The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on September 27, 1996 · Page 25
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 25

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, September 27, 1996
Page 25
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FRIDAY t,i 996 THE SALINA JOURNAL encore! WHAT'S HOT / D2 BRIEFLY / D3 WHAT'S GOING ON / D4 D T COUNTRY MUSIC Sales dorit guarantee CMA honor Shania Twain has sold gobs of albums but is still looking for her first award from CMA By JIM PATTERSON The Associated Press SHANIA TWAIN NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Like many a big-selling country music artist who has never taken home a Country Music Association award, Shania Twain maintains that the accolade is not all that important. Until, that is, you win one. The 30th CMA Awards will be broadcast live by CBS at 7 p.m. Wednesday from the Grand Ole Opry House. Vince Gill will be the host of the show. "If I win something I'll hit the ceiling and be jumping for. joy 'cause it always feels great," said Twain, who has been selling more albums than anyone else in country music for most of the past 18 months. Despite selling more 7 million of her "The Woman in Me" CD, Twain has never won a CMA Award. Three nominations this year give her six since 1995. Her success was recognized last year with a Grammy and two awards from the Academy of Country Music, a California- based rival to the CMA. "I have to admit that being accepted by the industry that you work among and with — it means a lot," Twain said. Twain is up for CMA awards this year for best female vocalist and the Horizon Award for most promising. Also, her "Any Man of Mine," written with husband-producer Mutt Lange, is up for best song. A short list of hot artists who have never won a CMA Award includes Twain, Dwight Yoakam, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Tracy Byrd and Wynonna Judd as a solo artist. ' All-time great Buck Owens, who will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame during this year's show, never won a CMA Award during his heyday. Snagging a performing slot on the show may be just as valuable in business terms as winning. Last year, Twain made a big splash (and likely sold some CDs) opening the television show by vamping through the star-studded audience singing "Any Man of Mine." This time around, she'll preview her new single for the holiday season, "God Bless the Child." "On the album it's an a cappella piece, but we'll be putting a single out with the full version," she said. "The CMAs will be the first time that we'll showcase the song." Others who will perform during the show include Alan Jackson, LeAnn Rimes, Martina McBride, the group Diamond Rio, Dolly Parton, Terri Clark and George Strait. Pop star Michael Bolton will sing a duet with Wynonna Judd. The major nominations are dominated by multiple award-winners such as the duo Brooks & Dunn, Gill, Jackson and Strait. A win in the male vocalist category would be Gill's sixth in a row; Brooks & Dunn have dominated the vocal duo category since 1992. Mary Murfltt (left), who grew up In Llndsborg, performs In "Cowgirls" In New York with Lori Fischer and Mary Ehllnger. Center Stage Kansan is in the spotlight with off-Broadway hit 'Cowgirls' File photo By DAN ENGLAND The Salina Journal , hen Pravada Murfitt used to watch her daughter Mary perform in plays at Lindsborg High School, she would lean over and whisper into a neighbor's ear. Pravada wasn't bragging about her daughter. Instead, she was expressing her dismay. You see, Pravada, a concert pianist, had started Mary on the violin at age 6 I with the hopes that she would become a concert performer. But Mary's first love was the stage. She had wanted to become an actress ever since, at the age of 13, she saw Barbra Streisand in the movie "Funny Girl." "My mom would keep saying during my productions, 'She was supposed to be a classical violinist,'" said Mary Murfitt, 42, in a phone interview from her Brooklyn, N.Y., home. "I know she was a little disturbed by my theater interest. She wanted me to sing and act and play violin at the same time, but I didn't think it could be done. She died before she found out she was right." Murfitt has done all three — sang, acted and played violin — in off-Broadway productions for the past few years. She does it again in her own show, "Cowgirls." She produced and wrote the music and lyrics for "Cowgirls," which has been playing for six months — what is considered a long run — at the Minetta Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village. "I remember being blown away, thinking 'Oh my God, they like it It was like Sally Field all night long" Mary Murfitt native Kansan, talking about the first performance of her play "Cowgirls" The show has received good reviews in The New York Times, The New Yorker and Tune. Murfitt's former professor, Dennis Denning of Salina, who taught at Marymount College for 31 years before it closed in 1989, remembers his former students as "a bright gal and a pretty good actress," but he never thought she would write and produce her own show. Murfitt graduated from the college in 1976. "To get to do your own show in New York is a million-to-one shot," Denning said. "To have it be successful is even harder. I would love to bring it back to Salina. You know, bring back Lindsborg's little girl." New York, New York "Cowgirls" offends Murfitt at times. She admits that some of the script, written by Betsy Howe, can strike a nerve with its Kansas stereotypes. But in the end, the characters are strong, savvy and independent women who make the best of a difficult situation, she said. The play centers on the owner of a struggling bar who books a group that she thinks is the Cowgirl Trio. But the equally struggling Coghill Trio, a stuffy, Beethoven-playing, country-music-hating group shows up at her door. The bar owner has 24 hours to teach the group how to play country music or face a bad weekend. The play takes place in Rexford, a tiny Thomas County town down the road from Colby. The town's claim to fame — in Murfitt's play — is that it has the world's largest ball of twine. Um, Mary, don't you mean Cawker City? "I know, I know. I'm going to get in big trouble," she said in a whisper. "Please don't even put that in the paper." The cast features six women and no men. Murfitt thinks that's one of the play's charms. "Some guys get mad because we're not talking about them," she said. "But most guys really dig it because we're offering them a chance to find out what women really talk about when they're not around." After graduating from Marymount, Murfitt performed in plays in Topeka, Kansas City and Salina for two years. In 1978, she moved to New York. Since then, she has returned to Kansas only "to visit and bury people." She auditioned for plays and did word processing for lawyers in between shows before meeting a man and moving to New Jersey. See MURFITT, Page D2 ALASKA *** NQWPMHNGJNS&m SUNSET RATED PG Rousing outdoor adventure as two young teen-agers (Thora Birch and Vincent Karthelser) travel by kayak, canoe and. foot through th9 Alaskan wilderness, to save their dad (Dirk Benedict), a downed bush pilot, A polar bear pub Is their guide. Danger and comic relief come from Charlton Heston as an evil game poacher, The landscape photography is wonderful, Kids up to a certain age will love the movie. EXTREME MEASURES *** RATEPR An uncommonly intelligent thriller (hat raises a difficult moral question: Is It right to sacrifice some lives in order to save many others? Hwgh ©rant plays a New Yoitk emergency room physician who grows obsessed with a patient whose body seems to disappear from the hospital, Gene Hackman Is the brilliant medical researcher who may be the key to the missing .corpse. Sarah Jessica Parker is the nurse who seems to be Qrjnt's only friend, and director Michael Apted brings everything down to a final debate In which the hero and the ;» FIRST KID RATED PG who is going through a troubled early adolescence. The kid acts as if he's stuck on himself, but secretly he's shy and lonely. After some initial problems, Sinbad becomes his buddy. The movie is filled with slapstick and predictable jokes. The kids in the preview audience seemed to enjoy it, despite the commendable fact that it generally avoids bathroom humor and age-inappropriate gags about children's sexuality. FIRST WIVES CLUB ** CENTRAL RATED PG Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton star in a revenge comedy about three wives who are dumped for younger women, and get even, Some well-targeted dialogue (especially by Hawn, as a movie star who fears her looks are fading), but the movie shifts uneasily from the heartfelt to the slapstick. The film feels strung together despite the awkward attempt to connect the scenes throughout Keaton's narration. • FlY AWAY HOME ***H CENTRAL RATED PG A wonderful family film, starring Oscar winner Anna Pagujn as Amy, a 13-year-oM girl who goes to live with her nutty <jad (Jeff Djnjels), who builds ultralight aircraft. She rescues some ', and A^arrnlng INDEPENDENCE DAY * * CENTRAL RATED PG-13 "independence Day" is a curiously old-fashioned sci-fi adventure, the heir to those 1950s flying saucer movies with deadly ray beams and octopus men. Bill Pullman stars as the president, leading Earth's defense against annihilation; Jeff Qoldblum is a computer whiz, Will Smith is a fighter ace, and there are lots of other colorful stock types in a clunky story that ends in a highly unlikely defense plan, • LAST MAN STANDING * MID-STATE RATEPR Bruce Willis stars as a gunfighting stranger who arrive? in a Texas town during Prohibition end pauses trouble between . sad and lonely, and not even Christopher Walken, villain, can awaken it •TIN CUP Mip-$TATE RATED R (ReneRusso)whois< Johnson). The main line oHhf plot W _ enters the U.S. Open, but the mavis has i SUGGESTIONS? CALL JIM HAAG, ENCORE! EpITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363

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