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April 10, 1983 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-04-10

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RTS
The Michigan Daily Sunday, April 10, 1983 page 5

A

The best of

The Loft does bang-
upjob on Bombs'

the

brightest

By Richard Campbell
W HEN MOVIES about Gandhi, a
troglodyte from outer space, and
a soap opera transvestite compete
against each other for Best Picture, you
know you're headed for a good
Academy Awards show. There's
nothing like outrageous matchups to
make the glitzy world of Hollywood
come alive.
Actually there's not a heck of a lot to
complain about in this year's
*nominations, but there's still some
room for a critic to grouch. Here's a
rundown on who's nominated, who
shouldn't be, and who should have
been:
" Best Picture - Gandhi, E.T., Toot-
sie, and The Verdict all got deserving
nominations. Costa-Gavras' tantalizing
political mystery,Missing, turned out
more maudlin than exciting and
probably won't win. You've got to won-
der why Wolfgang Peterson's
(nominated for Best Director) Das Boot
wasn't up for Best Picture. For that
matter Sophie's Choice, The World Ac-
cording to Garp, and A Midsummer
Night's Sex Comedy were all
overlooked. Look for E.T. and Gandhi
to.battle it out.
Best Actor - Ben Kingsley should
win for his tremendous acting in Gan-
dhi; Paul Newman should win for his
understated acting and many years of
neglect at the awards; likewise for
Peter O'Toole; Hoffman just won for
Kramer vs. Kramer so he's out; and
Jack Lemmon replayed his role from
China Syndrome in Missing. Unless you
count Harrison Ford's walk through in
Blade Runner, the academy made
some good picks.
" Best Actress - Some critics spoke
of a better-than-average year for
female roles. That doesn't mean the ac-
ting was any good. Julie Andrews, Vic-
tor/Victoria; Sissy Spacek, Missing;
and Debra Winger, Officer and Gen-
tleman, didn't do too much in their
mediocre films. Jessica Lange, Fran-

ces, and Meryl Streep, Sophie's Choice,
out-anguished each other in their two
starring roles. Streep is the odds-on
winner.
" Best Director - Steven Spielberg,
E.T.; Sidney Pollack, Tootsie; Sidney
Lumet, The Verdict and Wolfgang
Peterson, Das Boot, all deserve it.
Richard Attenborough, Gandhi,
doesn't. Arthur Penn for Four Friends,
Nicholas Meyer for Star Trek II,
George Roy Hill for Garp, also deserve
it. Spielberg, director of three of the top
five highest grossing films of all time,
E.T., Raiders, and Close Encounters,
might actually get it for services ren-
dered.
" Best Supporting Actor - Who
nominated Charles Durning for Best
Little Whorehouse in Texas? Sure, he
was the highlight of the film - what in-
telligent actor can't out-act Burt
Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, and Dolly
Parton? Louis Gossett Jr. was wonder-
ful in his stereotyped role of the nasty
drill instructor in Officer and Gen-
tleman; John Lithgow made tran-
ssexualism appear normal in Garp;
James Mason portrayed the Darth
Vader-attorney to Newman's Han Solo
in The Verdict; and Robert Preston
stole the show in Victor/Victoria. But in
place of Durning you could put the en-
tire cast of Diner, Eddie Murphy's
debut in 48 HRS, or finally given some
glory to Leonard Nimoy's Spock in Star
Trek II.
" Best Supporting Actress - Jessica
Lange gets beaten by Meryl Streep for
Best Actress, picks up Best Supporting
Actress as a well-deserved consolation
prize. With that scenario likely, it's a
little academic to gripe about this
category. But does anyone really
remember Lesley Ann Warren from
Victor/Victoria? How about Kim
Stanley in Frances? The academy
could easily have added Beth Hurt from
Garp or Mary Steenburgen in Mid-
summer Night's Sex Comedy to the
other nominations of Glenn Close, Toot-
sie, and Teri Garr, Tootsie.

By Mary Claire Hughes
HE BOMBS, the Bombs, the
"T Bombs are here!" And so is the
Canterbury Loft's latest production,
The Bombs. Written by Tom Simonds of
Ann Arbor over the past eight weeks,
The Bombs is a musical comedy that
raises questions about Nuclear War.
In the tradition of the greek playright
Aristophanes, who wrote anti-war and
political plays some 2500 years ago, The
Bombs uses the comical to convey
serious social commentary.
The tragi-comedy focuses upon the.
travels of two stand-up comedians,
Protagonis (Mary Van Horn) and
Vavollion (Rebecca Smouse) who
decide to venture to Washington D.C. in
order to "Stop the Bombs". A six per-
son chorus functions as the various per-
sons that Protagonis and Vavollion en-
counter along their journey. The chorus
exemplifies the attitudes and concerns
prevalent in the U.S. today.
Vavollion is always around for the
humor and is constantly providing the
comic relief. She even holds up cards to
the audience that shows the response to
her question, "Do you know how dumb
Americans are?" - "How dumb are
they?". Her jokes are always of the
chortling bad sort but truly bespeak the
opute absurdity of our times.
ain for Protagonis perseveres in her stance
around against the Bombs and continually tries
around to convince others that it is vital that
usic to they take action. At one point Vavollion
sawit, suggests that, "Maybe we gotta enter-
far, far tam 'em." Which is exactly what
r's or Simond's The Bombs succeeds in doing.
wasn't Through the horrors of the Spirits of
-k away Hiroshima that chant "remember" to
k aa the Beauty Pageant of the Bombs (the

Pershing II is especially cute) Simond's
play parodies the entire Nuclear Arms
issue from the past to present. There
are extremely poignant songs as well as
catchy silly tunes that magnify and
examine our Nuclear World. One can-
not help but feel the. sentiments of
Protagonis and Vavollion. Simonds has
brilliantly split the essence of tragi-
comedy into these two main characi
ters.
Protagonis remindspus of the gravity
of nuclear war, while Vavollion con:
tinuously pokes fun at their struggle to
convince others, and the bureaucracy
that supports an absurd race to the
destruction of mankind. In doing this,
Simond safeguards against over-
whelming and frightening an audience
into a state of inactivity (something
that a Poli. Sci. 460 lecture can easily
do). Rather the presentation of hard-
core facts coupled with the tension -
relieving laughter places the nuclear
issue on a very personal and ap-
proachable level that encourages self-
examination and action against "the
bombs."
The parody of Washington D.C. will
remain in your minds long after the
play ends. It is amazing to consider that
a government elected for and by the
people must be fought against and
overcome in order to succumb to its
people's will. The finale is a bit
idealistic, yet it is uplifting and offers
hope to the doubting Thomas's in the
audience. After the bombardment (ex-
cuse the pun) by the Reagan Ad-
ministration concerning the necessity
to build up the U.S.'s nuclear weapon ar-
senals, The Bombs enables us to view
our situation with a mix of objectivity
and compassion.

Who will be this year's winners?

E Best Original Screenplay - Diner,
E.T., Officer and Gentleman, Tootsie
are nominated. Four Friends written
by Steven Tesich could have been
squeezed in. But, since this is Diner's
lone entry it'll get the Oscar.
" Best Adapted Screenplay - Das
Boot, Missing, Sophie's Choice, The
Verdict, and Victor/Victoria. Where
the heck is Garp? It may not have geen
to everybody's liking, but it sure came
closer to the novel than many would
have imagined. Sophie might get the
award, though Alan Pakula's screen-
play is weak and simplistic.
" Best Original Song - "Eye of the
Tiger," Rocky III; "How Do You Keep
the Music Playing," Best Friends; "If
We Were in Love," Yes, Giorgio; "Up
Where We Belong" won a Grammy, it'll
probably win an Oscar.
" Assorted Grumblings - How did

Gandhi's sari's or TRON's con
graphics get nominated for co
design? John Williams does it ag
E.T., but there isn't a composera
who can put romantic theme m
film better. Although not many
The Thing's visual effects were f
better than Blade Runner
Poltergeist's, yet The Thing
even nominated. Buthdon't fret
little friend E.T. will easily wall
with the award. Worst film of '
toss up between Grease 2,,
Megaforce, Best Little Whoreh
Texas, and Yes, Giorgio.
Tomorrow night's the big ev
will undoubtedly last until mi
But if you're into the cinemaH
thing it's well worth the wail
besides, you get to see lots off
people in ridiculous-looking cloth

- -,
Annie,
ouse in
ent and
dnight.
kind of
t. And
famous
jes.

I

, ,f
,

You might pick the sports section over the Funnies

By Jody Becker
I T CERTAINLY wasn't Sunday, and
it was only mildly funny at all too in-
frequent intervals - yet the group on
stage Friday night at the Michigan
Theatre was indeed Ann Arbor's
comedy troupe, the Sunday Funnies.
The program promised a "Big
Show," and it was. Too big. Three hours
is a long time for any kind of show, even
with a brief intermission. So, let's
see...not Sunday, not too funny, and
much too "big."
The basic problem- with the show was
the writing, which as one member of
the audience said, "dragged on." Quite
consistently, during the repertoire of 20
improvisational-type skits, the scripts
would milk a joke or some slapstick
schtick much too far.
Many times, the between-skit bits
such as the first act's "A Minute with a
few Andy Rooney's" proved to be much
funnier than the longer sketches. And
with the exception of nearly flawless
British accents by Steve Horwitz, Mike
Mueller and Atanas Ilitch during the
first act's "Great Expectorations," the
accents assumed by various characters
were uneven and inaccurate.
While the first act started out slowly
with "The Sport of Gentlemen," a spoof
of John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg's on-
court decorum, Marty Abramson had
already begun to shine as the evening's
brightest star.
Abramson, who may be familiar to
some campus comedy buffs as an oc-
casional host of the U-Club's Laugh-

Track, was hysterically funny in his
portrayal of a grammar school geek in
"Top of the World." In this scene he and
fellow-Funnie Mark Schildberg
cleverly captured the audience's atten-
tion. However, this skit was indicative
of the "Funnies" major problem -
clever dialogue buried in overwritten
dramatics. It's quickly forgotten after a
none-too-clever-ending.
The audience responded, however,
when the Funnies finally warmed up at
the end of the first act. "No Time For
Surfing," written and performed by
Sunday Funnies directors Dan Mon-
tgomery and Daniel Kimm, gave the
audience classic comedy in a satire of
."Hawaii Five-0." Montgomery's por-
trayal as the pompous McGarrett was
highlighted by scenes in his private of-
fice where he casually rehearsed his
scenes, continually flashing the famous
Five-O badge.
The second act opened with a skit
featuring Jackie Purtan. Though Pur-
tan definitely ranked as the show's
budding starlet, equally matching
Abramson's fine comedic timing and
delivery, the "Pslightly" funny skit
deteriorated quickly and ended sadly as
the characters looked dumbfoundedly
at each other as the lights dimmed.
Purtan was brilliant in a classroom
skit entitled "Pageant Panic." In this
one she is a teacher accompanied by a
gang of saucer-eyed, stereotypical fir-
st-graders at the Thanksgiving day
pageant. Purtan and Abramson
delighted the audience with their
hilariously realistic characterizations.
The evening wasn't all bad - but it

tiit
MLKADOl~t
GILD3I R' & SIJLLIIANI

Mendelssohn Theatre
April 7-9, 14-168 p.m.
April 9, 10, 16, 2 p.m.

Tickets at Mendelssohn Ticket Office
Call 763-1085 For Info.
Senior and Group Discounts Available

Sunday Funnies ham it up at the Michigan Theater.

was only Friday. It seems that with a
little work it can't be long before Ann
Arbor's comedy troupe will become
really funny. Maybe by Sunday,
anyway.

Summer Camp Positions
Sti Available
at Tamarack
Brighton and Ortonville
Final Interview Date Wednesday, April 13
Career Planning and Placement
Call 764-7456
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I PREFER
MY OWN ROOM
Enjoy your own remodeled apartment at University
Towers. Now leasing for fall and winter 1983-84!
APARTMENT 8 MO. LEASE 12 MO. LEASE
3 person/2 bedroom/mo. $485.00 $405.00
2 person/2 bedroom/mo. $490.00 $420.00
4 person /2 bedroom /mo. $ 515.00 $ 430.00

A University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society Production
G6YAOrE
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