The Michigan Daily
Monday, March 19, 1990
Once again Performance Network
has managed to challenge our play-
going minds by presenting a theater
production that differs dramatically
from the plays most of us are accus-
tomed to seeing. Frank's Absurd
Repertory Theater Company
(F.A.R.T. Co.) recently made its de-
but as an ensemble with a thought-
provoking production. Immediately
upon sitting down to watch A Syn-
thetic Circus, we are accosted and
insulted in the prologue Offending
the Audience, by Peter Handke.
First they yell "There will be no
play here tonight!" and "You are un-
der review by us!" and then we are
called every name in the book, in-
cluding ass kissers, small timers,
scum of the melting pot, fuddy dud-
dies, potheads, atheists, dirty Jews,
napalm specialists, fuck offs, farts,
hemorrhoid sufferers, communists,
nihilists, and even... thingamajigs.
But then the message begins ito
permeate as their rage subsides and
we are simply called "fellow human,
beings." In this prologue they chal-
lenge us not to blink our eyelids of
swallow or shift in our seats or
We become aware of the rawness
of our senses as the audience joins
the actors in the spotlight of this
dark eerie theater. What follows is a
series of pieces by absurdist play-
wrights that question our humanity
and the world in which we live. We
sit before these actors and are scruti-
nized as they, in turn, reveal their
own vulnerability. In the end the
point is not whether we've reached
any conclusions but rather that our
thoughts were stirred.
A Synthetic Circus pays tribute
to leading nihilist Samuel Beckett,
whose "Act Without Words I" fea-
tures a man endlessly trying to reach
the unreachable, symbolized by a
bottle of blue liquid. F.A.R.T. Co.
successfully interprets Beckett's
simplicity in a humorous but sad
mime in which a man repeatedly
reaches for the bottle, falls down,
gets up, wipes himself off to begin
anew but never gets that damn blue
liquid. (Does Godot ring a bell?)
Another one of the short plays is
Jet of Blood by Antonin Artaud,
whose two lovers boldly proclaim,
"I love you and everything is won-
derful!" Their joy is then interrupted
by a nuclear holocaust, presented in
the Theater of Cruelty tradition.
The group abounds in talent and
ingenuity, from the cool profession-
alism of Mitchell Roberts McElya
to the fresh spiritedness of Tanya
Krohn who, at 14, shows powerful
potential as a member of Ann Arbor
theater. In one evening we, as an au-
dience, become active members in
this circus of absurdity, leaving our
minds not "offended" but challenged.
It is undeniably a challenge for
any group of actors to take on
Chekhov. This has been said by the
biggest names in theater. It is ad-
mirable that the ACME Arts
Ensemble was willing to take on
such a giant as Three Sisters and,
apart from a few loose ends, they did
Individual performances were var-
ied. At times characters were quite
good at carrying the comedy and
tragedy simultaneously, the aim of
Chekhov's plays, but at times the
performance was so shallow it
seemed an injustice to Chekhov's
characters. The one character who
carried all the others through their
inconsistencies was Irina, in an ex-
cellent performance by Rebecca
Novick. She was perfectly cast, am-
bivalent and believable. As Masha,
the one married sister, Alexa Eldred
was excellent in the first and fourth
acts, but wavered into an extreme
caricature of Masha, bitchy and bed-
room-eyed, in the middle of the play.
Most of the other performers en-
tered as caricatures of themselves as
well, consistent with the first act of
the play - yet the characters overdid
it. Particularly responsible for this
defect was Daniel Herman as the doc-
tor Chebutykin, who, in creating his
apathetic character, went much too
far, to the point where I didn't care
about him any more than he did
One of the largest mistakes made
on the part of director David Leicht-
man was to trust his production to
the Ronald Hingley translation. To
choose a text that had been update l
and translated into 20th century
American English colloquialisms
and that altered Chekov's character
names so as to be easier to pro-
nounce was a bad idea and insulting
to the audience's intelligence. It did
not sit well with the costuming or
props, which remained true to the
The performance was a little
sloppy, with lines lost because of
bad blocking or mumbling, yet the
real feeling of the show came
through, and the last act was in-
tensely affecting. One of the best
points of the production was that,
although it was at times overdone,
the comedy was brought out of the
tragedy, a difficult feat and unusual
among productions of Chekhov.
WCBN revives long
lost art form
Turning the dial through all fre-
quencies it becomes obvious that ra-
dio drama is an almost extinct art
form, so it was a particular pleasure
to hear a production of Arthur
Miller's The Pussycat And The Ex-
pert Plumber Who Was A Man on
WCBN Friday night. This was
Miller's first sold work, a short radio
play performed by the Columbia
Theater Workshop in 1937.
The Pussycat is about as funny
as Arthur Miller gets (and that's say-
ing something). In this work there
are already certain themes which are
* * ATTENTION: Supreme Course Tran-
scripts, the LS&A lecture notetaking service,
has the following notes avail. at Alpha-
graphics Printshops at 715 N. Univ.: Anthro
61, Bio 100, Bio 224, Bio 325, Class Arch
222, Comm 103, Econ 201, Econ 202, Econ
396, Econ 401, Geol 100, Geol 101, Geol
106, Geol 107, Geol 110 Geol 112, Geol
113, Geol 115, Geol 125,1-list 110, Hist 160,
Iist 161, Hist 333, Hist 366, Hist Art 272,
Physics 125, Physics 126, Physics 140,
Physics 240, Physiol 101, Poli Sci 140, Poll
Sci 353, Poli Sci 396, Psych 170, Ps ch 171
Psych 331, Soc 467, Soc 468. Call 663-681
COME AND EXPERIENCE the friendly,
professional atmosphere at the Village
Apothecary. 1112 S. University.
DIAL A JEWISH STORY. Another project
of the Chabad House. Call 995-5959.
EASTER, WHAT'S IT TO YOU? Informa-
tive Bible Studies will be offered at several
locations on the UM campus to help you un-
derstand what Easter is about. No pressure.
Call 663-0483 for details.
I AM A BUSY PROFESSIONAL, eclectic U
of M grad. Call 557-8860.
Kristine, Katie or Janice. I've got Kristine's
necklace but no address. Send her address to
Joe C. PO Box 5839 Key West, FL 33045.
STRESSED?? T a therapeutic massage!!
Debra K Rosek, CRT 663-7547.
There is no music,
yet I dance.
HERB DAVID GUITAR STUDIO 302 E.
Libert . 665-8001. Lessons, voice, piano,
recorder, dulcimer, banjo, pop, folk, blues,
rock, & classical.
rewards new talent
by Sherrill L. Bennett
NO matter how large the hall, there's always something very personal
and intimate about a lone musician playing for an audience. It's like
watching a pottery expert with delicate precision spin a mound of clay into
a work of art; the creative process is revealed, but not demystified. The
musician's clay is musical notes on a page, and with fluent, velvet hands,
he or she communicates a mood, an emotion. Audiences are bedazzled and
bewitched by the technical prowess and expressive vision of the soloist.
The soloist him/herself gets to satisfy a basic human desire: showing off.
In the music world, there is an overabundance of showoffs. Musicians
must compete vigorously for their right to center stage. It's in the heat of
such competitions that some of the finest performers have been discovered.
Tonight, Ann Arbor concert goers can witness the final stages of a
competition in search of talented young musicians with professional
Finalists in the National Concerto Competition, sponsored by
Seventeen magazine and General Motors, will perform a concert
accompanied by the University Symphony Orchestra conducted by H.
Robert Reynolds tonight in Hill Auditorium. The three finalists, one in
each category (piano, violin and cello) will be players who have risen to
the top after many preliminary competitions and musicianship tests
involving thousands of competitors from all over the country. Each of the
three will receive a $5,000 scholarship donated by General Motors, and the
grand prize winner will be awarded a solo performance with a major
symphony orchestra - a real career launcher for a young musician.
Pieces to be performed include the Tchaikovsky Variations on a
Rococo Theme for Cello, Op. 33, the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E
minor and the Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 64. All great
showoff pieces for great showoffs.
TIE NATIONAL CONCERTO COMPETITION FINALIST CONCERT
will be held tonight at 8:00 p.m. at Hill Auditorium. Admission is free.
BETH'S COMPUTER TYPING
N. Campus 930-6679.
FOR ALL YOUR WORD PROCESSING
NEEDS, call Janet at 763-8913.
JOAN DEMETRAL M.A. Counseling Serv
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ASAP ROOM in new home, share w/2 fe-
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GREAT EFFICIENCY 5 MIN from campus
320 TH'OMPSON. Fum-
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GREAT SINGLE ROOM May-Aug in 3 bed
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HUGE SINGLE in 2-bdrm apt! Cable, a/c,
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SUBLET MAY-AUGUST. Large, furnished,
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apt., A/C, fum parking laundry, storage
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SUBLET ME NOW - MAY - AUG.
Great room in a great house. $200/mo./neg.
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SUBLET: 1 BLOCK from Campus. I room
in house. All utils. incl. $147, 747-9731
SUMMER SUBLET Avail May 1, Lg 1
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from An gell Hall. Inc:microwave, fum., fire-
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SUMMER SUBLET- 5 Bdrm. house on
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SUMMER SUBLET- fum. 1 bdrm. for 1 or
2. Convenient Packard loc., incl. patio, A/C,
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SUMMER SUBLET 904 Packard! Large 4
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more seriously and explicitly dealt
with in his later stage plays. The
story deals with Tom Thomas, a
mere house cat who decides to run
for public office. He becomes mayor
and then runs for governor using
blackmail to claw his way up the
political drainpipe. A nihilist, Tom
knows that everyone has at least one
FAMILY CARE in my SE Ann Arbor home.
Licensed and responsible. 971-3868.
$118 ANYWHERE IN THE USA ON
NORTHWEST airlines! Bring yoEr NWA
voucher and AMEX card. CallRE NC
TRAVEL, 665-6122, ask for Ann or David.
EUROPE SPECIALS: Amsterdam fr.
$449;Frankfurt fr. $449; Glasgow fr. $469"
London fr. $379; Paris fr. $469. International
Student/Faculty cards $10. Eurail Flexipass
fr. $198.aREGENCY TRAVEL 665-6122.
Ask for Dan or Deb.
FOR YOUR LOWEST OVERSEAS AIR-
FARES ask for Student Travel Network,
ORIENT SPECIALS: Bangkok fr. $967;
Hong Kong fr. $887; Osaka fr. $919; Seoul
fr. $865' Singapore fr. $999- Taipei fr. $845.
REGENCY TRAVEL 665-61 22.Ask for
Dan or Deb.
RIDE IN STYLE & PAY LESS than the De-
troit Airport commuter van for groups of 3-7.
$40 ea. way - door to door limo. REGENCY
TRAVEL 665-6122. Ask for Vivian or
SPRING FEVER? WINTER BLUES? Get
away to a log cabin in the woods. Sleeps 2-4.
Boats & canoes included. Outdoor hot tub
option. $38-58 nightly. Reduced weekday
STUDENT TRAVEL BREAKS at STAMOS
For best Euroean/Gece airfares. We're at
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WANTED: GRATEFUL DEAD TKTS. Sat.
3/24 & Sun. 3/25 Albany shows. Please call
skeleton in their closet and that ev-
ery human being is vulnerable be-
cause their worth is only measured
by the nice things other people have
to say about them.
Tom, superbly played by David
Perrine, comes across as an unholy
mixture of Adolf Hitler, a David
See REVIEW, page 5
GREEK SOCIAL CHAIRS:
Take advantage of our spring specials!
Great Formal Ideas plus lots morel
The Cloz Co. Call Jon 994-4045.
DON'T GET STUCK
Get rid of your
house or apartment
in The Michigan Daily
Summer Sublet Issue
on April s.
Deadline to place an
ad: March 2S
$29 per ad
TYPING PROFESSIONAL, quick & reason-
able. M-F, 9am-6pm; S-S noon-8pm. Close
to campus. Christine at 99-9645.
YPS WORD PROCESSING PROFES-
SIONAL Service on Campus. Open Evenings
& Weekends. Term Papers, Cover Letters,
Early Classes begin Thurs. Mar.
15th & conclude before finals.
Next classes begin
Sat. April 14th
" Learn to Anticipate the Exam's Thinking
" Improve Your Reasoning & Formal Logic
" Develop Comprehensive Exam Strategies
" Review Videotapes for Additional Practice
Achieve the LSAT Score You Need
1100 South Univesity
ABOUT 1 BLOCK from UM. Tower Plaza,
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APARTMENT! Newly renovated hu e bal-
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MAY-AUG large sg rm in 3 bdrm house on
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only call anytime 747-8516.
MAY-AUG SUBLET. 3 bdrm 2 bath 3 ter-
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$389/month. No security dep. Avail. 3/1/90.
Call 677-0929 or 422-8141.
SP/SUM SUBLET. Furnished house. Incl. We Can Help DEADLINE: MARCH 28
parking, kitchen, laund , dishwasher. Rea-
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