Daily - Wednesday, April 5, 1995 - 9
. Farley 's comic antics save dull 'Boy'
By Prashant Tamaskar
Daily Arts Writer
Despite the decline in quality of
the popular TV show "Saturday Night
Live," Chris Farley has made a name
for himself as a rising star in the world
of comedy, based on his work on the
program. Moreover, his small roles in
"Airheads," "Wayne's World 2,"
"Coneheads" and "Billy Madison"
proved that his humor could be trans-
ferred over to the big screen. Thus, it
comes as no surprise that he has fi-
nally landed top billing in a feature
film. Whether his ascent will con-
tinue is questionable. However, in
"Tommy Boy" he proves his value by
saving amoviethat without him would
Farley stars as Tommy Callahan
Jr:, who hasjustgraduated after seven
years of college. He goes back home
to Sandusky, Ohio to find out that his
father (Brian Dennehy), who runs a
local auto parts factory, is about to get
re-married. On the day of the wed-
ding Tom Sr. has a heart attack and
dies, leaving the company in jeop-
ardy. After his death, it seems that the
board of directors has no choice but to
sell the company to an industrial giant
(Dan Akroyd) who wants to close the
The dim-witted Tommy offers to
go on the road to sell auto parts in an
attempt to save the plant. Joining him
on the trip is Richard (David Spade),
who was big Tom's under-appreci-
ted right-hand man. The rest of the
By Heather Pharos
Daily Arts Editor
Though it didn't seem like it at the
beginning ofthe show, Bettie Serveert's
concert at St. Andrew's Hall lastFriday
proved to be a breathtaking experience.
Once again, the Dutch indie-rock group
proved that live, they are a powerful
St. Andrew's Hall
March 31, 1995
force to experience and enjoy. And the
wildly welcoming crowd did indeed
experience and enjoy Bettie Serveert to
the fullest; even after two encores, the
audience was unwilling to see the band
leave the stage.
But before the Betties was a some-
what disappointing set by the Seattle
group Love Battery. While the group
didn't necessarily live up to all the
flannel-wrapped cliches hurled at bands
from thatparticular town, they did seem
like they and their music would fit in
better opening at a Mudhoney gig than
one of Bettie Serveert's. Their grungy-
yet-sweet music was played compe-
tently and appreciated by a few diehard
fans. Yet nothing special about the band
grabbed the audience; the lukewarm
response and the sparse turnout pretty
much confirmed the audience's lack of
recognition of Love Battery. Which is
too bad; although they are not the most
exciting or original band, their music
* was definitely under-appreciated by a
crowd largely ignorant of the band's
Continued from page 8
finally lunges at Nurse Ratched in
rage, tearing her shirt open to reveal
her breasts to her patients. This strips
her of her power over them to some
degree, power that she is never able to
fully recover. She had probed and
seen all of them, but they had never
been placed on the same level before.
In this production, McMurphy rips
film is concerned with the resolution
of this conflict.
The only thing that prevents this
film from faltering is Farley. It suf-
fers from weak comedy writing that is
rescued by Farley's hilariously over-
done delivery. However, nearly ev-
ery scene without him lacks humor.
Directed by Peter Segal
with Chris Farley and
At Briarwood and Showcase
Thankfully, there is enough of the
comedian throughout the movie to
keep it alive and well. Moreover, there
is plenty ofphysical comedy, the brand
of humor that Farley specializes in.
Of course, had anyone else been cast
in his place, the film wouldn't have
been nearly as funny as it was.
A problem with the movie is that it
almost seems to take itself too seri-
ously, which just isn't possible when
Chris Farley is constantly running
into things. For example, after Tom
Sr.'s death, the mood of the film is
fairly somber, which isn't agood tech-
nique in a slapstick-type movie. And,
of course, the carefree Tommy and
the uptight Richard develop a special
friendship after spending time to-
gether on the road, despite spending
most of the film at each other's throat.
The fact that this happens isn't neces-
sarily so bad, rather it is the degree to
which this situation is portrayed. Sim-
ply stated, "Tommy Boy," at many
points, tries to be something that it
Farley is perfect in a role that
requires a bit too much improvisa-
tion. He does a fine job of turning
relatively stale material into comedy.
However, the rest of the cast doesn't
seem to have this ability. Although
the interaction between Farley and
David Spade has great potential, it
doesn't turn out as expected. Instead
of having a situation like Steve Mar-
tin and John Candy's in "Planes,
Trains, and Automobiles," in which
both characters contribute to the hu-
mor, laughter is created only by Farley.
However, considering how hard it is
to be funny when the script isn't,
Spade probably shouldn't be faulted.
Dan Akroyd, Bo Derek and Rob Lowe
also suffer a fate similar to Spade's.
In fact, the only other notable perfor-
mance is Brian Dennehy, who is en-
tertaining in his brief role as Tommy's
It is not very often that a single
performer can turn a potentially poor
movie into an entertaining one. How-
ever, this is exactly what Chris Farley
does in "Tommy Boy". And, unless
the public quickly sours to his come-
dic style, it appears as if this won't be
the only inferior movie he'll have an
opportunity to save.
Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebow Orchestra Arrives at Hill
Continuing the string of world-class orchestras to visit Ann Arbor this season, the Royal Concertgebow Orchestra
of Amsterdam arrives at Hill Auditorium tomorrow night at 8 p.m.
Under the baton of chief conductor Riccardo Chailly, the ensemble will perform works by Stravinsky, Prokofiev
and Strauss. Highlighting their broad interpretive abilities, skilled musicianship and European conservatory
training, this program also demonstrates the group's expertise In Post-Romantic and Modern repertory.
Chailly is only of the fifth principal conductor of the Concertgebouw and the first of non-Dutch origin. He is
among a long succession of leaders to promote 20th-Centurymusic, as is reflected by theprogramming of their
current U.S. tour. With student rush seats available for only $9, it is well worth the cost of a ticket.
'Pinafore'sails again at Mendelssohn
But when Bettie Serveert came on,
the crowd (now much larger) was ap-
preciation personified: Cheers and ap-
plause filled the air as bassist Herman
Bunskoeke, guitarist Peter Visser, gui-
tarist and vocalist Carol Van Dijk and
drummer Berend Dubbe took the stage
and started into "Keepsake" off their
second and latest album "Lamprey."
Indeed, the whole set went down
well with the crowd, and justifiably
so - Bettie Serveert is arguably one
of the tightest, most reliably "on"
bands in recent memory. Instead of
merely giving the audience a second-
rate rehash of their recordings, the
band improves on each of the songs in
a live performance. Peter Visser's
guitar fills and melody lines are one
of the band's trademarks; they sweep
over wide ranges of notes and emo-
tions in a style that could be overly
ornate were it not balanced by the rest
of the band's minimalism. Visser's
open her shirt, but then the lights go
out and the characters move from the
set. This made it just sort of strange
instead of powerful.
It's my job to analyze and critique,
but I don't want to take everything
away from "One Flew Over the
Cuckoo's Nest." It is an intriguing story
that stays with you, and there is merit
and humor in the Ann Arbor Civic's
production. Overall, it was enjoyable,
and really, that's the bottom line.
guitar work shone, especially on "Un-
der the Surface" and "This Thing
Nowhere," from the group's 1993 de-
but album "Palomine."
The band's other trademark is lead
singer Carol Van Dijk's astoundingly
beautiful voice and powerful charisma.
Remarkably clear and smooth for the
singer of an "alternative" band, Van
Dijk's singing was shown off to its best
on songs like "Tell Me Sad," "Leg" and
"Ray Ray Rain." And though her long
bangs and hair hid her face from view,
it definitely couldn't hide her star po-
tential from the audience.
All in all, it was a very successful
show that featured one of the best, most
heartfelt and moving bands in music
today. Though the gig was cancelled
the first time around due to bassist
Bunskoeke's recent illness, the group
showed that they are none the worse for
wear, and have indeed improved as a
live band since their last visit here.
By David Shepardson
Daily Staff Reporter
Paint cans litter the disorderly stage.
The main set-piece, a ship's landing,
needs quite a bit of work. A technical
director furiously rushes on and off the
stage. A set designer is wearing a head-
Where: Mendelssohn Theatre
When: Tomorrow at 8 p.m.
"H.M.S. Pinafore" runs this
weekend and next weekend,
with the final performance 'n
April 16. Performances begin at
8 p.m., Thursday through
Saturday. Matinees are at 2
p.m. on Saturday and Sunday
set better suited to an air traffic control-
ler. The faint sounds of drilling can be
heard in the distance.
And it's only three nights before
the sail goes down - er, the curtain
goes up - on the "H.M.S. Pinafore,"
the University of Michigan Gilbert
and Sullivan Society's latest ship-
Sitting on a pitch-black stage while
putting bolts together for the giant mast,
Margie Warrick, the director, assures a
reporter who is navigating a treacher-
ous orchestra pit that the set will be
ship-shape by opening night. "I'm not
too worried. It looks worse than it really
is," said Warrick, who was a member of
the '85 and '91 casts of the "H.M.S.
Pinafore" and is director of student
affairs at the School of Public Health.
First performed at London's Op-
era Comique in 1878, "H.M.S. Pin-
afore" was the first great success of
W.S. Gilbert (words) and Arthur
Sullivan (lyrics). The show ran an
astonishing 570 performances.
"This show is fast-moving and a
lot of fun for the audience," said
Warrick, who is also choreographing
the production as she did in '91. "There
are a ton of dance scenes."
Also known as "The Lass who
loved a Sailor," the production touches
on two timeless themes near and dear
to Gilbert's heart: Unrequited love
and class structure. (Remember: Gil-
bert and Sullivan "shows" are neither
plays, musicals nor operas. All three
terms are to be assiduously avoided.)
In the story, the captain's daugh-
ter, Josephine, is in love with a com-
mon sailor, Ralph (pronounced Raif)
Rackstraw, but the daughter has been
promised to a member of the Admi-
ralty, a much-older Sir Joseph Porter.
Chaos ensues. Finally the conflict is
resolved without much damage to
societal conventions governing love,
class and seafaring.
"I had one cast member ask me:
What is the plot? And I really couldn't
tell him," Warrick said. "The story
requires an awful lot of suspension of
Less about tying loose ends together,
the performance centers on the voyage
itself. "You can't think about the plot
too much," Warrick said. Perhaps a
metaphor for life, perhaps not. Warrick
said she has stayed true to the script, but
has added a scene involving military
procedures. "It's so funny that I've had
to remind the cast not to laugh and how
important it is not to break character,"
In performing the show a century
after it first opened, Warrick said her
primary objective is to keep the show
breezy, yet relevant. "We're trying to
make it 'schticky.' But we're trying
not to go overboard," said Warrick,
unconscious of the obvious pun.
Heading the "town 'n gown" cast
are long-time community perform-
ers. Barbara Smith Hilbish is playing
Buttercup, her seventh major Gilbert
and Sullivan role. Matthew Grace
plays the captain in his eight semester
in the Gilbert and Sullivan society.
Beverley Pooley, a University pro-
fessor of law and a self-described
"former subject of the Queen," has
been in society productions for 20
years. He plays Porter.
Trade in your milk crates
through milk crate
macaroni and cheese.
it will be time
to come home.
But "home" does
not have to be back
to Mom and Dad
(and their rules).
w ti -
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