The Michigan Daily
Wednesday, March 17, 1982
Pryor burns up the Sunset Strip
By Richard Campbell
A FTER THE phenomenal success
of the first Richard Pryor concert
film, it was only a matter of time before
Pryor was coaxed into making another.
Of course quite a few things have hap-
pened since that 1979 movie and the
filming of Richard Prior Live On The
Sunset Strip, most notably the almost
fatal burns suffered as a consequence
of freebasing cocaine.
It is a little hard to review a movie of
this type because for about an hour and
a half the only thing on the screen is
Pryor saying funny things. Now, we
know that Pryor is a very funny man.
So you would expect this movie to be
humorous. And sure enough, Sunset
Strip will make you laugh. End of
But Pryor does a lot more with humor
than just tell jokes. Rodney Danger-
field keeps an audience in stitches
telling the same punchlines over and
over again. Johnny Carson doesn't tell
jokes, he gets laughs out of bombing
when he tells jokes. Pryor, instead, tells
us real stories that happen to be
hilarious and universal.
He opens his show with the kind of
crude, shocking material that has
become his hallmark. But of all the
comics who throw an obscene remark
into the monologues, only Pryor makes
those elements the least important part
of his stories. Sure they're a jolt,
especially to a more staid crowd, but
they aren't the reason the jokes exist.
Pryor gets laughs out of sex, out of
conflict, and out of his own personal
life. What makes his material really in-
teresting, though, is the stuff he uses
that is not intended to merely raise a
chuckle. In the middle of the movie
Pryor starts to preach a bit about the
problems between blacks and whites,
about the origin and meaning of the
word "nigger." None of this is par-
ticularly funny, but it is treated light
heartedly, and with earnestness.
He deals with his drug addiction, get-
ting burned, and the recovery not with
bald-faced humor, but simply as a man
who has learned his lesson. Although
Pryor's comments are funny, they
never overwhelm his narrative. He
realizes the seriousness of the stuff he's
When Pryor begins ahis Mudbone
routine, he does so not to get a laugh,
but to create a character. In all the
movies that he has made, Pryor has
never acted better than he has in his
concerts. Out of a shaking hand, a
worried expression, and a Mississippi
accent, he creates a street-wise, tired
philosopher. Somewhere out in
Hollywood-land there is a movie just
waiting for Pryor to demonstrate how
good an actor he is.
After all this a couple of points should
be remembered. First, I laughed a lot
more, and a lot harder, at the first
live in concert, movie. Of course, we're
speaking about a comic genius, so you
are still going to have a good time at the
film. But I only smiled alot during this
movie rather than breaking out into
gales of laughter.
Secondly, Sunset Strip seemed to be
more of a staged event than the happy
spontaneity of Live In Concert. This LIVE ON THE
film starts with Pryor walking to the
stage from the midst of the crowd, SUNSET STRIP
spotlights glaring, like Apollo Creed in DAILY-7:00, 9:00 (R)
Rocky. This is going to be an event, WED-1:00, 3:00,5:00, 7:00,9:00
says the film, so don't miss it.
The shots of the beatuiful people in EEND S THURSI
the crowd, setting in their feathers and AGATHA CHRISTIE'S
furs, are distracting. Pryor almost EVIL UNDE[ THE 6LJN
seems out of his element compared to
the first film, with its very realistic PETER
nature, just happening to catch Pryor
in action on stage. The Hollywood USTINOV
packaging just doesn't fit too well.HE U
All in all, the criticisms are un- MEROT
necessary. Once Pryor gets on stage,
you just have to sit back and listen to
the man. What he says is all true, and DAILY-7;30, 9:40 (PG)
he says it in ways that make everyone WED-12:50, 3:00, 5:20, 7:30, 9:40.
Richard Pryor goes Hollywood in his latest concert movie.
Clarinets: From Boehm to Brahn
32.50 Cover Chorge-8:30 P.M.
By Jane Carl
LUX BRAHN, Swiss clarinetist, and
pianist Hanni Schmid-Wyss
presented a lecture recital at the School
of Music on Monday entitled "the Ger-
man-system Clarinet and its Music."
This was a fortunate event for the
people in attendance because the world
of classical music is fraught with
national schools, and has been ever sin-
ce its conception, but rarely does one
experience the differences between
The first work on the recital was
* Rene Armbruster's "Sonatina for
Clarinet and Piano," which was written
for Lux Brahn. In three movements, the
sonatina took a simple, lighthearted
approach that shunned all suggestions
of current contemporary clarinet
writing. Its main point of interest
seemed to lie in the counterpoint bet-
ween clarinet and piano, but this was
not enough to save the piece.
After the sonatina, Brahn discussed
the German-system clarinet made by
Wurlitzer. The vast majority of the
world uses the Boehm-system clarinet
since its adoption in 1939 by Kfose, but'
some German players retain the tricky,
smaller bored German clarinet with its
dark sound and forked fingerings. The
forked fingerings were originally an
integral part of the clarinet's
predecessor, the chalumeau, and were
supposedly retained to further darken
the sound of the German clarinet; but
this is debatable.
Brahn then performed the "Capriccio
for Clarinet Solo" by Heinrich Suter-
meister. Although she did manage to
capture the dance-like feeling of the
main theme, Brahn lost sound and ex-
pressivity on the more lyrical passages.
Composed in 1947, the piece sounded
much more fresh than the later Armbr-
ster work and was, in general, a better
Then Brahn discussed German
mouthpieces and reeds, which were
much different than their American
counterparts. The German mouth-
pieces are made out of wood, as clarinet
mouthpieces originally were, and
string is used to hold the reed onto
them; whereas the French-American
school uses hard rubber mouthpieces
and metal ligatures to secure the reed.
This makes the German mouthpiece
unstable because it is affected by tem-
perature and humidity, while American
mouthpieces are not.
Brahn and Schmid-Wyss closed the
recital with the final two movements of
Weber's "Grand Duo Concertante, opus
48." The strongest work on the
program, the Allegro allowed Brahn to
display considerable technical facility,
but she often had to struggle to project
her sound over that of the piano. The
German clarinet did have a darker
sound, but it was also stuffier and less
responsive in Brahn's hands. The dif-
ferences between the two schools of
thought were never more evident
aurally or visually, and probably
revealed the key to the French-
American school and the Boehm-
system clarinet, it's easier to play and,
in the opinion of the majority, a more
NEW! Happy Hour Snack Menu 4 - 7 P.M.
The University Club
IT'S HERE FOR YOU!
HOLLYWOOD (UPI) - A gracious people to wo
Warren Beatty stood before his direc- It was the
ting peers to accept their top award for actor carri
his movie epic Reds, and simply told Robert Re
them he was "flattered to be in such prize for
good company. People.
"Only in America could a film with
this subject matter and this size be
made without censorship from the
people who put up the money," said
Beatty, who wrote, produced, directed
and starred in Reds. f A erc
The Director's Guild of America .-
award for Reds, the story of radical 9
journalist John Reed's participation in
the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, almost
assures Beatty an Oscar in the March
29 Academy Awards competition. -
In the 34 years of the director's BURT AN
award, the winner has taken the Oscar ATANS
32 times. CTI'
Beatty received an ovation from
more than 1,000 directors and assistant A
directors at the awards ceremony at -
the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
"When I was here a few years ago for
Heaven Can Wait, I had an extremely
good time even though I didn't win,"
Beatty said. "I was flattered to be in
such good company. I still feel that
"I just want to say, if one of you guys
would give me a job, I'll stop all this.
"Making films is a hard job to do. I'm 4 Acad
not sure how anyone knows how to do it. Noml
But I'm good at one thing-I get good
ork with me," he said.
second time in two years an
ed off the award. Last year.
edford won the coveted
his direction of Ordinary
375 N MAPLE
AIN MATINEES-DAILY $2.50
OF FIRE award 7:00
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demy Award 7 40
Jesus Christ Superstar
Thursday, April 1, 8:00 p.m.
Friday, April 2, 8:00 p.m.
Day Specials U-oClub
March 17 5:00p.m.-7:00pm. Michigan Union
Featuring the music of REDWING