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February 17, 1993 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-02-17

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Page 8 -The Michigan Daily -Wednesday, February 17, 1993

'Untamed' Tomei sparkles

by Aaron Hamburger
Marisa Tomei is proof that Melanie
Griffith can't act. While moviegoers
and critics alike laugh Griffith off the
screen forherhigh-pitched, nasal voice,
Tomei manages to transform this poten-
tial liability into a crucial asset. After
Untamed Heart
Directed by Tony Bill; written by Tom
Sierchio; starring Christian Slater, Mans
Tomei and Rosie Perez.
only two major film appearances (the
first one being Tomei's high-powered
screwball turn opposite Joe Pesci in
"My Cousin Vinny"), it is clear that
Marisa Tomei is fast becoming a talent
to reckon with. Her furiously winning
performance in "Untamed Heart" lifts
what might have been an otherwise
contrived, by-the-numbers attempt at
romance into a serious study of a love

relationship between two specific,
sharply-drawn characters.
But"UntamedHeart"isreallyChris-
tian Slater's story. Slater plays Adam, a
reclusive busboy with a heart condition
and more than a few problems relating
to other human beings. Adam has fai,
hopelessly in love (hopeless because he
barely knows how to put a sentence
together) with Caroline (Tomei), aheart-
broken, lonely waitress.
The ungainly scriptby Tom Sierchio,
in typically unimaginative p.c. fashion,
manages to unite the unlikely lovers by
having Adam beat up a pair of thugs
who sexually assault Caroline (which
seems hardly plausible, considering
Adam's heartcondition). Still, oncepast
the hokum heroics at the beginning, the
story of these two characters getting to
know each other and falling in love
becomes involving and moving. Adam
can't express himself in words, but

The immensely enjoyable sequel to "5Nunsense", "Nunsense 11, The Second Coming," has arrived.
Whydon' nuns do drugs?

by Melissa Rose Bernardo
Why don't nuns do drugs? Because they already have a
habit! This is just one example of the cheesy jokes and knee-
slapping humor that made up "Nunsense II, The Second
Coming ..." Oddly enough, it was the most enjoyable night
I've had at the theater in a long time.
P Is RMANC E E
Nunsense II, The Second Coming ...
Birmingham Theatre
February 12, 1993
Fresh from the original "Nunsense," the Little Sisters of
Hoboken have returned to put on another variety show for
those who supported their firstbenefit. Butnow thesistersare
rich, since Sister Mary Amnesia turned out tobe the nun who
won the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes. And they
have also been bitten by the show-biz bug (or, the "theater
flea,"-as the Mother Superior calls it).
The variety show is interrupted when the Franciscans call
andclaimAmnesia as one of theirmembers, and demand her
and her prize money. But the show must go on, despite the
impending danger of Amnesia's departure. (I won't give
away the ending, but remember, they are nuns, so God is on
their side.)
The castresponded well to the challengesof the script and
the score. Kathy Robinson was the hilarious Mother Supe-
rior, holding the convent together with her innocent mala-
propisms, sassy mannerisms and hackneyed one-liners.
Robinson portrayedher effectively with appropriate amounts
of wisdom and compassion, and a slight Irish lilt. She was
touching and commanding in "Look Ma, I Made It."
Nancy E. Carroll was entertaining as the idealistic Sister
Amnesia, who is "a sandwich shy of a picnic." In "The
Country Nun," she displayed Amnesia's consummate inno-

cence, singing aboutherdream to be a country singer. Carroll
had the ethereal aura of Mary Martin, but with a much more
refined, controlled voice. Carroll also acted the part with airy
innocence and charm.
By far the nun who stole the show was Robert Anne,
played by Christine Anderson with an effective Brooklyn
accent. Robert Anne is street-wise, smart-aleck on the out-
side-"Yo, Rev!" is her greeting to the Reverend Mother-
but soft-hearted underneath. In "I've Got Pizazz," Robert
Anne butters up the "Rev" and sells herself so she can get her
turn in the spotlight; Anderson hammed it up appropriately.
She also made Robert Anne's transition to low-key and pious
in "Angeline," a touching tribute to the memory of her friend.
Themusic reflects the variety-show structure of"Nunsense
II." Author/director Dan Goggin'sscore is a conglomeration
of virtually every musical style imaginable-from'50s doo-
wop ("What Would Elvis Do?") and polka ("The Padre
Polka") to brassy cabaret ("I've Got Pizazz") and hand-
clapping, hip-swaying, raise-your-hands-and-praise-the-Lord
spirituals ("There's Only One Way To End Your Prayers").
Goggin made use of simple yet effective harmonies
orchestrations to bridge the musical styles. With the obvious
exception of the original "Nunsense," no musical in exist-
ence has such an eclectic yet musically colorful score.
Religious humor was at its best in "Nunsense II." The
sisters plugged their catalogue, "The Catholic Guide to Gift
Giving." Fun items included the Ascension Thursday levita-
tion kit and the Mr. Pope-tato Head. There is also the
chocolate replica of the Last S upper; it comes in two sizes -
white chocolate, six inches and dark chocolate, nine inches.
I have never laughed so hard in my life. "Nunsense II,
The Second Coming" is the most ridiculous show you will
ever see (next to the original "Nunsense")-and that is what
makes it so appealing. And for you Bingo lovers, you might
just win a trip to heaven! I did.

shows a deep sensitivity in his actions
(buying Caroline a present on his birth-
day). At the same time, Adam is so
afraid of people that when Caroline
invites him to a New Year's party, he
waits outside on the porch in the Minnc-.
apolis winter night for two hours until
Caroline discovers him.
Slater, much maligned for his over-
reliance on Jack Nicholson impressions,
delivers a full-bodied, charmingly ill-
at-ease performanceasAdam. Sierchio's
script forces Slater to explain how he
believes his weak heart was actually
inherited from the king of the baboons
in the African jungle, yet Slaternotonly
makes such ludicrous lines believable,
but also touching.
As good as Slater is, Tomei domi-
nates the proceedings. Her Caroline
wants nothing more than a position in _
life better than the one she has and a
sincere relationship with a genuine hu-
man being. Utterly lacking in self-con-
fidence at the beginning of the film, her
blossoming into a self-actualized
woman is the heart of the movie. We
begin "Untamed Heart"watching Tomei .
whining pitifully to a callous man, beg-
ging him not to leave her. As the film
progresses, Tomei learns to get by giv-
ing, rather than clinging to her partners.
At the same time, Tomei makes her
initial helplessness understandable, so
that the audience roots for her to change,
and is immensely gratified to see the
truly beautiful relationship between her
and Slater evolve.
Suddenly, at the end of "Untamed
Heart," the screenplay reverts to Holly-
wood cliche in order to give signifi-
cance to what was actually the very
meaty part of the film. The filmmakers,
so lacking in perception, rather than
choosing to stay the course and explore
the full possibilities of the romance
between Adam and Caroline, decide to
quit on the movie by sticking on a
gratuitously tragic ending that relates to
nothing else in the movie that went on
before it. Such a cop-out is not only an
insult to the audience, but an insult to
the finely-executedperformances in the
film.
UNTAMED HEART is playing at
Showcase.

Marisa Tomei is clearly on her way to becoming a major star.

'U' concert sounds like talent

by Keren Schweitzer
If you have ever wondered what a
talented music school student sounds
like, you're in luck. Tonight, the win-
ners of the University Concerto compe-
tition will perform at Hill Auditorium
accompanied by the University Sym-
phony Orchestra. In addition, the suite
no. 2 from "Daphnis and Chloe" by
Maurice Ravel, and a new composition
by Evan Hause, a masters student in
composition, will be performed.
Lembi Veskimets, ajunior violaper-
formancemajor, willperform the Rhap-
sody Concerto by Bouhslav Martinu.
Veskimets said of the work, "It is in free
form, it is an original work, and is also
very beautiful." The piece is written in
several different meters, yet it flows
along with a very lyrical quality. The
concerto is unique in that the orchestra
is not simply an accompaniment for the

soloist. "The orchestra and the soloist
don't always share the same material,
and some of the climaxes of the piece
occur without the viola," she said.
The Piano Concerto No. 1 in D
minor by Johannes Brahms is an im-
pressive work. Dale Backus, a second-
year masters student in piano perfor-
mance, will play the first movement of
this grand composition. "The concerto
is very emotional, to play it well, you
must sink your fingers into the keys, to
get the most sound out of the piano," he
said. Similar to the Martinu, Backus
stressed the importance of the orches-
tral part. He said, "The piece is naked
without the orchestra."
"The Depth" is the premier perfor-
mance of Evan Hause's masters thesis
in composition. Hause said of the work,
"it borrows fragments from the 'The
Wall' by Pink Floyd, andfromMahler's

Symphony no.9." Contemporary mu-
sic can be hard to understand upon first@
listening, but Hause stressed the acces-
sibility of his piece because of the famil-
iarity of these musical references. "The
title has to do with the many layers of
influences that I make use of in the
piece," Hause said.
The concert will finish on an excit-
ing note with the performance of the.
Ravel suite. The suite no.2 is an excerpt
from the ballet, traditionally performed'*
by itself because of the overwhelming
popularity of the orchestral part. This,
French piece from the periodofimpres-,
sionistic, programmatic music will thrill.
any hopelessly romantic music lover.
THE UNIVERSITY SYMPHONY
ORCHESTRA and concerto winners
will perform tonight at Hill
Auditorium at 8 p.m. Admission is
free.

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