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December 10, 1992 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-12-10

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ARTS

'The Michigan Daily

Thursday, December 10, 1992

Page 8

Actors 'Fool' with Sam Shepard

by Jon Altshul
Long before he had attained mar-
quee billing as an actor in such cin-
ematic epics as "The Right Stuff'
and "Country," Sam Shepard was
being dubbed as the next great
American playwright. He wrote like
he acted - tough and pastoral -
imbuing all his characters with a
rugged simplicity, reminiscent of a
long-forgotten American utopia.

Shepard's most successful script,
"Fool For Love," will be performed
this weekend by the Basement Arts
Troupe in the Arena Theatre.
The stage is cramped and barren,
almost haunting in its unworldliness,
consisting of one single paint-
chipped decrepit motel room with
dirty sheets and plywood walls that
no character is fully able to leave.
The sly sounds of Ry Cooder's slid-

ing mandolin provide the only ex-
ternal life to the claustrophobic
decor. Is this indeed west Texas or is
it in fact somewhere entirely re-
moved from reality?
Critics like to call this setting
"Shepard's Country," but director
John Knapp prefers to call it his
own. "All Shepard's plays have a
dislocated sense of place and time."
Knapp has tried to perpetuate this
theme of dimensionlessness with an
intricate lighting design and a
haunting Texas blues soundtrack.
Furthermore, he hopes to emphasize
the inherent tensions that the script
evokes via incessant banging against
stage walls and by seating the audi-
ence within a suffocating proximity
to the action.
Knapp, who also stars as Eddie,
first became interested in "Fool For
Love" last spring while writing a re-
search paper on Shepard. le was
moved by the script's raw grit and
surreal energy. "One word describes
this play, and that is 'passion'," he
explained, "(all the characters) are
violently repelled, but passionately
attracted to one another.'
"Eddie represents fantasy,"
Knapp continued, "he straddles a
blurry line between what is real and
what is imaginary."
Tamlyn Shusterman co-stars as
May, the central object of Eddie's
life-long obsession. "May is the vic-

tim," she conceded.
leave (Eddie), but
therefore trapped."

Josh Funk and Andy Newberg
round out the cast, respectively, as
Martin, May's dim-witted boyfriend,
and the Old Man, an eerie incarna-
tion of Eddie's father, who vicari-
ously lives through his son while be-
ing literally removed from the play's
action. Due to the small size of the
ensemble, the chemistry of the pro-
duction rests squarely on the shoul-
ders of its actors. "Rehearsals have
been somewhat non-traditional,"
Funk explained. "We have prepared
ourselves by doing everything from
drinking tequila to playing football
during run-throughs in order to
heighten the intimacy between char-
acters."
The play, which was made into a
1986 movie starring Ed Harris and
Kim Basinger, keys off of a chilling
distinction between fantasy and real-
ity. Characters serve as barriers be-
tween each other which prove too
ominous to overcome. "Everyone is
the 'Fool', even the audience,"
Knapp summarized, "for believing
that any of these characters will ever
come together."
FOOL FOR LOVE will be performed
in the Arena Theatre, located in the
basement of the Frieze Building,
tonight through Saturday at S p.m.
Admission is free.

I.

"She needs to
can't, and is

0

JOSTENS

I

Stop by and see a Jostens representative
December 10-11 o 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
to select from a complete line of gold rings,
only $39 per month.
A $25 deposit is required.

SPORTING
GIFTS
FOR THE
SPORTING
FAMILY
663-6771
419 E. Liberty 9 2 blocks off State

I

Support Campus Cinema

L

I , ,

i

No, it's not a Summer's Eve ad (breathe a sigh of relief), it's Jackopierce.
What sounds like an
Indigo uy at frts
by Andrew Cahn
Both Jackopierce and Cages consist of two guys playing acoustic gui-
tars and harmonizing folk-pop lyrics; Indigo Guys, if you will. For fans of
those women from Athens, as well as other acts like Toad and James
Taylor, or Arkies John Gorka and Christine Lavin, both of their records,
"Woman as Salvation" and"Hometown," are highly recommended.
Some people in Ann Arbor may recognize the Cages from the free
show they did at 427 Hamilton in September. It was part of their tour in
which people call a 1-800 number to have the group play at any party or
event. One tune, "You Better Live," has received decent airplay on
WAMX, and it is well deserved. The song changes gears from the lite-
rock verses to the reggae chorus quite fluently. Other highlights include
the melodic "Liberty" and the Camper/Cracker-like rocker "Too Tired."
Jackopierce is also well known to Wolverines from the party circuit
for they have successfully entertained a few frat party crowds. Jack
O'Neill and Cary Pierce are two recent SMU graduates, who have been
performing together for about four years. They released a disc last year,
but too many of those songs sounded like two happy guys who like
strumming Ds and Gs. Their new release, however, contains many inter-
esting tunes and it is very catchy. The strongest tracks are the calypso
"Sweet Ocean" and the two emotional ballads which follow, "Hollow"
and "Advent."
The difference between the two records is that the Cages have major
label interest behind them, and Jackopierce sell their own tapes and discs.
The arrangement on the Cages disc is greatly helped by the use of two
top-notch sessionmen, percussionist Alex Acuna and guitarist Dean Parks.
If Jackopierce can be signed to a national label, let's hope they make a
record that's produced as well as "Hometown."
JACKOPIERCE will play at Rick's Saturday night, with the RESTROOM
POETS will opening. Cover will be $4. Call Rick's at 996-2747.

0

book & supply

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(at North University)
Ann Arbor, MI
665-4990
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