The Michigan Daily Tuesday, October 27, 1987
By Amy Koch
After viewing Royall Tyler's The present
Contrast , one can't help but amble hundred
out of the Trueblood Theatre in of patrio
search of corn pone and chanting The
"The Star Spangled Banner." With learning
it's combination of dramatics, dance the aud
and vocals, this production marks action,
the success of the Drama intimate
Department's transfer to the School elemen
of Music. style. F
The Contrast has great appeal to scenes
the modern audience for both its audience
thematic and historical content. curtain,
Examining individual value systems coopera
against those of an established Also
society, the play succeeds in drama,
highlighting the applicability of not be
such a conflict in today's culture. brandy.
Also, embedded within this idea lies depictio
the challenge to the female's with th
"delicate" position in society. technic
Written in the same year as our mess a
Constitution, this is the first play contemp
ever written in this country. Its stunned
st " exists between the
tualized pretension of the
and the honesty of the "true-
ankee." In such a colorful
ation, Tyler, even two
d years later, instills a sense
otism in his audience.
format of The Contrast is a
g experience in itself. With
ience's involvement in the
Tyler creates both an
ambience and reveals many
its of 18th century acting
For example, in between
the actors address the
e. Because there is no formal
they dismiss their role and
tively change the setting.
Q, in contrast to modern
the meaning of the play need
pondered over a snifter of
Rather, the humorous
n of the two attitudes along
e aforementioned dramatic
ques yield an obvious
ge. Accustomed t o
porary theatre, I was rather
when Jonathon (David
Wilcox), the "Yankee hero," and the
maid Jenny suddenly broke into a
duet rendition of "Yankee Doodle."
But, these and other 18th century
techniques really defined this
theatrical experience as cultural.
The size of the Truebloood
Theatre proves to be a definite
attribute to the production. First,
the close proximity of the stage to
the onlookers establishes an intimate
relationship between the actors and
the audience. Also, such limited
space allows only minimal use of
props. Woodchips, lanterns, and
pewterware create authenticity, but
Costume Designer Laura Crow must
be commended on her spectacular
rendering of 18th century New York
City. This production demands
effective _ostumes to portray the
visible "contrast" between superficial
propriety and a more relaxed reality.
Each character, by both name,
attire, and attitude is representative
of the era's stereotypes. Billy
Dimple (Alan Goodwin), as
nauseatingly superficial as his name
implies, reflects British decorum as
he prances about in makeup, satins,
scarves, and plumage. With his
affected voice and wimpy demeanor,
Tyler effectively mocks the
uselessness of social convention.
Jonathon, his obvious American
counterpart, lumbers about in his
Indian beads and bugle and displays
his discomfort with convention as he
tugs at his knee socks. Charlotte
(Nancy Bishop) and Letitia (Heather
Brown) adhering to the 18th century
role of women in both attitude and
attire are so manipulative that they
mock their social norms. Finally,
the American ideal is projected
through the relationship of Maria
and Colonel Manly who, immersed
in virtue and patriotism, fall in love.
Director Richard Klautsch, the
School of Music, and the University
Players, all work together to create
not only an entertaining play, but a
valuable lesson in history.
THE CONTRAST will continue
performances this Thursday through
Sunday at the Trueblood Theatre.
and no luck
By Lisa Pollak
"To commit a perfect murder, you
need planning, guts, and luck."
If the less-than-subtle title The
Killing Time doesn't help you, this
provocative little teaser basically
says it all. We're not talking about
A Room With A View, here.
Instead, this is a film that is
essentially an ineffective rehash of
what Hollywood likes to call "the
suspense thriller." For the price of a
ticket you'll be treated to: one cop
torn between love and justice, one
stupid murder plot, one framing, one
botched murder plot, another
framing, a climactic suspense scene,
and about four or five senseless
killings. Oh, it takes place in Santa
Alba, California. So add: two coastal
bay scenes, one foggy lighthouse
scene, two skateboarders, and some
But their catch phrase sounded
really great, didn't it? "To commit a
perfect murder, you need planning,
guts, and luck." To keep this review
in the same sort-of-corny-rehash-
unoriginal-spirit that Rick King used
in directing The Killing Time, I'd
like to create my own, similarly
provacative and cute little statement:
To make the perfect movie, you
need planning, guts, and luck. Let's
see if it works.
The people who made this film
did plenty of planning. The makers
of The Killing Time planned to
include "a passionate love affair," "a
good premise," and "an interesting
and diverse assortment of talent."
Let's take these one at a time.
Passion? The confused cop S am
(Beau Bridges) and his lover Laura
(Camelia Kath) have less chemistry
than an English major's schedule.
The premise? Well, Laura's husband
Jake (Wayne Rogers) clearly has to
An interesting assortment of
talent? I assume that statement refers
to Kiefer Sutherland's portrayal of
Brian Mars, the psycotic young
roamer who also wants to kill Jake.
Sutherland, unlike most of these
actors, actually seems to have
thought about the script before
uttering his lines. Unfortunately, he
forgot that he was no longer playing
a vampire, as he did in his last
movie. I think he even forgot to take
his makeup off.
All these factors add up to bad
To make the perfect movie, you
also need guts. The casting agents
arguably had guts to cast Wayne
Rogers as an evil land developer.
Every time he came on screen I
expected someone to yell, "Hey
Trapper, give me a syringe."
But only a supreme lack of guts
could have allowed this film's
creators to rely on such tired, boring
cliches. The cop, the sleepy city, the
psycotic killer, the ruthless land
developer - and what's worse, they
couldn't even get the cliches right.
Jake plans to murder Laura. Laura
and Sam frame Brian for Jake's
murder. Brian frames them back.
And we're sitting in the theatre
trying to figure out why these
people are murdering each other in
the first place. Now that takes guts.
To make the perfect movie, you
finally need luck. When Jake
sabotages Laura's car, she almost
dies on the highway. Afterwards
Sam blankly says, "you're just a
little scared, that's all." With a little
bit of luck this line wouldn't have
sounded as dumb as it is. With a
little bit of luck, she would have
died and the film would have ended.
With a little bit of luck the rehash
would have worked. But it didn't.
"You're just a little scared, that's
all." That line adequately sums up
the depth of the viewer's emotions
during The Killing Time. Neither
the movie nor murder has enough
planning, guts, or luck to work. Oh
well. Nobody's perfect.
Jonathon (David Wilcox) steals a kiss from Jenny (Michelle Teame) in the
University Players' production of 'The Contrast,' continuing this weekend
at the Trueblood Theatre in the Frieze Building.
Dean of Reconstructionist Rabbinical College,
Career Opportunities at Hillel,
339 E. Liberty
Call 663-3336 for more info.
Counseling Services Group
WOMEN WHO LOVE TOO MUCH
for women who continually find
themselves attracted to men they
want to change.
Call Counseling Services for a screening
Group Meets Thursdays from 4:10-6:00 p.m.
Free Topping with . . .
Colombo Frozen Yogurt
Just say: I saw it in the
Toppings: Chocolate, Peanut Butter and
Butterscotch Chips, Raspberries, Blueberries,
Walnuts, Pecans, Peanuts, and Raisins
The University of Michigan
Student Medical Research
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 1987- TODAY
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
TOWSLEY CENTER FOR
CONTINUING MEDICAL EDUCATION
1220 South University
Open 7 Days a Week
BI-lingual? Interested in learning
about career opportunities in Japan?
Shushoku Joho, the employment
journal of Japan, provides infor-
mation on opportunities with presti-
gious Japanese and foreign capital
companies operating in Japan.
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