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November 08, 1995 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-11-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

~'rL.i, A 1±.dB.L, ~ ~A.&.4Ai. P

Politicians get down
No, not Bob Dole and Arlen Specter, who can barely get a joke, let
alone "get down." It's those wacky, "Lump'-y MTV buzz-bin pranksters.
Some say they sound like Dead-Eye-Dick but less annoying, some say
they sound like every mall-punk band out there. Regardless, they are
sure to put on a loose, fun show. See them at St. Andrew's Hall tonight.
Show starts at 7:30. Tickets available at the Union ticket office.

Page 5
Wednesday,
November 8. 1995

'Fair Game' plays it by the rules H.. t* v . i&2say
~ -,.., ~ ~61

F

By Michael Zilberman
Daily Arts Writer
"Fair Game" - a somewhat ener-
getic if absolutely brainless thriller -
is a first-time effort from director An-
drew Sipes, who looks like he'll soon
be joining the swelling ranks of
facelessly efficient action masters of
the brand of Tony Scott ("The Last Boy
Scout"). The film also marks the act-
ing debut of Cindy Crawford, although
it doesn't feel like one: She's been a
constant small-screen presence for the
last'five years; one can only wonder
why her leap to the big screen took so
long.
Fair Game
Directed by Andrew Sipes
with William Baldwin and
Cindy Crawford
At Showcase
Crawford, doing some sort of lifeless
variation on Julia Roberts' "Pelican
Brief" persona, plays a family lawyer
caught up in a convoluted bank-heist
plot; it involves members ofthe K.G.B.,
electronic surveillance, an exploding
boat and the often sulking William
Baldwin. In what is undeniably producer
Joel Silver's auteurist, trademark touch,

Rt looks like the
art of a dumb
macho quip -
whick peaked with
Schwarzenegger in
the mi-k b- is
dying vasts
everything blows up in the last reel.
It's odd enough that Crawford plays
a lawyer (then again, so does Alicia
Silverstone in her latest straight-to-
video project). It's even more odd that
the script - picked by Crawford for
her debut vehicle -- uses "Die Hard"
as its primary point of reference. But
part of "Die Hard "'s charm is that the
film, essentially a Christmas story, is
genuinely friendly toward its minor
characters - cops, "special agents
Johnson and Johnson," even the indi-
vidual terrorists.
"Fair Game," on the other hand, has
surprisingly defined misanthropy at its
heart: Simply put, this film can't stand
anyone who is not Cindy Crawford or
William Baldwin. At various points in
the film, crude caricatures of a
"redneck," a "computer wonk" and a

(jaw-droppingly offensive) "black guy"
emerge to be disposed of in seconds.
It's sickening to see Selma Hayek, as-
tonishingly sexy and complicated in
"Desperado," reduced to a minuscule
"screaming Latina girlfriend" role in
this.
The film isn't even all that inter-
ested in its own villains, the reptilian
ex-K.G.B. agents. They are led by
Steven Berkoff, who indifferently de-
livers one-liners in the generic Evil
Accent (we all know this one by now:
It doesn't belong to any specific na-
tion, but successfully conveys to au-
diences in Peoria that its bearer is a
Eurotrash, sissy maniac).
And God, what one-liners they are. It
looks like the art of a dumb macho quip
- which seems to have peaked with
Arnold Schwarzenegger in the mid-
'80s - is dying fast, as demonstrated
by such pearls as: "'My pizza's getting
cold.' 'Yeah, and so are you!' (the
ensuing gunshot plays a role of a rim
shot). As a final insult to the audience's
presumed intelligence, the Russian lan-
guage the villains are supposed to read
and write in, is instead a vaguely
Cyrillic-looking gibberish. "Little
Odessa" this film is not.
It's hardly worth the time it would
take to delve into Crawford's acting;
she essentially delivers the lines on one
note and includes even pauses regard-
less of what the situation calls for.

"Ooh, Billy, you're the cutest Baldwin brother."

William Baldwin, who gets top bill-
ing, is forced to carry the weight of the
movie (all two milligrams of it) on his
own shoulders, and does it expertly, if
not with great passion. ,
The obligatory love scene between
the two leads turns out to be an even

bigger howler than the Stallone-Stone
shower routine in "The Specialist." The
furious lawyer punches her savior in
the face, does it again, then one more
time, and finally throws herself on top
of him - all with the same stone-faced
determination.

The entire movie hurtles forward to
its conclusion with similar dumb en-
ergy. When the final credits roll, a star
is not born. However, quite a few inno-
cent bystanders - and most likely a
couple of careers - are killed in the
process.

An unsung
hero shin es
By Jessica Chaffin
For the Daily
The University Department of Theater
and Drama will present Professor Charles
"OyamO"Gordon's play based on the 1968
Memphis sanitation workers strike,"I AmA
Man," at the Trueblood Theater this week-
end.
OyamO's play tells the story ofthe strike
made famous by the assassination of Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr., focusing on the
oftenoverlooked leaderofthe struggle, T.O.
Jones. The strike was sparkedbyagrotesque
on-the-job accident in which two black
workers were eaten alive by a garbage-
compactingunit.Althoughon-the-jobsafety
was most certainly a concernofthe workers,
low wages and union recognition were also
central concerns.
Memphis in 1968 was 40percent black
with 57 percent of this population below
the poverty level. Race politics and civil
rights were concerns in this three-month
strike, which culminated in the assassina-
tion of Dr. King. However, the strike is
most often remembered as the tragic back-
drop for Dr. King's death, rather than for
the profound effect it had on the lives of
the people involved.
T.O. Jones and his heroic action on
behalfofthe Memphis sanitation workers
is often left out ofhistory books. Thisplay
seeks to examine the impact the indi-
vidual can have on history. OyamO once
said, "I have tried always to keep the
emphasis on Jones. T.O. is not a fictional
character. It was T.O. who started the
b
IAM M AN :.ah

Gender-bender 'Cafe' serves it up righlt

By Paul Spited
For the Daily
When a play's script consists of one
female and 11 male roles, one would
assume that the success of its produc-
tion would depend on the male actors
found for those 11 parts. Not so for last
weekend's production of Robert
Macadaeg's "Eatmore Cafe." Despite a
script dominated by the masculine sex,
director Margaret Jones created an all-
women cast to play all the characters in
this unique presentation.
At first, the novelty of deepened
women's voices in plaid shirts spouting
the gruff talk of Midwestern blue col-
lars sent the faintest undertones of
amusement through the audience. This
effect quickly subsided. In perfor-
mances that needed no apologies for
the cross over into a different gender,
the illusion succeeded.
The action centers on the only female
role within the show. As Enid, Stephanie
Bernstein (BFA Theater, '98) plays a
women trapped within the borders of a
small town. Facing the choice ofthe life
ofa waitress in the town's diner-what
her mother had done - or being domi-
nated by her possessive boyfriend,
Jimmy - whom she never says she
loves--Enid's desperation drives forth

Eatmore Cafe
Arena Theater
November 3

the play's most successful moments.
Bernstein shined at these times, with
sincere delivery bringing out her
character's confusion.
Little support appears to come from
the insensitive and mostly one-dimen-
sional male characters surrounding
Enid. In fact, instead of offering better
alternatives, she receives from one a
proposition of essentially prostituting
herself for a college scholarship. This
complete lack of sympathy from every
person she meets made the play melo-
dramatic at times. Only Howard, her
boss and father figure, seemed touched at
any moment by Enid's struggles. Heather
Weiner(BFA Theater'98)played Howard
asthe quintessential short-ordercook, but
with a mysterious past. Yet, what depths
Howard's relationship reached with Enid
were left unexplored as Howard's pres-
ence soon became scarce.
Enid's boyfriend Jimmy filled that
time. Greta Enszer's convincing por-
trayal ofJimmy left little room for sym-

pathy for the brute. Yet, there did not
seem to be another way to look at Jimmy.
The only problems he seemed to have
were a girlfriend who refused to be
dominated and a father who refused to
hand him the family fortune.
The latent focus on the struggle be-
tween Jimmy and his father onlyfur-
ther complicated the plot. This upnec-
essary additional plot twist never al-
lowed for the time the audience needed
to understand the real story of Enid. In
fact, Enid's thoughts in her final deci-
sion for a life path are invisible at the
end. Her ambiguous decision brings up
as many questions as answers and gives,
unfortunately, no sense of completion.
Yet, the play does hold a lot of prom-
ise in the dichotomies it brings to the
stage. The conversation between Jimmy
and Enid on the subject of working for
survival versus working to pass the time
truly brought out strong universal themes.
Also, the strong Midwestern accents were
realistic, if somewhat overplayed, pro-
viding the play with a unique flavor.
However, the most interesting aspect
of this production must be its cast.Per-
haps, in its believable male characters,
the reverse of the adage that "otly a
man truly knows what a woman shpuld
act like" comes true;

V

I Am A Man' aeais witn the neroic actions of T.u. Jones.

of Theater and Drama, shares this view.
"The idea that one person can make a
difference rings true here. T.O wasjust an
ordinary guy, with an eighth-grade edu-
cation, which people often lose sight of."
Simmons also stressed the fact that this
play is not about Dr. King's involvement
in the strike. "King serves as a presence
and a symbol, but this play is about the
movement. The sanitation workers. About
T.O. Jones," she said.
The nearly all-black cast of the produc-
tion is a unique one, which has gathered
participation and support from throughout
the local community. The players range
from professional actors, University BFA
Theater majors and students from Eastern
Michigan University, as well as newcomers.
Simmons commented, "The experience
for me as a director has been interesting.
Because ofthe cast needsIam working with

a tremendous range of characters and expe-
rience. It has taken a lot of work -more so
than usual - to bring this to life."
Simmons also added that there has been a
great deal of support from African-Ameri-
can groups on campus, especially in light of
the recent Million Man March. "I think the
March has effected the general air ofexcite-
ment surrounding the production. Both
events question what a man is and needs to
be," she said.
Previous productions of"I Am A Man"
have received critical acclaim. The play
was first put on in 1992 by The Working
Theater Company in New York City.
Subsequent incarnations were at the
Goodman Theater in Chicago the follow-
ing year, and at the Arena Stage in Wash-
ington this past summer. The playwright.
is currently working on an screen adapta-
tion for HBO.

STEP INTO A NEw WORLD...

t :.}

union, and T.O. who called the strike.
T.O. brought in the ministers and the
NAACP. T.O. negotiatedwiththemayor's
office. T.O. started the ball rolling, and
the ball rolled over him."
The play's director, Dr. Renee
Simmons, a professor in the Depart-

SPEAGE COR PS W EEK
r-
continues...
On-campus today & tomorrow:
Today: Come to our film and
information session at 7:00
in the International Center
in the Michigan Union
Tomorrow: Stop by the
"Job Fair" being held in the
Michigan Union
from 1:00-5:00--look for us!
Stay for the Liberal Arts
Job Panel at 5:30
On Thursday, well show our
film a second time

,,
e
,
:
I i

--r

rhinhing about
w~rtng for Arts~
&O#'? Join u
nex semester
(u~eoA((6

3 .

n the int1 C.enter at :00 pm.
Call your Peace Corps Campus Rep.,
Joseph Dorsey at -
1:1 747-2182 for more details!

2 r

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