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October 21, 1987 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-10-21

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, October 21, 1987



America' spast

By Debra Chesnin
Ask any of the people strolling
through the Diag today, and they
will probably know that this year is
the 200th anniversary of the United
States Constitution. But how many
are aware that this year is also the
200th anniversary of the first
performance of The Contrast ?
The number of people who have
even heard of The Contrast is very
small. The school of Music hopes
to shed some enlightentment with
its upcoming presentation of it, the
first published American play.
The Contrast was first performed
in May, 1787 and it is no
coincidence that both The Contrast
and the Constitution were written in
the same year.
"The Music Deptartment wanted
to salute the bicentennial of the
Constitutuion in some way, " says
director Richard Klautsch. "They
thought the play was a g o o d
showcase of American values."
These values are portrayed by the
"true-blue yankees" and the "affected,
pretentious, and rougish Americans
who emulated the worst European
habits," says Klautsch. The contrast
between these values is t h e
inspiration for the play's title.
The play is a love story that
praises the truthful and straight-
forward ways of the Americans.
Lawyer and Army officer, Royall
Tyler, wrote the play in an effort to
get the audience to give up their
European ways of life and try to act
in a uniquely "American" style.
University Players explains that
they have produced the play in an
effort to convey its uniquely 18th
century style of acting and stage-
craft. "We only have certain ideas of
what they did in the 18th century,"
says Klautsch. "It would be difficult

to try to copy it. Rather, we are
adapting some of the conventions
used at the time."
According to Klautsch, the acting
style of the 18th century was much
broader and less naturalistic than the
style used in today's theatre and
films "The style is almost
melodramatic." In addition to the
early American acting style,
members of the cast will also be
performing authentic early American
songs during the show.
Director Klautsch, a lecturer of
theatre and drama, admits that aside
from a performance at the University
in 1940, he has "never even heard of
the play being done. " Because The
Contrast is not widely known,
Klautsch says that he had no
preconceived notions of how the
play should be staged. "It is
definitely a different kind of
performance," says Klautsch.
The audience that expects a
performance based on the usual
psychological motivation found in
today's plays will be suprised,
according to Klautsch. Although the
18th century style of acting is
realistic, it is based on more easily
recognized and broader emotions.
"There is a lot of interaction between
the actors and the audience, " says
Klautsch. While in most modern
theatre pieces it is uncommon to
have actors participating directly
with the audience, it was standard
procedure at the time that The
Contrast was written. Although the
audience will be unaccustomed to the
amount of interaction that goes on
with the cast members, according to
Klautsch,"we are actually using less
audience participation than was
normal for that day and age."
Today's audience will also be
unacustomed to the music which is
performed on stage by members of
the ensemble. "It was a little
difficult to find musicians who can

act," says Klautsch. None of the
musical performers in the play are
regular music School students. "The
musicians are students who have
backgrounds in classical music, but
who haven't kept it up. "
Klautsch thinks of The Contrast
as an "adventure." By performing
this. first distinctly American play,
the Music School hopes to do more
than celebrate the constitution and
the development of an "American
style" of playwriting. Says
Klau'tsch, "We're trying to allow the
audience to have some fun in the
THE CONTRAST will open
tomorrow night and run through
Sunday, and will also be performed
next Thursday through Sunday
(October \29-November 1). Show-
times are 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. mat-
inees on each Sunday performance:
Tickets may be purchased at the
Michigan League Ticket Office,
Monday through Friday from 10
a.m. until 5 p.m., or at the
Trueblood Theatre before each show.
Ticket prices are $6 for the general
public, and $4 for students. Call
764-0450forfurther details.
Call: 763-0379


(Left to Right) Christopher Murray, Nancy Bishop, and David Wilcox star in the University Players' bicentennial
production of 'The Contrast' at the True Blood Theatre tomorrow night.




at the
North Campus Commons Valley Room
October22at noon: "University Ethics"
Speaker: Dr. LaRue Hosmer, Professor of Corporate Strategy,
School of Business and Director of the international Office
- of Entrepreneurial Studies
Sponsored by:
,The International Center
The Office of Ethics and Religion Lunch
and other Campus Ministry Groups Available

995-8600 M oo
w/d Expire.s 1,5W
Call 764-0557


Students needed for
university wide committees


Board of Student Publications
Advisory Committee on Minority Affairs
Student Liaison Officer
Undergrad Admissions
Development and Communications
Minority Office Education Program
University Council

Civil Liberties Board
Research Policies
Financial Affairs
Honorary Degrees
Residency Appeals
Privacy Committee

Applications Deadline: October 23, 5:00 p.m.
Pick up applications at 3909 Michigan Union or
Call 763-3241 for more information
Contact Chair: George L. Davis II
Vice Chair: John D. Villaneuva

Depeche Mode
Music for the Masses
Yes, the long awaited release
from these heroes of our generation
is finally in the stores and never in
the history of recorded music has
there been a more aptly titled album.
The sales of Music for the Masses
will be similar to Depeche Mode's
previous albums in the respect that
sales will be inversely proportional
to talent and innovation. Depeche
Mode have become true martyrs for
their music, selflessly sacrificing
artistic integrity and self respect so
that they could produce a work that
would please their public.
There is nothing played on this
album which did not have to b e
plugged in and probably nothing that
did not have to be processed through
a computer. Gone are the old sounds
of banging pipes, chimes, and sheet
metal that made their characteristic
techno sound. On this album, we are
blessed with MIDI and over-
production. Not that there would be
anything wrong with the use of the
latest technology if this album were
to create an interesting final result

but it does not. The album is a
cliche of drum machines, digitally
processed strings, and over repetitive
keyboard melodies.
From the initial guitar like synth
noise and electronic bass drum on the
first track "Never Let Me Down
Again," it is apparent that this al-
nbum will have little new to say.
The song becomes tiring as soon as
the obvious chorus is introduced and
the verse does not prove any better;
"I'm taking a ride with my best
friend/ I hope he never lets me down
again/ Promises me I'm safe as
houses as long as I know who wears
the trousers."
Lyrics like these are very typical
for the album. More lyrics about
driving than the Cars and as much
energy as cardboard. The overall
effect proves to be that of depressed
dance music recorded inside of a
twelfth century monastery. Depress-
ing monotone vocals and hard slow
beats are most characteristic among
the songs. Borrowings from releases
by Yaz/ Erasure, Cabaret Voltaire.
Dead or Alive could also be seen if
they were to be played on 33 instead
of 45. The conglomeration leaves
images of men in robes mulling
about dark dank passage bored with
life and looking for something to
inspire them, which they will not
find on this album. Almost
ironically or self depreciating, there
is a song about a missionary copying
down scripture.

Henrietta CoI
and the Wife B
Child Haters
Drive By Shooting
Texas Hotel


Seekers of high energy dance
music will have to look elsewhere as
will those who are simply looking
for an enjoyable album. Appreciators
of new music and Eurodance should
look elsewhere for a new edge.
-Jon Casson


Henry Rollins, who waves a
Black Flag as that group's lead
singer, has released a solo album,
Drive By Shooting, under the pseu-
donym of Henrietta Collins. Thy
title track, a parody on the general
state of affairs on the California
freeways, is indicative of the rest of
the album: slightly warped, highly
satirical, and intensely funny.
"I Have Come to Kill You" is an
ingenious take-off of Queen's "We
Will Rock You," even matching the
latter in meter and rhyme scheme,
verse for verse.
"Can You Speak This?" is a
nonsensical, rambling quasi-story
about nothing in particular, much in
the lyrical mode of Zoogs Rift. "Hey
Henrietta" is a wildly bizarre exercise
in the macabre, and funny to boot.
See RECORDS Page 9


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