8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 5, 1994
By KAREN LEE
Once again, the future of Ameri-
can theater will be on display at the
fourth annual Playfest. Every day this
week the students of OyamO and Kate
Mendeloff'sPlaywriting Toward Pro-
duction class will be performing
staged readings of original plays in
the Arena Theatre.
OyamO, Mendeloff and about 40
students have spent the term develop-
ing six plays. Initially, the pieces were
read aloud in class and commented
upon. About halfway through the term,
directors were assigned to each play
and auditions held. Everyone in the
class has been involved in some way
with the shows and, according to
Mendeloff, "It's been a real group
process, because everyone is familiar
with everyone else's work."
The playwrights greatly a
ate that community input beca
Sunil Iyengar put it, "The p
comes very insular without ac
teracting with a script in progr
fact, one of his favorite part
process of mounting his scrip
Specialist," was delegating r
his actors and hearing the pla
"Hearing them interact wit
play gave me an idea of w
should go and what changes
be made," he said. So now, a
the revisions, "The Specialis
tale about a homeless madma
on creating the perfect con
dream; Iyengar called his cha
predicament the "challenge
taining a vision in a transitory'
While the other plays are n
ppreci- as mystical as "The Specialist" is, and on Saturday, Elise Bryant's "River
ause, as they are by no means less creative. Dreams," which is based on the true
lay be- "Writer's Block," written by Gordon story of twoescaped slaves who settled
tors in- Smith, is a farce about a writer with a in Detroit.
ess." In cheating wife, two terrorist actors Definitely some wacky and wild
s in the holding him hostage, a killer case of stuff. And the plays might even
it, "The writer's block, and a religious door- change, because script revisions could
oles to to-door salesperson chained to his be made right up until the day of the
ay from couch. Jeffry Herman's "Eudaemonic performance. But who knows-these
Systems," which is being performed students could be the new David
thin the tonight, is "the unexpurgated, unau- Mamets, Marsha Normans, Ntozake
where it thorized autobiography of Slothman, Shanges or Christopher Durangs.
should defender of Truth, Justice, Hygiene They might even be the resurrection
after all and the American Weight." of Broadway.
st" is a The rest of the week will have The annual PLAYFEST will be held
n intent readings of Adam Eisenstein's "Life from April 4 to April 9 in the Arena
nsistent Is a Party," a coming of age comedy, Theatre in the Frieze Building, at S
racter's on Wednesday; on Thursday, "Ex- p.m. each night. There will be a
of sus- pecting," an examination by Sarah post-performance discussion after
world." McCarthy of women's status as sexual every rectding. Admission to all
ot quite beings; "The Specialist" on Friday; shows is free.
IF I WERE A BELL
Crash Test Dummies
God Shuffled His Feet
Hmm. It seems that Crash Test
Dummies have sustained a few too
many whacks on the head. Their new
album, "God Shuffled His Feet," is
utterly bereft of the humor and charm
that made their debut, which included
the single "Superman," so witty. In-
deed, this album is smug, dull and
The Dummies (as those in the
know like to call them) have put out
an album full of songs titled "How
Does a Duck Know?" and "In the
Days of the Caveman." Obviously,
this is not a deeply serious album, but
the Dummies' wackiness is pointless:
the lyrics "When I'm sampling from
your bosom / Sometimes I suffer from
distractions like /Why does God cause
things like tornadoes and train
wrecks?" Huh?!? But perhaps the
most pointless song on the album is
the "hit" "Mmm Mmm MmmMmm";
it's about three kids who have bad
stuff happen to them, so "mmm mmm
mmm mmm." Huh?!?
Musically, however, "Mmm
Mmm Mmm Mmm" is the best out of
a mediocre lot. The band members
are musically competent, but any
musical talent or melody that the band
has is immediately quashed by the
tuneless bass rumble of head Dummy
(is that a compliment?) Brad Roberts'
voice. The album was produced by
ex-Talking Head Gerry Harrison, who
at least gives "God Shuffled His Feet"
a certain sheen to its sound, but even
he cannot salvage this worthless ex-
ercise in "college music." It's hard to
tell who are the bigger "dummies" -
those who made the album or those
who buy it.
- Heather Phares
READ BEST OFAN
ARBOR: APRIL 14
The Washington Post called him a "distinctive, extraordinarily talentea
performer." Erstwhile child prodigy Joshua Bell takes up the fiddle for a
recital tonight at 8 p.m. at Rackham Auditorium. With pianist Jonathan
Feldman, Bell will perform such favorites as Sarasate's "Carmen Fantasy"
and Beethoven's "Kreutzer" Sonata; works by Handel, Tchaikovsky and
Corigliano make up the rest of the program. Tickets range from $20 to $29;
$11 student rush tickets are available at the Union Ticket Office and the
North Campus Commons. Call the University Musical Society at 7642538.
---"_ ,reflably e _foicl
LTd' o person alitY, loves toy travel . ,
Continued from page 5
any aspect of female nudity within
the Lindsay estate and casually flirt-
ing with Giddy (Portia de Rossi), the
only model with any innocence.
But the question everyone is bound
to ask is how Elle MacPherson fares
on screen. Her character's personal-
ity is intentionally blunt but appropri-
ately accompanies her physically
domineering appearance; she is not
pushed beyond the limits of her act-
ing ability and therefore does nothing
to take away from the modeling as-
pect of her performance.
Clearly the roles of the models
rely on sensual presence, precise cos-
tuming and the picturesque setting,
but they all manage to do justice to theO
acting business and Duigan's bold
portrayal of female sensuality. In ev-
ery aspect of the production, he has
made "Sirens" so that no one can lose.
SIRENS is at the Ann Arbor 1&2. 7
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