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September 17, 1993 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-09-17

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The Michigan Daily -Friday, September 17, 1993 - 9

,ohn MayaII

'Nerd' poses familiar predicament

By KIMBERLY GAINES
I guess when I heard the name of
Larry Shue's play, "The Nerd," I should
have known what to expect. When the
play began, however, I was still sur-
prised to see this outrageous, typical
picture of the 1980's nerd image in his
character Rick Steadman, played to
perfection by Tom Underwood.
The lights came up in the living
The Nerd
Mendelssohn Theatre
September 15, 1993
room of Willum Cubbert (Larry
Rusinsky) which lookedlikeanyAmeri-
can living room with the addition of a
drafting board for his architecture work
in the corner.
Theopening scenedragged and con-
tinued to do so through the first half (a
very slow 90 minutes), and to be honest
I was dreading having to sit through
another hour and a half. Although the
first act had it's funny lines and mo-
ments, the overall feeling was slow.
It began on the evening of abirthday
party for Willum when they received an
unexpected visit from Rick, the man
who saved Willum's life in Vietnam.
His antics and stupidity offended
Willum's business associate Warnock
Waldgrave (R.Brian Falkner), caused
his girlfriend Tansy McGinnis (Leigh-
ann Danner),to leave, annoyed every-
one else and humiliated Willum.
Although the first act was not con-
tinuous laughter, it was highlighted by
the performance of Falkner who played
a convincing successful, but airheaded,
businessman. His wife, Clelia (Margie
Cohen) brought alot of laughts with her
method of stress reduction, shattering
dishes with a spoon. Directed by Charles
Jackson, a faculty member in the
University's Department of Theatre and
Drama, the timing and production of
"The Nerd" was effectively done.
The second act began six days later
with Willum.totally miserable because
Rick has moved into his home, fol-
lowed him everywhere and driven him

and all those around him crazy. Willum
tells about Rick coming along on a
business trip and when the plane hit a
little bit of turbulance, Rick stood up in
the aisle and yelled, "Urinate! Urinate
or your kidneys will explode!" And the
worst part, Willum told his friends, was
that some of them actually did!
Finally, in desperation Willum takes
up his friend, Axel, on his plan to get rid
of Rick without hurting his feelings:
they decide to give him a bit of culture
shock with the Terre Haute way of life.
A hilarious scene of outrageous activi-
ties designed to make Rick run scream-
ing from Indiana only cause him to
exclaim "This is the most fun I've had
since I've been here!"
Axel Hammond (Hal Wolfe) made
his Ann Arbor Civic Theatre debut with
this performance, and although his lines
seemed a bit more like lines than the
Although the first act was
not continuous laughter, it
was highlighted by the
performance of Falkner
who played a convincing
successful, but airheaded
businessman. His wife,
Clelia (Margie Cohen)
brought a lot of laughts
with her method of stress
reduction, shattering
dishes with a spoon.
natural personality of his character, as
the ultimate cynic he definitely had the
funniest lines in the play. Rusinsky, who
has won awards from the Ann Arbor
News as Best Actor and Best Support-
ing Actor, gave the most convincing
performance as the lead character who,
as his girlfriend said, "lacked gump-
tion."
The scene ends with a happy Willum
and Tansy, a gone-forever (they hope)
Rick, and a funny surprise from Axel.
Perhaps a bit slow in the beginning, the
second act was fast, funny, and I left the
performance smiling.

"The Nerd," performed by the Ann Arbor Civic Theater, could have picked up the pace.

I----------

It's appropriate that John Mayall is closing 1993's Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival
- in many ways he is responsible for the contemporary, White blues scene. Mayall
formed the first version of the Bluesbreakers in 1963 and over the years the band
has featured many of the most influential blues and rock musicians in the past two
decades, including John McVie, Peter Green, Aynsley Dunbar, Mick Taylor and, most
importantly, Eric Clapton. The 1965 "Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton" album was
the first place Clapton's playing came into its own, prompting the famous graffiti,
"Clapton is God." The Rolling Stones picked Taylor from the Bluesbreakers to fill
Brian Jones vacancy; with Taylor, the Stones recorded their best albums , including
"Sticky Fingers" and "Exile on Main Street." Green and McVie formed Fleetwood
Mac after leaving the Bluesbreakers. For these three things alone Mayall would be a
major musical force, but the bands Mayall formed after their departures also
performed consistently solid blues, shaping the sound of modern blues. In the
Eighties his records tended to be somewhat bland but with his fiery new release,
"Wake Up Call," on Silvertone Records he sounds better than he has since the
Sixties; his new guitarist, Coco Montoya, is particularly impressive. The
Bluesbreakers' performance on Sunday at Gallup Park should prove the perfect way
to finish the festival. Tickets for all four shows of the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz
Festival are available at all TicketMaster outlets; the price of admission for the
outdoor shows at Gallup Park are $12.50 in advance, $15 the day of the festival;
for students tickets are $10.

UM Major Events & Hispanic
Heritage Celebration present
~
Pal'Mieri
Maestro
Latin Music
Friday October 1 8pm
Power Center, Ann Arbor
A five time Grammy Award winner,
Eddie Palmieri is a collector of world
rhythms traveling the planet for 30
years with his distinct style of Latin
music. The musical brew is eclectic,
a mixture of Afro-Cuban rhythms,
salsa licks, jazz improvisation and
classical interjections.
763-TKTS
Michigan Union Ticket Office
& all Ticketmaster outlets

l .

Great Performances-Half-Price!

A

University Musical Society's
Off
Student Ticket Sale
Saturday, September 18
10 A.M.-1 P.M., Hill Auditorium

-.
--~
-..
..

po-

Urban Bush Women,
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan,
or Betty Carter for $8!

Feld Ballets/NY for
$12.50!

Betty Carter
Jessye Norman
U-M School of Music Faculty
Artists Concert
Feld Ballets/NY
Andre Watts in an Evening of
Chamber Music
Les Ballets Africains of Guinea
St. Petersburg Philharmonic
Mariss Jansons, conductor
Dmitri Alexeev, pianist
Boston Musica Viva
Claire Bloom, narrator
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
Kurt Masur, conductor
Christopher Parkening
Thomas Hampson
Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers
Uptown String Quartet
The Stratford Festival's
Stratford-on-Ann Arbor
The Importance of Being Earnest
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan-
Handel's Messiah
Canadian Brass
Trio Tchaikovsky
Borodin String Quartet
Shostakovich String Quartet

Hungarian State Folk Ensemble
Pilar Rioja and Company
James Galway, flutist
Christopher O'Riley, pianist
Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra
New York City Opera National
Company
Puccini's Madama Butterfly
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Kenneth Jean, conductor
Philip Sabransky, pianist
Urban Bush Women
Kronos String Quartet
Hermeto Pascoal et Grupo
Moscow Philharmonic
Vassily Sinaisky, conductor
Gil Shaham, violinist

See the biggest and brightest names in classical
and jazz, dance, theatre and opera including
Jessye Norman, Betty Carter, Feld Ballets/NY, the
Stratford Festival, New York City Opera National
Company, and other select performances, for
HALF-PRICE- between just $5 and $19!
Valid Student I.D. required
Limit 2 tickets per event -

Kronos String
Quartet with Hermeto
Pascoal et Grupo
for $8.50!
*" "******** *** * * * "
Jessye Norman,
James Galway, or
the St. Petersburg
Philharmonic for $8!
Canadian Brass for

U-M School of Music Faculty
Artists Concert
Guitar Summit
Pepe Romero, Leo Kottke,
Joe Pass, Paco Pena
Murray Perahia, pianist
Emerson String Quartet
Joshua Bell, violinist
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Neeme Jarvi, conductor
University Choral Union
Thomas Sheets, music director

I

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