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January 05, 1994 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-05

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 5, 1994

Don't miz this production of 'Les Miz'

The 400-some voters who give
outTony Awards forBroadway shows
are rarely wrong. Barring that unfor-
tunate episode in 1988 when they
awarded six Tonys to "The Phantom
of the Opera," they have a very good
track record. When "Les Miserables"
Les Miserables
Fisher Theatre
December 15, 1993
opened in 1987, it won eight, includ-
ing Best Musical, Book, Score and
Direction. And it deserved every one.
The third national touring company is
currently taking Detroit by storm, and
is a testament to the greatness of this
mammoth musical.
The plot is simple. After 19 years
in prison for stealing a loaf of bread,
Jean Valjean (Donn Cook) is paroled
and because of the kindness of a be-
nevolent bishop decides to become an
honest, upstanding Frenchman. The
rest of the show chronicles the people
with whom he comes in contact as
well as their own struggles.
While Valjean's story runs

throughout the show and receives the
most attention, authors Alain Boublil
and Claude-Michel Schonberg (and
Victor Hugo, who wrote the novel)
dedicate substantial stage time to other
fascinating characters. The polished
representation of these characters is
probably the most impressive aspect
of this production. All the actors -
many of them "Les Miz" veterans -
attack their roles with unbridled ar-
dor, making the most of their stage
Donn Cook is incredibly moving
as Valjean, with a full, clear voice and
a presence that moves easily from
brutal and anguished ("What have I
Even if you haven't
read the book, "Les
Miz" stands on its own
as a powerful, vividly
emotional musical and
an accurate
musicalization of
(Victor) Hugo's France.
done") to benevolent and kind ("Bring
Him Home"). His enunciation is es-
pecially impressive (considering the

Garth (Dana Carvey) is enticed by Honey Homee (Kim Basinger) in one of the few funny bits in "Wayne's We
'Waye's World leaves a bad taste

"Wayne's World 2" passes us by and like a good post
New Year's Eve hurl, tends to leave a bad taste in your
In many ways, the sequel to the blockbuster hit

Wayne's World 2
Written by Mike Myers and Bonnie & Terry Turner, directed
by Stephen Surjik, with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey
"Wayne's World" is similar to vomit. Most of Wayne and
Garth's gags derive from the refuse pit of pop culture.
They mock dubbed sequences from martial arts films,
steal bits from good movies ("The Graduate") and bad
movies ("Jurassic Park") and pay homage to mystical
popstars like Jim Morrison all while giving pelvic thrusts
to whatever delicious babe comes their way. In the end,
viewing "Wayne's World 2" is like mixing up scraps from
bad cable movies, some funny one-liners from an obnox-
ious comedian and then swallowing this trash with a chase
of tepid farce and spewing it all forth on the ground in front
of you with the energy that comes from exorcising poison.
Like the first movie, "Wayne's World 2" is more or
less a series of skits-some funny, some not. Wayne and
Garth want to put on a rock festival they dub Waynestock
after one of them has a dreamy encounter with a version
of Jim Morrison, minus acid. The boys recruit road legend
Del Preston, a man who has traded piss with the likes of
Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton, from England to help them
organize the show. Hot babes like Heather Locklear and
Honey Hornee played by Kim Basinger serve as distrac-
tions to Wayne and Garth's plans. Christopher Walken is
the heavy playing a slick record producer who tries to get
the goods on Wayne's rock singer squeeze, Cassandra.
Mike Myers and Dana Carvey's portrayal of goofy
suburban kids with hip, polysyllabic slang begins to tire

after a while. Wayne frequently stares into the camera
with an impish, moronic expression on his face which
reminds the audience that they are watching a completely
unoriginal movie. After a while, you want to decorate his
face with Sharon Stone's ice pick.
Myers attempts to be funny by being non-logical. At
one point in the film, he points out a man in the street who
is carrying a large section of Plexiglas. The character
becomes nothing more than the guy with Plexiglas. Is this
funny by not making sense? Not!Someone should rig
Myers up to Dr. K's death machine and let him discover
what his attempt at creative humor amounts to.
As Garth, Dana Carvey is-less annoying. His Kenny G
gag and fling with Honey are the funniest moments in the
film. The real stars of "Wayne's World 2" are the bit
"Wayne's World 2" passes us by
and like a good post New Year's Eve
hurl, tends to leave a bad taste in
your mouth.
characters. Ed O'Neill "(Married with Children") contin-
ues to excel in the middle-class, loser genre of acting. He
plays a bitter, deranged cook tending shop in Wayne and
Garth's favorite hang-out spot. Chris Farley (Saturday
Night Live") is hilarious in his reprisal of one of Wayne
and Garth's bust-out friends. He is so good at portraying
the no-hope, grungy, angst-ridden dirtass constantly look-
ing for a fight it appears that any minute he could storm
into a post office with an automatic weapon and blow
some people away in a deluded I-HATE-LIFE frenzy.
"Wayne's World 2" is funny in parts. It is relief to such
weighty epics as "Schindler's List" or "Shortcuts." If
you're looking to dodge the latest body count on the
nightly news, don't want to be subjected to an infomercial
or just want an excuse not to write a boring paper, check
out "Wayne's World 2." It has maximum escape value.
WAYNE "S WORLD 2 is playing Showcase.

level of difficulty of his music) and is
well-appreciated, since the show is
all-sung and the words of the songs
tell the story.
Strong performances also come
from Alice Ripley as Fantine, Bar-
bara Russell as Cosette, Angel
Pupello as Eponine (who has sinc
been replaced by the even stronger
Jennifer Rae Beck) and especially
David Massenheimer as Javert.
(Worth noting: Cook has a very able
understudy named Brian Lynch,
whom I had the pleasure of viewing at
a later performance.)
Gina Ferrall and J. P. Dougherty
steal scene after scene as the
Thenardiers, a couple of innkeeper*
gone wrong. They're rude, crude,
brassy and morally repugnant crea-
tures, but their rollicking "Master of
the House" and "Beggars atthe Feast,"
plus countless other bits add color
and humor.
Gary Mauer stops the show as
Enjolras, the leader of the Student
Insurrection. His crown of blond hair
was just like the halo Victor Hug
described, and his voice ("Red an
Black," "Do You Hear the People
Sing") was just as angelic.
The ensemble brings the show to-
gether. Their choral singing and their
one-line solos and bit parts create the
crux of the "wretched" society repre-
sented here. And when the entire com-
pany comes together, in "One Day
More" and the finale, the theater
shakes with intensity.
Beyond the performances, light-
ing is especially effective in height-
ening drama and signifying moods.
And you may have heard people jok-
ing that the set is nothing but a pile of
rubble? Well, that's basically true.
But countless bits of scenery are
brought on and off, usually carried by
a rotating stage floor, which makes
scene changes clean and quick. An
you'll always know where you are
and what year it is, because names of
cities and dates are projected onto a
Even if you haven't read the book,
"Les Miz" stands on its own as a
powerful, vividly emotional musical
and an accurate musicalization of
Hugo's France. No matter what you
have to do - hitchhike, sell valuable
belongings, ditch class - just get t
the Fisher Theatre. Heck, call me and
I'll drive you. You'll be miserable if
you miz this wonderful show.
LES MISERABLESplays at the
Fisher Theatre in Detroit tonight,
Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8
p.m., plus Thursday at 1 p.m. and .
Saturday at 2 p.m. Tickets range
from $25 to $47.50 with $16 student
tickets available at the box office
for most performances. Call 872-
1000 for information, 645-6666 or
any TicketMaster outlet for tickets.
and talent
Geronimo once or twice. Director
Walter Hill does try to get the warrior
in there, but there are too many char-
acters to work around. 0
Walter Hill seems like the perfect
director for a revisionist western on
the great native American warrior,
but the film falls flat. The battle se-
quences are excellent, but they go
nowhere and seem to be there simply
tor the sake of violence. The charac-
ter of Geronimo also seems to be

present simply because the movie is
titled Geronimo. After finally mak.*
ing a comeback with the criminally
underrated "Trespass," it's tragic to
see Hill wasting his talent on trash
like this.
Even though the old Walter Hill
themes are present, the script just
cannot hold them up to the standards
Hill has set. The questions of loyalty
and betrayal take place between the
white characters and hardly at all witt,
the native Americans who are in
state of upheaval.
Wes Studi is great as Geronimo,
but it's impossible not to feel that he
could be so much more if he had more
screen time. Hackman is Hackman,
what else can you say? Duvall makes
his character believable which is
amazing considering the script. Jason
Patric is the real star of the film,
which is good for his career, but ba
for the movie.
The title says "Geronimo: An
American Legend." And it is all too
America: the native Americans are
put down and the white men get all the
air time.

Is r

Donn Cook is incredibly moving as Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables.'
'Geronimo' wastes potential

When a film is named "Geronimo"
one would expect that it would be
about Geronimo. No such luck here.
Instead we get a film about a bunch of
white guys chasing after a native
American ass-kicker named
Directed by Walter Hill; with Jason
Patric, Robert Duvall and Gene
Hackman and Wes Studi; written by
John Milius and some other guy
Now, one might. expect
"Geronimo" to be good. Gene Hack-
man and Robert Duvall, man! And
Walter Hill too boot. But something
went very wrong before the filming
even started. And it was far too late to
stop it after the cameras started roll-

Many years ago a man named John
Milius penned a screenplay called
"Apocalypse Now." Wait just a sec-
ond before you start praising or damn-
ing. Coppola turned the screenplay
into the masterpiece we all know. But
Milius was forever immortalized as
the genius who actually transformed
"Heart of Darkness" into a screen-
Well, as the years passed Milius
began to show his real ability, or lack
there of. Remember "Red Dawn" or
"Conan the Barbarian?" That's right,
John Milius.
So now lets start talking about the
movie this review is supposedly about,
"Geronimo." The story revolves
around a young cavalry officer and
his experiences while chasing after
Geronimo. Along the way he meets a
bunch of cool, crazy white people.
And, oh yeah, he does actually see

It's ur Otoo
Er PSaa,

Why settle
for a Yugo
when you can
drive a Corvette?



M -


At Dollar Bill we put
YOU behind the wheel
of our high-speed

GERONIMO is playing at Show-

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