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January 25, 1989 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-01-25

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The Michigan Daily

ARTS

Wednesday, January 25, 1989

Page 10

BY KRISTIN PALM
THIS has always been regarded
as a highly competitive Univer-
sity. Tonight that dog-cat-dog at-
mosphere will extend beyond the
classroom and onto the stage at
the U Club for a segment of the
U.S. College Comedy Competi-
tion.
The competition involves 100
schools nation-wide, and finalists
from four regions will be chosen
to compete for top honors in
Daytona Beach the week of March
13-24. The overall winner receives
an all-expense paid trip to New
York and a chance to perform at
some of the Big Apple's premiere
comedy clubs. The three runners-
up will travel to Los Angeles to
see the taping of Comic Relief III,
the "We Are the World" of the
comedy industry.
About ten University students
Don't expect the next
Eddie Murphy to catapult
to stardom via this tour.
"It's a clean com-
petition," said Ray
Steinman, speaking for
co-sponsor U.S. Con-
cepts. "We're looking
for talent."
will vie for these honors in the
competition, emceed by profes-
sional comedian Carl Guerra who
showcases at clubs such as Dan-
gerfield's and The Improvisation
in New York. Competitors include
students Peter Berman, Tom
Franck and Rich Eisen who have
all performed previously at Uni-
versity events.
According to Franck, the
advantage of this competition, for
him, is the fact that it is geared
toward college students rather than
established club comedians.
Tonight's performers are not nec-
essarily even well-known in the
University community. They are
merely people who are interested
in the event.
"It could be the kid who sits

Comedy
101
Up-and-coming student
comics will vie for local

laughs

and

national

recognition tonight at the U-
Club

0

Accompanied by Far North director/screenwriter Sam Shepard, Patricia Arquette, Jessica
Lange, and Tess Harper (left to right) take a ride on Mel - a horse accused of a crime he did
not commit.
Film it agai, Sam
Shepard's North doesn't go as far as expected

behind you in biology," said Ray
Steinman of U.S. Concepts, Inc.,
partial sponsor of the competition.
Certs and Doritos are co-sponsors
and the companies hope to satisfy
students' hunger as well as tickle
their funny bone, as free samples
of the snack foods will be dis-
tributed at the show.
Comic Relief is also involved
with the competition, in a
promotional and awareness capac-
ity. U.S. Concepts has included
mention of Comic Relief in their
publicity for the event in order to
draw attention to the group of
professional comedians which
raises money for the homeless.
Tonight's competition, like the
other legs of the tour, will be
videotaped and reviewed by na-
tional judge and professional co-
median Jerry Seinfeld, who ap-
pears regularly on The Tonight
Show. The ultimate decision will
not be made until the tour con-
cludes in March.
The comedy competition,
which has been dubbed by its
originators as a nationwide talent
search, could provide the prover-
bial "big break" for some budding
comedians. Steinman said some
former competitors are now
pursuing serious theater or are
regulars in New York comedy

clubs. But don't expect the next
Eddie Murphy to catapult to star-
dom via this tour.
"It's a clean competition," said
Steinman. "We're looking for tal-
ent."
Competitor Franck emphasized
the implications of this format.
"A big factor," he said, "is that
you have to be spotlessly clean for
this because your ultimate goal is
to get on television, is it not?"
The Michigan leg of the tour is
being organized by Michelle
Traupmann, the producer of Laugh
Track, a bi-weekly live comedy
show at the U Club. Traupmann
says the competition is an excel-
lent opportunity for aspiring co-
medians who do not generally
have access to popular comedy.
clubs.
And the competition is timely,
according to Steinman.
"Comedy is becoming a huge
part of the entertainment industry
- that is, large, live comedy," he
said. Tonight's performance may
feature the kid from biology class
in that capacity at the U Club, but
who knows where he or she will
be after judge Seinfeld's final
decision?
TIE U.S. COLLEGE COM-
EDY COMPETITION gets un-
derway at 10 p.m. at the U Club.
Admission is $3 .

BY KEVIN SANDLER
Jessica Lange, Tess Harper, Charles Durning. These
actors, delightful to watch, always live up to an audi-
ence s expectations. Sam Shepard. One of the most
imaginative playwriters in the last 25 years. Mix these
four ingredients together and you should have a pretty
good recipe. But like a pizza with anchovies hidden
uider the cheese, Far North smells good from the out-
ske - but it leaves an unexpectedly bad aftertaste.
Far North opens with Bertrum (Charles Durning),
the stubborn patriarch of the movie, riding in his
buggy pulled by his horse, Mel. After Mel overturns
the buggy by galloping too fast, Bertrum ends up in
he hospital, bruised from head to toe. Convinced that
Mel tried to murder him, Bertrum orders his daughter,
Katy (Jessica Lange), who just flew in from New
,ork, to shoot Mel between the eyes. When her sister,
, (Tess Harper), gets wind of this execution, she
does everything in her power to prevent Katy from
killing Mel. However, Rita cannot even hold onto
Mel, and he escapes into the northern Minnesota
woods. Soon the search is on - and whoever captures
Mel determines his fate.
Shepard's script also tells the story of four genera-
tions of women and how each one deals with the ab-
sence of men in their lives. Katy is pregnant without a
husband, Rita is a single parent with a sexually active
teenage daughter, Jilly (Patricia Arquette), and a dead
marriage to Bertrum has plagued Katy and Rita's

mother, Amy (Ann Wedgeworth) for 20 years. Eventu-
ally, they all come to realize in their search for Mel
that there is more to life than getting married and
changing diapers.
The ensemble cast is flawless. Not for one minute
do you doubt any character's authenticity. The fault of
the film can only be attributed to Sam Shepard's failure
to recognize the differences between stage direction and
film direction. Far North marks Shepard's directorial
leap from stage to screen, and literally, it tells its story
beautifully. Visually, however, the film suffers.
Originally intended as a play, the film appears as if
you're watching a stage version of it in the last row of
Hill Auditorium - you feel too removed from the
movie. While emotion is conveyed mostly through
dialogue on the stage, dialogue is only one of the many
devices a director has to establish meaning in a film.
Shepard never takes full advantage of them. When a
close-up is needed, he shoots a long shot. When a
scene requires light, he casts a shadow. You do feel
sympathetic toward each character in the film due to
Shepard's eloquent writing, but because of his stage-
like directing, you ultimately feel like an outsider.
Far North is a lackluster first attempt for Sam
Shepard. Each scene appears to be an act in a play,
complete with catharsis and intermissions. Unneeded
exposition fills in these gaps. This dead weight causes
Far North to have an uneven pace with an unsatisfying
ending.

S
0
0

GE

T IT!
- a -E

k a

The Personal Column
MICHIGAN DAILY CLASSIFIED ADS

UAC/SOUNDSTAGE PRESENT...
\\ .,lf ., ! .
~f n...~~~~~. h -.o n t c al

The Montreal Orchestra, conducted by Charles Dutoit and featuring celebrated pianist Radu
Lupu, will be featured at Hill Auditorium tonight. "Serious music" is sure to abound.
Montreal Orchestra:
experience excellence

THE DAILY
CLASSIFIEDS
ARE A GREAT
WAY TO GET
FAST RESULTS
CALL 764-0557

BY TONY SILBER
C HARLES Dutoit is no stranger
to fame and notoriety in the world of
classical music. Since becoming
Music Director of the prestigious
Orchestre Symphonique de Montr6al
in 1977, Dutoit has won many ma-
jor awards for the energy and
incredible level of quality he puts
into each performance. His 30
recordings on London/Decca are
world famous, and 20 have won
awards such as the High Fidelity In-
ternational Record Critics' award.
Travelling throughout the world
for the last 12 years, Dutoit has

served as guest conductor in some of
the great music capitals of the world
such as Berlin, Paris, and London.
He has also conducted in Boston,
New York, Chicago, and Pittsburgh.
Most recently, he received the 1988
Canadian Music Council Medal for
his invaluable contribution to the
Canadian Arts World. He is truly a
superstar in the world of "serious
music," having sold millions of al-
bums and compact discs.
The Montreal Orchestra is no less
famous than its illustrious director.
Founded in 1934, the orchestra rose
to notoriety first in Canada, then in
the United States. Today, it is re-
garded as one of the finest ensembles
in the world. having toured on four

Cliburn, 1967 Enescu, and 1969
Leeds Piano Competitions. He has
also toured Europe and the United
States and has performed with Her-
bert von Karajan and Riccardo Muti
amongst others. Lupu returns to
Ann Arbor for just the second time
since 1982 when he performed with
the Detroit Symphony.
Tonight, Charles Dutoit and The
Montreal Orchestra will grace Hill
Auditorium for a rare Ann Arbor ap-
pearance. They will perform Claude
Debussy's Jeux , and then Radu
Lupu will take the stage with the
orchestra to perform Robert Schu-
mann's Piano Concerto in A minor
and Edward Elgar's Enigma varia-
tions. With a conductor, orchestra.

TAMPA
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