The Michigan Daily Friday, April 17,1992 Page8
Ubu takes ego out of
drama's old school
by Jenny McKee
The RC Players are hitting the boards for the last time this semester with
Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi (King Ubu) . It's an unusual play with, for some of
the performances, an unusual performance time -11 p.m.
It may sound strange, but the director, RC senior Tony Bedwell, sees this
move as the only possible way to achieve his goals concerning the produc-
tion. These goals consist of taking a two-dimensional art form like theater,
and turning it into an active event.
"When the play first (originally) opened, it caused riots," said Bedwell.,
"Every twenty-five minutes the crowd would start rioting again - it went
on for three hours. The crowd was split between people that were for and
against this new form of theater. This was the time of the 'well-made play, '
and Jarry was writing against this type of theater."
"In theater, there are a lot of egos walking around on the stage. This type;
of theater worked to take the ego out of the play," Bedwell explained. "The.
people that were proponents of new art forms were often young symbolists
- disquieted youth - that wanted reform. The advocates of the 'old
school' saw this new theater as just shitting on the face of theater itself.
"The question and challenge facing me then is: how can I cause such
fervor, presenting this play in the modern time? By starting it at eleven
o'clock, the play becomes an event - not just taking a date out. This is to
make this something where people aren't just sitting in a dusky theater
seeing what they expect to see."
Ubu Roi (King Ubu) follows the trials and tribulations in the life of Pa
Ubu - captain of the Dragoons, Count of Sandomir, Doctor of Pataphysics,
and Ex-King of Aragon - as he rises to the usurpation of the Polish throne,
and then fumbles to defend his rightfully stolen kingdom from the forces of
both the vengeful Prince Bougrelas and the mighty Tsar of Russia.
"I read the play two years ago, and I've wanted to direct it ever since,"!;
said Bedwell who selected Ubu Roi as his senior thesis project for his the-
ater degree. "I chose this play because I think it's a perfect example of what
theater should be. Too often the sole purpose of dramatic art is entertaiii
See UBU, Page 1
in one of Veronique's poetic images, the angelic Irene Jacob sings exuberantly in the rain, radiating the joy of being young, beautiful and French.
The Double Life of
dir. Krystof Kieslowski
by Aaron Hamburger
L ike his fellow Polish director
Roman Polanski, Krystof Kieslowski
relies heavily on images rather than
words to narrate his latest film, The
Double Life of Veronique. Kieslow-
ski lets entire scenes go by without a
word of dialogue, preferring to let
his breathtaking images do the talk-
ing. This device becomes funda-
mental to accepting the story of the"
film. The events in Veronique are so
bizarre, you have to see them to be-
The movie is about two young
women, Veronika and Veronique,
(both played by Irene Jacob) who are
exactly alike in every way, but live
in different cities.
Veronika, who is Polish and lives
in a village near Krakow, is struck
by the feeling that she is not alone in
the world. When she dies of a heart
attack while singing in a concert,
Veronique, miles away in Paris,
grieves. She too has a strange con-
viction that someone else exists out
there who affects her actions in some
The plot of Veroniquec
the way the lives of the tw
connect. Veronika spots N
on a trip to Krakow, and N
unwittingly takes a snapsh
counterpart. At the mo
Veronika's funeral, Veron
a sudden intense wave of!
feels compelled to giv
singing career, though sh
sure why. She checks int
and gets the same room n
the one of Veronika's bo}
events in a very straig
manner, refusing to push his audi-
dwells on ence in any thematic direction. For
o women some, the film may function as an
Veronique allegory of East-West relations. For
Veronique others, Veronique merely dramatizes
hot of her the odd feeling of being aware of
)ment of another presence out there.
ique feels To a large extent, this thematic
grief, and ambiguity appears intended. The
e up her filmmakers present a story and chal-
e's never lenge the audience to take whatever
o a hotel significance they can from it.
umber as Chiefly, however, the movie
yfriend in deals with alienation, and the basic
human need to believe that somehow
all these our lives have significance beyond
hitforward our immediate existence. Veronique
and Veronika search for meaning in
their sexual affairs and in their sin-
Ultimately, however, these areas
just aren't satisfying. We need a
* more mystical, supernatural answer
to the Big Question: Why are we
here? At first, Veronique is thrilled
See VERONIQUE, Page 12
Now the University Musical So-
ciety's May Festival is affordable!
Tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.,
students with I.D. will be able to buy
half-price tickets for the Detroit
Symphony Orchestra's four-day stint
at Hill Auditorium, May 6 to May 9.
Featured soloists include Marilyn
Horne and the very great Andrd
Watts. Tickets prices will range from
$7 to $19.50, limit four per student.
And speaking of affordable, what
could be better than free? That's
what it costs to see Blues Traveler
headline the Spring Thaw concert
at noon Saturday in the Regents
Plaza (that's right by the cube next
to the Union for those who don't
know), also featuring Big Dave and
the Ultrasonics, Tequila Mocking-
birds, and the Maitries. Donations
will be accepted at this charity bene-
fit, with all proceeds going to the
Ronald McDonald House, Mott's
Children's Hospital, and the DARE
program. Concert T-shirts will also
be available for a $10 contribution.
And don't miss the down-home
Southern fun of Fried Green Toma-
toes, tonight at 7 and 9:30 p.m. at
MLB 4. Tickets are $3.
I :' , I