman, Barney is a
creature of total habit who is reaching a
crisis of age in his very own fashion. He
married his high-school sweetheart,
Thelma, at age 24 (after eight years of
engagement), and has enjoyed a happy
but incredibly quiet marriage ever sin-
ce. He has maintained a very peaceful
existence, so much so that, as he says,
"Life goes out of its way to ignore" him.
FINALLY, AFTER 23 unquestioning
years of marriage, Barney decides to
have his one great fling before death.
The Last of the Red Hot Lovers deals
with his three ludicrous attempts, each
between three and five o'clock in his
mother's spotless New York apar-
tment.
Barney's first confrontation is with
Elaine, played by Susan Freridge. She
was an attractive customer in his
restaurant, and on impulse he scrawled
the address on the back of a check.
Elaine, however, is the much more im-
pulsive of the two. She guzzles the
Scotch that Barney has provided,
coughs horrendously every time she
needs a cigarette, and her mood
changes with the minute. She is a cold,
callous woman, always ready with a
smart-ass rejoinder.
Somehow, Elaine, who is of Polish
descent and an Italian marriage,
acquires a snapping Jewish accent in
the course of her remarks. This gives
her quips an irritating Streisand effect
that does not quite fit in. Otherwise,
Freridge displays her coldness well.
ELAINE ENJOYS the purely
physical act of love, and she has come
for that very purpose and none other.
Barney, though, does not know why he
is there. He sweats and cavorts around
nervously, and is afraid even to touch
her. Eventually she practically beg him
to rip her clothes off, but he does not
even loosen his tie.
Unfortunately, Barney is looking for
a touching, decent affair, which he does
not find with Elaine. She tries to walk
out on him, and his composure snaps.
He makes her listen as he raves about
his unspeakably boring life, his ap-
proaching death, and his sudden in-
spiration to experience. Here Bowman
is really superb, emoting the anxiety of
this pent-up man, and the confusion

that is clouding his vision. Elaine is
polite, smiles, and gives him her sym-
pathy, and rushes out wondering if
there are cigarettes in the lobby.
AS THE PLAY advances, it seems
that Phillip Bowman becomes more
and more comfortable with the at-
mosphere, and is ever more capable of
producing hilarity or pathos. Six mon-
ths after Elaine, Barney sneaks again
into his mother's apartment for another
try.
This time it is with Bobbi, a young
kook that he had met the day before in
the park. He has not to worry about
making conversation, because she
practically never stops talking. Bobbi,
played by Barbara Thorne, is really a
nut. She has just arrived penniless from
California to be a great New York actr-
tress. She seems to have had the worst
experiences with men, and her stories
of perversion never seem to end. She
does not even notice what Barney is
going through, but still they do not
touch. It is really all he can do to keep
up with her lively antics.
Bobbi is by far the most buoyant
character, and a credit to Miss Thorne.
She is freaky and ridiculous, telling
tales of molestations (or so attempted)
by a deranged writer, airline
passenger, taxi driver, and a Mexican
in a motel room. She will not take a
drink, but in a hilarious moment forces
Barney to smoke marijuana with her.
After three puffs, he drops to the floor,
face contorting, heart palpitating, and
his tongue goes numb. Still, the two are
at last on the same "level," and they
communicate at once, singing a
comically horrible rendition of "What
the World Needs Now.'
ONE MONTH later, Barney makes
his final attempt at love on the sly with
Jeanette, meticulously played by
Roberta Owens. Jeanette is no
stranger, but rather a friend of Barney
and his wife for 12 years. The roles from
the first scene are reversed. Barney is '
relaxed and eager, while Jeanette clut-
ches her pocketbook for dear life. He
cannot quell her nerves, though,
because she has been in a state of
melancholia for eight months.
Popping pills for her spirits, she is
more than depressed, somewhat like a
prophet of doom. Her crisis is hitting

hard, and now Barney must hear her
out. Most of the scene is spent by them
trying to name just three loving, gentle,
and decent human beings left in the
world. Jeanette says there are none to
be found. She is almost too sullen for
Barney to overcome, but somehow he
manages.
THE TWO act back and forth, playing
on strained emotions and a will to over-
come confusion. Owens is very exact in
her humorously languid role, just
where exactness is needed. Barney and.
Jeanette cling to each other in op-f
position, and the room becomes a bat-'
tlefield. They are face-to-face with eachl
other's crises, and come to resolve)
them both.
Phillip Bowman is worth of note fork
the comic acting that he summons up
At certain points he needs only to raise
his eyebrow in his own ridiculous,
fashion to make the audience howl.
Though the play begins at a slow pace,
his facial expressions are a major force
in picking up the farce.
Lovers is a play of interactions:I
There are never more than two people,
on stage at once, so each must react to
every word, every mannerism the other,
emits. For this the actors are commen-
ded, since the flow was not broken once:.
A stumbled line could be projected as'
nervousness or aggravation, and wasp
even integrated into the comedy.
THE ACTORS play a delicate tug=of9
war, with each character trying to pull
the other toward himself. Directorc
Celest D. Bell deserves credit on this
point. Barney and his women saunter,
hop, and even chase around this tiny
apartment constantly, and yet rarely
manage to meet in the middle.
The Black Sheep players really maket)
efforts in their notable performances.,-
The theatre promises quality for every,,
production, and is worth stepping out of'
your way to attend. In summation of his
life, Barney can only say, "It was
nice." Barney, it was exceptionally;
nice, and it was entertaining.
ORIENTAL RUGS
We pay top price
for NEW & USED
313-769-8555 995-7597

MARX AT MICHIGAN? (A SERIES)
University staff members discuss how Marx relates
to their work.
MONDAY, Oct. 30-8:00 p.m.-
PROFESSOR ALAN WALD DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH
at
GUILD HOUSE, 802 Monroe
Series sponsored by: Guild House
Office of Ethics & Religion, P.A.C.

Bottled & House Wines; Draught Beer,

Bottled & House Wines; Draught Beer,
Ale, Stout; Liquor; Light Food Items;
The Blind Pig Cafe
Live Blues 6 jazz
Monday Night and Weekends
208 S. First St., Ann Arbor
Between Washington & Liberty-994-4780
Free parking in lot across street after 5 p.m.

I

y U1Ich's
takes me back
...every year when I come to town for Home-
coming. What could be finer than strolling
across the Diag again on a crisp October
morning, and through the Engin Arch to
Ulrich's?
Give it a try yourself -- strut your stuff in a maize and blue cap and sweatshirt. Take home
some memories with the U. of M. Football Scrapbook. Ulrich's has a terrific selection of
Michigan memorabilia, and it's still the same friendly store you used to visit.
I'll bet they'd take you back, too.

*
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FREE YEARBOOK

With The Purchase Of An $11 Pumpkin
Now for a limited time the 1978 Michiganensian
(U-M's award-winning yearbook) is offering
free yearbooks with the purchase of an $11
oumokin.

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