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November 05, 1983 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-11-05

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The Michigan Daily

Saturday, November 5, 1983

Page 5

Biblical tale turns to tunes

By Barb Shiele
ND THE LORD said "Let there be an hour-and-
a-half of diverse, non-stop singing, and dan-
cing." And the Rice/Webber duo made Joseph and
the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and it was a
smash-hit. The colorful, musical extravaganza swept
across the stage Thursday night as 23 cast members
brought to life the inspiring, biblical story of that
loving, do-gooder Joseph. Performed with a wide
variety of songs, Joseph, part of PTP's "Best of
Broadway" series, left all audiences humming the
bee-boppy tunes and feeling just peachy-keen about
life in general.
The performance, written by the well-known team
of musician Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim
Rice 15 years ago, followed the same plot as the story
from the Book of Genesis. In the musical, Joseph,
favored son of Jacob, receives from dad a spec-
tacular, multi-colored coat. His jealous siblings sell
Joseph to the Ishmalites, who are actully long-haired,
Groucho Marx look-alikes. After smoking with the
brothers on Egyptian bongs in exchange for Joseph,
the Ishmalites take Joseph to Egypt.
' Joseph spends 20 years in jail doing what he does
best -interpreting dreams. The Pharaoh hears of
Joseph's talent and asks him to interpr& his
mysterious dreams. Pleased with Joseph's inter-
pretation, the Pharaoh names Joseph his "Number
2." Back at home in Canaan, the suffering brothers
decide to go off to Egypt, which leads up to the big
family reunion.
The modern adaptation of one of the oldest stories
in the bible written in musical-variety form includes
the nasty brothers singing a country cowboy tune ex-
plaining Joseph's sudden disappearance, to an
original Elvis-style piece in which the Pharaoh
thrusts his pelvis as he tells of his mysterious dream.
With variety like that, who needs to see another
musical this year?

The narrator, a whirling dervish, bubbling with
vitality and enthusiasm, opens the show by singing
the beginning of the story of Jacob and his 12 sons to a
rockin' beat. Throughout the show, she follows
Joseph while energetically doing such tasks as
singing his story. She acts as Joseph's optimism by
cheering him up in jail (singing "Go, go, go,
Joseph! ") and finally taking a telegram to Jacob on a
scooter-like camel. Her smiles along with a strong
singing voice were constant during the show.
Ani Joseph? Well, he's just a lovable kind of guy!
With a huge all-American smile, Joseph's energy
never ceases. He's such a great guy that you almost
want to hate him. But his subtle, inspirational
statements remind you of the goodness for which he
stands. Once he is chosen to be the Pharaoh's "Num-
ber 2," Joseph modestly points out. to admirers,
"Anyone from anywhere can make it if he gets a
Joseph, 25-year old Don Goodspeed, has a singing
voice which does everything from belting out dream
interpretations to singing an inspiring, almost hymn-
like tune in jail. Goodspeed was the perfect Joseph
with his full blond head of hair, and nice body -
which he displayed in his Egyptian attire of a half-
shirt and tennis shorts.
Those 11 nasty brothers are easier to sing along
with than look down upon in this interpretation of
Joseph. Despite their rudeness of taking Joseph's
spanking new coat, these siblings do an outstanding
job of acting very human. You easily feel for them
when they are jealous of Joseph. You want to sing
along with Haphtali in his Mexican calypso as he tries
to save his youngest brother from the horrors of jail.
Though the audience was laughing throughout the
show, the Pharaoh's scenes were the most humorous.
What could be more fitting than the King of Egypt
being the King of rock 'n roll? Dressed, singing and
moving like Elvis, the Pharaoh, Hal Davis, belted out
a few songs while throwing around his hips in his

skin-tight, white satin pants. Strutting down the lit
staircase to announce Joseph's promotion, the
Pharaoh really seems like Elvis.
Potiphar, the millionaire to whom Joseph is first
sold in Egypt, had made him big bucks by investing
in pyramids. The props were well done in this scene
as the huge orange pyramid, once turned around
towards the audience, displayed Potiphar's humble
abode: a complete wood-panelled bar set, winding
staircase, and a comfy little satin bed with the sex
bomb Mrs. Potiphar waiting for him. Potiphar shows
him bumbling humor in his feminine mannerisms
and his unawareness to the affair between the seduc-
tive Mrs. Potiphar and innocent Joseph.
The scenery and props matched the musical
statement being made in each scene. Although the
setting was simple, it enhanced the mood of the scene
a great deal. The flashing lights behind the gold,
high-back chair matched the thrill of Elvis - oh I
mean the Pharoah - singing "Poor, Poor
Pharaoh/Song of the King," just as the long red and
white cloth-covered table matched the depression of
the French-style tune "Those Canaan Days" sung by
Reuben and the brothers as they cried their self-pity
into empty wine glasses.
The foot-tapping music was non-stop, whether it
was a tap dance tune for the sad cowboys grieving
over their lost brother, or a fast drum solo to which
the Egyptian dancers boogied. The full orchestra played
to keep the audiences boogying in their seats.
The reunion of the brothers was a touching scene,
and I'm sure left lumps in a few throats. But the ex-
citement of it all just left the audience feelin' groovy.
And if some people weren't careful they might have
just learned an old Sunday school story.
The fast-moving musical, which just finished its-
seven-year run on Broadway, definitely pleased the'
Ann Arbor crowd with the combination of a superb
cast, phenominal lyrics and music, and a beautiful

Hal Davis, as the Pharaoh, swings like Elvis in 'Joseph and the Amazing
Technicolor Dreamcoat' at the Power Center.

Sexy violence,

Peckinpah style

By Eli Cohen
movie for me. It has lots of sex and
violence. The first scene is of a post-
coital murder; it really gets ou into the
movie in a hurry. The only problem
with The Osterman Weekend is purely
stylistic: the director Sam Peckinpah
seems to have lost one of his best at-
tributes - his affination for large-
breasted women.
The Osterman Weekend is based
upon the book by best-selling author
Robert Ludlum. His books are filled
with sex and violence. In fact one of his
best works, The Holcroft Covenant, has
a full 18 murders by page 25. Unfor-
tunately, since The Osterman Weekend
is one of his first novels it isn't nearly as
bloody as some of his other books.
Sam Peckinpah also has a long
history of blood and sex. His previous
films, mostly in the late '60s, were
marked by the very sexually-arousing
portrayal of violence. The Wild Bunch
and Straw Dogs both are Pekinpah at
his best. And his Hollywood comeback,
as director of The Osterman Weekend,
is not at all disappointing for fans of
Peckinpah bloodlust. But the women
are so flat.

The movie itself is true to the Ludlum
tradition, if not the book itself. The plot
deals with a renegade CIA operative,
three KGB-paid Americans, and a
bigoted TV investigative reporter. The
result is twisted and exciting, but
somewhat confusing. The point being
it's difficult to adapt a 500-word novel
into two hours of film. The character
development suffers as does the plot.
This is not Ludlum-like at all. Ludlum is
known for his immaculate plot con-
struction. But The Osterman Weekend
appears somewhat unrealistic for those
who haven't read the imminent Mr.
For those of you not familiar with
three word titles with "the" as the first
word, and a name as the second word,
the plot of The Osterman Weekend may
seem a bit contrived, but rest assured
this sort of thing really does happen
everyday. It's just that you never hear
about it. Anyone familiar with Ludlum
knows that the KGB and the CIA just
love to prey on innocent Americans, not
to mention Neo-Nazi splinter groups
and international terrorist societies. So
when you go to see The Osterman
Weekend remember to bring your
Graz-Burya in case they are using the
theater as a trap-location.
But back to the women, actually you

never really see their backs at all, just
their fronts. By the end of the movie one
begins to wonder why Peckinpah didn't
just stage the plot in a nudist colony.
They really are never wearing anything
above their waist. But one should take
0l' Sam with a grain of salt. Remem-
ber, he has been away from movie-
making for a long time now. Many
critics view Peckinpah's movies as
"realistic" or "sexist" - I think that
they are lots of fun.
When the windshield of a car breaks,
it seems like you should duck from the
glass splinters. The breaking of"glass in
The Osterman Weekend is another
typical Peckinpahism. The sound goes
to slow motion and its sounds like you
can hear every piece shatter in-

dividually. It goes on for minutes it
The combination of Ludlum and
Peckinpah is an obvious match. Twen-
tieth-Century Fox has really made a
winner, but like the screen adaptation
of Forsyth's Dogs of War this movie
will probalby drift off into oblivion in a:
few weeks. So if you like Byzantine:
plots, constant nudity, and twenty-
minute action sequences hurry and see
The Osterman Weekend. This is what
James Bond really is like.

for the
OPENING March 1 in the
Michigan Theatre

No flaunted female flesh in this picture - you'll have to see the 'Osterman
Weekend' for that pleasure (?).


The clock strikes three

By Larry Dean
A AAH. AAAH! Aaaah? Ahhhhh...
Sounds of a dentist's office, you
might ask? Well, you might ask, but
you won't hear "yes." These are noises
reserved for the discerning listener's
response that the 3 o'clock are retur-
ning to Joe's Star Lounge Sunday, on
Nov. 6. To further delineate, we will
take each response in and of itself and
examine it in a nominal fashion.
#1, or Aaah.: The 3 O'Clock, crazy
cats that they are, and being from
California, (hotbed of much new music
these days), sound like an interesting
}prospect. They played here not too long
ago, and got a good response from those
in-attendance. They shouldn't cost an
arm and a leg to view, either. What
time did you say they were playing?
Maybe I can make it this time...
#2, or Aaah!: The 3 O'Clock! The 3
O'Clock! Where - where are they
playing? Joe's? Did someone say
Joe's? Wow, they were great before!

Played real psychedelic jams, like
"With A Cantaloupe Girlfriend," and
even covered the Easybeats' "Sorry!"
The organ playing was terrif on that
one. Went right out and bought their
EP, Baroque Hoedown, on Frontier
Records, after that. Dare I say they
were kick butt?! Yeah!!
#3 - Aaaah?: Who is this - 3
O'Clocks? That's a pretty dumb name.
If I was in a band, I'd call it Free Beer,
or Destroyer, or something better than
the 3 O'Clocks. Jeez! And just look at
the record! They all look like a bunch of
wimps! Bar-B-Q Hoedown - that's
stupid, too! Whoever thought of calling
their record Bar-B-Q Hoedown? Not
me. I'd call my record Jammin' or
Carnage or something more powerful...
hey, no wonder! They're from Califor-
nia! No way, these guys must be
mellowed-out to the max - or buzzed
off their butts! Go? MeI'd rather stay
home and listen to Seger...
: #4, or Ahhhhh...: The 3 O'Clock is
four guys from California. Michael
Quercio plays bass and sings; Gregg

Gutierrez plays guitar and sings back-
up; Mickey Mariano plays keyboards
and sings back-up; Danny Benair
drums. They used to be called the
Salvation Army, but a familiar
organization using the same name got
on their case, and they had to sticker
their debut album The 3 O'Clock.
They have a second record, an EP
called Baroque Hoedown, on Frontier
Records. It's an OK record by an
OK band; their best song is "Marjorie
Tells Me."
Now vote: #1.....#2....#3....
#4..... In a democracy, it's the in
thing to do.

Ann Arbor Civic Theater's produc-
ion of The Philadelphia Story con-
tinues today at two and tonight at
eight at the Michigan Theater.
Yesterday's Weekend Magazine in-
correctly listed that the play was to be
performed at the Lydia Mendelssohn
Theater. We are sorry for any incon-
venience this may have caused.

Join the
News Staff

at the
through the eyes of Sassan Mohtadi, Medical Stu-
dent at St. George's University, Granada

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