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November 02, 1993 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-11-02

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8- The Michgan Daily - Tuesday, November 2, 1993


'Roof' springs no surprises

Ever since she read "The Glass Menagerie" when she
was 16, Anne Kolaczkowski Magee has been a fan of
Tennessee Williams. Yet, even though she is an experi-
enced director, she did not consider herselfready to doone
of Williams' masterpieces, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," until
now. Her production, which will run November 4-20,
kicks off Ann Arbor Civic Theatre's 1993-1994 Second
Stage Season.
"Cat," one of Williams' more controversial plays, is
set on a plantation in the Delta, where Big Daddy's two
sons and their families have arrived to celebrate his 65th
birthday. One story involves a struggle between Maggie,
the wife of the younger son, Brick, and his brother and
sister-in-law to capture a good portion of the ailing Big
Daddy's will. The other, more compelling story, concerns
another battle, also by Maggie, with help from Big Daddy.
This time, however, she is trying to save her marriage,
which has been on the rocks since the death of Brick's best
friends, with whom it is suspected that Brick had homo-
sexual ties; since then, he has been spiraling downward

into alcoholism.
Magee acknowledges that "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" is
a difficult show to direct. "The language is very unusual,"
she said, "because in the first and second acts, Maggie and
Big Daddy have a lot to say, so that these are almost like
monologues, with a lot of repetition. The trick, for me, is
to make Brick interesting, since he doesn't speak a lot, and
to make Maggie and Big Daddy sympathetic." I
"This is Brick's show," Magee continued. "I'm trying
to focus on that. The focus should be on the character, not
on the set and the costumes."
Don't expect anything radically different in this pro-
duction. Magee thinks of herself as more of a playwright's
director. "I like to try to let the playwright's wishes come
through. I want to focus on the play, not on the direction.
If I wanted to do that, I could write my own play."

CA T ON A HOT~ TN ROOF is being performed
November 4-20 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays,
8 p.m., at Ann Arbor Civic Theatre on 2275 Platt Road
Tickets are $8, two-for-one on Thursdays. For further
information and reservations call 971-2228.


Return of the
Goddess 1994
Burleigh Muten
Hands of the Goddess

To the general public, Loudon Wainwright IIl is best-remembered for his fluke novelty hit from 1973, "Dead Skunk."
For those who have listened to any of his 14 albums over the last 25 years, he is much more than the smarmy pop
satirist that "Dead Skunk" suggested. Over the years, his songwriting has improved, with his humor and bitter
sensitivity deepening and his songs are more memorable and incisive. With his new live album, "Career Moves,"
Wainwright is hitting his stride. Combining six new songs with 13 old favorites, "Career Moves" represents all of his
best traits as a songwriter and performer. It is a fun, engaging and moving album - the stage is the best place for
his music, as Wainwright admits. If you haven't heard Wainwright's scathing yet warm humor, make sure you see
his show atthe Ark tonight; tickets are only $13.50 and the show begins at 8 p.m., with Erica Wheeler opening the
concert. If you can't make it to the show, pick up "Career Moves;" apart from an actual live performance, there is
no better introduction to this singer-songwriter's music.
edRecycle the Daily
Write Daily

Why Dogs are Better
Than Men
Jennifer Berman
Burleigh Muten and Jennifer
Berman help women overcome their
daily struggles with humor and en-
Empowerment in a calendar.
That's what editor Muten offers
women in "Return of the Goddess
1994." Continuing the success of
1993's award-winning "Return of the
Goddess" calendar, Muten combines
quotations and artwork to help each
woman find her own personal god-
Beautifully printed on high-qual-
ity paper, "Return 1994" seems more
like a book of art than a weekly plan-
ner. Every month, Muten inserts in-
spiring quotations and striking full-
color reproductions of artworks in
variousmedia. Ononepage, Starhawk
writes, "The Goddess is first of all
earth, the dark, nurturing mother who
brings forth all life." Emphasizing
Starhawk's life-bearing theme, a
woman seems toemerge from a bronze
relief by Roberta Baskin Shefrin on
the opposite page.
Burten's calendar is more than a

book of art-it's a religious experi-
ence. Rejecting male-centered reli-
gions, "Return 1994" promotes a fe-
male spirituality. As Starhawk's quo-
tation indicates, the paganism in "Re-
turn 1994" emphasizes the earth's
role as creator and nurturer, roles
which women perform. Worshipping
the earth-mother also worships the
individual woman, a microcosm of
her earth and her universe. To reflect
this worship, Muten includes holi-
days like Beltane, which occurs on
April 30 and May 1 and celebrates
Many goddesses
represent both life and
death, but Muten
downplays this
contradiction while
emphasizing the
uplifting, feel-good
aspects of goddess
"the full flowering fertility of earth."
Many goddesses represent both
life and death, but Muten downplays
this contradiction while emphasizing
the uplifting, feel-good aspects of
goddess worship. A poem by Mary
Sarton praises Kali, the Hindu god-
dess of creation and destruction.

hurtful, destructive energy into help-
ful, creative energy: "lift out the pain,
the anger, / Where it can be seen fo
what it is -/ The balance-wheel fo
our vulnerable, aching love."
In the same way, Berman's "Why
Dogs Are Better Than Men" helps
women transform their anger into
laughter. "In the interests of lighten-
ing the load on our already overbur-
dened court system," Barton dissi-
pates women's anger toward their
"hormonally challenged counter-
parts," men.
Berman, a postcard artist, deftly
illustrates her humor with 75 one-
page cartoons. She groups these into
three sections: "Why Dogs are Better
Than Men," "Why Men and Dogs are
Equivalent" and "Why Men are Bet-
ter than Dogs." Her book counters the
"Why a beer is better than a woman"
shirts worn by men.
Berman goes for the jugular-an
the gut. In one cartoon, a dog licks h
genitals. Berman's caption: "Dogs
take care of their own needs."Berman
criticizes men's political beliefs, too.
In her world, men are war-mongering
ultra-conservatives: "Dogs don't
make a practice of killing their own
species" and "No dog is a member of
the NRA."
Berman and Muten provide
women two ways to feel better above
themselves and their world, Muten by
giving women anew spiritual insight,
Berman by attacking men.
- Oliver Giancola





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