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February 14, 1995 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-02-14

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S'Mh At Hal the Princess
Woweel Even if you think love stinks, you can still go out this Valentine's
Day. No sappy pink and red decorations will be found tonight at Rick's,
where three very loud, very local, very cool bands will be playing their
hearts out. Asha Vida, Godzuki, and Princess Dragon Mom are going to
crank out all kinds of crazy noises, and they promise not to play any love Pa,
songs. Odors open at 9p.m. and cover is $4. By all means, Tuesday,
February 14, 1995
Comedy night brings laughs to all kends Jil

By Eugene Bowen
Daily Arts Writer
With recent, racially-charged is-
sues like the firing of the three Black
dental workers and the capture of
the alleged serial rapist cropping up
on this campus and in Ann Arbor, it
comes as no surprise that many of
the University's Black students have
found little to laugh about as of late.
But, thanks to the Laugh Track and
Viewpoint Lectures divisions of the
University Activities Center, Satur-
day night saw the spread of a little
bit of happiness.
It was on this night that stand-up
comedian Dave Chappelle graced
the stage of the Power Center bring-
ing a healthy dose of Def Comedy
Jam-like humor to a racially-mixed
audience of some 250 people.
Chappelle, who played the part of
Achoo in the summer '93 flick
"Robin Hood: Men in Tights," has
been seen on HBO's Def Comedy
Jam twice. He also gained a cache
of adoring fans when he appeared
on the Arsenio Hall Show (before it
was canceled, of course) and the
David Letterman Show. He was
therefore more than ready to fulfill
the hopes of a crowd looking for a
few laughs.
That's exactly whatChappelle gave
the crowd, but not before University
senior and fellow comic, Horace Sand-
ers, warmedthecrowd up with his zany,
on-stage antics. His routine included
.everything from car troubles to women

always being right tofatpeople."There's
nothing to be embarrassed about if
you're fat," Sanders told the crowd. "I
used to be 380 pounds." "Okay," Sand-
ers quickly admitted, "I'm lying."
Sanders' craziness is already well-
known among many on campus. Few
comics could relate being shot ii the
leg to Grey Poupon commercials and
signs from God, but that's what this
aspiring law student did SaturdayA.
Power Center for the
Performing Arts
February 11, 1995
Sanders' 30 minute-long routine
warmed everyone's funny bones, and
it was Chappelle's hour-long routine
that set them ablaze with laughter.
Yet his humor was not solely meant
to make people go into hysteria (al-
though that happened often).
Chappelle joked in a way that made
everyone laugh, but also had them
thinking ."A terrorist has never taken
a Black hostage in the history of the
world," Chappelle said, divulging the
crowd in a bit of trivia. "You'll never
see a Black person reading one of
those damn letters on the news; Blacks
are poor bargaining chips." Chappelle
then began to act out a terrorist calling
the White House and telling the U.S.

President that he is hobiing some
Black people hostage --ionly to get
the phone hung up on him.
Chappelle was also qui ck to make
sure that the audience's white popu-
lation didn't think him anti-white.
"I like white people. I .like you a
lot," he said. "That's whir I feel it's
my responsibility to let you know
what other Black people are saying
about you." He warned w hites of an
upcoming Black revolutieon. But he
also tried to calm them telling them
not to worry even though it's going
to happen next week. After a mo-
ment of reflection, Chappelle ac-
knowledges the impossibility of
such a revolt. "If there was a race
revolution, Black people would not
win. Not if we keep trading in our
guns for concert tickets.2'
Of course, sex eventutally had to
come into Chappelle's apt. He asked
embarrassed members of the audi-
ence about when they lost their vir-
ginity saying, "Don't be shy; we're
all friends here. Everything said here
stays here." Chappelle, rnow 20, ad-
mits that he first had sex at age 12.
"But then I went throughaseven-year
drought," he said. "I got no sex all
through high school. Back then I was
the masturbation champ."
Neither Sanders' nor Chappelle's
routines were shocking orout-of-the-
ordinary. Anyone familiar with the
structure of Black comedy routines
would have felt right at hcune at the
Power Center. These two comics' acts

were nevertheless fresh. Sanders' lists
of stupid questions and his constant
"lies" and Chappelle's various im-
personations and improv acts added a
spice to an already tasty menu of
Both Sanders and Chappelle are
powerfully funny comics whose raw-

humor flava, mingling in with a re-
freshing sense of conscientiousness,
took their acts to an entirely different
level of humor - a level of humor
and honesty that few comics can take
their entire audience to. Although the
students who sat in the audience are
now returning to their everyday lives

of classroom drudgery and ever-
present racial tensions, at least now
they can say that they carry a little bit
of humor with them. This sense of
humor, while not able to erase the
real-life problems specific to Black
students on this campus, makes tack-
ling those problems a little easier.

'Vanya' walks on the Great White Way
Malle's latest movie utilizes theatrical techniques

What a pathetic loser dork that Adam Sandler is.
'Billy Madison'.
By Prashant Tamaskar falling in
Daily Arts Writer teacher, and
Although the cast of Saturday Night schemes of
Live has boasted several talented per-
formers over the last few years, most of
them have had far from stellar movie
careers. With the exception of Mike
Myers andDanaCarveyinthe"Wayne's
World" movies, all of the films that the
SNL players have acted in have been
commercial and critical failures. How-
ever, continual failure has not prevented A
other SNL members from trying their
own silver screen stints, the latest being Althoug
Adam Sandler. And althoughSandler's it fits into t
new movie "Billy Madison" is rela- and thus, ui
tively superior to the aforementioned is true to it
disasters, it in itself is a disappointing amusingseq
film. the awkwa
Sandler plays Billy Madison, the old in sch
spoiled 27-year old son of a millionaire scenes are
hotel entrepreneur, who got through ball with his
school because his father bribed all of he returns t
his teachers. Although Mr. Madison attended si
would prefer to have Billy run his busi- Speedwago
ness when he retires, he considers hand- Unfortui
* ing over the position to his top assistant, of these mc
the malicious Eric Gordon (Bradley merous mis
Whitford). However, Billy strikes up a Toomucho
deal with his father that would give him being funny
the job, if he completed grades 1-12, by orin some w
himselfin 24 weeks. The restof the film characters.
deals with Billy going through school, son" rests

If no Ms~e me, 'puke too.
flunks the
love with his third-grade shc
d trying to ward off the evil tha
f Gordon. It's

Billy Madison
Directed by
Tamra Davis
with Adam Sandler
t Showcase and Briarwood
gh the plot is fairly moronic,
he overall tone of the film,
nlike so many other movies,
self. And there are several
quences, mostly dealing with
rdness of having a 27 year
ool. The funniest of these
when Sandler plays dodge
s first-grade class, and when
to the high school he hasn't
nce '84, wearing an REO
on t-shirt and a jean jacket.
inately, there aren't enough
oments to neutralize the nu-
serable attempts at humor.
)fthe movie relies on Sandler
y by talking in astupid voice,
way reprising one of his SNL
The fact that "Billy Madi-
completely on Sandler's

funny test
oulders is no surprise, considering
t he is one of the writers of the film.
not a stretch to say that v4h better
iting in certain areas, this could have
en a fairly decent movie.
No other performer in "BWly Madi-
n" adds significantly to the film. In-
ad, they pretty much pave'the way
r Sandler to do his thing. In fact, the
ly other actor to provide any supple-
:ntary comedy to the movie is Chris
rley, who plays a small role. Al-
>ugh he doesn't get much notoriety,
rley's routines always seem to be
sher and more entertairing than
Yet again, another recent Saturday
ght Live cast member has proved
it the group belongs solely on TV,
dnoton the silver screen. Atk)astthis
m isn't based on an actual S1L skit.
>wever, as long as the show remains
pular, movies starring the cast are
vitable. But after watching the epi-
des that have aired this season, we
uld be finally seeing the end.of SNL
-formers earning feature roles.

By Sarah Stewart
Daily Arts Writer
Film has a lot in common with
theatre: Among other things, both
fields rely on capable actors, writ-
ers and directors for their success
and both aim to please the audi-
ences they are able to attract. None-
theless, most filmmakers are not in
the habit of staging a play, filming it
without adaptation for the big screen
and selling it to moviegoers. Louis
Malle, the director of "Vanya on
42nd Street," a film based on Andr6
Gregory's stage production of
Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya," is the
exception - he takes a sizable risk
in turning theatre into film but ends
up succeeding.
Basically, "Vanya" is a run-
through of David Mamet's brilliant
English adaptation of "Uncle
Vanya," sans a real stage, sans any
costume changes, sans almost ev-
erything except an extraordinary
group of actors and an intelligence
that avoids making it the equivalent
of videotaping your favorite Broad-
way production. In the film's open-
ing scene, we catch up with the
actors on their way to the perfor-
mance, follow them into the aban-
doned theatre in which they'll per-
form and sit in on their mingling
and small talk. When the camera
focuses in on a conversation be-
tween Larry Pine and Phoebe Brand,
we think we're still watching the
pre-play festivities until the camera
subtly rotates to reveal a small group
of spectators; the play has started
right under our noses.
"Uncle Vanya," the play within
the movie, is the story of an ex-
tended family under one roof. The
washed up Professor Serebryakov
(George Gaynes) and his young,
radiant wife Yelena (Julianne
Moore) are at its center, surrounded
by a motley crew of miserable
friends and relatives, drawn into

Yelena's idleness by her magnetic
attraction. Everything about this
household, including the dynamics
of the relationships within it, spell
out the frustration of being unable
Vanya on 42nd
Dircte by Street
Directed by Louis Malle
with Wallace Shawn amd
Julianne Moore
At Ann Arbor I & 2
to change one's station in life.
Tied down by their misery, the
characters are left only to talk while
we listen, and listen, and listen, soon
realizing that what we're seeing on
the screen was originally meant to
be seen on stage. Yet it's easy to be
completely drawn in by the discus-
sions that tackle profoundly deli-
cate issues without sacrificing hon-
esty. For those viewers who feel
that their efforts go unappreciated
or long to admit that they're un-
happy, Vanya's (Wallace Shawn)
confessions and frustrations might
verge on therapeutic.
Although viewers of "Vanya"
will not experience the visual privi-
leges of the theatre - the sensation
of knowing that they are in the same
room with the characters, experi-
encing, on some level, a spontane-
ity or uniqueness in what's happen-

ing in front of them - the superb
quality of the acting comes close to
hiding the fact that something is lost
in the translation from stage to
Shawn and Moore, who are both
outstanding in their respective roles,
are at their best when they're to-
gether. At times, Vanya is Yelena's
most vocal admirer, giving Shawn
an opportunity to play the theatrical
part of the fool - in one scene, he's
playfully eager to deliver her roses
but ends up walking in on her only
intimate moment with his rival ad-
mirer, the country doctor (Pine). In
other instances, his tenderness out-
shines the bumbling Shawn of "The
Princess Bride," as he strokes
Yelena's cheek even when the ten-
sion in her face is painfully visible.
When she's not moving away
from him, Yelena's response to
Vanya is most often laughter. And
her laughter, as Moore delivers it,
contains everything from honest
amusement to hysteria to pity.
Moore's appearance throughout the
film is as striking as the role de-
mands, giving the impression of an
untouchable, wanting so much to be
touched, and making Yelena a sur-
prisingly sympathetic character.
Watching Moore, Shawn and ev-
eryone else in "Vanya," we come as
close as we can to watching real
people diving so deep into charac-
ters that they are able to remain real

" " r ns. uw.

Write for Daily Arts
Call 763-0379 for more information
March 22 & 23
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(Elected together as a slate)

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