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November 08, 2007 - Image 60

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2007-11-08

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Arts & Entertainment

Mozart's Librettist

Michigan Opera Theatre presents The
Marriage of Figaro 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov.
10; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11; 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 14; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov.
16; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17; and 2:30
p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, at the Detroit Opera
House. The romantic comedy in two acts
involves a parade of mistaken identities
and infidelities.
Figaro was the first of three col-
laborations between composer Mozart
and Italian librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte
(1749-1838); they went on to create Don
Giovanni and Cosi fan tutte.
Born Emanuele Conegliano in the
Jewish slums outside Venice, Da Ponte's
family sought acceptance in Venetian
society by converting to Catholicism and
educating the rechristened Lorenzo (he'd
had a bar mitzvah) at seminaries, where
he would become a priest.
But temptation sidetracked him, and Da
Ponte was soon following in the footsteps
of his good friend Casanova. He took
refuge in Vienna and ingratiated himself
with the court of Joseph II — through
the intervention of the imperial composer
A new biography by Rodney Bolt,
The Librettist of Venice (Bloomsbury;
$29.95), follows Da Ponte across Europe,
through revolution and disgrace, to land
in America, where he reinvented himself

in turn as a green-
grocer, bookseller,
impresario for Italian
opera and Columbia
University's first pro-
fessor of Italian.
Tickets for The
Marriage of Figaro
are $28-$120. (313)
237-7464 or www.
IvlichiganOpera.org .


For Dino-philes

If you want to experience what it was like
when dinosaurs walked and ruled the
earth, the closest you'll probably ever get
is Walking With Dinosaurs — The Live
Experience. An arena show hatched in
Australia, it is now touring North America
and makes a stop at Detroit's Cobo Arena
7 p.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Thursday, 7 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m., 3 and 7
p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14-
18. Newly added performances are 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 23, and 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday,
Nov. 24.
Fifteen roaring, snarling, "live" dino-
saurs comprising 10 species are repre-
sented in the carefully crafted spectacle,
from the entire 200 million-year reign of
the dinosaurs. The largest of them, the
Brachiosaurus, is 45 feet tall and 75 feet
from nose to tail.
"The dinosaurs are stunning, life-size

and faultlessly nimble
said Variety. "In Act I,
the beasts parade into
the arena gnashing and
cavorting as a paleon-
tologist describes their
attributes. In the second
half, the action cranks
up, culminating in a
spectacular clash as a
T-Rex morn defends her
babies from predators:'
Tickets are $38.50, $48.50, $58.50 and
$72.50. Information: (313) 471-6611; tick-
ets: (248) 645-6666.

Going Native

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries,
a "myth was promoted by some Christian
missionaries that Native American were
remnants of the Lost Tribes of Israel,"
writes Jon Entine in his book Abraham's
Children: Race, Identity and the DNA of the
Chosen People (Grand Central Publishing;
$27.99). "One Indian trader noted 23 dubi-
ous parallels between Indian and Jewish
Entine, who appears 9:30 a.m. Friday,
Nov. 16, at the Jewish Community
Center's Jewish Book Fair in West
Bloomfield, goes on to say: "Geneticists
have now weighed in on the controversy
over whether Native Indians are indeed
descendants of ancient Semites. DNA

samples taken from tribes in South,
Central and North America have shown
that their principal ancestors were from
northeast Asia, not the Middle East."
Nevertheless, the culture of Native
Americans — the first Americans — is
endlessly fascinating in its own right.
According to the 2000 census, Michigan
has the 10th highest Native American pop-
ulation in the U.S. (fourth highest east of
the Mississippi), with more than 122,000
American Indians and Alaskan Natives
and 12 federally recognized tribes.
At the 15th annual Native American
Festival and Pow Wow, Native Americans
representing the People of the Three
Fires will gather to celebrate the cus-
toms and culture of the indigenous
Michigan Indians — Ottawa, Ojibwe
and Potawatomi — from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday and from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday,
Nov. 10-11, at the Southfield Pavilion,
located within the Southfield Civic Center
at 26000 Evergreen Road.
Attendees will have the opportunity
to observe a mini pow wow and Native
American drumming and dance, see the
world's largest moccasins, peruse and
purchase unique wares and taste the
autumn bounty. Children ages 3-12 will
receive a take-home Native American
craft project.
Tickets are $7.50 per person (2 and
under free). Free parking. (248) 398-3400
or www.MetroParentEvents.com.

FYI: For Arts related events that you wish to have considered for Out & About, please send the item, with a detailed description of the event, times, dates, place, ticket prices and publishable phone number, to: Gail Zimmerman, JN Out &
About, The Jewish News, 29200 Northwestern Highway, Suite 110, Southfield, MI 48034; fax us at (248) 304-8885; or e-mail to gzimmerman@thejewishnews.com . Notice must be received at least three weeks before the scheduled event.
Photos are appreciated but cannot be returned. All events and dates listed in the Out & About column are subject to change.

Nate Bloom
Special to the Jewish News

Film Notes

American Gangster, which opened
last week, is a thriller based on a
real story. In the early '70s, Harlem-
based gangster Frank Lucas (Denzel

„0 ger"




Richie Roberts and Russell Crowe

Washington) emerged as a heroin
kingpin. A clever and soft-spoken
man, he managed to outmaneuver
the Mafia and to buy protection
from corrupt New York City police
officers and politicians.
Richie Roberts, a real-life Jewish
detective working out of a New
Jersey prosecutor's office, gradually
became aware of Lucas and deter-


November 8 • 2007


mined to "take him down." Russell
Crowe plays Roberts.
The real-life Roberts is a tough
ex-Marine and also a lawyer. In a
recent interview, he said he liked
the movie and Crowe's performance.
The film's research department
asked him what jewelry he wore
when he was a detective. He replied,
"Just a Star of David." So, when you
see the movie and Crowe wearing
a Star of David, you know it's an
authentic touch.
Director Sidney Lumet, 83, made
an auspicious debut as a film direc-
tor in 1957 when he helmed the
classic courtroom drama Twelve
Angry Men (the stage version is now
playing at Detroit's Fisher Theatre).
He's had a stellar career in the half-
century since as the director of 44
films, including Dog Day Afternoon,
Network and The Verdict. The four-
time Oscar nominee for best direc-
tor received an honorary Oscar in

Lumet's new film, Before the Devil
Knows You're Dead, opening Friday,
Nov. 9, is a complicated family story
and a thriller about the robbery of
a jewelry store. The cast includes
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Albert
Finney, Ethan Hawke and Amy Ryan.
The title comes from an old Irish
toast: "May you be in heaven half an
hour before the devil knows you're
Opening Nov.16, from filmmakers
and brothers Ethan and Joel Coen,
is No Country for Old Men. Tommy
Lee Jones plays a hunter on the
Mexican border; he triggers a series
of violent events after he decides to
keep the heroin and the $2 million in
cash he finds among a pile of dead
men. Josh Brolin co-stars.

Special Appearances

Comedian Billy Crystal, 59, and
British Jewish pop sensation Amy

Winehouse, 24, will
make special TV
appearances this
coming week.
Crystal was hon-
ored last month as
the 10th recipient
of the Kennedy
Center's prestigious
Mark Twain Prize for
American Humor. A
broadcast of the celebration will be
aired on most PBS stations 9-10:30
p.m. Monday, Nov.12. It includes
many film clips and tributes from
lots of celebrities, including Rob
Reiner, Jon Lovitz and Barbara
Winehouse is scheduled to be the
musical guest on Saturday Night Live
on Nov.10.
She canceled the same gig in
October, suffering from one of her
many well-publicized bouts with drug
and alcohol abuse. n

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