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October 07, 1983 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-10-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Humorous rivalr

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By Bob King
SATIRE HAS never been so dazzling
* as it is in The Rivals. From the
dozen adorable hypocrites to the splen-
dor of the set itself, this year's
Michigan Ensemble Theater's opener
was a complete success.
The heartthrob of the show is Dennis
Bacigalupi, playing Jack Absolute
(a.k.a. Ensign Beverly), the innocen-
tly scheming lover of 'Miss Lydia
Languish. His often rational behavior
creates a charming contrast with the
chaotic hypocrisy of his father;
and the aptly named Mrs. Malaprop
(whose self-description as "a nice
derangement of epithets" warrants no
change).
Lydia herself, played by New York's
Harriet Harris, is a 17-year-old
metaphor of perplexion whose ideas of
love have been twisted hopelessly by
the 18th century equivalent of soap-
operas-those romances from the
"Contagious Countries." Together they
create a love triangle which gives
everyone, frequent and furious
headaches.
A pleasant surprise comes from
University Fine Arts student Tim Hop-
per in the role of Fag, Jack's unleashed
servant. Though one of the few actors
director Edward Stern did not rec uit
from New York, Hopper's portrayal is
of exceptional quality. Avoiding the ob-

vious excesses that can so easily be
read into the role, he makes Fag a truly
believable individual. That wasn't easy
to do, with a character having neither
conscience nor conception of honesty,
and Hopper's Terry Gilliam-like ap-
proach is a real addition to the absurd
British humor of author Richard Sher-
idan.
Supporting Sheridan's structure of
chaos are Mrs. Malaprop (Beth Dixon),
an elderly dame with the linguistic
agility of a Q-Tip, and Sir Anthony Ab-
solute (Emenry Battis), who together
as the respective guardian of Lydia and
Jack seek to manipulate the young
couple's marriage. For students still
trying to escape the clutches of their
parents, this play can be a
lesson - never argue with authority - lie
instead. There is no parent more
demanding of blind obedience than Sir
Anthony, but as the plot thickens, his
demands jibe perfectly with Jack's
desires. Fate is a stand-up comedian in
The Rivals.
Between the tangled identities, the
tangled dialogue, the duels, and the lack
of anyone (aside from Jack) who knows
what's going on, there is no room for
anything but entertainment.
The set itself deserves a digression
here because of its meticulous and
spectacular design. Though the actors
alone make the play, the complex
realism of the sets make The Rivals an
event. With the precision of a jewelry
box and the dimensions of a chateau in

The Michigan Daily - Friday, C
y highlights
Loire, it is itselft a work of art. Pillared dity, cannot
porches revolve inward at a glance to Edward
create an 18th century bedroom or created a u
drawing room, with no detail of food, miss The Ri
drink, or furniture left out. Likewise for of the seas
the costumes-all are bright, beautiful, formances.
and realistic. plains, "Be
And so does the play. the joys and excuse for y
despairs of the character are not of
political or religious matters,, but of
love, which is what makes The Rivals
so perpetually modern. Though Jack
and Lydia accept problems of love with
the levity of youth, the characters of
Faulkland and Julia display the more
serious worries of a mature affection.
Faulkland's neurotic insecurities in his
love with Julia are humorous, but only
in the way that Al vie Singer's are
comic in Annie Hall-the situations are
funny, but the possibility of losing a
lover creates intense gravity. The
Rivals, for all of its wonderful absur-

October 7, 1983-- Page 7
MET
t be written off as frivolous.
Stern and his cast have
winner in Ann Arbor .4you
ivals, you'll have missed one
on's most entertaining per-
And as Mrs. Malaprop ex-
eing a simpleton shall be no
your imperity."

2nd Story21S.Ss
INEXPENSIVE ITEMS FROM THE PAS

Mrs. Malaprop (Beth Dixon) mangles some words in 'The Rivals' at the
Mendelssohn Theater.
Ann Arbor tradition

OPEN 11:30-5:30
DUTCH
AUCTION
SALE
LIQUIDATING %2 THE STORE
NOW til Oct. 9 - 20% OFF
STARTING OCT. 10
30%-80% OFF

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TATE (2nd Floor) '
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By Jay Dorrance
SLK-ANN ARBOR'S hottest dance
band. Everybody likes 'em but who
are these guys? For the answer to this
and other important questions, read
.f you haven't heard of SLK, you
haven't been to the local bistro
enough-you've been studying too
hard! You've got to get out and work
those bones. Over the last year SLK
inherited the vacant crown of Ann Ar-
bor's favorite dance band. The next
step is to avoid becoming only one
town's favorite and convert the rest of
the world.
Of course the band had to start
somewhere and these guys have fought
like any other band. So, to get the real
story, I cought up with Billy McNally
and Mike Behrman, the newest and
oldest members of the band, to drink
some beer and get a history lesson.
Way back in the distant past (early
1980), the roots of the band were plan-
ted. Behrman (lead guitarist),tried and
failed to make a living through music
with the band The Rogues. Undaunted by
failure, he tried again (actually, he
didn't want to work!). He gathered
together some old friends and started
playing old Stones, blues and rockabilly
tunes.
For some strange reason, the
Knight's picked up the reputation of
being a rich boy's band-a kiss of death
in the music world. Behrman told me
about hearing this.
"That was a real joke- that unfor-
tunately we heard a lot. Here we are
living in a student ghetto, living of pizza
and beer and not getting paid too well.
Do you think our parents would give us
money to pay for equipment? They
wanted us to go back to school or get a
real job."
The guys in the band had differing
musical direction also. You might not
have seen the current SLK band if it
wasn't for Karl Mobley of Rick's
American Cafe. At this point in the
career, SLK was just another local
band. Yet they had something special
that Mobley saw and the Rick's-SLK
partnership was born.
From February '81 for ap-
proximately one year SLK served as
sort of a house band. Every Tuesday
night you could catch some hot dance
licks. The pay wasn't great but as Mike
put it, "It was a great learning ex-
perience, we got to play in front of a lot
of people and we really built up an
audience. It was like getting paid $10
to Oiractice.'

It was at Rick's that the band took
their first major step. With Art
Brownell joining the band, a new
musical direction was looked at-ska.
Behrman explained, "Right when Art
joined, the band was looking to make
some changes, kind of a more
professional approach. We really likes
the feel of ska and the 'Trigger Talk'
single had done really well for us. At the
time it seemed to be the next logical
step, so we added a set of all ska."
"We couldn't believe it, we played
Grand Rapids and you'd think they
never let these people out of the house.
They went nuts! We had given away a
lot of promo stuff, you know, buttons
and junk, it started turning up all over.
We got letters from overseas, the
dance disk got played on armed forces
radio in Lebanon, the "Trigger Talk'
single in Germany. We even had our
roadie, Alex, take some LP's when he
visited Yugoslavia. SLK has penetrated
the Iron Curtain,'' said Behrman.
Not every gig went so well so, they
asked Lee Berry, their manager, to
work out some openers for major acts.
Behrman explained some of the
problems, "Our first time out was good,
We backed up David Johanson at the
Second Chance and the crowd really
liked us. We had a problem the next
time out, though. We backed up Stevie
Ray Vaughn. Everybody was wearing
cowboy hats. We ended up playing a 20-
minute set and got booed off the stage
for the first time. That was bad, but
part of that deal was that we'd do an
Eddy Grant show. We really got
screwed there though, Eddy's band
didn't want to share the bill."
The band had another run-in with
promoters in Ohio. "We did this mini-
tour of Ohio, it didn't start out so bad
but then we started to get stuck in these
little dives. We even played this biker
club bar. Well, anyway, at the end of
the tour we were supposed to play in
this bigger place, just one set. It was
supposed to be broadcast live on 5 radio
stations. Well, the day before we heard
that we had to bring our own p.a., play a
couple of sets and it wasn't going to be
on all these radio stations, so we just
split. So a week later we get this letter
from the promoter saying youre ban-
ned in Cleveland-what a laugh."
That's our boys, rude enough to be
banned in Cleveland. What next? Ban-
ned in all of Ohio. Well you won't hear it
in Cleveland (maybe) but the next SLK
mini-LP is due in a few months and the
band is appearing tonight and
tomorrow night at the U-Club.

' 1

AASOR
8pm
Power C
October 2
11.50/10.50

.-3
,i"
CI

enter

Michigan Union Ticket Office,
CTC Outlets,763-2071.

Daily Photo by ELIZABETH SCOTT
SLK will do Ann Arbor proud tonight at the U-Club.

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Major Events Presents:
mangione
Oct.13
m oll A - -

i IMPby
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Directed by Ed Stern
rV Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre
October 5 & 6 Previews, October 7-9; 13-16
Wed. -Sat. 8 P.M.; Sun. -2 P.M.
Tickets available at the
Professional Theatre Program Ticket Office
Michigan League Building, (313) 764-0450

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