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October 01, 1991 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-01

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 1, 1991 -Page 7

Don't mess with my Kura: A new comedy
with disease, apple pie and Mary Lou, too

he Purple Rose Theatre
September 29, 1991
As the familiarity of autumn stress provokes a need for relaxation, the
Purple Rose Theatre offers a suitable remedy. Kuru, a new comedy by
Vermont writer Josh C. Manheimer, provides its 100-seat audience with
light-hearted fun. The intriguing play, which takes place in a hut in New
Guinea, is filled with quirky characters who say very peculiar things.
Dr. Arthur Roman, portrayed by actor Arthur Pearson, is researching a
fatal disease called Kuru. He resides comfortably in a hovel, cleverly
eecorated with hand-made furniture and jars of human organs. At the play's
beginning, Arthur is unexpectedly visited by his former fiance, Mary Lou
Anderson (Connie McGrail), a cooking instructor from Iowa. Adding a hu-
morous dimension to the tropical environment, Mary Lou unpacks skillets,
an iron and a fresh apple pie baked by her mother. This grown-up Marcia
Brady-type has come to the jungle, only to find that Dr. Roman has married
a thirteen-year-old native, Mokina, played with sparkle by Maria Csoka.
Director T. Newell Krin has staged the nlav with fascinating interac-

tion between the characters, and their moments come alive through the
effective choreography. Pearson is credible as the tight-lipped intellectual
who speaks as though he has been "chewing the encyclopedia." The history
of his relationship with Mary Lou is tricky, which makes for clever scenes
between the two. McGrail is fully committed to her role, as she wails to
Pearson in a believable fit of rage, "You were the only man I ever met that
didn't drive a pick-up truck!"
Although the play triggers a constant urge to giggle, it also tiptoes
around the intricate issues of death and cultural differences. A friendship
develops between Mary Lou and Mokina as they set out to teach the village
people to cook. Mary Lou, startled by Mokina's fear of a solar eclipse,
reassures the girl by telling her, "My people are petrified about running
out of toilet tissue." Manheimer's script bubbles with such insightful
comparisons and details, and the actors work well together to tickle its
audience.
Kuru is the third play produced by the Purple Rose Theatre Company.
The atmosphere of this Chelsea theater is both professional and exciting, an
enchanting spot for family-style entertainment and comfortable lilac
seats. Other plays will be produced following Kuru and, hopefully, the
remainder of the season will be equally entertaining.
Kuru runs at the Purple Rose Theatre until October 27, with
performances on Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sunday
matinees at 2 p.m.
-Elizabeth Keiser

BARKER
Continued from page 5
"You know," he says,
reflecting, "there's a book about
me coming out next week called
Shadows of Eden, which is
biography, plus bibliography... I
went through the book and I
thought, all the real important
details of my life are actually in
the novels. Every single ob-
session, all my taboo stuff, all the
private preoccupations, all the
fears, all the hopes, are there.
Maybe they're encoded, maybe
they're presented as allegories,
but they're there. And the rest of
it is just husks. But, we live in a
world that thinks about people in
terms of numbers, that thinks of
authors in terms of thirty million
copies sold. Simple, trite ways to
classify people."

Why is he so careful, so protec-
tive, of that imaginative, creative
process? "I think the imagination
is the only truth," Barker says.
"And every other experience, the
pain one suffers, the people one
loses, the people one gains, the
loves one has, are folded into the
texture of your imagination, and
reconfigured, and transfigured,
and made over as metaphor, in
order to achieve, hopefully, some
universality, so that it doesn't be-
come some trite listing of events.
When you write, you hope that
fantasy will make the material
sing, and make people say, this is
happening in my soul, too. This is
happening in my spirit, too."
He takes a deep breath, and
laughs tiredly.
"And each book you fail, and
you go on to the next one."

W RIT E F OR T HE M IC HIG AN DA IL Y
764-0552

I

.

'B'IG TEMIF

SOCCER

i; o I

THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
vs.
MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 2, 1991
4:00 PM
MITCHELL FIELD *
(on Fuller Road between Central and North Campus)

Arthur Pearson as Dr. Arthur Roman, Maria Csoka as Mokina and Connie
McGrail as Mary Lou Anderson are the entire cast of Kuru, a new
comedy by Josh C. Manheimer playing at the Purple Rose Theatre.
THE MICHIGAN DAILY 764-0552

LIVE JAZZ-Every iuesday & Wednesday
10-12 p.m. in the Underground
Na COVER __a______
Tuesday, October 1 " John Selenes .
Wednesday, October 2 " John E. Lawrence 'g

bea

ieader
introduce over 1000 students or
parents to the U of M
work on a diverse and exciting team
run workshops and presentations

It's Time

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ompensation
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To

Play!

summer
i 992

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