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October 29, 1990 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-10-29

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 29, 1990 - Page 7

Underground Railway Theatre probes societal issues

by Lauren Turetsky
e have millions of choices to
make on a daily basis. Some are
trite; others prove to be deeper. It is
these more in-depth issues that the
Underground Railway Theatre (URT)
hopes to touch upon.
This year the national touring
group from Boston is presenting two
provocative plays dealing with the
most popular political issues of the
day. Tonight's production, Mothers
& Others, is a one-woman carabet
* presented to stimulate reconsidera-
tion of the Roe v. Wade decision of
1973. The piece, written and per-
formed by Deborah Wise, is per-
formed in traditional carabet style. It
deals with women's choices over
matters regarding their bodies and
lives by probing women's roles and
values, sexuality and motherhood.
Wise incorporates drama, poetry,
song and comedy to make the audi-
ence aware that no choice is easy or
The play draws upon such diverse
sources as Anne Sexton, Billie Holi-
day, Kate Millet and Adrienne Rich.
It is also dedicated to Rosie Jinemer,
who was the first documented person
to die from an illegal abortion after
the Hyde Act which cut off federal
funds for abortions in the mid

Tomorrow night's perfor-
mance, Home is Where, incorporates
many political decisions in an effort
to educate people about their deci-
sions and relationship to the envi-
ronment. A main theme centers on
homelessness. Wise and Wes Sanders
spent a year researching the piece,
interviewing homeless people, de-
velopers, social workers and ac-
tivists. Sanders told The Boston
Globe, "This sounds like a clich6,
but in interviewing these people we
discovered that the homeless are not
a class, but people like ourselves
who have fallen on hard times. It
could happen to any of us."
This piece centers around a group
of characters in a low-income urban
neighborhood. As the story pro-
gresses it depicts their frustrating
yet humorous attempts to save a lit-
tle garden and a building which is on
the same piece of land designated for
"urban removal." The leading role,
Gracie, was modeled after one of the
homeless people, Diana Paliotto,
that Wise and Sanders interviewed.
Paliotto, who now has an apartment,
lived out of a car for several years
tending to her son.
The piece also draws a parallel
between the garden and the Earth as
home by incorporating puppetry,
music and magical sets. In the num-
ber "Sanctuary: The Spirit of Harriet

Continued from page 5
Son. Pirner explains that the band
had been listening to a Redd Foxx
tape in their van. Then one night
they came across a Sanford and Son
rerun on the television in their hotel,
and they rediscovered the show's
comic appeal. "We were just kind of
on a kick at the time," Pimer says.
"It kind of reminded us all of how
funny he really was."
"The other thing is that Redd
Foxx is in a ton of financial trouble
right now so I think maybe as a
goodwill gesture we were hoping he
would have a big resurgence or
The plug didn't seem to do much
for Foxx but it's hard to not admire
such an attempt. Pirner and the band
must understand Foxx's dilemma; as
a local band member once remarked,
"It's not a smart career move to start
an underground band." Soul Asylum
seems to accept this. They've said it
themselves: nice guys don't get paid.

The URT's Deborah Wise in Mothers and Others confronts women's
issues in society.

Tubman," the cast uses shadow pup-
pets and epic figures to confront con-
flicts in the Third World. It also adds
to the play's theme that all political
issues are interrelated.
The URT was founded in 1976.
Their name refers to relevant events
in American history and it signifies
the act of hope and the will to


The Underground Railway The- SOUL ASYLUM graces the Nec-
atre's MOTHERS & OTHERS will tarine Ballroom tonight. Tickets are
play at 8 p.m. Monday at the Rack- $11.50 (plus evil service charge),
ham Auditorium. HOME IS WHERE available at Schoolkids' and Tick-
will play 8 p.m. Tuesday at the etmaster. Doors open at 9 p.m. The
Mendelssohn Theatre. Tickets are band will also be at Schoolkids' at
$10, $5 for low-income patrons and 4:30 to check out everybody's funky
students, pumpkins.

Continued from page 5
right after Mystery Road cause peo-
ple would be like 'well now what's
your deal?' so I just labeled it 'Kevn
Kinney.' It's just me and my acouS-
tic;"Nwhen there is a band to be play-
ing, they are playing with me. I
can't have my songs lay around too
long without doing something with
them or I just get stagnant. I have to
clean out the closet every sosoften
otherwise I got so many songs
building up that I've never recorded
that I never finish them. The more I
release the more I can finish."
The MacDougal Blues project
also included a short acoustic tour
with Buck. "Me and Peter just went
out in a van. It was excellent. We
did mainly the MacDougal stuff and
some drivin' n' cryin' stuff, 'Catch
the Wind' and stuff, and we did
'Driver 8' some nights.We said
we're going to keep doing little parts
of the country until we sell a hun-
dred thousand of 'em [copies of the
LP]. We're at thirty-five thousand
right now."
Lately, the band has finished
working on those 10 rocking songs,
which comprise their next album,
Fly Me Courageous, to be released
in January. "The new drivin' n'
cryin' record has nobody on it but
drivin' n' cryin' - no guest stars,
no nothing. I'm kind of sick of that.
Two guitars, bass, drums and vocals
- that's it. This record is really fo-
cused. Boom, boom, boom. Just
tunes, no funny shit. Just ten good
songs. In and out, it's 40 minutes,
really short, about the length ofS-
carred but Smarter, it's like super-
charged Scarred but Smarter. Fid-
dles and all that stuff is good, but
not this year. Not next year either I
don't think."
So what does this all translate to
on stage? You'll see Kinney on lead
vocals and guitar, Tim Nielsen on
bass, Jeff Sullivan plays drums and
Buren Fowler plays more guitar.
"The electric band doesn't need that
embellishment any more. When you
pay to see drivin' n' cryin' now you
just see two guitars, bass and drums
come out and go."
DRIVIN' N' CRYIN finally play the
Nectarine tonight, opening for
SOUL ASYLUM. Doors open at 9

Michigan Alumni
work here:
The Wall Street Journal
The New York Times
The Washington Post
The Detroit Free Press
The Detroit News
NBC Sports
Associated Press
United Press International
Scientific American
Sports Illustrated
USA Today
Because they worked here:
gle PHStiangatig

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