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October 25, 1985 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-10-25

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A

u

rhe Michigan Daily

ARTS
Friday, October 25, 1985
descends into

Page 8

'Orpheus'

1

By Noelle Brower
T TOOK Tennessee Williams 17
years to write Orpheus Descen-
di. In the play's preface he called it
"the emotional record of (his)
youth," a familiar theme throughout
the work of Wiliams. Is then Williams
Orpheus, descending into his own,

self-made hell?
Williams is known for his creation
of self-destructive characters; it fits
that he would feel attracted to Or-
pheus, a musical poet who is
destroyed by a society that doesn't
understand his gift.
The play is not an exact depiction of
the myth of Orpheus. The protagonist
Val Xavier embodies the musical

youth, a wandering man whose life
companion is his guitar, which he
describes as the cleanser of the soul.
He happens upon a small southern
town where people are drawn to him,
yet suspicious. The characters that
populate this fictional town are mean,
gossippy, provincial, and prejudiced
against anything they don't under-
stand or don't want to understand.
Val finds safety in the employment
of Lady Torrance, a woman
smothered by the town's actions and
attitudes towards her. The store is her
own living hell. Val's "peculiar
speaking" and poetic nature lift her
up; she sees him as her salvation.
The performance opens poorly; the
characters are charicatured, over-
blown and unconvincing. The play's
mystic tone, so carefully written in
Williams' notes and script, is set off
balance from the beginning speeches

American Graduate School of International Man-
agement a Boston College a Bowling Green
State University a Chicago State University "
Eastern Illinois University * Loyola University of
Chicago * Medical College of Wisconsin * Michi-
gan State University * Northwestern University
e University of Illinois * University of Iowa
This is just a small sampling of the nearly 75 graduate schools
from across the country that will be represented at the Chicago
GRE/CGS Forum. Take advantage of this exciting opportunity to
meet with graduate school representatives, pick up catalogs and
applications, and attend workshops on topics including admis-
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in a variety of disciplines.
Saturday November 2, 1985
Palmer House and Towers
State and Monroe Streets
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Registration feeIs $3, payable at the door. Registration begins
at 8:30 am. Watch for more Forums information in upcoming
editions of this newspaper.

due to the garbled speaking and con-
trived characterizations. Williams
himself adds to the pandemonium.
There are characters on stage that
seem to not really belong there; their
presence crowds the stage un-
necessarily.
Once the leading actors take the
stage, the messiness disappears.
Sandra Lee Storrer and Terrance
Auch are Val Xavier and Lady
Torrance, Williams' modern day Or-
pheus and Eurydice. Auch's Val is
poetic and dangerous at the same
time. His casual air lends itself to
Val's sensuality, but he does not
thoroughly convince the audience of
women's fatal attraction for Val. He
is neither completely the poet nor the
rogue.
It is Storrer who delivers the
strongest performance as the trapped
Lady Torrance. Her performance is
just subdued enough to make it seem
her character is at the brink of ex-
ploding.
Frances Martone is the mysterious
Carol Cutrere, a sort of muse that
haunts Val's Orpheus. Her character
is intriguing, but left ambiguous,
probably on pupose. It is too bad that
Williams did not develop this charac-
ter further - the glimpses of her are
disturbing, yet endearing. This
woman of extreme loneliness,
representative of the decay of a
Southern family, does appear more
complete in other Williams'
characterizations and plays.
The careful use of background
music and soft, misty lighting con-
tributes to the play's poetic quality.
Though in several instances the
timing of the lights is awkward, sud-
denly illuminating the actors in either
bright lights or shadowy mists. The
transition should be smoother. The
music is strong and played well with

tepid
the various moods of the piece.
The upstairs landing, wheret
tors would go after climbing the
to rest between scenes, was r
This disrupted the illusion of ti
to see the characters change fC
next entrance or sit and sim
serve their fellow actors

drama

visibility of the backstage has been
unfortunately all too common in
recent AACT productions.
Orpheus Descending will be per-
formed tonight and tomorrow night at
the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, at 8
p.m.

6

4-.

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Dreaming In Color will be making an appearance this Saturday night
at the East Quad Halloween Thing. Pictured left to right are bandmem-
bers Matthew Lindquist, Yuji Oniki, and Mark Mosher. Also featured to
play at the Thing are fellow Ann Arbor performers Map of the World. The
show is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. in the Quad's South Cafeteria. Tickets
are $3 or $2 in advance.
Local talent sets to
r
rokthswekn

w
, ,

THERE'S absolutely no excuse to
be bored this weekend as the
finest in local music will be
showcased not one, but both nights

a

THANKSGIVING VACATION AIRFARE
TO NEW YORK FROM $98
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this weekend. It's Raining will play
the U-Club Friday night, and Map of
the World with Dreaming In Color'
will appear at East Quad's Halloween
Thing Saturday night.
It's Raining marks their return to-
the scene with a U-Club performance.
Friday night after a hard week of
studio work in preparation for a new
single. Their refreshing brand of up-
beat and ethereal rock, characterized
by Matthew Smith's strong vocals and
guitar work, is backed up by the
multi-talented Stefan Vernier
utilizing all kinds of keyboards, along
with Brad Fairman's eclectic drum-
ming style. It leaves the current trend
of retro-rock in the dust. It's Raining
packs the power of U2 and the Dam-
ned with the subtlety a-nd danceable
charm of New Order or The Smiths.
Definitely an act not to miss, and with
DJ Tom Simonian spinning later on,
the fun never stops.
East Quad's South Cafeteria is the"
scene for the second half of your rock
'n' roll weekend, as Map of the World
and Dreaming In Color bring their
own eclectic sounds to the Halloween"'
Thing Saturday night, at 9 p.m.
Map of the World, fresh from their
New York debut October 8th at CBGB's,
mark their return to Ann Arbor with
continuing support of their new
Hiroshima Girls EP. Led by siblings
Sophia and Khalid Hanifi, the quartet
draws on just about every influence
possible, from Elvis Costello to Patsy.
Cline, to make their sound one of An-
n Arbor's best.
Newcomers Dreaming In Color willo
be opening for Map, with their newly.
reduced line-up of Yuji Oniki on guitar
and vocals, Mark Mosher on bass,
and Matthew Lindquist on drums.
Dreaming features a whole new,
repertoire of songs, highlighted by
excellent acoustic and electric guitar
work from Oniki. Comparisons to
R.E.M. flourish, but here the
guitar-oriented style is genuine, as
Oniki's talent attests to, picking away
and above Peter Buck's own ringing
guitar. New and fun, refreshing and
talented, Dreaming In Color marks
their re-grouped Ann Arbor debut
Saturday night. And the word from
Oniki is that there will be a Big Star
cover or two with guest guitarist
Matthew Smith of It's Raining.
-Hobey Echlin

7Vq

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