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April 04, 1997 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-04-04

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 4, 1997 -9

'Abbotts'
invents
emotion,
hea
By Bryan Lark
Daily Film Editor
Hollywood has invented many a
coming-of-age film. Novelists have
invented thousands of star-crossed
ve stories. Screenwriters have
invented countless small town soap
'operas. People all over the world have
invented innumerable amounts of sex-
ual tension.
Never before have all these inven-
tions fit so snugly together as in
Inventing The Abbotts," a sweet, yet
sporadically nasty, little '50s-period
-Oieee about star-crossed coming-of-
age in a sexually tense small town.
'S killfully directed by Pat O'Connor,
"Abbotts" expertly reflects the nuances
of rural life on the cusp of the sexual
revolution, with its wonderful cast and
.grgeous cinematography raising the
fin bove the constraints of its stereo-
typical and often dull plotline.
-Though the Abbott family has its
.iqame in the title, the film is actually the
he'artfelt story of the poor Holt brothers:
)V ngeful stud Jacey (Billy Crudup) and
sitive homball Doug (Joaquin
oenix) and their long-suffering moth-
r Helen (Kathy Baker).
:Jacey and Doug are as different as
.thy can be, except when it comes to a
'uiual interest in ping-pong and the
Abbott sisters. The Abbotts hold a
trange power of the Holts, most likely
die to their great beauty and great
wealth.
Tired of living in the shadow of
e Abbotts, the Holt boys see that
's: time to move in on the Abbotts
Doug through friendship with the
youigest Abbott, Pam (Liv Tyler),
and Jacey through alternately screw-
ing the bad girl middle sister
Eleanor (Jennifer Connelly) and the
clueless, married eldest Alice
(Joanna Going).

Basement Arts to
showcase 'Moscow'
By Kristin gam uChekovian issue of work and how
For the Daily work has transformed its own mean-
No passports are required this week- ing.
end to visit the former Soviet Union. Smith feels that passion as well as
Basement Arts will take you there with his play's other human issues suchAs
its production of the original play familial relationships, will interet
"Moscow.' audiences
Written and because they -can
directed by LSA P R EV I E W relate to these
senior Gordon Moscow topics in their
Smith, "Moscow" own lives.
adds new flavor to Tonight attand 11 "I think what is
classic Chekovian Arena Theater, Free interesting about
drama. Smith's play them (the charac-
serves as a sequel to Chekov's "Three ters) is that you can laugh at them orcry
Sisters." While Chekov's play focused and they're both sort of plausible reac-
on two of the sisters for the most part, bons to the same material:' Smith said.
Smith focuses on the third sister Olga .This Chekovian mixture of laughter
and their brother Andre. and tears inspired Smith to create
"Even though it is a sequel, it is sort "Moscow" after atteiding a University
of likea "Terminator 2" kind of sequel Productions performance of "Three
where you didn't have to see the first Sisters" several years ago.
one to appreciate the second one," On an intellectual level, Smith
Smith said. believes "Moscow" is an interesting
"Moscow" takes place a few years way to experience Chekov withit
ach other in "Inventing the Abbotts." after the Russian revolution. Smith actually attending one of the famous
shows how the sisters are dealing writer's notoriously long plays.
the top, following up Aerosmith with life in Moscow and the Stalinist "Moscow" can also stimulate deeper
videos and "That Thing You Do!" regime. feelings through its exploration of the
with a wide-eyed, poignant portrayal Although Smith continues to deal human experience.
of the only naivete available in the with certain themes from Chekov's "You'll laugh. You'll cry. It better
film. play, he also explores new, related than 'Cats,"Smith said. "It true.Itsa
Billy Crudup is also a name you're areas that delve into the greater issue show that allows you to really move
likely to hear much more from and a of human emotions. In "Moscow," through a full range of human emo-
man you're likely to see much more Smith especially concentrates on the tons.'
of, evident from the myriad lingering
butt-shots that pepper the film -
both clothed and naked, ladies.
Crudup's intense Jacey is filled with The University of Michigan
rage and libido, but Crudup somehow School of Music
makes the lothario endearing.
But the film belongs to the softspo- Friday-Saturday, April 4-5
ken Joaquin (pronounced Wah-keen) Music and Dance of Africa Conference
Phoenix. His Doug is the heart and soul information and registration: Sam Cronk (313) 936-1443
of the film. Phoenix not only carries the Rackham Auditorium, 8 p.m.
film, but he also engagingly transcends
it, punching every joke and wrenching Friday-Sunday,.April 4-6
every line for all they are worth. Theatre and Drama Production
Engaging and intense, though not Michele Shaye, director
exactly inventive, "Inventing The " Alice Childress: Wedding Band
Abbotts" is well worth the time and Trueblood Theatre, 2 p.m.
effort you may put into it. [Tickets $14; students $7] (313) 764-0450
A word to Pat O'Connor, though: I'd Friday, April 4
take this sexually charged cast and a
more virtuous screenplay and invent a University Choir
better movie. Jerry Blackstone, conductor

Pamela Abbott (iv Tyler) and Doug Holt (Joaquin Phoenix) can't keep their eyes off e
It turns out that both ways into the Jacey and Doug, leaving the intriguing
Abbotts are dangerous and forbidden, Abbott girls to either pout, get naked or
as Mr. Abbott (Will Patton) hates the look vacant.
Holts as much as the Holts hate him - Hixon's way with dialogue leaves
something about a secret involving a much to be desired as well, with the
bet, adultery and a file-drawer patent. possible exception of Doug's and
This animosity along with the young- Pam's tender exchanges of a simple
sters' hormones drive the film to more "Hi," throughout the film or Mr.
emotion and turmoil as it spans the next Abbott's angry warning of "Keep
three years. your poor-boy dick outta my daugh-
Ultimately end- ters!" - the latter
ing in destruction of which has the
or true love R EV I E W potential to
(depending on Inventing the become this year's
which character Abbots big catchphrase.
you're speaking (P What elevates
of), "Inventing "Abbotts" out of
The Abbotts" fol- At showcase its constricting
lows a very pre- predictability is
dictable trajectory for a story about a the heat and emotion generated by its
family on the wrong side of the tracks top-notch cast of relative unknowns.
- the boys make it to college; they The cast here is much like the cast of
still harbor passions for the rich girls; the similarly themed "Rebel Without A
there's some fraternal betrayal; and Cause" or, dare I say, "St. Elmo's Fire,"
mom gets an unnamed terminal ill- in that this young ensemble has the
ness. And so forth. a potential to become the superstars of
This predictability stems from the the future and audiences have caught
lackluster screenplay by Ken Hixon, them on the way up.
whose structure focuses too much on Tyler is already well on her way to

Liv Tyler stars as Pamela Abbott in the romantic "inventing the Abbotts."
SPIKE!FSS f OF
SPHTJ"W
SHOE
POLICY
effective at beginning I
of 1997 Season Q
NOTICE: U of M Golf Course has adopted a spikeless shoe
policy. Metal spikes are prohibited. Spike replacement
service ($4.00 per pair) is available at the course. Please
arrive early to meet this requirement. For info. call 663-5005.
University of Michigan Golf Course Opens April 7, 1997
Weather Permitting
MARTHA COOK BUILDING
HAs FALL HOUSING FOR YOU.
eThe most beautiful Women's Residence Hall
in the Best Location on Campus
*Historic Building
on S. University - next to Law Club
eSpacious Carpeted Rooms
19 Meals a week
eFreshwomen through Grad Students
"A diverse, multi-ethnic, international population
*A close knit family atmosphere with only 140 residents.
Safe, Protective, Caring Environment.
763-2084
email: ggp@umich.edu

David Fryling and Bruce Kiesling, assistant conductors
" Aston: Psalm 150
" Purcell: Hear my prayer, O Lord
" Elgar: Ave verum corpus; Ave Maria
" Durufle: Ubi caritas; Tu es Petrus
" Howells: We have heard with our ears
" Bartok: Four Slovak Folk Songs
" Nin-Culmell: Three Traditional Cuban Songs
" Farrow (arr.): O happy day
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 5
Women's Glee Club
Theodore Morrison, conductor
Esther Archer, piano
" Mendelssohn: Veni Domine
" Korte: Four Blake Songs
" Schubert: Ellens zweiter Gesang
" Morrison: Songs of Affirmatiori(Whitman)
" Purcell: Sound the Trumpet
" Frackenpohl: Odd Owls
" Anonymous: Three Yiddish Folksongs
" Rardin: Michigan Water Blues
Hill Auditorium, 7:30 p.m. (admission free)
Saturday-Sunday, April 5-6
Digital Music Ensemble
Steve Rush, director
" Miles Davis: The Bitches Brew Project (in multi-media)
" a multi-media work by Kevin March
McIntosh Theatre, E. V. Moore Bldg., 4 p.m.
Tuesday, April 8
Campus Symphony Orchestra
Allen Tinkham, conductor
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Early Music Ensemble
Edward Parmentier, conductor
" works by J.S. Bach, Hassler, Byrd, Schuetz
F. Couperin, Monteverdi, Ferrabosco and Purcell
Blanche Anderson Moore Hall, EV. Moore Bldg., 8 p.m.
Tuesday, AprilSand Thursday, April 10
Opera Workshop
Joshua Major, director
Timothy Cheek, music director
" Opera Scenes: "Handel to Verdi"
McIntosh Theatre, E.V. Moore Bldg., 7p.m.
Tues., April 8, Thurs., April 10 and Fri., April 11
Opera Workshop
Joshua Major, director
Maryanne Kim, music director
" Pasatieri: Signor Deluso (30 minute opera)
McIntosh Theatre, E.V. Moore Bldg., 5 p.m.
Wednesday, April 9and Friday, April11
Opera Workshop
Joshua Major, director
Timothy Cheek, music director
" Opera Scenes: "Strauss to Menotti"
McIntosh Theatre, E.V. Moore Bldg., 7p.m.
Thursday, April10
Music Engineering Seminar Series
Michael Alcorn, composer, University of Belfast, Ireland
2039 EV. Moore Bldg., 4:15 p.m.
Creative Arts Orchestra
Ed Sarath, director
Rackham, 8p.m.
Thursday-Sunday, April 10-13
Theatre and Drama Production
Michele Shaye, director
* Alice Childress: Wedding Band
Trueblood Theatre, 8p.m. (Thursday-Saturday)
Trueblood Theatre, 2 p.m. (Sunday)
[Tickets $14; students $7] (313) 764-0450
All events are free and wheelchair accessible unless
specified otherwise. For weekly events listings, call
(313) 764-0594. The School of Music is located at
1100 Baits Drive, North Campus.

- D P11

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