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4The Daily Tar HeelMonday, November 7, 1983
Richie fans not disappointed at concert
By MARYMELDA HALL
The name alone conjures images of
superstar proportion Lionel Richie.
Excited ticketholders poured into
Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh Friday
night, eager to view the man whose music
routinely tops the charts and floods the
radio. They came to experience the magic
of Lionel Richie, and they were not disap
pointed. Friday night's conceit was the fastest
selling North Carolina concert this year,
and understandably so. The Pointer
Sisters, a respected group in their own
right, opened for Richie, starting with
their hits "I'm So Excited" and "He's So
Shy." They then moved to "I Need You"
and "Jump," songs from the newly
released album Break Out. "Fire"
brought the capacity crowd to its feet and
set the stage for the remainder of the
Though the clapping began long before
Richie appeared, pandemonium erupted
as he took the stage singing "Truly."
Richie then delighted the audience by per-,
forming such Commodore greats as "Sail
On," "Easy" and the always-popular
Lionel Richie's claim that "I taught
Michael Jackson how to dance" and his
"wonderful parody of Jackson, who
Richie called "the boy," added humor to
Richie performed many of his greatest
hits including "Still," "Three Times a
Lady" and "Sun and Rain," relying on
his talent rather than a lot of special ef
fects for success. However, a life-sized
video of Diana Ross during their number
one duet "Endless Love" and. excellent
lighting throughout the show did enhance
the performance. The smoke effects dur
ing one song, however, lingered a bit long
because of poor ventilation in the arena.
Richie's band proved more than ade
quate, performing a medley of hits during
Richie's short break.
The Pointer Sisters then joined Richie
back on stage for an electric rendition of
"Takin' It to the Streets" and added
some background vocals.
Richie made every effort to include his
audience in the show, frequently walking
to the sides and backstage to sing to those
who wouldn't have been able to see him
otherwise. Both he and hjs band seemed
to enjoy the show as much as the au
dience. Lionel Richie encored with his current
hit "All Night Long" and that's exact
ly how long his audience would have
'Pump Boys 'promises more than it delivers
By JEFF GROVE
Pump Boys and Dinettes, a celebration of Southern music
that played Memorial Hall Friday and Saturday, promised a
lot more than it delivered.
Pump Boys is a plotless musical, but it would be unfair to
such shows as Ain't Misbehavin' to call it a revue; more
often than not, it seemed like an elaborate concert instead of
a well-staged piece of musical theatre.
Performed on an impressive set that re-created rural truck
stops with such details as a "No Credit" sign on the diner's
cash register and a license plate collection on the service sta
tion wall (all credit to designers Doug Johnson and
Christopher Nowak), the show varied in quality of material
Well-known singer Nicolette Larson, billed as the show's
star, sang with power. Her fire was often dimmed, however,
by a visible lack of self-confidence. Her facial expression
often seemed to say, "Gee, I hope I'm doing this dance step
right." Moreover, she revealed little ability to handle the
spoken dialogue linking the songs.
This problem afflicted co-star Jonathan Edwards, but to a
lesser extent. In the end, he emerged as a genial host for the
evening. Like Larson, Edwards was at his best while singing,
although he was forced to negotiate awkward lines in an in
credibly maudlin ballad called "Mamaw."
Henry Gross was another "big name" in the cast, but he
had no real stage presence except during his big solo,
"Mona," in which his energy burst loose with exciting
results. Like his fellow star performers, though, Gross seem
ed ill-at-ease with his spoken lines.
The other members of the cast, with more musical comedy
experience, offered more-solid performances.
As the laid-back but occasionally crazy pump boy L.M.,
Jonathan L. Segal created the only consistent character in
the show. He had three comic songs, "Serve Yourself,"
"Farmer Tan" and "The Night Dolly Parton Was Almost
Mine," which struck a responsive chord. Segal never failed
to be funny and entertaining.
Donna Watton made the most of her two beautiful songs,
the solo "The Best Man" and the duet "Sister," which she
sang with Larson.
"Fisherman's Prayer" was another deft comic song, but
many of the songs were either vulgar or vapid, with "Menu
Song," "Catfish" and "Tips" being outstanding examples.
With the exception of the clever use of kitchen tools as
percussion instruments by the women, Patrick Tovatt's
direction was almost nonexistent.
There was some gold to be found in Pump Boys, but there
was also a good deal of lead along the way. It's too bad there
were no competent alchemists around.
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