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October 17, 1991 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-17

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ARTS

e Michigan Daily
Director
Nessen
Stands in
good
Company
by Diane Frieden
Director Julie Nessen was having a
long day. It was one of the endless
rehearsals with technical run-
throughs, and everything had to be
perfect. Humor had sailed out of the
window a long time ago. "Nothing
is funny," she said determinedly,
"and everything is tragic."
One of the newest lecturers in the
University Musical Theatre
Department, Nessen will kick off her
directorial stint with a production of
Stephen Sondheim's 1970 musical,
Company. "For many years, I've
been interested in musical theater,"
says Nessen. And Nessen loves
teaching musical theater, as well as
putting her efforts on the stage.
Working with the student performers
here at the University is "totally fo-
cused," Nessen says, adding that "ihe
cast is wonderful, phenomenal."
The story- that Company tells is
one of relationships. Bobby, the
bachelor, is seeking a steady
- soulmate, constructing his goals by

Thursday, October 17, 1991

Page 5

See awkward love in
Frankie and Johnny

Frankie
and Johnny
dir. Garry Marshall
by Elizabeth Lenhard
You know the type. When a man
loves a woman... and she's been
hurt, or she's at a point in her life
when she just doesn't want a rela-
tionship, or she's scared. And he is
charming... and persistent. They
find themselves on the roof tak-
ing pictures of one another or
walking barefoot in the grass,
they cry and she throws her ap-
prehensions, misgivings and re-
grets to the wind and they fade to
black. You wipe away a tear, sigh
into your unfinished popcorn, and
wonder as you leave the theater,
'What will they find to talk
about now?'
That's not what happens in
Frankie and Johnny. The film's
title characters, in their painful
steps toward happiness together,
talk about everything and noth-
ing. An ex-con short-order cook
(Al Pacino) and a waitress (Mi-

chelle Pfeiffer) with the tough-
ness of a porcupine (the burly
cooks in the Greek diner where
Frankie works bring her the jars
that they can't open), the cha-
racters are fated to be together by
'50s rock 'n' roll.
Their actual first meeting is
not so romantic, however (they
collide over a customer having a
seizure in the diner) and this en-
dearing awkwardness prevails
throughout the film. The se-
riousness of their predicament -
will they ever find happiness
with another person and will they
ever stop being lonely - is
constantly juxtaposed with the
absurd. When Johnny gives Fra-
nkie a rose, it is actually a carved
red potato on a celery stalk.
To say that there is deep mean-
ing in some of the episodes (set
against a score that would rival
Yvonne Ellman in soft disco tack-
iness) seems ludicrous. The couple
eats meat loaf while naked in bed,
and Frankie practically knocks
Johnny out as they awkwardly
make love. It seems to be the stuff
See FRANKIE, Page 8

From left to right, Susan Owen, Leslie Ann Hunt, Hunter Foster (as Bobby), Tom Daugherty and Danny Gurwin
star in the University Musical Theater Program's production of Stephen Sondheim's Company.

observing his married friends.
Nessen feels that this message is
still topical, over 20 years after the
original play was produced. "It does

would be static - and that's boring.
We all have our quirks and flaws,
and that realization is part of
Bobby's journey."

'The play deals directly with the issue that no
relationship is perfect, but without change
and strife, life would be static - and that's
boring' -Julie Nessen,
director of Company
deal directly with the issue that no While the heart of the story is
relationship is perfect," she says,
"but without change and strife, life ageless, the themes that were em-

phasized in the '70s are less impor-
tant now. New York City, where the
action takes place, has undergone
changes.
"Urban isolation was stressed
then. We deal now much more with
the relationship issue," says Nessen.
She explains that the city is more
violent today. "What you do (as a
director) is put it in historic
perspective - did I want to do it in
the seventies or in the nineties? And
I think it had more to say in the pre-
sent."
See COMPANY, Page 8

Kidsplace hands children a new view of art

by Sara Federlein
"'HANDS OFF, PLEASE!" There
is a museum in Ann Arbor where
you will never hear these words.
The Ann Arbor Hands On Museum,
has exhibits that you can touch,
squeeze, throw and blow and never
break a thing. Housed in the historic
Ann Arbor fire station, the Hands
On Museum is a non-profit orga-
nization geared for all ages, and is
continually trying * to resist the
image of being just an ordinary chil-
dren's museum.
The museum has more than 170
exciting, interactive exhibits in art,
cultures and science. It also features
traveling exhibitions aimed at broa-
dening the museum audience. The
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museum hosts three-month exhibits
sponsored by' other institutions or
national organizations once or twice
a year. The change helps to keep the
museum new and interesting. Be-
cause the Hands On Museum re-
ceives a large number of very young
visitors, a special exhibit called
Kidsplace, has -been brought in just
for them.
Started at The Discovery Place in
North Carolina, Kidsplace is ma-
king a year-long journey around the
country. This exhibit is the first of

many special events to be scheduled
throughout. the year to celebrate
The Hands On Museum's tenth
anniversary. Created especially for
children in pre-school through the
third grade, Kidsplace provides a
safe and exciting environment for
young children to explore their en-
vironment in a physically interac-
tive and positive way.
The museum has designated an
entire floor for our little friends,
and what a floor it is! The exhibits
cover a giant room. Each part is read-

ily accessible and has simple in-
structions which place the user in
full command of the apparatus.
There are huge "Tinker Toys" and
horseshoe magnets, an assortment of
musical instruments, including a
real pipe organ, a sand pendulum, a
hot air balloon that actually takes
off, a giant slinky, colorful puppets,
and, the hands down favorite, the
Bubble Capsule.
Emily, a seven year old visiting
Kidsplace from Ohio, says that the
See HANDS, Page 8

A la Sammy and Hosie, Frankie ana dJonnny get laia in arry "Really
Pretty Hooker With A Heart of Gold" Marshall's latest romantic
comedy, Frankie and Johnny.

U U ________________________________________________________________

The Broken Pitcher
A courtroom satire about tipping the scales of justice

ThY
The U-M School of Mus

by Heinrich von Kleist
University Players
Trueblood Theatre
Oct. 10 -12, 17 - 19 at 8 PM;
Oct. 13, 20 at 2 PM
Student seating $6 with ID.
Tickets on sale at the
League Ticket Office
in the Michigan League.
Celebrating 5years
lic of U-M theate

I ,Y

There are times when being able to get the answer isn't
enough. Sometimes, like midterms, understanding the
question and recognizing the solution becomes morea
matter of speed. Working with Schaum's Outlines
prepares you for the rapid recognition of problems and
solutions. The more problems -you solve and the more

FOR BEST FARES
BOOK NOW!!

Fri., Oct. 18 " 7:00 p.m.
State Theatre (Club Land ) " Detroit, MI
$15.00 Reserved/S12.00 Balcony

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