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March 22, 1994 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-22

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Is

'Heidi' speaks to everyone

By MELISSA ROSE BERNARDO
"I wrote this play because I had
this image of a woman standing up at
a woman's meeting saying,I've never
been so unhappy in my life."' So said
Wendy Wasserstein of her play "The
The Heidi Chronicles
Hilberry Theatre
March 11, 1994
Heidi Chronicles." Since
Wasserstein's goals for this play seem
to contain such a feminist bent, one
would expect all other viewpoints to
be alienated in production. But not at
Wayne State's Hilberry Theatre. The
Hilberry company has liberated "The
Heidi Chronicles" with extraordinary
performances, and has brought out
Wasserstein's message not only to
women but to all people.
Roxanne Wellington plays Heidi
Holland, an art historian with a
specialty in work by female artists.
Through Heidi, Wasserstein
transports us from 1989 to 1965, and

then brings us up to the present. Laced
with her own insights, opinions and
always clever humor, Wasserstein
gives us an accurate (or so my
companion informed me) portrait of
the Baby Boom generation, "the kids
who grew up in the '50s, protested in
the '60s, were the 'me's' of the '70s
and the parents of the '80s."
While the other characters in the
play seem to be satellites revolving
around Heidi, Wasserstein (with the
help of a very adept cast) gives other
characters a chance to develop -
most notably Scoop Rosenbaum
(Terry McInerney) and Peter Patrone
(Christopher Newman), the men
whose relationships with Heidi shape
her the most.
Terry McInerney does well with
Scoop, the fast-talking lawyer/
journalist. Christopher Newman gets
his well-deserved chance to shine as
Peter, the sarcastic gay doctor, dubbed
the "leading pediatrician in New York
under 40." Newman gives Peter (the
stereotypical gay friend) some depth,
which is admirable and refreshing.
An excellent ensemble rounds out

Pearl Jam was being stingy and wouldn't allow us a photo pass, so here is a promotional photo of the group.
Concert's one to remember
After all the hassles, Pearl Jam simply entertains

the production. Lynnae Lehfeldt does
well with Susan, the comedy role;
Jinny Pierce gets to let loose as Fran,
the lesbian-"furry physicist from Ann
Arbor."
But it is Roxanne Wellington's
honest and heartful portrayal of Heidi
which makes Wasserstein's play
work. Wellington executes smoothly
the transition from the Heidi at the
Eugene McCarthy rally to the Heidi
the art historian to Heidi the single
mother. And we are with her-rooting
for her - every step of the way.
Scene changes are aided well by a
melange of rock music - everything
from Jefferson Airplane's "White
Rabbit" to Depeche Mode's "Personal
Jesus." Neil Carpentier-Alting's sets
serve as a wonderful frame; large
canvases on wooden easels are
sometimes paintings, sometimes
windows, sometimes walls. Working
jointly with the sets is Maja White's
lighting design , making good use of
projections; in fact, the two meld
together so well that it's hard to tell
which is responsible for what effect.
It's hard to designate the parts for
which Wasserstein deserves credit and
the parts for which the actors deserve
credit. Wasserstein's blend of wit and
subtle commentary gives her a fresh
slant on this generation. Through
Heidi she creates the voice of women;
through her other characters she
creates the voice of a generation.
At one point in the play Peter
comments to Heidi, "My world gets
narrower and narrower. A person has
only so many close friends. And in
our lives, our friends are our families."
Peter is specifically referring to his
position in the gay community, but
Wasserstein (through Newman's
Peter) allows the statement to apply
to Heidi as a single woman.
Wasserstein's play, through these
adept portrayals, comes to life for not
only the baby boomers who lived it,
but for other people (this critic
included) as well.
THE HEIDI CHRONICLES runs in
repertory through May 6 at the
Hilberry Theatre (4743 Cass,
Detroit). Tickets are $12 ($9
student), $14 ($11 student) and $16.
Call (313) 577-2972 for specific
days and times.

By TOM ERLEWINE
No matter how Pearl Jam played
on Sunday night, the show would
have been the concert of the year. No
other show could have gathered as
much hype, attention and frenzy as
the boys from Seattle and very few

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Pearl Jam
Crisler Arena
March 20, 1994

other concerts could have lived up to
the hype, as Pearl Jam's performance
did.
Much like the Who in the '70s,
Pearl Jam's power doesn't come
across as well on record as it does in
concert; their anthems were made to
be heard live. In concert, the riffs are
energized, the band is tighter and the
rhythm section is more supple and
funky.
Naturally, the center of attention
is Eddie Vedder, but that is almost by
default - nobody else in the band
possesses any sort of charisma, no
matter how talented they are as
musicians. Vedder, on the other hand,
is relentlessly charismatic,
continuously prowling the stage,
hunching over his microphone,
shaking hands, playing with the
microphone cord and dripping wax
from the numerous candles on stage.
Vedder spends most of the concert
holed up into himself, concentrating
on his performance, making his
explosions all the more energetic.
During their nearly two-hour set,
Pearl Jam ripped through nearly all of
their hits, beginning the show with
"Jeremy" (which wasn't played the
previous night in Detroit) and
including almost half of "Ten" and

"Vs." and both of their songs from the
"Singles" soundtrack, among other
rarities. The very length of the show
worked against the band - after a
while, the sheer volume of songs and
the band's intensity is simply
exhausting, not exhilarating. Still; .he
music that was there was splendid.
Pearl Jam's music is arena rock of the
highest order - gigantic songs with
enormous riffs, sing-a-long choruses,
righteous anger and terrific, unironic
performances.
So it's too bad that the power of
the music was over-shadowed by the
external factors of the concert. Of
course, getting tickets was nearly as
difficult as winning the lottery, but
forget about that for a moment. At
Crisler arena there were at least three
security checks - checking your
wristband as well as your ticket stub
- before anyone could enter the main
floor. Before the show, no one was
allowed to stand on the main floor,
everybody had to sit, so the place
looked like a giant love-in.
Once the opening act Grant Lee
Buffalo hit the stage, everybody
surged forward as if it was Pearl Jam.
After seeing and hearing that GLB's
rock is not as mosh-ready as Pearl
Jam's, they settled down for a while;
surprisingly, after a few songs, the
crowd was very receptive to the band.
It became clear that most of the
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audience got tickets from scalpers.
No matter. Anyone who paid that
much money deserves to go to the
show.
But because of that, the audience
acted differently than most. Instead
of the violent moshing of most
concerts at St. Andrew's (or even
Nirvana at the State Fairground) it
was pretty tame, with a lot of pogoing
and mild body-surfing - it was a
crowd of people that learned how to
mosh through the "Evenflow" and
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" videos.
But that again represents the
greatest triumph of Pearl Jam - they
have unknowingly popularized a
once-underground culture. Now,
they're trying to ignore their
popularity while playing into stadium-
rock conventions, not only eagerly
but honestly. Pearl Jam's music is
genuinely heart-felt, making their
concerts more than a standard arena-
rock experience. It is the kind of
concert that people will remember 20
years from now.

"The Heidi Chronicles" brings the Hilberry Theatre to life through May 6.

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ANGELL SCHOLARS
The following students were among those recognized during the Honors
Convocation program on Sunday, March 20. These individuals have
demonstrated the highest level of undergraduate academic success by achieving
seven or more consecutive terms of all A's and earning the designation Angell
Scholar. The University of Michigan congratulates these students on their
superior scholastic achievement and wishes them continued success.
SEVEN TERM ANGELL SCHOLARS

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In Celebration of
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month,
the Office of Minority Student Services
Proudly Presents
The Honorable Harry Lee, J.D.

Eric L. Austin
Ryan Lee Baker
Elizabeth Bidigare*
Rachel M. Blum*
Sharon Braslaw
Liam Patrick Caffrey
Brian Chen
James Edward Hartnett
Karl David Iagnemma
Brian Kalt
N. Goldie Mantel
Cynthia D. Montgomery
Duane Quinn Nykamp
Carolynn M. Socha*

College of Engineering
School of Engineering, U-M Dearborn
School of Management, U-M Dearborn
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
College of Engineering
College of Engineering
College of Engineering
College of Engineering
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
College of Arts and Sciences, U-M Flint
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

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David W. Armstrong*
Joan L Charlebois
Roberto Devoto*
Zobeida M. Diaz*
Jeffrey Gray
Cheryl L. Kuelske*
Amy M. Mericle*
Todd A. Mulder*
Gary A. Ort Mertl

School of Management, U-M Dearborn
Residential College
College of Engineering
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
College of Engineering
College of Engineering
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
College of Arts and Sciences, U-M Flint

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