8.- The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 27, 1997
Gray moves mountains with 'Slope'
By Gabriel Greene
For the Daily
Don't think for a minute that
Spalding Gray is unaware of the irony
of turning his life into art; the man does
not take an unironic breath.
One of the major crises in his latest
monologue, "It's a
Slippery Slope," is 'A
Gray's desire to '
have an actual pri- It
vate life. "I'm tired
of being a vicarian," M
he confided to the
Theater. "I want to live a life, not tell
For almost two decades, Gray has
been using his monologues to showcase
his neurosis du jour. In "Monster in a
Box," it was the terrors of writing an
autobiographical novel; in "Gray's
Anatomy," he tenaciously seeks treat-
ments to correct an eye problem.
"Slope" does not limit Gray to any one
disorder. Rather, he comes face to face
with the aspects of his life that have
existed throughout all of his shows: his
longtime relationship with Renee
Shafransk, his mother's suicide, his
inability to be happy and his latest pas-
Coming onto the
V I E Wstage, Gray took a
seat at his ever-pre-
A Slippery sent desk like an old
Slope friend for dinner.
higan Theater With trademark wit,
Jan. 24, 1997 Gray told the
enthralled crowd of
first being drawn to mountains at
Fryeburg Academy in Maine. Rather
than take advantage of the free lessons
they offered, though, he stayed inside
and fantasized about skiing.
But, ironically enough, at Emerson
College, Gray became sidetracked by
writing and performing his own mono-
Only years later, when Gray was
touring with "Monster" in Aspen, did
the pull of mountains affect him again.
During his first lesson on skis, he could
only turn left. A distraught Gray sput-
tered en route back to New York.
Outside of his newfound love for ski-
ing, Gray's personal life was terribly
fragmented. He found his 14-year rela-
tionship with Renee deteriorating; he
discovered a note from a woman named
Kathie who wanted to have tea with
him, and he was turning 52 - the age
when his mother killed herself, wonder-
ing if he should join her.
Gray's fascination with his mother's
suicide has long been evident in his
work. Gray was offered a part in Steven
Soderbergh's Depression-era movie,
"King of the Hill." The deal was sealed
when Gray found out he got to slash his
wrists in the movie.
Finding as much time for skiing as
possible, Gray was finally able to turn
right on skis. Skiing somehow enabled
him to forget about death.
But more problems arose: More
unsure about himself than ever, Gray
proposed to Renee, while in the midst
of an affair with Kathie. With Kathie,
he could finally laugh: "I think in two
years [with Kathie], I laughed ... " iron-
ic pause, " ... 5 times."
The affair with Kathie resulted in a
son: Forrest Dylan Gray. It also resulted
Through all this turmoil, though,
Gray was able to still find his footing on
skis. And for once he was able to look at
his parade of recent tragedies and say,
"Let that go - you're here now."
"Slope" presents the deepest feeling
Gray has ever put into a monologue.
The story of a man who is so exhausted
by his life and his work is so wonder-
fully delivered, you almost forget that
you are just one of hundreds of listeners
with whom he is sharing this secret ...
until another perfect pause comes, and
you see Gray's eyes again. He knows. Spalding Gray performed at the Michigan Theater on Friday night.
You just know he does.
ARE YOU A
Vacancies have recently opened on
" LS&A Student Liaison to MSA
Serve as the LS&A Government liaison to the MSA
" LS&A Joint Student-Faculty Committee
Serve on committee with faculty to discuss a variety
"LSA Student Government Representative
Develop communication and teamwork skills
Improve student life in LSA
If you would like to apply to any of these, stop by
the LS&A Student Government office and pick up an
LSA Student Government is located on the third floor of the Michigan
Union in the MSA office. Appointments applications are available in
the display envelope just outside the office. Please fill out the form in
its entirety and slide under the door, and you will be contacted shortly
thereafter to schedule an interview. ALL APPLICATIONS ARE
HANDLED ON A ROLLING BASIS.
STD3Tca Uniof 7
4003 Michigan Union " 763-4799
Allen's 'Everyone' tries too hard to find love
By Bryan Lark
Daily Film Editor
Woody Allen may believe in his little, troubled
heart that "Everyone Says I Love You." After seeing
his wildly uneven musical comedy, however, love
isn't exactly what springs to mind.
Starring a sublime ensemble led by Goldie Hawn,
Julia Roberts and Drew Barrymore, "Everyone" leads
audiences through many emotions and sensations,
trying too hard to be loved.
Most often, the film is
plagued by an odd feeling of
familiarity. Perhaps that sen-
sation is because this is a
Woody Allen film, and it is
populated by -prepare your-
self for a shock - neurotic
New Yorkers. The difference
here is that the characters are
fabulously rich neurotic New
Yorkers, who tend to break
out in song and jet off to Paris
The rich New Yorkers on
which this too-sunny comic
valentine is focused are an
extensive, extremely liberal
family ruled by lawyer Bob
(Alan Alda) and socialite
Steffi (Goldie Hawn), living
in a deluxe apartment in the
sky above Park Avenue.
Manhattanites through their
dismally affluent lives is a Drew Barrymore, as S
thinner-than-Kate-Moss plot, narrated by Steffi's
appealing college student daughter, DJ (Natasha
It's spring and everyone's in
love - or so they think. Holden
(Edward Norton) professes his R
love to DJ's stepsister, Skylar Eve
(Drew Barrymore), while DJ's A
half-sisters, Lane (Gaby
an __a n d_
(Natalie Portman), are fawn-
ing over a teen-age heir.
After Holden comically
proposes to Skylar, spring
turns into summer, and DJ
travels to Venice with her
father, Joe (Woody Allen), in
an attempt to find Joe's one
true love. DJ settles for neurot-
ic New York art historian, Von
(Julia Roberts), about whom
DJ has learned everything via
a hole in a shrink's wall.
As autumn falls upon them,
the family is thrown into tur-
moil by the arrival of ex-con
Charles Ferry (Tim Roth),
Steffi's current pet cause.
When Skylar falls hard for the
criminal and dumps Holden,
the entire clan questions their
love lives, wondering what
love is and whether it will
Beyond the familiarity of the story and characters,
the predominant feeling from the film is one of great
esteem for the virtuosity of the
' ensemble - the always charm-
V I EW ingly flighty Goldie Hawn, the
yone Says I laughably affable Edward Norton,
Love You the twitchy, romantic Tim Roth,
* U the longing Julia Roberts and the
sardonically fresh Natasha
At Ann Arbor 1 & 2 Lyonne.
With the esteem for the cast
comes a certain innate charm that permeates all the
classic songs throughout the film. Not notified that
they would be singing prior to filming, the cast
charms viewers with their unprofessional, yet surpris-
ingly enjoyable, vocal talents (only Barrymore's voice
Still, outlandish musical numbers challenge their
charm with an overall sense of disbelief. Beginning
auspiciously, showing Allen's satirical undertones, wi
rousing, ridiculous renditions of "Just You, Just M#
and "My Baby Just Cares For Me," the numbers quick-
ly escalate to tediousness and incredibility.
By the time you get to dead people and a 10-minute
Groucho Marx tribute in French, you start to disbe-
lieve everything you see. You may even think: "Hey,
Woody Allen may just be attractive after all."
Combining the overall feelings of familiarity,
esteem, charm, disbelief and frustration, "Everyone
Says I Love You" totals an entity worthy of strong like,
nowhere near the love for which it so desperately
Seeing that not everyone says I love you, perhaps
next time Woody shouldn't be so presumptuous.
Skylar, in "Everyone."
Wd.ws Without Walls
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