Wednesday, May 11, 1994-The Michigan Daily-11
'Angels,' musical of Hollywood's golden age tarnished
y Melissa Rose Bernardo the roles are doubled. The woman who plays voiceovers which narrate the film - a device Can Always Count OnMe,"justtonameafew-
"City of Angels," the show is titled. "Try and Stine's wife Gabby (Kelly Janney) also plays which any director should lap up like milk - are but they are ruined by bad blocking characteriza-
find one," the showcard boasts. Playing at Royal Bobbi, the nightclub singer who steals Stone's interruptive and unclear. tions.
Oak's Baldwin Theatre through June 26, this heart. The film's femmefatale, Alaura Kingsley The show moves along song-scene-song "With Every Breath I Take" is probably the
(Stephanie Hindmarsh), reappears as Carla, the - scene. Nothing holds the show's 40 scenes mostpainful injusticein theshow. Sung by Bobbi
wife of Stine's slimy producer Buddy (David together except possibly poor direction. And to Stone, the number should be sultry, the gown
Angels McIntosh). Stone's plain-Jane secretary Oolie Bodick obviously has given the actors no help in should be slinky, the lights low and warm and the
1 City (Sandra Marselle) doubles as Donna, Buddy's their characterizations. theater should be steaming. But Janney grinned
Baldwin Theatre secretary and Stine's other woman. With the exception of Steve Tadevic's Stone, her way through it, sheathed in a frumpy resale
June 10, 1994 These innovative theatrical devices are what every actor is visibly uncomfortable with his or shop formal, arousing nothing but boredom.
won "City of Angels" four Tony awards in 1990, her character(s) - especially the women. Kelly Costume, lighting and setdesign do nothing to
production's subtitle should be "City of Angels... and they provide the show with its energy and Janney looks as if she doesn't believe in Gabby, foster the co-habitation of the real world and the
Try and sit through it." drive. When the show works, the final product is andhas noconceptofBobbi;Stephanie Hindmarsh film world. Since the actors have no idea of how
"CityofAngels"occupies anunusualposition incredibly rich, and the film world and the real refuses to give in to Alaura's allure and sophisti- these two worlds fit together, and Bodick has
in musical history. Composer Cy Coleman, lyri- world play off of each other wonderfully. A cation; Sandra Marselle just plain can't act, and even less of an idea, a little help from the design-
cist David Zippel and book writer Larry Gelbart talentedcast,designers anddirectorcaninfusethe when she isn't notacting, she is looking bored. As ers would have been greatly appreciated.
turned to 1940s Hollywood for this original mu- production with some clever parallels and eye- my companion pointed out, this is 1940s Holly- Fortunately, the orchestra gives an admirable
sical about the glory days of film. Stine (Ronald catching staging. But alas, in this production, that wood-this is the age when women arelikeBetty rendition of Cy Coleman's stellar score. But
Williams) is a writer trying to translate his novel was not to be. Grable, when they are glorified and worshiped. In Stagecrafters' bastardization of this musical is
into a screenplay. As he writes and rewrites the What Rick Bodick doesn't know aboutdirect- this aspect, itis especially disappointing to see the still unforgivable.Perhaps "City of Angels" is too
*ory of Stone (Steve Tadevic), a handsome pri- ing could fill a shelf of books. His blocking is women so out of place on stage. far above the level of community theater. Could
vate eye with a weakness for women, the scenes obtrusive and predictable - "You're Nothing The voices are fine, butthey don'tdo anything Stagecrafters have perhaps realized that when
are played out. The audience sees the movie and Without Me" looks like a reprise of "What You with the songs. Except for the Act One finale, choosing their'94-'95season,andselecting "Okla-
the process of creating it. Don't Know About Women" -unrealistic (that "You're Nothing Without Me,"sungby Stine and homa!"?
The dual-line plot makes for some intriguing fight scene) and at times incomprehensible. The Stone, none of the songs build. There are a lot of CITY OF ANGELS plays through June 26 at the
and challenging stage concepts. The scenes are split scenes work not for but against each other, great songs in this show - "What You Don't Baldwin Theatre (415 S. Lafayette, Royal Oak).
often split, two sets usually occupy the stage, and and often leave the audience confused. Stone's Know About Women,""TheTennis Song," "You Call (810) 541-6430.
Two years to the month after the
release of the award-winning album
"Meantime," Helmet comes out with
their third album, "Betty."
Helmet's grown a lot in two years.
They've replaced guitarist Peter
'tengede withNew Yorkhard corester
Rob Echeverria and have some very
different sounding tracks on this new
album. This last fact may be in part due
to frontman Page Hamilton's growth
the track on "The Crow" soundtrack
fool you. The version of that song
("Milktoast") on this album is called
"Milquetoast," and is much better in its
present form. Most amazingly, there's
adouble 10"releaseofit as well, which
is sure to gladen the hearts of millions.
All in all, "Betty" is a fine addition to a
itz da joint
Joint Ventures is like a history les-
son. The album has its heart in the
Golden Age of rap but gradually there
are a few more gangster clichds, a few
average release from 1986-8. A few
recall when Public Enemy, Eric B. &
Rakim, Boogie Down Productions,
Slick Rick, Audio Two and others first
808kicks and straight-forward bragga-
docio rhymes. Joint Ventures can do
just that: "Non-believer, your girl's
just a skeezer/Even if your name was
Julius you couldn't Caesar." Yes, the
lyric can be interpreted as sexist, but
the thoughtful rhyme and the corny
word "skeezer" sound harmless juxta-
posed with the "bitch" and "ho" of
today which sometimes find their way
into this album.
Using samples which have flavors
from a few years back, this album has
a funky feel which is difficult to find
nowadays. In a few tracks - for in-
stance "Fuck What You Heard" and
"Somethin' for the Head" - the
gangsterisms of today are present. De-
spite these, the album keeps its foot in
the straight-up hip-hop. After all the
talk about "reality" from wanna-be
gangsters, this album is less talk and
mudrereal. Ifyou'relooking foraflavor
which you thought was gone, but
wished hadn't left, pick this up.
The reality of violent streets is dis-
cussed in all of its complexity in songs
like "Treat 'em Like a Man". As an
ironic and tragic twist to an album that
is really "real" and representing the
early days of hip-hop, the lead rapper
of Joint Ventures was recently shot in
Boston when walking out of a store.
See REcoRDs, Page 12
as a song writer but may also be traced
to bassist Henry Bogdan's place as
writer of a few of the songs.
showcases Helmet's famous hard gui-
tars with some almost melodic
ocaliztions. Half a dozen of the other
songs are vintage Helmet, sounding
almost as if they were written for
But it's the songs that take jumps
that are the most interesting on the
album. "Beautiful Love" is ajazz stan-
dard that eventually gets ground up in
the teeth of this foursome. But then
"The Silver Hawaiian" comes along
lnd makes the listener feel like Cop
Shoot Cop and has been working with
the band. The final track, "Sam Hell,"
is also very different, but in an acoustic
and country sortof way,than the band's
Thisisavery good album.Don'tlet
Escape to Kinkos and crank out the work!
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