The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 07, 1989, Page 6, Image 6

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    Karamazovs’ New Age Vaudeville delights
By Micki Haller
Senior Editor
Vaudeville is not dead.
The Flying Karamazov Brothers is
the reincarnation of the bawdy,
physical, raucous comedy that enter
tained masses at vaudeville houses in
the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The troupe proved its heritage,
and added a hi-tech twist (with a
double gainer) at Kimball Hall Mon
day night.
The old stuff included slapstick
humor, terrible puns, old schticks,
juggling, singing, dancing, “cheap
theatrics,” an “anything for a
laugh” attitude and even a jury made
up of Charlie McCarthy dolls.
Added to this incredible mixture
were references to modem culture
(like the Elvis craze), portrayals of
the homeless, allusions to Oriental
zen techniques and mention of the
ozone layer.
All this was accompanied by the
slap, slap, slap of clubs against the
jugglers’ palms.
The early evening audience loved
it, slurped it up, and asked, with light
ning-quick and thunder-loud ap
plause, for more.
Surprisingly, for a juggling
troupe, the show didn’t focus on jug
gling a great deal.
There was a lot of juggling, and
some of the work with four-person
juggling was astounding, but there
was never more than three clubs per
person in action. There were no flam
ing rings of fire. Only twice in the
show were exotic juggling tools in
troduced: the sharp-edged object act,
and “The Gamble.”
In this piece, the Champ (Ivan, aka
Howard Jay Patterson) juggles three
objects between an ounce and 10
pounds each, and no bigger than a
breadbox. The Champ is allowed
three modifications.
The audience offered a variety: a
greasy paper plate with keys at
tached, flashlight, a feather and
notes. The winners were a green
slinky, a “strange” ball that wasn’t
balanced properly and a grape-jelly
sandwich impaled on an icicle.
The Champ, after initial problems
with the elongated slinky and a de
composing sandwich, triumphed by
hog-tying the slinky and squeezing
the sandwich into a bread-ball.
However, most of the show cen
tered around humor, singing, dancing
and drama. The juggling seemed to
be almost tangential, but tied every
thing together.
For intermission, members of the
troupe got together to sing “Some
where Out In The Lobby” to promote
its merchandise. The humor often
mocked the troupe itself.
Twice during the show, the humor
drifted into the risque.
During the sharp-edged object
juggling act, one of the members was
stabbed by a flying scythe.
“Shit,” he screamed.
“This is a family show,” the last
surviving member exclaimed. “You
can’t say that on stage.”
Of course, the wounded trouper
staggered off-stage, and . . . Well,
cheap jokes are a trademark of vaude
The other bawdy scene involved
the “Maltese Flagon,” in a rip-off of
old detective movies. One of the
characters (Smerdyakov, or Sam
Williams) colorfully described a bar.
“The liquor was like playing with
yourself - one drink, and you’ll go
The finale dazzled most bril
liantly, however, in an assortment of
sophisticated electronic instruments,
radio transmitters, helmets with drum
pick-ups, and so on and so forth.
The four men (including Dmitri,
or Paul David Magid, and Fyodor,
aka Timothy Furst) played a
Beethoven song by bashing them
selves on the heads, and progressed to
a juggling rock song aooui me way
modem conveniences are wrecking
the atmosphere.
Overall, The Flying Karamazov
Brothers were brilliant, funny, enjoy
able, amazing, astounding, wonder
ful and every other superlative adjec
tive in the dictionary.
It makes one wonder why the
powers that be ever called Vaudeville
dead._ •
Stephanie Cannon/Daily Nebraskan
Lasers flash in Mueller
after two dark months
By Larry Peirce
Senior Reporter
After two months of darkness,
dazzling laser beams are Hashing
once again with the music across
the dome at Mueller Planetarium.
The planetarium began a new
season last month after being
closed for Morrill Hall construc
tion since December.
The break allowed coordinator
Jack Dunn and his part-time staff
of four students to work on upcom
ing “Laser Fantasies” shows
which attract audiences of differ
ent ages and musical tastes.
Bad weather slowed attendance
at the planetarium’s Friday night
laser shows, which featured the
music of U2, but 200 people came
for three Saturday shows, said Erik
Hubl, an undeclared junior who
works at the planetarium.
Dunn said Laser Fantasies is
more than a laser show because it
includes special effects, slides and
a laser disc video projector. The
“star projector,” which is used for
regular astronomy shows, and an
artificial smoke machine also arc
used in some shows.
The shows feature music from
20 different artists or groups. Other
shows sponsored by area radio sta
tions feature “oldies, jazz and
country” music, Dunn said.
“We’re churning them out,”
he said. «
During the shows, a “lascrist”
operates a small keyboard and con
trol panel to manipulate the size,
motion and shape of patterns cre
ated when laser beams arc emitted
through beam splitters.
The complex patterns appear to
be computer-controlled. Dunn
said, but actually arc controlled by
the laserist, who must choose the
laser patterns that match the mu
“Straight-ahead hard rock pat
terns arc simpler,” he %aid. “U2
looks different than Mannheim
The light patterns that go with
Led Zeppelin music need a lot of
power to match the music, while
jazz requires more subtle light
patterns, he said.
Operating the laser keyboard is
like playing a musical instrument,
Dunn said, but the laserist is work
ing with light, not music.
“It’s interpretation, like paint
ing,” Dunn said.
Experience allows a laserist to
interpreland plan laser patterns for
different songs, Dunn said. The
laserist must know the music to
make the laser patterns change
with the music, he said.
Dunn said shows aren’t planned
loo far in advance because they
must be updated. If a band pro
duces a new album, the staff must
quickly incorporate new songs into
the show routine, he said.
Dunn said he spends evenings
preparing shows because the
planetarium is occupied during the
day. The planetarium presents up
to 16 astronomy shows per week,
'and 10,(XK) to 15,000 elementary
and high school students visit the
planetarium each year, he said.
See LASER on 7
i -.•••— ■ *1
Allen Schaben/Daily Nebraskan
The Flying Karamazov Brothers warm up at rehearsal Monday evening in Kimball Hall
Boy detective solves copy theft,
mysterious meter maid murder
By Jim Hanna
Staff Humorist
Ellery Queen was good. Charlie
Cnan was heller. Encyclopedia
Brown was the best of all.
h u rn nr
,IU *i HANNA 1
Yet none of these so called detec
tives can hold a candle to the greatest
mystery detective of all: Crump P.I.
- Boy Detective.
Making the University of Nc
braska-Lincoln campus safe from
assorted criminal capers, Crump
works out of the 1977 Mercury Cou
gar he got from his mom.
When a petty crime is committed
on campus, Crump uses his keen in
sight into UNL life to piece together
the facts of the case and find the
And he is never wrong.
Do you care to match wits with the
greatest living detective of all time?
Then try out the brain teasers below.
These arc two of Crump’s most fa
mous cases. (The tales arc told in first
person, Crump’s favorite narrative
i was siuing in me parking 101 oi
Taco Inn in the 1977 Mercury Cougar
I got from my mom (she bought her
self a new Ford Escort). I got a call on
my car phone.
“Crump, this is Capt. Williams
with the Lincoln Police Depart
ment,” the voice on the other end
“Hi Captain, what jam can I get
you out of this week?”
“Well, we’ve got a joker down
here who’s been arrested for tamper
ing with the key counters over at
Kinko’s. It seems he went to Kinko’s,
made about 4,000 copies of his face
and then somehow reset the counter.
It shows he only made seven copies. I
think he’s guilty, but dammit Crump,
his alibi is air-tight. Can you coerce
this creepy criminal into cracking,
“Now, captain, There’s no need
for swearing or for alliteration. Put
this criminal on.”
The criminal got on the phone.
“Hi, Crump P.I. here, I under
stand you made about 4,000 copies of
your face at Kinko’s and then reset
the counter,” I said with a.sneer* the
effect of which is lost over the phone.
“Thai’s the problem. I didn’t get
the copies made at Kinko’s. I made
all 4,(XX) copies this morning on the
machines at Love Library. I went to
Kinko's later in ihe day to copy an
employment resume,’’ said the sniv
eling punk.
“1 see,” I said, nodding sagel>.
“Tell me about your trip to Love
“Well, I’m from out of town, so l
didn’t know where to gel copies. I
saw the library and assumed thev had
a copier.”
“Go on,” 1 said.
“Well, I walked into the front
door, found my way to the informa
tion desk and asked where I could
find a copier. A very, very friendly
person behind the desk smiled
warmly at me and directed me to the
nearest copier.”
“I sec,” I said. “What did you
think of our humble library?”
“Oh, 1 loved it,” he screamed.
“Such friendly people, such high
tech copying facilities, and the build
ing, 1 have never been inside of a
better designed library. Whatever
architect designed that building was a
genius. And the interior design, it’s
met ho'ii.on TK<» /*Alr\re Kl.*rwt Avnni
sitcly into a delightful lapcsiry that
thrills the senses.”
‘‘I see,” I said, stroking my chin in
thought. “Put Capl. Williams hack
on the line.”
“Williams here. What did you
learn Crump?”
“Captain, I’ve learned that you’re
sitting with a sick criminal. Arrest
that punk and charge him with
counter tampering!”
How did Crump know the man
was lying?
ANSWER: Crump knew that the
man could not possibly have been to
Love Library. The only person who
could describe it as a work of archi
tectural genius with pleasing interior
design and high-tech copiers is a
person who’s never been there. The
man obviously made up his visit to
Love Library to cover up his counter
tampering scheme.
When confronted by Capt. Wil
liams, the man fell into a gurgling,
sobbing lump anil confessed to the
I was driving down 12lh Street in
my 1977 Mercury Cougar looking for
a gtxxl crime to crack.
When I saw- a meter maid lying in
a pool of her own blood beneath a
parking meter, I knew- I had found a
good one.
Standing beside the body was a
young woman with a smoking re
volver in her hand. She was covered
in blood and screaming obscenitiesat
the corpse. She was sitting on the
hood of a car w hich I assumed to be
her’s. There was a parking ticket
under the windshield wiper. I imme
diately pegged this woman as a sus
“Excuse me ma’am. Did you
shoot tins meter monitor?” I asked.
The woman looked up at me w ith
cra/ed eyes. Tears streaked her face.
“Who ... me?” she asked. “No,
I justcamc walking by here and found
her body. This gun was lying on the
ground so I picked it up.”
Her alibi was strong and tight. I
had no way of proving she shot this
meter maid. But still . . . something
didn’t seem right; something in her
story just didn’t jive w ith me. I con
tinued questioning her.
* * A _ _ __ J • I *
ruv, y%ju .^uit yuu VUUII l 3I1VJUI
her?” I asked, my eyes probing her
soul like a denial pick.
There was a tense moment of si
lence. Then, she broke.
“All right, I did it. I shot her. But
I just can’t get another ticket. One
more and they’ll tow my car. When I
saw her writing me up, I just snapped
and blew her away. I wouldn’t be able
to get around if they towed my car,”
she wept.
“Having your car towed is the
least of your worries now. I don’t
think you’ll need a car where you’re
going — prison!” I said as I slapped
the cuffs on her.
How did Crump know that she was
the murderer and that her first story
was phony?
ANSWER: Crump picked up on
the clues an untrained eye would
have missed. He realized the smok
ing gun meant that it was just fired.
The gun would not have been smok
ing i I the murderer dropped it and ran.
Also, he found the woman in a fit of
hysteria, screaming at the body
which a mere passerby would be
unlikely to do.
Crump picked up on these subtle
ties and nailed the murdering parkcr
to the wall.