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January 31, 1981 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-01-31

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ARTS
Saturday, January 31, 1981

Page 5

The Michigan Doily

this one's for you.
SECONDS OF Pleasure works for a
number of reasons, not the least of
which is that it is nothing if not auther-
tic. There are several covers on the
album, the most interesting of which
are Dave Edmunds' perfectly-phrased
version of Chuck Berry's "Oh What a
Thrill" and a swaggering, loving ren-
dition of Joe Tex's "If Sugar Was as
Sweet as You." Both are true enough to
their original times to already seem
like memories.
And then there's the teasing guitar
quotes copped from Berry in "You Ain't
Nothin' But Fine" and John Lennon in
"Fool Too Long," the soaring keyboar-
ds used by every rock band post-Doors
in "When I Write the Book," the smooth
Everly-Brothers-derived harmonies in
"Teacher Teacher," and the Motown
joyousness of "Heart."
THESE GUYS could be the Rich Lit-
tle of rock 'n' roll. They can cop a style
from anybody and fondly feed the
memories of dreamy old timers like
me, but that alone would not make this
great stuff. This isn't exclusively the
grand theft that it sounds like.
If these are memories, they have
been embellished a bit in the telling.
Nick Lowe paces the tunes with distin-
ctly electric, rambunctious bass

plucking that mingles brashly with
Terry Williams' backbeat drumming.
Then, too, the lyrics leave their mark.
"A Knife and a Fork" finds Edmunds
impishly bellyaching about his glut-
tonous girlfriend, who has to "turn
sideways to get in the door." "Pet You
and Hold You" opens deadpan with
"I'm so Little Jack Horner/You're so
Little Bo Peep."
Delightful, gloriously gregarious,
unashamedly mischievous, Seconds of
Pleasure is a luxury cruise from stem
to stern, and Rockpile is a gold mine.
-Fred Sch ill

Join the Arts staff
a.o

k ,
Rockpile
} Rockpile-"Seconds of Pleasure" Everly Brothers.
(Columbia) - Familiarity is supposed This is an anachronism up to its
to breed contempt. Rockpile has eyeballs in slyly swiped riffs, copiously
skewered that truism irrepairably on reproduced styles, and a shamelessly
their American debut album Seconds of nostalgic feel tailor-made for those who
Pleasure, a delightfully shameless remember when rock 'n roll had no
reworking of styles purloined from Deep Hidden Meaning and no one
everybody from Chuck Berry to the noticed. Come out of the closets, kids,

Early death for 'Young'

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By CHRISTOPHER POTTER
Midway through the second act of
Albert Sjoerdsma, Jr.'s Saturn's
Young, an actor sitting at a barroom
table blew the most gorgeous smoke
ring I have ever seen: Shimmering,
translucent, ever-expanding into the
dim light, the wispy halo floated up-
* ward, retaining the unity of its un-
dulating circumference for perhaps
twenty seconds or more. The effect was
somniferous and exhilarating, enough
to lend a curious, momentary credence
to the charaters on stage above and
beyond. the very earthbound prose the
playwright had imposed upon them.
This was the highlight of the evening.
It would have been nice to report that
a local boy had made good, that old Ann
Arbor had sired a Promethean artist
soaring like a rocket toward, Broadway.
Sadly, Saturn's Young, the first
produced play by Hopwood winner
Sjoerdsma, falls flat as a leaking Zep-
pelin - shot down by its cliched theme,
buried by its flat dialogue.
THE CURRENT Canterbury Loft
Stage Company production constitutes
a near-interminable evening of theater.
It's only two hours long but feels like
five. It dabbles wearily with the theme
of familial discombobulation - a
human dilemma which has preoccupied
playwrights from Aeschylus to O'Neill
to Shepard. Though Sjoerdsma can be
forgiven for treading less than virgin
territory, he might at least have tried to
make the journey a little entertaining.
Saturn's Young derives its name
from the mythological god who
delighted in devouring his offspring.
Would that Sjoerdsma was half so car-
nivorous. His play focuses on the small
apartment of Luthor, an aging, in-
cipiently senile amputee, and Gunther,
his brooding, thirtyish son.
Broken dreams and generational
resentment lay as thick as molasses
on the household. Luthor, his universe
apparently confined to the circum-
ferences of his dwelling, lives in his

pixilated memories and crankily
berates his son for ignoring him. Gun-
ther is a professional sufferer-a
morose, self-sabotaging loner trapped
in an environment he hates but cannot
rouse himself from it. Luther feeds off
Gunther's masochism, craftily mixing
threats and pleas in order to tie his of-
fspring to their mutual domicile
forever.
SJOERDSMA TOSSES in most of the
sanctioned icons endemic to tribal
drama: A dead, guilt-instilling mother;
a missing, Dionysian older brother;
plus the requisite Deep Dark Secret
Pop has been withholding from Junior
these many years. The playwright has
even tossed in a back-alley Messiah in
the character of Summertime - a part-
time pool hustler and full-time saint.
Summertime plays Maude to Gun-
ther's Harold, cajoling him to shed his
self-constricting bonds and get out and
L-I-V-E. He inspirits his mopey
colleague with such aph ristic thun-
derbolts/as "If your cigarette's almost
out, and if you still feel-like-smokin',
you light up a whole new stick," or " 'If'
doesn't mean a thing if you can't back it
up."
Moved by his friend's proverbial
brilliance, Gunther souches back home
to make the final break. This
precipitates the Revelation scene
which all the familial skeletons in the
the ann arbor
film cooperative
PRESENTS
TONIGHT TONIGHT
ALL THAT
JAZZ
6:30,8:30, & 10:pO
MLB 4
Admission: $2

closet are hung out for all to gasp at. Af-
ter an hour of divulgments, Gunther
leaves home forever, Luther is left
huddled in his wheel chair, and the
audience can wake up and go home.
I CANNOT remember a stage
production more lacking in energy both
in conception or execution. Saturn's
three characters wander through their
odyessey in a state of terminal
somnambulance, mumbling Sjoer-
dsma's sluggish prose as though
reading a telephone book. As Luther,
Christopher Flynn whines and pouts his
way through the evening, rendering his
old-age terrors less agonizing than
agonizingly bland. As Gunther,
Timothy Henning delivers his plethora
of lines with an unrelenting, one-note
monotone that deadens one's ears to the
point that it is physically impossible to
hear what he is saying. This actor is so
relaxed that you could hit him with a
blackjack and, he wouldn't even blink.
As the free spirit Summertime, Neil.
Bradley emotes nobly and tries to look
ethereal; yet he seems theatrically

displaced, like an epic balladeer
mistakenly assigned to-a convention of
zombies.
Director William Sharpe seems
suicidally bent on slowing down
Saturn's action to the point of a time
warp, lovingly squeezing e'ery juicy
morsel out of Sjoerdsma's tedius wor-
ds. His blocking is wretched, notably a
second-act tableux that oscillates from
a barroom to Luther's apartment to a
race track then back to Luther's with
all' the tension of someone changing
channels on a TV. The play unfolds on
the shabbiest set I have ever seen, con-
sisting of two tables, four chairs, a half-
dozen utensils and an eighty-five cent
box of corn flakes.
Perhaps in another time and place,
Sjoerdsma will light up our literary
lives the way some thetrical locals
claim he can; but this is surely not that
moment. When an audience gives its
most demonstrative response of the
evening to the line "I still can't figure
out how you talked me into this," you
know the drama they're responding to
is in deep, dank trouble.

NOMMMMMMMMMMM"

TONIGHT THE EXORCIST
At The MICHIGAN THEATER
The Devil ties your stomach in knots that won't untie.
7:00 & 9:15

TONIGHT

AND AT LORCH HALL-SA INT JACK
Jack Flowers is a flamboyant American expatriate whose dream is to own the
finest whorehouse in Singapore. But his competitors oppose his high class
bordello, and Jack's dream seems short-lived until an Army officer tempts
Jack to run an Army brothel for US soldiers on leave from Vietnam. With
BEN GAZZARA and PETER BOGDANOVICH, who also directs.
7:00& 9:00, Lorch
CINEMA GUILD-Why not see them both tonight?

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