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March 21, 1994 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-21

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RTS

'Angie' tackles too much

By SARAH STEWART
After great success in her spirited, feminist roles in
*Thelma and Louise" and "A League of Their Own,"
Geena Davis proves herself the logical choice for the self-
driven Angiein the new film"Angie." But unfortunately,
even Davis' performance does not hide the audience from
the fact that the film takes on too many characters with too
many conflicts and never achieves the emotional intensity

Angle
Written by Todd Graff; Directed by
Martha Coolidge; with Geena Davis
and Aida Turturro.

it seeks.
Watching "Angie" is like watching two hours of those
fast-talking Federal Express commercials; the problems
come flying faster than Davis' long legs can carry her. The
most obvious problem is that Angie, of a devout Catholic
family, is pregnant, single and cancels plans to marry her
long-time boyfriend and father of her baby, Vinnie (James
Wandolfini).
As if this situation lacks the potential for emotional
overkill, Angie has an affair with Noel (Stephen Rea), her
best friend Tina (Aida Turturro) is married to a big time
jerk, her schizophrenic mother left her as a child and her
own son is born with a club arm. There is even more, but
you get the idea.
Amidst all of this turmoil, Angie remains at the forefront
of the film, as it is her character that is sent on a journey
of self-discovery. It is refreshing to see a woman in control
f her life, but along with this ambition comes a somewhat
unbalanced portrayal.
There seems to be too little controversy over Angie's

choice not to marry Vinnie, her relationship with Noel is
poorly developed and her tendency to run away when
things are at there worse repeatedly crosses the boundaries
of one's imagination. When she leaves her baby son soon
after his birth to search for her mother, the decision is
overly abrupt and adds nothing to the audiences sympathies.
At this point, it seems doubtful that the film will ever end.
Keep in mind that none of this is the fault of Davis. She
plays her part at the height of its capabilities, remaining
consistent in Angie's Brooklyn accent and unrefined
grace; when the situation is believable, so is Davis.
Similarly, the rest of the cast elicits no major complaints.
Turturro as Tina seems everything a life-long friend
should be, and the rejected Vinnie surfaces as arguably the
most sympathetic character, never condemning Angie for
her obvious mistakes.
Although "Angie" is overflowing with serious issues,
it manages to break some of its problematic monotony
with necessary interludes of humor. Angie's gynecologist
stands at about the same height as the stirrups - a funny
sight in itself. Director Martha Coolidge maintains this
feminist humor when Tina offers Angie a vibrator as a
focal point for her Lamaze training, and they are caught
laughing hysterically when her husband Jerry walks in on
the scene.
The actual birthing scene begins the culmination of
Angie's difficulties, yet it seems to be missing something.
For all practical purpose, all the important elements are ni
tact: Angie's pain, Tin's support and even the added bonus
of the doctor's suggestion that they have a pre-birth sing-
along.
But at this point in the film, the audience is as unprepared
for Angie's labor as she is for the trials of motherhood,
having almost forgotten that the initial premise of the film
was her pregnancy.
NGE is playing at Showcase.

Gil Shaham and the Moscow Philharmonic dazzled the crowd at Hill on Saturday night
Young Shaham gets rave

By KATY THOMPSON
In their Ann Arbor debut Friday
night, Gil Shaham and the Moscow
Philharmonic were greeted with
standing ovations and performed two
encores.

'Remiember' remains

By JASON CARROLL
What would you do if
you lost your closest friend
' o a fatal disease? Few of
Whatit's actually liketo lose
to AIDS, and "Rememl

Remember Me
Arena Theatre
March, 18 1994
attempts to help us feel th
,nd emotions dealing with'
Written by local playwr
R.Patterson, "Remember M
on the life of Jackson (por
Patterson himself) and how
with the death of his lov
(Sylvin Jankowski).
More than half the
"Remember Me" is told th
memories of Marc, Jackson
,esbian friend Peggy
Eggertsen).
The show is separated

different sections, each representing
suddenly a specific period in the couple's
and lover relationship. Section one, "The
us know Beginning," describes how Marc and
someone Jackson met and came out to their
ber Me" families. The second section,
"Remember Me," takes place at
Marc's memorial service. Here we
see how Marc's family and friends
react to his death and reflect upon the
past. The final section, "The
Aftermath: Destruction and
Renewal," depicts how Jackson's life
e tragedy has gone downhill since Marc died.
loss. When working within the limited
ight Ryan confines of the Arena Theatre,
e" focuses simplicity is the key when it comes to
trayed by scenery and staging. "Remember Me"
v he deals switches back and forth between six
ver, Marc different locales and because the set
was so simplistic they were able to
plot of switch sites instantly.
rough the For instance, when Marc calls
iand their Jackson to ask him out on a date they
(Ingrid don't use actual telephones. Instead,
each actor stood in a pool of light,
into three surrounded by darkness, and talked

insightful
directly to the audience. Through
voice inflection and facial expressions
we were able to experience the event.
Patterson was believable as the
suffering Jackson, in part because he
wrote the role and should know how
to perform it. He was able to transform
from a depressing mourner to a
cheerful lover at the drop of a hat.
Jankowski was equally impressive as
Marc. He held a certain level of
charisma that the audience found
irresistible. Eggertsen's Peggy wasn't
as strong as the main characters. Her
lines were often very comical, but her
delivery was a bit flat.
"Remember Me" was funny and
sad at the same time, a must when
dealing with dreary topics. One scene
dealt with a comic lover's quarrel,
and the next dealt with Marc telling
Jackson he has been diagnosed with
HIV. It is this kind of dichotomy that
grasped the audience's attention and
held it throughout the performance.
Overall, "Remember Me" is a
fairly well-written play. Whenever it
started to become trite, they made up
for it by following with an insightful
moment. There was one major flaw in
the script, however. From the moment
Marc was diagnosed with HIV I
wondered if Jackson had contracted
the disease from Marc. It is only in the
final minutes of the show that we find
out that Jackson has HIV, a vital plot
point that the audience needs to know
in order to understand Jackson's initial
way of handling his lover's death.

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Moscow
Philharmonic
Hill Auditorium
March 18. 1994
Opening with the "Overture to
Russian and Lumila," by Glinka, the
Moscow Philharmonic played with
an easy, gentle style. The violins
carried the melody, and with the rest
of the Orchestra, produced a very
precise yet expressive interpretation.

e

They smoothly accomplished the
discordant ending with the whole
Orchestra crashing together in
harmony.
It was Gil Shaham, however, who
stole the show. The 23-year-old
prodigy justified his reputation with
his interpretation of the Violin
Concerto by Tchiakovsky. Smiling
while he played, he shaped the piece
and made it his own with bittersweet
melodies and unabashed expression.
Shaham handled his solos
beautifully and captivated the
audience.
In many difficult transitions, he
moved from one melody to another
easily, without ever losing control.
Shaham received adeserved standing
ovation from the crowd.
In "Rites of Spring," by
Stravinsky, the Moscow Philharmonic

maintained discord without losing the
main themes of the piece. The solitary
voice of the oboe maintained
coherence and unity. The Orchestra
was extremely agile, handling both
the turbulent melody and the tranquil
interludes with ease and grace.
The Orchestra was also met with
standing ovations. They performed
two encore pieces, both by
Tchiakovsky. The melodies were
boisterous and playful, darting from
instrument to instrument.
Immediately following the
performance, backstage Shaham was
met by students of the School of
Music, as well as dazzled fans.
Concerning the evening, he modestly
stated, "All in all, it went pretty well."
Shaham's comment understated his;
performance as well as that of the
Moscow Philharmonic.

Vitality of 'Milk Wood' perseveres

By KAREN LEE
There was not much that actually
happened in Dylan Thomas' "Under
Milk Wood." No extravagant
production numbers. No spine-
Under Milk Wood
Power Center
March 17, 1994
tingling special effects. No heart-
wrenching climax. Just a night and a
day in the lives of the inhabitants of a
tiny Welsh town. Mundane.
Yet how can you call anything
with this much wit and humor, this
much joy and this much humanity
"mundane"? The key element of
Tho nas' radio play is the luxuriant,

almost palpable language. He once
commented that, "I do not care what
the words say, overmuch. I care for
the shapes of sound that their names,
and words describing their actions
make in my ears.
"I care for the colours the words
cast on my eyes."
True, one does not normally
associate language with sight.
Thursday night's production of
"Under Milk Wood" by the National
Theatre of the Deaf, however, allowed
me to see how the two could be
combined with enormous success.
The evening began with a short
playlet called "A Spinning Man,"

which was written and directed by
NTD veteran and co-artistic director
William Rhys. Rhys also played Dylan
Thomas himself, as a skeptic who
could not imagine how a group of
deaf actors could interpret his poetry.
In essence, "A Spinning Man"
explained the NTD's love affair with
Thomas and other visual writers like
him. But they really did not need to do
so, because it could be seen in the
performers themselves.
The 11-membercompany did have
three voicing actors who instilled
See MILK WOOD, Page 8

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Present this coupon with purchased ticket thru -4/10/94

"Remember Me" attempted to help everyone cope with losing a close friend.

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A movie about abaseball player -and his hair.
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