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October 29, 1982 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-10-29
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By Susan Makuch
The Rake's Progress
School of Music
Power Center
November 4-7
HAVE nothing to teach, I have
have nothing to say," professes
Robert Altman. Little does he know
that people all over the university are
learning a great deal from everything
he says and does.
Rober4 Altman, the famed director of
such films as M*A*S*H, Nashville, 3
Women, and Popeye, who has been on
our campus since September, is here to
direct the School of Music's production
of The Rake's Progress. He is also
working as Marsh Professor in the
Communications department.
"I was invited by Dean Boylan and
Gustav Meier. . . they came and asked
me, for some reason, if I'd direct The
Rake's Progress. I've never done opera
before and I was flattered, but I'd never
dream that I'd do it," Altman explains.
"I talked to them and flirted with it for
a while, but then decided that I just
couldn't do it. I couldn't take the time
out of my schedule, I couldn't afford it.
. . I wasn't gonna do it-we just didn't
see how we could pull it off in the time
we had," he says.
So, there were numerous excuses
Altman could have used to stay away
from the opera venture. "Then I got
this idea for a concept and I got excited
about it," he reveals. "You couldn't
have kept me from doing it after that,"
he says enthusiastically.
Altman claims to have taken liberties
with the staging of The Rake's
Progress, which he thinks is "quite
marvelous. I think it'll make it attrac-
tive and entertaining to people who are

afraid of opera." Just what those liber-
ties are, he's not saying."You'll have to
come and see for yourself," he advises.
All has not gone smoothly since Alt-
man's arrival, however. "We've had
problems, but we've solved them," he
says. One of the difficulties came from
the jealousy between the differing
departments in the University. Altman
was invited here through the School of
Music, which seems to have upset the
Theatre and Drama department.
"The Theatre School has not been
very cooperative and I think they
should have been. I think they should
have been involved in this," he
adamantly conveys. "We did get the
Art School into it, which nobody at the
University had planned on," he reveals.
The art students are basically working
on sets and prop designs. "They've
been a great help-and it's great for
them because they get a chance to work
in the theater, which they normally
would not get a chance to do over
there," Altman adds. "I wish there
were even more students involved. It's
such an educational experience," he
The enthusiasm Altman brings to this
current project is typical of his passion
for any artistic endeavor, no matter
what it may be. After television, film,
theater, and now opera, he's con-
sidering a proposition to do a light show
at the 100th anniversary of the Brooklyn
Bridge. "That's just art," he says, "I'll
think very seriously about doing it."
Altman is diverse in his own ap-
proach to his work. "Anything I have to
say is in my work," he reveals. He also
mentions that he's come up with story
ideas in every possible way. "I've writ-
ten my own original scripts; I've done
adaptations; I've taken other writers'
(work); other books . , . I've changed
things, I've collaborated, I've done it
(gotten stories) in every way you can
think of," he explains.
Altman has even adapted one of his
dreams into a critically-acclaimed
motion pictue. "I dreamed I was doing
a movie called 3 Women with Shelley
Divall and Sissy Spacek and that it took
place in a desert. It was about a per-
sonality theft," he remembers. He
wrote the script from that dream.
Although most of Altman's tales are in-

fashioned hoop dresses, flapper,
costumes, Dracula capes, zoot suits,
and arab dress are pretty popular too.
You can also get complete theatrical
make-up at Lucky's.
If your costume is really good, you
might be able to do some trick or
treating or at least enter one of the
many costume contests being held.
A "REAL COOL" TIP- you'll have
more fun and be more convincing if you
act like whatever you're dressed as, be
it pseudo-punk, gorilla, Dracula, or in
The streets around Central Campus
are going to be a showcase Sunday
night. Many people just walk around.
If you can't find anything else, here's
a day-by-day listing of what you might
want to do:
FRIDAY is the beginning of all the
homecoming stuff, so most of the em-
phasis is going to be on that, but it does
mark the beginning of some of the
weekend-long Halloween-type goings-
Bennigan's Tavern (575 Briarwood
Circle) would be right for a bigtime
restaurant meal with a Halloween
motif. Magician Hank Morehouse will
be traveling from table to table with
sleight of hand chicanery.
The happening closest to the original
idea of Halloween will be at the Canter-
bury Loft (332 S. State) Friday through
Sunday. Music/dance group Nada is
going to be delving into concert-based
pagan rituals and goddess worship
rites, called "Dreaming in the Dark,"
to show what "Halloween meant to
people living in nature." Shows begin at
8 p.m.
Nada directs a workshop at the Loft
at 2 p.m. Sunday. Movement, rituals,
chanting and instruments will be in-
SATURDAY's main event is Iggy Pop
at the Michigan Theatre. It's Iggy's
15th anniversary since he and the
Stooges first performed their debut
show in Ann Arbor. Iggy's always
great, and the stage show will probably
rival the belladonna-crazed dancing of
a witches' Sabat. A true ghoul, Nash the

Slash, a one-man band who performs in
invisible man face wrappings best-
known for his "Dead Man's Curve" on
Cut-Throat records, is the warm-up.
Excellent choice for a Halloween con-
cert. There's a costume contest, and
maybe The Ig will do some of the "un-
speakable rites" that everyone's so
concerned with.
After Iggy, or instead of if you
couldn't get tickets, Stolen Legacy is at
the Mile High Club. That place should
be a real fun time.
If you can get out to Arborland
there's the Great American Tradition
of x the Jaycee Haunted House
somewhere out there.
Big social event of this season so far
is the Homecoming Masquerade Ball at
the Union. It's in the Michigan
Ballroom and there's a cash bar.
There's a two-dollar cover. It starts at 9
p.m. Astralight, a top-40 band with the
benefit of a saxophone and a little funk,
provides music. Since it's homecoming
some alumni might show up.
"Costumes are guaranteed to be
SUNDAY, the Ballroom at the Union
gets turned over to the Cult Heroes, The
Pulsations, and Batteur Attaque for a
big benefit Halloween Costume Ball
that says Proposal D isn't dumb. It
costs $3.50 to get in, and there's a cash
bar for drinks. All ages are welcome.
It'll be simulcast on WCBN.
Proposal D is on the ballot to keep
utility companies from making
automatic rate increases. No matter
what your politics, it should be a real
fun time. There's a costume contest too.
Security will probably be heavy, as the
Ballroom is a fairly nice place and
could get damaged easily.
The rest of Sunday night either goes
on privately or in the bars. Rick's has
SLK and drink specials, decorations,
but no costume contest. Second Chance
has a costume contest and no band, but
dj party. Sunday night, which if you've
forgotten, is the real Halloween, is
mainly a'do-it-yourself night.
But if you want to be passive, there's
all kinds of special horror movie
features going on this weekend.


Altman: Stage director
triguing and fascinating, he insists he
doesn't deal in stories. "I deal mostly in
arena-in subject. I don't much care
about who did it or whatever," he ad-
Altman is very protective of his work.
It seems that art is always his primary
concern, with the commercial aspects
only a secondary regard. That is why he
is never worried about the MPAA
ratings of his films-even though a PG
label can mean millions more at the box
office. "I will never hold back on
material just to get a certain rating. I
don't believe in ratings, I don't believe
in censorship. I make a movie the way I
want to make it-the rest (ratings) is
their problem," Altman states
Altman relates a story about his film
Nashville that illustrates his convic-
tions. "There was one scene-it didn't
mean a thing to me-where she's get-

ting out of bed and calls her husband a
fucker. You can barely hear it and it
doesn't mean a thing...if she'd said jerk
or anything it wouldn't have made a bit
of difference to me. So when it was
finished they (the studio) said to me,
'Well, there's that one word in there, if
you take it out you could have a PG
rating ... They said,'You have to take
it out.' I said, 'I'm not takingit out.' It's
their job to see the film and rate it, but
not to tell me to take something out.
They said, 'Well, does it mean
anything?' I said, 'It doesn't mean a
thing.' They said, 'Why don't you take it
out then?' I said, 'Because you're
telling me to.' " He goes on to say that,
"I wouldn't do it (edit the word), and it
probably cost us a lot of money.
Paramount tried to force me to take it
out because they were releasing it (the
movie). I just said, 'You can't do it.'''
This undaunting faith in what he
believes important characterizes all
that is Robert Altman. For a man that
follows his artistic instincts more
closely than his monetary desires, he
has succeeded quite well financially.
M*A*S*H is one of the all-time top-
grossing films, and he owns all the
rights to his new movie, Come Back to
the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jim-
my Dean. "This is the first film that
I've owned and controlled and nobody's
gonna cut anything. If it goes to a net-
work sale and they want (a word)cut
out, I'm just gonna say there's no net-
work sale," Altman says. "The film
only cost $800,000 and the people have
already got their money back guaran-
teed, so I control it. I'm not cutting
anything," he reiterates.
Altman feels the same kind of ad-
miration for The Rake's Progress as he
does for all of his projects. "I'm
arrogantly pleased with all my work,"
he admits. "I think what I'm doing here
might be the best work I've ever done.. .
I'm really thrilled with it."
With all of Altman's perseverance
and talent being channeled into a
University of Michigan production, this
campus has more than enough reason
to be thrilled with Robert Altman. I


Make Waves: Find three people among the masks

Thursday, October 28, 1982
8:00 p.m.-PRO-BAR NIGHT
Friday, October 29, 1982

1 $2


0 p.m.-OAK RIDGE BOYS CONCERT __Saturday,
0 p.m.-LIVE-LY FRIDAYS October 30, 1982
9:00 a.m.-GO BLUE RUN
10:00 a.m.-MUD BOWL
9:30 p.m.-... in THE CLUB
HOMECOMING 1982 is sponsored by University Activities Center, Miller
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A m

crewing compony, WiWf$, Vomino s Pizzo.

1 Weekend/October 29, 1982

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