Friday, April 14, 1989
The Michigan Daily
G&S Society's Mikado
promises musical mirth
BY BETH COLQUITT
TFHE Gilbert and Sullivan Soci-
ety has done it again, ladies and
gentlemen. I wish every theater
troupe the unlimited success that
UMGASS seems to enjoy. Yet
again it is difficult to find any-
thing to criticize about last
night's performance of The
Mikado, one of Gilbert and Sul-
livan's "big three" (The Mikado,
The Pirates of Penzance and
H.M.S. Pinafore). It was de-
lightful to see and hear such a
marvelous spectacle of a show
performed on this campus.
Mikado is perhaps the most
popular G&S favorite. The music
is rich and lyrical and the story
colorful and funny. It is a
complicated political satire about
the small Japanese town of
Titipu, but it is unlikely that au-
diences today would recognize it
as anything but a comic opera
with a few satirical zingers. Even
so the show is timelessly rich in
UMGASS's production did
credit to its two creators. Out-
standing in a generally marvelous
cast were Karen Swan (Yum-
Yum), Beverley Pooley (Pooh-
Bah), Peter-John Hedlesky (Ko-
Ko), Ruth DeBoer (Katisha) and
His Royal Highness The Mikado,
played by Larry Henkel.
Karen Swan had a stunningly
beautiful voice and nearly drowned
her lover Nanki-Poo out in their
duets. My only doubts about this
performance are that the orchestra
may drown out the performers in
their obvious enthusiasm for
Sullivan's music. Nanki-Poo had
some wonderful lines that were
lost in a surge of orchestra.
For comedy, it was a close
contest between Pooh-Bah and
Ko-Ko. Beverley Pooley displayed
the most astonishing range of fa-
cial expressions ever seen on an
actor, as well as a large display of
voices and characters, as his posi-
tion in Titipu is "Lord High Ev-
erything Else." He is not too
proud to take a bribe, and he de-
livers advice from the Chancellor
of the Exchequer, Lord Treasurer,
Attorney General and many others
- with a different voice for each.
Ko-Ko could attribute part of
his comic effect to his costume,
which was surely an authentic
Laura Ashley print. He looked
like a lovely set of draperies. He
also was very funny in his cow-
ardice and his instincts for
See Mikado, Page 9
The Toxic Avenger (Ron Fazio) rises again from the depths of the Garden State to fight for truth,
justice, and the carcinogenic way in The Toxic Avenger II.
Canadian balladeer knows his history
BY D. MARA LOWENSTEIN
WHEN James Keelaghan performed at the Ann Ar-
bor Folk Festival this year, I was swept off my feet.
His'music is like a Hudson Bay blanket in the middle
of November - warm, comforting, substantial,
colorful, and woven with quality.
Keelaghan is a leader of the new "Prairie Celtic"
movement that is sweeping through Britain and west-
ern Canada. A powerful singer/songwriter, Keelaghan
mixes his love (and vast knowledge) of Canada's his-
tory with traditional Celtic phrasing and a dash of good
old rock 'n' roll.
Ak storyteller who sings heart-wrenching tales of
seldom-remembered events in Canada's history, Kee-
laghin focuses on events that either claimed, or
sigi ficantly altered, lives.
Keelaghan asks his audience to re-remember events
suchas the one in his song "Fires of Calais" which re-
liv4s the story of British troops, completely sur-
roulked by Germans, who find their rescuers to be
Candian fisherman. Told through the eyes of a fish-
erpan, Keelaghan declares "I've fished them Channel
waters since I was man enough to face them/ For the
herring and the flounder I have often hauled away./ But
a catch like this I've never had in 40 years of sailing./
See History, Page 9
BY MARK SHAIMAN
G RAB your mops everyone, because the Toxic
Avenger is coming to town. The First Superhero from
New Jersey is starring in his second film, aptly titled
The Toxic Avenger II, and to make sure it gets a clean
start, this Foe of Noxious Fumes is going to be right
here at the Michigan Theater greeting his fans.
Joining him will be the female lead of the film,
Phoebe Legere. Legere is best known for her appear-
ance in Mondo New York as the singer of a number
entitled "Marilyn," which she performed while
writhing erotically on stage - if you've seen the film,
then you know what I'm talking about.
As the Avenger's theme song states "He fell into a
barrel of waste/ Of toxic chemicals that ate his face."
Now, energized by little buggers called tromatons, he
is able to sense evil and enjoys smashing whatever, or
whoever, to a pulp. "He's gonna fight crime across the
land/ Mess with him and he'll rip you apart/ The toxic
solution is at hand."
After clearing his hometown of Tromaville of evil
in the first film, we find our suburban hero bored out
of his deformed skull with little to do. He is employed
as the athletic director at a home for the blind (yes,
there are some tasteless blind scenes, but this is typi-
cal of the films by Troma, Inc.). And he has a volup-
tuous blind girlfriend, which is somewhat lucky for
her because she can't see just how revolting her
But then comes Apocalypse Inc., a small-minded,
big-headed company trying to become influential by
taking over Tromaville. They bomb the home for the
blind in an effort to pulverize our protagonist, but
with no luck. Still, they eventually scheme to send
him off to Japan where an anti-tromaton formula will
He arrives Godzilla-style, rising from the depths of
the sea, in an attempt to search for his father - the
ruse that Apocalypse used to get rid of him. More ad-
ventures follow involving sumo wrestlers and drug
runners with the Avenger mopping up evil wherever
Sure this whole thing sounds silly, but it is clearly
meant to be. It is truly campy, in the best sense of the
word. The film doesn't take itself at all seriously; its
villains have lines like "even comic book villains like
us know that," and it makes numerous references to
the fact that our hero must survive so that there can be
a sequel. With the strains of "It don't mean a thing if
it ain't got that swing" wafting through the back-
ground of the fight scenes, how can anyone take this
as anything but silly?
So if you'd like to meet a guy who prefers to put
Drano on his popcorn instead of salt, looks like the
Creature from the Black Lagoon after a bout with
chicken pox, and can sling a mop with the best of
them - or if you just hope that Phoebe will recreate
her act - then I'll see you there!
THE TOXIC AVENGER II plays at the Michigan
Theater tomorrow at 11:45 p.m.
Canadian folksinger James Keelaghan heads the
"Prairie Celtic" movement with an emphasis on
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UN1IVERSITY TOWERS Sept-May lease.
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Students needed to sel hot boxers and shirts
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person. Leave message with Lisa 761-9596.
The Michigan Daily
is no longer accepting
Only cash, cashier's
checks, and money
orders will be accepted
through April 19.
Failure Day Business Fair
April 15, 1989, 2 p.m.-6 p.m.
Come see and enjoy student
Michigan Business School
PROFESSOR TACK MATSON, who
teaches Failure 101 in the B-School, will lead
"a celebration of failure: for entrepreneurs
and those who want to be" on Saturday, April
15 8:30 am-4:30 pm. Free for students. Call
THE MENS' VOLLEYBALL TEAM
needs your support
Lend a hand to help them win. Good Luck!
Suzanne, Shefali, Julie, Kristen.
TMI STUDENT TRAVEL offers discount
international airfares * major airlines, not
charters * Personalized trip planning * group
discounts * 662-0333.
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APRIL 21, 22, 23
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One of Michigan's largest
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charming reproductions of Country
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