The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 14, 1995 - 11
Chokebore Will Strangle End-of-term Boredom
Are you bored? Of course you are. Finals aren't until next week and you
need something to do. What you should do is work your way out to St.
Andrew's this Sunday to see Chokebore. With a new album, "Anything
Near Water," Chokebore has the energy to entertain you. Like most
Amphetamine Reptile bands, they're based on guitars, yet they have a
decidedly more mellow sound. Riffs flow out in spurts, giving a twisted
melodic impression; drums and bass give a strong basis for the riffs to
flow from; the vocals recall a mix of yodeling, a choir and the sound of a
Gregorian chant, all filtered through a garage band. It's a stunning mix of
calm music broken up with chaos and the occasional mega-strong
musical breakage. Investigate with all due haste at 7:30 p.m. instead of
choking that chicken. Headlining are the ultra-cool Cows. Great gurgely
murgley! There's even an ad for Chokebore in the spiffy new comic
By Melissa Rose Bernardo
Daily Theater Editor
To say that the Musical Theatre
Program's production of "42nd Street"
was their best effort wouldn't be enough;
it was - in the show's own words -
sheer, unadulterated brilliance.
April 13, 1995
When: Tonight and Saturday at 8
p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
Tickets: $16, $12 ($6 students)
at the League Ticket Office. Call
"Come and meet those dancing feet"
was never a more enticing invitation
than at the Power Center last night,
when this production of "42nd Street"
kicked up its heels and tapped its way
into the audience's hearts, where it will
surely stay for years to come.
The story of "42nd Street" is
Broadway's favorite fairytale. It's
the Depression, but mega-producer
Julian Marsh (John Halmi) has plans
to mount "the biggest musical
Broadway's seen in 20 years,"
"Pretty Lady." The catch is - along
with the financial backing he is
forced to accept famed star of yes-
teryear Dorothy Brock (Lisa Datz).
When Brock breaks her ankle on
opening night, "Pretty Lady" appears
to be doomed. But in a Cinderella-like
twist, chorus girl Peggy Sawyer
(Christy Morton) is pushed into Brock's
place, and becomes a star overnight.
Really, the storyline is just an ex-
cuse for an evening of old-style Broad-
Tap your troubles away at the Power Center this weekend with this amazing production of "42nd Street.'
Gillette on the Attack
Remember that old-school song
that hit big for awhile, "Oh Mickey?"
In a time when hardcore rap - which
focused more on sounding bitter than
happy,just confronting what's wrong
with America without dealing with
what's right about it - was pushing
its agenda and driving other forms of
Black music intothe background, "Oh
Mickey" offered a thrilling breath of
fresh air, and many clung to it.
Gillette, a fine Latino sister, seems
to be trying to bring back that era of
less-serious rap with her "Gillette on
the Attack." The one unshakable fact
about Gillette is that she is no rapper.
Much like our dear friend, M.C. Ham-
mer, Gillette will have to depend
heavily on the beats in her songs to
drive CD sales up.
Gillettedoesn't use"traditional" rap
beats. Rather, she pulls in a variety of
hard rock and techno sounds to spice up
her release. Unfortunately, after listen-
ing to the first two or three of the 10 cuts
on this CD, the boredom that could
easily set in begins to make all her songs
sound more and more like the same
beats with different lyrics.
"Gillette on the Attack" would
definitely have its place at the Nectar-
ine and the frat parties that go on
around this University, though. The
beats are easy to dance to, even for the
oftentimes rhythm-less drunks who
tend to make up the majority of the
Friday and Saturday night party-goers.
The interesting thing about Gillette
is her attitude, an attitude that is quickly
recognizable. She, like many of us,
knows all-too-well the assumptions and
presumptions of women - especially
Black and Latino women - made by
men and, sadly, other women. Gillette,
in many of her songs attacks the "she's
a ho" attitude many would show to-
wards her. It's refreshing to see a fe-
male artist deal with the unfair treat-
ment of certain "types" of females.
This fact doesn't necessarily make
"Gillette on the Attack" an amazing
CD, but it does allot to.its listeners a
different perspective about the un-
spoken, seemingly unimportant con-
cerns that, in actuality, rule a vast
number of our thoughts and actions.
- Eugene Bowen
way melodies and a flood of flashy
hoofing. Everyone's favorite musical
numbers - "Lullaby of Broadway,"
"We're in the Money," "Dames" and
"42nd Street" - are intact and even
more punched up than usual.
Draper - herself an 8-year veteran
of the original Broadway produc-
tion - has sewn "42nd Street" to-
gether seamlessly into a crisp and
near flawless product. Fans of the
show will be glad to know that
Draper has retained the bulk of
Gower Champion's original chore-,
ography, and it works much to the
show's advantage. Above all,
Draper's cast exhibits a comfort and
mastery of this material which
should be far beyond college-age
You'd think these kids were born
with baby tap shoes strapped on, and
sprang from the womb only to go into
a shuffle-ball-change. Champion's cho-
reography -drawn together and high-
lighted by the addition of Draper's own
material -still steals the show, though
George Bacon's eye-popping costumes
are quite a threat to the spotlight. They
shine (literally) with a brilliance and
splendor that is exceeded only by the
The cast appears to be having one
heck of a good time, which only inten-
sifies the vigor and excitement inher-
ent in "42nd Street." As chorus-girl-
Sawyer, Christy Morton throws her
heart and soul into the role; with "eyes
shining like a kid at Christmas,"
Morton's Peggy is a delightful combi-
nation of childlike naivete and grown-
up wisdom. Job Christenson dances
the role ofjuvenile lead Billy Lawloras
if his life depends on it.
But beneath the tapping, Draper
and the cast do manage to unearth a hint
of plot here and there, an admirable
achievement considering the thin
storyline present in Michael Stewart
and Mark Bramble's book. Here again
Morton deserves credit - as do a host
of others - for making a cartoon-like
character spring to life on stage.
Julian Marsh is quite well-executed
in the form of John Halmi; in his hands,
Julian is manic and hard-as-nails, but
Halmi lets Julian's soft side escape in
the presence of Morton's endearing
Peggy. And after 10 seconds of expo-
sure to Halmi's velvety baritone, you'll
wish Harry Warren and Al Dubin had
written more songs for that character.
Lisa Datz performs Dorothy Brock
with the requisite surplus of melodrama
and eccentricity, but humanizes her a
little more than others have. Datz suc-
cessfully avoids the trap of transform-
ing Brock into a superbitch, injecting
the character with a welcome under-
tone of sympathy.
Among the smaller roles, Kate
Guyton is a hoot and a half, hamming
it up as everyone's favorite stage
mother/character actor Maggie, and
Allison Buckhammer is sleek and sassy,
vamping through the show as the plucky
Though the characterizations are
more exciting and fuller than expected,
the pulse of the show is measured in its
visual grandness: from the dancing to
the sets to the cast and the costumes,
"42nd Street" is a stunning, sumptuous
The show stands as living proof
that a torrent of tap dancers clad in
silver-spangled costumes is enough to
mask even the thinnest of plots, and
move even the hardest of theatergoing
hearts. It is a testament to musical com-
edy - "the most glorious words in the
And oh those dancing curtain
Because stuff happens.
'Hey this is corporate America. We have to keep it clean.