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February 17, 1983 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-02-17

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6

ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Thursday, February 17, 1983.

Page 6

t,

How now! 'Pericles' amuses

By Chris Lauer
S HAKESPEARE NEVER used a plex-
iglass set, but that did not stop John
Houseman's Acting Company in
Tuesday night's performance of
Pericles: It was no half-way effort but
all-or-none for the Acting Company as
they updated the time and place and
delved into such unlikely interpretation
as orange and purple hair, use of
flashlights, and moments of country
hick vernacular, Groucho Marx, and
the theme song from Jaws. Though
those with a more traditional view of
Shakespeare were undoubtedly
breathing fire, the blatantly ultra-
modern production was nevertheless
hilarious.
The modernizing was not at all

tasteless, but proved well suited for the
playfulness of the Bard. Maybe he
would have appreciated the switched
identity of males and females
throughout the production. 'The little
twists-Pericles smoking a cigarette
during a soliloquy-were the most ex-
cellent. Also the governor's entrance in
a disguise of dark glasses and trench
coat crying 'How now," was very
creative.
Music was used throughout the play.
An electric organ was used effectively
for background and special effects. The
adaption of many of Shakespeare's
dialogue for music prompted many
laughs. The malicious queen gave an
excellent insincere speech to her inten-
ded murder victim in the form of a sap-

py sounding Top-40 ballad complete
with microphone and PA system. King
Pericles and three fishermen delivered
some funny moments as they broke into
a barbershop quartet.
In the original play, one gets the im-
pression of the narrator as a behind-
the-scenes mover of the other charac-
tars, his raw materials, into the shape
and form of something understandable
to an observer as a story. The narrator,
as storyteller, plays on the thoughts and
biases of the observer. Moved to the
present, the narrator served beautifully
in this same capacity: The story telling
angle was staged very well and in large
part held the production together.
During scenes the formally dressed
commentator would lean motionless

against the set, but between scenes his
song and action kept things in perspec-
tive; the audience was always aware of
the illusion. His act ending antics of
unravelling an empty bundle that
represented a baby, and then kicking
another "baby" over the top of the set
was funny, and even funnier when he
raised his arms as the "baby" traveled
over the "goalpost" of the set.
The attempt to insert pieces of
modern culture is not such a bad idea,
especially when added to
Shakespeare's timelessness. Such
adaption could not, however, be -suc-
cessfully used in all of Shakespeare's
plays. In the spirit of storytelling where
only the broadest outlines are in-
variable, the Acting Company is clearly
a good storyteller.

y;
S6

AN 1:{]URecords
2 1h VDUAL THETEs1
GOLDEN GLOBE WINNER 'Catholic Girls,' Catholic
BEST ACTRESS Girls (MCA)
- IN A DRAMA -
M ERY T What would you call a group whose
members are all female, one that plays
fi a brand of music filled with catchy
(albeit repetitious) rhythms and plenty
of beat, and whose sole musical goal
seems to be to reach everybody's Top 40
OEplaylist? Did I hear someone say the
CHO ICE Go-Go's? Close but no cigar; very close
as a matter of. fact. However, the
correct answer is the Catholic Girls, a
THURS., FRI. - (R) four member, all girl band whose every
6:45, 9:30 song bears an uncanny resemblance to
"We got the Beat,", "Vacation" or a
ENDS TNIGHTcombination of the two.
ENDS TONIG HT!bSaying the Catholic Girls look and
"SMASH PALACE" sound like the Go-Go's is like saying
AT 6:25, 8:10, 9:55 Ms. Pac-man looks like Pac-man. No
one, however, said such a comparison
IAfit Fr DAr was bad. Not yet, at least (this review is,
_ __ far from over). In truth, Catholic Girls
is a fairly mediocre album with a few
A comedy for good points and a few bad points; cer-
the incurably tainly nothing to get excited about. Just
the grade of musical blandness you'd
romantic. expect from Kansas or Journey.
The album's good points are two
songs, "Someone New" and "Where did
I go Wrong," which are catchy enough
to hold a listener to his AM radio.
DUDLEY MOORE However, the songs are redundant and
ELIZABETH McGOVERN dull pop. The influences of the Go-Go's,

Debbie Harry of Blondie, and Pat
Benatar are easily detectable. Unfor-
tunately, the two songs mentioned and
the other eight on the album all lack the
cuteness and bounciness of the Go-Go's,
the sensual allure of Harry, and the
fiery screams of Benatar. While none of
these folks will go down in music
history for their ground-breaking,
genius-like work, they all have
managed to carve out their own niche in
the public ear. Catholic Girls, however,
rely so heavily in those influences that
they create no new path for their own
success. All they are left with is 10
songs unappealingly strung together by
the same rhythm.
The lowest point on the album has to
be the last song. "God Made You For
Me," a nine minute farce which tries to
force a bit of punk into the album's well
established pop formula. It fails to cap-
ture any of the energy and force
characteristic of the best punk, and it
fails to create that I-must-hear-that-
song-again feeling so vital to a suc-
cessful pop song. The song, like the
whole album after more than one
listening, simply becomes overblown
and redundant.
Gail Petersen, the lead singer who
wrote all ten of the album's songs, has
(in the Catholic Girls) the makings of a
successful commercial band. All she
has to do is create her own style and
show a little more imagination in her
music. The lyrics? OK, they are
already the kind of forgettable stuff
written for the typical AM hit.
Just remember, if the Catholic Girls
ever do hit it 1 ig, no one here ever said
their music was good, only catchy.
-Stephen Blocki

Y

Daily Photo by ELIZABETH SCOTT
Kevin Rowland, singer, soul man, enigma, sings last Tuesday night atSt. An-
drew's Hall.

Dex)
with
By Ben Tich

S

thump hearts

d
X.
{

0

eveni
0

II

FRI. -7:10, 9:10

(PG)

Petersen
.. rocks Catholic

HAT IS HOW it was; this is how it.
is. I have seen the present -of per-
sona music, and his name is KIevin
Rowland. With Dexy's Midnight Run-
ners, who performed Tuesday night at
St. Andrew's Hall in Detroit.
Andrew is the patron saint of
Scotland, and he smiled kindly on the
tuneful waifs from across the water.
And those Celtic Soul Brothers, with
their Emerald Express electric fiddles
and banjo pumping full steam, made
the evening precious. From "TSOP" to
"Come On Eileen" the hall resounded
with meaningful musical tightness and
the thump of a single and several hun-
dred hearts.
Kevin Rowland wears his dark hair
curly and over his ears, a woolen coat
over an ill-fitting white shirt, and a
day's growth over his broad, pocked
face. He keeps strict control over his
group, his music, his show. Only his
vision, if it must be called that, runs
away from him from time to time.
Rowland is a "personality," a force,
and, as his music mates will attest to, a
leader.
Things have changed since that first
single ("Geno") and Searching for the
Young Soul Rebels, or have they? Sure,
the overalls and ripped shirt trappings
affected by Rowland and the other nine
musicians (two sax, one trombone,
three violins one bass, one guitar, and
assorted percussion) may appear
somewhat staged, but that's not the
point, is it?
The point is that I can't point out
anyone who thinks just like Rowland;
his emphatically personal commentary
on-the state of the soul remains unique.
At times on Tuesday night he seemed to
stand worlds apart from an uncom-

-el.
lv '
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NOON LUNCHEON
Soup and Sandwich $1 (optional)
Fri. Feb. 18, Ton Blessing:
"April 1983 City Hall Issues"
GUILD HOUSE
802 Monroe
662-5189r
Subscribe to The
Michigan Daily
764-0558

qg ofsoul,
prehending but enthusiastic audience;
at other times he seemed to sing
straight into the plight of that young
soul rebel weaving his way through
modern contradictions and in-
securities.
The violins and Rowland's dark eyes
did the weaving at St. Andrews, in a
sharply organized and rehearsed
routine of Stax brass, folk revival, and
lots of hopping around. Suddenly
everything would stop, as Rowland
dropped into a sotto voce rambling
about Robin or somebody. Then he
waved an arm-it could have been a
finger-and instantaneously the entire
ensemble swung back into the stomping
rendition.
Rowland is either putting a big one
over on me, hiding a self-absorbed shell
behind utterly convincing sound and
lyrics, or he is (along with Bowie) about
the most interesting artist around. I
hope he's not fooling me.
The problem is that personal vision is
always a difficult area to assess, under-
stand,' and believe. For that reason
many artists have suffered misunder-
standing in anonymity and many great
and admired stars may later be shown
to have but shiny plates of glass. And
for that reason much of "today's
music" seems either catchy but half-
empty pop variations or eccentric,
unapproachable pretentiousness.
Enough analytical crap. Suffice to
say that the Dexy's are worth a second
look into. They have a fine tradition to
encourage them (the Van Morrison
"Jackie Wilson Said" cover was just
fine) and a lot of drive. Their "Bridge"
stateswide tour lasts a total of eight
days, the all-too-brief-but-typically-
atypical package highlighted by ap-
pearances on both Solid Gold and
Saturday Night Live. Tuesday night's
performance will be aired on an up-
coming King Biscuit Flour Hour show.
The Bridge-cross it, Kevin. Don't be
hung-up about whether you can get
your message (whatever that might be)
across to everybody. Settle for the
people in your band, and then maybe a
fortunate few. Hope I become one of
them.
THE DAILY
CLASSIFIEDS
ARE A GREAT
WAY TO GET
FAST RESULTS
CALL 764-0557
is show our students' language skills superior
two year programs in U.S. Advanced courses
me to make all arrangements.
Feb. 1 - June 1 /FALL SEMESTER - Sept. 10 -

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ACTi
Ann Arbor Civic Theatre
presents
Goler
by E
PondThoi

STUFSDAY,FEB. 22
LYDIA
S.MENDELSSOHN
y THEATRE
4 8:00 p.m.
Sat. Matinee 2:00p.m.
For tickets call:
nest6627282
mpson

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