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February 05, 1992 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-02-05

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Page 8--The Michigan Daily- Wednesday, February 5, 1992

Students roll toward the future
by Vicki Briganti

W hat could be more fun than
bowling? University students
Aaron Williams and Elizabeth
Keiser agree that earning actor eq-
uity eligibility by landing roles in
the Purple Rose Theatre's newest
production More Fun Than Bowling
is better than turquoise bowling
balls and monogrunmed league T-
shirts.
The play centers around Jake
Tomlinson, an average guy who
(
owns the Dust Bowl bowling alley
in a small town. He has buried two
of his wives, and is paranoid that
Whoever Knows Things is scheming
to put him in a third grave. A mys-
terious figure sneaks around in the
shadows of the set.
The shadowy figure is actually
Mister Dyson, played by Williams,
who is a history major at the Uni-

versity. An actor majoring in his-
tory? "My first two years in col-
lege I wanted to be a historian,"
says Williams. "I decided I never
wanted to act again since I'd done a
lot in high school ... now I plan to
be an actor and hope to gain eligibil-
ity in the Screen Actor's Guild
(SAG)."
On the part of Dyson, who slinks
on and off stage with a gun in one
hand and a briefcase handcuffed to
the other, Williams says, "Mister

se--~

dark character as the grim reaper.
The topic of death is obviously visi-
ble in the set design's three graves.
Williams feels, however, that this
dark material can be comical.
"The death elements are all very
absurd. Lois (wife #2) is struck by
lightning while holding a trophy
over her head. Loretta (wife #3) gets
hit in the head by a falling bowling
rack. You have to laugh at the ab-
surdity even though it is tragic."
Elizabeth Keiser as Jake's daugh-
ter Molly is a junior and a theater
major at the University. If Dyson
represents death, then the 16 year-
old Molly equals blooming life.
Her character has had to adjust to
three different mothers since her
real mother left when she was
young, yet Molly is exuberant. She
even takes care of the bowling alley
for her father. Keiser appreciates
that Molly is "vulnerable, yet unin-
hibited."
"These characters seem to have
the hardest lives," Keiser says. "But
the characters themselves are saying,
'no.' ... They appreciate what-they
do have and get over what they've
lost. Even though there is tragedy, it
is a very optimistic play."
MORE FUN THAN BOWLING will
be playing at the Purple Rose The-
atre Company in Chelsea .January
23 through March 15. Performan-
ces are Thursday through Saturday
at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 and 7
p.m. For tickets and information
call 475-7902 for more info.
Reservations are recommended due
to limited seating.

DANCERS
Continued from page 5
sional performance experience es-
sential to the development of style
and stage command. "Performing
here," says Darby, "has given me the
experience I needed to be comfort-
able with an audience and know how
to engage them in my movement and
my message.""
Attending a University like
Michigan rather than a Performing
Arts Conservatory has its benefits.
The answer contradicts the major
false stereotype about dancers (that
they are dumb and think about noth-
ing but dance and calories): they
want to be surrounded by an eclectic
mixture of people with varied in-
terests. They want to have access the
classes which give them a better un-
derstanding of the world they are
dancing about. In short, they want
to learn. They are also practical.
Says Wendy Light, a junior Dance
major, "I came here because I want
to dance, but I know I can't dance
forever, so I'm here to create a back,
up plan for myself."
See the dance majors in action this
weekend in their annual perfor-
mance, AMERICAN MASTER-
WORKS. The concert will be pre-
sented Thursday through Saturday
at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tick-
ets are $12, $9, and $6 for students.
Call 764-0450 for more information.

0

A-

Dyson is a mysterious figure; he's
threatening but very precise. Dyson
listens in on the other character's
conversations and keeps the audience
wondering. Usually I play charac-
ters that are flamboyant. I don't
generally lurk."
During the show's preview week
with audience feedback, Williams
said many people interpreted his

SHARON MUSHER/Da
Senior dance major Danny Gwirtzman stretches it in Ballet class, one of
the many installments of a movin', shakin' day at the School of Dance.

Sandman .
Neil Gaiman and various artists
I)C Comics
The "big two" comic book companies are Marvel
and DC. They publish, almost exclusively, superhero
genre comics and make a tidy profit doing so. For
decades, they have been publishing the same kind of
stuff - recycled and updated, over and over again.
Artsy-fartsy readers and critics, such as myself,
who think that the comic book can do more than tell an
infinite number of vigilante stories, often lose hope of
receiving anything original or creative from these two
companies.
And then something like Sandman comes along.
DC, the publisher of Sandman, often refers to it as
one of its horror comics. While several issues of the
comic may well deserve this label, the majority lack an
element crucial to horror; an attempt to horrify the
reader.
This mislabeling probably results from the dif-
ficulty in putting the comic into any of the traditional
comic book categories. The most accurate term for it
would be fantasy, but that calls to mind swords, sor-
cery and epic quests in the Tolkien style and that isn't
what this comic is about.
Appropriately, the stories are about the Sandman,
a.k.a. Morpheus, a.k.a. Dream, a sort of demigod ruler of
the realms of sleep and dreams. Don't, however, com-
pare the Sandman to other comic book gods, such as
Marvel's Thor. Thor is really just another superdude

who happens to live in a pseudo-Asgard. The Sandman
acts far more like one would expect an immortal tb act.
Knowing that there is far more to the universe than
our petty troubles, the Sandman is relatively aloof and
almost patronizing toward most mere mortals. And
yet, being the weaver of our dreams, he cannot distance
himself entirely from the humanity which is integral
to his nature. One of the most tragic stories to come
from this comic is of the time Morpheus fell in love, a
very mortal emotion, and his love was refused.
Through tales like this, the Sandman grants us a unique
perspective on human nature.
Gaiman uses the Sandman's immortality to the
fullest, setting stories in such diverse times and places
as prehistoric Africa, ancient Rome, the French Revo-
lution and, of course, the present. And story topics have
ranged from the dreams of cats to the time Satan de-
cided the fallen angel bit wasn't for him any more,
cleared the souls out of Hell, locked the gate, and gave
the key to Dream.
The Sandman story "A Midsummer Night's
Dream," a tale about an extremely curious rendition of
Shakespeare's play, recently won the World Fantasy
Award for best short story. It marks the first time a
comic book has won such an award in direct competi-
tion with works written in prose. It's a fitting tribute
to this comic book and the Sandman character which al-
lows Gaiman to weave his understanding of man's past
and nature into some very sweet dreams indeed.
-'Nick Arvin

RECORDS
Continued from page 5
satisfy. And when the mood isn't
too cartoonish, Dres and Mista
Lawnge please with an irresistible
sound that is both sensuous and bare,
especially with "Similak Child,"
"IHoes We Knows," or the lyrically
annoying "Gimme Tha Finga."
This could've been a classic, ri-
valing Native Tongues' debuts Peo-
ple's Instinctive Travels... and
Straight Out of the Jungle, had Dres'
and Lawnge saved us the throwaway
tracks making this another
damnable 20+ track album. I'd have
been happy with the nine best and
nothing more, especially "Similak
Child," "La Menage," "Butt In The
Meantime," and the hilarious DJ
workout "For Doz That Slept."
- Forrest Green III
Saint Etienne
Fox Base Alpha
Warner Bros.
Those damn Brits have done it
again. While American dance music
continues to be a stagnant pool of
faceless, interchangeable divas like
Crystal Waters and CeCe Peniston,
the British are constantly redefining
and improving the genre.
Much like Primal Scream's acid
gospel and Massive Attack's Pink-
Floyd-meets-Soul II Soul stylings,
Saint Etienne has created a unique
and distinct sound. They've
somehow juxtaposed the classic,
droll arrangements of white bread
legends like the Carpenters and
Doris Day, with hip hop rhythms
and a Manchester sensibility. The
result isn't too far from what the
Pet Shop Boys would have sounded
like in 1966.
If your favorite nightclub isn't
FOR THE BEST:
Crew Cuts-Flat Tops
Princetons-Military
THE DASCOLA
STYLISTS
Liberty off State 668-9329
.50 years of service-

spinning Saint Etienne's first single,
the gorgeous cover of Neil Young's
(!) "Only Love Can Break Your
Heart," someone needs to hang the
DJ. Bouncing pianos skip-rope over
french horns and a deep house base-
line, while guest vocalist Moria
Lambert croons a pretty, sing-song
melody that invokes a young Debbie
I larry.
Fox Base Alpha is the chronicle
of a fiercely independent woman-
about-London, an Emma Peel of the
'90s. From the seductive heart-
breaker in the funky "She's The
One," to the dreamer that sings the
jazzy "Carnt Sleep," this feminine
avenger always comes out on top.
But above all, this record is
about the dance floor. "Stoned To
Say The Least" is a stomping house

instrumental that would sound per-
fect at four a.m. during an Ecstasy-
fueled rave. "Girl VII" is a fla-
menco - flavored big beat work-
out, guaranteed to get arms up at any
house party.
Saint Etienne is a band that wears
their influences clearly on their
sleeves. One track will recall Swing
Out Sister, and the next could be an
Altered Images B-side. From the
Style Council to early Everything
But The Girl, they let you know
that they've been listening to all of
the "right" records. But like most
good bands, they've combined these
influences to create their own
sound. Chalk up another winner for
the Imperialists.
-Scott Sterling

9

. . i

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The new cast of The Wonder Years? No, they're Saint Etienne. But they do
sound something like The Pet Shop boys circa 1966.

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