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October 16, 1983 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-10-16

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ARTS
Sunday, October 16, 1983

Page 59

Luck

o'

the

Irish

By Deborah Robinson
RELAND IS FINALLY joining the space age, with a rocket
called "Civil Servant." It won't work and can't be fired. If
the Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann tour group, the am-
bassadors of Ireland's cultural movement are any indication,
Irish music can also claim dubious worth in modern times.
Paddy Fallon, the master of ceremonies at Friday night's
Michigan Theater show, cleverly spouted such anecdotes as
the aforementioned Ireland's government workers. Rather
too cleverly, unless it is the aim of Comhaltas to promote
"Paddy" jokes as fervently as they work to preserve
traditional music and dance.
It was my understanding that the "Gems of Ireland" per-
formance group toured America with the intention of presen-
ting authentic interpretation of their culture. The show
sparkled with authenticity provided by the very talented ar-
tists, including Fallon.
But the producer demonstrated a lack of confidence in the
ability of the performers, to carry the show themselves. All
are winners of competitions in dance and music.
Each of the instrumentalists affirmed their designation as
champions without a doubt.
The harpist played several lovely tunes, including a wistful
baroque-like piece which twisted into itself delightfully -
dispelling my notion that most harp playing has to be sappy.
She also plucked lively counterpoint to the numerous dance

tunes of the evening.
Solo tunes on uillean pipes, flute, fiddle, accordion and ba
jo provided small tastes of the varying regional styles
represented. Jigs, reels and hornpipes played by the entire
group were well executed, though each tune was seldonm
played through enough times to build up the energy of which
the players are capable.
The group tunes also suffered badly from a sound mit
which nearly deleted banjo, fiddle and squeeze box. This was
especially unfortunate for the accordionist, one of the rare
breed of subtle players of his instrument, who was allowed
only one solo. 1
The two singers did fairly well, though their traditional,
unaccompanied style would carry better in a pub or besid4
the fire. The four dancers, au contraire, roused the audiencl
to great excitement.
Overall, the dancing stood out quite favorably. Comhalta;
did have the good taste not to dress the dancers in customary
pretentious sashes and pinafores. They sported more oi
dinary clothing. One set-dance was also performed, a nick
change from the usual focus on the individual pomp of step
dancing.
The performers, all virtuosos, were allowed too modest-h
display. A bit of chat about the tunes, or between the player'
in fun would have added interest to the show and furtheied
the edification of the audience. I can't remember the jokes
anyway.

Daily Photo by DAN HABIB
The finest Irish champions perform magic Friday night at the Miochigan Theater. Marcus O'Murchu (left) of Belfast,
is joined by emcee Paddy Fallon, playing the bodhran.

Addition problems
for the Gang

Pained youths

!.
a

By Jay Dorrance
/'t HE BAND THAT played Grand
1 Circus Theater Friday put on a
ery efficient show. The problem was
that they were billed as Gang of Four,
instead of the Andy Gill/John King
band.
Gill and King are the only remaining
charter members of a band known for
its exciting, almost avant-garde style of
rock -- the once radical personality has
now been discarded. The result of this
new credo has been Gang of Four's
conversion into a plain rock mortality.
That's not to say it wasn't a good
how - it was. Unfortunately these
guys aren't as special as they used to
e. The effect here was more like wat-
hing a human jukebox, a feeling I get
from watching bands sleepwalk
through songs they could care less
aboit. After seeing what this band is,
apable of in past shows, I was
somewhat disappointed.
The show was structured more
around the "new" Gang of Four, with a
eavy funk feel overlaid with Gill's
iercing guitar lines. The last two
albums Songs of the Free and Hard
provided the base on which the set was
developed.
In an attempt to set a funky pace, the
band kicked off with a trio of tunes
rooted in dance rhythms. "We Live as
we Dream, Alone" last year's hit, "I
love a Man in his Uniform" and "Man
with a Good Car" (off the new album).
The reaction to the new material was

at best polite with the crowd not
knowing just how to react to the Gang's
soul groove.
As the show progressed more of their
pre-funk tunes were worked in, mat-
ching the new softer tunes like "It Don't
Matter" and "Silver Lining" with old
classics "Paralyzed" and "Would I Be
Happy."
The biggest surprise was the new
light show. These guys used to spit in
the eye of corporate and glamour rock,
now they're begging to join them.
In showcasing their new single "Is It
Love?" - a drippy, ordinary semi-funk
tune - all stops were pulled. With spin-
ning disco lights, a wall of flashing
strobes and rotating spotlights we could
see just how far down Gang of Four has
come.
It was only on the last song "To Hell
with Poverty" that the crowd in front of
the stage showed any signs of life. Out
of this response the band managed to.
justify a pair of encores. This was a
surprise as well since the crowd's eac-
tion had been decidedly lukewarm all
night. The choice of tunes was a treat,
with a special rendition of Lou Reed's
classic "Sweet Jane.''
It was a nice finish for the concert.
The fans had gotten their money's wor-
th, with some of the called-for oldies
satiating the crowd.
Gang of Four is good, you can't
argue with that, but without Dave Allan
and Hugo Burnham they have lost the
heart of the band, reducing it to just.
another band. I wish they would
change the name to Gang of Two.

By Emily Montgomery.
D AVID AND LISA are ordinary
enough names - but in the play
David. and Lisa those characters are
anything but ordinary. Adolescence is a
difficult time, and this play tells the
touching story of the pain and fear in-
volved in growing up.
David and Lisa, just by its nature, is a
very challenging play. It is an im-
pressive undertaking by such a young
group of actors. In order for it to work,
the play must be presented in such a
manner that its serious tone is always
evident. One slip up and the theme is
lost to total ludicrousness. The Young
People's Theater, with the help of two
very talented performers, manages
this with little, if any, problem.
Most impressive is Anne Morton as
Lisa, a 15-year-old schizophrenic who
must rhyme all her thoughts in order to
keep her true identity. An example of
the amount of conviction and control
this role demands can be seen in Lisa's
first appearance on stage when she
greets David, a new student at her
school. She comes on stage skipping
toward David chanting, "Foo, foo.
You're new foo. Foo, you're new." Mor-
ton executes this scene perfectly.
One other crucial scene involves
Lisa's making faces at herself in the
mirror. Only, the way it is staged, the
audience is the mirror, so Morton must
stand, staring into the audience and
pretend that she is seeing her own
reflection. This, also, she accomplishes
with ease.
Lisa's complementary counterpart is
played by Mark Ligeski. Ligeski por-
trays David, a slightly older boy, who is
new to the school. David has two major
problems which keep him from at-
taining the status of a "stable human
being." First, he doesn't accept any
kindness from others and secondly, he
doesn't wish to give any kindness away.
Lisa's task is to change this.
Ligeski masters this part fairly well.
Although his solo scenes are a bit
rough, his scenes with Lisa are moving

and tender, something that shouldn't be
missed.
One definite distraction which kept
me from enjoying the play to its full
potential was the questionable decision
of having the actors who played the
other children in the school sit along the
back of the stage, in plain sight, even
when they clearly aren't involved in the
scene. This happens throughout the
play and is annoying.
Although admittedly inherent to the
auditorium itself, more consideration
should have been given to the seating
plans -of the audience. Action takings
place downstage cannot be seen from
the back rows, so early arrival an
front row seats is suggested.
Tickets for David and Lisa, which
runs next weekend also, are availablet
at the door and cost $3 for students and
$4 for adults. Since seating is limited atY
Community High School (401 N.
Division), advanced reservations are
suggested by calling 996-3888. Grou
rates are also available by calling this
number.
POETRY READING
with
Richard E. McMullen
and
Liz Cores
Reading from their works
MONDAY, OCT. 17th, 8 PM
GUILD HOUSE
802 MONROE
Join the
Daily
Arts Staff

Numbers can be deceiving -
should only be a twosome.

this foursome, which is really a fivesome,

T"

Actor Pat O'Brien dies of

heart attack

I

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Actor Pat
O'Brien, who used his broad Irish face
and gift of gab to portray cops, priests
and football coach Knute Rockne to
Ronald Reagan's "Gipper," died
Saturday of a heart attack. His
publicist said. He was 83.
O'Brien, who would have been 84 on
Nov. 11, underwent prostate surgery on
Wednesday, said his longtime publicist,
Jewel Smith.
She said the good-humored actor told
her: "Everybody at the hospital knew I
was there, because the president
called."
Miss Smith said O'Brien and his one-
time co-star had talked almost every
week by telephone since Reagan has
been in the White House. Assistant
White House press secretary Mark
Weinburg said President and Mrs.
Reagan were informed about the ac-
tor's death and were "deeply sad-
dened." He said that both of them had
spoken with O'Brien since he was
hospitalized, and the president had
spoken to him within the last few days.
O'Brien's films included Angels With
Dirty Faces, Knute Rockne, All
American with Reagan, and Fighting
69th.

Born William Joseph O'Brien in
Milwaukee on Nov. 11, 1899, his most
memorable job was the title role in
Knute Rockne, portraying the famed
Notre Dame football coach of the 1930s.
Reagan portrayed doomed halfback
George Gip, "The Gipper."
Another of O'Brien's most
memorable roles was as the slum priest
in Angels with Dirty Faces who tried to
keephis parish youngsters from ad-
miring a hoodlum, played by long-time
friend Jimmy Cagney. At the end of the
movie, the priest begged his old friend
to go screaming to the electric chair so

the children would think he died a
coward - and the hoodlum did, despite
his pledge to the contrary.
His last movie appearance was in the
recent Ragtime with his frequent co-
star Cagney, but he had seen little
screen action in his later years. He once
said that in 1950, after two decades as a
star, "Suddenly, I couldn't get a foot in-
side a studio gate. I couldn't figure out
what happened."
He never did. But his spirit didn't
break and he kept working, much of it
at night clubs, lecturing, toast-
mastering and summer stock.

JOSTEN'S
White Lustrium Rings for.

AN
THE

£EVENING

WITH.

K

Jim Morrison &
D

$

7

Featuring Two Unforgettable Hours Of Rare and Exciting
Film Footage of JIM MORRISON and THE DOORS!

O'Brien,
... dea at83

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1
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JOHAN VAN DER KEUKEN FESTIVAL OF FILMS

I"

with director von der Keuken
in conversation with writer Bert Schierbeek

oct.17
herman slobbe, blind child
lucebert
bert schierbeek, the door

Ioct. 18 the reading lesson

17

See your Jostens' representative during ring week

I

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