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September 10, 1996 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-10

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Mx~j Lilijn Itdg

A silent shocker
Once again, 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" hits Ann Arbor on the big
screen. The p;ilent classic by German Expressionist Robert Wiene is a
surrealistic i iurder mystery that has become a favorite for film profes-
sors on cam is. So, if you haven't seen it in class yet, check it out
tonight at the, Michigan Theater at 7 o'clock.

Tragedies fill mixed
Stratford program

By J. David Berry
For the Daily
The following are brief reviews of
some of the tragedies now showing at
the Stratford Festival in Ontario.
SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH
"Sweet Bird of Youth" deals with the
"terrible, stiff necked pride of the
defeated." Focusing on two has-beens
that are scratching for a come back,
Williams' occasionally long-winded
drama comes to life due to tremendous
performances.
Geordie Johnson plays Chance
Wayne, a young local playboy whose
R EV IEW
The Stratford
Festival
Running now through Nov. 3.
call 1-800-567-1600.
youth and charm is fast wearing thin
with the Hollywood elite. Any promise
that he once had has faded, leaving him
to scrounge for what little recognition
he can get. In a last-ditch effort for suc-
cess, he becomes the boy-toy of a fallen
movie queen, the Princess
Kosmonopolis, played stunningly by
Martha Henry.
Johnson and Henry play off each
other well, as two "monsters" both try-
ing to use the other to reclaim a shred of
their past glory. As the desperation
mounts, so does the extreme nature of
the dealings of these two.
While Johnson's Chance holds his
own, Martha Henry far outshines any-

thing else onstage. She is a wonder, and
the Princess's return to the grace of
Hollywood gives her a remarkable
power. We see a transformation in
Henry, from someone who begins,
scrounging for any shred of dignity, and
finishes a bona fide Hollywood legend.
From moment to moment, Henry is
both monstrous and fragile, broken and
dignified. Her performance will remain
as one of the great ones.
Also turning in noteworthy perfor-
mances are Tom McCamus, whose turn
as the revenge-seeking Tom Jr. is fright-
eningly driven; Chic Reid, as Miss
Lucy, the spruned-too-often mistress of
Boss Finley; and Lewis Gordon as Boss
Finley, the quintessential southern gen-
tleman fighting tooth and nail against
Chance, the colored, or anything else
that might take away some of his con-
trol over Chance's small hometown.
Weaving this story all together is
Diana Leblanc, last season's noted
director of "Long Day's Journey into
Night." She keeps the actors clipping
along through Williams' brilliant but
lengthy writing. Only the first act feels
a little long, and before you know it,
three hours have passed. Leblanc has
accented the peace with some smokey
jazz stings creeping in at crucial
moments. The saxophone seems to
lament the fate of these fallen birds
whose wings will no longer carry them
to greatness.
KING LEAR
"King Lear" is often hailed as the
greatest tragedy ever written for stage.
While this may be true, it is also one of

Two stars of "Little Foxes," now playing at the Stratford Festival.

Fire*Eate
Shelter al
Washington, D.C. c
By Ted Watts
Daily Arts Writer
Jonathan Fire*Eater is a quintet con-
sisting of a vocalist (Stewart Lupton), a
bassist (Tom Frank), a guitarist (Paul
Maroon), a drummer (Matt Barrick)
and, interestingly, an organist (Walter
Martin). With a sort of retro rock sound
that well befits an organ (you can sure-
ly think of some examples from the late
'60s or early '70s), they seem poised to
break out into a
world where the
"Trainspotting" PR
soundtrack has
breathed new life
into an old Iggy
Pop song that is Tonight a
not beyond com-
parison in sound
to this young group.
Based in Nw York, the band has had
a rather vague sort of history. "We all
grew up together in Washington
(D.C.)," explained ivory pecker Walt in
a recent interview with The Michigan
Daily. "We moved up here and started
the band, and they all lived together,
and, um, that's about all. Then we just
played all around here, around New
York, and then we went on a couple of
tours, put out a couple of CDs and
records, and then that's where we are
now I guess."
"It's all pretty casual, really," added
singer Stewart.
Casual or not, over the course of a
very small number of releases, Jonathan
Fire*Eater has consciously altered their
sound, on recordings at least. "The first
thing doesn't sound anything like we did
then live, but we're getting closer to
recreating our live sound. That's hard to
do," Walt explained.
The band will soon have a chance to
sound even closer to their live sound
than on their most current release, since
they're writing songs for their first full
album, which they hope to record by
December and which will be on the
high profile Dreamworks label.
Lyrics are easier to capture, since
they're just words. But the concepts in
the band's songs aren't your standard
boy-meets-girl material. You get stuff
about genetics or an undertaker. "I just
like to do sketches of people or try to
portray someone through words and
images. I don't think we have this goth-
TLU pac,. reman
condition aft
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Doctors
removed rapper Tupac Shakur's right
lung after he was shot four times in the
chest during a weekend attack, and

the most difficult tragedies to do well.
Given this distinction, an uneven cast is
unable to maintain the tension neces-
sary to drive a production of the play.
Due to the size of the cast and the
sheer number of difficult roles, it was
impossible for Richard Monette, direc-
tor of "Lear" to cast an accomplished
actor in every part that required one. It
appears as though he was left to put
some young talents into roles that dic-
tated otherwise, and hope that they
would rise to meet the challenge.
Most glaringly miscast is Jordan
Pettle as the Fool. In his first major part
at Stratford, Pettle seems to be con-
scious of his lack of experience on the
Stratford stage. Pettle's take on the Fool,
written as a master of wit who pulls no
punches and says things exactly as they
are, appears uneasy, delivering the
Fool's jabs with reserve and apology.
Also falling slightly short of the mark
are Martin Albert, whose King of
France comes across more as a young
schoolboy, and Colombe Demers as
Cordelia, who, though at times very
good, seems to fall short during some of
the more dramatically intense scenes.
Richard Monette's direction sets the
play sometime in the mid 1800s, which
creates some beautifully refined cos-
tumes for the court scenes, but looses
some of the savageness inherent in the
play. Monette does make an interesting
choice with the storm scene, staging it
as a judgment for Lear, with two bright
lights shining down, as in an inquisi-
tion. Also, making Edmond, played by
Geordie Johnson, a priest is an interest-

ing choice that works well in context,
creating even a wider gap betwvcen what
he appears to be and the monster that he
actually is.
Rising above these shortcmings are
Diane D'aquila and Martha Burns as
Lear's deliciously evil daughters
Goneril and Regan respectively. Also
impressive is Lewis Gordon.4 faithful
Kent, whose loyalty to the faring Lear
is heart wrenching; Eric IDonkin's
Gloucester, whose naive eyes are only
opened once he is blinded; and Peter
Donaldson's Edgar, whose cowipassion
as Mad Tom is beautiful to see:.
The highlight of the productiton is the
opportunity to witness a master like
William Hutt tackle a role wortthy of his
stature as an actor. Hutt does -ot push
any of the acting moments, bust rather,
deals with them simply, with n extra-
neous gestures or emotion. It: is the
power and ability that comes orgy from
years of experience on the stage, choos-
ing his intense moments carefuly, and
not playing all of his cards at onme. His
restraint remains until the final
moments of the play, when Lear -finally
cracks and then, the emotion flows like
a torrent of angst, sweeping the: audi-
ence right to its feet. Seeing Huitt per-
form Lear is a rare gift, and one that,
despite other flaws in the produmction,
ought to be taken advantage of.
AMADEUS
The Stratford Festival's productiion of
"Amadeus" is in the middle of its rmuch-
deserved second year of performmince:
See STRATFORD, Pagle 10

Tuesday
September 10, 1996
r to light,
blaze
quintet hits Detroit
ic thing going on. That song was about
someor who did that. His job I guess.
We're not morbid guys really, we've got
far too much ... No. I don't krow,
Stewart laughed.
There's still something slightly elu-
sive about Jonathan Fire*Eater's sound.
The band itself has trouble defiiing
what makes it distinctive. Or at least
Stewart does. "I don't know. Talent.
Creativity, Im-agination. I don't know,
h o n e s t1 y.
Hahaha."
EV IEW There has bee
Jonathan a fairly larg
Fi.@ Eater amount of praise
for the band in
t 7:30 at the Shelter. the big cess pool
Tickets are $6. fish pond that is
New York, but the
band is wary of the attention they've
garnered.
"We played for a really long tine to
clubs when they were empty, then they
started to get filled," Stewart explained.
"And we kept on playing. Then a buz
word of mouth was passed and then it
seemed to be going really well and
kinda crazy and everyone had heard of
us and so we sorta stepped back from
that. A lot of times when something is
hyped too much, it really seems to fade,
and I don't think we're going anywhere,
we're gonna be around for a-lot of
records hopeftily. I think we're in it for
the long haul so 1 didn't want to mil
this hype thing now, and have yo
place in the sun before your time has
come.
Doing a natnal tour certainly gets
them out of New York. But there are
other reasons for the tour as well.
"Well, we've gdt some press we're not
that happy about in the national things,
and instead of having people talk
about that stuff that doesn't really have
that much to do with us we wapa go
out and play around as much as we c'
so that everyone can actually see us
and make an option about that and
not about the snippy little things that
they read. So we're going to tour as
much as we possibly can. We just have
trouble getting it together, but now
we're finally getting it going," Walt
said.
So, you've heard the snippy press
stuff. Go to the Shelter tonight and
form your own opinion.
ns in critical
er shooting
police complained yesterday that unco-
operative witnesses have given them

few leads.
Shakur, 25, remained in critical co)
dition at University Medical Center
yesterday, spokesperson Dale Pugh
said. "His injuries are very severe, very
traumatic."
It was the second time in two years
that Shakur, who has a history of vio-
lence and trouble with the law, has been
the victim of a shooting.
Shakur was a passenger in a car
heading to a nightclub ate Saturd
when a white Cadillac with four me
inside pulled up and someone opened
fire, shooting Shakur four times in the
chest. His lung was removed Sunday.
Death Row Records Chairman
Marion "Suge" Knight, whose Los
Angeles-based company specializes in
violent "gangsta" rap, was treated for a
minor head wound after being grazed
by a bullet fragment or shrapnel from
the car.
Shakur and Knight were going to t .
nightclub after watching boxer Mike
Tyson defeat Bruce Seldcn in a title
fight when the shooting occurred on
Flamingo Road, one of the city's busiest
streets.
Sgt. Kevin Manning, who is heading
the investigation, said Shakur apparent-
ly was the target: "He was the passen-
ger and the one closest to the point of
fire."
Police said witnesses are stayi -
mum.
"We did not receive a whole lot of
cooperation from most of his
entourage," Manning said. "It amazes
me when they have professional body-
guards that they can't even give us an

The cast of "King Lear."

:.:..,

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