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March 04, 1983 - Image 7

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-03-04

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, March 4, 1983-Page 7
Fast and Missad's
sharp satirical songs

By Pamela Kramer
C HANCES ARE, most of the people
going to John Prine's concert
tonight have never heard of the warm-
up act, Fast and Missad. That's too bad,
because the musical satirists are so
good at what they do, you might say
they're two of Michigan's richest
natural resources. -
Of course, you might not say that,
because it is, after all, carrying things a
bit far to say that about anyone, and
besides, it sounds a little silly. But if
you hear Doug Fast and Linda Missad,
you'll say they're pretty damn good,
and that their kind of talent is growing
scarce these days.
Fast, who writes most of the songs for
the guitar-piano duo, is basically very
funny, and he is one of those on whom
very little in life is lost.
These two qualities lead to such tunes
as "Americawanna," a touching little
ballad of American free enterprise in
the drug trade; "The Preacher," a
tribute to the Reverend Jerry Falwell;
and "President Reagan's The Wizard of
Oz," featuring, Fast explains, "Reagan
as himself, the scarecrow, Caspar
Weinberger as Toto, (George) Bush as
Auntie Em, (James) Watt as the
Cowardly King of the Forest, and
(James) Brady as a few bricks missing
from the Yellow Brick Road."

Pilobolus dancers in one of their typical poses, utilizing group performances as opposed to individual
Lm*berlimbshappy feet

Few things are sacred to Fast and
Missad. Anyone who- can sing an up- 47 r\
tempo song called "Guyana Diana" n "$
and encourage people to dance to it is ___
not an entirely sensitive person.
Most of the songs they'll be playing
tonight are upbeat satires, but they are 4
not limited to any one style of music. -v -
Missad's classical training on piano
will carry off a ballad as well as a blues#G
number, a rock, country-and-western,
or jazz piece.
Since its beginnings three years ago
in Grand Rapids, the team has
produced one album, Here at Last, and 4A- tt
one EP. For the last year or so, they┬ęC
have been touring colleges throughout Vp4
the midwest, and this is their first stop .Q4;
in Ann Arbor. Fast, probably a bigger
John Pririe fan than anyone else going ADRIAN'S T-SHIRT PRINTE
to the Michigan Theater tonight, is
pretty pleased about the arrangement.
"I feel like I'm a Jesuit priest opening
for God," he says laughing, but with a,
genuine hint of awe. kinko's COpieS,
Fast and Missad have been described __
as everything from exceptional to mer-
ciless to tart. If he really had to com- ofr Xfrs x 9t a e
ment, though, Fast says that to catch offers offset quality & fast service
the real flavor of their songs, you have
to think of glazed parsnips: "Kind of 5
tart, kind of sweet, kind of earthy, a lit-
tle raw." Fj . ( OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK,,
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their feelings and ideas about androgyny and sexuality.
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1Ly .Alen Rieser
FTER A well-received Tuesday
evening performance at 'Power
Center, Pilobolus Dance Theatre
culminated its debut visit to Ann Arbor
with a splendidly danced Wednesday
evening program.
The first piece presented was Ciona
(1974), choreography by Barnett,
, hase, Clarke, et al' One of Pilobolus's
"Pest known early works, Ciona
,rovided the audience with a welter of
sft organic images that echoed
iilobolus's fungal namesake. Slow
movements that seemed to be in im-
,possibly slow motion were the focus of
the work. To Jon Appleton's surreal
gore of creaks, gurgles, and groans,
-the six members of Pilobolus wove
:,.beir bodies together to create ever-
changing designs that were fluid and
beautiful..
Ciona was followed by Moonblind
(1978), a solo work with choreography
by Alison and soulful saxophone music
by Jane Ira Bloom. The fact that Moon-
blind is a dance for one in a company
at derives its identity from group
ances added interest to Carol Parker's
Performance (' the work.
'U'"" nfortunately, while Moonblind was
4njoyable and revealed the trademark
" -Pilobolus playfulness with the human
form, the piece did not succeed as well
as other works in the Pilobolus
Y'eperatory. This is probably due to the
r !tct that Moonblind is a solo dance that
&;ttempts to use the Pilobolus
-ocabulary. The sculptural quality of
Pilobolus's style of dance is much less
0"'mpressive on one dancer. Even if
arker's arms appeared to become
d,' tached from her body or disjointed
(which they did at various points), they
Still resembled arms and Parker was

obviously one person. The delight of
Pilobolus's dances is generally found in
the confusion between bodies (How many
and where does one start and the other
begin?) and form (Is that an arm? A
leg? A neck?). As such, Moonblind was
only a minor entertainment.
The third work of the program was
Walklyndon (1971), choreographed by
Barnett, Harris, Pendleton, and
Wolken. Walklyndon was a comic,
almost slapstick piece of short encoun-
ters between four men. Wearing gaudy
satin track shorts, Tim Latta, Josh
Perl, Peter Pucci, and Michael Tracy
played upon everyday movements such
as walking and running and made them
seem zanily unfamiliar. With no sound
save that of occasional grunts, falls,
and slaps, the four dancers ran into,
walked over, and carried-each other
about while regarding the world with
aplomb.
In comparison to the the wildly
humorous Walklyndon, Bonsai (1979),
choreography by Moses Pendleton,
assisted by others, was serious in tone.
Set to Japanese music for flute and per-
cussion by Hisao Tanabe and Osamu
Kitajima, Bonsai featured two men
(Peter Pucci and Josh Perl) and two
women (Carol Parker and Cynthia
Quinn) dressed in identical unitards.
The piece stressed slow graceful
movements with obvious oriental
references. The images created,
ranging from multi-armed creatures to
lotus flowers, were striking. The ex-
treme unity of the dancers' movements
combined with the sensitive lighting
designed by David Chapman made it
impossible to recognise individual
bodies. This was particularly apparent
towards the end of Bonsai when the two
men each carried a woman around
their upper torso in such a way that the

illusion of two alien creatures with
gracefully arched torsos and elongated
legs was created.
Pilobolus's last work on Wednesday's
program was Untitled (1975), a com-
pany favorite with choreography by
Barnett, Chase, Clarke, et al., set to
music with an American folk theme by
Robert Dennis. Unlike most other
Pilobolus pieces which ignore sexual
differences, Untitled creates a sense of
sexual tension both in its story and in its
movement. With a big cloudy night-sky
backdrop creating a sense of Middle
Western fantasy from the start, Un-
titled centered around the lives of two
women. Wearing long prarie dresses
that concealed the heads and torsos of
the men under each of them, Carol
Parker and Cynthia Quinn waltzed
around the stage looking as odd and
knobbily graceful as giraffes. They
played girlish games, were courted by
two "normal" men (who looked like
dwarfs in comparison), gave birth to
the two menwho had supported them'
were fought over, and ultimately
retired to rocking chairs (created by
the bodies of theirsuitors)as alone as
they were at the start of the piece. A
sophisticated parable of the American
female experience, Untitled was
provocative, wondrous, and beyond
mere description.
At the end of Pilobolus's performan-
ce, the audience erupted into en-
thusiastic applause and cheers for the
company. Only after many curtain
calls, when it became clear that the
company would not dance an encore,
did the clapping subside. After such an
excellent and well-received perfor-
mance it is to be hoped that Pilobolus
will return to Ann Arbor in future
seasons.

764-0558
764-0558

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41

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