Show highlights women's issues
By JASON CARROLL
"The Kathy & Mo Show: Parallel Lives" is
comprised of 14 skits performed by only two
people. The production was written by comedi-
enne/playwrights Kathy Najimy and Mo Gaffney.
In fact, if you're watching Comedy Central late at
The Kathy & Mo
Show: Parallel Lives
September 16, 1993
night you may see one of the skits presented in a
The Performance Network has mounted a pro-
duction with Susan Arnold and Annemarie Stoll
cast as Kathy & Mo, respectively. During the two-
hour show the pair race through a variety of
subjects, from a feminine point of view. Interest-
ingly, they act out all the scenes instead of just
performing them in stand-up comedy style.
At the top of the show, the two appear as angels
who are assigned to create the "perfect world."
They decide that females would be given the task
of childbirth, while males would get a large ego to
compensate for not being able to procreate. Just to
be sure the males wouldn't be upset, they decide
to make childbirth messy and extremely painful.
After a few frantically paced, on-stage, cos-
tume changes we arrive at "Period Piece" in which
Kathy and Mo wonder why women have been
traditionally embarrassed by their periods. They
make fun of the way their mothers used to describe
menstruation, for example, "Aunt Mary is coming
to visit." Later, they satirize society women who
ask one another if they "have some lipstick they
The two ponder what it would be like if men
had periods by depicting an encounter between
two men at a football game, in which, one boasts
of his upcoming period by asking the other if, "he
would like to come over to the beer bash he's
having to celebrate it!"
In another vignette, they present feminist per-
formance art. During this peice within a perfor-
mance they dance around wildly proclaiming "my
placenta is your placenta" and "I love my labia."
This type of comedy is peppered throughout
the performance. Topics range from Catholicism
to Shakespeare to astrology. Nothing is sacred. At
times, the show may seem to drag on a bit too long,
but Arnold and Stoll sped through scenes that
weren't garnering a response from the audience.
The couple were extremely hilarious in the
show, but at times they couldn't help but break
from their character because what they were say-
ing or doing was absolutely absurd. For example,
in the piece entitled "Hank & Karen Sue" Kathy
plays a hopeless, cowboy drunk who annoys the
hell out of Mo for over 15 minutes by using just
two pick-up lines, "you're lookin' very very pretty
tonight darlin"' and "when ya gonna leave that
boss man of yours and come marry me?"
For this fast paced show to be successful you
need a very versatile set in addition to a cast that
can take on over 29 personalities in one evening.
This performance had just that. The open-walled
set provided for quick, easy access to the stage and
wardrobe, and Arnold and Stoll's character trans-
formations were so smooth and realistic, they
could both be easily committed for multiple per-
THE KAI'HY AND MO SHOW: PARALLEL
LIVES moves to the Strand Theatre in Pontiac
on October 13th thru 30th. Call (313) 355-8100
Susan Arnold and Annemarie Stoll are women in control in "Kathy and Mo."
Mediocre flick misses target
"Boces" is the second album from
the most bizarre, creative, and indi-
vidualistic group recording today -
Mercury Rev. There's no fence-sit-
ting with this band; listeners quickly
divide into diehard, dedicated Rev
fans or people who would rather run a
mile (and enjoy the run) before ever
subjecting their ears to this strange
And what strange music it is. The
six-strong band plays instruments like
the majestic bellowphone, dither gui-
tar, and chevron fife, and states their
goal as wishing to "sound from an-
other planet." Out of this world is
more like it; it's strangely beautiful,
witty, and affecting. Besides, credit
must be given to a band pulled off
Lollapalooza's second stage for being
too strange and sounding "like a col-
lapsing bus." This is not your father's
"Boces features a wide array of
song genres ranging from the loud,
abrasive punk-funk on "Trickle
Down", the almost straightforward
pop of "Bronx Cheer," the turbo-static
of "Continuous Drunks and Blunders,"
tQ the murky pseudo-jazz of
"Girlfren." Mercury Rev's cryptic lyr-
ics stand out on "The Boys Peel Out:"
"back before the war/ everything was
sugar-free/ a young girl's heart/ was
filled with stars" and on "Downs Are
Feminine Balloons:" "If there's one
thing I can't stand, it's up." But best of
all, the two ten-minute epics, "Meth
of a Rockette's Kick," and "Snorry
Mouth" are brilliant textural washes
and, importantly, don't sound ten min-
Of course, the utter weirdness of
this band will turn off the majority of
the listening public, and the band does
seem too arty for its own good, but
"Boces" is a big improvement over
the group's 1991 debut, "Yerself is
Steam;" it's better written and more
However, even if Mercury Rev do
not attract a huge following, or influ-
ence the bands of the future, they
remain a clever and fascinating
anomaly on the music scene today.
- Heather Phares
Everything new seems old again.
The new, critically acclaimed London
trio The Auteurs and their debut al-
bum "New Wave," feel as if they have
been around forever - but that's a
compliment. Few debut albums in re-
cent memory have been so mature and
accomplished. "New Wave" recalls
"Rubber Soul"/ "Revolver" -era
Beatles, with the ironic lyrics and
beautiful melodies, it also has a deli-
cate, charming, shabbily genteel at-
mosphere; it's a nouveau-retro rum-
mage sale find, a brand new classic.
The Auteurs' songs are catchy, in-
dividual, and aren't obscured by the
shadow of their great inspirations.
Tunes like "Show Girl," with its jerky
rhythm and humorous/ amorous lyr-
ics, the bitter, ironic "Bailed Out,"
and the fine, brittle "Junk Shop
Clothes" add a certain nobility to the
world's misfits. "Starstruck" is
heartwrenchingly beautiful and could
compete with the Fab Four's wistful
ballads; "Early Years" is as tough and
acerbic a song as many John Lennon
solo compositions. The songs are
well written and include clever lyrics
such as "don't you recognize us?"
(from "Show Girl") and "and the sun/
never shone/ on your frame/ pale and
wan," from "Junk Shop Clothes." The
vocals are also accomplished - the
singer, Luke Haines, sounds like a
cross between John Lennon and
George Harrison in their heydays;
sneery, romantic, and veddy, veddy
At times, The Auteurs seem too
precious for their own good, and their
conception of themselves as beautiful
losers may be hard for some to really
get into, and pure, unabashed pop is so
rare nowadays that it may actually
startle some listeners. Still, this is one
of the finest albums of the year. It's
well written, well crafted, and deeply
affecting. Though it came out in
March, "New Wave" is still well worth
checking out for its innovative mix of
old and new.
Destroy Me, Lover
Once again the Pain Teens show
the verity of their moniker with the
new CD, "Destroy Me Lover." If you
think you have problems, you should
listen to this as something to make
you feel better about your state of
being, because no one can possibly
have as many awful things happen to
them as are described on it.
The music and themes of agony on
this album are more diversified than
on previous efforts, fortunately. In-
stead of only molestation narratives,
four songs concern adult sexual prob-
lems, three are about child abuse, and
three have other themes. The vocals
are much improved as singer Bliss
Blood indulges in far less screech-
singing than in the past. The lyrics are
also periodically upbeat, a major
change from past outings. "RU-486"
is a joyous little ditty about the abor-
tion pill solving overcrowding and
providing the choice part of "pro-
choice." You have to laugh. The song
may seem happier than it is because of
the extremely dark track that comes
before it, "Tarpit." The dark, sticky
music and chant-like vocals about a
deep secret are more evil and tradi-
tional Pain Teens devices.
Overall, the music itself is good,
grinding, and guitar based. It goes
from beautiful distortion on one track
to divine clarity on the next and back
again. Despite an unfortunate tendency
for long guitar feedback parts crop-
ping up at the end of songs, the music
is some of the best to have come from
See RECORDS, Page 8
By JOHN R. RYBOCK
Filmmakers should be worried about their movie when,
during a dramatic conversation between two key charac-
ters, the audience is left wondering, "Is Sarah Jessica
Parker's left eyebrow higher than the other?"
directed by Rowdy Herrington; written by Rowdy
Herrington and Marty Kaplan; with Bruce Willis and Sarah
It is also not a good indication of the suspense level
when the audience can figure out who the "mysterious"
psycho killer is an hour and a half before the movie reveals
So one has to wonder what was going on in the minds
of the makers of the newest Bruce Willis action, wanna-
be-a-thriller, "Striking Distance." There was, from the
basic story, so much potential to make a very interesting
movie, yet there are only one or two little things that are
The film starts off with promise - Having testified
against his partner/cousin, Tom Hardy (Willis) becomes a
pariah on the Pittsburgh police force. His only support
comes from his police officer father (all the male members
of the family are cops), who we first meet when father and
son are going to the policeman's ball.
Caught up in a chase after the "Polish Hill Strangler,"
the film offers one genuinely funny moment, as the father
asks the son questions such as "Whatever happened to that
stewardess?" while the son is jumping curbs, smashing
cars and turning 180s.
The film quickly jumps ahead two years, where Hardy
has been busted down to river patrol - his father was
killed in the chase, and his uncle has rushed a patsy
through the courts and onto death row. Hardy knows the
guy convicted was not the man - evidence points to the
man being a cop (Gee, and every Hardy is a cop. Hmm. )
After all of this, Hardy has become alcoholic (we
assume, we never actually see him drink, or act drunk.
Everyone just calls him a drunk, and he has that patented
Bruce Willis Squint & Five o'clock Shadow.) The killings
start up again, this time the girls being shot and the bodies
dropped for Hardy to find them. Since all the girls were ex-
girlfriends, one dating back to the high school prom, could
the killer be seeking revenge on Hardy? Gosh, originality!
No, it is not original at all. So much could have been
done, but wasn't. River boat chases - an opportunity for
director Rowdy Herrington to make a "French Connec-
tion" on the water? No, just long shots of boats, with all the
excitement of the opening credits of "CHiPs."
What action there is, it is fairly ordinary and dull. But
between action sequences, there are major lulls, as the
story plods on. The writer must have hypnotized the rest
of the filmmakers into thinking that there were actual
character developments and plot twists, because they act
as if there are. There are none.
"Striking Distance" proves to be another "Bonfire of
the Vanities" for the career of Bruce Willis, who should
have stayed home and painted his wife's body. THAT
would be worth six bucks to see.
STRIKING DISTANCE is playing at Showcase.
Bruce Willis and Sarah Jessica Parker star in the rather ho-hum movie that could have gone beyond its present mediocrity.
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