'Difference' quite different from life
By JASON CARROLL
The Purple Rose Theatre Company launched
their season earlier this month with "The Vast
Difference," a new comedy written by film actor
Jeff Daniels. "The Vast Difference" takes a come-
The Vast Difference
Purple Rose Theatre Co.
October 28, 1993
dic look at the changing roles of the American
male in the '90s.
George, a flight attendant for the fictitious
Heartland Airlines (they fly to Midwest destina-
tions), is undergoing a mid-life crisis. He becomes
neurotic about everything - from inheriting his
father's feet to his upcoming urology appoint-
The audience is witness to the problems George
suffers through the use of flashbacks to his child-
hood. All the things that go on inside George's
mind are acted out. At the front of George's
worries is his wife's insistence that he have a
vasectomy. George is afraid of losing his man-
hood twice (he lost it the first time when he
became a flight attendant).
Most of the comic scenes occur in the
urologist's office. George's sarcastic, wry doctor
was portrayed beautifully by Janet Maylie, an
instructor in the Theatre Department at the Uni-
versity. George has many fears about getting a
vasectomy and his urologist plays on these fears to
the highest degree. When George asks her what
would happen if he became erect during the pro-
cedure she quipped, "I charge extra."
George keeps putting off the surgery and be-
gins to usehis urologist as a psychiatrist to vent his
anxieties. Each time he enters her office he imag-
ines screams coming from the surgery room and
has visions of the male nurse using pipe cutters,
machetes and chain saws during the procedure.
John Seibert was exceptional as the paranoid
George, especially during the psychotic episode
he went through in the second act. He changed
roles, from a child to a 30-year-old man, quickly
and smoothly. It seems ridiculous that one person
could go through so many troubles in so little time,
but Seibert pulled it off.
Peter Beudert's set was the highlight of the
show. One of the most important elements of
scenic design is creating a set that sums up the
entire show and Beudert's set does just that. The
small stage was turned into a baggage terminal
with a conveyor that was used to track items on
and off stage. The center of the terminal opened up
and provided extra playing space for the surgery
and barber shop scenes.
Interestingly, the set was a mirror of George's
mind. According to George, everything that hap-
pened in his life revolved around the fact that he
was an airline steward and the set reflected this.
The problem that "The Vast Difference" suf-
fers is that it tackles too many issues in one show
and then ties them up in the last two minutes. After
enduring dilemma after dilemma George realizes
that "all that's important is that you're good at
what you do." With just this one realization he
transforms from a babbling idiot to a sane man,
life is just vastly different from this.
THE VAST DIFFERENCE runs through the end
of November at The Purple Rose Theatre Co. in
Chelsea. Call 475-7902 for more info.
."The Vast Difference" tries to tackle too many issues in too little time.
Nirvana show attracts eclectic audience
By MATT CARLSON
Here's a riddle - what do you get
when you cross ajunior high slumber
party, a redneck tractor pull, an el-
Michigan State Fair Coliseum
October 29, 1993
e ementary school recess, a frat party
and a grunge fashion show? The Nir-
vana concert at the Michigan State
Fair Coliseum this past Friday
Yes, diverse cultures were out in
droves to see the masters of teen spirit
perform songs from their multi-plati-
tum "Nevermind" and their follow-
Up "In Utero."
Teen is the key word as an over-
whelming majority of the audience
were, in fact, pre-pubescent kids, some
of whom were seen in tow with their
parents. Overall, the crowd was an
interesting diversion from aspectacu-
Outside the parking lot, the line-
up of cars waiting to enter was a
dreadful sight for a Nirvana show,
which, two years ago, would have
been lucky to pack a small bar. Inside,
the Boredoms, the first of two open-
ing bands, took the stage a few min-
utes after 8 to an unsuspecting audi-
Their loud, brash noise caused
many to shout obscenities at the band.
This is indeed ironic, considering that
not too long ago many of these same
people would have been screaming
for Nirvana's heads. "Boredoms" is
quite a strange name for a band that
delivered a very interesting perfor-
When The Meat Puppets appeared
for their set, the crowd already seemed
restless for the headliners Nirvana.
The second band did their best to
appease the audience, but their coun-
try-tinged rock seemed out of place as
many started to yawn towards the end
of their 45 minute set.
Finally, Nirvana came on to the
delighted cheers of the thousands of
onlookers. The band opened with an
exciting version of their anti-corpo-
rate radio anthem "Radio Friendly
Unit Shifter." The mosh pit, which
had been active since the Boredoms,
now came to full swing as most on the
main floor jumped up and down to the
music of the "grunge" kings.
Nirvana performed more than half
of the songs from their new album
including "Serve the Servants," "Milk
It" and the first single "Heart Shaped
But what the crowd really wanted
was "Nevermind," and Nirvana de-
livered as they played "In Bloom,"
"Territorial Pissings," "Come As You
Are" and most of the others from their
second album. The band also man-
aged to squeeze in a few of their older
songs - "School," "About a Girl"
Nirvana's performance was in-
triguing to say the least. The stage
was set with various artifacts such as
withered trees, redpoppiesand winged
mannequins, but the props took a
backseat to the band.
Singer Kurt Cobain forgot the
words to his songs occasionally and
screamed what he couldn't remem-
They played an extremely warped
version of theirhit-single "Smells Like
Teen Spirit," which went unnoticed
by the moshing minions on the floor.
The band's encore was drastically cut
short, as Cobain stormed off the stage
after being hit in the head with an
object thrown by an audience mem-
ber during a stunning version of
However, even though Nirvana's
performance was good, the setting of
the State Fair Coliseum was a terrible
place to see a concert.
If people wanted to see the band
instead of mosh, they had to sit in the
stands which placed them miles away
from the band - not a very intimate
atmosphere. Also, the show at the
Coliseum was much like playing in a
The acoustics were poor as much
of the sound bounced off the cement
walls and created a constant feedback
rumbling noise. Nevertheless, Nir-
vana still managed to perform excel-
lently in what was otherwise a very
March on Over
Although the Michigan football team has certainly left a lot to be desired
this season, the University Marching Band is still as strong and brilliant as
ever. The University's 235-member band can be heard every weekday at
Elbel Field which is located on the corner of Hill and Division Street. The
public is invited to sit in on any practice session for a glimpse behind one
of the most famous marching band corps in the country. Admission is free.
Practice times are between 4:45-6:15 p.m. weather permitting.
Chivalry is not Dead
The Society for Creative Anachronism will be holding their weekly
meeting tonight at 1305 Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences
Building on North Campus. The Society focuses on a different aspect of
medieval culture every week (such as costumes, heraldry and other crafts).
Anyone interested in attending is more than welcome to join the merriment
and festivities. Admission is free and the workshop begins promptly at 7
p.m. Call 663-4748 for more info and ask for Chris.
Witches Remain after Halloween
While Halloween may be over for yet another year, the ongoing seminar
on European witchcraft continues. This discussion, titled "Basic Witch-
craft: Creation Spirituality" will be conducted by John Morris, a visiting
philosophy professor at the University. Morris' knowledge of the 300-year-
old tradition of witchcraft should be of great benefit to anyone interested in
the topic. The discussion is free and will be held at the Inter-Cooperative
Council Education Center at 1522 Hill St. at 7:30 p.m. Call 665-3522 for
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