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October 26, 1983 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-10-26

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ARTS
Wednesday, October 26, 1983

The Michigan Daily

Romantic
remorse
By Michael Fisch
M AYBE ROMANTIC Comedy
shouldn't have a title. It isn't very
romantic, and it isn't all that funny. The
film showcases one accomplished star,
Dudley Moore, and one up-and-coming
star, Mary Steenburgen.. Moore plays
Jason Carmichael, a successful N.Y.
playwright who enters into a writing
collaboration with Phoebe Craddock
(Mary Steenburgen).
The two meet on the day of Jason's
marriage. Jason and Phoebe make
eyes at each other, and stammer their
lines, the director making it clear that
the two fall in love at first sight. They
are set up as star-crossed lovers. If one
is married at any time during the film,
the other is not.
Both actors strive to make their por-
trayals believable and complex. They
are so conscious of the complexities in
fact, that they become obvious and
Overdone. Moore and Steenburgen end
up spelling out everything, and the
audience is not prepared for this spoon-
feeding.
Romantic Comedy is a predictable
film. Right from the start, the
moviegoer knows that Phoebe and
Jason are going to get together; one
must simply wait for the inevitable
climax. It's like knowing about your

Page 5
Beautiful beaux

Mary Steenburgen and Dudley Moore are successful playwrights who won't admit their love in 'Romantic Comedy.'

By Gordon Jay Frost
T OP-FLIGHT musicians don't suf-
fer from histrionics. Van Cliburn,
for example, finds himself better suited
as a patron of the arts. Neither do per-
formers need to maintain an affectation
of distance from their music. This is
both dull and an insult to the composer.
Rather, a comfortability and care for
instrument, score and audience, as the
Beaux Arts Trio displays, is an exam-
ple of great care and remarkable skill.
Sunday's concert was a lesson to our
musical community.
Right on time, the musicians entered
with their music and they began their
first piece , Mozart's Trio in G Major.
There was no irritating preening or
fine-tuning. The first noticeable element
was their attitude; there was no sense
of melodrama that accompanies many
musicians. It seemed as if these men
could be anywhere: a village square, a
Hopwood tea or just jamming on the
back porch while their spouses- were!
out. For the most part, this set the
audience at ease.
The atmosphere lent an edge to the
Mozart. They didn't rush over or dwell
on every note. Their interpretation was
upbeat, energetic and joyous. Sixteenth
notes were played to their values, but
with a special resonance. Mozart pref-
fered this style as he said in a letter to
his father: "It is much easier to play a
thing quickly than slowly: in difficult
passages you can leave out a few notes
without anyone's noticing it, But is that
beautiful music?" The Beaux Arts Trio
obviously doesn't think so.
The violinist (Isadore Cohen) jumped
into themes like a gypsy fiddler. This
was a quality which suited the Mozart
well and was exciting in the Smetana
Trio in G Minor. Balanced against a
controlled and rich performance by
Bernard Greenhouse on cello, their in-
terchange was wonderful to watch as
well as hear.
Fully aware of one another, they did
not search their music, instruments, or
partners for cues or intention. While
every fine performer has a good degree
of technical skill, and it need not
usually be mentioned, the tone and
fullness of sound Greenhouse and
Cohen master in pizzizacto sets them
apart. Of course, their instruments are
extraordinary (e.g., Greenhouse's
"Paganini" Stradivarius), but it
requires equally extraordinary talent
to generate such sound - especially as

they did in the Mendelssohn Trio in D
minor.
The man who deserves the most
praise, however, is pianist Manahem
Pressler. Arthur Rubinstein once men-
tioned that one must be able to sing in
order to be a great pianist. Pressler
must have taken the late master at his
word; he sang (silently) throughout the
entire performance. Looking to the
others frequently, he consistently mat-
ched their tone, volume, and intensity.
Rackham seldom accomodates such
soft sound or controlled attack. As the
heart of the Beaux Arts Trio, Pressler
centered the sound and influenced its
direction as well as allowing it to alter
when appropriate.
The audience greatly enjoyed the
concert, although only about a third
stood during the ovation. The trio
played a short movement from a
Dvorak Trio as an encore, to placate
those who had to hear more and those
who had other engagements.
They are seldom here and are a great
treat: this stop in Ann Arbor brings
their average to one University of
Michigan concert in 1000 worldwide.
Try not to miss them the next time
around.

surprise party a week before it hap-
pens. The moviegoer doesn't mind
thinking, but Romantic Comedy doesn't
give him the chance.
Romantic Comedy is not a terrible
film. Dudley Moore is probably why.

Even when he is not at his best (he was
great in Arthur), he's a presence, and a
funny one at that. When Moore isn't
wrapped up in the role game - con-
sciously attempting to make his
character complex and believable -

he's quite a funny man. If things are
flowing naturally for him, and this
does happen during the film, one starts',
to forget a few of the movie's flaws.
Romantic Comedy had potential, it just
left me unsatisfied.

IBlunderland' stumbles on something good

I

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I

INDIVIDUAL THEATRES
5h'Ae o' Lberty 761-9700

1

$2.00 WED. SAT. SUN. SHOWS TIL 6
EXCEPT "NEVER" $3.00
Limited 2 Week Engagement
A FASCINATING GLIMPSE INTO THE
WORLD OF THE URBAN GYPSY
A FILM BY ROBERT DUVALL

ANN:RBO

F
try
x5.4:
} s k :
i
I

oil

By Elliot Jackson
A LICE IN Blunderland: Reflections
of a Nuclear Age, played to a
full-or nearly full-house at the St.
Andrew's Episcopal Church this Sun-
day afternoon. The audience itself
$seemed to be a slightly more homespun
group than is usually found at Ann Ar-
bor theatrical "events": women were
knitting, children were running up and
down in the aisles.
This in itself pleased me. I have never
been a fan of that philosophy which
holds that theater is a night on the town,
is entertainment for which one dresses
up. The more informal the surroun-
dings and one's dress, the more likely
one is to react as he genuinely feels to
'What ensues onstage. The audience
member is not overawed by stage
machinery nor the glamour of the
situation.
With that in mind, let us turn to Alice
herself, and consider her adventures in
Blunderland. Billed as a "modern day

morality play," Alice in Blunderland is
an account of a little girl who passes
through a magic mirror into the mar-
velous land of Blunderland, where cats
and rabbits and flowers talk, and all the
world seems to be cheerfully employed
- or at least employed - making,
selling, justifying, and getting rich
from, Fairy Dust. Fairy Dust is used to
make bombs, which the Blunderlanders
stockpile to protect themselves from
the dreaded JABBERWOCKS.
We watch as Alice meets first the
Rabbit (a concerned environmen-
talist), then the Prime Minister of
Blunderland (who tells her the Rabbit
is a dangerous radical and extols the
wonders of Fairy Dust), then the
Cheshire Cat (who is hep to all that is
going on, but will print only what sells),
the Flowers (who, since it doesn't con-
cern them, could not care less about
Fairy Dust), the Walrus and the Car-
penter (the one a big businessman traf-
ficking in Fairy Dust, the other the
scientist who develops it), and, of cour-
se, Tweedle Dum and Tweedledummer,

who feverishly collect newer and bigger
Fairy Dust bombs with which to protect
their interests.
I trust that by now the allegories can-
not be possibly escaping anybody. Cer-
tainly they were not lost on the audien-
ce. Alice offers a picture of nuclear
build-up which is pretty hard to argue
with, at least to the perception of one
who has fairly liberal biases.
Therein, however, lies the question
which I always have for this kind of
theatre: just how many converts does it
make? Do we not always judge a
work's quality by how closely its world
view conforms to our values? Con-
sequently, anyone who goes to see a
play like Alice in Blunderland will most
likely be convinced already that nuclear
warfare and technology are dangerous
and disagreeable things.
To its credit, the group who performs
the play does not promise miracles of
consciousness-raising. In fact, Legacy,
an interfaith group from Akron, does
not promise anything at all. The mem-
bers of the group ask only that the play

will inspire. And, according to their
literature, it has. So much for my skep-
ticism.
"But is it art?" Or, does dedication
alone make a play into an effective
piece of theatre? I am inclined to say
no, but there are those who disagree
with me. Some training in the rudimen-
ts of acting-or at least, vocal
development-would add to the charm
of the actors and their performances. It
would have been nice to be able to un-
derstand everyone. It would certainly
have been nice to dispense with all the
microphones that littered the church
and actors' bodies, interfering with
mobility and expression.
The audience, however, responded
enthusiastically. At the end of the per-
formance, they flocked to the tables
where Legacy's anti-nuke pamphlets
and books were set out. They talked to
the actors. Perhaps effective com-
munication had been established after
all. And in the final analysis, there is
nothing more important than that to
any kind of theatre.

THURS. 7:25, 9:40 (R)
WED. 12:45, 2:55, 5:10, 7:25, 9:40

1 0

ACTION ADVENTURE!
~h sIN cp"NIE
min
DOL B YSTEREO I~
THURS.7:00, 9:30
WED. 12:00, 2:20, 4:40, 7:00, 9:30

I

I

The Professional Theatre

Program.

presents

PATRICK CREA N
in

Records

"THE SUN I (EVER

"1

SETS

A one man show based on the
works of Rudyard Kipling

The Alarm-'The Alarm' (IRS)
You know I just love IRS records. In
the course of a year they release more
unpretentious treasures than one could
hope for. R.E.M.'s Murmur, for exam-
ple, was simply one of the summer's
best albums; it made driving my con-
vertible obscenely fun. Only IRS would
have released R.E.M. when they did,
likewise they're the only ones I can
imagine giving the Alarm a release
now.
Someone asked me today how I would
classify the Alarm. I was excited. Not
only was he interested in IRS' latest

group, but he was also interested in
my opinion. Wow. Would my
classification perhaps further his inter-
est in the band? I realized then that he
probably didn't really care and was
only making a weak attempt at being
social.
I told him, "They're one of those
punky Go-Go-esque we can't play real
great but we're cool people so so what
groups."Having heard him say, "oh," I
knew he definitely didn't care about
my description.
Still not knowing how to pigeon-hole
this group, I went home and listened to
the Alarm's EP again. I was im-

mediately taken by their funky-twangy
garage-band sound.
The first cut creates a lot of ex-
citement as they urge us to make "The
Stand" against what they're not exactly
sure, perhaps just complacency in
general. The other four cuts are similar
in their childish optimism and
judgement. This may bug some people.
I myself am ready to lynch the next
set of ego-preening-cum-Loverboy-
pretty boys that hit the airwaves and
therefore find the Alarm very
refreshing. Sure, the Alarm hasn't
grown up yet, but I suspect we'll be able
to watch them do so with subsequent

records. We can let Leonard Nimoy
search for growth in Loverboy records.
"Marching On" is the outstanding cut
on the record. Here the Alarm best ar-
ticulate their frustration with the com-
placency, bitterness and selfishness that
always seem to quash the efforts of op-
timistic post-adolescents. These guys
overwhelm me. I am amazed that a
bunch of Brits can run around playing
anthemic twang in cowboy suits and
pull it off. I am even more amazed that
they can find cowboy suits like the ones
I wore in kindergarten in London. I've
decided to classify the Alarm as a
group that makes records I like.
-Doug Coombe

OCTOBER 29

8:00 p.m.

Trueblood Theatre
Tickets $10
PTP Ticket Office (313/764-0450)
Michigan League Building

New Marines land in Beirut, deaths mount

(Continued from Page 1)
The Marines were ordered to their
highest state of alert and reporters
were told to get into bunkers or leave
the area after suspicious trucks. were
seen around the airport.
"There have been three vehicles
spotted driving around the area. There
are suspicions that they could contain
explosives," said Marine Capt. Wayne
Jones. Officials gave no further infor-
mation about the trucks, but the
Marines remained on alert throughout
the day.
ANOTHER Marine spokesman, Maj.
Robert Jordan said anyone ap-
proaching the gate to the camp would
be shot. "It will be a shoot-to-kill
situation," said Jordan.
Marine guards took over the seafront
boulevard in front of the British Em-
bassy, crouching with guns leveled at
those who ventured nearby. The U.S.
emhasv han head its temnnrarv nffies

wounded Marines with the Purple
Heart and flew yesterday to Beirut to
review the Marines' security.
Kelley said he thought security
measures at the base were "very
adequate" and that it would have been
difficult to prevent the attack.
"If you have a determined individual
who is willing to risk his life, or rather
give up his life, chances are he's going
to do that," Kelley said. "So let's not
blame the security measures."
THE COMMANDER of French
troops, Gen. Francois Cann, said much
the same thing. "We are dealing in this
case with people who are fanatic," he
told reporters at the scene of the Fren-
ch explosion.
Cann described the suicide terrorist
attack that blew up the headquarters of
a French paratroop unit as almost
exactly like the attack on the Marines.
tn e A n .A +rptir ,moo onnlaA d n-

The French Foreign Ministry an-
nounced the foreign ministers of the
four countries involved in the
multinational peacekeeping force in
Lebanon will meet in Paris Thursday to
discuss the situation following the
double bombing.
The United States, France and Italy

have vowed to keep their troops in
Lebanon. Britain has said only that.it
will not keep its troops there in-
definitely.
U.S. Secretary of State George
Schultz announced earlier that he
would go to Europe this week for the
meeting.

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
BAND-O-RAMA 1983
Featuring:
Concert Band
Symphony Band
I--

MAJOR EVENTS PRESENTS
Z9Y, yvd jlv ..

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