Stones don't lounge around
By TOM ERLEWINE
So, even after 30 years in the busi-
ness, the Rolling Stones put on a hell of
a show. Granted, the kind of show they
do in 1994 isahellofalotdifferentthan
the kind they did in 1963, but they still
haven't lost their spark. Now the band
performs for the sheer joy of perform-
ing; even with all the shop-worn hits-
"Miss You," "Jumpin' Jack Flash,"
"Street Fighting Man," "Beast of Bur-
den" and countless others - the band
played with energy and with pleasure.
Afterplaying these songs literally thou-
sands of times, the Stones still sound as
if they're having fun with what they're
And that sense of fun flows through
the entire production, from the gargan-
tuan steel stage and the computer ani-
mation to theperformances themselves.
The VoodooLounge tour was designed
as a crowd-pleasing spectacular and it
was. Fortunately, the Stones slipped in
some surprises along the way, playing
album tracks from "Exile on Main St."
and having Keith Richards perform the
beautiful country ballad, "The Worst."
Naturally, most of the audience left for
some beer during Keith's song.
Then again, most of the audience
were there just to hear the hits, see
Mick run around on stage and see all
those pretty lights and fireworks. And
they got all of that, and more; after all,
that's what stadium shows are for. At
this point, Stones concerts are for the
casual fans, who are out to drink some
beer and sing along. And that's fine -
most die-hards are content with hear-
ing the band slip "All Down the Line"
and "Rocks Off' alongside the hits.
When all is said and done, it doesn't
matter what the Stones play (as long as
"Satisfaction," "Start Me Up" and
"Brown Sugar" are played,) - it only
matters that you saw the band. So, it
doesn't really matter that the Voodoo
Lounge tour isn't all that different from
the Steel Wheels tour - it's just big-
ger, faster and more than before -
because everyone will go home happy.
They saw the band and they heard the
hits. They saw the fireworks, they saw
the balloons, they saw Jagger flirt with
the backup singer, - everything that
the Stones' concerts are about. And
they loved it again,just as they will five
years from now, when the Rolling
Stones will inevitably head out on the
road again. It's nice to know some
things will never change.
Prancing around the stage at SpartanStadium, Mick Jagger proves he still gets his rocks off after all these years.
Ouimette's Hamlet ascends to throne
By MELISSA ROSE BERNARDO
"Hamlet" is a director's dream. It is
also a lifetime goal for an actor, and a
field day for a critic. The possibilities
Tom Patterson Theatre
June 21, 1994
for interpretation are endless. The aim,
then, is to make one's particular pro-
duction of "Hamlet" the definitive
"Hamlet." While it would be a stretch
to call the Stratford Festival's produc-
tion "definitive," it can easily be called
entrancing, creative and provoking.
Artistic director Richard Monette
(who played the title role in the
Festival's 1976 production) obviously
has a great affinity for the role of Ham-
let. That bond is so overpowering that
he has whittled "Hamlet" down to a
character study. (He has also whittled
it down to under three hours.)
Monette has cut the character of
Fortinbras, eliminating all of the affairs
of state that surrounds the state of Den-
mark; Hamlet is the focus, and his
conflict provides the thrust of the pro-
duction. Monette has also done some
effective rearranging; note the place-
ment of "To be or not to be."
Monette's tinkering, while contro-
versial, is not necessarily a mistake in
this critic's eyes. It is in fact a wise
choice, considering the capabilities of
Stephen Ouimette as Hamlet.
Under Monette's guidance,
Ouimette carries the weight of the pro-
duction without a single stumble, and
handles the demands of Shakespeare's
longest role (especially the soliloquies)
admirably well. He plays Hamlet pretty
close to 20-some years old, and infuses
the soliloquies with some wonderful
innovations. Keep an eye on Ouimette
in this and future Stratford seasons.
The elimination of the affairs-of-
state business has visible positive and
negativerepercussions in the otherchar-
acters. Peter Donaldson is deprived of
the meat of Claudius' character - his
political agility -resulting in an over-
all inconsistency. However, the focus
on Hamlet makes way for a more in-
triguing Horatio, manifested here in
Tom McCamus. Hamlet and Horatio's
closeness is reflected in Hamlet's art-
fully arranged death - standing, sup-
ported by Horatio, evocative of
A big disappointment is Sabrina
Grdevich, who confuses Ophelia with
Alice in Wonderland. Compensating
is Janet Wright, who empowers
Gertrude by rejecting Claudius after a
chilling (and suggestive) closet scene
with Ouimette's Hamlet.
The other characters steadily ride
backseat to Ouimette's Hamlet, though
William Hutt adds his comic touch as
The contemporary look of the pro- ,
duction is appropriate, though crushed
velvet isn't flattering for everyone, and
Horatio's leather jacket is a nice touch.
Still, Monette should be proud of hiss
accomplishment, and even prouder of,
Ouimette's Hamlet, the truly "defini-
tive" aspect of this production.
HAMLET runs in repertory through
September 17 at the Tom Patterson
Theatre in Stratford, Ontario. For
tickts, accommodations or
information about this or any other
production, call the Festival Box
Office at (519) 273-1600.
In the infamous closet scene, Stephen Ouimette confronts Janet Wright in the Stratford Festival's "Hamlet."
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Diggin' In the Crates -
Profile Rap Classics
Put on your brown bomber, fat link
and shell toe Adidas y'all, 'cause it's
time to go around the way and back in
the day. This first installment of
Profile's greatest rap hits has an assort-
ment of ground breaking classics like
"Rock Box" and "Sucker M.C.'s
(Krush-Groove 1)," but the gems on
this album aren't brought only by Run
DMC. There are a number of super-
fresh tracks including perhaps the
slammin'estD.J. song in history, "King
Kut" by Word of Mouth featuring D.J.
Cheese. This seven minutecutshouldn't
have been overlooked in the '80s and
will keep bouncin' right through the
'90s. Other tracks that are certainly
corny but certainly all the way live are
the Fresh 3 M.C.'s "Fresh" and Dana
Dane's classic "Nightmares."
Most of the tracks were on one or
another of Mr. Magic's Rap Attack's,
so if the listener has those oldies on
wax, thisCD may be non-essential. But
if your someone who got in the game
late and wants to connect up with the
roots - before sampling and
gangsterism - then pick this up.
Novamute, Plus 8 Records
Richie Hawtin proves again that his
deity-like stature among techno fans is
definitely deserved. Regardless of what
one thinks of his ego, Hawtin is prob-
ably the most influential of the area
techno artists and "Recycled Plastik"
only works to reinforce his position
among Detroit DJs.
Premiered at his "Hard" party in
Toronto, the tracks on Recycled Plastik
are just that: hard-core. Hawtin has
abandoned much of the trance quali-
ties of his earlierrecord "Sheet One" in
favor of more drum driven tracks that
are bass heavy to say the least. All of
the tracks hit with the force of a sledge-
hammer, yet are listenable in the home
environ. "Recycled Plastik," if any-
thing, is apanegyric to Hawtin's versa-
One of the current trends in techno
music is the so-called "minimalist"
movement and this album contributes
to the worthiness of this new genre.
"Krakpot" is a very minimal track, yet
the space in the track create their own
noise, adding to the song's complexity.
"Gak Remix" is a remix of a song from
"Sheet One" and is one of the most
interesting tracks of the album. Hawtin
keeps the foreground track from the
original version, yet nearly double times
the background drum and bass track,
creating a track with a completely dif-
The only problem with "Recycled
Plastik" is that it is best understood and
appreciated if compared to Hawtin's
other releases. Yet, that is not meant to
devalue this album, which will
strengthen any well-rounded techno