Saturday, November 12, 1983
The Michigan Daily
Teaching the right moves
By Bill Hanson
HE WANTS TO READ Chekhov. He
wants to watch football. She would
like to see Shakespeare performed on
the stage. He would prefer going to the
oval pub. She wants an education. He
"She" is Rita, a street-wise hair-
dresser in the new film Educating Rita:
"he" is her husband, Denny, who things
tot the only good wife is a pregnant
Based on the award-winning play by
illy Russell, Educating Rita is the
s ry of a young woman's hunger for
ed cation and her attempt to escape the
Ab life of a hairdresser and the con-
fining existence of a British
To begin her journey toward intellec-
t il enlightenment, Rita (Julie
ilters) enrolls in literature tutorials
atthe Open University. She is surprised
t'find that her instructor is a char-
ningly disillusioned English professor
whose office bookshelves hide whiskey
bottles and whose cynicism masks a
deep sense of failure. Dr. Frank Bryant
(Michael Caine), sick of the
meaninglessness of scholarly analysis,
urges his students to take less seriously
the works of dead poets and to ex-
perience the pleasures of life for them-
selves. Inspite of this attitude, the
professor helps Rita to learn and grow.
Similar to Breaker Morant, or My
Dinner With Andre, Educating Rita is a
celebration of the spoken word. Ap-
parently, rewriting successful stage
plays for the screen is about the only
way to get meaningful dialogue into
motion picture scripts today. And
although producer/director Lewis
Gilbert was faithful to the original
production, he also goes beyond that
and makes good use of the film medium
to bring the stage play to full life on the
EDUCATING RITA has been billed
as a comedy, but it does not yield the
kind of comedy shtick that leaves an
audience rolling in the aisles. It's the
kind of fine-line comedy that Charlie
Chaplin perfected. One wonders
throughout "hmm, should I really be
One of the film's most important
aspects is its treatment of the British
class structure. In the beginning we see
a working class that takes to book bur-
ning and child production, and in the
end an educated upper class reduced to
sex-starved animals who have a ten-
dency to attempt suicide.
Julie Walters, who makes her film
debut with the picture, created the role
of Rita in the original stage production
in London. "Brilliant" is the word that
comes to mind when describing her
performance. It's hard to imagine
anyone else portraying the role of Rita.
She's witty, charming, and as lovable
as any extra-terrestrial or conservative
Michael Caine turns in his usual first-
class performance as Dr. Frank
Bryant. He possesses an unselfish style
of acting - low key, yet convincing -
that makes him one of the film in-
dustry's best actors.
Educating Rita is a terrific movie. It
is the kind of film that doesn't get made
too often these days, but one that shows
the potential for good that the motion
picture medium possesses.
Professor Bryant (Michael Caine) teaches Rita (Julie Walters) more than text-book knowledge in 'Educating Rita.'
By Joseph Kraus - A
of the week
THE LION made music with the pig
in the heavens.
A lion? - Well actually a "cat." But
not just any cat, it was Peter "Madcat"
Ruth, harmonica player extraordinaire
A pig? How about ham instead. Chris
"Hambone" Cameron to be exact -
multi-faceted keyboardist and
Together these two have formed a
band with bassist Rusty Taylor and
drummer Randy Harrah that playsr
blues, jazz, rock and a little bit of
everything else. Originally enough,
they call themselves the Madcat/Ham-
The music they make is extraor-
dinary. Hambone says, "About half of
what we do is straight ahead Chicago
Blues stuff . . . I'd be hard-pressed
'to describe the other half."
Somehow the band manages to marry
its blues with a danceable beat that all
forms a perfect backdrop for Madcat's
For the most part the band perfor-
med only little-known tunes. It didn't
matter though. They took whatever
they were playing and made it into a
tapestry of sound that made you forget
that time was passing.
Madcat was, of course, fantastic. It is
amazing that anybody can get as many
sounds from a harmonica as he does.
All evening he effortlessly slipped form
gentle leads to all out blues riffs that
Hambone remained unpredictable
throughout the show, as he switched
form one keyboard to the next between
songs. Sometimes it took me a while to
get used to the switghes, but once I did,
I found him to have all the power and
intensity of Al Kooper.
Taylor and Harrah both provided
By Michael Fisch
A RE YOU bummed out? Did you lose
your mealcard, bomb your nuclear
physics test, get drafted? Well, even if
those things didn't have you hitting the
sack at 8 o'clock on a Friday night, you
still need the Comedy Company.
The all-student comedy troop's scrip-
ted sketches can be called human
comedy, or even intellectual comedy,
but don't let that scare you. All intellec-
tual comedy means is that you may be
laughing too hard to see a piece of your-
self hidden in a sketch.
The Comedy (sponsored by UAC sin-
ce 1980) has been performing its own
brand of humor since 1979, although the
troop was formerly known as the Sun-
day Funnies. r
-Liz embke, a Comedy Company
producer says "If was really hard to
change the name - Sunday Funnies
was a tradition - but the new name
makes it obvious we're a comedy troop.
We wanted to rouse some interest." The
name change seems to have had some
positive effect because Comedy Com-
pany has caught on like wildfire.
The Comedy Company's November
13th Italian Buffet Dinner Theater has
about ten Saturday Night Live -
like sketches. Although the material is
written by students (some of whom are
also Comedy Company actors) the
troop shies away from "University
humor." All types of people are enter-
tained at a Comedy Company perfor-
mance. The material is not directed at
college students alone - there's a good
mix of material and for this reason'a lot
ARE A GREAT
WAY TO GET
of people can related to the sketches.
Now I recommend you check out the
Comedy Company at the U-Club (I
know I've had minute steak at the dorm
one to many times) it should be a great
If you're funny, (or funny looking)
and have a feel for comedy, you can ac-
tually join the troop. If everyone is
always saying "You're so funny" your.
should be a comedian," the Comedy
Company will give you a shot at it -d
your big break. They have tryout§3
every semester. Remember, you don't
have to be a theater major or have any,
experience (being class clown is a fine
crediential). You just have to be able to
make people laugh.
Earn 8 Credits This Spring
in NEW HAMPSHIRE
THE NEW ENGLAND
LITERATURE PROGRAM i
Madcat toots his harmonica once again, only this time with Chris 'Hambone'
Cameron at Joe's Star Lounge Thursday night.
MASS MEETING & SLIDE SHOW
WED., NOV. 16
AUDITORIUM D ANGELL HALL
for more information
PROF. WALTER CLARK
Dept. of English
solid background and kept interesting
beats. Harrah seemed to have the habit
of spontaneously breaking into inspired
solos that looked as if they surprised
even those on stage with him.
Madcat and Hambone first met six
years ago during a Ken Nordine recor-
ding session. Since then they have ap-
peared together as session players on
many different albums. The two men also
have played together on stage numerous
times since then. In particular they
have appeared together at the
Chicagofest for the last four years.
The band, though, is only a part of
each of their careers. Madcat is a
highly respected side man and has ap-
peared on 22 (by his count) different
albums. Highlights include four Dave
Brubeck albums, a Sky King album and
two New Heavenly Blue albums. So far,
he has not recorded any solo perfor-
mances, but he plans to remedy that on
the 25th and 26th of this month when he
records his live act.
Hambone, too, has had a
distinguished career. He has appeared
with such major names as John Mayall,
Harvey Mandel, and Big Twist and the
Mellow Fellows,. both on record and
tour. He said that although he is proud
of the things he has already accom-
plished, he is most excited about "...the
stuff that's unfolding now."
The band, it seems, is more than the
sum of. its parts. Neither Madcat nor
Hambone plans to make the band a full-
time project, but each gives his all
while performing with it.
Which brings up the final question:
the heavens? The answer is obvious -
it all took place at Joe's "Star" Lounge.
The Madcat/Hambone band will play
again this evening at Joe's starting at 9
onnnM . AT em am mCUAWCt rrnn[rIO P Ml R
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