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November 1, 2010

HPU Theatre Program presents...

Is he dead?

proves to be explosive

by Riana Stellburg, staff writer “Hello daddy… hello mom ...I’m your ch-ch-chch-cherry bomb,” these lyrics of rebellion paved the way for “The Runaways,” a rock band from the 1970s. Fast forward to 2010, and “The Runaways” have been turned into a film of the same name featuring young actresses, Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart playing lead singer Cherie Currie and rhythm guitarist Joan Jett, who get your heart beating and your feet tapping. They were the first American all-girl band to come from Southern California where they were told “girls can’t play the electric guitar.” The film displays the rise and fall of Currie and eventually The Runaways. Another surprising aspect this film shows is the romantic relationship between Jett and Currie. It also gives a twisted glimpse on how the girls in the band became absorbed into the whirlpool of “sex, drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Without the director’s expertise in the production of music videos and the fact that The Runaways were girls that played their own instruments, this movie would have been your typical band biography: they were awesome at first but then became corrupted when alcohol and drugs took over. What saves it is Sigismondi’s attention to detail and ability to build up the audience’s anticipation. You could have sworn you were in the audience being wowed by Currie’s revealing corset in the ‘70s. Led by “jailbait” singer Cherie Currie and “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” guitarist Joan Jett, they combined subgenres

p15 Designer: Riana Stellburg

like glam rock and punk rock into a band that roared for female empowerment. Directed and written by Floria Sigismondi, she based the screenplay on lead singer Currie’s autobiography Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway. Jett, the executive producer, contributed her perspective and eventual the forming of her next project band, “Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.” Fanning, 16, and Stewart, 20, have both made their way into Hollywood as young girls. After this movie, they have graduated into young women. Known for her heart-felt movies, Fanning has always played an excellent role, whether it is Sam’s daughter in “I Am Sam” or the girl who loved her pig in “Charlotte’s Web.” Currie is played by Fanning, the “Brigitte Bardot in a trailer park,” came as a surprise when she showed up on the movie screen all grown up with a catty attitude and a cigarette. When records producer Kim Fowley (played by Michael Shannon) decides that The Runaways need a blonde bombshell, he seeks out Cherie at a club in downtown Los Angeles. Joan and Fowley are on the prowl when Fowley notices Cherie sitting by herself. There is an instant attraction when Cherie and Joan are on the screen, which escalates throughout the movie. Fowley compliments Cherie’s style and invites her to audition at the band’s next practice. He talks to her about the fame and publicity that the band will get and Cherie instantly complies. The next day she shows up to the audition, and Cherie is less than amused when she finds out the practice is in a beat up trailer.

At first, Cherie comes off as shy and quiet, but Fowley pulls the tiger out of her. “Hello daddy… hello mom,” Cherie purrs, slowly becoming comfortable. “I’m your ch-ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb!” Wait, Dakota Fanning can sing? “Hello world, I’m your wild girl,” Cherie yells. “I’m your ch-ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb!” “You hear that? That’s the sound of hormones raging,” Fowley says. In 1977, when The Runaways headline in Japan, Cherie decides to wear a corset to show off her female empowerment. Craving the spotlight, she develops a lasso trick with the microphone wire. Sigimondi’s greatest strength as a director is how she shows the transitions of the band’s talent and slowly builds up the performance. One minute Joan is learning how to play the guitar. The next minute, The Runaways are performing in a country they’ve never been to.

by Ashley Stevens, student writer

Web photo In the first part of the movie you’re thinking, “Why do they suck?” and finally, in the best scene of the movie, you have this stupid grin on your face because you’re excited and your foot begins tapping to the drum beat. Guitarist Lita Ford, played by Scout Taylor Compton, begins that crazy-good guitar riff line that ignites the whole set, metaphorically of course. Sigismondi then slows down time (“Matrix” style) as Ford’s long hair is everywhere with her fingers pressing on the guitar’s neck. You feel the fire making its way down the fuse as Cherie walks out, points to you, and says “Hello daddy… hello mom.” “I’m your cherry bomb!” The Runaways exclaim explosively.

This fall The HPU theatre program will be performing “Is He Dead?” a play by Mark Twain, in honor of the 100th anniversary of Twain’s death. “Is He Dead?” is a play about a painter, Jean-Francois Millet, who fakes his own death in order to profit from his working during his lifetime. He pretends to be his twin sister, and he and his devious friends have to figure out how to keep his money, but also get his life back. “David Ives’ wit meets Mark Twain’s genius to create a spunky fast paced comedy that will keep you laughing all the way home,” said Maddi Ruhl, a member of the cast and a Junior at HPU. Director Joyce Maltby said, “This is a timeless farce riddled with silliness with a company of great actors, including six students.” Not only are the script and the cast top notch, so is the stage set. It is in the process of becoming beautiful, but also very intricate. Duncan Dalzell, technical director and cast member, said, “Seeing this show is an ab workout of laughter.” The performances are done at the Paul and Vi Loo Theatre, on the Windward campus. HPU students get a seat for $5. So if you are ready to have a night of fun and laughter, we’ll see you there. For information call (808) 375-1282.


p15 HPU Theatre Program presents... Web photo November 1, 2010