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April 10, 1989 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-04-10

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Page 10 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 10, 1989
$5 Revue lets the
audience. eat cake
BY BETH COLQUITT
IT was funny and cute and nostalgic. What it wasn't was professionally
performed, or strong, or in tune. Joan Morris's $5 Revue was a big disap-
pointment from a critic's standpoint. Never has this critic wished less to be a
critic. Perhaps that is a melodramatic statement, but the Revue could have
been so good.
The $5 Revue is a revival of an old style of entertainment that really
shouldn't have died out. It is also a style that Joan Morris and her husband,
Bill Bolcom, tour the world with, trying double-handedly to sustain. When
they appear in town again, go see them, they're wonderful. A revue is a
vaudeville sort of performance which includes songs and dances and lots of
bad jokes. The $5 Revue was rich in all these.
They started out well with Rodgers and Hart's "'Cause We Got Cake,"
which was well performed. Unfortunately, the ensemble song only masked
what became evident throughout the rest of the show: though the singers
sounded terrific in a group, none of them had strong enough voices to stand
alone. The program included some real old favorites, such as "Boy Wanted"
(recently performed by Twiggy in My One and Only ) and "Flying Down to
Rio" from the movie of the same name. Amy Forman also performed a very
charismatic "Nobody Makes a Pass at Me," and Lynne Sherwood performed
Carole King's 1960 hit "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?"
The show was amusing and entertaining from a standard viewer's point of
view, and as a viewer I enjoyed it. As a critic, however, I have to be picky
and say that it lacked strength and conviction, although it made up in style
and charm. The jokes were so awful and so old that one just had to smirk, at
least. The skits fell a little flat, as the performers demonstrated that they
were really not actors, but singers and, well, supposedly dancers.
The $5 Revue is something that I would recommend if it didn't cost $5.
It was sweet and cute. It was also professionally presented, with nice cos-
tumes in the intimate Arena theater environment. As their opening and clos-
ing tune said, "We got cake," but unfortunately it turned out to be angel
food, or maybe a Bundt - without much substance in the middle.
THE $5 REVUE continues its run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 11
p.m. in the Arena Studio in the Frieze Building. Tickets are $5.

4

I

and... yeah, okay, turntables. But
it's not rap, either, man! Not hard
enough... not at all.
I won't even get into the
rhymes, because on funk like this,
lyrics function as additionals.
Maybe I'm hard to please, man,
who knows. But the point I been
makin' is this... too often, brothers
put a knob on the funk and turn it
down for the radio. Don't ask me
why, but it never works. (Well,
maybe sometimes.) So, why turn it
down? You look at Public Enemy,
R.E.M., Prince, G'N'R, and Living
Colour, what do you see? It's raw,
it's stubborn, and it's successful.
These days, contrary to popular be-
lief, guts DO sell records. And even
if it doesn't, you still got your
soul.
So, Jani, my man, I'll be keep-
ing an eye on these boys. I'll give
'em some props this time, cause
they're my boys. But next time, I
want the big, fat, dukey, out cold
F-U-N-K.
-Forrest Green
Joe Henry
Murder of Crows
Coyote/ A&M records
Listening to Murder of Crows
is like turning through the yel-
lowed pages of your grand-
mother's scrapbook. Lyrics like
brief, private love notes and un-
derstated accompaniment like
black-and-white photographs and
pressed flowers create the distinct
sense that these songs are about
long-gone, .but not forgotten,
characters straight from real life.
Henry writes songs that send off
fragrant smoke signals to the
imagination. Lines like "Be care-

ful how you speak/ For I do not
feel safe/ beneath the laugh/ and
the motion of your hand/pointing
to the hidden man," for all their
obtuseness, give you room to
create your own stories. When he
announces "I'm going to stay up
all night long," in "Map of Bel-
gium," it's not a call to dance in
the streets with Lionel Richie; it's
the message of a man resolved to
spend the wee hours deep in con-
templation.
A&M has assembled an ace
backup band to carry across these
humble, stately compositions.
Golden Palomino Anton Fier
keeps his penchant for booming
and clattering under rein as
Drummer/Producer. (Ex-Stone)
Mick Taylor's guitar fills supply
some real Band-like atmosphere.
At times, it seems like The
Band and Tom Waits' The Heart
of Saturday Night are required
reading for this course. Elsewhere,
Henry recalls Elton John when he
sounded like Van Morrison, or
Leonard Cohen at his least co-
matose. He adapts to these tradi-
tions with an effortless candor.
Effortless, but faceless. With a
name like Joe Henry, he might
consider developing a few personal
idiosyncracies to distinguish him
from the crowd. For now, share
Murder of Crows with an old
friend.

The Untouchables lean toward success but never quite make it in their

new LP Agent Double O Soul.
The Untouchables
Agent Double O Soul
Twist records
Yo, Jan. What up. What is that
stuff you played for me? The Un-
touchables? Who am I? This is Fo,
man. FO! I had to ask, cause this
thang got me in a serious daze, you
know what I'm screamin'? Let me
explain... remember the jams, "Free
Yourself' and "Freak in the Street"?
That was dope! Hell yeah. Sort of a
funky-reggae-soul-fusion thing,

right? It's a lotta dat on this one,
too. "Sudden Attack" an' "Shama
Lama" had me cold chillin'.
But what happened, man? They
redid "Under the Boardwalk," man.
That was weak, man. The two just
did not mix well. I mean, they
down fo' the groove, but like my
man George say, "It sounds like
you got a three on it to me." That's
one to ten, man. Those brothers
remind me of a cool band in the
back of a club, with suits and hats

Sweet Baby
It's a Girl
Ruby records
So how does it
See R

-Mark Swartz
work? If a record
ecords, Page 11

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