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October 17, 1994 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-10-17

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 17, 1994
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The unique structure ofProject Community - the peer support, the structured learning activities,
the theoretical inquiry, the process ofself-reflection and the real world experience - are some of
the elements that helped provide a context for my Social Work education.
These elements are what make experiential education so transformative. It changes peoples'
perspectives about themselves and about others around them. It gives people a sense of influence,
some new skills and a measure of confidence. It forces people to think critically and question their
assumptions about how society works. I also believe it has the power to ultimately help change
society. Of course I get paid to say that. I have a Masters Degree - in Social Work!
Project Community Alum, '90
The Japan Business Society and Eclipse Jazz Welcomes
M "t
Sadao Watanabe was born in Utsunomiya (a city 90 miles north of Tokyo). At the age of
15, he was inspired by the movie, "Birth of the Blues" in which Bing Crosby plays the role
of a clarinetist, and decided he wanted to learn to play the clarinet. After only three 5-cent
lessons from the 'old man across the street' who played at the local silent movie theater, he
taught himself the clarinet. After graduating from High School, Sadao decided to pursue a
professional career in music and moved to Tokyo. His first professional gigs were with a
dance band on the local US military base. He would jam with the GIs and on one occasion
he put down his clarinet and picked-up the alto saxophone which later became his tool to
success. His first break was in 1953 when he was asked to play the sax with a group called
"Cosy Quartet," headed by pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi, now the leader of one of the best big
bands in Jazz, the "Toshiko Akiyoshi New York Jazz Orchestra.'
Sadao Watanabe has toured the world with his music. He uses this opportunity to travel to
pick-up rhythms and sounds from each country he visits and adapt them to create beautiful
and powerful universal music. He was awarded the Japanese Ministry of Education's Award
in March of 1986 for the promotion of international performing artists. j~
Tickets are on sale now at the Michigan Union Ticket Office.

If tnis is supposea to oe -"ittioawassee Jane," wnere tne nell is Jane? we want Jane!

'Jane' doesn't have a chance .
Scrpt sujc n ongs kill this folk musical

By JENN MCKEE
When I went to the Performance Network Theater to
watch "Tittabawassee Jane," I knew little to nothing about
what I was about to see.
It's probably just as well.
The produc-
tion has several.
experienced,.
Tittabawassee qualified actors,
but they aren't
Jane enough to save
Performance Network this play. Written
October 14, 1994 by Jay Stielstra, a
native Michigan-
der, the play is set in "Middleton" (Midland), Michigan,
where "Sow" (Dow) Chemical oversees - and, of course,
pollutes- the town. A lawyer from Middleton, named John
Goodman (oooh, did you catch the symbolism of the name?),
decides to run for congress, but faces a moral dilemma since
he needs support from Sow and other undesirable sources in
order to win an election.
Much of the first act revolves around Goodman and his
Vietnam vet buddy, Reginald, talking in a bar. Reginald is
the hippie, laid-back, outspoken liberal, while John is a
clean-cut, suit-wearing attorney. Watching these personali-
ties interact simply convinced me that these people would
never be friends. Their basic incompatibility aside, we are
given no history of how they came to be friends. Hence, the
relationship that is the crux of the first act seems ludicrous
- though almost everything else does as well.
But wait! There are lots of songs - and I do mean lots,
ranging from almost-enjoyable to unbearable - along the
way. It's a musical, and a very unnatural one at that.
The songs are generally stiff and very forced, with very
few exceptions. There are too many songs, several of which
are completely extraneous. "Paddy," the political campaign
manager, has perhaps the most incongruous song near the
end of the play. Perhaps it is for character development, but
at that point of the play, it just doesn't fit. In fact, with song
after song coming from every character it seems as ifthe play

will never end.
What is almost worse than the score is the play trying to
tackle, in an only-sometimes-serious manner, the traumaof
a Vietnam veteran. Though occasionally amusing, Reginald
is written in such a way as to hit the audience over the head
repeatedly, and in a cliche fashion. This comes to a head
when, in the second act, he sings a tune a cappella, standing
in a light while the rest of the stage is shrouded in darkness.
At this point, he expounds on his experiences during and
after the war. Suddenly, in the middle of this light-hearted,
folk musical comedy, we're supposed to fully realize the
injustices of capitalism and the senselessness of war. Huh?
In general, however, the second act opens with a much
more promising beginning than the first. Two women are
now in the bar, talking. One is Jane, John's old girlfriend
who works at Sow; theother was Maggie, theex-high school
popular girl who now has nothing. Their banter is much
more interesting and engaging, besides being more realistic.
We could actually imagine these two women being friends.
This is partly because of the powerful stage presence and
beautiful voice of Tracy Leigh Komarmy, who plays Jane.
She is the strength of the entire show. Despite prosaic song
lyrics and tunes, she makes them interesting and endearing.
Another good performance is given by R. Brian Falkner,
who plays "Paddy," the oh-so-smooth political manager
who attempts to groom John for office and build bridges
with "Sow" and "the moral majority" for money. His greasy
slickness and chameleon-like personality make him amus-
ing and enjoyable to watch.
Overall, however, I could see most of the players acting,
while I should be seeing them being the characters. It might
possibly be the fault of the director, but there are just too
many empty pauses and too much staged, awkward move-
ment. The bottom line is, regardless of the strength of the
actors, without a strong script, the production doesn't have
a chance.
TlTABA WASSEE JANE plays Thursdays through
Saturdays at 8 p.m. & Sundays at 7p.m. through October
30 at Performance Network. Tickets are $12 ($9 students
& seniors), pay-what-you-can Thursdays. Call 663-0681.

Project SE RVE
bin. the Streets-Saturday, October 22, 1 am-4pm
Interested in volunteering but just can't commit long term right now? How about a one day
opportunity to get involved with other students and faculty in learning about social issues
and working directly with local service and social action organizations? It's a great introduc-
tion to volunteering and provides contacts for potential long term community service.

Work in any of the following issues:
Chemicals Dependency/Mental Health
Children and Youth
Criminal Justice/Violence
s'Fdun-ation and Literacv

a r
n.

Health and AIDS
Hunger and Homelessness
Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues
Older/Disabled Individuals

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Environment Women's Issues
Act Now-Last chance to sign up is tomorrow, October 18 by 5pm at the SERVE office
(2205 Michigan Union) or call 936-2437.
E rk Open House-Wedn.sday, Odober 19, 7:30pm
Come~ to -n ope house hoste :: 1 the ..ERVE Wo rk Care-'er Cienter in the SERVE oft3ice
225Micniaan UIn to learn about internship po sibilities and earning a living in the
e I VE Bake 'aie-Friday, Odob.r 28- F-.hb.w 9
on - -.idia.

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$30 billion
in assets and
the most
important ones
walk out the door
every night.

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Mi igan nn

S.

I~- -
3 If your name is: Joshua Bostwich
you have won free pool in the R
Michigan Union Games Room
for the week of: October 17-23
(Some restrictions apply).

Comerica Incorporated is among the nation's top 25
banks with approximately $30 billion in assets. But our
most valuable resources are the talented people that make
up our company.
As a vital member of our team, you can achieve
your goals in a corporate setting that promotes open
communication and values innovative thinking. We offer
a wide range of challenging opportunities for visionary
business and economic graduates, as well as liberal arts
graduates with at least three business courses and
related work experience.
Explore the career options available with Comerica
when our representatives are on campus:
Interviews
Monday, October 31st
.....1 .:L . ..... « ... .,,,i, AC, . . fi ..

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