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December 03, 1977 - Image 5

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Michigan Daily, 1977-12-03

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The Michigan Daily-Saturday, December 3, 1977--Page 5 h

Armatrading shows
mix ofj azzand pop
'M By MIKE TAYLOR
I T'S REMARKABLE that with all her songwriting and singing talent
Joan Armatrading remains largely unknown. Her latest album, Show
Some Emotion (A&M SP 4663), shows that the rawness she exhibited on her
first three releases was no fluke.
This woman may be the most compelling female singer of the seventies.
Her emotional songs provide a wonderful playground for her voice to run
free in. And what a voice it is! Armatrading sings with stunning range and
diversity.
The album is a triumph in every possible way. Armatrading has a knack
for combining folk, blues, jazz, soul, and funk influences into a varied
tapestry of songs. The lyrics are as evocative as the melodies, and the
singing is rough but silky, tough but soft, angry but compassionate. She
seems filled with pain and love at the same time.
ARMATRADING'S FORCEFUL acoustic guitar and piano work is
backed by some of the best session instrumentalists in the business. Glyn
Johns, who also produced her last album, shows once again the recording
technique he perfected with the Rolling Stones and the Who and brings out
the best in this extraordinary woman.
From the opening notes of "Woncha Come On Home," it's clear Show
Some Emotion is no ordinary album. Armatrading's piano and guitar super-
bly complement her spirited voice as it rises and descends in melody.
Though the arrangement is stark, its tight precision makes it seem warm

Applau
By RENEE SCHILCUSKY
E NTERING THE Lydia Meridels-
sohn Theatre we are introduced to
the television cameras as Henry Fonda
and friends. The announcer flashes a
brilliant smile toward us and asks who
our choice is for the best supporting ac-
tor, and would we care to comment?
The lights dim, the spotlights focus on
the stars in the audience, and the toothy
announcer reappears and introduces us
to the 1977 Tony Awards, direct from
New York City. This is Applause, Soph
Shows annual musical, playing through
tonight.
Director Scott Eyerly devised a very'
ingenious introduction to this musical,
with television cameras and
celebrities, tuxedos and glitter aboun-
ding. The initial set worked well, and
the Tony Awards were not only enter-
taining but amusing.
But the first set change was a
disaster, with actors scurring around,
bumping into each other while moving
furniture on the not-dark-enough stage.
The second set change was the same.
And the third. And. so on. Soph Show's

-- - 7*--

e iveliy,
Applause faulted on the actor-stage
hands for the thirteen or so set changes,
breaking the spirit captured in each
scene.
MARY MOYER, as Margo Channing,
the brilliant and bombastic aging
Applause
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre
December 1, 2, 3, 1977 8:00p.m.
Margo Channing.......... Mary Moyer
Bill Sampson............David Pevsner
Eve Harrington...........Nancy Krug
Buzz Richards ........... Doug Foreman
Karen Richards ........Karolyn Wallace
Howard Benedict...........Tony Mattar
Produced by Andrew Kurtzman
. Directed by Scott Eyerly

but not polls

hed

ding as a thirty-five yeal old woman,
but unfortunately her counterpart,
David Pevsner, acted no older than
twenty. This disparity cleared up
however, because of his nice, ex-
pressionistic voice and gestures. The
emotional connection with the charac-
ter's feelings during poignant moments
were especially believable.
High points in the musical were the
chorus numbers, most notably the first
chorus routine, "But Alive". The dan-
cing, choreographed by Julie Farmer,
was superb, creating a dynamic mood
for the show. In fact, the prime asset of
Applause was the high energy and ex-
citement that emanated from the
chorus and cast, the orchestra and even
the ushers. The enthusiasm of these
freshpersons and sophomores spread
quickly to the audience, which sat en-
thralled following the fast-paced plot.
Notable supporting players in the show
include Karolyn Wallace, who plays
Karen Richards, Margo's good friend.
Wallace's excellent stage presence and
emotional control created a strong ef-
fective performance. The scene at
Margo's, where she learns of her
husband Buzz's involvement with Eve,

is one of the best drunk scenes I have
ever watched. Doug Foreman's inter-
pretation of Buzz was unrealistic, with
his overdone gestures and theatrical
overstaging.
PHIL SIEGEL. playing Margo's
homosexual hairdresser Duane, stops
the show. He is a strong dancer and he
delivers his lines with impeccable
timing and ease.
Nancy Krug, playing the villainous
Eve Harrington, does an excellent job
of convincing us she is very innocent..
All the while, she is plotting ways to,
take over Margo's life and make it big:
on Broadway. Vocally, she was just:;:
right, although she lost a great deal of--
power when singing-an expected fault.
in musicals.
Tony Mattar's stiff gestures and un-
changing expressions as Howard
Benedict, the producer, creaqted
comedy from intense drama in his
scene with-Eve.
The high energy and excitement of
the cast kept the show running at a fast
pace all evening. The contagious en-
thusiasm and talent of these
sophomores and freshpersons is
amazing, making Applause well worth
seeing for this reason.

queen, could sing better than the
throaty Lauren Bacall, who created the
role on Broadway. As mant times as we
see Moyer the necessary vibrancy and
energy, we see a phony speech affec-
tation of the "star" and a pouty, sen-
sual look that destroys the reality of
Margo as a character. She was convin-

Joan A ratrading
and full. This folk and blues-tinged number about the loss of a lover certainly
grabs your attention.
Now that she's got you, it's easy for her to hold you with the title track, a
great follow-up. Starting with a jazzy, electric feeling, it seems like a storm
is about to erupt. One does, as Armatrading shifts into a mode combining
rock, jazz, and blues.
Show some emotion-put some expression in your eyes
light up-if you're happy
but if it's hard then let those tears roll down.
"WARM LOVE" and "Willow" demonstrate the emotional effect the
sparing use of strings can have. By gently adding to Armatrading's soft
voice and gorgeous melodies in these tunes, the emotional intensity of the
-numbers is heightened.
On "Peace In Mind," her voice is so sing-song that every phrase seems
to be another melody. The introspective lyrics work well with the dramatic
arrangement to produce a complex, thoughtful piece.
"Opportunity" tried the unlikely combination of folk and soul, but it
works! The lusty dialogue between Armatrading and the male voice is a
listening treat.
"Mama Mercy" is one of the finest all-stops-pulled, rock'n'roll songs
I've ever heard. Instead of going for a heavy, rock band sound, she uses hor-
ns and a great beat to create a dynamic tune. It must be fun in concert.
The album closes with "Kissin' and A Huggin'," a song of great urgency.
Armatrading's fast-paced vocals spotlight her memories of being young and
in love.
Obviously, I can't find eiough good things to say about Joan Armatrad-
ing or Show Some Emotion. Armatrading is simply too good to continue
being ignored. Let's hope her audience finds her.
PRODUCERS AND DIRECTORS
Needed
to work with new theatre company doing mime,
children's theatre, improvisations, etc.
Applications Accepted Until 5 pm Dec. 6
2nd Floor Michigan Union
763-1107

Goodman album em
By WENDY GOODMAN and his own on the record. Goodman's
lyrics are pitiful; they lack originality
SAY IT IN PRIVATE, (Asylum 7E- and interest. Worse than that, his for-
1118), is the name of Steve Good- ced rhymes would embarrass any poet.
man's latest album and that is exactly'
what he should have done. There is no A FEW OF THE SONGS are remin-
"City of New Orleans" or "Ballad of. iscent of singer-songwriters of the early
Penny Evans." In fact the entire record Cat Stevens/Shawn Phillips genre. "My
contains only one memorable tune. Old Man," presumably about Good-
Musically, the album is watery. More man's father and "Video Tape" are
often than not, the arrangements are both written in that "I, me, and my"
poor. Frequently, the music is mismat- style.
ched with the lyrics while at other times "Is it True What They Say About
there is too much accompaniment to Dixie" and Smokey Robinson's "Two
the extent that needless electricity is Lovers" are unfortunate examples of
just thrown in. the LP's flaws. Goodman has taken
It is easy to tell the difference bet- great songs with simple folk tunes and
ween the cover songs Goodman does turned them into basically blah licks.
The arrangements don't do anything;
they're just dull. This may not be en-
Goodman

barrassing
tirely his fault; at least some of the
blame should be assumed by Joel Dorn,
the producer.
"Does anyone remember the Great
Depression/I read all about it in True
Confessions" are lyrics from the only
notable song on the disc. Co-written by
John Prine, "The Twentieth Century is
Almost Over" is an almost nostalgic
piece about what the title says. The
music has a gospel sound combining
Goodman's voice and guitar, Prine's
voice, and Pete Seeger's voice and ban-
jo to result in what could have been a
successful single. Too bad it had to be
connected with the rest of the album.

~s,
Christmas Art Fair

The University
of Michigan
Artists & Craftsmen
Guild

Saturday December3,10a.m.-8p.m.
Sunday, December4,lOa.m.-5p.m.
U-M Coliseum, Ann Arbor
Fifth Avenue at Hill Street,

fT-

b I.

0

University of Michigan
Gilbert and Sullivan Society Presents
or Bunthorne's Bride
s

.*

I

Draw yourself to fame across the chests
of the Wolverine Fans in.
ROSE BOWL,
T-SHIRT DESIGN CONTEST
Design an original emblem, cartoon or drawing incorporating
the theme of the Wolverines' upcoming Rose Bowl bout.

FIRST
PRIZE

Dinner for two at Win Schuler's, one of Ann
Arbor's finest restaurants.-and- Your design
printed in iron-on ink in the special Daily.
Rose Bowl Supplement!

x
a
t

g
,
.x
:
. t

I

SECOND Koss Pro 4 AA headphones from Tech HiFi.
-AND-Your drawing printed and ack-

PRIZE

nowledged in The Michigan Daily.

4l

11

I

-%r'
y .

A $10 gift certificate at

Second

Serve,

THIRD
PRIZE

Ann Arbor's newest discount Sports Clothing
store AND
Your drawing printed and acknowledged in the
Michigan Daily.

Y " L
oi l t

* ELIGIBILITY-Anyone who supports the Blue-student, grad, staff, alumnus.
" ARTWORK-Design should be no larger than 9"x 9" and should, be in black ink on white paper. It

should be a simple layout, free of tiny details that do not easily transfer to fabric.

r

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