The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 5, 1985-- Page 7
Too early for Spring
SBy arwulf arwulf
D EWEY Redman sat quietly fing-
ering his saxophone and
looking relaxed. It was between sets
at the U-Club, and he was catching
his breath after nearly an hour of
hard work with the horn in front of
hbim. The room was filled with a
;resh, sweet aroma; I had brought
Dewey a vase of freesia - deep
gellowfreesia, just about the most
Iragant flower you can find. Their
Tragrance was perceptible upon en-
Jering the room. Dewey raised them
,up, inhaled deeply, then sighed,
I was paying homage to one of my '
His recordings had been inspiring
,me for years. There's the first
album, Look for the Black Star,
'currently out of print on the
:Arista/Freedom label, the master-
4ul Ear of the Behearer, Coincide,
then a tumultuous tenure with Or-
ette Coleman, presenting Dewey
ahe fireball. Listening to these
Lessions, (Ornette's Science Fiction,
d~ove Call, and Broken Shadows), one
feels honored to have caught these
two together, as the sparks really
ly. Dewey appeared on Charlie
4Iaden's Liberation Music Or-
K chestra album in 1973. He appears
on' numerous Keith Jarret releases,
~providing lots of oomph, and there
ollow a couple of imaginative
,releases on the Galaxy label.
bewey's recent work includes
several sessions with the 'Univer-
aity of Ornette' organization Old And
few Dreams, (Don Cherry, Dewey
'Redman, Charlie Haden, and Ed
.Blackwell). His very latest album is
on ECM records; The Struggle Con-
Jinues. All of this constitutes a
fascinating and monumental career
'vhich parallels the work of the finest
elements in jazz since Coltrane.
Dewey has become famous for his
peculiar habit of singing, growling
and screaming into the horn,
By Jeffrey Seller
A T 11:35 ON A Tuesday nig
a demanding Crucible re
playwright, and director, rush
to immerse herself in graduat
applications, rewrites of he
Spring Cleaning, and invitatio
English Department for its pre
Wednesday. She is also dire(
For Bernstein, this is the pin
her harried four years at the
sity. She began her college car
Residential College, impulsiv
sferred to the Musical Theatre1
and dissatisfied, transferred;
LS&A. After two years i
colleges, she hopped on a plan
necticut where she studie
semester at the National Th
stitute of the Eugene O'Neil
Entering as an insecure act
emerged an ambitious playwri
"O'Neill, by exposing
everything they were able, allowed me
to fall into the area most comfortable
;ht, after for me: playwrighting," asserts an en-
hearsal, thusiastic Bernstein.
actress, Indeed, immediately after returning
es home to the University in the Winter of 1984,
te school she won the prestigious Hopwood
er play, Award for her first play, Clown White.
ns to the What began as a three page scene bet-
miere on ween two circus clowns, developed into
cting the a full, one-act play which launched her ob-
sesseion with playwrighting.
nnacle of Bernstein directed Clown White here
Univer- last fall. Now, she's at it again, direc-
eer in the ting her new play Spring Cleaning
ely tran- which she began after winning the
again to "I call it an encounter play . . . a
n three meeting betwwen two kids, one 14, one
e to Con- 10, who have been castigated by the
d for a adult world," says Berstein. "They
eatre In- connect on a social, economic, and
1 Center. emotional level, and ultimately rely on
ress, she each other for the means to survive.
ght. Both abandoned in some way, they both
me to react, respond, and feel - yet they try
to make their situations better, they
don't wallow in depression, they don't
Directing your own play is
dangerous, Bernstein admits. "I have
to be careful not to direct the meaning,
the thematic inferences, but instead, to
direct the actors and propel the action
of the play. Ultimately, they have to
work the moments; they have to convey
reasonable, sound, empathetic charac-
Berstein owes much of her
playwright's sensibility to her teacher
Milan Stitt, writer of The Runner
"He taught me structure. He took my
head out of the clouds and into my
writing. When I started I was more into
being a playwright than sitting down
and writing plays." "It's hard when
your first play does so well," confesses
Bernstein, "because you expect so
much from your next play."
"Spring Cleaning is a better play,"
she says. "Clown White was better on
paper than on stage. It was a
discussion. In Spring Cleaning, from
the first moment to the end, something
is happening. I've gotten rid of the stuff
that doesn't further the plot."
"I put my trust in the simplicity of the
piece. You wonder, can two kids, living
out their fantasies, sustain today's
audience preoccupied with
social/political issues like nuclear
The answer is a definitive "yes,"
asserts Bernstein. "In its simplicity, it
addresses the social questions, it
narrows them down to bare essentials
- the human heart and the effect our
world has on it . . . That's what my
Spring Cleaning along with another
original play, The Function of Arrow
Route and Other Appliances, written
and directed by Beth Lane, will be per-
formed Wednesday and Thursday,
February 6 and 7 at 4:10 p.m. in the
Trueblood Theatre in the Freize
Building. Admission is free.
...Merci beaucoups, Dewey.
producing sounds all his own. He
also enjoys playing musette; a
straight horn of brass and wood
commonly used in Yugoslavia and
Eastern Europe, as well as in
Africa, particularly among the
master musicians of Jajouka,
Morocco. Often, while playing this
whining instrument, Dewey in-
terrupts his blowing to sing "in an
unknown tongue", his voice contrac-
ted and high, meaningless
multisyllabic jibber-jabber bursting
from his lips. The effect, especially
caught live, is enchanting and
somewhat thrilling, if not awesome.
Dewey, like Ornette, is from
Texas; they went to the same school.
And, like any other 'Texas Tenor',
he can usually be depended upon to
whip out a juicy rhythm and blues
number, altered, of course, to fit his
own personality. The best examples
of this on record are "Boody", from
The Ear of the Behearer LP, and the
contagious "Roll Over Baby", from
his latest album. This last one had
folks standing up and cheering at the
U-Club that fine evening.
Dewey played an encore and
retreated to the room with the
freesias. After they paid him, I
opened a bottle of chilled white wine
for him, presented the cork with a
flourish. With a towel round the bottle
I poured Dewey Redman a glass.
"Merci, monsieur," said Dewey. I
bowed low, towel on my arm. Thank
Metallica breaks sound barrier with kickass metal
(Continued from Page 6)
crowd. Some he would kiss good-bye,
others he would lick, and still others he
would rub between his legs before
tossing. But he wasn't finished-near the
end of the song Blackie reappeared on
stage holding a human skull (not real
mind you) filled with blood (also not
real). He lifted the skull into the air and
proceeded to pour the blood into his
mouth. What didn't make it gushed out
of his mouth and splattered on his
chest. When he finished he gave an im-
pish smile and hurled the skull into the
audience ( it was a good night for
Answering to a chorus of Blackie!!,
Blackie! !, W.A.S.P. returned to the
stage for a two song encore. First they
played the banned single "Animal (I --
Like A Beast) " their heaviest song of
the night and then finished the night off
with "I Wanna Be Somebody" amidst
smoke and flashing lights. All in all a
There will probably never be a louder
concert than a Metallica concert. In
fact they were so loud that the first song
''Fight Fire With Fire" couldn't be
made out because of all the feedback.
After that song the sound quality was
fine. Metallica then proceeded to play
"Ride the Lightning" and "Phantom
Lord" to precision with all the loudness
they could muster. Cliff Burton, head-
banging all the way, went into his bass
solo, "(Anesthesia) -Pulling Teeth",
which was followed by "For Whom the
Bell Tolls" a rocker inspired by the
Metallica did not have much of a
stage show. They basically let the
music do the talking, except for the in-
strumental, "Call of Ktulu".
The new song "Am I Evil", off the
recently released EP Creeping Death
and "Motorbreath", two quality, thum-
ping encores ended Metallica's reign
over the Royal Oak Music Theatre.
Heavy Metal's bad boys left shaking
hands and slapping five with those
lucky enough' to have front-row status.
"Well be back," the band shouted, and
loyal heavy metalists will make them
keep that promise.
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February 15, 1985
in WEEKEND MAGAZINE
ZLV 4jA9PA W
Richman unfunny and insecure
(Continued from Page 6)
using the admittance of insecurity as a
way to avoid getting closer.
After a short break, he returned with
a final half-hour that had all the ear-
' iriarks of oh-my-god-get-me-out-of-
Digest Condensed Set hurriedness.
Rarely stopping this time to say
anything, he offered largely super-
sliort versions of songs that segued into
dtie another. The effect was a bit like
watching a standup comedian who can
only spare 30 seconds per charac-
terization or joke, for fear of inducing
audience comatosis or antagonsism.
The next-to-last song was the same as
tie show's second, a tune about going to
the beach that's likeable in exactly the
saine sort of Captain-Kangaroo-with-
gfitar way that has long been Rich-
man's trademark - the chorus consists
'OK, start up the car" and then four
arsof sung engine noises. There was a
fM more confidence the second time
drund, but it still wasn't enough.
With obvious reluctance, Richman
emerged a bit later for an encore,
siiging a capella a sort-of tune (hard to
Sfell whether he was so bummed out he
ddldn't remember it all or was ac-
tually making parts up as he went
along) about how confused he feels on
nights like these, wondering if audien-
g really need a full band in order to
get involved, etc. I try not to
play/how folks expect me to
be/that's why if I was somebody
euse/ I'd come to see me he sang
#Musingly, if with rather a loud note of
self-congratulation. Once again, the
confession of vulnerability was char-
Sinig in itself, but it didn't really satisfy
the matter of why, and there was an
wyleasant undertone of accusation.
Jonathan seemed to be cleverly giving
us the dig for not being cool enough to
birthe audience he wanted, presumably
one that rapturously hopped to its feet
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The adventures of two New Yorkers on "
their dream vacation to Florida and
leveland... in the dead of Winter! "
from the first chord. I left the Halfway
feeling more than a little annoyed at
this; in fact, I wanted to kick a dog right
then and there for doing all that whim-
pering in the first place.
Too bad, too bad. I'd seen Richman
twice before a few years ago. and can
certainly attest to the fact that he can
be great both with and without a band.
In my book, at least, he is (or at least
almost-always can be) much more than
a novelty, a calculated purveyor of
retard-rock. Songs like "Affection," in
their willingness to lay emotion em-
barrassingly bare, are 'child-like' only
in that they go for emotional impact
without the safety net of 'adult' bullshit-
ting around the subject at hand. Much
as I love "Rockin' Shopping Center,"
"I'm Nature's Mosquito" and other
Richman classics of gleeful silliness,
the guy probably can't (and shouldn't)
go on playing 'your friend, Jonathan,'
The Man Who would Be King Of
Children's Television, forever.
Jonathan Sings!' "Not Yet Three' may
be cute, but one can grow impatient
with such determined infantilism when
the performer is well into his 30's. For-
tunately, the new songs seem to
preserve the charm of simplicity while
ditching some of the goo-goo-da-da
stuff, especially the disarmingly plain
love song "Now is Better Than Ever"
and "When I Dance." Richman may
always be a person for whom it's never
just 'bump' but 'bumpety-bump;' still,
there .are some welcome signs that he
can apply his sensibility to matters out-
side the nursery.
It seemed very likely that the 2nd
11:00 show found Richman more war-
med up to a probably still warmer
My sympathies are momentarily
dried-out. Jonathan Richman is a swell
guy, but if the price of being a cultist is
that one has to blindly forgive all faults,
count me out. Somebody give that pup-
py a kick.
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