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February 23, 1980 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-02-23

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The'Michigan Daily-Saturday, February 23, 1980-Page 5
JOHN MA YALL AND LUTHER ALLISON

Just how

blue can you get?

By MARK COLEMAN
John Mayall and Luther Allison are
an especially good match; they both
play lively blues fueled by a decidedly
rock and roll influence. Though this in-
fluence is not an overwhelming one, it
makes them immediately accessible to
a generation of blues fans brought up on
Eric Clapton and the Allman Brothers.
Mayall, of course, is the "father" of the
British Blues movement. His more
famous "children" Fleetwood Mac,
Mick Taylor, Clapton) have gotten rich
and decadent while he cranks out'hot
one-night stands, sticking close to his
adopted roots.
Allison picked up his authoritative
guitar and vocal style in Chicago, the
birthplace of electric blues. He's added
to those roots a pervasive rhythm and
blues approach, and the result is
something like "a cross between Jimi
Hendrix and B. B. King."
PURISM IS meaningless as far as the
blues goes. It's the underlying
emotional communication translated in
a fairly rigid, yet flexible musical style
that locks you into that nodding, twelve
bar groove. It doesn't matter if the
people playing or listening are white or
black or whatever; only the groove
matters.
John Mayall had this groove going for
him before he ever walked on stage at
Second Chance. Luther Allison and his
four-piece group left the audience with
an appreciative, eager-to-hear-more-
blues buzz. Playing a surprising selec-
tion of cover versions, Luther recited
what seemed The Best of The Blues As

Recorded By English Rock Stars. While
maintaining the level of virtuosity they
lent the blues, Allison shows so much
gut emotion and down to earth im-
mediacy that one .can't question his
motivation. Sure, songs ..like
"Crossroads" and "Baby, What You
Want Me To Do?" have been recorded
ad nauseum. But when Allison
delivered them Thursday night, they
sounded amazingly fresh. He salvages
a certain self-restraint in his blistering
guitar attack that brings back some of
the brooding urgency of the originals.
He's not only funky, but thoughtful -
and could probably blast Eric Clapton
or Jeff Beck off the stage.
AT RICK'S the night before, Allison
had more of a chance to stretch out a
bit, and play some of his excellent
originals. At Second Chance on Thur-
sday he threw all his eggs in one basket,
and nope of them broke; the familiarity
of the material and Allison's playful
showmanship delighted the audience.
On guitar he countered back-breaking
technical intensity with dramatic use of
dynamics.
LutherAllison is a convincing, if con-
ventional, blues singer; his inter-
-pretation of B. B. King's "The Thrill is
Gone" was strong and appropriately
understated. His solo here took an
unexpected turn, combining short jazzy
runs with a George Benson-like ap-
proximation of scat singing. By the
time he got to his tribute to Otis Red-
ding and Jim i Hendrix, I wondered
why he doesn't do more of his own songs
in concert. The audience seemed so

blues-starved that I don't think they'd
have minded hearing tunes not instan-
tly recognizable.'
BOTH BANDS played "Hideaway," a
Freddie King instrumental made
popular by Clapton and Mayall in the
Bluesbreakers. Allison took the suc-
cession of riffs that make up the song to
a few places that Eric Clapton passed
over, with his band interjecting a
soulful organ and drum shuffle. In.
Mayall's hands, "Hideaway" becomes
the loose, boisterous boogie it was
originally, leaving the image of Clap-
ton's trembling fingers a pleasant
memory.
Moving through a varied selection of
old, new and borrowed songs, Mayall
played a tight, well-paced set. The band
established an energetic rapport with
the crowd, building on that with the
consistency developed over a million or
so gigs.' Surprisingly enough, it's not
boring, but almost reassuring that John
Mayall still can find a guitar player

who doesn't mind a straight slow blues
now and then. Yeah, he still plays
boringly "evocative" songs like
"California," still does the speech-like
harmonic gurgles on "Room to Move,"
and he still can't play piano all that
well. But he communicates such sin-
cere and simple feelings that his shor-
tcomings are easily passed over.
On Mose Allison's standard "Parch-
mant Farm," bassist Angus Thomas'
outgoingly funky approach and Soko
Richardson's rock-solid backbeat put
Mayall's vocals and great harp work in
fresh perspective. If these guys can
breathe new life intoa song this over-
done, it bodes well for the blues as a
vital, still evolving art form. If you'd
like to keep this groove going, write
Eclipse and encourage them in their.ef-
forts to bring Son Seals to Ann Arbor. In
the meantime, Thursday night's per-
formance stands as a healthy first step
in the right direction.

Kidney treatment keeps
ailing Tito alive

Daily Photo by LISA KLAUSNER
Say it, JohnY
Veteran English bluesman John Mayali not -only looks like a lion, but he can
roar like one also. He may be a little old to wear hot pants but his harmonica
playing and singing are as tough as ever.

~Loft stages off beat

'Godot'

From UPI and AP
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia-Artificial
kidney treatment could keep President
Josip Broz Tito alive for some time but .
the collective state and Communist
Party leadership has already taken
firm control of Yugoslavia -and is
consolidting its rule.
The official bulletin from the
Ljubljana clinic yesterday confirmed
that the 87-year-old leader has been
receiving dialysis treatment, although
there has been no substantive change in
his "grave" condition.
DOCTORS BASING their opinions
solely on the medical bulletins said that
if the kidney failurewere Tito's only
problem in recovering from a leg
amputation, then dialysis might keep
him alive for some time.
Tito has been confined to Ljubljana
Medical Center in northern Yugoslavia
since Jan. 12. His left leg was

amputated Jan. 20 after complications
arose from a blood circulatory
problem. He was reported earlier to
have developed heart weakness and
digestive problems, but his doctors
have not mentioned these in more than
a week. Top officials indicated that they
are not counting on Tito's recovery.
Behind the scene, however, a power
struggle is developing and a top
government official admitted that some
members of the two ruling committees
were more equal than others. He also
gave clear indication the collective was
running the country as if Tito were
already dead.
TIM'S and CHRISTINE'S
TAILOR SHOP
REASONABLE PRICES
New and Special Zippers
22 years at the same location
663-6223 213 S. MAIN ST.

By GILLIAN BOLLING
Sometimes a director will change a
play's casting, setting, or surroundings
with the end result being variety for the
sake of variety. In casting a woman in
the lead role in Waiting for Godot,
director William Sharpe has raised new
shades of meaning in this controversial
play, ordinarily cast as all-male.
Waiting for Godot, written by Samuel
Beckett in. 1952, is currently being
produced at the Canterbury Loft.
Shapre's approach has given a fresh
angle to the play. The burning question
of whovGodot is and what he signifies
becombs less focal 'Instead, the very
real physical relationship between the
two wanderers who are endlessly
waiting for something meaningful to
enter their lives becomes the central in-
terest.
THE SETTING consists of a tree and
a platform Where the two questioning
vagabonds, Estragon and Vladimir,
pass their lives. The intimate at-
mosphere of the Loft is perfectly suited
to this production of Godot. The audien-
ce surrounds the players and becomes a
part of their timeless world. We jump
when they jump, shifted in our seats as
the two discuss the tedium of life, and
share in the anticipation of "waiting for
Godot."
This production marks the debut of
the Canterbury Stage Company. Their
aim is to present theatre with a "point
of view," which will "affect the audien-
ce's view of the world rather than sim-
Be an angel ...
Read (
764-0558
CANTERBURY
STAGE
'n COMPANY

ply entertain," according to Sharpe, the
company's managing director.
AS WITH any group of actors and
designers who seek to form a collective,
the players must be finely tuned to one
another. The Canterbury Company
achieves this. The members of the en-
semble possessed energy to spare and
this was the primary reason that Godot,
which can become quite heavy and dull,
easily held the audience's interest.
Jane Kinsey, as Vladimir, carried the
play through several mood shifts. She
possesses great talent for physical
comedy, using her body as a limber
tool. She showed Vladimir to be a
thoroughly complex yet understan-
dable character through nuances of
tone and attitude. She and Norman
Scaggs, as Estragon, fit sharply
together like pieces of a puzzle. Scaggs
played the more resigned of the duo,
and while he occasionally carried his
mopiness to an extreme, he generally
provided a perfect match for Ms. Kin-
sey's tense, highly-strung Vladimir.
THE EMPHASIS of the production
was decidedly on the earthy and slap-
stick side rather than the metaphysical
and philosophical. The effect came
across as being very humorous, a sort
of intellectual vaudeville show, with the
actors clowning and miming while
questioning the vagaries of life.
The company's immense skill at
slapstick humor and physical banter
provided the play with both its
strongest and weakest moments. While
the physical actions enhanced the
meanings and were very expressive, a
few times director Sharpe got carried
away. Long sequences in which strong
emphasis was placed on the use of
props or on comic hits became tedious.
Meanings were lost and lines became
secondary, as some of the farcical
elements were over-physicalized and
overdone.
James Danek provided an ap-
propriately disruptive force as Pozzo,
who enters and is at once mistaken for
Godot.
Danek exploited his vocal talents to
great effect, expressively ranging from
booming to whimpering. Ellie Klopp, as
Pozzo's human slave, ironically named

Jane Kinsey and Norman Scaggs in the Canterbury Loft's production of,
Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. The play will be performed Saturday
evening at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 2:00.

Lucky, played with the right amount of
miserable dejection. When commanded
to "think" by Pozzo,=she spews out a
string of intellectual hogwash that is
confusing, yet tells much about the
quality of some thoughts. The speech is
meaningful gibberish and should have
been projected and articulated more ef-
fectively in order to build to an intensity
matching the other players' reactions.
Ms. Klopp, who is primarily a dancer,
and not an actress, garbled the speech
disappointingly and it did not achieve

the startling effect it could have, since
we wait so long to hear Lucky speak.
THE CAST was rounded out by eight-
year-old Will Foster, who bore
messages from Godot. From this small
part to the leads, the group worked well
together, and this facilitated a vast
variety of mood and pace. Much work
was evident in the physical interplay
and the cast rarely missed a beat.
The Loft is willing to take chances
and experiment with the theatre. This
experiment pays off Waiting for Godot.

MOSHE MIZRAHI'S

1949

MADAME ROSA
Egyptian-born Israeli director Mizrahi Won an Academy Award for best for-
eign film with this story of a dying Jewish prostitute (SIMONE SIGNORET) who
runs a one-woman orphanage for Parisian prostitutes' children. Samu Ben
Youb is Momo, her favorite, a brooding Arab boy who shares Madame
Rosa's fantasies of the past and the reality of her impending death.
With glimpses of her former sexuality intercut with the grossness of her
physical decline, Signoret draws a portrait of her own life in this sentiment-
filled elliptical film of Arab-Israeli reconciliation.
Sun: Walsh's MANPOWER

CINEMA GUILD

TONIGHT AT OLD ARCH. AUD.
7:O0& :.. $1.50

! '

Feb. 18-29

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