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October 19, 1992 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-10-19

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily- Monday, October 19,1992

Erasure sometimes plays bingo

by Jeff Rosenberg
I challenge you to give a better party than Vince
Clarke and Andy Bell.
Naturally you've gotta define a "better party," but it
doesn't mean you need two ambulances a night pulling
bleeding people out of a mosh pit for it to be good.
However, Bell dedicates "Somewhere Over the Rain-
bow" to "all the homophobic, racist, gender-biased
bastards" during the course of the show, so if you're
folk who fit into that category you may want to stay
Erasure
Music Hall, Detroit
October 17, 1992
home. Erasure's Phantasmagorical Entertainment is an
explosion of sight and sound that must be seen and
heard if you're an avid partygoer.
The nutty revelers of synth-pop worked on a stage
tilled with so much techno-wizardry and lighting it's
hard to believe they actually pulled it off. The sound
system was excellent, and hey, no singing along with a
tape deck for these guys. Vince Clarke sat surrounded
by gobs of music gear and cables in a slowly moving
car that looked like a Jawa sandcrawler. The entire
stage involved a 'backdrop that periodically
metamorphosed into a ship, a rainy street, even a desert
complete with cacti. Two backup vocalists and eight

sensual dancers were also present. Bell's outfits
included flapper/cabaret attire, complete with feather
necklace, and a blue-sequined cowboy outfit. Although
the dancers' costumes varied from vinyl and chiffon
raincoats to glowing skeletal attire to huge fluorescent
stars plastered all over their sleek bodies, Bell was still
the center of the show. A girl behind me commented,
"He has such great legs! He'd look better in pantyhose
than I do!"
Amongst Bell's usual sexual innuendo, the usually
stone-faced Clarke got into costume after a while and
even smiled. Clarke's reworkings of songs for their live
show all went off effortlessly in the face of strategically
placed smoke machines, hot air balloon apparatus, and
the perpetually dancing crowd. These included all the
songs from their recent Abba tribute "Abba-esque,"
many from their last full release "Chorus," unexpected
tunes like "Love is a Loser" and "Stand By Your Man,"
and the usual Erasure standards.
Bell's voice was clear and strong throughout the en-
tire show, ranging from his bari lows to his unmistak-
able falsetto. You wonder if he needs the backup vocal-
ists at all during the rollicking 3 hour set. Well, minus
the intermission (intermission?). During the break,
Clarke and Bell came out dressed as carnival weirdos to
play Bingo with the entire audience. I was only one
number short of Bingo when Katie from Ypsi won the
concert-tee-clad teddy bear.

Kitsch,
dignity and
country
by Andrew Cahn
k.d. lang announced Saturday
night that one of the objectives of
her show was to explore the
boundaries of country music. Lately,
whenever someone brings up coun-
try music, the Republican Conven-
tion comes to mind. George Bush
has embraced the genre because he
feels it epitomizes his family values
message. Right, as if we were sup-
posed to forget that convention per-
formers Wynonna Judd and Larry
k.d. Lang
Hill Auditorium
October 17, 1992

I

Jeffrey Max Nicholls tries his best to be Pinteresque in "Bithday Party."
M 0
ter play perplexes
by Jessie Halladay
Greatly mystified by rumors of the guest director's adaptations,
Harold Pinter's dark and brooding play, "The Birthday Party," was
uniquely transformed into an intense piece of theater by Vladimir Mir-
zoev. Set in a boarding house, Pinter's play is the twisted and compli-
cated tale of its inhabitants and the transformations they undergo.
The drama starts out with the owners of the boarding house having a
conversation over breakfast while two members of the non-speaking
The Birthday Party
Trueblood Theatre
October 15, 1992
"chorus" simultaneously go through a complex series of twisting and gy-
rating motions in the foreground. It is then that it becomes apparent that
this will not be an average production.
Adding to this initial impression is the setting. The shocking design
includes a large space towards the front of the stage covered in water.
An ingenious system of gutter-like apparatuses guides the water.
Throughout the play, characters nonchalantly toss liquid from cups and
wallow around in it. Later, the back wall opens up to reveal yet another
complete area of space. During the most crucial scene of the play, the
chorus is lifted up by an immense structure rising from the ground.
Even if the intense action of the performance leaves you confused to
its deeper meaning, the emotions of the characters come through. The
actors convincingly conveyed these emotions.
Stanley (Jeffrey Max Nicholls) goes through so many emotional
changes that by the end of the play it's hard to believe that he could have
lasted as long as he did. Nicholls did an extraordinary job of manipulat-
ing his body and voice in imitation of a man on the brink of insanity.
Though the rest of the cast was strong, there were clearly a couple of
standouts. Mason Haber was convincing as McCann, a nervous, eccen-
tric guest. His facial expressions added much needed comic relief. Chris-
tine Fenno also did a superb job in her portrayal of Meg, the often scat-
terbrained owner of the boarding house who was obsessed with Stanley.
The chorus, an adaptation of Mirzoev's, manipulated movement and
space wonderfully. Their presence added to the intensity of the drama
and often mirrored the emotions of the speaking characters.
"The Birthday Party" was uncommonly interpreted but beautifully
staged. Don't expect to come out understanding everything that went on,
but if you love theater and want to see this director's version, you've still
got one weekend left. It is a production that will leave you thoughtful, if
not somewhat perplexed.

Gatlin were not raised by a single
mother and a one-time coke addict,
respectively.
However, lang represents the ex-
treme left of country music. The au-
dience at Hill was not a typical
country music crowd, but rather the
Ann Arbor, WDET/WAMX types.
The good old boys want nothing to
do with her, for she is not only a
vegetarian, but as she proclaimed
Saturday, "I am a L... L...
Lawrence Welk Fan." Her openness
has made her an icon for many
young lesbians, and this was evident
in the amount of flowers delivered to
the stage.
Thankfully, her politics were
secondary to the music. This was a
concert, after all, and not a rally. Her
best known songs, "Trail of Broken
Hearts" and "Constant Craving,"
were spaced nicely throughout. The
entire show was so great that the re-
action to these tunes was no
different from anything else she
played that night. Even the most
pedestrian lang fans in the audience
were overwhelmed by her stage
presence and the rich sound of her
band.
Her mixture of kitsch, dignity,
country, swing and the far east@
proved why she, is one of the most
respected performers in the biz, re-
gardless of what those "Stand By
Your Man" devotees may think.
fenseless.
"Of Mice and Men" is a subtle
masterpiece. We are never distracted
by the periphery. The story is suc-
cinct and bold. Emphasizing the de-
velopment of character before the
fabrication of synthetic emotion, the
film downplays its final chase scene
and climaxes without the slightest
hint of fanfare. It is a story about
friendship and the American dream
in a realistic world where these con-
cepts are silly and obsolete.
Devoid of make-up and a loud
soundtrack, "Of Mice and Men" is
as gritty and distinctly American as
any story ever told. The pain you
will feel is so real that it might be
hard to take.
OF MICE AND MEN is playing at
Showcase.

*1

I

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Electrical Engineering Computer Engineering, or Management Information Systems.
Sign up with your Career Planning and Placement Center for our
on-campus informational presentationr"
Tuesday
October 20, 1992
6:30-8:30 pm.
EECS, Room 1303

MICE
Continued from page 5
loneliness with an almost pessimistic
dignity. These are real human be-
ings, so much a staple of their soci-
ety that they only vaguely compre-
hend how dehumanized they have
become.
What follows the film's initial
tranquillity is the introduction of the
no-named seductress, played with an
eerie sexuality by Sherilyn Fenn.
Her performance is hypnotizing as
she teases the audience with her
loose fitting skirt and clairvoyant
stare. She is not a "character," as her
namelessness indicates, but rather a
symbol of desire and temptation.
And while George lacks the fickle-
ness to fall for her act, Lenny is de-

F

JOSTENS

Stop by and see a Jostens representative
October 19-23 " 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

to select from a complete line of gold rings,
rtr 1 Q Q . T"%"+

6'

i

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