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March 11, 1984 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-03-11

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Sunday, March 11, 1984

Page 5

'Miss Julie' falls from grace

By Julie Edelson
IF THERE are any major strengths in The
Michigan Ensemble Theatre's production of Miss
Julie, they are due to the fine cast of supporting
characters.
Miss Julie, by August Strinberg, details the story of
the daughter of a count who, during the midsummer
night, offers herself to her father's valet. In a
situation which depicts a master/servant role rever-
sal, she finds herself losing social eminence, and is
faced with a tragic struggle.
The character of Miss Julie is a difficult role for an
actress. She must fluctuate between emotions of
coyness, flirtation, vehement anger, snobbishness,
and ultimately, desperation.
Marie Chambers, as Julie, has an easier time con-
veying some of these emotions than others. At the
beginning of the play, when she must be manipulative
and flirtatious, her acting is quite skillful-she
resembles a child let loose in a candy store, and her
naive innocence is believable. She is able to interact
well with Erik Fredricksen, who plays Jean, her

father's valet, so that she appears as the true im-
mature aristocrat.
But Chambers is unable to play the darker side of
Julie's character: The abused, vulnerable girl who is
taken advantage of, the woman trapped by a man
who has manipulated her, the quiet Julie. When she
says to Jean, "It must be terrible to be so poor," no
one really believes that she is sympathetic. And
when, dressed only in torn underclothes, she is ut-
terly humiliated at being used by Jean, her words,
"God, my wretched life," sound like a whimper, and
there is no real feeling behind what she says. Con-
sequently, instead of pitying her as we should, we
grow antagonistic towards this pathetic creature,
and we begin to feel that she deserves her punish-
ment.
Erik Fredriksen as Jean, on the other hand, is
dynamic. His deep voice and excellent stage presen-
ce make him the perfect villain. He is in tune with
every mannerism so that he can subtley convey the
impression of acquiring aristocratic knowledge:
Smelling the wine, and smoking a cigar, for instance.
He is able to successfully convey the image of the
suave lover, and then immediately switch to the evil,

cocky servant. Consequently, he makes it impossible
for us to simultaneously pity and hate him.
Also to be commended is Mary Jeffries who plays
Kristin, the servant supposedly engaged to Jean. She
managed to'subtley show how she cared for Jean
without making it look obvious to the audience, and
she had a natural ease when she executed stage ac-
tions with the various props.
Director Christopher Markle effectively staged the
piece as noted in the beginning of the play. Voices
came over a loudspeaker, reading excerpts that
foreshadowed the ensuing events: "A life filled with
grief," "She's rich but discontent," etc. This was a
successful way to set the mood of the piece. Markel
was also able to use the intimate "theater in the
round" to his advantage so that the entire audience
could witness all of the play's action. In addition, he
included music and dancing of the era, which made
the play appear more authentic.
This play was an excellent choice for the MET
because of the multitude of themes it illustrates on
social classes, and the male/female, parent/child
relationships. Unfortunately, it is a difficult vehicle
for the main character to convey these concepts.

Marie Chambers (Julie) and Erik Fredrickson (Jean) face the various
emotional upheavals caused by a mingling of the classes in Strindberg's
'Miss Julie.'
Video invasion

Records

Van Halen - '1984'
(Warner Bros.)
Most folks consider Van Halen a
disease which tends to strike teenybop-
pers and metalheads, but which, like
your criminal record, disappears
generally around the time of your 18th
birthday. Symptoms include lack of
desire for quality lyrics, strong at-
tachment to volume and distortion, and
accordingly, a tendency to disturb the
neighbors. The metalhead variation of
the disease additionally features some
kind of substance abuse, a bad case of
immaturity and a Van Halen T-shirt or
belt-buckle. Simply tragic.
Well, I'm not usually one to go public
with my problems, but I think that I
may have developed a Van Halen
tumor; it's called 1984. Allow me to
rationalize.
Of course, the lyrics on the new album,
as on all previous albums, do fall short
of poetry. Some of the various topics
discussed throughout the album are
girls in cars, strains in relationships, a
fictitious R&B singer named TopJimmy
who is the latest rage, bondage, sex, sex
and sex. The words are not moronic
(especially by today's standards) and
are sometimes witty, but certainly no;
new ground is covered. Leave the lyrics
to the birds though; because what is
important here is the medium - not the
message.
1984 is a success basically because it
is an energetic, rowdy set of tunes com-
plete with catchy hooks, acrobatic
musicianship and some conviction. It is
a pleasure to listen to (especially very
loud) if only because it doesn't bore you
to tears like so much of the pop drivel,
sliding out of your radio.
Although one of rock's more ob-
noxious characters, David Lee Roth
Jack plays
the role
NEW YORK (AP) - Actbr Jack
Nicholson says his reputation as a
womanizer and a cocaine user is "good
r for business," and so he has decided to
"put up with being falsely described."
"I can't go around saying I'm not a
womanizer, because that's silly,"
Nicholson said in an interview. "First
of all, it's good for business if people
think I'm a womanizer."
Concerning drugs, Nicholson, 46, ad-
mits to using marijuana, but "I've
never told anyone that I actually do
cocaine. I've never said that to anyone."
"As a workman, I'm known as a
model of professionalism," he said. "I
have to put up with being falsely
described because it's unhip to bridle at
it. Besides, just like womanizing, I'm
not sure it ain't good for business," he
said in the interview in the March 29
issue of Rolling Stone magazine.
Nicholson received an Oscar as best
supporting actor in Terms of Endear-
ment.
2INDIVIDUAL THEATRES
5W. A~e of Ube ty 701.4700
$2.00 SHOWS BEFORE 6:00 P.M.
[DAILY100PMSHWMO.HRJRI
1 0 P M S H W M O .T R RAC A D E M Y A W A R D N O M .
INCL BEST PICTURE
SHII EY DEBRA JACK
MacLAINE WINGER NICHOLSON

knows how to scream and howl and has
a sense of humorto boot. In fact, it is
the humor/lightheartedness that
makes the album work. This isn't just
another heavymetal hardass trip.
Often overlooked, Alex Van Halen
keeps thihgs smoothly steaming on
drums and yet shifts tempos and styles
often enought to provide a rock steady
and interesting rhythm. Even better,
Alex proves that it doesn't have to be
disco to dance.
Ultimately though, 1984 is a guitar
album, a damn good guitar album. Like
or dislike the group Van Halen and all
that they represent, it's hard not to be
impressed by Eddie Van Halen. As
Frank Zappa has noted, Eddie Van
Halen sort of reinvented the guitar. And
while there are plenty of axemen who
have perfected some of Eddie's tricks
and inventions and possess similar
speed, Van Halen is far more stylistic
and capable. One minute he sounds like
Jeff Beck ("Drop Dead Legs"), the
next he is casually throwing little John
McLaughlin-like fills in ("Girl Gone
Bad"); but most often he sounds just
like Eddie Van Halen, which is plenty.
In addition, Eddie turns in some
fairly interesting keyboard work.
Although Eddie was trained as a
classical pianist as a child, he is not as
technically proficient as Geoff Downes
or Tony Banks. Nonetheless, Van
Halen's keyboard playing is as har-
monically rich as and a lot less dull
than the pretentious art rock garbage
that Asia and Genesis put out.
So there you have it. 1984 is not exac-
tly an intellectual or religious ex-
perience, but it is a whole lotta rowdy
rock 'n' roll with a dash of virtuosity
And, sadly, that is quickly becoming a
rare species.
- Don Pappas

By Bob King

M TV isn't the only culprit. Cable
television as a whole is guilty of
nurturing cinema's most potent rival.
Ann Arbor itself has even recognized
their influence, opening its doors to
their utilitarian artistry. Videos are
coming, and they're only a month
away.
February was the month of the Super
8 Filmfest while March boasted the
16mm Festival, but April will no longer
be just a boring drag into summer.
From this year on, April will be the
month of the National Student Video
Festival.
But just what is this nuvo affair?
Inside sources have disclosed that at
the heart of the NSVF (its synonym) is
a Cannes-like contest that will award
several thousand dollars in prize money
($1500 for 1st place alone) to the win-
ners in one "open" category. More im-
portantly, Daily reporters have un-
covered indisputable evidence that
organizers have limited entries to
graduate and undergraduate students,
*making the NSVF the first and only
student video festival in the United
States.
Preliminary indicators are pointing
wildly at success. Postal workers con-
firm that with a week remaining before

the entry deadline, over 50 videos from
18 states have been received.
And who is responsible for this cut-
ting-edge creation? Apparently Ann
Arbor's own Alec Friedman, program
manager. and executive producer at
the University's Media Resource Cen-
ter. In fact, covert investigations have
uncovered data proving conclusively
without a doubt that Friedman not only
graduated from the University in
Communications, but won a Hopwood
and Berenston Television award in the
process.
Dedicated efforts by this man and his
associates have put together not only an
attractive program but a list of spon-
sors (including Sony, CBS-Fox, Allied
Video, and Osgood Computing) that
reads like a Rockefeller portfolio - all
aimed at making this festival a
thrashing success.
Winning entries will be broadcast on
the USA cable network's "Nightline"
entertainment magazine, as well as on
the national Campus Cable Network.
Ann Arborites, however, should not
waste their liquid assets on expensive
television units and cable hookups: The
entire repetoire will be shown (thanks
to a generous Donation of outrageously
expensive prdjection equipment by
General Electric) at the Michigan
Theater April 13-15.
No more milk and cookies, Mom. Ann
Arbor is going to videos.

Wan Halen overcome their teenage groupy rock styles and produce top-notch
pop on their latest release '1984.'
RPC approves two projects

(Continued from Page 1)
Birdsall has denied that the projects
have any direct link to anti-submarine
warfare.
Last month, PSN members attem-
pted to blockade Birdsall's North Cam-
pus laboratory. The sit-in failed
because University security officials
learned in advance of the group's plans.

Prof. Edith Gomberg, chairman of
RPC, said the committee examined the
issue carefully before voting on the
projects.
University vice president for resear-
ch Alfred Sussman must now review
the project before granting final ap-
proval.

The Quest Continues!
She called him the Count. He knew her
only as "Cat." What happened between
them on the road to Ann Arbor should
have been a love story.

Except for Barrington.

Nicholson
.. likes women and drugs?

RABBINICAL. SCHIOOL-(,RAlI U*-\ F 'WFOOL-SiUMINARYC(OLI~Lh:E2)j1l"I 'A Il 'I )IV-C AN] OR'

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Representative, on campus March 14, 1-5
Hillel, 1429 Hill Street, 663-3336

PM.

JEWISH STUDIES
AT ANY LEVEL
IN JERUSALEM-IN NEW YORK

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