The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, October 9, 1979-Page 5
Raking over Cole's music
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BY GILLIAN BOLLING
It's hard for a company to be dull
when its show is a collection of songs
from the brilliant American.
songwriter, Cole Porter. But it is quite a
task to give a fresh approach to tried
and true famous show tunes with which
most of an audience is familiar - a task
at 'which the Black Sheep 'Repertory
Theater succeeds with An Evening
With Cole Porter.
The stage is simply arranged, with
three sets consisting of a table and
chairs, a pier, and a park bench. Ac-.
companiment is provided by a piano,
drums, and bass, grouped offstage.
Lighting is simple with white and blue
tones, which could have been used with
more innovation and greater warmth.
But immense energy is supplied by four
young singers - two women and two
men. They sing, dance, do short
musical skits and seem really to like
being up on stage.
Though it may be old-fashioned, the
whole uplifting atmosphere of the show
is really enjoyable. The music is
familiar, the lyrics charming, and
unlike many student musical produc-
tions, the singers are perfect enun-
ciators. An Evening With Cole Porter is
not socially redeeming and contains no
symbolism or messages. It is just good,
THE SHOW'S delivery is reminiscent
of the Side by Side By Sondheim that
made a stop in Ann Arbor last yearhon
its national tour. Both lack a story, but
instead are melanges of the highlights
of each composer's work. Cole Porter
differs however, in its style of presen-
tation. It is not a slickly arrogant
tribute to one of the elite members of
show business, a la Side By'Side, but is
much more an attempt to share Por-
ter's wit and charm and to spread a lit-
The show benefits from the intimacy
of the Black Sheep hall. The singers are
able to project very well without
microphones. Cole Porter will be
smashing when it makes the dinner
theatre circuit. A gaggle of chicly gar-
bed listeners sipping bubbly seems
especially appropriate to Cole Porter's
The four players, dressed in com-
binations of black and white, showed
four distinct personalities yet worked
quite well together as an ensemble.
Carolyn Tjon gave beautiful treatment
to the more "torchy" of Porter's tunes,
such as "Love For Sale," "I Love
Paris," and "Night and Day". She
seemed a bit stiff in the first few num-
bers, but soon warmed up considerably.
On my way out, I overheard an older
gentleman say "I haven't heard such a
beautiful voice since Jeanette Mac-
Donald'." Linda Hart provided the
perky flavor to the female half and ad-
ded spark to such songs as "Let's
Misbehave" and "My Heart Belongs to
Daddy." David Johnson, who looks like
a young Don Knotts, keeps his mugging
at just the right level to add comic flair
to "Cest Magnifique" and "Brush Up
Your Shakespeare." On "Begin the
Beguine" and other more serious
songs, he displays great vocal range
and strength. The fourth member, Mat-
thew Thornton, is a real crowd pleaser,
appropriately singing "Be A Clown"
and "Where Is The Life That Late I
Led?" Fantastically fast and com-
plicated lyrics glided forth easily.
Many of these songs benefit from their
familiar ring, but the program ought to
include notes of which tunes are from
The troupe makes An Evening With
Cole Porter look fun and effortless, yet
the split-second timing in choreography
and song changes belies a great deal of
work. Choreography on the last num-
ber, "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" is
especially sharp and showy. Everyone
leaves the theatre happily humming,
singing and dancing - and with good
\ \ ' i
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UAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER M/F
(The following letter, written 1,v a
Mead Corporation executire to his
wife in Dayton, Ohio, was intercep-
ted by Daily drifter Stere Hook in a
wine , bottle off the coast of
I hope you'll forgive me for not
writing sooner. Sorry I never got Prin-
cess to the vet.
It's kind of a long story, what I'm
doing down here and all. I'm not really
sure myself, it's all kind of foggy to me.
All I know is that I am here in Kingston,
drinking tequila at a saloon called
Flute's, and I am doing quite well,
-THERE'S REALLY no one to blame
for making me do this, except 'for
maybe a musician named Jimmy Buf.,
fett. It was while listening to his new
album Volcano that I decided.to head
south. Let me start from the beginning.
Although the music is nothing great, I
don't know, there is something magic
about it Marge, magic.
When I listen to his music, I soon find
myself staring off into space, and I get
these, hmm, images in my mind. I
imagine long lines of whitecaps
crashing over a sandbar, palm trees
shaking from an onshore breeze, or
sailboats racing neck and neck on the
It isn't really the music itself, it is all
these images that fill my mind when I
listen to it.
And I get these . feeiinsg, Marge, these
funny feelings inside. And for the past
two weeks, thfy just would not seem to
MOST OF the time, I could leave
these feelings in my office when I went
to bed, and I could forget about them at
work the next day. But lately, they have
Looks at Forty." Just last Tuesday, my
secretary caught me singing "Boat
Drinks" at the top of my lungs while a
client waited in the lobby.
Go listen, to Volcano in my study. It'll
probably still be spinning on my tur-
ntable. This album epitomizes Buffett,
and I think you'll see what I mean much
clearer after running it through.
THE SONGS range from sentimental,
poetic songs like "Treat Her Like a
Lady," to crazy, energetic songs like
''Boat Drinks'' or ''Fins,'' to
meaningless songs like "Dreamsicle"
or "Volcano," in which he has a local
Caribbean reggae band play along.
Buffett seems to combine the sweet
harmonica of "Fingers" Taylor, the
calypso piano of Mike Utley, a weeping
slide guitar along with his own acoustic
or lead guitar, and a bizarre range of
percussion to form a perfect chemistry.
I don't know, this music is beyond
description. The bartender here just
put on "ALA" and it makes me realize
how incredible this band is, and how
feeble any description is. It's just
Anyway, I was sitting in the study the
other night listening to Volcano and
staring out the window. I was supposed
See BUFFETT'S, Page 6
sf m n
'You probably thought I was content with my
Brubeck collection in the living room, and my
Beethoven symphonies. But there has been, some-
one else, Marge. While you slept and I worked
in my study, I would play album after album by
this guy Buffett.'
Information and Applications
for National Science Foundation
Graduate Fellowships -
Graduate Minority Fellowships
are available in
The Graduate School Fellowship Office
160 Rockham Building
Deadline to NSF, Washington, D.C., November 29. 1979
It's October and the leaves are turning brown, It is a season of
change - the clear, cold death of winter shines ahead of us.
Soon we will be able to see our breath, frisk with small dogs in
the snow, and roll our cars over on patches of black ice. With
winter approaching and good jokes sure to be as scarce as
summer birds, now is the time to lay in a winter's supply of
jokes in the new October comedy issue of National Lampoon;
and as for summer birds, you can probably mail away for them
to.Florida. Yes, the National Lampooni°Comedy issue has
eniog4h rich, plum p guffaws4th'keaphy6u 'hortling right into
spring. So go buy one now at your local newsstand or
bookstore before David Frost starts nipping people's noses,
making it a pain to go outside.
For years now, I've been leading a
double life. You probably though I was
content with my Brubeck collection in
the living room, and my Beethoven
But there has been someone else,
Marge. While yoy slept and I worked in
my study, I would play album after
album by this guy Buffett.
His music is nothing spectacular,
really. You see, Jimmy Buffett likes to
spend time in the Caribbean, Florida
Keys, and on his sailboat in between.
His songs illustrate the lifestyle of that
region - they are filled with sunshine
and salt water, ocean breezes and
summer squalls. The guy doesn't have
the greatest voice in the world, his
guitar playing is simple and repetitive,
and you very rarely hear anyone in his
"Coral Reefer Band" break into a solo."
NO ONE ELSE I know even listens to
Jimmy Buffett, except my partner at
Mead, Joe Harry.
always been there.
I would find myself humming "Come
Monday" or "Nautical Wheelers" from
nine to five. While I sat in meetings, I
would scribble down the lyrics of
"Havana Daydreamin' " or "A Pirate
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A temptingly tasteful comedy
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y sr "18'
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