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December 03, 1983 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-12-03

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ARTS
Saturday, December 3, 1983

The Michigan Daily

Page 5

Passing study
time with Godot

Early musicalfun

By Barb Schiele
SO AFTERl typing your term paper til
4 a.m., and after worrying about the
seven chapters you have to catch up on
in Econ before you even consider
studying for the final, you're really up
for an enjoyable evening of light
theater... something different just to fill
two and a half hours of your night so
you can finally give your brain the
relief it's been aching for... you're just
ready for a non-thinking evening of en-
tertainment... Well, then don't bother
with Waiting for Godot.
Sure, it would be nice to just sit back
and laugh at the slapstick routines and
Vaudevillian humor that the two men in
oversized suits present to the audience.
But that would mean ignoring the
philosophical impressions that Samuel
Beckett conveys in his play, Waiting for
Godot. And who could ignore these im-
plications which question the meaning
of happiness in life, the perception of
hope, when they are shoved right under
your nose by a few very strong charac-
ters?
The setting, at the Performance Net-
work, consisting of a large rock upon
which the two men sit, awaiting Godot's
arrival, and an aluminum tree, from
which the two men considered hanging
themselves, definitely set the mood of
the performance. The barren area
focused on the concept that how you
perceive something is more important
than what you're actually perceiving.
Deep thought, huh? Not really, com-
pared to the other ideas Beckett tries to
get across in this play.
Didi and Gogo, who the audience
assumes are old friends, spend the first
act waiting for "Mr. Godot." By the
beginning of the second act, they await
"The Godot." Is it a dream; a hope, or
an idea that Didi formulated and Gogo
accepted matter-of-factly? Actually
knowing who or what Godot is is not a
crucial concern by the end of play.
Contribute
to arts
*F YOU HAVE ever eaten at a
restaurant, seen a play or movie,
listened to an album or engaged in
any other sort of divertissement and
wanted to share it with others, the
Daily's Arts section would be pleased
to give you the chance.
We want competent and skilled
critics for the many varied hap-
penings that Ann Arbor boasts'.
Writing for the Arts section will
provide practice, in writing and
analysis, and can be an enjoyable ex-
tra-curricular activity.
Have fun and share it with others,
write for Arts-call 763-0379.

David Bernstein, who plays Didi,
convinces Gogo and the audience that
there is a reason to wait, just as Linus
convinces Sally to wait in the pumpkin
patch until the Great Pumpkin appears.
Bernstein, who held his aching
genitals as he laughed, was both
energetic and serious as he performed
several slapstick routines. Bernstein's
fine performance had the audience un-
derstanding and feeling Didi's im-
patience. His sense of humor added to
the sad note carried out during the
show.
Bernstein's and James (Gogo)
Moran's timing heightened the humor
and entertainment of the play. Moran,
with the innocence and pudginess of a
lrge teddy bear, gives an excellent
performance.
Bored with the situation, Gogo finds
various ways to keep Didi and himself
entertained. His non-chalant manner
towards the anticipated arrival of
Godot strengthens the question of the
actual importance of Godot. Several
times, Gogo apathetically mumbles
"Nothing happens. Nobody comes,
nobody goes..." His naivete. and sense
of humor keep the audience laughing
while also driving at the philosophical
undertones of the play.
When a well-dressed gentleman
hollaring commands and a white-
haired tramp carrying a stool and bat-
tered suitcase enter the scene, the lat-
ter leading the former by a rope which
is tied around his neck, Didi and Gogo
wonder if he, the gentleman, is Godot.
Pozzo, played by Larry Rusinsky, in-
forms them he is not, and exclaims,
"Godot has your future in his hands!"
Rusinsky's acting is suitable for his
part as a confused master, but not as
convincing as that of his "slave"
Lucky.
Rick Sperling plays Lucky as a
"mute" servant who has been maimed
by years of catering to Pozzo's needs.
Yet later in the show, one wonders who
has maimed whom.
Sperling gives an outstanding per-
formance with a constant bewildered
look on his face as he simultaneously
gasps for air when Gogo persistently
questions him. Given the chance to
speak, Lucky goes off into a monologue
of inconsistent thoughts and ex-
pressions which keep the audience en-
tranced for 10 minutes. His costume of
old battered tails and top hat enhances
his performance.
After watching the strange interlude
between Pozzo and Lucky, Gogo
decides that "all are born mad - some
just remain so." After watching the
whole, show, I decided that all are born
mad and all stay that way.
Despite the off-beat storyline and the
absurdity of the play itself, the Perfor-
mance Network, an alternative per-
forming space in downtown Ann Arbor,
presented a fine show. The show con-
tinues for the next two weekends. The
cost is only $4 for students - so take a
break and think a bit (?). For more in-
formation call 663-0681.

By Anne Valdespino
A DRAMATICALLY different inter-
pretation of some Baroque
favorites will be rendered at the School
of Music's recital hall when the Early
Music Ensemble performs an entire
evening of Bach on Monday December
5 at 8 p.m. Admission to the concert is
free. The program will include Can-
tatas 39 and 122, Kyrie, and Concerto in
D minor for harpsichord and orchestra.
The ensemble consists of 18 singers
and an 11-piece orchestra. Unlike most
early music groups, students holding
authentic Baroque recorders and oboes
play alongside students using modern
instruments, some of which are fitted
with Baroque strings and played with
Baroque bows.
This diverse instrumentation is of lit-
tle concern to conductor Edward Par-
mentier, who is more excited about per-
forming the music than re-creating an
18th-century scenario.
"Historic facts prove that cantatas
happened at 7:30 Sunday mornings and
parts were being copied on Saturday
night. To have a completely authentic
performance, which is not my goal,
we'd need to xerox the music the night
before the concert, get everybody up at
6:00 and go grubbing around - it was
very 'last minute'."
Parmentier's enthusiasm for ex-
ploring new approaches has inspired
him to break with the traditional for-
mat of conductor being the ultimate
authority in rehearsals. Violist Bonnie

Rideout describes the new situation as
"very open. We try different ways of
playing and then decide as a group on
the best and most exciting way to do
things."
This new procedure and the smaller
size of the group result in a highly per-
sonal involvement rarely found in non-
professional ensembles.
"In a large group," Rideout explain-
s "you're just part of the orchestra.
You don't know what the tuba player is
doing. In this group we're more aware
of each other."
The intense sensitivity of the E.M.E.
is a joyful experience for each audience
member. Singers and instrumentalists
move together in graceful gestures
throughout the performance.
"All players are very alert," says'
Rideout. "I've never played in an en-
semble whose members are conscious
of one another the way we are."
Their special effort to communicate
extends to the audience. A large part of
rehearsal time is spent developing
early vocal techniques that make the
text easier for audiences to understand.
Singers work for a clearer sound
characterized by the absence of the
wavering vibrato used by opera stars.
On this issue Parmentier is insistent,
"I try to make the text as strong an
element-in a chorus member's mind as
the music; not just the general feeling
that this movement is a sad or happy
one, but that each German word has a
certain effect or emotional punch that
needs to be brought out."

Tom Paxton has been a legend in the folk music field ever since his days at
the Newport Festival. He performs some of his folk magic at the Ark this
evening.
What becomes a legend
Most? The Ark doe

By Joseph Kraus
F OLK MUSIC has many legends.
Going back to Woody Guthrie and
Cisco Huston, it has just seemed
natural to make a great folk singer into
a legend.
Legends, though, have a way of
becoming clouded and obscure, like any
second hand story. What can we do
about that?
The best advice is to see the legend
yourself.
And your chance to see a real honest-
to-goodness legend, in person, is
tonight, when Tom Paxton comes
back to the Ark.
Paxton first became a major figure in
folk music during the Newport Folk
Festival days of the mid-'60s.
Headlining festivals alongside such
greats as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and
Joan Baez, Paxton and his songs were
heard and felt by thousands.
Originally a Chicagoan, Paxton
moved to the small town of Bristow,
Oklahoma when he was 11 years old. He
went on to college at the University of
Oklsahoma where he learned that he'd
rather write and sing songs than study.
He claims to have written his first
songs during Shakespeare lectures.

Some of his early well known songs
include, "Ramblin' Boy," which Pete
Seeger popularized in the early '60s,
and "I Can't Help But Wonder Where
I'm Bound," a soft, beautiful ballad of
life on the road.
Despite the fact that folk music isn't
as big today as it was in the Newport
days, Paxton has continued to write and
record songs. Although he is no longer
signed by a major record label, he has
still had current success. His song,
"Wasn't That a Party," was a hit for
the Irish folk band The Rovers.
Tonight's show promises to show
many of Paxton's different sides. He's
learned quite a bit in his two decades as
a performer - from his days as a young
rambler, to Newport to now - and he
has become a folk legend.
Tickets for Tom Paxton at the Ark are
$6 for each of his two shows. Showtimes
are 7:30 and 9:30.

BIBLE NOTES
Believers in the first century have four main activities:
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine, and fellowship, and in
breaking of bread, and prayers (Acts 2:42).
One of the least understood of these is "fellowship."
"Fellowship" in the New Testament means "sharing" or "partnership."
A related word describes the partners in a fishing business in Luke 5:10. People
in fellowship with one another are not casual acquaintances mingling at a party,
but joint members of a venture which requires their commitment to it and
through it to one another.
Acts 2:44,45 describes one way that fellowship worked in Jerusalem:
All that believed were together, and had all things common, and sold their
possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
In other cases, believers did not pool their goods, but were still responsible
for one another's needs (I Cor. 16:2; II Cor. 8,9).
John desired
that you also may hove fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the
Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ (I John, 1:3).
Christians attain close fellowship with one another as they first draw close to
"the Father and . . . his Son Jesus Christ." They seek to emulate the Lord
Jesus, who
though he was rich, yet for your sakes . . . became poor, that you through his
poverty might be rich (11 Car. 8:9).
His selfless incarnation and death guides them, and his resurrection empowers
them, to deny themselves in their care for one another.
BIBLE NOTES is a ministry of Washtenaw Independent Bible Church. For more
information call Van Porunak (996-1384) or Dave Nelson (434-9734).

THE DAILY
CLASSIFIEDS
ARE A GREAT
WAY TO GET
FAST RESULTS
CALL 764-0557

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