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May 08, 1982 - Image 7

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1982-05-08

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The Michigan Daily -Saturday, May 8, 1982 Page 7

Strange people search for treats
someone else takes the initiative, one naive, engaging character - dimly offering forth his embarrassing
By Elliot Jackson can't get much of a feel for him as a aware that he is a mouse, and trying, to or ludicrous comments and opini
character. the lengths that his mousiness will let See'TREATS', Page8
him to find his voice. .

ly trite
ons.
-Uk

X TOTES. FROM the Cautious Exul-
tation Dept.: There is a very in-
teresting - albeit very puzzling - lit-
tle play being put on by the Stage Com-
pany.
Treats, which is playing at the Can-
terbury Loft, is an account of what hap-
pens when Dave, an erratically char-
ming, feckless reporter, comes back
from Cyprus to find that Ann, the
women he's been living with for two
and a half years, has tossed him out and
taken up with Patrick, an indescribably
dull fellow, but stable - almost to the
point of complete Stasis,
After a rousingly farcical begin-
ning, wherein the domestic peace of
Ann and Patrick's evening at home is
shattered by Dave's arrival, the play
quickly turns rather realistic - and
almost, at times, grim. The reporter
strives to break up the new relation-
ship; the girlfriend wonders what she's
looking for in a man, if she should be
looking for - or at least living with - a
man at all; and the dull one remains
bewildered, but doggedly true.
If all this sounds confusing, it is. I'm
still not sure what the play is supposed
to mean. An overheard comment, lar-
ded with the kind of off-the-cuff insight
we all strive for, summed up exactly
my feelings about the thing, namely,
that "parts of it were very well-written,
but one wondered sometimes why it had
been written at all." Towards the end of
the play, the situation is exactly the
same as at the beginning, except that
Ann (Melissa Berger) has switched
men.
At the very end, however, she and
Dave (Phil Murphy) are separated by
the length of the sofa, the spirit of the
wronged Patrick (David Kitto)
hovering in harshly-wounded reproach
in the space between them.
The play did not end, therefore, so
much as just stop in the midst of all the
machinations. Was the play then meant
as a slice of life portrait, indicating tous
that this business between all parties
concerned was going to drag on in-
definitely? Was the Patrick episode
supposed to provoke a crisis in the
relationship of Dave and Ann, or was it
just a blip, one more event?
The characters themselves were puz-
zling, in that, as they were played, if not
as they were written, only Ann seems to
have a clearly defined intention. She
wants the best possible situation for
herself, and when the arrangements
she has made don't lead to that, she
dissolves the arrangements - whether
it means getting rid of Dave, getting rid
of Patrick, or getting rid of both. Ann is,
more or less the straight man of the
piece, the balance between the respec-
tive absurdities of the two men - and
Berger's performance, if not flashy,
was very solid and readily believable.
Dave is an interesting character, fun
to play and fun to watch, for who does
not in his heart delight in the charming,
unpredictable, casually manipulative
cad? However, if his only readily ac-
cessible trait is a desire to control every
situation he is privy to, if his only
moments of discomposure come when

,V.&- i-.V1 V F

Suffice it to say that Murphy was
charming as Dave, terribly British, and
possessed of a stage presence the likes
,of which this weary critic has not seen
in quite a while, which goes far towards
assauging any disappointments one
may feel in regard-to Dave's develop-
ment asa character.

One was reminded irresistably of the
Monty Python caricature of the Char-
tered Accountant, whose deliberation
(which he would call "caution") about
the slightest of decisions would be
maddening if its absurdity didn't make
it so hilarious.

Patrick is a harder case to deal with. It might have been interesting to see
Although hopelessly stupid, lacking in more of that Chartered Accountant's
insight, timid, dull, and unimaginative, blithe spirits, the blissful ignorance of
he is nonetheless an undeniably sweet, his density making him fearless about

INDIVIDUAL TEATRE
WEDSATSUN
6.00 p~m
GENE
SISKEL
M DROGER
EBERTWIT NRE
SAY
LANGUAGE!"
GENE SISKEL
"T'S NEW & DIFFERENT
AND ABSOL.UTELY
INNOVATIVE"
ROGER EBERT
WITH ANDREI

FRI-7:15, 9:20
SAT, SUN-
12:30,2:55.,5:10,7:15. 9:20
FOOLED TA! HELD
OVER 'TIL THURS!
IT'S WICKEDLY FUNNY!
MICHAEL CAINE
CHRISTOPHER
REEVE
DYAN CANNON
FRI-7:30, 9:40
SAT, SUN
1:00.. 3:10, 5:20. 7:30, 9:40

y .,
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xxx
AT MIDNIGHT (PG)
ALL SEATS $4.00
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