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January 24, 1991 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-01-24

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Thursday, January 24, 1991

Page 5

*Zoo Zoo is timely, entertaining

by Iene Bush
A rt that centers around the
Vietnam era has been called time-
less, especially regarding the slew
of. personal revelations concerning
gender roles, sexuality, politics
Wand ethnicity that the time period
-,as produced. Elise Bryant's Zoo
-oo Chronicles may seem more
appropriate because of the United
States' current situation, but in re-
ality the conflicts are universal to
any age.
Bryant's first full-length play is
not merely two-and-a-half hours of
flashback to the days of burning
bras and draft cards. It is, however,
an effectively unique attempt to
express the constant need to main-
tAin equilibrium in a potentially
Volatile situation. Through the ten-
uousness of the characters' rela-
tionships, Bryant taps the audi-
ence's sense of intrigue; it is this
anticipation of a fragile order spon-
taneously giving way to chaos that

keeps the audience watching the
play.
The story follows four college
women, each with different per-
sonal baggage and fully malleable
futures, through their freshman
year at a not-so-imaginary mid-
western university. The, play's
opening introduces the new room-
mate, an African-American minis-
ter's daughter, Earlene (Lisa
Dixon), to Deborah (Jody Eisen-
stein), an aspiring hippy, and
Cheryl (Chelsea Willis), the
proverbial homecoming queen. The
two latter girls had apparently
driven away their original third
roomie, and Earlene has come re-
place her.
Through incisively funny dia-
logue, Bryant portrays each
woman's curiosity about the other.
The first act, which establishes the
mutual acceptance of candor, ends
with Cheryl asking Gretchen,
(Juliana Haubrich), the group
member from across the hall, a

shocking question concerning her
sexual preferences, the question
that no one had previously had the
nerve to ask.
Annemarie Stoll, director of
The Zoo Zoo Chronicles, provides
a hilarious tableau that is dynami-
cally executed by Dixon and
Eisenstein, in which Earlene and
Deborah recall their short lived ca-
reers as jailbirds. In addition, Stoll
manifests the women's self-com-
fort physically, as well as emo-
tionally. For instance, after Ear-
lene reveals to Cheryl her frustra-
tions with facing daily racial prej-
udices, Earlene feels a sense of re-
lease. She rebels against her strin-
gent religious upbringing and al-
lows Deborah to give her an afro.
Dixon demonstrated Earlene's
newfound comfort by lounging on
her bed, which enhanced her char-
acter's transformation of both mind
and body. Eisenstein also main-
tained a flouncing, carefree stature
See ZOO, Page 7

Lensman, an animated sci-
ence-fiction adventure story
adapted from the novels of E. E.
"Doc" Smith, fails to match up to
the quality of Streamline's preced-
ing animated science-fiction film,
Akira. The animation will be fa-
miliar to most viewers, and as for
the plot, well, what has a heroine
with a Danish stapled to her head
and an adolescent boy who finds
his special purpose after the death
of his loved ones - that is, trying
to get secret information to the al-
liance forces before falling into the
clutches of an unpleasant fascist

who hides behind an evil-looking
suit and knocks his generals off if
they sneeze?
Yep, it's both Star Wars and
Lensman. Although the original
Lensman novels were the inspira-
tion for Star Wars, much more
could be done with the ideas pre-
sented in the novels than the copy
plot which the film uses. Lensman
even ends with the Darth Vader
figure, Helmut, spinning off alone
into deep space.
The plot's central weaknesses,
though, are the enormous gaping
holes in its continuity. The film

opens with a written announce-
ment defining its place and time. It
then tells the story of the Galactic
Patrol and how one of their ships
had retrieved secret information for
the allies about the evil Boskone
empire. As it was returning, it
found something even more terrify-
ing. Perhaps the Evil Helmut, who
must defeat the Luke-alike Kim-
ball Kinnison, could be the big se-
cret, but it's hard to tell. The note
seems to call for a more complex
plot, but the film doesn't deliver.
The animation saves Lensman
from joining the ranks of two dollar
science-fiction films gathering dust
on video store shelves. The influ-
ence of French animators such as
Moebius can be seen in the style
of the aliens and the background.
The characters, on the other hand,
all come from the Speed Racer
School of Eye Surgery and resemble
the characters of other Japanese
cartoons. The fast action scenes,
space chases and mind-blowing
illusions are excellently portrayed.
At one point, Kimball enters a world
of vast electronic caverns and
speeding, hunting, twentieth-
generation cusinarts and saves the
film. Also amusing are the side trips
that the heroes and heroines find
themselves in that make up for the
predictability of the overall plot.
. Lensman plays at the Michigan
Theater tonight and tomorrow.
-Jon Rosenthal

Robin Harris
N-B's Kids
Wing/PolyGram
Robin Harris died in March
1990, during a brief period of ob-
scurity following his film debut in
Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing;
The entire tragedy in Harris' un-
* timely passing is not only sharp-
endby the perversely charming
characterizations he rendered as
Sweet Dick Willie in DtRT and
Pop in House Party, but moreover,
because what seemed to be an ir-
revocable rise to true stardom was
interrupted so abruptly.
Unfortunately, Be-Bi's Kids is
all we have to remember him by.
Not so unfortunate is the quality of
this album, loaded with messages
and perspectives coming from a
man who used to deliver lines such
as "You're about thirty cents away
from havin' a quarter!" and
"Damn! Don't let me see her
nekkid on payday!" with an
ingenious rage and conviction.
Be-Bd's Kids is pieced together
from various performances from
Harris, and so contains gems like
"Gonna Change/ Spare Change,"
about street beggars and the men-
tality that leads to a concept like
"spare change." "Don't you hate to
get gas?" he begs his audience,
crystallizing familiar images for
them. "Don't you hate to get gas?
Can't even go to the gas station...
'Bruddaman! Bruddaman! Brud-
daman! Bruddaman, bruddaman,
*' ruddaman... Lemme help you with
that,"' he says, playing the role to
the hilt. "'Motherfucka, help me
with the carnote!!' 'All I need is
some spare change.' 'Spare
change?? Spare change? What the
fuck is spare change? Get your ass
a.. spare job! Then you'll have
some... spare change!"'
Harris even goes after his own
audience at times, and does it with
Venom. In "Proud To Be From
= Compton?" he disses one
particular heckler with ingenious
ease:
Harris: "How could a mother-
STUDY FOR ONE YEAR OR
OXF

fucka be proud.. bein' from Comp-
ton? All the crime in Compton?..."
The heckler launches into a
long stream of retorts, inaudible to
the microphone. The audience
begins barking and instigating.
Harris: "Somebody - some-
body - put something in his
mouth 'cause my zipper's stuck."
The audience bursts into
laughter.
Harris: "...that'll hold your
monkey ass."
Yet the conflict continues until
Harris utterly disintegrates it, blurt-
ing, "All of you may be from
Compton, but I'm from a small
town called Fresh Off A Nigga's
Ass. You're all makin' me
homesick."
Unquestionably, the same rev-
elry in deviance and ghetto
curiosities that unleashed upon the
world characters such as Eazy-E
and Bushwick Bill is in rare form
here, as Harris explains B-B6 's
kids, a bunch of "bad kids" that
" chased a Crip home." "I met a
girl, man, had the baddest fuckin'
kids you ever want to meet. Met
her at this club. She told me, 'if
you want to get acquainted with
me and my son, you have to take
us to Disney World.' Went to pick
her up the next day - she got four
more kids! I say, 'Whose kids are
they?' 'These are Be-B6's kids.'
'Well, where is B6-B6?'" Harris
proceeds to tell a tale stranger
than truth, as Be-B6's kids leap off
of the Disney Rides, yelling
"Small Wuld! Small Wuld!" and
even kick Donald Duck's ass.
The tots proceed to hold Harris
to his steering wheel at gunpoint
and demand that he drives them to
Vegas, but not before they beat
Mickey Mouse down, claiming,
"We - B-Bi's kids! We don't
die, we - multiply!" And when a
police officer stops the car, looks
into the window and steps back,
saying, "Man, are you crazy?
Those are Be-B6's kids," it is to
die. And if you cannot appreciate
the humor in the concept of Be-
FOR ONE OR 7WO TERMS IN
ORD

BL's kids, this album is not for
you.
-Forrest Green III
The Jackofficers
Digital Dump
Rough Trade
In one of the most unforeseen
side projects in recent memory,
Gibby Haynes and Jeff Pinkus of
the Butthole Surfers, a band known
for its blaring grunge guitars, have
released a house/industrial record.
Surprisingly, it's very good. As the
"warning" sticker on the front
cover says, this does not sound at
all like their other band. Nothing
could be more true. Don't expect
any demented Butthole rock and
roll - just plenty of demented
dance music.
The guys don't sing at all on
the record; instead, they use either
a sample or a synth as the "lead"
sound, which makes any given
song either hilarious or annoying.
For example, "Do It" manipulates
the hell out of a sample and
generally succeeds as a great
dance track. However, "Swingrs'
Club" abuses a synth that sounds
like a bad imitation of Eddie Van
Halen. Fortunately, this song is an
exception, as almost all of the
songs on the album are very good.
Of the thousand or so great
samples (taken from such diverse
sources as Ollie North's testimony
and science-fiction B-movies) that
appear on the record, most reflect
the guys' sense of humor, which
makes listening a very interesting
experience.
Gibby and Jeff seem to have
been studying house music lately;
the beats and instrumentation on
the record are comparable to (and
often better than) most good dance
music. While the lack of vocals
See RECORDS, Page 7

The Lensman bravely faces a flash of bright light in the animated epic,
L ensman.

Big screen Flight is a bad. trip

Flight of the
Intruder
dir. John Milus
by Jon Rosenthal
Flight of the intruder falls so far
off target that it is not clear what
the target was. It tries to be a real-
istic fable and perhaps a week
ago, it would have been harder to
judge the realism, but now anyone
can see the A-6 Intruder going into
action every day. The present war
does more than undercut the film's
realism. It makes it personal, be-
cause just about every American
knows someone in the war.
It was a strange experience
watching Danny Glover, Willem
Dafoe and Brad Johnson play hero
for a couple of hours on the big
screen and then return home to see
Navy Commander Kolin Jan, an A-
6 pilot in the Persian Gulf, on the
little screen, leaning back in his
chair saying, "The movies portray
jet pilots as hotdoggers. Like that
movie Flight of the Intruder, you
know - going into downtown
Hanoi and hitting an unauthorized
target. Nobody is doing that stuff.
The guys are doing it by the book."
The film brings up one of the
most important aspects of the
modern understanding of the Viet-

JOSTENS
COLD RING SALE
IS COMING!

e

Several colleges of Oxford University have invited the
Washington International Studies Council to recommend qualified
students to study for one year or for one or two tern-s. Lower Junior
status is required, and graduate study is available. Students are
directly enrolled in their colleges and receive transcripts from their
Oxford college: this is NOT a program conducted by a U.S. College
in Oxford. 3.2 minimum index in major required.
An alternative program which is sponsored by a U.S. University
is available for students with minimum indexes of 2.7. Students
will have social and athletic rights in an Oxford college and the fees
are substantially less.
Many educators believe that the tutorial system of Oxford and
Cambridge (in which one scholar teaches one or two students very
intensively) provides a unique liberal arts education. Evaluations
(written or by telephone) from previous Oxford students from your
college, or in your field, can usually be arranged by WISC.
INTERN IN
WASHINGTON, LONDON
WISC offers summer internships with Congress, with the
White House, with the media and with think tanks.

Dancers
Singers Who Move Well
Singers Who Dance
Musical Theatre Performers
All our world's a stage and we're casting professionals to be a part of the magic at
Walt Disney World* Resort in Florida.
To qualify, you must be at least age 18 by May 1, 1991. Bring current, non-
returnableresume and photo. Requirements: singers and musical theatre performers
memorize two vocal selectiors (one ballad, one up-tempo) and bring vocal sheet
music in your best key. Accompanist provided; no tapes. Singers must have
movement ability and may be asked to learn at least one movement combination.
Bring dance attire. Dancers are taught dance combinations.
If you have questions, call Walt Disney World Auditions at 407/345-5701, Monday-
Friday, 10-00ar4-00pm, Eastern time.
DETROIT, MICHIGAN
February 2 (Sat)
9AM Singers Who M e
"inger-DancersMusical Theatre Performers
11a M Dancers
Callback February 3 (Sun)

Order your college ring NOW
Stop by and see a Jostens representative,
Monday, Jan. 21 thru Friday, Jan. 25,
11:00a.m. to 4:00p.m.,

I

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