Page 6-Thursday, May 31 1979--The Michigan Daily
Civic ventures Power crowds
By SANDRA BOBROFF
Bundling into the Power Center for its
first time, the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre
opens its 50th season this weekend with
Stephen Sondheim's Follies.
Civic Theatre's move into the Power
Center from its usual Lydia Men-
delssohn Theatre roost is an important
one. The group hopes to call attention to
its golden anniversary season by using
the larger 1400 seat auditorium.
However, Power Center is more expen-
sive to rent, and not all seats will be
available because of the manner in
which the musical is staged.
THIS WILL BE a retrospective
season for AACT. All the shows the
company does will be ones the group
has done in the past, with the exception
The other shows this season will once
again be staged at Mendetssohn.
Sondheim's musical, adorned with
tap dancers, ghosts and elderly
starlets, resonates with various Follies
performing styles over its twenty-year
history. Sondheim's characters gather
in the old Follies theatre, sadly
acknowledging that thei.r former
gallery is on the verge cf being restruc-
tured into a parking lot.
TICKETS FOR Follies span a wide
range-$3.50 to $12.50. The high end of
the range reflects higher than usual
overhead costs for the production.
Besides the Power Center rent, costs
include costuming the 50-member cast,
plus funds recently used by the
Civic Theatre for architectural
feasibility assessments on a new
building. The group currently rehear-
ses ina converted barn off Seventh St.
Production space there is cramped,
and Civic Theatre has considered
taking over the old Fire House or the
Elks Hall on South Main St.
AACT hopes Follies' "light-weight'
$3.50 tickets will encourage community
members to see the show despite the
high-priced center orchestra seats.
Follies opens Thursday evening and
plays through Sunday, with a matinee
By MITCH CANTOR
Today's rock groups are cer-
tainly marked by many distinc-
tions - some of them by in-
tricate orchestrations, some by sim-
plicity, others by meaningful words,
meaningless words, and on and on.
What marks the Boomtown Rats is a
A Tonic for the Troops
much rarer trait in the business: en-
A Tonic for the Troops, the Rats' new
album (their first on a major record
label), simply radiates. While the
songs are good, they aren't what
distinguishes the album. Its apparent
energy, as well as much of the singing
style (including several responsive
episodes between lead singer Bob
Geldof and the backing vocals), tell the
listener that the Rats had their collec-
tive heart in this one.
THE SONGS, written primarily by
Many styles and
Men's & Women's
619 E. Liberty,
217S. Main St. m
Geldof, are mostly fast and catchy and
less amorphous than most of those on
their previous album. The subject mat-
ter includes a wide set of topics ranging
from a youth's hopelessness ("Rat
Trap") to jabs at history ("Eva
Braun") and the press ("Don't Believe
What You Read").
Bassist Pete Briquette adds spice to
the whole album, but his presence is
especially noticeable in the two
Springsteen-like tunes-"Joey's on the
Street Again" and "Rat Trap". His
hypnotic bass line sets the tone for the
latter song, the pessimistic words of
which could make one forget the en-
thusiasm of the Rats themselves.
Billy doesn't ik:e it living in this town
He says the traps have been sprung since before he was born
He says "Hope bites the dust behind all the closed doors
And pus and grime oozefrom its scab-crusted sores
There's screaming and crying in the high rise blocks"
It's a rat trap, Billy, and you're already caught
WHEN WORDS ARE discarded by
the . Rats their pop singing fillers are
more than enjoyable. As a matter of
fact, one of the high lights of the album
is the combination cackle-lalala in-
troduction to "She's So Modern."
Just about a month ago I saw the Rats
at the Royal Oak Music Theatre.
Though the Irish sextet has only been
together for three years, they put on a
stunning performance. The great thing
about A Tonic For The Troops is that,
with the exception of Bob Geldof pran-
cing around on stage, the album offers
nearly the same excitement I experien-
ced a month ago, With any more like
this, the Rats will be around for awhile.
SHORT or LONG
Men and Women
" 615 E. Liberty-668-9329
" 3739 Washtenw-971-9975
* 613 N. Maple-761-2733
".611 E. University-662-0354