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November 13, 1987 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-11-13

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, November 13, 1987- Page 7






By Fred Leighton
Every comedian has their trademark. Rodney
Dangerfield claims he "get's no respect." Steve
Martin asks to be "excuuuuuused." What does
Sam "The Beast" Kinison do? He screams. He
screams loud. "AAAAGGGGHHHH!" One critic
has described itas an "angst-ridden, guttural
bellow from the depths of Hell." It is also one of
the year's favorite imitations. Radio stations hold
"best beast screamer" contests. Even David
Letterman lets one rip occasionally. The Scream
is Kinison. Kinison is The Scream.
In a recent interview with SPIN magazine,
Kinison explained his connection with the
"It's hard not to ham up The Scream now that
everybody's into it. But I couldn't have created a
worse fuckin' logo for myself. I told Robin
Williams, 'I never want to hear you bitch about
'nanoo-nanoo' again, OK? People come up to me
on the street and go 'AAGGGGHHHH!' It's like
being E. T. People say, 'He's over here!
AAAAAGGGGGHHHH!' I try to get away from
it but it's like having a pack of rabid dogs after

The stocky comedian has an interesting past.
He was born into a family of ministers. Both his
parents and his brother took up preaching. Sam
did toQ. A Pentacostal Evangelist for seven years
in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Kinison left the ministry,
deciding not to "pull a Pat Robertson," because,
he has said, "you can't focus on people's
souls - you have to focus on the budget. I just
didn't want that."
Kinison still talks about Christ, but in a
different light. He once offered, "So up in heaven
they asked Jesus to come back down to earth.
They said 'Come on Jesus - it's been two
thousand years. Why not go back down to earth,
spread a little peace and joy. And Jesus said,
If you think jokes on Christ are'in bad taste,
listen to this one .about starving Ethiopians:
"I've figured out why you people are starving.
It's because you live in afucking desert. 'A day-
zert?' Yes, a desert. See this. This is sand.
Nothing will grow here."
Kinison has admitted that these are tough
jokes to take. But in an interview with Rolling
Stone magazine he counters, "There's lots of
things you either laugh or cry at, and you can't

just cry... Besides, I'm telling the truth."
Kinison calls himself a "spiritual advisor."
Kinison's "spiritual advice" has become a
favorite of college students. He's appeared on The
Tonight Show, Late Night with David Let-
terman, and Saturday Night Live. He's also been
in recent movies (Back to School, and Three
Amigos). His show in Ann Arbor last year was
sold out. Fellow comedians also rave about The
Beast. Kinison used to be a doorman and
sometimes closing act at a Houston comedy
club. Then, he was discovered by one of his
biggest fans, Rodney Dangerfield, and the rest, as
they say, is history.
But, Kinison is different from these guys. His
humor is aimed at the common guy. He jokes
about ex-wives, sex, and Jesus. "If you think
about other comedians, they're very funny, but
they're not the guy sitting drinking a beer. I want
to get to that guy," explained Kinison to Rolling
Stone. Kind of like John Belushi, another porky
comedian to whom The Beast is often compared.
Yes, these are good times for Sam Kinison.
He is hot. So, Ann Arbor get ready for a second
go at The Beast. One, two, three...
SAM KINISON will be performing at Hill
Auditorium on Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are
$15 at the Michigan Union Ticket Office and all
TicketMaster outlets.

Balalaika brings Soviet sounds

By Terri Park
When you think of Detroit'
and music, you probably think
"motown," rock 'n' roll, maybe even
jazz... but how about Russian folk
music? If your answer is "no," then
the Detroit Balalaika Orchestra
would like to change your mind to-
morrow night in the Rackham
The orchestra is the oldest of
its kind in the United States, and
some claim that it is the finest out-
side of the Soviet Union. Its
founder, Sergei Larionoff, trained in
Leningrad and immigrated to the
-states in 1920. To this day, the mu-
sical arrangements of Larinoff are the
staples of the orchestra he conducted
for 20 years.

"I think Larionoff remembered
every piece of music he ever heard,"
said George Omelianoff, who has
been playing with the orchestra for
the last fifty years. "As a result, we
have literally hundreds of arrange-
ments of not only Russian folk mu-
sic, but music of Hungary, Roma-
nia, Spain... we have Gypsy and
Jewish melodies."
Today, the current director is
William Goldes, the son of one of
the original members, and the or-
chestra itself has decreased from a
high of 30 members into an elite ten
member organization, which spans
the entire range of balalaika instru-
ments, from piccolo to the sixty
pound contrabass. The balalaika
originated as an instrument of the
peasants sometime in the 17th cen-
tury in Russia. Today it has gradu-

ated to the ranks of the conservatory
level in Russia. It deceivingly looks
like a triangular shaped guitar with
only three strings, but can produce
sounds that make the feet want to
dance, and eyes want to cry.
If the movie Dr. Zhivago did
anything to your pulse or your im-
ages of Russia, this orchestra could
probably convince you that you are
actually there if you keep your eyes
closed and listen. The orchestra will
feature two guest vocalists, Judy
Sherman and Eduard Svetlovsky.
"Judy is a fireball, a gypsy," said
Rachel Urist, spokesperson for the
Detroit Balalaika Orchestra. "She has
the appeal of Liza Manelli, Ursula
Kit, and Marilyn Monroe, all rolled
into one."
So for a rare treat, and I do
mean rare, considering that Balalaika

Orchestras are very limited in num-
ber these days (according to Golde,
there is one in California, another in
New York, and a few in Philadel-
phia) wear shoes that you can tap
with, skim Dr. Zhivago as prepara-
tion, and come to the concert
tomorrow night and travel to the
land of mystery with the Detroit
Balalaika Orchestra. As the song
states... "Let me hear your Bal-
alaikas ringing out... come and keep
your comrade warm... I'm back in
the U.SS.R..."
Performance is at Rackham Aud-
itorium tomorrow night at 8 pm.
Tickets for the concert will be
available at the Michigan Ticket Of-
fice and at all TicketMaster outlets,
or by calling 763-TKTS. Prices are
$6 for students and $10 for the gen-
eral public.

Sam Kinison's comic career is a far and loud cry from his days as an
evangelist. He will be performing at Hill Auditorium tomorrow night.
"an impressive debut that showcases a
ml-fced muscalp"snality...this ape
-Mark Swartz, The Michigan Daily
s"w ho ee ut a ne a s t c write
cemetery....You have to hear the way he says it."
-Harmen Mitchell, The Ann Arbor News

Alumnus-directed movie makes world debut

(Conued from Page 1)
The three million dollars needed
to bring this work to life was raised
entirely in the state. And White
chose Manchester, a half-hour drive
from Ann Arbor, as the film's loca-
"Manchester had a great look to
.us," White said, "and the people
were very nice. They just sat on
their patio chairs and watched us
(shoot the film)."
Gregory Fortescue, currently at-
tending the University and majoring
in English and History, stars in the

film. Fortescue, 22, got the role af-
ter White saw him on a construction
site in Manchester. He has made the
most of the opportunity.
"I've always wanted to act,"
Fortescue said. "I've trained for it
since I was very young, going to
(acting) camps and stuff."
Fortescue has appeared in past
University productions such as "The
Taming of the Shrew" and "The
Miser." He has been at the Univer-
sity for four and a half years, and
will receive his diploma at the end of
this term.

Stevie Lee, the female lead, at-
tends Manchester High School. Lee,
16, heard there was being a movie
shot in her town and that White was
looking for a young actress.
"I heard there was a casting call
and I went with some of my friends.
We tried out just for the fun of it,"
Lee said.
Lee, 13 at the time, beat out
about 1,000 other actresses for 'the
role. It hasn't gone to her head: "I'm
in school most of the time," Lee
said. "I'm going to try out for the
school play and see what happens."

White, meanwhile, is very
pleased with his choice of the
Wolverine State for his picture.
"People want to work with you here
in Michigan, as opposed to the
"There's a lot of untapped poten-
tial here."
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