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December 09, 1994 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-12-09

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 9, 1994
A welcome 'kiss' of Pinter

By SHANE MICHAELS
Harold Pinter is alive, on stage
and ready to confuse (and sometimes
even delight) in the RC Players'
"Kisses and Chaos: An Evening With
Harold Pinter," continuing for a final
two shows this weekend at the Resi-

Kisses and
Chaos: An Evening
with Harold Pinter
R.C. Auditorium
December 2, 1994
dential College Auditorium at East
Quad.
The evening is comprised of two
one-act plays by Pinter, "The Lover"
and "The Dumb Waiter." Both hold

true to Pinter's trademarked
absurdism which tends to make one
laugh and look at your company in
bewilderment at the same time.
The first play, "The Lover," is a
hysterical look into the workings of a
dysfunctional marriage. Erin Crowley
and James Ingagiola play Sarah and
Richard, a couple requiring the use of
a peculiar game to maintain a healthy
love life.
Crowley and Ingagiola attain per-
fect chemistry, first confusing the
audience into wondering how this
quirky and tempestuous couple could
possibly hold a loving marriage to-
gether, and then forcing the audience
into gales of laughter when the reality
of the situation is revealed. (Just the
entrance of Sarah's lover makes the
entire evening worthwhile.)
Ingagiola makes for a captivating
Richard, initially all too accepting of
his wife's unfaithfulness, then slowly

but surely revealing his contempt for
the situation. Crowley is equally profi-
cient, vacillating smoothly back and
forth between a typical subservient
housewife and flamboyant adulteress.
The set, while an adequate back-
drop to the scene, is not in any pleas-
ing perspective and seemingly hap-
hazardly designed. Possibly this is to
accentuate the ambiguity of Pinter's
script, but more likely it is simply a
poor design.
After intermission, Sarah and
Richard's apartment has been re-
placed by three or four tall, white
flats, and two beds. The scene is now
set (and a little better placed) for "The
Dumb Waiter." This Pinter one-act
begins in a shroud of ambiguity. The
two men interacting on stage, Gus
and Ben (played by Nicholas de
Abruzzo and Scott Horstein) are equal
parts anxiety, apathy and out-right
tom foolery.
Straying from traditional plot ex-
position, Pinter allows for only the
most minuscule bits of information
for the audience to gather from the
characters' interactions. Through this
puzzle work, we discover that Gus
and Ben are in fact hit-men who are
waiting for their next assignment in
the kitchen of a restaurant.
The entire length of the play is
barbed with tiny plot twists that con-
fuse and are never fully understood. It
is not, in fact, until the very end of the
play that characters themselves fully
understand what is occurring outside
of the kitchen. And of what the char-
acters know, the audience knows sig-
nificantly less.

U U

Harold Pinter is at his best in "Kisses and Chaos" and "The Lover," playing this weekend at the RC Auditorium.

Like "The Lover," "The Dumb-
waiter" displays fine acting from both
players. Horstein's Ben is a sufficient
straight-man to the whimsical antics
of Abruzzo's Gus. The audience was
captivated as Gus paced around the
stage playing mindless games to pass
the time, while Ben sat reading the
paper, on the verge of exploding into
a rage from his partner's annoying
habits.
What the acting makes interest-
ing, the script weighs down in its long
and arduous haul towards a fuzzy
conclusion. The audience began to

grow restless as the plot became too
repetitive and frustratingly mysteri-
ous. But right when one would be
ready to lose interest in the gangsters'
strife altogether, Pinter pulls the car-
pet out, leaving the audience ques-
tioning their previous conclusions and
attempting to decipher the play's fi-
nal moments.
If there is anything that one can be
sure of when the house lights come up
at the end (and with absurdism like
Pinter's, there's never much to be
sure of), it's that Harold Pinter wants
his audience to question reality - to

question what are perceived as facts
and to realize that truth is hard to
come by and less so what we think it
should be. The only other certainty of
the evening is that one has witnessed
some truly quality acting, and while
absurdist comedy can be frustrating,
it can also take you for quite a ride.
KISSES AND CHAOSAN
EVENING WITH HAROLD
PINTER will be performed tonight
and Saturday at 8 p.m. in the
Residential College Auditorium in
East Quad. Tickets are $5 ($3
students). Call 213-1758.

University of Michigan
School of Music

Thursday-Saturday, December 8-10
Dance and Related Arts Concert
Betty Pease Studio Theater, 8p.m.
Tickets: $5 (763-5460)
Thursday-Sunday, December 8-11
The Three Sisters, by Anton Chekhov
Theatre and Drama Production; John Russell Brown, director
Trueblood Theatre, Frieze Building
Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.
Tickets: $12, students $6 (764-0450)
Friday, December 9
Symphony Band and Concert Band
H. Robert Reynolds, Gary Lewis, Dennis Glocke, conductors;
Deborah Chodacki, clarinet
" Olivier Messiaen: Ascension for brass
" Leslie Bassett: Fantasy for clarinet and wind ensemble
" Music of Holst, Barber, Hailstorck, and Wagner
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m., free
Classic Cabaret
Joan Morris's class in cabaret performance offers an hour-plus of
entertainment: old jokes, new skits, and songs old and new
2528 Frieze Building (corner of State and Washington), 11 p.m.
Saturday, December 10
Arts Chorale
Jonathan Hirsh, conductor
" Britten's A Ceremony of Carols and Schiitz's Christmas Oratorio
" Works by Scheine, Hand, Praetorius
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m., free
Classic Cabaret
Joan Morris's students offer jokes, skits, and songs old and new
2528 Frieze Building (corner of State and Washington), II p.m.
Sunday, December 11
Michigan Chamber Players
School of Music faculty perform:
" David Baker: Sonata for Tuba and String Quartet (Fritz Kaenzig,
tuba, with Stephen Shipps, Andrew Jennings, Yizhak Schotten,
Sarah Cleveland)
" Poulenc: Trio for Piano, Oboe, and Bassoon (Louis Nagel, Harry
Sargous, Richard Beene)
" Bartok: Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion (Katherine Collier,
Anton Nel, piano; Michael Udow, Paul Harkins, percussion)
Recital Hall, School of Music, 4 p.m., free
Campus Band
Damien Crutcher, conductor
Hill Auditorium, 4 p.m., free
Brass Ensembles
Charles Daval, director
Recital Hall, School of Music, 7 p.m., free
Tuesday, December 13
University Orchestras and Chamber Choir: Mozart Requiem
Donald Schleicher, Theodore Morrison, conductors
* Mozart: Overture to Don Giovanni
* R. Strauss: Don Juan
" Mozart: Requiem
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.min., free
Dance Composition Classes Showing
Betty Pease Studio Theatre, Dance Building, 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, December 14
Centennial Organ Recital
Faculty and students celebrate 100 years to the day since the
dedication of the University's revered Frieze Memorial Organ
* Welcoming remarks by Marilyn Mason, University Organist, and
nmmn tn n TLM'c nriprinal ran by Prf TamPe o Wikie

Butt Trumpet
Primitive Enema
Chrysalis Records
How in the hell did this happen?
One of the least self-indulgent, most
obnoxious punk rock bands gets
snatched up by amajor label, no doubt
as part of the Green Day/Offspring
explosion that's sweeping the nation,
and the band laughs it all off. Not that
the whole idea isn't one big joke -
how any exec at Chrysalis could see
dollar signs in the shapeof five crude,
unpolished punks who play raw, three-
chord rock, less civilized than the
Ramones, could garner a whole "Un-
solved Mysteries" episode for itself.
And Butt Trumpet no doubt real-
izes the joke, but Butt Trumpet fails
on any level to entertain with their
slop'n' roll and lyrics like "Wanna be
decapitated/Thinking's way too com-
plicated / It just makes me irritated /

Do you have something serrated"
(from "Decapitated"). Vaguely
chuckalicious but very low on the
humor food chain. Although I have to
admit that it's been awhile since I've
heard as good a song about killing
hippies as "I Left My Gun In San
Francisco," Butt Trumpet is merely
the Dead Milkmen of the '90s.
- Matt Carlson
Method Man
Tical
Def Jam Recordings
Horror-core is here. Arguably the
first rapper with fangs, Method Man's
first solo album "Tical" is ajourney into
the rap underworld. Method Man shows
that the lyrical versatility that he dem-
onstrated with the Wu-Tang Clan was
no mistake. Method Man is not the first
wayward Shaolin monk - both Rza
and Genius have also undertaken out-
side projects - but Method Man's

album shows why he is the best known
of the Wu-Tang Clan.
Each song is imbued with equal
parts of hilarity and horror. Method
Man's lyrics tread the line between
seriousness and sarcasm, making his
album almost self-ironic. Method
Man, though, does not resort to idle
boasting; the audience is shown a
more caring side of this rapper that
was never seen when he was with the
Wu-Tang Clan.
The album starts with a hilarious
and fitting kung fu exchange that reso-
nates true to all of the watchers of
Saturday morning kung fu classics.
The single "Bring the Pain" is true
Method Man, recalling back to his
earlier solo track with Wu-Tang Clan.
Lyrics like "I'll tear yer eyelids off
and feed ya sleeping pills" highlight
the hyperbolic mixture of violence
and humor that Methodman favors.
"What the Blood Clot" is another
hard-hitting track with an original
background perfectly fitting Method
Man's free-style rapping.
Because most of the tracks are
made by Rza, the album often sounds
very much like Wu-Tang Clan, but
that is a positive. After seeing so
many rappers leave behind their group
efforts and flailing in their solo ef-
forts, it is reassuring to see Method
Man produce such an excellent al-
bum. He truly proves that there is a
"Method" to his madness.
- Ben Ewy

The Dude of Life and
Phish
Crimes of the Mind
Elektra
Grateful Dead spin-off band Phish
have teamed up with Phish spin-off
"The Dude of Life" for the spin-off
album of the year. Well, not really.
It's sort of like "90210" and "Melrose
Place." The original show had a good
idea, and the spin-off took that con-
cept and turned it into something evil,
"Crimes of the Mind" features a
very restrained Phish backing the
Dude of Life as he pretends to be Trey
Anastasio at a higher pitch. There are
no tripped-out instrumentals here. Just
short songs with bad vocals.
Granted, the Dude gets points for
versatility. He demonstrates his tal-
ent for bad '80s rock wailing on "The
Revolution's Over," and then moves
right into his bad '80s rock ballad
"King of Nothing." The smooth de
livery of such lyrics as "I am the king"
of nothing / The emperor of empti-
ness," are almost enough to make you
cry. Almost.
"Lucy in the Subway" puts a spin
on the Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky With
Diamonds." "Lucy's in the subway
with daffodils / she lost all her dia-
monds / and she sold all her pills,",
sings the Dude in an attempt to dragi
even pillars of rock history like the
Beatles down with him.
The high point of the album is the
piggy-backing of the songs "Family
Picture" and "Self." The former is a
"can't we all just live peacefully to
gether on this earth?" plea. "It's really
plain and easy to see / The family
grows like a fungus on a tree /
There's always room for more / In
this family bash," the Dude of Life
wails.
"Self," however, features the lyr-
ics, "This is not the era of roses, peace
and love / I must admit I'm the only,
one / that I'm thinking of." Wow, feel.
the torment of confusion.
Basically, "Crimes of the Mind"
stripped away everything that was
good about Phish's playing and set it
See RECORDS, Page 11

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