The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 1, 1993 - 9
* Girls Against Boys
Company fails fifth grade
By KAREN LEE1
At the beginning of the second act of Comedy
Company's "Enough With the Pleasantries" Friday night,
director Rob Green stepped out onto the stage to introduce
himself. He went on to explain that most of the sketches
resulted from improvisations that the company did in
rehearsals. "Our improv sketches have never failed to
entertain and amuse us," Green declared. Well, I'm really
glad that they were amused, because I certainly was not.
I wondered what was going through Green's head at
ydia Mendelssohn Theater
tober 29, 1993
this point. Was he actually proud of this witless wonder
thathe had played such apartin concocting? Was he really
enjoying this performance? I know I was trying to remem-
ber exactly why I was wasting two and a half hours of my
life watching this pointless, tasteless, irrelevant, unorigi-
nal and almost completely humorless excuse for a show.
That's not to say that there weren't a few mildly
amusing moments. "Nostalgia Classics" was a filmed
takeoff of Rolling Stone's anthologies of music from the
'60s and '70s; here, though, the tunes advertised were
from six months ago. "The Ballad of Grizzly Shevitz"
involved a character who was "mean, ornery and bearded,"
which was funny for the first couple of utterances, but
wore very thin very quickly. Plus, "Enough With the
Pleasantries" benefited from the energy of Brandon
Whitesell and "Mr. Video"Eric Olsen, who made acameo
appearance as an audience member with a fixation on
rocks. So much for the good points.
The show itself looked like it was put together in two
days. The sketches, which we were told began with
improvs, did not appear to have moved far beyond that
stage. The performers didn't look particularly comfort-
able; with a few exceptions, nobody seemed involved in
what they were doing, plus I didn't get the impression that
a great deal of rehearsal went into the sketches. So much
for production values.
I was also surprised to find that Comedy Company had
retained the scene transitions (people dancing around the
stage) that they used two years ago. And they used the
"Dating Game" format again. Granted, two years ago it
was "Studs" and this year it was the "Elderly Dating
Game," but there are only so many variations on that
premise and only so many times an audience can watch it.
So much for originality.
As far as the humor goes, I guess Comedy Company
wasn't kidding when they named their show "Enough
With the Pleasantries." It was execrable. I was amazed at
how many of the sketches revolved around some sort of
violence and death. "Lost Dog," for example, ended with
a woman's lost dog being mistaken by a hunter for a bear
and then shot. Seriously. "Appalachia" was essentially an
excuse to take any and all stereotypes of Appalachian
mountain people and stretch them to hideous lengths. I
don't know about anyone else, but I certainly did not want
to hear about a mentally deficient boy who used a fetus
(yes, you read me right) as a toy. So much for taste.
I don't know if I'm the only one who noticed this, but
it seemed to me that the company members were enor-
mously amused by the words "shit" and "fuck." Countless
punchlines revolved around those two words, as well as
certain other choice profanity. One could hear the relish
with which the performers uttered those particular
punchlines; I felt like I was back in fifth grade. So much
It's extremely unsettling, at least to me, that Comedy
Company could not come up with anything funnier than a
character who was obsessed with rocks. I guess that all we
can do is wait until next semester and hope that they grow
up before their next Big Show.
This foursome from Baltimore, MD, has an unusual take on the type of hard, heavy rock espoused by Helmet, Wool
and Jawbox. Girls Against Boys temper their angry, guitar-driven outbursts with a keen sense of melody and hooks,
and not a little artiness; in fact, it is this willingness to experiment within the boundaries of their genre that makes
this band worthwhile in their own right and not an exercise in imitation.
While some of the songs are the standard loud, smothering, threatening fare (such as "Go Be Delighted," "Rockets
are Red," "Get Down" and "Learned It"), the band really comes into its own when it gets weird - and when it gets
quiet. "I hope you don't have a good time," sneers singer Scott McCloud on the brilliant "Satin Down;" though the
song never rises above a threatening Whisper, its silence shouts volumes. "7 Seas" manages to be both gritty and
happy sounding, and "Billy's One Stop" and "Bughouse" are both softer songs but are as equally uncompromising
as their rockers. Their mastery of melody and song structure serves both their screams and whispers and their
sludgy, creative sound recalls a harder Sonic Youth. With "Venus Luxure No. 1 Baby," Girls Against Boys comes out
Catch their deconstructions of grunge tonight at industry at 8 PM; call 334-1999 for details.
- eather Phares
*N0 rollng in the aisles at Instinct'
Excellent performance in 'Riches'
By ROBIN BARRY
It's the same hotel as their honey-
moon, (but not the same room). The
same brand of sheets are on the bed,
(but not the same sheets). The only
major difference is that 21 years have
passed and she wants a divorce.
By ALEXANDRA TWIN
Are you in the mood for a good
time? Want to see a film so funny that
you'll literally be "rolling in the
aisles?" A film so clever, so original
and so biting in its spoofing of other
films and film genres that it'll make
Directed by Carl Reiner; written by
David O'Malley; with Armand
Assante, Sean Young and Sherilyn
you forget that you've ever seen an-
other film, let alone half a dozen or so
*other films, that do the exact same
thing? Want to really put $6 to use?
Then be absolutely sure to miss Carl
Reiner's newest contribution to cin-
emahistory, "Fatal Instinct." The poor
man's "Naked Gun?" No, this is the
poor man's "Loaded Weapon I."
Faster than a speeding hermit, fun-
nier than a date with death, more
subtle than an angry skunk and even
more inventive than an episode of
"Saved by the Bell," it's ... "Fatal
Instinct!" It's got suspense - will
Lana (Kate Nelligan) and her auto-
mechanic / shlump boyfriend Frank
(Christopher Macdonald) off her in-
attentive husband Ned (Armand
Assante)? It's got conflict - will
Lola (Sean Young) be able to bring
herself to both seduce and take re-
venge on the unsuspecting Ned? It's
got drama - will Laura (Sherilyn
Fenn), be able to escape from the
haunting memory of her abusive ex-
husband, a mad, raving, cleanliness
freak? Who knows? Who cares?
One thing it certainly doesn't have
much of is laughs. Yeah, the film-
makers make fun of a bunch of other
movies: "Cape Fear," "Sleeping With
the Enemy" and, surprise, surprise,
both "Fatal Attraction" and "Basic
However, most of the scenes are
just too stupid and sexist to amuse.
The ones that are even mildly funny
are either so obvious or so obviously
stolen from Jim Abrahms and the
Zucker brothers - guys who really
doknowhow tomake genuinely funny
parodies - that they lose whatever
cheap appeal they might have other-
To see good actors like Armand
Assante and the Oscar-nominated
Kate Nelligan prostitute themselves
in this way is less embarrassing than
confusing. Did they actually think
that this was a good script or were
they just paid a lot? Were they just
trying to show range or were they
faced with the prospect of doing "Psy-
chic Hotline" info-mercials and this,
by comparison, seemed good?
And what's Sherilyn Fenn doing
here? Yeah, she's had her share of
flops, but this one takes the prize. And
what about Sean Young? Alright,
alight, she's annoying, and granted,
nobody likes her, but even she doesn't
deserve this. Even Sean Young is too
good for this movie.
To be fair, the film is not com-
pletely unfunny. There is a scene that
has the RobertDe Niro character from
"Cape Fear" trying on hats with the
Julia Roberts character from "Sleep-
ing With the Enemy," all to the tune
of "Brown-eyed Girl," that was pretty
I even heard a guy in the audience
laughing. Out loud. I figured that it
must have been the one guy sitting on
the right-hand side of the theater, be-
cause the two old ladies who had been
sitting on the left, had already left
after the first 20 minutes. However, I
was wrong. It wasn't that guy laugh-
ing. It was the usher. And he was
FATAL INSTINCT is playing at
The Arena Theater
October 30, 1993
production of another a fine piece of
The play consisted of only two
characters, and all the action took
place in one room. It ran only about an
Although it seemed to be con-
structed simply, the play dealt with
some very complex problems. It
delved into the relationship between
a married couple, showing the darker
side of marriage. Carolyn Rich (An-
gela Peterson) wants adivorce but her
husband, David Rich (Frank Stasio),
won't let her leave. He desperately
tries to make her talk to him. When
they do talk, they wind up beating the
daylights out of each other, verbally
and physically. Finally, both husband
and wife are exhausted. Each finds
that they can't leave the other and
they resign themselves.
It was an intimate and intense dark-
comedy. It was almost like the audi-
ence was spying. The couple was a
little too realistic and perhaps a little
"Riches," a play written by Lee
Blessing, was originally titled "War
of the Roses." It is an uncredited
predecessor to the film. Although there
are many similarities between this
play and the movie, there are also
quite a few differences.
"Riches" was presented
lastweekend in the Arena Theater. It
was produced and directed by Jamie
Dawson through Basement Arts. Once
again, Basement Arts has enabled the
too familiar to be taken lightly.
Peterson and Stasiocreated apow-
erful image of a couple, disappointed
but dependent. They blended comedy
with drama in away that the audience
was on edge even as they laughed. As
if the play was perhaps suggesting
this could be you.' The couple was at
least a little frightening, they pre-
sented the problems that worry every
couple. That maybe those habits that
once attracted you to your spouse will
one day repel you and as the characters
Carolyn Rich said, "make you want to
pull your face off."
The set was very simple. No pic-
tures on the walls, nothing ornamen-
tal or unnecessary, just a room. By
utilizing such a plain and barren at-
mosphere, Dawson, placed all atten-
tion on the couple. He focused all
eyes on their crisis, and the outcome
was very effective.
"Riches" was a very powerful play
and the performance was equally in-
Joel's "New York State of Mind."
Medium to high tempo songs such
as "Easier to Say (Goodbye)," "Win-
dow of Hope" and "Lover's Holiday"
exemplify Adams's ability to cross
over to Top-40 radio, where she first
caught major attention supporting
Roland Orzabal on Tears for Fears'
"Woman in Chains."
Whereas Luther Vandross may
have been the choice for a romantic
evening in the past, Oleta Adams'
sophomore effort "Evolution" would
probably be just as effective to set the
- Jim Whitaker
Continued from page 8
exploration of multi-cultural mu-
sical stylings had led to the critically
acclaimed "Claim," an album marked
as much by its incredible diversity as
by its ultimate coherency. Unfortu-
nately, 1993 is not shaping up to be
quite as rewarding for the band. The
latest release from David Bridie and
co., "Circus," lacks both the expan-
sive sprawl of "Claim" as well as that
record's spirit of adventure.
Instead, "Circus" comes off as a
set of rather bland alternative pop
tunes, caged by the band's light ap-
proach to them. Occasional highs,
such as "Albert Namitijira" are offset
by the far-more-numerous lows.
While the songwriting remains above
average on this release, the lyrics are
backed with forgettable melodies and
weak vocals. Bridie's stories of mi-
grants, small towns and rolling fields
are interesting, but the music is not. It
is music that a person cannot hate,
though only because it does have
enough presence or personality of its
own to be that odious.
Without a doubt, "Evolution" is
an album that touches a listener's
heart, begging them to get into a ro-
mantic mood. Few vocalists can stir
good feelings as well as Oleta Adams,
and she does on this album.
The songs on "Evolution" seem to
be custom-made for a smooth, urban
contemporary radio station. Most of
the tracks feature Adams' soulful
voice accompanied by piano and
That mix turns out to be especially
sweet on "Come When You Call,"
"Hold Me for Awhile," "Don't Let
Me Be Lonely Tonight" (featuring
David Sanborn) and aremake of Billy
The Consortium of leading French
"Grandes Ecoles" of Management
is seeking to recruit June '94 graduates
for a 2-year International Management Program
in French and/or English.
For further information about the Schools
and the programs they offer,
please meet our representative:
Mrs. Joan FENET at the:
5th AVE. AT LIBERTY 761-9700
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Spoof movie, "Fatal Instinct," leaves the audience wanting laughs.
,,. . ._
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