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October 21, 1991 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-21

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The Michigan Daily- Monday, October 21, 1991 - Page 7

GEORGE
Continued from page 5
This concert was apparently sup-
posed to be: a) George Michael's
Contemporary Soul Revue, in which
,se performed bland versions of
songs by Soul II Soul ("Back to
Life"), Chaka Khan and Terence
Trent D'Arby ("Sign Your
Name"); b) George Michael as a
poor David Bowie, covering
"Fame"; c) George Michael admit-
ting that he has no life and doing de-
cent performances of Wham! songs
(like the best song they ever did,
"I'm Your Man," and "Freedom");
*d) George Michael as schlocky bal-
ladeer equipped to make the girls
cry - almost half of the set con-
sisted of lifeless slow songs, ready-
made for the big make-out session;
or e) George Michael as successful
solo artist, playing only a handful
of his own songs, including "Father
Figure," "Faith" and "Freedom
'90."
This concert was an exercise in
*theater of the absurd, right? It was a
joke, wasn't it? I certainly laughed.
It's not that Michael is a bad per-
former; he can move around the
stage and he can get a crowd to eat
out of the palm in his hand by shak-
ing his butt. The audience even liked
everything he performed. But was
this show supposed to be Star
Search (maybe Set Search), or the
world's most highly paid cover
"band, or Adult Contemporary Hell,
or a George Michael concert? More
was certainly less.
- Annette Petruso
Company
Thursday October 17, 1991
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre
You're probably familiar with
the situation I'm speaking of -
there are warm lights on in a
friend's apartment, and good food in
your contented stomach, and you
turn to leave and you just wish that
you could stay in the cozy bliss of
your little company's apartment,
never having to walk home in the
cold, dark night by yourself again.
This is precisely the sensation
that Bobby (Hunter Foster) felt in
the musical Company, which was
performed by the University Mu-
sical Theatre Program this weekend.
Watching five married couples, Bob-
by - who jokingly sang, "Those
crazy people, my married friends"
- scrutinized their lives, trying to
figure out what made each of them
tick. He particularly examined the

wives, in an effort to come to some
conclusion about what he is looking
for in a mate.
"It's the little things you do to-
gether that make perfect relation-
ships," sang Bobby's friend Joanne
(Tracy Plester) in "Little Things."
This sentiment aptly described the
mood of the musical, which detailed
the flotsam and jetsam of single
(desperately wanting to be double)
life in the big city.
The audience was also privy to
the little things that go on behind
the closed doors of the couples
through a view of both the up and
down sides of marriage. When David
(Jason Dilly) and Jenny (Susan
Owen) got stoned in their childrens'
nursery, we saw them (hilariously)
loosening up, but on a more com-
plex level, the couple was playing
an intricate game. The result, as in
all of the plays' relationships, was a
realistic give and take. The couples
found each other annoying as much
as endearing, but the common de-
nominator was unfailing love.
Not only was all of the acting
superb in this production, but it was
enhanced by the perfect casting and
matching of different types of hus-
bands/wives. Daniel Blatt and Ples-
ter as the cynical and wealthy Larry
and Joanne, performed with a
haughty and snooty air.
Bobby's other married friends
included Sarah and Harry (Leslie
Hunt and Tom Daugherty), who
teased each other intimately about
calorie-counting and sobriety as if
they'd indeed been involved for
years. And opposites attracted ide-
ally. The nebbish Peter (Josh
Rhodes) played foil to Southern
Belle Susan (Amy Heath), while the
earthy Jenny fit with Republican
David. Most hysterical was the per-
formance of Erin Dilly as Amy,
who, in not wanting to marry Paul
(Danny Gurwin), neurotically tore
around her kitchen in a floor-length
wedding dress.
Kathy, April and Marta (D'Vo-
rah Bailey, Kelly McGrath and El-
len Hoffman), Bobby's various girl-
friends, sang about relationships
versus isolation in the song "You
Could Drive a Person Crazy," tou-
ching on the major theme of the
play. Bobby dramatically came to
terms with this idea by the show's
end through the song "Being A-
live," in which he concluded that
being alive is most important and
that his luck will soon change.
Foster's powerful voice was a
welcome change from past Musical
Theatre leads, who were not as vo-

cally gifted. And the rest of the cast
was exceptionally talented, with
all solos (soloists included Hoff-
man, Plester and Bailey) strongly
executed. Adding to the perfor-
mance package was Alan Billings'
set design and Mary Cole's lighting,
both of which were versatile enough
to describe the sundry apartments
Bobby visited. There were, actually,
no weak spots in the entire pro-
duction of Company, making it en-
joyable to have the gang come and
spend the weekend.
-Diane Frieden
The Man Who
Came To Dinner
The Michigan Theater
October 16, 1991
The Man Who Came To Dinner
is a play from a bygone era. The ac-
tion revolves around Sheridan
Whiteside (Beverly Pooley), a radio
announcer who has broken his hip
after a dinner at the home of the
Stanleys. The show's two and a half
hours are consumed mostly with

chit-chat between Whiteside, the
members of the Stanley household
and Whiteside's famous visitors.
Having very little plot at all, the
play relies on conversation, jokes
and a feeling of festivity created by

neration, the references were often
lost, and the famous personalities
being mimicked by the characters
who visited Whiteside weren't all
that familiar.
Some of the minor roles were

Despite par performances by the main cast
and bright spots of humor in the exchanges...
the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre production of
The Man Who Came To Dinner couldn't
sustain the festivity it sought

of play - one full of repartee
among many characters. The set
sometimes had a desolate feel be-
cause it was so big. The scenes were
also extremely long, full of idle
conversation and dull talk on the
telephone. Again, this lost the au-
dience's attention.
Dinner is a particularly hard
piece to revive, because its late '30s/
early '40s setting is the central fea-
ture of the play. The failure, on one
hand, to totally recreate a feel of the
era, and on the other, to allow a
young audience to appreciate repre-
sentations of the era, results in great
limitation of the play's effective-
ness. The play doesn't have enough
plot or generic humor to be terribly
effective without success in commu-
nicating setting.
-Austin Ratner

the Christmas setting, as well as a
general connection with famous
names and glamorous personalities
in references and impersonations.
But despite par performances by
the main cast and bright spots of
humor in the exchanges between
Whiteside and the nurse (Connie
Scott), the weird Harriet (Cheryl
McDonald) and the enthusiastically
goofy Banjo (Rich Roselle), the
Ann Arbor Civic Theatre pro-
duction couldn't sustain the fes-
tivity it sought.
For a member of a younger ge-

performed as if read from the script,
reminding us that we weren't really
connected to a glitzy Hollywood
and Broadway set. This gave the
group an amateurish at times.
Also, the huge stage and slow pa-
cing of the different entrances and
interactions retarded the bustling,
active feel expected from this sort

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