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Revision Of 'Ceiling'

January 26, 1987|KRISTINE McKENNA

The Drawing Legion is an Iowa-based performance art crew that devotes itself to updating the epic artworks of history. Last weekend at LACE they took on Michelangelo's "Sistine Ceiling," and the results put one in mind of the current cult film "Sherman's March"; this is a guilty confessors' revision of history.

Written and directed by Mel Andringa, "The Sistine Floor" involves a giant jigsaw puzzle, an outspoken cellist, a child accordionist, a girl in pajamas, a sound man who strips from a conservative suit down to a referee's uniform, and a pretty young man in athletic garb. Orchestrating and overseeing this shaggy dog story was Andringa, who sits at a table offering droll asides.

Like a Woody Allen interpretation of a Robert Wilson interpretation of history, "The Sistine Floor" grew dangerously adorable on more than one occasion, and though one can't write Andringa off completely (he was often genuinely funny), the piece does suffer from terminable coziness. A miniaturist's version of history built around the highly personal ramblings of one man's mind, "The Sistine Floor" incorporates Hank Williams, Keith Haring, recollections of a car trip through the desert, and koto music, among other things. What all this has to do with the Renaissance master is anyone's guess.

The piece considered returning to its central premise toward its conclusion when Andringa ruminated on the occupational hazards of working for Michelangelo. But alas, this was but a brief tangent. Andringa's stage manner has a frazzled quality reminsicent of Dr. Irwin Corey, but the confusion he feigns is actually being felt by the audience.

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