The Michigan Daily-Sunday, October 21, 1979-Page 7
By JOSHUA M. PECK
The last David Rabe play to be staged
in East Quad before Musket's current
CI the Boom Boom Room was
'Streamers; brought to the R.C.'s little
brick auditorium two years ago by the
Attic Theater. Aside from the more
in The Boom Boom Room
Residen tiatCollege Aud.
. October 19-21
Chrissy;.......... . Dominique Lowell
Harold:.... ..... ...Ted Badgerow
Guy .......Jim Herrold
1........ ..... .......... Howard Andress
',alphie......... ...........Greg Rosenberg
* Eaniel Ziegler director; Scott Kaiser, set designer;
Gregory Mazre. lighting; a New Musket Co. pro-
,practical virtues of general thespian
strength and qualified directorship, the
-Detroit troupe had the advantage of
:working from a far superior script.
-While both of these plays, like all of
Rabe's work, have very specific and
strong statements, Streamers unveils
its message by suggestion, effectively.
forcing its audience to make the con-
hection between the violent but
Inicrocosmic actions of the characters
on the one hand, and the broader anti-
war plea on the other.
It seems never to have occurred to
the author to reveal so much as a single
nuance by suggestion in Boom Boom
-Room. He screams his every notion at
this audience, oblivious to whether the
argument is of sufficient interest to be,
-tolerated. The play's- concerns oc-
icasionally scale the heights to (quasi-)
universality, but for the most part dwell
in the lonesome cellar of the leading
lady's tiresome little life. Few of the
miseries that confront poor Chrissy are
poignant or common enough to win the
sympathy they beg of their observers.
She is even more alone, then, than Rabe
intended; even the world beyond the
edge of the stage is indifferent to her.
IT IS TO BE hoped that Musket's per-
fect matching of director to script was
coincidental, that the play's pathetic
groveling was not deliberately handed
to the 'inept Daniel Ziegler for em-
phasis. Ordinarily, directors will tell
their players to overplay reactions
when reading lines early in rehearsal -
the theory being that it is easier to tone
performances down as opening date
approaches than it is to push con-
tinuously for "bigger" and more
evident expression. The problem here
is that Ziegler seems, in several instan-
ces, to have neglected the second part
of that process. Yet toning down is,
what most definitely is needed of three
of the men in supporting parts, and all
too frequently of Dominique Lowell in
the starring role.
Ted Badgerow, for example, in
striving to create the -impression of a
slightly sleazy codger well on the other
side of mid-life crisis, gives vent to his
frustration by piping out his lines all
over his vocal range. His unmotivated
leaps from octave to octave over the
course of a single word remind one of
the word "Omnipotent" as sung in the
Hallelujah Chorus. This is no oratorio.
Jim Herrold plays an outrageously ef-
feminate homosexual with ostensibly
comical} extremity. But comedy ends
where humanity does. The absence of
even a glimmer of non-stereotypical
behavior out of Herrold strangles the
humor. For similar reasons, Mike
Morrissey's cameo misses in its attem-
pt at quintessential creepiness. His
characterization is so heavy-handed
that it drowns in its own oil. And all the
director would have had to do is fit the
actors with some reins. The stuff of
solid performances is lurking in each of
the three, begging for extraction by
way of moderation.
Dominique Lowell, one of the better
aspects of last year's Taking of Miss
Janie, is another victim of the direc-
tor's shaky hand. Parteof the problem is
the un-unified, rocky progression from
scene to scene that wrestles with the
drama all evening long. However
radically Boom Boom Room seeks to
depart from the usual standards of sub-
ject and style, it still wants an un-
chaotic build to whatever profundity it
has in store, rather than the orderless
stops and starts of energy and tension
that mar the play. Ms. Lowell, who ap-
pears in nearly every scene, seems as
confused by the flurry as anyone in the
house. She can scarcely be expected to
concentrate with the pacing and mood
oscillating so wildly. In her favor are
the few times that Chrissy lets her
troubles get to her and either blows up
or breaks down and cries. The actress'
instinctual gifts show themselves at
these moments; shorn as they are of the
excessiveness all around.
AMY ROTHMAN, as Chrissy's
bisexual friend Susan, is just the op-
posite of her colleague. It is during her
casual scenes (fortunately the great
majority) that she seems least hurt by
the general ineptitude. Cold and mat-
ter-of-fact about her lot in life, Roth-
man is by far the most unaffected per-
former in the production.
There are other bright spots. Howard
Andress is remarkably comfortable
with the lengthy monologues through
which he, like too many of his comn.
patriots, must ramble. The trick here is
for the actor to visualize the scenes he
is describing, a technique that Andress:
seems to have mastered. Too, he ad-
dresses whomever else happens to be
on stage at appropriate moments,
unlike some in the cast,who whirl bet-
ween the audience and other characters
sans rhyme or reason.
Shelly Ballmer has grown enor-
mously since playing a pitiful simperer,
in the Summer Rep flay Fever. As
Chrissy's mother, she is shrill and
sharp, with a malevolent streak of
cruelty keenly understated. And Greg
Rosenberg could give Jim Herrold
lessons in how to add dimensions to
potentially stereotypical material His
peculiar quirks and eccentricity as the
acid-mad Ralphie are the m'ost savory
of the production's sadly rare delights.
One never sees the performers after
Chrissy leaves the stage for the final
time. Ziegler evidently believed that a
curtain call would shatter the stunning
impression of the play's closing
moments. But Musket's first non-
musical effort is stunning for all the
wrong reasons. A change in mood
would have been most welcome.
As yRtom 'hUn
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,TODAY is your last opportunity to see one of the
most controversial ays of our time.
- The NEW MUSKET CO. presents
IN TEROOM BOOM ROOM
a drama by DAVID RABE
Residential College Auditorium Today at 2 & 8
East Quad Tickets $3
The pioneering playwright. Franz Wedekind idolized by the young Germany
of the 20th century, stressed sexual frankness and a Niezschean will to
power. His most remarkable creation is the female world spirit, Lulu---a
moral, bisexual, the ruiner of lives, fated to meet Jack the Ripper. A triumph
of Expressionist art, with hauntingly beautiful LOUISE BROOKS'as the demon-
Man: Kurosawd's RED BREAD (Free of 8)
Tues: Bergman's SHAME
7:00 & 9:05
OLD ARCH. AUD.
4th Record Breaking Week!
l -. I I
I - - --v 00--y- U-4
-1 - -
Formerly Fifth Forum Theater
Will Brian be stoned for writ-
ing anti-Roman graffiti on the
wall of Pilate's Palace?
. . .
Will he be crucified for incor-
rectly conjugating a Latin verb?
Fri, Mon, Tues 6 30, 8:20, 10:10
Adults $2.50 til 7:00 (or capacity)
Sot, Sun 12:50, 2:40, 4:30,
6:30, 8:20, 10:10
Adults $1.50 till :30 (or capacity)
Midnite Show Fri & Sat
_ _. ...
A NOTHER WORLD SERIES has come and gone, and once
again the Detroit Tigers did not win, or even participate.
Still, some of the games were interesting, and the Pirates
showed a lot of character in coming from behind as they did.
Back here in Ann Arbor those not intrigued by-baseball played in
sub-zero weather were surely delighted by the antics of that old
graffiti monarch Dr. Diag, who appeared in surrogate form last
Tuesday. For those still unamused, there's always the movies;
Eraserhead played yesterday, and it made a good "first date"
film. Or of course onc an simply alter one's driver's license and
A-go to the arLor an evening of alcohol-induced fun.
What one cannot do for fun is read the graffiti in the Mason-
"Angell complex. Its, I'regret to say, almost uniforynly dull. The
bathrooms in Mason Hall are particularly offensive in this
respect; they are filled with sordid sexual invitations that have
no place in such a public area. It is not anyone's sexual
preferences that I object to, merely the manner in which they
are-advertised. Nowhere in the Louvre is there framed canvas
rading, "For a good time, call Leonardo." Art is art, and per-
sonal ads are personal ads, or at least that's how I was brought
The few printable samples from Mason Hall tended to ex-
press the same sentiment. "Unhappiness is ... sitting on the can
with no graffiti to read." Below a politically oriented quote from
a Blake poem was the request, "How about some limericks?"
The reply beginning "My roommate's name is Jim Bailey ..."
is mediocre at best. The inevitable "This place is boring" com-
ment is seconded by a Ralph Williams-esque "Yea verily," to
whch I heartily assent.
In the Angell Hall auditoriums the picture brightens a little.
The writing on the desks here is concerned almost exclusively
with the idea of boredom. "Did you have a nice nap?" asks a
solicitous student. "Psychology is bullshit-and if you want
proof give me money and I'll research it," adds a disillusioned
academician. Taking a more constructive approach are those
who write down the number of minutes remaining in class,
generating such sequences as "45, 27, 21, 9, etc." This, we are
told, is the "Law of Diminishing Time." In every group there
are dissenters: "My name is Ann and I love economics" adorns
a table in Auditorium D. Others are beyond help, including the
unfortunate who claims "I can't graffiti any more." A helpful
colleague recommends "ISD-Synethesized Graffiti." Any
number of loyal Wolverines have whiled away the hours
drawing stylized "M"s, and then there's always the old favorite,
"Nuke the Whales," which can be used as a sampler for the
exercise of calligraphic skills. A note to those interested in doing
their own research: the Rule of Inverse Proximity states that
the density of- graffiti varies directly with the distance of the
table to the professor.
Speaking of research, the long-enduring mystery of 'Joe
Licks Taint' seems to be succumbing to the investigative powers
of the Daily. The meaning of the word "Taint" is now cler, and I
understand why my mother, the dear Mrs. Pensman, never told
me about it. I, in turn, cannot write about it without suffering
terminal embarrassment; if you must know, ask your
RA-that's what he's there for.
FOREIGN SERVICE ,
SCHOOL O CF FORE IGSEVC J
2-year professionally oriented program of interna- ,
tional studies located in Washington, D.C.
also 4-year JD-MSFS and
2%-year MSFS-MA in Economics
WH N: Tues. October 23
" 10 am-3 pm
Career Planning and
VIEREKe. Placement Office
3200 Student Activities Bldg.
Dominique Lowell plays Chrissy, the youthful go-go dancer in the New
Musket Company's production of "In the Room B Ro om."
(MICHELANGELO ANTONION!, 1961)
In this, his first color film, Antonioni uses color to express beauty and
suggest conflict, contrasting bright, lush colors with subdued tones. "I
know of no film in which a greater tension exists between the movement
of a story and the places through which it moves .. , it is the best use of
color I have ever seen in a film, exquisite."-Stanley Kauffman.
Tues. SALT OF THE EARTH
ALL YOU CAN EAT
Includes: Soup-Salad-Relish Bar
INTRODUCING THE NEW
HOLLYWOOD CLASSICS SERIES
STARTS THIS SUNDAY, OCT. 21 Featuring
ALL ABOUT EVE With BETTE DAVIS & MARILYN MONROE
Coming on future Sundays:
Oct. 28: DINNER AT EIGHT & hort (7, 9:15)
Nov. 4: CAMILLE & cartoons (7, 9:30)
Nov. 11: BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN & cartoons (7, 9)
Nov. 18: Bogie Night: BEAT THE DEVIL (6:30, 10)
Hospitality & Student Night