---- --- . . ......
The Michigan Daily
Tuesday, April 8, 1986
By Seth Flicker
D eep in the Mississippi Delta there
are two old, dusty roads that meet
fhese trails are not used by many
people. It's no great intersection- but
these are not just two country roads,
either. There is something magical in
them; something special. In much the
same way, Crossroads is no great
landmark in filmmating, but it is
more than just "two dusty roads." It
is a sweet, unpretentious movies, and
that is magical in itself.
It is unusual to find a "teen-flick"
distributed by a major company-like
Pcolumbia Pictures, which isn't over-
done, or overly dramatized. Of course
Crossroads has the main ingredien-
ts-a typical love interest, a clash of
cultures, and troubled teens, but these
elements are handled in an under-
stated way. The movie avoids one of
the common pitfalls of teen movies by
refusing to dwell on any one problem
Everything is not resolved, nor does it
have to be, and that is one of thesmany
fine points in this film.
Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid)
plays Eugene Jerome, a smart-assed
musical "genius" from Long Island.
Eugene's teacher at the Julliard
School of Music things that discipline
will make Eugene a star, but Eugene
has other ideas. He feels that to
become a great musician, he must fir-
st master the blues. Because he can-
not do this at Julliard, Eugene decides
to go out on his own.
Macchio is the wrong actor for this
part. He seems uncomfortable and
clumsy as Eugene, but maybe this
isn't his fault. The part was written so
that almost any teenager with a New
York accent could pull it off. Eugene's
lines are all complaints or commands,
which makes him almost unlikable.
You want to find something in his per-
sonality to grasp onto, but is just isn't
The real star of the movie is Joe
Seneca as the aging bluesman, Willie
Brown. Williw wants to get back to the
crossroads. It was a place where
young musicians made a deal with the
devil; to trade their souls for fortune
and fame. It was there that Willie got
his start and made this deal. Willie
promises to teach Eugene the blues
"style" if Eugene helps him escape
from the nursing home in which he is
cooped up, and aids him in getting
back to the Delta.
Seneca is a gem, and possibly the
saving grace of this movie. His per-
formance is immaculate. Willie
Brown is the epitome of the "tough old
coot" out to teach Eugene a lesson.
Seneca pulls this off with ease.
Together, Willie and Eugene travel
to the Mississippi Delta with different
goals. For Eugene, it's learning the
blues and for Willie, it's changing his
life. Willie's aim is to break his pact
with the dtevil ana get his soul back.
Along the way they meet Frances,
played by Jami Gertz (Quick Silver),
another smart-assed teenager and a
passing love interest for Eugene
Crossroads is a breath of fresh air in
the world of teen movies. It succeeds
because it is different and because it
manages to reach a happy medium. It
is not too heavy, not is it too thin.
Crossroads will not change your life, and
that is the beauty of it. Finally there is
a movie that focuses on telling a
story, rather than making a point.
Brave New Nerk
CILA Jj IAII IIIFro4114
Continued From Previous Page
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By arwulf arwulf
Marc stood in the big store,
looking bewildered. He was
stocking record bins, consulting a
clipboard. A normal stance. But he
had this positively shell-shocked
look on him, and I asked if anything
He answered my inquiry in a dazed
fashion, pointing to a row of record
bins. "Look what's happened to the
Jazz stacks." I looked but couldn't
find them. Hundreds of little Compact
Discs sat where once stood a
reasonably comprehensive Jazz sec-
tion. I found what was left of the Jazz
in a puny segment of shelves, looking
forlorn and forgotten.
Marc explained that things are
Compact Discs are moving in and
the LP inventory is being liquidated.
Most of the imports and rarities have
been sent back to the warehouses.
More would follow. The entire chain of
stores would soon deal in CDs ex-
Somewhere up the corporate lad-
der, some putty-faced nerk in a blue
suit had pushed the button. We were
witnessing a change.
There's nothing wrong with Change
in itself. It is the most consistent law
of the universe. Some of the changes
perpetrated upon the music, however,
have been mindlessly applied by op-
portunistic little weasels who have
nothing save avarice behind their ac-
CDs hit the market with a splash
heard round the planet, billed as the
greatest leap forward in sound
reproduction since, well, the
phonograph itself. The big selling
point is their apparent indestruc-
tability. And the sound quality.
Nothing else sells like sounO. quality
here in the gibbering technocratic
quag of the nineteen eighties.
Unfortunately, there are zillions of
records floating around, and only a
marginal slice of them are in print
right now. An artists like Rahsaan
Roland Kirk is difficult enough to find
on wax as it is. Will his music find its
way onto CDs? Oh yes maybe three of
his best sellers, possibly.
Best selling anything is prioritized
in our culture, and if something hasn't
sold well, we might as well forget it.
This goes back a long ways. When 78
rpm records went into extinction in
the late 1950s, how much of that music
went onto LPs? Not much. Reissues
emerge, but the true archivist has had
to collect those old platters in order to
catch the full drift. The same thing is
more than likely to happen with these
indestructable lozenges; the com-
panies will feature what they damned
well please, and the rest of the Twen-
tieth Century's music can go float in
Marc's position on this issue is,
naturally, more clearly defined. After
all, phonograph records are his
business. He claims that the CDs are
easy to shoplift, they cost a helluva lot
more to stock, and consequentially
the profit margin is smaller.
I notice that PJ's Used Records has
some used CDs already. This cracks
me up, as the little wafers are
boasting of lifetime durability. So
much of the recording industry's suc-
cess has always been attributable to
the fact that records wear out and are
often bought again and again by the
same customers. With the CDs, this
principle will go out the window. Is
that why they're so expensive?
I guess we'll just wait and see what
happens. When they bring the cost of
this thing down a bit, lots of Jazz and
other honest music might begin to ap-
pear on CDs. But don't hold your
breath. Me, I'm gonna start hoarding
And I'll keep playing those scratchy
78's on the radio so you futuristic folks
don't become completely out of touch
with where you culture has been.
By Lauren Schreiber
It is not surprising that the original
production of Joe Orton's What the
Butler Saw was delayed by a
threatened lawsuit by the Churchill
family. I, too, would be apprenhensive
about having my private parts subjec-
ted to such impotent comedy.
Produced this weekend by the
Suspension Theater, What the Butler
Saw is a lusty bedroom farce about a
psychiatrist, Dr. Prentice, who gets in
trouble when he attempts to seduce a
woman who has come to apply for a
job as his secretary. The play preten-
ds to be a farce, yet comes out as pure
slapstick as misunderstandings
-develop, characters switch identities,
and clothes are discarded. The
comedy is questionable. Though I was not
offended by the promiscuous nature of
the material, I was not amused.
Unlike the outrageous comedies of
Aristophanes and Oscar Wilde, which
Orton tried to emulate, What the
Butler Saw lacks wit, subtlety, and
originality. It loses its comedy in its
lewdness. Had the script been shor-
ter, less repetitive, and less
ridiculous, the production could have
been remarkably successful.
What saved the play from complete
failure was the competent directing
and acting. In a play dependant on
quick timing, director Andy Mennick
kept his actors moving- also essential
due to the too-long script. The
movement was interesting and rarely
Most of the acting was excep-
tionally good. John Nicolson as Dr.
Prentice, who reminded me a bit of
Monty Python's John Cleese- funny
in a dopey sort-of-way was con-
sistently good. Christopher Flynn,
who played Dr. Rance, an insane
Psychiatric Commissioner who
comes to inspect the clinic, had the
good fortune of having the funniest
lines in the play. His often witty
pronouncements were enhanced by
his marvelous speaking voice and his
intense involvement with his charac-
ter. Alison Maker as Dr. Prentice's
sexually frustrated wife had great
physical presence and a lot of energy.
Unfortunately, Kaarine Quinnel as
Miss Barclay, whom Dr. Prentice
tries to seduce and Dr. Rance
declares mentally unbalanced, did lit-
tle with her character except whine
and look frightened.. She never
developed as a character and by the
second act she had become a distrac-
tion from the rest of the play. Scott
Palmer and Chris Korow, as the hotel
pageboy and a police sergeant respec-
tively, were, though not outstanding
in any way, competent and amusing.
For those.of you who enjoy really
bawdy, half-baked humor, What the
Butler Saw is a worthwhile experien-
ce, I suppose. If you prefer your
comedy more on .the well-done side,
pass it by.
What the Butler Saw runs Thur-
sday-Sunday, April 10-13 and 17-20 at
the Performance Network, 408 W.
Washington Street Thursday through
Saturday performances begin at 8
p.m. and Sunday performances begin
at 6 p.m. Call the Performance Net-
work for ticket information.
The Daily arts page incorrectly
printed that RC Players Present: An
Evening of One-Acts will be perfor-
med April 11 and 12. The productions
will be April 10 and 11 at the RC
Auditorium at East Quadrangle at
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TRUE BLUE WEEK
APRIL 9 -11
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- April 9
The Residence Hall Repertory Theater and
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o WELCOME TO
A SHOW ABOUT DISCRIMINATION
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- April 10
of Poetry, Improv, Music, Dance & Comedy+
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Directed by Scott Weissman
APRIL 9 9:00 P.M.
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MICHIGAN TRIVIA CONTEST in
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