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April 05, 1993 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-04-05

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ARTS

Purple Prince puts on
powerful performance
by Kim Yaged
Where has Prince been the past five yeafs? "Yo' momma's house," he declared
Thursday night before breaking into a luscious rendition of "The Morning
Papers."
He opened Act I, what he is calling the first half of the show, rather predictably
with a hard-driving, fast-paced version of "My Name Is Prince," and in his typical
coming at you live style jumped right into "Sexy M.F." This trend continued
throughout the night as songs were presented and subtly evolved into the next
track. However, where the Purple One usually providesjust a sampling of avariety
of songs, this go-around he was more generous with the playing time per track.
Act I consisted of the opera - a live performance of the songs off the latest
Prince and the N.P.G. collaboration.
The man, woman and horn symbol
Prince and The New which is the appellation of the CD was
Power Generation also the primary lighting fixture and the
Fox Theatre most compelling component of arather
April 1 and 2, 1993 sparsely filled stage.
For the first hour of the show the
performers acted out the story-line which consisted of the Princess, played by
dancer Mayte Garcia, being kidnapped from where she sat in the audience and
courted by Prince himself.
During a grooving performance of "The Max," Prince and then Tony Mosley,
Kirk Johnson and Damon Dickson, took turns taking Polaroids of one another and
audience members and then throwing the photos to the crowd. Prince even graced
an extremely receptive audience with a new song called "She's A Peach," which,
like a lot of the songs off the new album, cannot be half as good recorded as it is
live.

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The performances in "Andromache" are first-rate, highlighting the fierce emotional struggles between the four main characters.
'Andromache'leaves 'em -lughing

by Laura Alantas
I left a Greek tragedy laughing. Not a good sign.
My parting reaction to John Russell Brown's
"Andromache" was not, however, a fair indication
of the quality of the performance. Some of Brown's
innovative theatrical devices worked very well and
many of the actors provided strong individual per-
Andromache
Trueblood Theatre
April 1, 1993
formances. Sadly, these positive aspects of the show
were undermined by a few unfortunate directorial
choices.
The show opened with an introduction called
"Andromache Project." After contextualizing the
facts of the Trojan war, the cast emphasized the
relevance of the themes of warandhate in the present
day. From imitations of influential political leaders
delivering speeches explaining their involvement in
specific wars to the retellings of victims' experi-
ences in many recent conflicts, "Andromache
Project" successfully called into question the exist-
ence of any and all wars. During "Andromache
Project," Brown effectively experimented with the
manner of representing war. His unique vision for
this introduction included choreographed and mimed
movement and brutal sound effects.
The show then seamlessly flowed into Brown's
retelling of Racine's "Andromache." The dignified

translation of the17th-century tragedy was created
by Brown himself.
The finest aspect of the performance was watch-
ing the internal struggles of the four main characters:
Pyrrhus, Andromache, Orestes and Hermione. The
line that divides love and hate can often blur beyond
recognition, but these four characters distinctly de-
fined the line many times.
Christy Wright's Hermione effortlessly glided
along this thin line. She ranged from manipulating
others to being manipulated by her own passions,
which demonstrated her complex and confused in-
ner thoughts. Peter John Fletcher's Orestes found
himself at the mercy of his love Hermione's calculat-
ing actions. While Orestes could not control his
reactions, it was clear that Fletcher carefully con-
trolled his expression of them. Fletcher's final scene,
however, reached such a fever pitch that Fletcher's
pained words merely bounced off the audience. The
level was too intense and too frantic for the audience
to absorb.
In a role that could also potentially suffer from
excess of emotion, CeCe Grinwald's Andromache
was able to keep the balance between over-the-top
wailing and restrained action. Grinwald's greatest
scenes, however, included those where she remi-
nisced about her beloved husband. Scenes such as
these revealed Andromache's noble strength and
Grinwald's sincere talent.
Opposite Grinwald's grieving Andromache was
Chris Stapleton's determined Pyrrhus. Perhaps the
most memorable performance, Pyrrhus found him-

self in love with his enemy, despite himself. The
continual conflict between his political allegiances
and his intense love for Andromache allowed the
greatest insight into his character. Stapleton remark-
ably captured these two opposing states of mind in
one scene. After pledging the end ofhis involvement
with Andromache, Pyrrhus then saw Andromache
enter. Within moments, he knelt at her feet and
revealed his burning desire to marry her. Stapleton
convincingly portrayed Pyrrhus' tortuous emotions.
The force of much of the play, however, was lost
due to distracting costumes and make-up. From
Orestes' loin cloth to Pyrrhus' Dr. Seuss-inspired
red and yellow striped cape to Andromache's too-
tight-to-walk-in black wrap dress to Hermione's
ankle-length tunic with waist high slits, the cos-
tumes upstaged the actors' performances.
Themost unfortunate decision came, however, at
the very end of the show. At the tragic conclusion of
"Andromache," the actors of the frame play returned
with a 12 feet high "puppet of death." With a paper
machd head and skeleton body, the puppet chased an
unsuspecting group of modern day war protesters.
After the killing of one protester, the others lashed
out and stabbed the specter of death with their anti-
war poster handles. As the massive puppet crashed
to the floor, its skull went rolling into a far corner of
the stage. This attempt to make a final, undeniable
anti-war statement was so absurd that the drama that
had preceded it was all but forgot. Instead of depict-
ing war as a circus, the show had made a circus of
itself.

The highlight of the first act was the vicious performance of "7." Introduced
by hypnotic Middle Eastern music, Mayte danced around the stage platform,
sword on head, then the rest of the dancers kicked it in. The Fox, with its ornate
architecture and design, was the perfect backdrop. As the music retracted to mark
the conclusion of this portion of the performance, his highness made the
declaration, "To whomever it may concern, you must come to your senses, there
are no Kings on this earth, only Princes."
All the showmanship of Act I were pushed aside when Prince re-emerged after
the break. The second half of the show started with "Let's Go Crazy" and went
through such rarities as "Irresistible Bitch," "She's Always In My Hair" and
"When You Were Mine" without slowing down. Inviting audience members on
stage and climbing onto a statue off stage to do his "fuck the taste out of you'
mouth" impersonation, Prince put his reputation as a recluse to rest. During one
ballad in Thursday night's show, when a touch of feedback screeched its way out,
he responded with, "I didn't know my voice could go that high."
A pearl cage descended on stage for a portion of "Insatiable" which progressed
into a performance of "Scandalous" that made the song worthy of its appellation.
Alternating between his gold mike with stand and his cock pistol microphone,
Prince pleased the crowd with hits from nearly all his albums in the past ten years
and then some. He even threw in a light teaser, turning on the house lights as if
the show had ended. A less gullible crowd Friday night pretty much didn't fall for
it, and aftermuch chanting, Prince, clothed in white threads with gold trim, strutted
back out on stage declaring, "Prince has left the building." He proceeded to
perform a montage of "Partyman," "Party Up" and "1999," concluding with a clip
of "Baby I'm A Star" because, after all, he is.

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Write for Summer Arts
for information about writing for musw, fine arts,
books, theater or film,
call Megan or Nima at 763-0379
Best of AnnArbor Ballot '93
Please return by April9 to the Daily at 420 Maynard, 48109. Results will be printed in the April 15 Best of Ann Arbor issue of Weekend etc. Thanks for your time.
Best Restaurants/Bars for... Men's clothing Place to find parking
Coffee Women's clothing Student group/organization
Burgers Thrift/used clothing Fraternity to party with
French Fries Books Sorority to party with
Pizza Textbooks Co-op
Hot dogs Used books Ugliest building
Wings Haircut Bathroom
Cheap beer First-run theater Lecture Hall I
Bar Drinks Video store
Ice cream/Frozen yogurt Liquor/party store Best (and worst) Entertainment
Chipati Photocopying Local band
Sandwiches Sporting goods Dancing spot
Subs Groceries Concert in past year
Cookies Florist Radio station
Italian food Magazines Place to go when in an altered state
Middle Eastern food Michigan items (sweats,mugs, etc.) I
Chinese food Posters Best (and worst) dating stuff
Korean food Place to meet a mate
Mexican food Best (and worst) of the University Pick-up line I
Deli Professor Rejection line I
Greasy spoon Course Place for first date I
Sports bar Blow-off course Place for secret rendezvous
Breakfast Residence hall Idea for unusual date
Lunch Sports team "Date movie"

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al

'a,

Prince's new album is brilliant, but you can't spell it.

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- Ni m n x1 HISu mu 'a R ma, IRF ANN ~AinR

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