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July 10, 1979 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1979-07-10

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Page 8--Tuesday, July 10, 1979--The Michigan Daily
'Rainbow' fades at the League

By JOSHUA PECK monized arrangement of "Get Happy,"
Arbecoll Theatrics, the gang that to end, wherein Douglas Sheperdigian
brought you The Fantasticks last mon- flashes his painted, phony smile for the
th, now presents a musical revue last of dozens of times, is an em-
featuring the songs of a heretofore barrassment. The script, crafted by the
neglected composer, Over The Rain- director and two of his mannequins,
bow With Harold Arlen. In the same contains some of the most hackneyed
dinner theatre forum Arbecoll has been humor heard this side of vaudeville.
using since its inception, Arlen's tunes Julia Broxholm twice tries to start
(The Wizard of Oz score, "Get Happy," singing "Over The Rainbow" before
"That Old Black Magic," "I Love a she is supposed to. David Kitto shushes
Parade,") are strung together with pat- her, feigning anger. Kitto tells Sheper-
ter and dance devised by the company digian that "we might have been meant
itself. for each other," just before the three
The revue, from beginning, wherein launch "Let's Fall in Love." Kitto
the three performers muddle a har- finishes reciting a particularly long-

winded and alliterative bit of text, looks
up at the audience, and mugs, "Who
writes this stuff?" (The guilty parties
are listed in the program.)
KITTO MANAGES somewhat better
than Sheperdigian, but still explores
new avenues of un-musicality in num-
bers like "I've Got the World on a
String" and "Ac-Cen-Thu-Ate the Posi-
Only Julia Broxholm emerges from
the general maleficence to belt out her
lively numbers and float out her bluesy
ones. Her skillful treatment of the
show's many tunes would be a welcome
addition to a good revue; here, it can
only save the effort from utter disaster.
Over the Rainbow with Harold Atlen
Script by Julia Broxholm, Russell Collins,
and David Kitto
Michigan League Ballroom
July 6,7, 13, 14
Julia Broxholm
David Kitto
Douglas Sheperdigian
Russell Collins, direr ,

Rivalling the script as the show's
most noisome feature is the dancing
and other snippets of choreography that
look to be straight out of an aging
Rockettes' routine. Most of the time,
the performers smile a lot and extend
their arms upward or at 45. Sometimes
(here it gets tricky), they put one arm
up and the other at an angle, and then
whirl around all at once.
Behind the makeshift stage is a set
quite suited to the production. Trees of
lights alternately flash, sit statically
illuminated, or perch in discomfited
silence. Lastly, there is a tri-color rain-
bow spanning the trees. This, too, is
poorly planned, as the rainbow's blue
stripe contrasts poorly with a backdrop
of approximately the same shade that
sits immediately below it. The blue
should really be elsewhere on the rain-
bow, or perhaps absent altogether. And
so should the show.

Willie & Leon wallow in
creaky tunes from the past

What could Leon Russell and Willie
Nelson possibly have in common? Well,
both have deep country roots; Willies'
are in Texas and Leon's in Oklahoma.
It's made evident by their newly
released album, One for the Road, that
both musicians also enjoy singing songs
Willie Nelson and Leon Russell
One For The Road
which were made popular 30 or 40 years
One for the Road is an album that
lacks the creativity, vitality and energy
one expects from such prominent ar-
tists. The listener isn't given much of a
taste of Leon Russell's uncanny
keyboard blues or of Willie Nelson's
ability to get people to stomp their feet
and clap their hands merely by belting
out a song in his inimitable style.
The two-record set simple rehashes
old songs and lifeless covers. The two
5th Avenue at liberty SI. 761-9700
Formerly FifthForum Theater
Dustin Hoffman

artists indulge themselves by playing
songs they grew up with.
Members of Willie's band join the two
artists on the first album for songs like
Gene Autry's "Riding Down the
Canyon," the catchy but unduly
repetitive "I Saw the Light" and an un-
convincing "Heartbreak Hotel" that
doesn't come close to Elvis' version.
Nelson fans used to the invigorating
power the country king can bring to
songs like "Whiskey River" and
"Nightlife" will be sorely disappointed
by cuts like "Sioux City Sue" and
"Don't Fence Me In," which sound like
they belong in a two-bit vaudeville
The only redeeming factor about the
first disc of the set is "Trouble in
Mind," which finally strikes the happy
medium between country and blues.
The song is enhanced further by Bonnie
Raitt's slide guitar and Maria
Muldaur's back-up vocals. In addition,
the song finally lets us hear Russell's
Nashville-flavored voice ring out in-
stead of the inaudible back-up work
that marks the rest of the album.
The first disc ends on a sour note,
though, with a ridiculous and
unimaginative rendition of "You Are
My Sunshine."
The band absents itself for the entire
second disc and we are left with Russell
on keyboards and Nelson taking sole
charge of the vocals.
Every song is slow and seems forced.
Irving Berlin's "Always" and George
kGershwin's "Summertime" are per-
formed with about as much energy as a
wedding or restaurant band would
The second disc resembles Nelson's
album Stardust, which was also a
rehashing of old tunes. But Stardust
had creativity, emotion, energy, and
Nelson's band backing it up. One for the
Road lacks all of these. It's apparent
that Nelson needs the force of his band
to back him up. On "One for My Baby
and One More for the Road,' Nelson
can barely sing the low notes, a dif-
ficulty that would be alot easier to gloss
over if not for the absence of other in-

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