The Michigan Daily
Tuesday, November 17, 1987
By David Peltz
Hello Again marks Shelly Long's not-so-
triumphant return to the public eye after her departure
from Cheers last season. Here, Long plays Lucy
Chadman, devoted wife, loving mother, and gifted day-
care center employee to boot.
Sound great? Well, hubby Jason (L.A. Law's
Corbin Bersen) finds her perfect also - as in perfectly
boring. Jason wants more from a wife than dedication;
he wants a woman who will help him in* his
flourishing career as a top-notch plastic surgeon. When
Lucy first begins to realize this, dismay sets in. Soon
after, a freak accident occurs and she dies.
O.K. Super. End of story, right? We should be so
A year later (coincidentally, how long this movie
seems to last), Lucy is brought back from the dead by
her witchcraft-practicing sister. They discover that
Jason has gone off and married - what else but that
dreaded of all show-biz cliches - a curvacious,
From there, Hello Again takes us through a maze
of under-developed characters, mindless plot turns, and
some really inane attempts at humor. In fact, it seems
As if Hello Again was written for the sole purpose of
emptying someone's filing cabinet of all jokes labeled
"bad puns." There are enough here to adequately fill ten
bad movies. You know the type: one of Lucy's friends
describes her ex-husband's unfortunate death after sexual
climax, "he came and went." Or Long joking shortly
after her death: "I never thought I'd live to see the
day... actually I didn't."
O.K., so now you understand the level of humor
we're dealing with here. But wait, it gets worse. Lucy
Chadman can best be described as Shelly Long
impersonating Chevy Chase, impersonating Gerald
Ford, impersonating God-knows-who. It's disheart-
ening to see an actress with Long's potential choosing
this type of silly slapstick.
An even greater crime is that Judith Ivey, a very
talented stage and screen actress has also wasted her
time on Hello Again. Here she plays Lucy's off-beat
sister Zelda, and for awhile she actually comes close to
saving the film. Though her performances as Susan
Sarandon's crony in Compromising Positions and as
the object of Steve Martin's desires in the low-key
classic The Lonely Guy were memorable, not even she
is gifted enough to salvage this mess. Director Frank
Perry (David & Lisa, Compromising Positions ) is
just never quite able to drag Hello Again out of the
Shelly, if Hello Again is the best project you can
find, you never should have said goodbye to Sam,
Normy, Carla and the rest of the gang back in
Judith Ivey portrays Lucy's (Shelly Long) eccentric, off beat sister Zelda in 'Hello Again.'
Comedy Company caused hilarious chaos
By Cathy Shap
Laughter filled Mendelssohn
Theatre as the student run, Comedy
Company performed three sell-out
performances this weekend. The
company mixed the perfect amount
of ingenuity, personality, and daring
to create some hilarious sketches and
a thoroughly entertaining fall pro-
Together, the audience and com-
pany laughed at American pop-cul-,
ture - television, rock 'n' roll,
game shows - and a few current
events. The writers of the show were
successful in capturing the potential
humor that exists in every situation
and the actors were certainly
successful in sharing that humor
with the audience.
The unique sketches provided for
a diverse and surprising show. Skits
ranged from Shakespeare reciting
rather rudimentary verse to Jesus
telling his high school counselor
that he wants to be the savior of the
world, while she replies, "You're
being pressured into this by your
parents aren't ya?"
The company presented a few po-
litical issues but with a light touch
that kept the laughter rolling. By
combining the Gary Hart and Joseph
Biden issues, for example, with the
new American Dream (to be on the
Whed ,f Fortune ) the show deliv-
ered some clever statements on ev-
eryday comedy. It was "washed up
week" on the popular game show,
and Hart (the actor) really wanted
Vanna more than he did a vowel.
The performers as a group worked
well together and the chemistry and
diversity between them heightened
the humor of the show. Notable
performances were given by Susan
Zweig and Jon Glaser (both
performing for the first time with
the company) and Melanie Harrison.
Zweig created a variety of differ-
ent and hilarious characters. She was
certainly the focus of attention while
she performed her comic dance dur-
ing a ballad to Trivial Pursuit.
Glaser also stole the show when he
came out as the long-haired, rock 'n'
roll teacher wearing leopard skin
stretch pants. Harrison proved she
was no newcomer to the show with
her diverse and unique dialects and
No one stole the show com-
pletely however, owing to the 'fact
that the company is just that, 'a
company. The actors worked-to-
gether to put on a terrific sfiow
rather than to upstage each other.-
From beginning to end, the .per-
formance won a full-felt uproar of
laughter and the company pro d
that they don't just put on a show,
but combine original writing with
diverse talents for what will pr9ba-
bly be a terrific season to come.
Learned Pigs and
By Ricky Jay
Max Malini changed oranges to
lemons and performed feats of
unbelievable magic for kings and
S. Bisset trained a pig to spell
names, do arithmetic, and tell time.
Harry Kahne wrote five different
;words simultaneously while holding
a piece of chalk in each hand, foot,
and his mouth while reciting poetry.
No, these are not rejects from
That's Incredible! They are just a
sample of the numerous people (and
animals) profiled in Learned Pigs and
Fireproof Women by Ricky Jay.
The book is more bizarre than a
vaudeville act, and certainly stretches
the limits of-the imagination. Its
stories will amaze and make modern
day magicians like Doug Henning,
resemble fumbling amateurs.
Jay worked on the book for ten
years, interviewing friends and
family of the performers as well as
relying on printed material. The
result is a very entertaining trip
through the history of the absurd.
Max Malini, the aforementioned
"quick-change artist," is one featured
performer. He is often credited with
originating many of the techniques
magicians use today, including
misdirecting the audience's attention
At a dinner party, Malini turned
to a woman and asked to see her hat.
Admiring it he spun a coin on the
table and, covering it with her hat,
asked her whether it was heads or
tails. She guessed correctly, and
repeating the act he again lifted the
hat, but in the coin's place was a
huge block of ice. Another dinner
guest swears that Malini never left
the table all evening. Where did the
ice come from? To this day that
guest and others remain baffled.
But Malini's magic is child's
play compared to some of the other
talent featured in the book. There is
the incredible musical ability of
Blind Tom. In 1853 Tom, who was
four years old and born blind, heard a
local professor of music play an
unpublished. composition on the
piano. He imitated the piece exactly.
In 1866, thirteen years later, not
having heard the piece since, he
again played it perfectly.
Tom, who was born to slave
parents, played in music halls
throughout the world. He eventually
learned to recite speeches in four
languages, none of which he
understood. Unfortunately he was
unable to exert the freedom granted
him in 1863 by the Emancipation
Proclamation, and died amidst legal
battles over his earnings.
In addition to talent, some of
these famous performers possessed
bizarre physical characteristics. For
instance, "Mr. Data's," a human
memory bank, had an unusually
large brain. And Clarence Williard
could make himself grow as much as
six inches during his "stretching"
The author himself is no stranger
to illusion. He is entered in the
Guiness Book of World Records for
his ability to "throw cards higher,
faster, harder, and farther than anyone
in history." Author of the book
Cards as Weapons, Jay has also
served as technical consultant on
The book is unusual and eccentric
but never boring. Testing the limits
of conceivability, it offers a
potpourri of talent as diverse, as
individuals themeselves, proging
once again that truth is indeed
stranger than fiction.
GOLD RING SALE
PAST LIVES SEMINAR
Have you wondered if you may have lived before?
Or is life a one-shot deal?
Can you learn to recall past lives? Find out!
FREE AT THE MICHIGAN UNION
Nov. 19,1987 at 7:00 pm
' in the Anderson Room
Presented by the Clear Center of Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan
SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Prof. Michael Udow
"Time, Space, and Energy... Through
the Looking Glass: One Percussionist's
The 1987 Harold Haugh Lecture
McIntosh Theatre, 8:00 p.m. FREE.
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