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Page 6 Friday, October 21, 1983 The Michigan Daily
By Melissia Bryan
H ow IS IT that countless
marauding teens overcome
heat, sweat, and potential personal
harm to try to enjoy a rock concert?
Well, I was astounded again on Wed-
nesday night. Oingo Boingo played the
Second Chance, and they had all sorts
of wacky teens screaming and jumping
around at their feet. And these folks
didn't seem to mind that their little
hairdos got all sticky from haphazardly
thrown drinks. No, NO! It was much,
much too exciting down front. The
tiniest girls were with standing the
greatest of risks just to get close enough
to the lead singer. I think his name is
He's so funny ! He says he's into body
paint, and I heard he's going to get a
tattoo! Pretty weird.
They played a bunch of songs, I lost
count. Sometimes they got a little long.
I don't know, I like all the New
Music-everybody does-but I just
don't get their style. No way. I mean,
just what does Oingo Boingo do?
Sometimes they play these really weird
sort of art songs, and sometimes they
play these really fun punk songs. And
why do they have such a big band?
Eight guys crammed on that tiny
stage! Can you believe it! Their hotel
bill must be really huge.
But Danny didn't seem to mind being
crushed onstage, not at all! He gave all
sorts of special smiles to everybody,
and he shook a lot of peoples hands.
He's so friendly! In fact, sometimes he
was so close to the crowd, he almost fell
on top of the teeny girls! I was pretty
scared at that point! I thought that we
might have a riot scene!
Everybody loved Oingo Boingo! Af-
ter their second, extra-special encore,
the band promised to play for us again
next year; in fact they may play two
nights in a row! That should help them
because they don't make a lot of money
on record sales, and their hotel bills
really are huge.
I didn't get the drummer's
Daily Photo by TOD WOOLF
Oingo Boingo entices the teeny-hopper crowd at Second Chance Wednesday night.
'Spell # 7' beguiles
By Elliot Jackson
LL! I Have seen the Profes-
sional Theatre Program's
production of Spell #7, and I am not sure
what to say about it. I do not claim that
it "defies description" as a coy and
precious way of promising much, and
saying very little, about a performance.
It does not defy description. Spell #7 is
a "theater piece" (rather than a play)
which wins the attention and empathy
of the audience through music, dance,
and poetry. It does not "tell a story;"
rather it seeks to illustrate a mood, or a
mode of being. Hence, it is not
"dramatic"-but it is very, very
Since it is not dramatic, or even
pretending to be dramatic, Spell #7
cannot be criticized in dramatic terms.
Any performance of it must therefore
be judged in light of how it affects the
audience-how the performance draws
us into the "razzmatazz hocus pocus
zippity-doo-dah" promised in the
beginning of the piece by the central
figure Lou, the magician.
For the piece is magic-a magic spell
to inculcate love of "coloredness" into
black people. The actors, the ac-
tresses, the music, the lights, the set,
the huge black mask which eerily
grins-even in the dark, are all elemen-
ts of this magic spell.
With their voices and bodies, the
members of the company lure us into
their world, where this love of
But don't be fooled-this is not a
world where no pain exists-black is
not unconditionally beautiful, and we
are not led effortlessly to the heart of
this world we are shown.
In fact, at the very beginning of the
piece, we are teased and made uncom-
fortable. The magician, who enters in
the tuxedo and coat full of tricks, in-
dulges in some soft-shoe shuffle and a
grinning spiel that makes us laugh. We
laugh, despite the prejudices of a
modern, white-liberal audience, which
makes us scorn such stereotypes, so
immeditely the questions start.
Why are we laughing? Do we really
find it funny, this specious image of
"black folks," or do we laugh because it
makes us uncomfortable, or because
the character expects us to laugh? Why
'is he doing this? Is there some "point"
he is trying to prove? The suspicion
that this ridiculous, grinning figure is
being ironic, is laughing at us- in fact,
already playing with our minds,
making magic-is not easily shaken off.
It is likewise difficult to analyze our
reactions to the rest of the piece. It is
set in a New York theatrical bar, where
the characters, all friends or at least
acquaintances,. ahng out, relax, and
bitch about the scarcity of really good
roles for black actors.
As though to fill up this gap, to
provide for themselves the complexly
developed but unsensational characters
that the theatrical world will not, they
tell stories. One character will begin,
and then another two or three will get
up and begin to act out the story, tur-
ning it into a vignette which is at once a
character sketch and an allegory for
(black) human experience.
It is during these vignettes that the
poet's craft really shines. The most,
beautiful and affecting poetry couches
some of the .most horrifying
images-for example, that of the young
woman who "lived to be the town's no
one;" who desperately wanted a baby
she could call "Myself" who would do
everything that babies do except to
grow up-and was willing to do
whatever was necessary to prevent
Myself from growing up.
The image of that young woman and
her perverse desire is not a pleasant
See SPELL, Page 7
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