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September 23, 1998 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-23

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nesmsiits Detroit
ncess Caroline of Monaco will visit Detroit tomorrow. Los
Ballets de Monte Carlo opens the Detroit Opera House's fal sea
son with Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet." HRH Princess Caroae'
founded the company in 1985 and is expected to attend as a ds
tinguished guest. The ballet runs through Sunday. For tickets or
more information, call (313) 874-7464.

U e Lid jiqun uilg

Tomorrow in Daily Arts:
Weekend, etc. Magazine. The weekly ent erianmment rag
reappears with feature articles detailing the plans for the new
campus Arthur Miller Theater, as well as a candid look into
Miller's early works written while enrolled here as a student.
September 23, 1998


By Gabe Fajuri
Daily Arts Writer
When a band opens its set with a
song entitled "Live Fast, Diarrhea,
you know that you're in for a treat.
Leave it to the Vandals to not only
open their set with said tune, but to
dub one of their albums with the very
same name.
The Vandals, for those in the out-
Wup, is known in the world of punk
rock as, let's say, one of the most
"eccentric" bands in the scene today.
Warrants for their arrest have been
issued in at least three foreign coun-
tries and at a now infamous show in
California, fans started an all-out riot
in the streets.
Why, you may ask, do these punks
draw so much attention to themselves?
Had you been at the Shelter on
Mpnday night, you would've discov-
ed what so many other fans already
The evening started off with
Chicago's Apocalypse Hoboken, with-
out a doubt one of the worst bands the
Windy City has ever producod.
Fortunately, the Aquabats folloved
that band. The real attraction for some
in the crowd, including members of
e Atomic Fireballs, there's only one
way to describe

Midnight awakens

By Ed Sholinsky
Daily Arts Writer
Hollywood has a history of making
addiction films, from the classic morali-
ty tale "The Lost Weekend" to "Arthur."
But recently, a new breed of independent
films about addiction has appeared, tak-
ing a darkly comic approach to the sub-
ject. "Permanent Midnight" fits in better
with "Leaving Las Vegas" and
"Trainspotting" than it does Hollywood
drug and alcohol films.
Ben Stiller, who has been busy this
year in supporting roles ("Zero Effect,"
"There's Something About Mary" and
"Your Friends and Neighbors"), takes
his first starring role and first dramatic
role in "Permanent Midnight." Like Jim
Carrey did in "The Truman Show,"
comedian Stiller excels in his dramatic
role as the heroin addicted Jerry Stahl.
The part's difficulty comes from the fact

At Briarwood
and Showcase

that Jerry Stahl is
a real person (who
appears in a
c a m e o ) .
"P e r m a n e n t
Midnight" comes
from his memoir
of the same name.
Stiller is excellent
as Stahl, giving a
harrowing, honest
pe r fo r m a n c e,
deftly handling
not only the com-
edy, but also
achieving great

Stahl can h ;d perform sober - Kitty
asks Stahl ho, he hi rock bottom.
The fm shes ack over Stahl's life,
as he brings Kitty up to speed. Stahl is a
writer who mox es to L A ("the only town
with a 24-hour a day self-help station")
and gets married to Sandra (Elizabeth
fiurley in a wonderful performance), a
TV executive in need of a green card. In
exchange, she gets him a job writing for
"Mr. Chompers,' which is a stand-in for
"ALF" (a show Stahl wrote for). The job
pays i00() a eek, which helps support
Stahl's habit, which grows to S6,000 a
Stahl shoots heroin to enable his writ-
ing, to get him through married life, to
cope w ith his job, to attend the birth of
his daughter and to just get by - heroin
is his fuel. Ultimately, Stahl falls from
his heroin heaven, landing in junkie hell.
Ile can no longer write without exces-
sive amounts of heroin, he loses his job
and eventually loses his wife and daugh-
ter. In a powerful gut-wrenching scene,
Stahl shoots heroin into his jugular vein
while his haby daughter looks on from
the passenger scat.
Despite the gloom of heroin addic-
tion, like "Leaving Las Vegas" and
*'Trainspotting:' "Permanent Midnight"
manages to find the humor in Stahl's
descent. Whether Stahl is hallucinating
that Chompers is trying to steal his hero-
in, hopped-up on crack while meeting
his future agent (Janeane Garofalo) or
sober and recounting his battle with
heroin to Maury Povitch, Stiller gives a
dark, yet comical, performance.
"Permanent Midnight" is the first
directorial effort of screenwriter Dave
Veloz -- who's largely responsible for
"Natural Born Killers"' excellent script.
"Permanent Midnight" loses its thunder
in the last five minutes by trying to
candy coat the story. Still it's well writ-
ten, edited and shot.
Veloz gives the film a hallucinatory
feeling, while conveying with tightly
framed shoots how trapped Stahl is.
Showing Stiller pressed into the corner
of a bathroom with a spike in his ahm or
moving through a crowed nightclub with
his baby, in a vain attempt to find his
dealer, Veloz gives the audience the
sense that Stahl has created a hellish
prison for himself,
"Permanent Midnight" is a graphic
account of drug addiction, which proba-
bly won't fly with audiences looking for
something wholesome and uplifting.
Instead the film glimpses the dark side
of life, showing that sometimes a person
must plummet into hell to discover his

Dave Quackenbush, Doug Macinnon and Nils Ackerman are some strange bandits.

The Shelter
Sept. 21, 1998
ver skullcaps andt
some fireworks, a
man-sized chicken

The Aquabats:
superheros who
play ska.
Picture this: a
stage with a
small picket
fence surround-
ing the drumset,
a forest-like set-
ting with a beau-
tiful sky-blue
banner in the
background, and
nine men in pur-
ple spandex;, lime
green shorts, sil-
masks. Throw in
giant cyclops, a
and you have an

up their fellow Californians. Their
equipment looked shabby and road
worn (a result, no doubt of a t 20
years as a band), and almos as if it
was thrown together at the l minut
The band members thense loked
like a group of unlikely pun pied
up off the street to fill in at the ls
A group of unlikely punks and one
psycho, that is. The Vandals carry a
secret weapon on every tour one that
promises a spectacle at each and.
every show. His name is Wariren
Fitzgerald, and he plays guitar.
Rumored to be a classically trained
pianist, Fitzgerald is no (Carnte H11all
performer. Admittedly a talented gci-
tarist, there's much more to Fitzgerald
than music. Warren, Vandals fais
know, is famous for his habit of expo-
sure. And not with film. Monday
night was no exception.
The 45-minute set inclded both
new and old Vandals sous ow lie

"My Girlfriend's Dead," "Ape Drape"
and "Come out Fighting" from their
latest release, "Hitler Bad, Vandals
Good" (Nitro) were mixed with staples
of every Vandals show like "It's a Fact,"
"Happy Birthday to me," "And now we
Dance" and "Pizza Tran." After inces-
sant begging from the crowd, the band
agreed to take a few requests, including
"Power Mustache,' and its Christmas
anthem "Oy! to the World."
As usual, the real chaos began at the
end of their set, when lead singer Dave
Quackenbush took over the duties of
guitar player and Warren the responsi-
bility of lead singer.After a rousinO ren-
dition of "I Wanna be a Teen Idol"'
Fitzgerald and company launched into
their now classic version of "I Have a
As the song progressed, Warren
mounted the stage left speaker stack,
climbing to the top and cramming his
small frame in between the uppermost
cabinet and the low ceiling of the

Shelter. Perched, or rather wedged
there, Warren sang at least one verse of
the song before the audience, not to
mention Shelter management, fearing
for their lives and lawsuits, urged him
down from said heights.
Before leaving his place in the sky,
however, Warren did mounting of anoth-
er kind, taking out his sexual urges on a
pole that supports the Shelter's ceiling.
Love-making oxer and done with,
Warren ended the anthem to teenage
sexuality while standing on top of the
bass drum, with his shorts hiked up g-
sting fashion, just before he took a dive
to the stage floor. le ended the tune
with his shin: gone, standing atop the
center stage monitor, pants falling
halffway of his otherwise naked frame.
Quackenbush returned to rock the
mic one last time at nieht's end for the
band's version of "Summer Lovin"'
from "Grease." It seemed a fitting end
to a sultry summer night full of super-
heros, punk rock and insanity.

dramatic effect.
Though film is a heavy fictionaliza-
tion of Stahl's book, it manages to keep
the comic tone and the dark mood of the
book. In the '80s, Stahl was a well-paid
TV writer, but had very little self-respect
due to his soulless profession. Coupled
with a preexisting drug habit, this lead
him to a more intense use of narcotics -
a mix of heroin, crack and a plethora of
other drugs - which cost him a job, a
wife and a luxurious lifestyle.
Like all adaptations, "Permanent
Midnight" is an abbreviated version of
the book. Missing from the film is
Stahl's multiple stays in rehab, his
crack/cocaine problem and his stint in
the porno industry. Even though the film
is a simplification, that in no way saps
the story's power.
The film version of "Permanent
Midnight" actually begins with Stahl a
day away from completing rehab. lie
recounts his story to a recovered addict,
Kitty (Maria Bello), who picks him up at
the fast food job his rehab counselor has
forced him to get. After sex -- which

Aquabats show. Devo, eat your heart
mazingly, the Vandals needed no
costumes, fences or chickens to show

Pe rIormance N eases
down avenue, wihotmusic

9 Garth Heutel
For the Daily
Those looking for a musical at the
Performance Network this weekend may
notice one crucial component of a tradi-
tional musical theatre performance
absent: the orchestra. That's because

Avenue X:
an a
Performance Network
Sept. 24.Oct. 18

"Avenue X," writ-
ten by John Jiler
and Ray Leslee, is
an a cappella
musical. It makes
its Michigan pre-
miere this
Thursday, under
the direction of
Music Prof.
Darryl V. Jones.
Set in a 1963
Brooklyn neigh-
borhood torn by

them are holding them down.
"The spine of the play is resne to
change, and how change can sometimes
be painful," said Jones. who first came
across the musical three years o x bile at
the Arena Stage in Washingon, D(l ! lie-
was immediately drax n to both the soty
and the music, which he fel ax cry di -
ferent, terribly uplifting and excitmo."
He was happy to be gien the opou-
nity to direct it as his first piduenon
with the Performance Neto. Jones,
who is also the show's choregapher,
seeks shows which excite his pu n and
address issues which he feels need to be
aired for discussion and enl enment
within the community.
The unifying element in the shoxx is thn
music. "When the characters sing, t-y
are singing from their souls. That is x hen
they transcend the ignorance and itler-
ance and can relate to one another
Jones was trained in impo i ona
theatre, and it shows in his iesa
process. He attempts to stimule e per
formers' creativity, and tis job as a direc-
tor entails putting the pieces tother, not
creating them. Both the music and the
movement in the show utiie ths tech-
Welcome bai
wow (T

nicue, and both are external expressions
of whom the characters are internally.
Johanna Broughton, the show's artistic
producer, calls the play "one of the first
musicals I've seen that's not just fluff"
She said she sees the music as part of the
story, w ith all aspects fused together.
Jones promised that the show,
although set 35 years ago, will have a res-
onanc( of 1998 in a very particular way.
"Perhaps we haven't come as far as we
think," he said. The show opens this
weekend and runs for four consecutive
Per/ormance Network is located at 408
1Y ilashington, west ofMain Street.
Thwurdais are pa-'-what-'ou-can da's,
student tickets are $12. "Avenue X"
runs through October 18th. with perfor-
mances Tursdav-Saturday at 8p.min.,
Sundavs at 2 and 7p.m. Call 663-0681
for more information.

Courtesy of Performance Network

Donny McNeal & Curt Waugh have a little street discussion In "Avenue X."

1 _ _ t racial violence, the
play examines the
h es of an African-American family
moving into a predominantly Italian-
American part of town. The two central
characters are both singers, seeking to
use their talent to find a life outside of
their neighborhood, while ,those around
* One last
The final

The Fedele F. and Iris M. Fauri
Memorial Lecture on Child Welfare
"Challenges to Children's Well-Being in a
t 1.,1Th-1,-1 fUnr1 r1. A T TNTT(T71 D rcnpotip"

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