'Patience' is scandalous to boot
By DAVID SHEPARDSON
"It was funny, if not a bit scandalous," said two
elder patrons following Friday evening's perfor-
mance of "Patience." Surely, Gilbert and Sullivan's
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre
December 3, 1993
study of aestheticism turned up eyebrows more
than a century ago, but for University viewers of
this generation, it was a thoroughly enjoyable
evening - with little scandal to boot.
The story of "Patience," or "Bunthorne's Bride"
as it is also known, takes place outside the castle
Bunthome in the England during the late 19th
century. The 20 young maidens - who really
number about 15 to 16 in the play - are formally
engaged to a regiment of Dragoon Guards, the
"B" basketball team of the British Military with-
out much height or quickness on the boards.
The Dragoons, are strong overall, providing
much to the impressive ensemble songs. Colonel
Calverly (Kevin Casey) seemed to grow into his
role as the evening progressed. The Duke of
Dunstable (Scott Piper) sang a trifle operatic,
which at times detracted from the performance.
Reginald Bunthorne, a modern day Dionysus
played admirably by David Zinn had a nagging
resemblance to Seinfeld's Kramer which was
nettlesome at times. Bunthome's character was
adored by the 20 love-sick maidens. As a group,
the maidens sang remarkably well.
Bunthorne, prefers the milkmaid, Patience,
played by Tricia Klapthor. Klapthor, who richly
played the role at times appeared a bit distracted.
The audience did not get a sense of who the
Patience, scorning Bunthorne's love and all
men's love was finally convinced by Lady Angela
(Liza Wirtz) that she did indeed love at one time,
Baby Archibald Grovesnor.
The next scene takes a leap of faith to accept
that seconds after Angela departs stage right an
older Grovesnor, (Eric Gibson) replete with "puffy
shirt and tights," spies the fair Patience.
Gibson provided many of the laughs in the
play through wonderful facial expressions. The
relationship between Bunthorne and Grovesnor
was especially charming.
It is irksome, however, that Gibson used a
British accent at the end of the play to illustrate his
transformation from perfection to commonplace.
What makes the character work is the simple fact
that he is not perfect, but rather that his belief in his
own perfection exudes from hj
Patience interrupts a "ra ' Bunthorne is
having for himself to declare t she will marry
Bunthorne. Despite this act, the audience never
got the sense that Patience really loves anyone:
Bunthorne or Grovesnor.
The maidens incensed, they once again requite
the love of the Dragoons, but only until Grovesnor
wanders by. Once again, captivated by aesthetics
- the love of all things beautiful - they transfer
their affections to Grovesnor.
At this point, the Dragoons take drastic mea-
sures to win the hearts of the fair maidens. They
dress in wigs and costumes, adopting the "poetic
mannerisms" of Bunthorne. The scene dragged
far too long, and the poses of the Dragoons were
stilted and modern.
All this time, Lady Jane, played by the self-
deprecating and obsequious Linda Nadeau, has
held out hope that Bunthorne would come to his
"senses" and marry her.
Bunthorne, to allay his worries about Patience's
love, forces Grovesnor to become a commoner.
When cricket-playing Grovesnor re-enters, the
maidens are now similarly dressed. Patience then
decides she can marry Grovesnor, because he is
no longer perfect.
In the end, the play focuses on the search for
love, especially for those who are not searching.
The conversion of Patience, who previously
thought of the insanity, irrationality and irregular-
ity of love, uncovers the theme: love exists, but
hey, be patient.
This rendition of "Sleeping Beauty" is different, but still very cool.
*New twist on a
By ROBIN BARRY
Although it bears the classic fairy tale's name of "Sleeping Beauty," this
odernized version, written and directed by Kerry Graves, is without question
an original production.
The play begins with the cast gracefully reciting the well-known story of
Sleeping Beauty. But then someone thinks to question its validity. They start
to wonder if that's the way the story really went, with the prince saving the day.
The cast ends by deciding to update
- * the fairy tale and have the princess
Sleeping Beauty save the prince. That's where all the
Ann Arbor Civic Theater Although the big gimmick of the
December 3, 1993 play is the role reversal of the prince
. and princess it has some other more
subtle modernizations, which are easily appreciated - for example, the
princess' combat boots and backwards baseball hat that so elegantly compli-
ment her dress and symbolized her independence and strength. Also, the
language of the play is very modern and hilarious, constantly reminding the
audience that this. is an original production.
One thing that is interesting about this production is that it's difficult to
distinguish who the lead is supposed to be. Graves took special care to give
every character its turn in the spotlight. She gives everyone a chance to develop
a character which adds greater dimensions to the story.
Of course, without a question, Bubbles, "The Itty Bitty Fief Fairy," (Genise
rothers) steals the show. This is a great character. First thing that strikes you
about this Fairy is her get-up. Sporting a pink tu-tu, boots with neon colored
shoelaces, a camouflaged back-pack with pink fairy wings attached to it, and
a trendy stocking-hat, this little fairy is quite a sight to behold.
As she so charmingly puts it in the country number she whips up, "I'm so
good at being bad." Bubbles is the evil fairy, the one that's not invited to the
prince's christening and casts the curse on the baby. She's hilarious. This
character really hams up to the audience, creating a sing-along out of her
country song, she tells the audience, "Tami Wynette wishes she were me!"
rothers boldly brings this nasty little sprite to life. She really rules the stage.
The entire ensemble does a great job. The play is very theatrical, and
definitely one of a kind. The modern humor keeps the adults laughing while
the kids can relish in the fairy tale. It's a lot of fun for everyone.
By MATT CARLSON
Amidst the dehumanizing steel
girders and concrete blocks of the
Michigan State Fair Coliseum,
Smashing Pumpkins "rawked" out for
thousands of screaming fans last Fri-
day. The Pumpkins came to "rawk"
the walls down and came close to
accomplishing that feat in their set of
songs from their smash hit "Siamese
Dream" and older favorites from their
State Fair Coliseum
December 3, 1993
We're talking "rawk" here - not
just plain old rock fare. The Pump-
kins are raw energy and pure spirit in
the form of four "rawkers" from the
Windy City. And even though the act
of "rawking" out can be extremely
difficult in a poor concert venue like
the Coliseum, the Pumpkins roared
with "Rawk-God" thunder.
The evening began with an excel-
lent set of songs from Britain's
Swervedriver, whose sound of noisy,
feedback-drenched, guitar jams
seemed more suited to the poor acous-
tics of the Coliseum. Not that the
Pumpkins set was poor. But when the
Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins commanded the stage during the band's performance on Friday night.
sound bounces off all of the metal and
cement, the more subtle aspects are
extremely difficult to grasp.
And that's what makes the Smash-
ing Pumpkins so "rawkin" - one
minute they'll be smashing their gui-
tars into a sonic fury, and the next
they'll create intricate melodies. Still,
poor sound aside, their set was in-
triguing and magnificent. In fact, their
"rawk" was simply smashing.
Lead Pumpkin Billy Corgan ap-
peared on stage, uttered "You ready
to rawk," and the band broke into
their ferocious "Geek USA." Two
songs later, the crowd screamed with
reckless abandon when they heard the
opening guitar notes from the MTV,
89-X saturated "Today." Many who
attended the show claim that "Today"
was the best song of the evening. ,
Those zany moshers in the mosh-
pit were in full-swing at this concert.
Kicking and swinging (even during
the band's more ambient numbers
like "Hummer" and "Soma"), many
moshers seemed to attend the show
just so they could get smashed be-
tween hundreds of others at the front,
of the arena. When will people learn
that when there is no room to move,
it's pretty dumb to wedge yourself in
even tighter. Some people just don't
know how to "rawk."
Take for instance the morons
throwing anything and everything on
stage at the Smashing Pumpkins.
Maybe they just took the band's name
too literally, but most likely they were
just idiots who wanted to brag to their
buddies that they whacked a "rawk"
star in the head.
This became unbearable for the
band toward the end of their encore,
and, rather than storming off the stage
(as Kurt Cobain of Nirvana did last
month), Corgan handled the overly
testosterized thugs admirably by
pointing them out and giving them a
serious tongue lashing before jam-
ming on the final song of the evening
- the epic "Silverfuck."
Overall, the evening with the
Smashing Pumpkins was fantastic
despite the poor venue and moronic
moshers. This band is well worth the
hype. "Rawk" on Billy and crew.
Choral Union's 'Messiah' takes creative turn
by CAROLYN QUINT
Handel's beloved "Messiah" was
performed with emotions powerful
enough to leave even the Grinch filled
December 4, 1993
with the spirit of Christmas. The per-
formance was truly fitting for the
University Choral Union's 115th an-
nual production of Handel's grand
Thomas Sheets made his "Mes-
siah" debut as the new University
Choral Union Music Director. He is
the 10th conductor to hold this posi-
tion since the choir's founding in 1879.
With featured soloists soprano Ruth
Golden, mezzo-soprano Wendy
Hillhouse, tenor Robert Tate and bass
Louis Lebherz, Handel's illustration
of the foundations of Christianity
came creatively to life. Containing no
dramatic action, the oratorio consists
of a series of musical numbers that
parallel the prophecy of Christ's com-
ing, His birth, life, death and resur-
The Ann Arbor Symphony Or-
chestra musicians were joined by
Cherry Rhodes on the organ and Ladd
Thomas on the harpsichord. Together,
they produced music that matched the
ability of the vocalists to express the
emotional "Messiah" verses.
The performance was marked by a
remarkable variety of mood and tech-
nique. The chorus sang "And the glory
of the Lord" in a dance-like, triple
time. Similarly, Hillhouse's rendition
of "0 thou that tellest good tidings"
filled the auditorium with its light
melody and feelings of optimism and
cheer. However, the force and strength
with which Lebherz performed "Why
do the nations so furiously rage to-
gether" caused the audience to in-
stantly widen their eyes and sit up
straight in their chairs. It was the
unexpected resounding exclamations
throughout the entire performance that
held on tightly to the listener's atten-
tion and continuously challenged and
changed their emotions.
Unsurprisingly, the highlight of
the evening occurred with the joining
of both the performers and the audi-
ence in'singing "Hallelujah" to con-
clude the second of three parts that
make up the oratorio. The audience
was already anticipating and ex-
tremely willing to stand up and join in
on the excitement that filled the air
during "Hallelujah." At this time, the
division ofthechorus into twogroups,
each singing different themes, show-
cased Sheets's creativity and the in-
credible talent he conducts.
A little over three hours of pure
entertainment came to a very fitting
and glorious end with the combined
efforts of all the vocalists and musi-
cians. "Amen" released the audience
into a round of exuberant applause
and left them mentally prepared and
optimistic toward the upcoming chal-
lenges and demands of the holiday
. A N NAitb' oit :!2,
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