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September 22, 1986 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-09-22

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Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 22, 1986

"Night:

'Good start for AACT

By Noelle Brower.
Last weekend's production of
Marsha Norman's 'night Mother
at the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre
suggests that this community
theatre's new artistic course may
be headed in the right direction.
In an attempt to broaden their
horizons, and their audience, the
AACT has cast out on its maiden
voyage with the opening of this
controversial play at their Main
Street Stage.
As opposed to the Main Stage,
which offers more commercial
fare, the Main Street arena is the
AACT's chosen forum in which to
present plays that might otherwise
not be commercially popular for
the particular AACT crowd. But
the concise production of 'night
Mother should help to bring in a

wider range of people to this Ann
Arbor institution.
R. Neil Alexander and his cast
of two pulled this play through its
grueling two-hour-without-inter-
mission run avoiding most of the
possible pitfalls, and there are
plenty, that weigh down this
drama.
By its nature, 'night Mother is
almost anti-climatic. From the
outset Jessie, a middle-aged
divorcee who hides from the world
within the confines of her
mother's home, declares that she
will kill herself, matter of factly.
She announces her intention like
someone would announce that
they're going for a walk. The
announcement tends to hit the
audience over the head for it
comes out of nowhere. Its
implications are not to be found in
the mundane things she does

prior to her declaration, but on
reflection one sees that in tidying
up the house and making her
innumerable lists, Jessie is pre -
paring her mother for her death.
But after the shock of her
intention, one is forced to sit
through the battle that naturally
ensues between mother and child
for the child's right to her own
life.
In the intimate seating of
AACT's Main Street stage, which
is perfectly suited for this type of
drama, one feels trapped within
Jessie's life. By the end of the
drama her suicide comes almost
as a welcome relief because it
signals the end of an emotionally
difficult play for everyone con -
cerned.
Patricia A. Rector as the
mother Thelma and Wendy
Wright as Jessie certainly had a
difficult task set before them in
tackling this two character play.
Both portrayed their roles
tirelessly; at the curtain call one
could see the emotional impact of

the play on their faces as they tried
to smile at the audience's
applause. Both were consistent in
their roles, especially Rector, who
made one almost hate Jessie for
playing her game of Even-
though-I-love-you-mother-I'm-
going-to-kill-myself. Her
Thelma's bumbling attempts to
convince Jessie not to kill herself
were pathetically believeable.
Wright's Jessie fell flat at times,
not quite convincing the audience
of her belief in her own actions.
In fact, the bitter edge that she
gave to her arguments against
her mother acquired a quality of
revenge that shouldn't be there.
The Ann Arbor Civic
Theatre's daring to take risks
when they certainlytdon't have to
(they have the largest theatrical
following in town and sell-out
most of their shows) is an
indication of growth. The choice
of 'night Mother alone signifies
this change. On the whole a tight
production, 'night Mother is
hopefully a sign of things to come.

I

THIS IS IT!

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Mail your check or money order to:
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Daily Photo by DAN HABIB
Steel Pulse lead singer David Hinds led a frenzied performance to a
packed crowd at the Nectarine Ballroom Thursday night.

m

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Say what you will about their
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QUESTION #2.

HOW CAN THE BUDGET-CONSCIOUS

COLLEGE STUDENT SAVE

EY?

shamelessly goofy at times, but
this Boston trio is a band to be
reckoned with; and In Excelsior
Dayglo is a true gem, perhaps the
best debut LP of '86.
Excelsior is a clever record, a
real eclectic assortment of
goodies. Christmas can be either
playful and zany, with a childish
sort of fantasizing, or devillishly
hard rocking. "Big Plans" opens
it all with guitar lines which
swarm like bees. Michael Cud-
ahy's singing is a moan as
psychotic as his guitar playing.
Typical of many of their"songs,
the band erupts into a driving
jam session which displays their
well-honed musicality.
This frenzy which is so clearly
defined on the opening cut is well
balanced by Christmas' ability to
slip equally comfortably into the
groove of' a song like "True
Soldier of Love." Drummer Litz
Cox sings in a sweet warble, The
milk of idiot's laughter! flow
silently in, to my mouth, I'm/
eating dreams again. Against
this psychedelia rings a solid,
almost jangling guitar rhythm~
which captures the band%
dreamy, "trippy" qualities. This
side of the band is more fulty
captured on "Everything You
Know is Wrong," where Cudahy,'s
voice takes on a "Magical My-
stery Tour" underwater bend.
The distortion of the music is
echoed in the lyrics: The sun goes
down / and the ntoon comes up
and the world isn't round.
When Christmas get
going-get gone in a fier'
musical fury-the event is
unforgettable. Their wacky
dream world crashes head on wit
their enraged playing. "Tommy
the Truck" displays Christmas at
their off-the-wall finest. It
grinds, it spins, it charges full
steam ahead, with Cudahy taking
on the character of Tommy (king
of the kustom kar kommandoes),
singingYou are dirt beneath my
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wich" roars, with Cudahy telling
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lunch (It was the worst thing in
the world).
In Excelsior Dayglo displays
a fine new band with a definite
style of their own. Christmas is a
"true original. They deserve an
audience.
-Beth Fertig

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