By MELISSA ROSE BERNARDO
After the talky, social commentary of George Bernard
Shaw, the UniversityPlayers have decided to lighten up
with the comedy of Wendy Wasserstein. This weekend
they will present "The Heidi Chronicles," a light-hearted
look at the life and times of a feminist art historian.
Light-hearted, however, does not mean fluffy. In
"Heidi," Wasserstein shows the beginning stages of the
feminist movements and the "growing up" of the baby
boomers. Through Heidi we encounter political causes,
love, homosexuality, pregnancy, parenthood and emotional
emptiness. Deep stuff-but Wasserstein has used her gift
for comedy to convey her insights and observations without
moralizing or lecturing (like Shaw).
And while director John Neville-Andrews relishes
"Heidi" for its topics, he appreciates the role of Heidi and
the role of women in the composition of the play.
"We wanted a play which focused a little more on
women. We have rather a sort of strong female contingent
in our theater department," he explained.
After an unsuccessful attempt to obtain the rights to
Brian Friel's "Dancing at Lughnasa," Neville-Andrews
came up with "Heidi." "It just seemed to fit the mold
The play is the story of Heidi Holland (Stephanie
Fybel). Heidi goes to Vassar and then to Yale, and becomes
an art historian. She is at the forefront of the women's
movement in the early '70s, and considers herself some-
what of a feminist. She ends up with a Ph.D. in art history,
with a couple of published books, teaching at Columbia.
"It sounds like a wonderful, successful, fairly full and
fairly fulfilled career," Neville-Andrews commented, "But
Heidi unfortunately is not spiritually or emotionally
fulfilled ... she ends up, as she says in the play, stranded.."
What Heidi does end up with is a baby, which she
adopts. Wasserstein took much criticism from angry
feminists for allowing Heidi to "sell out."
"But fortunately since Murphy Brown has done it, it
has become somewhat fashionable and popular," Neville-
Andrews noted. "And as I see it now as a director, I think
it's a wonderful statement of independence. She doesn't
have to have a man in her life to fulfill her spiritual needs."
Apart from Heidi, Neville-Andrews is attracted to the
"beautifully-drawn"characters with whom Heidi interacts
in the play. He firmly believes that despite the show's
feminist slant, male viewers will not be alienated.
"This is the wonderful thing about Wendy Wasserstein.
In her plays she gives equal time to both men and women,
with maybe just a little bit more tipped on the side of the
women, which is understandable," he said.
The men whom we encounter in the play - fast-
talking lawyer/journalist Scoop (Paul Molnar) and the
lovable gay pediatrician Peter (Danny Gurwin) - are
certainly given time to develop not only through their
relationship with Heidi but also through their own
personalities."The men in this play are wonderfully-drawn
characters and they get their say in every respect," he said.
Neville-Andrews is making one major alteration to the
script. The play was originally told through flashbacks,
beginning with Heidi giving an art history lecture, going
back to a high school dance, and ending with Heidi
moving in to her new apartment. However, Neville-
Andrews has made the play more of a memory play than
a flashback play.
All of the scenes are set in Heidi's apartment. Props
and other set pieces are brought on to suggest changing
locales, but Heidi's chair, for example, remains on stage
throughout the play."So it's a constant reminder that
we're either inside Heidi's head or traveling the same
memory route as Heidi is," Neville-Andrews explained.
"What I've tried to do is make it more of a seamless
play ... because we go from rather various and complex
locations. What I've tried to do is show each scene
propelling Heidi into the next scene. Something happens
on stage that springs her memory into something."
There are no blackouts in the show. Neville-Andrews
did not want to detract from the complete emotional
experience Heidi is undergoing. If his structure works, it
should allow us a full-circle trip through Heidi's life,
making Wasserstein'splay all the more rich an experience.
TH E H EIDI CH RONICLES will play Thursday March
31 through April 10 at the Trueblood Theatre in the
Frieze Building; Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m.
and Sundays at 2 p.m. All tickets are $10 ($6 students)
at the League Ticket Office. All performances except
April 7th are SOLD OUT. Call 764-0450.
Scoop (Paul Molnar) is apparently trying to cast a spell on Heidi (Stephanie Fybel). Is this a supernatural drama?
By ANDY DOLAN
Detroit has always been a city
exploding with diverse local musical
talent. Unfortunately, the eyes and
ears of major record companies have
often shied away from the Detroit
music scene, and even the most
deserving bands have often found it
difficult to break into the national
market. This is where record labels
such as Detroit's own Rustbelt
Records come in.
Rustbelt Records became an
official entity with their first release
six months ago, founded by brothers
Al and Andy Sutton, Scott Macdonald
and Matt McGuire. Currently, the
label's roster consists of up-and-
coming Detroit bands Big Block,
Crossed Wire, Forehead Stew and
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Walk On Water, all of whom have
released singles on the label.
"Everyone that we're working
with right now seems to know that
what we're doing is promoting the
bands along with promoting ourselves,
so everyone's got a growth thing
going," Macdonald explained. "We
try to find bands that are growing to
the point where they need to put out as
a product, and we're there as the label
to help them reach a bigger audience
Rustbelt's next project will be a
compilation featuring 12 Detroit area
bands that will be distributed
nationwide through Cargo Records.
As Al Sutton explained, this
compilation's theme will be the wide
range of sounds that come from this
city. "We don't want to push a sound,"
he stated. "We want to grab as many
bands as we think are cool in Detroit
regardless of what they sound like.
Diversity is what we're looking for."
While Rustbelt would like to work
See RUSTBELT, Page 8
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COME SEE FOR YOURSELF
Earn extra academic credit this Spring/Summer at Delta College and
transfer the credits back to your university this fall.
Here's a sample of the courses we will be offering this Spring & Summer:
Algebra (4 levels)
Analytic Geometry & Calculus
Anatomy & Physiology
Career Decision Making
Find out about a wide variety of exciting opportunities for students:
* PROGRAMS FOR COLLEGE CREDIT:
STUDY IN ENGLISH OR HEBREW
* SUMMER TOURS