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November 06, 1989 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-11-06

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 6, 1989 - Page.-'

REVIEWS
Continued from page 10
Theater audience Saturday night with
slap-stick comedy about topics from
"Purdue sucks!" to world hunger to
,Carl Sagan.
The two-woman, four-man cast
*performed a collage of prepared skits
and improvised acts. They used no
props aside from four chairs strategi-
cally placed on the <tage and wore a
few simple costumes, implying that
the actual performance deserved more
attention than inconsequential props.
The group accented their lines by
miming - like little kids playing
house, they opened every imaginary
cupboard. A lone piano player sat to
the right of the audience and played a
combination of tunes as background
music.
The show opened with a couple
at a picnic bickering over petty prob-
lems. The rest of the cast, disguised
as spectators throughout the audi-
ence, subsequently yelled to the ac-
tors to talk about relevant subjects
such as world hunger, violence,
crime, the East German migration,
and the Chicago Cubs. The audience
was at first surprised by the outrage,
but they soon joined in with the fun
by shouting their own suggestions.
The prepared skits were innova-
tive and creative; each act was
planned with its audience in mind. In
one scene, a businessman is put on
hold while talking to an associate on
the phone. He listens to horrible
"hold music" until he discovers that
there's a real person entertaining him
who claims to be an Ohio State
English graduate who can't find a
better job. This one line had the au-
dience in hysterics.
Similar references to Purdue were
made, along with a comment ac-
knowledging a recent Daily article
and a short joke about Jason's on
State Street. They did their home-
work so that their skits were close to
home for the Ann Arbor audience.
Some of the prepared skits in-
cluded "Spike Lee's Romeo and
Juliet," "Ninja Mommy and the Sci-
Fi Sons," "Dan Quayle's song and
dance for America Light," and
"Cubbie's big butt day at Wrigley
Field." But the group used audience
participation quite frequently, espe-
*cially during their improvisational
numbers. One improvised scene rep-
resented two men, one a proprietor
of a hamburger joint and the other a
customer. The audience called out
different backgrounds for the scene,
such as a horrific-porno scene, a car-
toon, a science fiction act, and a
Kung Fu replica. Appropriate mood

music accompanied each new scene.
Another improvisational tech-
nique was a "freeze show." Two ac-
tors created any scene and played it
out until another actor yelled,
"Freeze!" That actor would then re-
place one of the original people, and
it kept going until just before the
skit stopped being funny. The actors
were agile and creative in every
aspect.
-Lynne Cohn
Orchestre: A
low- but well-
keyed
performance
Thursday night's performance by
the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
kept to small proportions - and I
mean that in the very best sense -
for the French orchestra typically is
not a grandiloquent enterprise.
It is difficult to put into words
exactly what the French "tone" con-
sists of, but the winds - in their
clarity and refinement of sound -
perhaps best typify it. The opening
piece, Jost Meier's M u s i q u e
concertante, was commissioned by
the Suisse Romande for its 1989
tour and gives a center place to the
winds. It is a brief passing through
the mind of a Turk who, in the
West, finds his native musical
expression - carried by the clarinet
- at first invigorated, then
overwhelmed by European poly-
phony. He then lapses into
daydreaming, holding his own in a
half-unreal world where outside
sounds come to bear but not domi-
nate.
The conductor, Armin Jordan, led
the orchestra with ease and restraint
from one world to the next - from
East to West, from private to public
and back again to private. The jar-
ring Western barrage of sound was
kept within the limits of the indi-
vidual's frame of reference with the
clarinet leaving a lasting impression.
In the Beethoven Concerto No. 2
in B-flat major for Piano and
Orchestra, Malcolm Frager took the
place of Martha Argerich who was
originally scheduled as soloist. He
and the orchestra concentrated on the
small effects of the music, reaffirm-
ing Beethoven's ties to the musical
language of Mozart and Haydn. In
the "Allegro," Frager played with a
lightness of touch and even a
capriciousness. The "Adagio" of the
second movement revealed the depth
of tone of which the strings were ca-
pable, and Jordan handled musical

phrasing most sensitively at the
slower tempo. In the "Rondo,"
Frager perhaps sacrificed phrasing to
rhythm more than needed. Yet gener-
ally, Frager and the orchestra com-
plemented each other well. Certainly
the fiery Martha Argerich would
have made for a very different sort of
encounter.
The second half of the program
was given over to Debussy, first
Jeux then La Mer. With French
music, the orchestra let go,
especially in La Mer which ends in
the deafening rush of waves. Jordan
admirably displayed Debussy's ex-
perimentations, yet with a control
that balanced impressionistic style
with a careful musical structure ly-
ing beneath.
In sum, the evening was less of a
spectacular show than an enjoyable
evening of well-played classical and
20th century music.
-Ellen Poteet
Guys and Dolls
has highs, lolls
It's rare when a supporting player
steals a show, especially when the
show is Guys and Dolls, with its
four impeccably written leads. But in
this weekend's Musket production at
the Power Center, Mitch Shapiro as
Nicely-Nicely Johnson overleaped a
not-so-swank Sky Masterson, a
wishy-washy Sarah Brown, a not-
bubbly-enough Miss Adelaide and a
tough-but-not-lovable Nathan De-
troit. As the short, puckish thug,
Shapiro won the audience with his
triple encore version of "Sit Down
You're Rockin' the Boat" in which
the refrain ironically comes to life as
the chorus has to hold back Nicely
from taking yet another turn.
Shapiro was one of only a few actors
able to embody writer Damon Run-
yon's unpredictable and energized

New York City, circa 1930.
Musically, Guys and Dolls was
well-rehearsed. DaVid Kirshenbaum's
astute musical direction and conduct-
ing made up for much of director
Matthew Meko's bland staging. The
essential yet obtrusive sound system
proved a major obstacle for the larger
vocal numbers. Although the har-
monies were initially well balanced,
the microphones picked up the closer
voices more clearly, throwing that
balance off. Solo, duo and trio mate-
rial faired better.
Sky, Sarah, Nathan and Adelaide
all lacked a clarity of character from
which they could vary their perfor-
mance. Jamie Mistry's Sky behaved
more like a Hollywood producer in a
double-breasted, navy pinstripe than
a suave gambler. In addition, his
Gene Kelly voice made him seem
too soft. As the devoted missionary
and unlikely date for Masterson,
Sarah Brown should have conviction
and an intensity for her position at
the all-night mission that all but
guarantees Sky's losing his bet with
Detroit to take her to Cuba. How-
ever, Angela Peterson's Sarah lacked
that initial fortitude from which she
would later stray. After their first
song together, she was much too ea-
ger to kiss a man with whom she
had nothing in common.
Nathan Detroit, the fast-talking,
toughened con man played by Joey
Craine sounded too much like Mar-
lon Brando in The Godfather to be
likeable. In conjunction with
Craine's hard exterior, there needed
to be a gentler side that honestly
cares for his fianc6e of 14 years,
Adelaide. The two are such an un-
likely pair that they are perfect for
one another. Kelly McGrath's Ade-
laide was largely on target in Act II,
but somehow fell flat in Act I. She
tried so hard to be Adelaide early on
that her impersonation of a ditzy

JULIE HOLLMAN/Oaily
UAC-Musket's Guys and Dolls isn't a complete success, but hey, whatis.
These are your fellow students, and its hard to develop a character and
pass midterms. You may have noticed this phenomenon here in the Daily.

blond appeared phony and forced,
hampering our belief of the role.
The Crapshooters' Ballet was
surprisingly lively even though
many of the men were not excep-
tional dancers. Elizabeth Rossi im-
pressively selected movements that
echoed those of choreographer
Michael Kidd's original, athletic

staging. The orchestra, despite the
muddy 1950 orchestrations, pumped
life into this as well as all of the
musical numbers, but the primitive
settings gave the actors little to
work with as scenes moved from
New York to Cuba to the sewers un-
derground.
-Jay Pekala

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Fri. 5-10 p.m., Sat. Noon-10 p.m., Sun Noon-6 p.m.
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Plus. ..See the Mountain Highlights fashion review
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.-Stop by Pro Talks . Check out the Skiers Saloon
featuring Steve Morls * Find great deals at the Supet
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National Skier Card FREE-valued at over $50!

TRY US FOR LUNCH!
Pizza, Subs and Salads
Eat-in or Carry Out
FREE DELIVERY!
(11 a.m.-2 p.m.)
Corner of State and Hill
994-4040

REGISTER TO WIN A SKI VACATION ON AMERICAN AIRLINES
Bring this ad for $1.00 off reg. $5.00 adult admission
Not valid with any other offer

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A N N A R B O R

RECORD

RELEASE

PARTY!!

Come celebrate the release of
Map of the World's Atlantic Rec-
ords debut, An Inch Equals a
Thousand Miles as Schoolkids

;

and Atlantic Records

host

of

party Tuesday night, Nov. 7 from
7-9pm. Map of the World will be
performing selections from An
Inch Equals a Thousand Miles

live.

Come

by and help

Map olthe World AT

Schoolkids celebrate the sign-
ing of Map of the World to Atlan-
tic Records. Refreshments will
be served.

-----------------------------------n, -1-

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