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January 26, 1979 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-01-26

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, January 26, 1979-Page 5
Students enchant despite 'Night'

The Studio Theatre is located in the
Frieze Building which provides out-of-
class experience for student actors,
Enchanted Night
Slawomir Mrozek
Arena Theatre
January 24&25
Old Boy .......................Pat Garner
Old Man......................Richard Pickren
Third Person ...................Ludmila Nudel
Ala Yahya Faik, director; Peter Engel,
sra e onaxer; Shelley Balimer, fi4 t operator;
Richard Pickren, sound effetrs.
directors, and crew personnel. The
short and entirely student-run produc-
tions will be presented on occasional
Wednesday and Thursday afternoons
through April. Since the talent involved
varies constantly, each production
promises a different flavor as well as
enthusiastic amateurs.
This week's production was Slawomir
Mrozek's Enchanted Night. The in-
timacy of the Frieze Building's theatre
provided just the right atmosphere for

this one-act melodrama, which takes
place in a small hotel room.
The situation is somewhat contrived
and not very well constructed, placing
believability at a minimum. Two men,
simply called Old Boy and Old Man,
must share the room as conventioneers
or delegates of some kind. In the night
they awaken to another presence in the
room, and discover a beautiful woman
beckoning to them. It soon becomes ap-
parent that this is a dream, but then
their problem is greater: Which one is
dreaming? The bulk of the play is spent
resolving this dilemma.
presentation the only spark of life that
it held. Pat Garner as Old Boy and
Richard Pickren as Old Man played
theitr parts with lively spirit. The
characters were somewhat like similar
magnets, rushing about together yet
repelling each other, keeping a safe
distance. Though I'm sure nothing
could have sustained the plot's silliness
through a major production, the actors
managed to maintain a high level of
commendable energy while keeping the
play in proportion to itself. In this it was
quite worthwhile.

Old Boy and Old Man, bickering
colleagues at best, have a stable though
cold relationship which is conveyed
well by the actors. The weirdness of the
dream throws them together at once in
confusion; they cling to each other
frightfully. This is quite a short-lived
dependency, however. As the fear
dissolves, competition begins. Almost

forgetting the beautiful woman, the
men battle each other with logic and
psychology, trying to decide the true
Each man, wanting total control of
the situation, claims to be the dreamer;
with this they get nowhere. The per-
formances build with bitterness and
envy. Unfortunately, the actors are
given no worthy resolution to work
with. The two men, trapped by their
own arguments, conclude that they
both dreamt simultaneously or that
they do not exist. Panicked, they turn to
the woman for an answer. She has been
bored by the situation, however, and
leaves them in sleep.
Such a conclusion proved nothing but
aggravation. Director Ala Yahya Faik
tried to instill a finality to the play, but
it remains open-ended nevertheless.
Ludmila Nudel as the Third Person was
given so little to do that her performan-
ce went virtually unnoticed. The men
were thus responsible for holding
together a play that could not hold itself
together. They at least tried to make it

JAN. 31- FEB. 3.
Sat., Feb. 10-8 pm-The Union
To find out more call UAC: 763-1107
In Concert
Ssndor & Lalo Slomo©vits
Original 8 International Folk Music
Pendleton Room, Michigan Union
Admission: Adults $3.00, Children $1.00



Love is blind,



Why does the Iomance film always
seem to swim against the tide of public
opinion? Of all the cinema genres, none
seems more conducive to knee-jerk
whoops of laughter, derision or just
plain embarrassment. from normally.
undemanding audiences. Perhaps it's
because unlike the war film, the
Western or certainly the outer space
film, the romance movie embraces
what is hopefully a universally shared
emotion and experience. The other
genres are thematically specialized
enough that they can afford to be slop-
py; The loye genre can't - its potential
clientele can spot a phony a mile away.
Sometimes a lucky charismatic mat-
ching of performers can overcome a
maudlin premise. A recent TV movie
Griffin and Phoenix conjured up a very
dubious plot of true love between a pair
of terminal cancer patients, and was
also no great shakes production-wise.
Yet the thespian matchup of Jill
Clayburgh and Peter Falk proved so
extraordinarily magnetic that the film

turned out to be an almost, well, un-
bearably moving experience.
Conversely, a mismatch of stars can
be counterbalanced by solid script and
direction: Streisand and Redford never
seemed quite right for each other in The
Way We Were, but the film otherwise
worked remarkably.
When both great performance and
great filmanship come together, as in
Last Tango in Paris, you strike gold;
when you have neither, as in the
current Moment by Moment, you're
stuck with pure, humiliating dross.
All the nasty comments you've been
hearing about this film are gruesoihely
true - if anything, they're under-
statements. Moment by Moment is far
from being a calculating exploitation of
the romance genre -- indeed, there's no
visible evidence that anyone involved
had the slightest idea of even what it
was they were trying to calculate. Stars
Lily Tomlin, John Travolta and writer-
director Jane Wagner have spastically
produced a love story totally devoid of
love, rationality, or worst of all, in-

Moment by Moment tells the tepid
tale of two lovers who seem to personify
50's obsolescence dressed up in
Hollywood mod. She is a rich, lonely,
bored Beverly Hills matron; he seems
at first glance your typical beach gigolo
hustler, yet beneath his surface mellow
lurks a poor, lost little boy looking for
love, motherly and otherwise. Their
mutual need transcends age and class
taboos, and they soon set up house in
Lil's lush Beverly beach pad to fall in
and out and in and out of love again.
That's the entire plot, not enough
even to fill a nutshell. Moment was a
collaborative product by Tomlin and
long-time comedy associate Wagner,
and the consuming mystery is how
these two talented, witty people
managed to construct such a com-
pletely flat, somber and charmless
piece of chic tedium. There isn't an
ounce of humor or beguilement in the
film's entire hour and forty minutes, its
California sunshine trappings clashing
inanely with a story that lumbers along.
like a grim Teutonic opera.
What can be perceived out of this soft-
focused mess? Sometimes it seems
heading in the direction of a comic
reversal of traditional movie male-
female stereotyping. Trayolta is visibly
the film's sex object. Time after time
he' preens in front of Tomlin in his
Saturday Night Fever monokini; this
he languidly, ceremoniously doffs
again and again, while the camera
aims modestly at his feet and Tomlin
sighs and closes her eyes in an ex-
pression which conveys carnal ecstasy
less than it does gratitude over an
especially mild enema.
Often the dialogue promisingly mat-
ches the visual in versions - He: Do
you really love me? She: I - I - He

(angrily): You only love me in bed! A
moment later - She: Yes, I do love
you. He: Oh, I knew you did! At film's
end, she brings him a makeshift birth-
day card - He (gushingly): You
What an untapped motherlode for
romantic parody! Alas, it's all too ap-
parent cast and crew were taking the
whole uncourtly ritual in dead, stifling
earnestness. Wagner's characters
masochistically cloak themselves in
dour, numbly sincere facial-vocal
masks, implicating themselves as un-
witting patsies to the general abnor-
mity. Moment's love scenes carry an
embarrassing lack of electricity;
Tomlin conducts her seductions of the
gigolo with the grimness of a
vegetarian probing a spaniel with
worms. There's more honest fervor and
anguish in an early-scene phone con-
versation with her estranged husband
than there is in all the subsequent
pseudo-carnality put together.
Moment's star-victims emerge with
differing degrees of scars. Travolta
pumps his charisma for all it's worth
against the creeping anesthesia around
him; he manages to salvage himself to
a modest degree by appearing oc-
casionally ready to burst into laughter
over the accumulated proceedings.
Tomlin, on the other hand, is totally at
sea, performing with excruciating
straightness a character utterly an-
tithetical to her usual band of eccen-
Actually, the entire film seems an
exercise in mixing oil and water. If at
any given moment during its abortive
involvement, someone had simply
thrown up their hands and shouted,
"Whey the hell are we doing this?", all
its participants might have been spared
the nation-wide daily humiliation which
now afflicts them. Lack of talent can be
painful, but misused talent can be
downright mortifying.

January 29th (Saturday)
2nd Floor Concourse of West Quad
1 1 am-S pm
Watercolors, Oils, Pen & Ink and Other Mediums
Live Entertainment & Refreshnents
* announces
*' for Leonard Bernstein's
*. Sign j ps for crews and auditions
*. atMass Meeting Wed., Jan. 31, 6:00
Auditions-Fri. Fe b. 2
* enleo Sat.Feb. 3
Pendleton Arts Room, 2nd Floor
Michigan Union
* CalIl1763-1107

Disco titans boogie
to Las Vegas



What better way to lift your spirits
from mid-winter, mid-week blues than
to dance to the insistent beat of disco
music? Many students sloughed their
jeans and sweaters for the required
"disco gear" at Don Cisco's Wednesday
night for the first of seven dance con-
tests. To the delight of bar and
restaurant owner Bill Marzione, the
turnout of both dancers and spectators
exceeded expectations. There was
barely standing room.
Though most couples came because
they like to dance and had entered con-
tests before, no one could deny the lure
of the first and second prizes of two
days, expenses paid, in Las Vegas. "It
sure would be nice in the middle of win-
ter," sighed Ypsilanti's Linda Lembe.
EACH HEAT of eight couples
sparked the floor with imaginative and
vigorous dancing, including exotic lifts
and shoulder flips. Of the twelve
couples that made it to the semi-finals,
six remained to finish the evening with
one-minute solo dances. Their styles
varied from ballroom disco to energetic
twirls and gymnastic lifts.
The winners, Tony Japour and Ed-
wardeen Putz, who both attend the U of
M, were surrounded by dozens of frien-
ds at the conclusion of the contest. After
it was announced that they had finished
just ahead of second place winners
Gary Keach and Kathy Bolak, the
exhausted couple collapsed to the floor.
A thrilled Tony Japour explained
"We've never even taken a dancing
lesson. Since we don't like to dance just
the same steps all the time, we find it fun

to be creative on our own."
Tony and Edwardeen both agreed to
send their fathers, who are friends, on
the Las Vegas trip which does not in-
clude air fare. When asked if they
would enter future contests, Edwar-
deen admitted, "My studies are slip-
ping. It's back to the realities of college

the Collaborative
art & craft
Classes and workshops including:
U-M Artists & Craftsmen Guild
2nd Floor, Michigan Union

H ER M Npresents
/ ,



-Yg T.

' z*Ls~ing ' .1uw1 Untertawanent
F E B. 2 -4 POWER CENTER 121 W. Washin
Fri.-Sun. 8p.m. with I 4 l ,
Sun. matinee at 2pm. 994- 2c
Tickets are available at The Michigan League, 764-
0450. Hours 10-1 and 2-5 weekdays and at all Hudson
Ticket Outlets.


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