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October 27, 1998 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-27

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 27, 1998 - 7

impostors' fakes farce of a film

By Chris Cousino
Daily Arts Writer
It's been two years since Stanley
Tucci sat behind the director's chair
with the charming art house comedy
"Big Night." Now he returns once
agjs in to show some more of his film
urism in the fun frolic farce,
"The Impostors."
Tucci, who wrote the film's
screenplay, also plays one of the
nsain roles - Arthur, a down-on-
his-luck actor looking for employ-
ment. Along with his pal, Maurice,
played by the delightful Oliver Platt,
the two scamper around 1930s New
York pretending to be someone else
in hopes of finding a job, some food
anid a life.
icci makes a wonderful, meek,
passionate Arthur. Complementing
him is Platt, with the act-on-
impulse, yet loyal friend, Maurice.
Through a wide array of facial
expressions that'd give Jim Carrey a
rhfor his $20 mil, Platt exuberates
siJq unknowing goofiness while
bringing sympa-
thy for the bum-
bling Maurice.
In a scene
The where Arthur
mpostors and Maurice
attempt to scam
a baker into giv-
At State ing them some
pastries, Platt
feeds his face
with an entire
cream puff and
flatly states, "I
hate them,"
mouth frothing
with gobs of cream and crumbs.
This just engages the goofiness,
because when Platt performs a stel-
lar montage in splurting out the
lines "greasy boy, bye bye boy," and
insults a famous overrated actor
Je-drny Burtom (Alfred Molina), the
twosome are wrongly accused of

entrails of all these characters is
supposed to be the heart of the com-
"The Impostors" works as an
experiment to bring a more literary
level of comedy to the big screen.
Though it has failed onscreen
before, Tucci tries new territory with
the farce, a type of comedy not often
done. Though "The Impostors"
doesn't fail, it doesn't succeed as an
overall film either.
Though many uproarious individ-
ual performances brighten, the film
lacks an overall poignant thrust.
Inevitably, since a farce originated
from the theater, Tucci often films
"The Impostors" like a play.
Occasionally, the camera sits static,
allowing the active talent of the indi-
vidual performers to work the scene.
Evoking a general feel of a play,
much action occurs in carefully con-
structed small-scale sets. Even the
cruise ship contains a fake ocean
backdrop, lighting more of this
stagecraft feeling. Like the final act
of most plays, all the actors join
together onstage, i.e. onscreen, for
one last go-round with the prepos-
terously exaggerated conflict.
Ultimately, "The Impostors"
would probably fare far better as a
stage play than on the big screen,
and it would give the acting even
more hilarity because the perfor-
mances would occur live and appear
impromptu. "The Impostors" impos-
es no permanent setback for Tucci,
who's just lovely as he smiles and
sings, leading the cast in a choreo-
graphed final bow as the credits roll
and the camera follows the dancing
menagerie off set behind the scenes.
Though Tucci's sea-going farcical
show is no "Titanic" voyage, it
proves his open inventiveness and
creativity as a performer and a
director, thus, only building antici-
pation for his a upcoming "A
Midsummer Night's Dream" and
"Joe Gould's Secret."

Coartesy of NPG Reods
The Artist partied like It was 1999 at the Joe Louis Arena on Saturday.
The Artist jolts
fans at the Joe

Cd P" e sy of Fox
Stanley Tuccl and Oliver Platt star in the big screen farce "The Impostors.'

To escape, they stowaway, unbe-
knownst to them, on a cruise ship
bound for Paris, which only makes
matters worse because Burtom
books passage on this zany voyage.
As a result only mixed-up mayhem
can ensue as this farce steams ahead.
Such as story as a farce brings
together a collection of different
characters with secrets to tell and
throws them into a confined area,
allowing hijinks or absurdity to
ensue. With such a large ensemble
cast, a farce such as "The
Impostors" allows each individual
actor to showcase himself or herself
in creating a memorable, hilarious
With a cast that includes such a
wonderful group of Hollywood
denizens such as Lily Taylor,

Campbell Scott, Billy Connolly,
Tony Shaloub, Isabella Rossellini,
Hope Davis and Steve Buscemi not
to mention one neurotic, compulsive
director, the diverse performances
continuously bring a certain smile
and joy.
Campbell Scott's taunt German
accent for his love-obsessed charac-
ter Meistrich pulsates poignant
laughter when he expresses his
affection to Lily (Lily Taylor), "You
poor thing, the danger of the chase
has made you perspire. It has made
me also, moist."
Scott and the others continue to
add to the craziness which Arthur
and Maurice delve into as they
uncover two separate plots of mur-
der and a threat to blow up the ship.
How they deviate through the goofy

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By Ryan Malkin
Daily Arts Writer
"Who rocks the hardest?," The
Artist formerly known as Prince
asked Saturday night at Joe Louis
Arena. The Artist and his New
Power Generation did. This five-
hour extravaganza called the New
Power Soul Festival featured The
Artist, Larry Graham, Chaka Kahn
and a surprise performance by
Doug E. Fresh.
During Larry Graham and Grand
Central Station's set, The Artist and
Chaka Kahn came on stage. While
this extremely eclectic crowd roared
as soon as they caught a glimpse of
The Artist, he certainly didn't steal
the spotlight away from Graham.
The audience members ranged in
age from 15-
to 50- years-
old, and their
outfits were
even more
The Artist varied than
the ages.
Joe Louis Arena G raha m
Oct. 24, 1998 exited the
stage after an
hour long set,
warming the
crowd up for
Chaka Kahn.
During her
set the
acoustics of
the Joe were much more audible
than during Graham's set, and this
R&B diva pushed the acoustics to
their limits, belting out such hits as
"Sweet Thing" and-"Higher Love."
She moved the audience into
"Smooth," then charmed the crowd
with her classic, "Every Woman;"
which Whitney Houston covered.
The house lights went down,
multi-colored lasers shot in all
directions, the bass pounded and
just when the audience thought The
Artist was coming out, Slick Rick
protig6 Doug E. Smith came on
stage rapping, "Let Me Clear My
The audience swung its arms in
the air like it just didn't care as the
opening chords to "Jam Of The
Year" came blaring through the
clear plexiglass speaker boxes. In
the commotion of the laser lights
and fog machines, The Artist
popped up in the middle of the
arena on a lit pedestal dancing and
screaming, then just as suddenly as
he appeared, he was gone. The
Artist soon reappeared front and
center to finish up the chorus of
"Jam Of The Year" and then bust
into "Delirious"
Most performers save their most
famous songs for the encore, but for
The Artist it's hard; he has dozens of
those hits. The lights turned purple
in front of a background of stars.
The Artist began the first few chords
of "Purple Rain" and it began to
sway and hold up their lighters. The

feeling among the crowd was like a
large camp fire and The Artist was
the counselor, the audience was pay-
ing utmost attention to everything
that came out of his mouth. "If you
feel like singing go ahead, this is
your song," he said when thanking
the Detroit crowd and apologizing
for the delay of this performance
which was rescheduled from
September due to an injured leg.
Dancing atop his purple piano
singing a sampling of "Little Red
Corvette" and "I Would Die For
"God is waiting on us and we are
late, take your time use your mind it
almost 1999," he said before playing
one of his most religion oriented
songs, "The Cross," off his "Sign Of
The Times" album. What happened
next, no one in the audience was
prepared for, and her name was
The Artists wife and band mem-
ber graced the audience with a belly
dance/ballet number with The Artist
and her dancing erotically. "Excuse
me," he said as he kissed her for a
few minutes. After this number the
audience was beat. "Do Me Baby," a
slower ballad allowed recuperation
for the remainder of the show.
"If I Was Your Girlfriend" fol-
lowed by "Diamonds And Pearls"
and was followed by "Beautiful
Ones," and the audience couldn't get
enough singing along and cheering
almost louder than his vocals.
The Artistjumped into scan mode
once again gracing the audience
with samplings of "Take Me With
You" and "Raspberry Beret" before
Above the stage a light show
occupied the time while The Artist
changed outfits once again. The
green guitars and hands clenching
his symbol that the laser produced
became the object of the audiences
attention, yet only for a few
moments until The Artist once again
graced the audience with his pres-
ence. He now was playing the bass
guitar, he can play 16 different
instruments, and jammed a duet
with Larry Graham, who was still
wearing the white suit and hat from
earlier in the show. The two played a
little James Brown before The Artist
went off into "Baby I'm A Star."
As. the anticipation of his final
song filled the Joe, the audience's
stress was relieved with what will
most likely be the most popular song
in next few years, "1999."
Confetti fell and The Artist was
gone. Perhaps the greatest live per-
formance of the year had ended and
the audience cheered for several
minutes even after the house lights
had gone up.
The Artist answered his own
question Saturday night at Joe
Louis Arena. There is no need
for words to answer this question
- just a symbol.

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Continued from Page 5
did quite well with the "Lohengrin"
, The best performance of the
evening followed as Charles Burke
smashingly conducted an electrified
"Montagues and Capulets" from
"Romeo and Juliet" by Prokofiev.
Unfortunately, the piece also suffere
an untimely interruption by Moss
and his bovine love interest cavorting
across the stage while Williams
returned as the stuffy lecturer and
provided some inexcusably awful
dairy-themed puns.
It started out funny, but it soon
became downright wacky.
Thankfully, the orchestra remains
magnificent throughout, even in a
dragging rendition of Danny
Elfman's "Theme from Batman,"
-conducted by Thennek Relseik,
dressed as the caped crusader.
As for the best non-musical perfor-
mance, Steven Huang shined as a
bitchy, beehive adorned ingenue
reluctant to accept his true calling,
conducting, and instead executing a

hilariously awful reading of Leonard
Bemstein's "Glitter and Be Gay"
from "Candide" Soprano Jennifer
Larson rescued him by skillfully and
beautifully assuming the role under
Huang's conducting.
Finally, just because we couldn't
get enough of Kenneth Kiesler's legs,
all of the evening's conductors urited
for a rocking performance of "Surf's
Up" by the Beach Boys. Clearly
never meant for the art of dance,they
attempted a cute little number to
complement the traditional American
surf music while the orchestradid the
The orchestra made a "grand"
finale with a performance of
"Ghostbusters," while the less than
graceful conductors gave us another
equally beautiful dance number.
For some unidentifiable reason the
orchestra took it upon themselves to
play "Ghostbusters" again. While
there's nothing wrong with playing
several encores, performing the same
song twice is esther self-indulgent.
It wasundeniably a concert experi-
ence like no other, and it proved that
musicians can be funny people -
and sometimes, a little weird.


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