The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 02, 1987, Page 7, Image 7

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    Courtesy of Lois Greenfield
Momix performs “DNA.”
Momix pulls dance
into modern age
By Charles Lieurance
Senior Editor
With bodies like rubber bands,
stretching, flexing and going slack on
a series of invisible axles,
Connecticut’s Momix is an integral
part of the current frenetic effort to
drag dance into the modern-age.
Moses Pendleton, the eccentric
genius behind the last big dance
thing, Pilobolus, formed the Momix
troupe in 1980 when, according to
Pendleton, Pilobolus lost its creative
Dance Preview
Momix will perform tonight at 8
p.m. in Kimball Hall.
A mixture of the sacred and the
profane, the sensual and the ephem
eral, Momix, and Pendleton himself,
at once invite and defy description.
One could make lists: Monty Python,
great Eastern Bloc gymnasts, the
Oompah-Loompahs from “Willy
Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,”
reggae, afro-beat, Tom Waits, the
Flying Karamazov Brothers, pagan
ritual, Christian ritual...
The list pales when compared to
the actual event.
The men and women of Momix —
Alan Boeding, Lisa Giobbi, Timothy
Latta, Carolyn Minor, Joseph Mills
and Cynthia Quinn — are fluid, bold
contortionists capable of becoming
something as solid and staid as a
Gothic arch or as organic and sensual
as a moving human wheel. They can
inHate one another, turn their toes
into fire or wear clothes that never
touch the skin. Human beings tum
into impossible ideas, into far
fetched concepts.
Pendleton, 37, the “artistic direc
tor” of Momix, creates kinetic alien
worlds made from music, motion and
shape, along with tense static statues
that defy gravity.
Although Pendleton is often the
mouthpiece for Pilobolus and Mo
mix, the dance troupe is actually a
shared creative commitment. All
dancers are listed as choreographers
and Momix’s use of props, lighting,
music and “costume” is the result of a
small community of inspired artists.
In a huge, unheated mansion in
Washington, Conn., Momix creates
its surreal netherworld of artistic
medium hopscotching. Not officially
tied to dance, sculpture, gymnastics,
theatre, music or conceptual art,
Momix delves into them all like bril
liant, precocious children.
‘Big Town’ proves more than a gamble
By Geoff McMurtry
Staff Reporter
“The Big Town,” Douglas 3
“The Big Town,” by drawing your
attention to enough other things,
manages to avoid becoming a boring
retread of a 1940s gambler movie.
Despite limitations in plot and
suspense, “The Big Town” turns it
self into a minor classic, with excel
lent late 1950s style, an attractive
looking atmosphere, an incredible
use of sound track and an excellent
assortment of characters.
Movie Review
Though no one in this film has the
sort of bizarre personality normally
associated with a “great character,”
everyone in it shows a maturity of.
emotions and attitudes not usually
seen in Hollywood. Matt Dillon has
definitely stepped into a new realm of
role choices.
The story is simple and time
tested: Cully (Dillon) is, by nearly
everyone’s testimony, “the best damn
arm I’ve ever seen.” That means
when he shoots craps, he gets great
dice rolls. He’s spotted in his liny,
rural, ’50s hometown by Hooker, an
ex-crap-shootcr himself. Hooker
talks him into going to Chicago to try
the big-time gambling circuit, and,
against his dear widowed mother’s
objections, he does.
In Chicago, he’s hired by an or
ganization of Hooker’s former col
leagues, a group that hires guys like
Cully to go around to various crap
games in town and clean out the cus
tomers. The games are always open to
these professional “arms,” because
their honesty is guaranteed by the
But it’s never revealed why every
salesmen’s convention in the city is
cleaned out by pros.
Cully finds out through an “arm”
he works with about the Gem Club, a
place where all the professional crap
shooters meet every Sunday to play
each other. This is the real test, be
cause here you use your own money,
not the company’s and because eve
rybody at this game knows the odds
and isn’t likely to lose money on
lucky numbers the way the usual
suckers do.
Cully, of course, gets into the
game, breaks the bank his first night
and earns the admiration of the city’s
gamblers and the eternal enmity of
the game’s owner (Tommy Lee
Jones), a “former gangster, or some
kind of Mafia strong-man, or maybe
just an ex-marine.”
Cully’s blind boss, Ferguson
(Bruce Dcm), haled him at first be
cause he’s “Hooker’s boy,” which
means hc’sgood bulalsoreminds him
that his wife is Hooker’s ex-girl
friend. Ferguson now tells him all
about when he and Hooker worked
together and nobody could beat them
and they beat some “flash, punk-kid,
just like you, Cully,” and the kid
threw battery acid in his face and
blinded him.
The plot’s excursions could be
distracting but in this case aren’t
because the main conflict isn’t rivet
Eventually, the stakes increase,
leading to a big showdown with the
mysterious sinister guy, with several
surprise twists at the end which were
hinted at strongly earlier in the
However, one area in which “The
Big Town” proves exceptional is its
use of sound. The sound track is
loaded with ’40s and ’50s country and
blues-rock classics, well-placed,
never intruding like the 1980s video
interlude look.
The sound track includes every
thing from Bo Diddley’s “Who Do
You Love” to classics by Buddy
Holly and Hank Williams. Every
time Diane Lane appeared there was
a different version of Huey “Piano”
Smith’s,“Fever,” including the origi
Other than the use of sound, what
makes “The Big Town” special is not
the oft-overused story line, or the
downplayed melodrama, or even
Diane Lane’s strip-tease (although
that didn’t hurt) but rather its charac
ters and the way they interact. The
heroic characters have faults, the evil
villains have their better moments,
and while it’s always there, the line is
nearly invisible between good guys
and bad guys, good girls and bad girls.
No one’s fantasies arc lived up to in
“The Big Town.”
Cully must make choices, some of
which seem to be between two rights,
and some of which arc between two
wrongs. The characters around him
help out with varying degrees of self
i -
lessness, selfishness, understanding
and dowrnght viciousness.
If for nothing else, “The Big
Town” is an interesting experiment
for the way it managed to combine
some of the better elements of Holly
wood slickness and independent film
honesty. Enough in fact, to make up
for its shortcomings.
Matt Dillon may be on his way to
putting away the little teenage rebel
that has tied him down. Tommy Lee
Jones is always a great villain.
French Underground schedules play
Veteran performers Sue Perkins
and Gail Erwin take the stage at
Omaha’s French Underground in
White Women’s Blues,” a musical
written by Gail Erwin. “White
Women’s Blues” is the first musical
production for Smiling Panther Pro
ductions Inc.
“White Woman’s Blues” is the
story of two little girls who grow up as
best friends. The girls both have se
crets — some they keep, some they
share. After high school graduation
they go separate ways. Throughout
their lives their secrets come to haunt
them. Because they are singers, these
women sing about their troubles,
doubts, and joys.
Perkins has appeared in leading
roles at the Center Stage, the Fire
house Dinner Theater, and the Omaha
Community Playhouse. Recently
Erwin appeared in “Quilters” at the
Playhouse. Erwin is currently Play
wright-in-Rcsidencc at the Emmy
Gifford Children’s Theater.
The music is written by Erwin and
arranged by Joseph Joubcrt and Kate
Schrader. Schrader will direct the
band. The production is co-dircctcd
by Mark Hocgcrand Roberta Larson,
both of the Emmy Gifford Children’s
Theater. Costumes arc designed by
Ruth Cicmnoczolowski, while scen
ery and lighting arc provided by
Heartland Scenic Studios.
Performances for “White
Woman’s Blues” arc set for Oct. 2 -
Nov. 14, at the French Underground,
1017 Howard St. Performances on
Thursdays will be at 7:30 p.m., Fri
days and Saturdays at 8 p.m. A special
early performance will be held on
Saturday Oct. 24 at 7 p.m.
3 bands playing
on campus Sunday
The Kimball-Lied Performing
Arts Committee will present an out
door concert with Mother’s Big Band
Jazz, the Young Executives and High
Heel and the Sneckers Sunday in the
Sheldon Sculpture Garden from 3 to 6
This is the second annual UNLivc
concert and there is no admission
charge. Refreshments will be served.
UNLivc is sponsored by the Kim
ball-Lied Committee, UPC, the Col
lege of Arts and Sciences, the College
of Arts and Sciences Alumni Associa
tion, the Lincoln Arts Council and
George Ritchie was chapel organ
ist at Duke University.
He performed his recorded work
“Organ Works of J.S. Bach”
on a Bedient organ. That work is
available on the Titanic
Records label.
The Daily Nebraskan regrets errors
that appeared in the Sept. 30 article on
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