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December 29, 1989 - Image 79

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-12-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ENTERTAINMENT

I

GOING PLACES

WEEK OF
DEC.29-JAN.4

SPECIAL EVENTS

Now: At 25, Sipher is
working on his third full-
length musical, an
adaptation of a Martin
Scorsese film.

GREENFIELD
VILLAGE
"Power in Motion,"
through January; "Fifty
Years of TV," through
Jan. 2, admission,
271-1620.

COMEDY

MOUNTAIN JACKS
24275 Sinacola Ct.,
Farmington Hills, The
Ron Coden Show, through
Dec. 31, free, 476-5333.

THEATER

A Cammack!! Sum

Former
Detroiter
Devan Sipher
is no longer
practicing
the piano;
he's in New
York writing
musicals.

I

t has been more than 12
years since the young
teen Jonathan deceived
his mother, who thought he
was practicing the piano
when he was. really outside
playing football.
That was the long-running
Highland Appliance com-
mercial filmed in 1977. In
the commercial, Jonathan
performed Beethoven's. "Fur
Elise," recorded it, played it
back and, lugging a football,
climbed out the family room
window.
Seconds later, the tele-
phone rang. His mother, in
the kitchen listening to the
recording of her son's piano

playing, picked it up and an-
swered, "No, Jonathan can't
come out to play right now.
He's practicing the piano."
Today, his mother is no
longer deceived; she's proud,
because Jonathan, 25-year-
old Devan Sipher who grew
up in Southfield, is making a
name for himself writing
musicals in New York.
The Big Highland Audi-
tion: "As far as I was con-
cerned, the audition was a
disaster," Sipher said. "I
barely could play the piano
in 1977. I was also too vain
to wear my glasses, so when
I went to play, I couldn't
even read the music. I kept

STEVE HARTZ

Special to The Jewish News

Then: At 13, Sipher played "Fur Elise" in the Highland
Appliance commercial.

messing up left and right,
and these businessmen and
commercial makers were
just cracking up, so I figured
great, I've lost one commer-
cial, I'll lose one more. At
least I'm comic relief."
Sipher was up against
hundreds of children, some
who were regularly working
and had nationally syn-
dicated commercial credits
to their names and others
who were piano prodigies
and played Beethoven sym-
phonies at the audition.
"There I was playing
`Evergreen,' which was a
popular song at the time,
with the trills all wrong," he
said.
But Sipher got the job and
was told to be at the sound
studio the next day — and
bring "Fur Elise."
"I didn't know `Fur Elise,'
so I had to buy the music and
had to literally learn it
overnight, teaching it to my-
self," he said.
The commercial was a
success and played — on and
off — throughout the late
1970s and all through the
1980s.
That would be it for Sipher
as far as making commer-
cials. He did get calls from
advertising agencies after
the Highland Appliance
commercial aired, but all
were disappointed when he

MEADOW BROOK
Oakland University,
Rochester, Dial M for
Murder, Jan. 4-28,
admission, 370-3300.
SOUTHFIELD
PERFORMING ARTS
Days Hotel, 17017 W.
Nine Mile, The
Fantasticks, through Dec.
30, I Do, I Do, Jan. 12-27,
admission, 557-4800.
BIRMINGHAM
211 S. Woodward, Oh
Kay., Dec. 3- through Feb.
4, admission, 644-3533.
DETROIT
REPERTORY
13103 Woodrow Wilson,
Detroit, Blood Relations,
through Dec. 31,
admission, 868-1347.
MARQUIS THEATER
135 E. Main, Northville,
Cinderella, through Dec.
30, admission, 349-8110.
SOMERSET
2801 W. Big Beaver, Troy,
Somerset Dinner Theater
at Sebastians, Fridays
and Saturdays, through
Dec. 31, admission,
643-6360.
WAYNE STATE
UNIVERSITY
Detroit, Hilberry Theater,
The Winter's Tale,
through Feb. 17,
admission, 577-2972.

NIGHT CLUBS

MIRAMAR
8635 Cooley Lake Road,
Union Lake, (formerly
Duffy's on the Lake),
James Greenway, Fridays
and Saturdays; Don
Nadel, Tuesdays,
Wednesdays and
Thursdays, through
December, free, 363-9469.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

591

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