l W i
Director adds new twist to the traditional 'Don Juan'
By Jose-Arturo Martine2
There are better known versions
of the life of the infamous latin
lover, but Director John Russell
Brown's vision for Moliere's Don
Juan lends a new relevance to this
Don Juan is a cad. He collects
women like you or I might collect
butterflies. Yet the Don Juan in
this production, played by a very
young Peter Carlton Brown, lends a
appropriate twist for its Ann Arbor
audience. By casting such a young
man for this role, Brown has scored
a major point.
Don Juan, as played by the
rakish Brown, is the proto-typical
anti-hero. Astonishingly, he wins
women's favor by promising to
marry them, as his manservant
Sganarelle is wont to say, as "often
as [they] like."
Brown appropriately plays the
role of the vain lover to the hilt.
His somber good looks and brash
manners display a self important
member of the upper classes run
amok. Yet he is not just a cad -
he is someone who rushes headlong
into a fight because he does not like
the odds of an overwhelmed
Don Juan lives by a creed and a
unique philosophy answerable only
to himself. Yet he follows this
simple creed to its logical
conclusions even if it means
rushing to aid a man, determined to
avenge his family name. Don Juan
puts himself in this difficult
- --- -- - -
situation through his latest
conquest. The lady Donna Elvira
(Carol Halstead) was stolen out of a
convent and is his most recent wife.
The beleagured swordsman, Don
Carlos (Daniel Pardo), is determined
to. avenge his sister and family
honor, but strives to do so in a way
which will preserve the honor of
the man who saved his life, yet also
ravished his sister.
Don Juan's philosophy is tested
by his cowardly, yet ever loyal,
manservant Sganarelle (Kelly
Walters), who stands in defense of
society. Walters' outrageous
portrayal of Moliere's role damn
near steals the show. Sganarelle's
acerbic wit and roguish disposition
are played to perfection by Walters,
who has by far the best lines in the
play and whose antics in Don
Juan's swordfight should win him
an Olympic gold medal in
It is during one of their debates
when the crux of Don Juan's
philosophy is revealed. In a society
wheretmoral absolutes serve only as
a pretext to hide the lies and
corruption of society, making love
to as many women as he can, and
living life for the sensual pleasures,
allows Don Juan to remain true to
his creed. He is sure to offend the
larger society but, like many young
people, he doesn't care.
Jonathan Fried plays the most
characters in this production, and
while he does an excellent job as
Monsieur Dimanche, a money
lender unlucky in having Don Juan
as a client, some of his other roles
do not translate as well and he
comes off as being overbearing and
The play has been translated by
Englishman John Fowles, and it is
Chuck Berry and Etta James throw down in 'Hail! Hail! Rock'N' Roll.'
Welker Rm, Michigan Union
Problems & Possibilities
Special meeting of the
group--Open to all.
to reserve 663-3336
Shannon Rye, Kelly Walters, and Jonathon Fried (from left) star
in Project Theatre's 'Don Juan.'
A MIDNITE A
HILL ST. PLA
"A THOUSAND C
Saturday, Nov. 7, 8 PMV
Sunday, Nov. 8
T RU EB LOOD Ti
Tickets $4 ar
Continued from Page 5
celebration, film, and celebrity
tributes. Even if he did balk at
Richards' lengthy rehearsal
demands, he clearly got off on
having such a fine backing band.
Berry sings and plays superbly,
sounding fresher, more urgent and
more sincere than he has in over a
Guest appearances by Eric
Clapton, Robert Cray, Etta James,
Julian Lennon, and Linda Ronstadt
are all moving, with the former
three standing out. James is
particularly outstanding. Her burn-
down-the-house version of "Rock
and Roll Music" reminds us what
it's all about and surely would have
made John Lennon blush over the
Beatles' white bread cover of the
The concert photography is
excellent, utilizing ten cameras.
The changing angles keep the film
from becoming visually boring, and
aural ennui certainly never sets in.
Keep your eyes open for the
However, Hackford is not as
successful in his attempts to probe
the personal live of the notoriously
private Berry. Interviews with
family members, and longtime
business associates often fall flat.
We see little of the sincerity and
clarity of the musician's gushings
a witty, bawdy, and rather ripe
translation. Sexual innuendoes
abound throughout and there is a
flash of totally unexpected nudity
near the play's conclusion, yet it
serves to amuse, rather than offend,
The music composed by Frank
Ticheli and performed by Robert
Conway eases the transitions
through the acts and is elegantly
simple. G.W. Mercier's costumes,
while not exactly true to the time
period, are suggestive enough, and
their clean lines fit well with the
sparseness of the stage.
.The stage setting is quite
interesting. The performance area is
constructed in the Commedia dell'
It is clear that Berry is going tc
let on what he wants you to know
about and draw the line sharply
around those things he doesn't wish
to be aired. For instance, Berry
tersely ended discussion with Fran
Gilliam, his secretary of over 30
years, when she was asked about
his three prison terms. Interviews
with his father, wife, and brothers
and sisters also add few insights,
telling us that he was a bright,
ambitious, young man who loved
the blues. We don't need anyone to
tell us these things.
Nonetheless, Hail! Hail! Rock
'N' Roll is required viewing for all
students of Rock 101. The film is
an important reminder that we may
call Elvis "the King" but Chuck
Berry is rock and roll.
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Arte style. The proscenium stage
of the Mendelssohn Theatre has
placed within it another stage, in a
style that very much suggests what
a traveling troupe might use. In the
background, actors not currently on
stage mill about and "perform" in
their own low key manner off the
"main" stage in preparation for their
entrances. The effect is like
watching a play within the play.
This was so effectively done that
much of the audience was not aware
that the play had begun while they
were still settling into their seats.
Don Juan runs through Sunday
at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre.
Tickets are four dollars with student
i.d. For more information, call the
League Ticket Office at 764-0450.
Continued from Page 5
his mother that he can no longer
sell stocks and live the life he once
did. All very convincing. This is
what is most memorable of Cryer,
and there isn't enough of it here.
Solid performances by Gish and
Cougan, but this should be
expected. Gish is 17, Cougan is 16.
They are still high school students
and, for now, this is where they
belong-in a high school flick.
But not so for Cryer. He is 22
years-old and should have graduated
from the high school crowd by
now. Part of the problem is that he
looks like he belongs there, with
those damn apple cheeks. Wearing a
beard and dying one's hair does not
give Cryer any more credibility as a
29 year-old stockbroker. That, in
and of itself, is a major problem
with the movie.
For Cryer, life will go on. He is
a truly gifted actor who has been
unable to find the right vehicle to
propel him to superstardom. The
day will come when Cryer finds the
right vehicle and breaks through as
a leading man. But it's not going to
be today. Watching Hiding Out is
akin to downing a shot of J&B,
chewing on an entire pack of
Bubble Yum for 15 minutes,
swallowing it and then having a
beer chaser. You want to throw the
whole thing up at the end. M
A CAPPELLA SINGING
" HAPPYTOGETHER T
+ THELJONSLEEPS Ticke
A CLOUD#/SRO PRODUCTION
Students, you can supplement your
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813 W. MICHIGAN AVE. YPSILANTI
Open for new donors Mon., Wed., Fri., Sat. 9:30-1:30
Tues. & Thurs. 10-6
NON-STOP COPY SHOP
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aE HOICE 1
at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Cincinnati * New York " Los Angeles * Jerusalem
Programs leadingto degrees in
Rabbinics " Cantorial Studies " Graduate Studies
Jewish Education " Jewish Communal Service
Rabbi Gary P. Zola, National Director of Admissions and Student
Affairs, will be on campus Tuesday, Nov. 10 at Hillel .
Call 663-3336 for an appointment.
WEEKEND/NOVEMBER 6, 1987
540 E. Liberty
1220 S. University
PAGE 10 WEEKEND/NOVEMBER 6, 1987