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September 05, 1985 - Image 78

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-09-05
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0 The NWii~/*in Daily- Thursday, SepI

Page 4D - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 5, 1985

0

The An wily - Thursday, SePA

THEATRE

REC(

Report to
Congress
By Chris Lauer

brilliant production scintillate, and
singlehandedly bring life to one that
drags.
The Michigan Ensemble Theatre
(MET), a University-sponsored com-
pany using the same administrative
and artistic support at PTP, has
equally high standards, but offers
productions of a wider variety -
some quite modern and daring, but
snnn-rditinnl l l1a ~v MT

ith streets and stages alikenn productions are usually intimate
enough to allow observations on the
Arbor thrives on theatres as wel level of facial expression as opposed
theatrics. It's a showy town if you re to the gargantuan extravaganzas
not too overcome by tunnel-vision to staged by PTP.u
observe. If you're really clued in The University also sponsors
you'll seek it out - i the streets - various other companies, offering
and in the theatres - where things students experience in every aspect of
are a little more deliberate but just as play production. The University Ac-
much fun. Ann Arbor has enough tivity Center's MUSKET usually
theatre and with enough variety to presents a two or three elaborately
satisfy everyone from the most staged musicals every school year.
scholarly intellectual to the fun-loving Last winter's Pippin demonstrated
curious to the smug philistine seeking their ability to integrate top-flight
amusement after an evening of dinner talent and meticulous tchnicalish-
and d rnsnu-
The Professional Theatre Program, port. UAC's SophSHOW, staged en-
a University-sponsored production tirely by underclassmen, is also
company, is the most consistently known for its mammoth musicals,
brilliant. PTP enlists the talents of though SophSHOW tends to be more
and students for ar- fun for the troupe than the audience.
University faculty ndsucas Both MUSKET and SophSHOW are
tiss bl i for admni ratives uppor ideal opportunities for talented young
posi ' di stratesupport. thespians who love doing shows but
Artistic director Walter Essynck, don't want to major in theatre.
Theatre and Drama, is reputed for his The Residential College Players,
directing of large-cast, traditional based in East Quad, present an unlim-
dramas. Although Essylinck handles ited variety of educational and com-
Shakespeare and other traditional mercial productions - even the
favorites best, he has enough commercial productions tend to be
flohabodyeducational where the RC Players are
fexibility to have an impressivse bdy vd.
of more daring work as well. A stage involved.
adaptation of Gogol's Diary of a The Brecht Company, an outgrowth
Madman and a gutsy production of of the RC Players, favors the works of
Cloud Nine, a sexually frank drama Brecht but occasionally performs the
from England, are particularly works of other playwrights. Last
noteworthy. March's production of a modernized
At the top of PTP's heap of stage version of Moliere's Don Juan utilized
stars is Erik Fredricksen-also a music from Gang of Four and wild
faculty member - watch him make a gesticulations that almost made the

Members of the cast of the University Gilbert and Sullivan Society's 'H.M.S. Pinafore' ham it up in a grand
finale pose at Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre.

characters look like they were direc-
ting traffic. The zeal of their acting
will blow you out of the theatre. If
you've no stomach for enthusiasm -
take a seat nearer to the back.
Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, while not
as artistically well-endowed as the
University companies, aggressively
stages popular comedies and
musicals that, though a little too con-
spicuously mainstream, are generally

good fun. Most of their talent is drawn
from open-to-the-public tryouts.
Though their casting is at times a bit
conservative, they've had some real
finds. Lately, the A.A.C.T. has been
doing more shows in larger theatres.
Fostering interest in the dynamic
duo of yesteryear as if it were a divine
mandate, the University Gilbert and
Sullivan Society stages, as a rule, well
rehearsed and produced musicals,

using professional artists as well as
local amateurs who just want to get
involved. Their almost sickeningly
pleasant song and dance extravagan-
zas are guaranteed to make for a sim-
ply beautiful evening of mind candy.
The Performance Network is quaint
and daring enough in its off-the-
beaten-path little theatre to inspire ev-
ery first-time Daily the-tre reviewer

Life
support
systems
By John Logie
C UMULATIVELY the exten-
siveness, eclecticism, and quality
of Ann Arbor's record stores is
staggering. Most any record you want
is available at at least one of the
stores, and probably at a price that is
reasonable, if not cheap. Those of you
coming from zones overwhelmed by
the malling of America will be
shocked to find out that some record
stores don't deal merely in "units."
The campus area is blessed with a
collection of stores that have identity,
rather than the mold-stamped,
generic feel of Musicland or Harmony
House. Those of you used to paying a
dollar less than list price will find that
competition among the stores drives
prices on new records down as low as
$5.49 at times. If that isn't cheap
enough, the used stores often under-
cut the new stores on major releases,
so long as a slightly used (probably
once, for taping purposes) record
doesn't bother you.
The best selection of new records in
the rock, jazz, and associated genres
category is Schoolkids', located at 523
E. Liberty. Oui magazine placed
Schoolkids' among the 20 top record
stores in the country a few years
back, but the real recommendation
for Schoolkids' is made by the artists
that stop there. Schoolkids' has
presented numerous in-store
autograph sessions with artists like
Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, Holly
Near, and The Minutemen. On their
last Ann Arbor stop, members of
R.E.M. shopped Schoolkids'.
The store's stock is immense with a
great selection of imports, 45s, and
cut-outs. The prices are pretty good,
especially on new albums im-
mediately after release. The store's
atmosphere is genial-autogranhed
records and paraphenalia line the
walls-although the exhibition of
Zappa artworks is sorely missed.
Schoolkids' is also the only non-pet
store in town with a pet parrot, which
adds immeasurably to the in-store
musical selections (chosen after oc-
casionally vehement bickering by the
store's help).
Liberty Music (417 E. Liberty) is
equally astounding when it comes to
classical music. The selection is
tremendous. It seems like every ver-
sion of every piece by every composer
you'd ever want to listen to is on hand,
not to mention the composers you
might not want to listen to.
Liberty also features a nearly
bygone perk, the listening booth
Customers are welcome to preview
their purchases in surprisingly
spacious cubicles. The price range
depends on whether your tastes run
to the digital half-speed mastered end
of the scale.
Discount Records suffers a bit from
its membership in a chain of record
stores, but personal touches salvage it
from the mall-generic-unit syndrome.
Discount sporadically features the

most entertaining window displays of
any record store in Ann Arbor. Their
three-dimensional collage made of
R.E.M. Reckoning covers was a hoot,
as was the Cristina album posted with
a note from a local who found the
cover offensive. The selection is a bit
schizophrenic. The front of the store
sticks pretty much to rock and
associated genres, but the back of the
store is classical. Considering that
Discount is taking on both Schoolkids'
and Liberty in a roughly average
amount of floorspace, Discount does
very well.
Don't miss the assortment of car-
dboard cut-outs of performers and
deformed records lining the walls
above the cash register area. While
we're talking about cut-outs, Discount
features a whacked out selection
which at times is ridiculously cheap,
and a lot of fun.
Across the street from Discount at
307 S. State, State Discount provides a
budget bonanza. The store isn't really
a record store, but they do have a
reasonably sizable selection of Top-40
type releases priced with alphabet
stickers. While I generally avoid
records with big "C" stickers, I must
admit that State Discount's gonzo
pricing has seduced me several times.
The St. Patrick's Day "A" s for $2.99
sale was outrageously pleasant, as
are the movie tie-ins with the State
Theater (a given soundtrack like, for
example, Purple Rain-$5.49 with a
ticket stub!).
Wazoo at 336 S. State (upstairs)
stockpiles new releases in a bin right
by the cash register. This is ideal for
the budget conscious record be 'r
who's willing to take an unwrapped
copy to save a few bucks. The records
in this bin are in immaculate con-
dition, and it saves a lot of rummage
time. Even so, rummaging is en-
couraged. Wazoo stocks a dazzling
array of imports, out-of-print and rare
records, classical, funk, budget, 45s,
CDs, tapes, and just odd stuff. It is a
two-time winner of the Daily's own
annual Best of Ann Arbor poll for best
used record store and deservedly so.
The help is friendly, and the record-
search service manages to turn up
remarkable lost albums.
The Record and Tape Exchange,
around the corner at 619 E. William
gets the hip award. A selective smat-
tering of new releases bolsters a rock
and jazz collection sandwiched bet-
ween plastic identification cards that
artistically reflect the bands they
identify. RATX has the best budget
bin in town with albums by top-flight
artists in pretty good condition, and
albums by mediocre artists in great
condition going for a buck.
The decor features references to the
help's favorite bands, 3-D record
covers (with glasses!), in-jokes, and
plastic toys. RATX also has the nicest
awning. This is the store for the
newest of the new,tandstheemore un-
derground-ish stuff.
P.J.'s Used Records, at 619
Packard, which, by the way, also has
a nice awning, balances things out
with a '60s-ish feel. P.J.'s features an
1 extensive collection of retro recor-
dings, as well as huge jazz, classical,
and soundtrack sections. P.J.'s also
sells tickets for a variety of musical
events and is most supportive of local
bands, with special local record see-
toh8-and an area fdr'posters and in-

formation. Another plus is the
prevalence of plastic bags which
prolongs the life and beauty of the
stock. The help is a merry band,
willing to discuss music, politics, art,
society in general, or the Tigers. The
throwback-ish atmosphere is comfor-
ting enough to make the slight jaunt
well worthwhile.

Schoolkids' Used and Rare Records
at 514 E. William places a heavy em-
phasis on the rare. This is the place
for hard-to-find oldies, and new stuff
that didn't proliferate. Schoolkids'
also features a fine selection of singles
and record-related magazines and
books. For the most part this is not a
store for the budget conscious, but oc-

FROM THEPt
APPEALTO
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dietary guidelines of the American Heart Associ
means Rax offers you not only food that tastes great, bi
foods that are more nutritious and better for you.9 For
oven-roasted Rax roast beef contains 35% less fat thar
food hamburger. Our Rax ham is 95% fat free. And the
Rax Endless Salad,. and Fresh Fruit Bar has over 30
ing an assortment of reduced-calorie dressings, to h
slim and trim.I Our special Rax menu, "Good Food
For You;' features a complete nutritional chart for
in our restaurant. And it highlights special Rax i
pared in compliance with the dietary guideline
American Heart Association. 9 From lean Ra
beef and piping-hot baked potatoes to hot so
and the freshest fruits and vegetables fc
salads, Rax offers you great tasting,
wholesome, nutritious food.

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