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November 07, 1993 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-11-07

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 8, 1993

'Godot' definitely worth the wait

By ROBIN BARRY
The R.C. Players' production of "Waiting for
(odot", directed by Peter Campbell, had it's first
couple of runs this weekend in the R.C. Audito-
rium. Campbell's cast and crew certainly had
some tough shoes to try on.

^ m, t T m 7
Waiting For Godot
The R.C. Auditorium
November 5, 1993
"Waiting For Godot" has been criticized and
acclaimed in many different countries. Since it's
premiere in Paris, in 1953 it has met with a great
deal ofcontroversy. Labeled avant-garde, absurdist
and existentialist, "Godot" has quickly become a
classic. It's found it's way into the curriculum of
English and theater classes of all sorts.
These might seem like some fairly intimidat-
ing credentials.
Also, "Godot" isn't typical entertainment. It
does not rely on some sort of oversimplified plot.
It doesn't really tell a story. The action of the play
does not culminate to form some sort of conflict
followed by an expected resolution.
Instead, "Godot" raises some fundamental
questions about existence. It forces one to look
inward for conflict and resolution. The play actu-

ally centers around the idea that nothing of conse-
quence ever happens, and that nothing really
changes anyway.
This could pose a problem. How do you get an
audience to sit through a play in which nothing
actually happens?
Well, Peter's cast and crew pulled it off beau-
tifully.
The cast, composed of four men and a boy,
seem to truly enjoy doing the play. They seem
immersed in it. It does not appear to be so much a
performance as a personal exercise. They really
seem to understand Beckett's text, and do a nice
job translating the words into a physical reality.
They appear to be very confident and comfortable
with their portrayal.
These actors also work very well with each
other. Jason Winslade and David Gordon play the
vaudevillian bums, Estragon and Vladimir. Mix-
ing drama with comedy in a shameless manner,
these two contribute some powerful moments to
the play, as well as some ridiculous ones.
One particular moment, where their comfort
and confidence came in handy, was when Vladimir
threw a hat which struck the tree, making all the
leaves fall off. Instead of ignoring this freak
accident, Winslade and Gordon incorporated it
into the comedy of the play, giving the tree a good
long stare and then shrugging as if to say, 'What
are the chances?' It was truly precious. They were

very well prepared.
The sadistic Pozzo, portrayed by James
Ingagiola was charmingly pompous and a joy to
watch. Jim Burch who enacted the part of Pozzo's
servile counterpart, Lucky, was very convinc-
ingly pathetic as a 'menial'. When he's finally
made to speak he's a dynamic force to be dealt
with. The boy, played by Tilman Walsh, gave a
fine performance as the messenger of Godot.
The actors seemed to take possession of the
entire theater. The use of space was impressive
and very physical. Although this is a very philo-
sophical and thought-provoking play, the audi-
ence was certainly given something to watch. It
was quite entertaining.
The cast would come and go as they pleased
from any direction. When the boy, for example
first enters, he comes from the back of the theater.
The audience hears his first timid, "Sir?" and is
caught by surprise, just as the actors on stage are.
Peter's utilization of space was very effective and
forced the audience to become more involved.
Beckett's "Waiting For Godot" may have pre-
sented quite an intimidating challenge to Peter
and his crew. However, they overcome this chal-
lenge and present a terrific piece of entertainment.
The play is also running this weekend, same
times same place. Instead of paying six bucks to
stare at a movie screen, you might think about
getting some very live entertainment.

'Cat' fails of the
roof with a thud

i
y
i

The long awaited "Robocop 3" finally hit theaters last weekend. Oh joy!
Worthless 'Cop'

By KAREN LEE
There is no question that Tennes-
see Williams' dramas are often diffi-
cult to perform. They can be histri-
onic at times, plus the author has a
tendency to repeat himself. "Cat on a
Hot Tin Roof" is no exception. The
play, which deals with two struggles,
Cat On a Hot Tin Roof
Ann Arbor Civic Theatre
November 4, 1993
for an inheritance and for a marriage,
becomes shrill at times; plus, since
there are two characters who have
virtually act-long monologues, it is
inevitable that they will repeat them-
selves. All the same, I love Williams,
and thus was sorely disappointed with
Ann Arbor Civic Theatre's produc-
tion of "Cat," which will be running
through November 20.
There were, of course, a few good
performances. Charles Sutherland as
Big Daddy Pgllitt, the family patri-
arch who is unknowingly dying of
cancer even as he is celebrating his
65th birthday, was an imposing pres-
ence. I was glad to see that Sutherland
didn't play the character as all bluster
and crudeness, but that he allowed the
audience to see his deep fear at the
thought of dying and his glee at being
told that he is not (naturally, a false
diagnosis). Troy D. Sill and Tim
Henning, in the roles of Reverend
Tooker and Doc Baugh, two guests at
Big Daddy's birthday party, did not
once break character, clearly giving
these relatively minor parts the same
attention they would have given a
lead.
It's too bad that the same time was
not devoted to the roles that deserved
it, or, at least, it didn't appear that it
was. Chris Korow, who played unctu-

ous older brother Gooper, was fine in
his smiling meanness; however,
Wendy Wright, in the role offGooper's
equally unctuous wife and apparent
baby factory, Mae, started off shrill
and went up from there. By the third
act, I had to cover my ears every time
she spoke.
Big Daddy's wife, Big Mama, as
acted by Julie Devine, was just silly.
Granted, silliness is a major compo-
nent of the character, but she is also
supposed to be equal parts pain, from
enduring a marriage for 40 years to a
man who doesn't love her, and, by the
end, dignity. Devine and director Anne
Kolaczkowski Magee, though, didnot
take advantage of what Williams'
script had to offer, and thus gave us a
woman who was purely one-dimen-
sional.
It's too bad that the
same time was not
devoted to the roles
that deserved It, or, at
least, It didn't appear
that It was.
But the biggest disappointments
were John McGowan as the younger
son, Brick, and Cassie Mann as his
wife, Maggie. This is by far the most
interesting plot line in the play, one in
which Maggie desperately attempts
to save her marriage when Brick takes
to alcohol and silence after his best
friend Skipper's death; Maggie sus-
pects the two men might have been in
love with each other. But Mann,
McGowan and director Magee did
not raise the stakes high enough to
make for compelling drama. Mann
was supremely unfocused, which,
with as much speaking time as the
character has, cannot happen; it did
not seem to particularly important to

0

By CHRIS LEPLEY
Let's all have amoment of silence for the death of yet another potential cult
film series. "Robocop 3" is a film so unworthy of its predecessors that it
doesn't even get a subtitle. Why not "Robocop 3: This Time He Flies With
Truly Awful Special Effects" or even "Robocop 3: This Time He Comes With
A Built-In Can Opener Just Like Spam?" The possibilities are endless.
Peter Weller took the high road
and decided to cut his losses by not
Robocop 3 making a third outing as the metal
Directed by Fred Dekker; written by behemoth Robocop. Robert John
Frank Miller and Fred Dekker; with Burke fills those size 13's about as
Robert John Burke, Nancy Allen and well as anyone. It's not like grunting
Rip Torn. and ordering people around isa stretch
for an actor, but it'd be nice to see
some effort once in awhile. Burke tries, but there'snot much meat on this bone.
Nancy Allen returns as Robocop's partner, Anne Lewis, proving some
people's careers would be much improved by their own deaths by fire. Once
again, Lewis does nothing but stop a few bullets and weep and beg Murphy
(Burke) to remember his human side (which he does much too often, subject-0
ing the audience to annoying sound effects and melodramatic crap).
In this last installment, Robocop becomes disenchanted with the corporate
hell-hole that futuristic Detroit has become and throws in his lot with a group
Why not 'Robocop 3: This Time He Flies With
Truly Awful Special Effects' or even 'Robocop 3:
This Time He Comes With A Built-In Can Opener
Just Like Spam?'
of rebels. If only the filmmakers had taken the rebels from "Demolition Man"
complete with Denis Leary as the leader and transplanted them to "Robocop
3," then it might have been exciting. As it stands, the rebels are a big group of
bad actors, and that's all. And they also suffer from 'cute kid' syndrome in the
person of Nikko (Remy Ryan), a pre-pubescent computer hacker who man-
ages to get ahold of Ed 209 (from the first film) and wreaks havoc throughout
Detroit with it. Robocop has become a Disney franchise in too many ways.
One of the biggest problems with the film is its lack of believability. That
might sound like an obvious statement, but the filmmakers didn't even bother
to check out what modem Detroit was like before they made this movie.
Supposedly set in a futuristic urban warzone, the film (shot in Atlanta, by the0
way) looks about as dangerous as Traverse City after dark. Detroit had worse
riots than these during the '60s, making "Robocop 3" look more like a
documentary than a fantasy.
"Robocop 3" is rated PG-13, and if that doesn't tip you off that the days of
good 'ole Paul Verhoeven-esque gore are gone, then let me warn you - there
is not enough pure splatter to justify the utter stupidity of this script.
ROCO't)P 3 is nlavino at Showcase.

Cassie Mann was a disappointing Maggie in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."

her that she be able to convince her"
husband to sleep with her again.
The actor who plays Brick has a
harder job, because, while he doesn't
say much, he has to allow the audi-
ence to glimpse the pain over
Skipper's death and, yes, the love,
both brotherly and the more romantic
kind, that he felt for his friend when
he was alive, and which he feels now.

But McGowan only gave us surface
emotion, not allowing any turmoil to
be seen, so when he lashed out at
Maggie or Big Daddy, it was notclear
as to where such anger was coming
from.
That was, in essence, what this
production of"Caton aHot Tin Roof'
was about: all surface and no sub-
stance. Willliams deserves better.

I

~7~z~c

BONE
Continued from page 5
steely, sometimes tortured, some-
times enraged stare never loses its
potency. Arlis has had it rough and
just wants to live his life with no
surprises stocking candy machines
and counting quarters.
With Ryan, it takes a few minutes
to remember that she is not a dis-
placed character from a Nora Ephron
movie. After the initial shock of see-
ing her pop out of a cake dressed
more like Madonna than one would
ever expect, the chemistry between
Ryan and Quaid keeps things rolling.
The relationship that Arlis and Kay

have, though far from traditional fairy
tale proportions, seems like it could
really turn out splendidly if for no
other reason than that they are both
really messed up. Ryan's role is
strengthened by pairing roughness
with a more sensitive, almost mater-
nal side that brings out Arlis' own
vulnerability. She is also given most
of the film's funnier lines, which help
to dispel the gritty, sweaty, tension-
filled seriousness that can be a real
drag.
Granted, the predictability of cer-
tain major plot twists could be irritat-
ing to some people, but the story as a
whole is kind of interesting and there
is a realistic, honest feel to the film
that makes it more effective.

*N

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8 1

FRn vni1IR

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