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November 08, 1988 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-11-08

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ARTS
Tuesday, November 8, 1988

The Michigan Daily

Page 5

Drums:
Actors delive
BY MATTHEW ZACHARIAS
IF love is chaotic, then imagine;
love set in the midst of a chaotic so-'
cialist movement. This background
sets the tone for revolutionary play-
wright Bertolt Brecht's Drums in th'
Night, the Brecht Company's mos
recent production. The play, directed
by Ann Shanahan with the help oh
her well-casted actors, incorporates ar
invigorating comedy into a spectruni
of political tension.
The dimension of the play centers
on a young soldier, Andreas Kragler,
who returns home after four years in
a P.O.W. camp to a nonexistent
welcome. Returning with the sole
purpose to find his true love, Anna,
he is faced with oppression and hu-
miliation.

Classic cast
pro performances

r

Nobu (Mako) and Maso (Nobu McCarthy) separate after 45 years of marriage in The Wash.
Film awash with good
acting, refreshing plot

BY MARK SHAIMAN
Mako is not a shark - he's an actor. But in The
Wash, his character is just as biting as one. Part of this
comes from his natural personality, but an equal part is
due to his recent separation from his wife. And while
separation is hard enough, it is especially difficult
when his wife leaves him after 45 years of marriage.
This film begins with an ending and ends with a
beginning, but it is really the process of going from
one to the other that is at the heart of the story. And it
is a story that has guts. New romances are usually
reserved for young couples, so it is refreshing to see
near 70 year olds fall in love. The film also makes the
distinction between love and lust, two terms that too
many filmmakers see as one in the same.
When Masi (Nobu McCarthy) leaves Nobu (Mako),
everyone believes that she will return in a short time.
But she only comes back once a week in order to do his
laundry - "the wash." This one link to her husband is
a metaphor for the "cleaning up" of her own life. And
it also allows for scenes between the separated couple
which-provide insight into their characters, an insight
Masi herself is looking for: "I'm just trying to find out
about us. What happened."
And, though this is a movie about older people, it
is still a coming-of-age film. Along with the reali-
zation that her married life is not working, Masi finds
that she still has much to learn about life in general.
And she also finds that a new romance is the way to do
this. Sadao (Sab Shimono), a widower, slowly courts
Masi, and it is both a minor triumph and a major
expression of love when he convinces her to go fishing
with him, something that Nobu himself had never been
able to do.
Much of the story deals with their two daughters and
how they deal with their parents' separation. Marsha
(Patti Yasutake), the older of the two, expects the

parents to reunite, and even has them both over for
dinner. This turns into a melee as Mako can't control
his sharp tongue. Masi had taken a ceramics course and
given an ashtray to Marsha; trying to start con-
versation, Marsha shows this to her father who only
replies "But you don't smoke." This immediately ex-
presses what Masi has put up with throughout the
marriage, and is now getting away from.
Judy (Marian Yue), on the other hand, thinks that
the separation is good and that her parents don't belong
together. This partially stems from her personal enmity
towards her father who has refused to communicate
with her since her marriage to a Black man.
This scenario brings about another feature of the
film - its mature handling of the race situation.
Director Michael Toshiyuki Uno makes no pretenses as
to providing answers; Nobu is clearly a racist, and
while Masi bears malice toward none, she would rather
be with her own race. A few times in the film scenes
of Judy's Black husband and their baby are presented to
show that succesful intermarriage does work, and that it
is the current generation that can make it possible.
Still, this is as far as the film goes on the race
issue. Its true strength comes from the more personal
lives of the family, which is highlighted by the
performances of the actors. Mako, who you'll surely
recognize when you see him - he has been in count-
less films - has the best part of his career, and he
makes the most of it. While his character isn't too
lovable, he manages to arouse sympathy for a generally
unlikable person. And Nobu McCarthy takes on a
radiant glow when she finds new love, adding one more
shining light to The Wash - a film that should clean
up at the Oscars.
THE WASH is showing at the Ann Arbor Theatre.

Andreas's reluctant pursuit of
Anna acts as a microcosm for the
grey streets of Berlin during the
realm of the Sparticist uprisal of
1919. An intense mood of revolu-
tion and anxiety fill the air while
Andreas remains oblivious in his
somber trek. Anna's parents, Karl
and Amalia Balicke, represent the
ultra-spoiled bourgeois couple, who
are the most antagonistic towards
Andreas's return. Accompanying
their opposition towards Andreas is
the aristocrat Frederick Murk whose
only goal, aside from making
money, is to marry the soldier's The romance of Andreas and Anna (front, Martin Sweeney and
sweetheart. Molly Surowitz) faces the opposition of Anna's parents (rear,
Danforth Tierney and Jennifer Lynn Hahn) in the Brecht
* nCompany's production of Drums in the Night.

e n ecomicai nriiliance of DLrums
in the Night is perceptible through-
out the play, especially in Brecht's
ironic dialogue, but it also has its
share of intense, emotional moments
which strike an exact balance, thanks
mainly to the play's gifted cast.
Martin A. Sweeny, as Andreas,
expresses the anguish and confusion
of a man facing his own personal
hell; Molly Surowitz is believable
as Anna, a woman bogged down by
her own circumstances (mainly her
pregnancy) and her insecurities;
Danforth Tierney and Jennifer Lynn
Hahn are perfect as the rotten Bal-
ickes; Marc Maier succeeds as the
money-thirsted snake Frederick
Murk; Jeffrey Lupovitch cleverly
portrays the strange journalist; and
Kurt Maier is charming as the po-
etic, melodramatic waiter who acts
as the narrator during the play's
most tender moments.

The prop organization by Helen
, Hurwitz is most notable, in particu-
The comical brilliance of
Drums in the Night is
perceptible throughout the
play, especially in
Brecht's ironic dialogue,
but it also has its share of
intense, emotional mo-
ments which strike an ex-
act balance, thanks mainly
to the play's gifted cast.
lar the symbolic red moon that refers
to both the socialist uprising and
also the elaborate city backdrop of
Berlin.

But, it is director Ann Shanahan,
in her debut production, who pre-
sents Brecht's classic with an expert
touch, making Drums in the Night
a must to see, listen, absorb, and
learn from.
The Brecht Company's production of
DRUMS IN THE NIGHT runs
through this weeken~d at the
Residential College Auditorium in
East Quad, with performance s
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8
p.m.and Sunday at 2 p.m. Ticket
prices are $7 Friday and Saturday,
and $S Thursday and Sunday.
Michigan Daily
ARTS
763-0379

Long Time Gone
By David Crosby
and Carl Gottlieb
Doubleday
$18.95 / Hardcover

differs from how others recall them
and feel about them. Gottlieb, a
friend of Crosby's and participant in
many of Crosby's experiences,
provides an unbiased third
viewpoint.
"Sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll - I
was in it from the beginning," states
Crosby, and Long Time Gone
chronicles his journey, beginning
with his childhood, following

Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and his
increasing drug use. Beginning with
marijuana during his folksinger days,
Crosby progressed to harder drugs.
He remained a recreational yet heavy
user until he was introduced to a new
method of cocaine use: freebasing.
Freebasing produces a highly potent
and highly addictive smokable form
of cocaine, to which Crosby became
addicted.

Crosby
... teaches himself well

The first line, "This is how I
remember my life," is an apt
description of Long Time Gone,
David Crosby's autobiography.
Crosby's recollections of his past are
supplemented by the memories of a
long list of his famous and not-so-
famous friends and acquaintances,
and by the objective viewpoint of
his co-writer, Carl Gottlieb. The text
by Crosby is set in a different type
size and style than the contributions
of his friends, and Gottlieb's
writings are set in yet another type
style. This distinguishing of who
said what is interesting and useful,
for how Crosby recalls some events

drugs, he was suffering from several
physical ailments, and he was going
to jail.
During his time in jail, he kicked
his habit, played in the prison band,
and put his life back together. After
his release, he began- performing
again, reuniting with Graham Nash
and Stephen Stills, with whom he
has recently released a new album.
His girlfriend, Jan Dance, also
kicked her habit, and they married.
Long Time Gone paints an
unforgiving picture of the highs and
lows of the '60s rock 'n' roll
lifestyle, from sold-out concerts to
groupies to the depths and

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through his trouble-making days in Crosby's decline through
schools, and through his early days addiction is chronicled for us: his
as a solo folksinger and guitar spending of vast quantities of money
player. Then we come to the meat of on drugs, his multiple arrests on gun
the story - his "overnight" success and drug charges, his friends
with the seminal rock group the attempts to rehabilitate him, and
Byrds. The Byrds rocketed to the top more. At the time of his incarcera
of the music charts, providing tion in Dallas, he and his girlfriend
instant fame, money, women, and were consuming up to seven grams
drugs to Crosby and his bandmates. of cocaine and half a gram of heroin
The book follows Crosby a day - a costly habit in more ways
through the breakup of the Byrds,. than one. He had no money, he had
the formation of the supergroup sold all his possessions to buy
SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION FOR
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degradations of cocaine addiction.
The use of remembrances from
Crosby's many friends, including
Graham Nash, Stephen Stills,
Jackson Browne, Grace Slick, Peter
Fonda, and a host of others enables a
balanced presentation of Crosby's
story. His statements and opinions
about his addiction are tempered by
viewpoints not under the influence
of a powerful addiction. Long Time
Gone is a fascinating story of the
'60s generation, of a major rock
star's life, and of a man conquering
his personal demons, and it performs
admirably on all levels.
-Chuck Skarsaune

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