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September 25, 1992 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-09-25

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The Michigan Daily Friday, September 25, 1992 Page 8

Wait until Act Two

A vote for 'Bob' *
Robbins' good year continues

by Liz Shaw
I suppose it could mean many
different things when your butt
falls asleep while you're watching
a play. Perhaps the play was too
long, or the intermission too short.
It could be that the performance
was so engrossing that you forgot
to shift your weight in your chair.
Or it could be that you dozed off
and awoke to find your butt feel-
Wait Until Dark
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre
September 22, 1992
ing like a lump of coal in some
bad kid's Christmas stocking.
Mysteries are not easy plays to
pull off. The writing allows very
little room for error and the actors
must play their characters to a
"T." Because it's rough around the
edges, the Ann Arbor Civic
Theater's season opener, "Wait
Until Dark," left the viewer won-
dering if the play would ever end.
"Wait Until Dark" is essen-
tially a thriller, but it had trouble
getting off the ground. In the first
half, the characters were still feel-

ing out their places in the scenes
and their exchanges were awk-
ward, which made it difficult to
pay attention.
The entrance of Roat (Ric
Hunt), the head con man, was up-
lifting and added some desperately
needed spice to the scene, but
even his banter wore thin. Susie
(Susannah Conn), the blind hero-
ine, moved the play in positive di-
rections, but some of her blocking
was too structured. There was no
need for her to bump into and trip
over the same things throughout
the entire play - just because
you're blind doesn't mean you
can't get around your house.
As the actors warmed up to
their parts, it became easier for the
audience to settle back and watch
the play. This occurred in the sec-
ond act with the entrance of Gloria
(Emily Horne) as the obnoxious
nine-year-old neighbor from up-
stairs. Horne played an impecca-
ble brat, and threw a silverware-
tossing tantrum to which other
kids should aspire. Her stage pres-
ence was best when she and Conn
were playing off of each other, but
she was convincing all around.
See DARK, Page 10

by Andrew Levy
OK, so Tim Robbins is having a
good year.
It started with a Cannes Film Fes-
tival Best Actor nod for his role as
the ambitious movie exec Griffin
Mill in Robert Altman's "The
Player," and continues with his
screen directing debut and outra-
geous political satire "Bob Roberts."
"Bob Roberts" purports to be a
documentary by British filmmaker
Terry Manchester (Brian Murray)
Bob Roberts
Directed and written by Tim Robbins;
starring Tim Robbins, Brian Murray,
Alan Rickman
who chronicles ultra-right wing folk
singer Bob Roberts's (Robbins) run
for a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylva-
nia during the 1990 elections.
Roberts' competition in the race is a
left-leaning, "bleeding heart" Dem-
ocratic career politician, Brickley
Paiste (Gore Vidal) - whose as-
sociation with a young campaign
worker has caused him some dam-
age in the polls.
Roberts is the ultimate "Slick
Willie" media candidate. Armed
with his haunting smile and guitar,
he jaunts from campaign stop to
campaign stop singing conservative
folk tunes like "Drugs Stink" and
"The Times are Changin' Back."
The candidate typifies everything
the money-grubbing '80s were
Accompanying Roberts on the
campaign trail are campaign man-
ager Lukas Hart III (Alan Rickman),
media-spin person Chet MacGregor
(Ray Wise), and a trio of fascist-
youth military school Roberts lack-
eys, Roger, Calvin,.and Bert, who
seem to show up drooling at every
one of the candidate's rallies.
Fascist populism is exciting, at
least in the movies. Despite Roberts'
vehement anti-drug stance (one song
uses the line "Hang 'em high for a
clean living land" to refer to drug
vendors and users), investigative

journalist Bugs Raplin (Giancarlo
Esposito) of the alternative-press
"Troubled Times," is vehemently
trying to prove a connection between
Hart, Roberts, and a weapons-for-
drugs smuggling ring somewhere in
South America.
The supporting actors perfectly
flesh out their small roles. Wise
("Twin Peaks") is spectacular as the
unflappable spin doctor, MacGregor,
always smiling for the camera - re-
gardless of what is going wrong on
the campaign trail. And Pamela
Reed (who appeared in Robert Alt-
man's similar campaign satire,
"Tanner '88"), Susan Sarandon,
James Spader, and Fred Ward are
bitingly funny in cameo appearances
as bright-and-smiley local TV news
But the music in the film is the
final blow for the audience. Roberts,
the son of a "peacenik" mom and a
"fry-cook" dad, is Bob Dylan-gone-
awry as he totes greed and intoler-
ance through misguided folk music.
Roberts' music is a backlash to the
troubled '60s ("The Times are
Changin' Back") - specifically
needling the videoclip from Dylan's
"Subterranean Homesick Blues,"
with cue cards reading, "Don't get
caught. Take. Make. Win. By any
means necessary. Make millions."
As one character in the film says, "A
rebel conservative. That's deviate
The film slows down, however,
(read: nearly grinds to a halt) in the
final 30 minutes - with the excep-
tion of one surprising tap of the foot
- as Robbins' cynical satire be-
comes much more obvious. It seems
as though Robbins worried that:
moviegoers wouldn't get that his
film was a satire - he wouldn't
even let the soundtrack be released
for fear that real-life right-wing pols
would adopt the songs.
But 30 minutes of smack-you-in-
the-face politics is worth it for 901
minutes of in-tune, subtle, intelligent
political satire, isn't it?




_ * r!7 P*

#v V.
b A . " . / o " . c'

Bob Roberts (Tim Robbins) schmoozes on the go in this new political satire.


(For people who don't get up early)
Saturdays & Sundays
1 lam-3pm
All your Favorites
Salmon & Bagels
Deep Fried French Toast
Homemade Raisin Toast
Eggs- Hashbrowns


NOW SEPT. 25 11am-4pm
Entertainment includes performances by: UAC's
Amazin' Blue, U-M Folkdancing Club, Fencing
Club, Gilbert & Sullivan Society, and a Step Dance.
Play the Regional Champions in College Bowl!

UAUI 'D 111
A, ,
BBQ Ribs
All you can eat $6.75
Slow Roasted Beef Ribs
served with Fries& Slaw
5pm- midnight

BOB ROBERTS is playing


338 S. State



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