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April 13, 1995 - Image 19

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-04-13
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- 4.*

The Michig
A fond, tearful farewell to MelRose P

'Merry Wives' had the best costumes of any University Production.

Best (and Worst)
Department of Theatre
and Drama Production:
"Three Sisters" ("Sirens")
John Russell Brown's production of
Anton Chekov's comedy was warm,
wise and well-acted, especially the title
roles (Cecilia T. Grinwald, Heather
Dilly, Rebecca Winston). "Sirens" suf-
fered from a poor script, despite fine
performances.
Best (and Worst) Musical
Theatre or MUSKET
musical:
"Hair" ("Baby")
The incredibly strong cast of "Hair"
took us on a trip back to the '60s and
we loved every drug-induced minute
of it. Though the principals were quite
strong, the weak ensemble was just
enough to put "Baby" into that awk-
ward stage. Honorable Mention goes
to "The Most Happy Fella," which
wasn't eligible for last year's Best
Musical, but it was a tremendous show
Just a tip: "42nd Street," which opens
tonight, is not eligible either, but sink
that much talent and money into a pro-
duction and it's bound to be good.
Best (and Worst) Set for
a University Production:

"Sunday in the Park with
George" ("Sirens")
"Sunday": A brilliant reproduction of
painter George Seurat's pointilist tech-
nique. And the chromolume was pretty
nifty too. "Sirens": What can we say,
the shower curtain didn't do it for us.
Best Costumes for a
University Production:
"Merry Wives of
WMndsor"
The period costumes (designed by Sa-
rah Baum)were all created from
scratch for this production; the care and
detail was well-appreciated.
Best Lighting for a
University Production:
"Sunday in the Park with
George"
Greta Fisher's award-winning lighting
was the perfect complement to a col-
orful, complicated set. Also deserving
mention: Beth Turomsha's lighting for
"Sirens," which made the aforemen-
tioned shower curtain look like heaven.
Script we'd like to
rewrite award:
"Sirens"

Darrah Cloud's script was the source
of the production's problems. Under-
developed characters, a choppy plotline
and overwrought metaphoric language
made the show hard to digest, despite
genuinely emotional performances.
Best (and Worst)
direction of a University
Production:
lie: John Russell Brown,
"Three Sisters"; Philip
Ker; "The Glass
Menagerie" (Lynn
Thomson, "Sirens")
In "Sisters," Brown deserves much
praise for guiding the actors through
very difficult material and making it
look easy. In "Menagerie," Kerr ac-
complished what seemed like an im-
possible feat: Putting an intimate, four-
person play into the cavernous Power
Center. In "Sirens," Thomson's awk-
ward staging and lack of focus didn't
give Cloud's script the help it needed.
Most Prolific
Performers:
Paul Molnar Jennifer
Pennington
Not only were they in four shows
apiece (Molnar: "Menagerie, "Sis-
ters," "Merry," "Sirens;" Pennington:
"Born in the RSA," "Sisters,"
"Merry," "Sirens"), but they also put
forth excellent performances in every
one.

Most creative changes: this a drug-induced hallucination or an
inspired new take on an old classic?

"The Glass Menagerie"
Philip Kerr took the Tennessee Will-
iams' classic, added a 12-member en-
semble, inserted a grunge band, and
turned the Wingfield house into a dis-
torted dream-like prison. Smoke and
eerie lighting added to Kerr's insight-
ful vision of a family trapped between
illusion and reality.
Most detrimental
changes:
"Sunday in the Park with
George"
Why, we ask - in the name of all that
is right with musical theater -- was
Stephen Sondheim's score slowed
down and the part of Dot raised?
Best Residential College
production:
"Rosencrantz and
Guildenstern are Dead"
The R.C.'s production of Tom
Stoppard's brilliant play was a yuk a
minute, and director Jeffry Herman
deserves much of the credit.
Best Basement Arts
production:
"The Tempest"
With the help of dramaturg Bert
Cardullo, BFA junior Pete Fletcher pre-
sented this streamlined, tripped-out
version of Shakespeare's romance. Was

f

a

The 'If we had gold
statues they would go to
you' award:
For their amazing performances -
Joshua Funk in "Happy Fella" and
"Menagerie," Heather Dilly in "Sis-
ters" and "Sirens," Lakeisha Harrison
in "RSA" and "Sirens" (plus Ann Ar-
bor Civic's "Piano Lesson") - WOW.
Our Southern Belle:
Kate Guyton
Guyton's Southern charm shined
through in "Happy Fella" and "Menag-
erie." And when she sang "Georgia on
My Mind" at her senior recital, there
wasn't a dry eye in the house.
Notable Male
Performances in a
University Production:
Ward Beauchamp and Brandon Epland
("Merry Wives") both proved them-
selves gifted comic actors in this rol-
licking Shakespeare comedy.
Notable Female
Performances in a
University Production:
Alli Steinberg ("Merry") and Cadi
Sutter ("Sirens") were impressive in
their respective roles as a conniving
wife and a battered Brooklyn girl.
Notable Performances in
Basement Arts and
MUSKET productions:
Both the Basement (Roxy Font in "Top
Girls," Sylvan Jankowski in "Angels
in America") and MUSKET (Ben
Cherry in "Hair," Mandy Politiziner in
"Hair" and "Baby," and Leigh Jonaitis
and Matt Witten in "Baby") showcased
numerous strong performances this
year; let's hope this trend continues in
years to come.
Best new performer:
Ben Cherry
In his roles as Claude in "Hair" and the
young Fenton in "Merry Wives,"
1Cherry exhibited a strong voice, sin-
cere acting and compelling stage pres-
ence. Theater audiences should look
out for Cherry, definitely a performer
to be reckoned with,
We'll-miss-you Award:
Cecilia T. Grinwald, John Halmi,
Joshua Funk, Lakeisha R. Harrison,
Kate Guyton. We're going to miss these
folks and their performances. For all
their performances over the years, we
thank them and wish them the best.

MelRose Place

I called a press conference this
morning to make an important an-
nouncement about the future of this
column. And the announcement is
- I've decided to go pro. I got a
great offer to be syndicated and ...
OK, you're not buying that at all,
are you? But you see, this is not
only the last MelRose Place of the
'94-'95 academic year-this is the
last one ever.
I'm not graduating - ha ha, you
won't get rid of me that easily - and
I didn't get fired or anything wonder-
fully dramatic like that; I merely de-
cided to stop writing. Sort of like
Michael Jordan retiring from basket-
ball. Well, not really. Our salaries
aren't at all comparable and I have
all my hair.
Over the yearI've entertained nu-
merous topics including: Bad pic-

tures, parking in Ann Arbor, procras-
tination, reincarnation, flirting,
Valentine's Day, rejection, fashion,
the O.J. trial, the personal ads and a
few others so memorable even I can't
recall them.
My intention was never to make
any weighty discoveries or provide
any deep analyses. I never meant to
change anyone's life or cause any so-
cial uprisings. (I do hope, however,
you will think twice before putting on
those white shoes before Sunday.) My
aim was to make you laugh.
I left the heavier material to my
esteemed colleagues on the opinion
page. Every other week, page three
of Weekend was the place to laugh
your fanny off. And on the other
weeks, there was my column.
And I think I can say that I suc-
ceeded on many levels. Despite the
three people on the Daily confer who
think my column is weak and humor-
less, the feedback I've received over
e-mail and in person has been won-
derful. It.seems that I've made a lot
of people laugh - even if they are
just my friends and people who work
at the Daily - and I think I've even
prevented a few fashion disasters. So
my job is finished.
I'd like to take this opportunity
to thank a few people for their con-
tributions to my column. And if
they're important to my column,
they're important enough to be
mentioned here. So if you don't
want to hear about them, skip the

next three paragraphs.
Thanks to 3 Hinsdale, in Alice
Lloyd Hall - my darling residents,
my pride and joy, the flock of sheep
which I shepherd (?). They're ac-
tually extremely funny people - hi
Adrienne, Kimbo, Cho-mama -
and their obsession with University
athletes will always make me
chuckle. (What is the fascination
with Dugan Fife's bottom lip? I still
don't get it!)
Thanks to my dear friends on the
Alice Lloyd resident staff, who read
my column and say it's funny. Even
if you're lying, thanks Vaeth, Kim,
Kev and Liz. And I must acknowledge
Tasha, the best shopper and Stucchi's
employee I know. Also thanks to
Gretchen, my brilliant ex-roommate
who shows my column to everyone
she meets and brags that she lived
with me. It was Gretchen who taught
me that $150 is a reasonable price for
a sweater.
Also thank you to my wonderful
and impeccably-dressed friend Jason,
the one person I know who is even
more catty than I. (And whose
showtune collection is bigger than
mine.)And to my two best friends -
two of the funniest people I've ever
met -Matt and Matthew: Thank you
for giving me your love, your support
and your attention whenever I need
it. They know how much attention I
need, and they still give it to me self-
lessly.
OK, the tears have dried and the

violin music has ste
person I'd like to rec
Hurley, with whom
honor to share columi
for those weeks when
than I was.
I do have a few la
servations: The wl
Hope" versus "ER'
weeks and weeks of
perimentation, I've
they're both great sh
fast-paced, high-pov
face look at an eme
"Chicago Hope" is
matic, in-depth huma
hospital scene. "ER"
tors, but "Chicag
Mandy Patinkin. It's
so I say - watch bot
when you're debatin
red silk blouse and
blouse - buy both.
That was my tot
thought for this colui
I guess I also have
Clinton guy for bein
target. (I can't beli
mentioning his narn
paragraph of my fina
available over e-mai
to chat -in case you
vive without your big
MelRose humor - a
available for fashion
I leave you with
words: Laugh, and th
with you. Cry, and ye
up with runny mascar

MI. SPOT'S
Thank you for voting Mr. Spot's
#1 wings in Ann Arbor'
Michigan Daily Readership Poll
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only 9 '
Expires 4/18/95
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315 South State
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
313/662-7407
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