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April 02, 1983 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-04-02

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ARTS

Ahe Michigan Daily

Saturday, April 2, 1983

Page 5

i

lompr--- 11 -- - - ---- - ---- ----------- . ... ..........

Ultravox rocks

By Jeffrey W. Manning
SO I WALKED into the Michigan
Theatre and it was dark, almost
*11. On the stage were four guys: The
Messengers. They started playing their
instruments. I sat in my seat and star-
ted tapping my foot. I really wanted to
dance to these guys because they
weren't your average get-off-the-stage-
and-let-the-real-band-play warmup
band; the lead singer thumbed a funky
bass. I didn't get up and dance because
everyone was sitting..
After the third song, a real tragedy
occurred. The drummer thumped his
*lectronic bass drum with too much
force and it broke. A divine comment on
the state of pop music? Possibly.
Anyway, soon the roadies fixed the
drum and the show went on.
A bit later, the lights dimmed a
second time and the Michigan
Theatre's large, red curtain raised to
reveal a huge chalk-white set on which
Ultravox began playing. Dry-ice fog
abounded and the audience cheered.
The first odd thing I noticed were two of
he Messengers singing back-up vocals
next to drummer Warren Cann.
Then there were the thick, bass

vibrations emanating from the three
synthesizers. Even my chair rattled. I
knew this would probably cause per-
manent ear damage, but at the time it
didn't bother me.
The band played a few songs from
Rage In Eden and then a couple from
Vienna, conciously avoiding the new
material. The large white set gave the
show a theatrical quality lacking in
most performances. Birthday boy Billy
Curie - the keyboardist and violinist -
was the group's showman. Midge Ure
(vocals) and Chris Cross (keys; no
relation to that California mellowist)
didn't oppress their presence (with one
exception: Mr. Cross tossed his bass
halfway across the stage after a song. I
felt sorry for the guitar, but it was a
smile for Cross).
Throughout all this, I was still
thinking about dancing - especially
withkthatbrutalizing bass. Andas I
thought, so it happened! Ure made a
comment about people dancing in the
aisles and seconds later, they were
packed with swaying hips. I stood up
and bopped.
Then they played "Vienna: " ecstasy.
I interviewed Warren Cann after the
show. As I made my way to a small in-
terrogation room, I heard Ultravox and

Wichigar
co. sing "Happy Birthday" to Curie. It
was a (not The) birthday party!
Some of the interview went like this:
Daily: How do you react to the
criticism that the idea of a synthesizer
is cold and sterile?
Cann: Some people don't like the idea
of the car...we tried to do parts of
'Vienna' with the London Philharmonic
(?) but we couldn't do it because there
was nothing that could reproduce or
even fulfill the same function as elec-
tronics do.
Daily: Your music varies with each
album; do you have any ideas for the
next album?
Cann.: -...(pregnant
pause)...something incredibly off the
wall....we don't stop on something and
go back to try to rework it. We have an
idea and carry it out. Only after do we
listen to it and decide: is it a single? is it
danceable?
Daily: Ultravox seems to be on the
verge of an American breakthrough, so
are you experiencing lots of corporate
pressures?
Cann: Yes, we have to fight
it...Visions in Blue' (latest U-vox
single) was a very calculated move on
the band's part.
Daily: What's your opinion of MTV?

Daily Photo by ELIZABETH SCOTT
Warren Cann of Ultravox exhales backstage at the Michigan Theatre Thursday night.

Cann: I think it's going to save the
North American music scene... MTV's
going to change all that...your Lynyrd
Skynerd, .38 Special is going to be wat-
ching MTV and see Duran Duran or
Ultravox and say 'Whuthefuckisthat-
shit?' but eventually the visuals will get
to his imagination. At least he'll be
watching what's going on even if he
doesn't know what the music's about -

he thinks he hates it - it'll chip away
all these videos because English bands
still make the best music. (Amen)
Cann has recently been working with
Han Zimmerman on a recording of syn-
thesized classical music, though a
release date has not been set. The North
Americanttour, which consists of
twelve dates before the band flies to
Japan, then possibly back to the states,
if there is a concert demand, or to the

desserts of the American Southwest,
where Cann told me he likes to go and
'shoot things'.
One of the last things he said to me in
answer to a question about politics and
pop, "I don't like it when a group in-
cludes a lot of personal politics in their
music. For me, my job is to play music
and make people dance." That's justr
what Ultravox did, so I guess it was a
good concert.

'Figaro'
Humor
.gets center
stage
By Lauris Kaldjian
I OVE AND DEATH, not to mention
taxes, are universally discussed
facts of life, and Woody Allen was not
*he first to realize this. Ever since Mon-
teverdi introduced the form of the
opera composers and librettists have
collaborated to produce musical drama
that revolves around such pertinent
themes.
At times when deathis temporarily
put aside, love, with its humorous'
caprices, takes center stage. Mozart's
comic opera The Marriage of Figaro is
a marvelous case in point, and on Thur-
sday night the members of the
ichigan Opera Theater gave an en-
joyable performance of this work which
invites the audience to laugh and par-
ticipate with conspirators and victims
alike.
The efforts of music director Johan
van der Merwe and stage director Jay
Lesenger resulted in a coordination of
music and drama that made sense and
communicated its message. Though not
recognized by the spotlights, those
responsible for the work done behind
the scenes (literally) deserve their due
appreciation for providing the
necessary clothing and shelter which
opera cannot do without.
The modest set fulfilled its purpose
and did not run the risk of detracting at-
tention from the performers. Though its
receeding linear design created stage
depth it also contributed to rigidity
caused by the absence of more
geometrical cariation. Nevertheless, it
highlighted its occupants so much the
*more, and was conducive to smooth set
changes and backdrop lifts.
Surpassing the set were the
costumes, whose appearance granted
additional credibility to the drama;
they were attractive and convincing.
The costumes and wigs of both har-
psichordist and conductor added a nice
touch without being pretentious.
The handsome costumes adorned a
worthy group of singers. Though
*double-casting the opera decreased in-
dividual rehearsal time, Thursday's
cast performed solidly and were well
matched.
Alan Brown splendidly played a
vengeful, befuddled Count. With
singing that naturally accompanied his
flexible dramatic ability, he expressed
moods in song that varied from the con-
founded to the resentful. An underlying
sense of wit served his vacillating
character ironically well.
" The Countess was played by Maryann
Lambrecht, who seemed to bear the
melancholy of her first aria throughout
the rest of the performance. Though her
voice was comparatively forceful, her
duet in Act III with Susanna was well-
balanced and pleasing.
Carla Connors' performance as
Susanna gave her opportunity to exhibit
spirited acting and a graceful voice.
She sang consistently with a beautiful
tone that soared lightly, but not thinly,

'Hair' lets some

By David Kopel
D ESPITE Jerry Falwell's best ef-
forts, neither Hair, nor Peace and
Love are nostalgic relics. The Musket's
version of Hair won't go down in theater
history as the most brilliant production
ever, but it will be remembered by its
audiences for quite a while. Only James
Watt could walk away from a show like
this without a song in his heart.
The major problem with Hair is that
it is set in the Power Center. Almost
none of the cast has the vocal power to
project to the back rows of the audien-
ce. As a result, words are sometimes
drowned out by the band, and the
audience misses the subtleties of the
soloist's voice.
When singing ensemble though, the
cast is unstoppable. Favorites such as
"I Got Life," "I Believe in Love," and
"Where Do I Go" bring out the spirit
that makes Hair a celebration of life.
The cast also explores the non-
celebratory side of life. As Berger's
unrequited lover, Katy Cavanaugh
displays a touching combination of
hope and hurt. A moment after she
makes love with Berger in a bed made
form a parachute, he tears up a shirt
she gave him. She sings "Easy to Be
Hard," and melts the hearts of the
Tribe and the audience.
Nafe Alick starts slowly as Claude. At
first, he doesn't seem to really believe
that he is "Aquarius, destined for

greatness - or madness !'"
day of his draft induction in
nears, his quiet despara
more intense, and unifies
act.
Unfortunately, Claude's
tribal leader Berger, relies
swagger and not enough
authority. Berger is a
irresponsible character; w
without charisma, he beco
cold and repellant.
Singing "Frank Mills" f
Angels boyfriend, Susan S
the vast Power Center, an(
self to be clearly the
strongest soloist.
While the Power Center
obstacle to the soloists,
many opportunities for
production crew to show of
The lighting is among the 1
bor has seen for a while
against a white back-drop
the band, a variety of lig
set psychedelic moods. An(
by a multitude of configur,
tors, the lighting always h

sunshine in
'But as the just right.
to the Army The 12-piece band is equally
tion grows good. From the chaos of "Walking in
the second Space," to the simple good vibes of
"Let the Sun Shine In," they propel the
best friend, show. An excellent sound system helps
too much on out too; one wishes that the soloists
on genuine used the available microphones more
selfish and often.
when played The music is not the only highlight of
mes merely the show. Among the audience's
favorite moments were Claude's con-
or her Hells frontations with his parents, Dionne's
mela fills up discussion, of her pregnancy with
d shows her- Apollo, and Claude's stroboscopic acid
3 evening's trip.
With a cast of 23, Hair demands
is a major imaginative choreography. Director
it provides Todd Edward uses the multi-level set
r the huge adroitly, presenting a diverse collection
ftshtent of stage pictures.
its talents. Despite a few week moments in the
b. Projected second act, Hair ends brightly. The
that covers Tribe singsa joyful "Let the Sun Shine
ting effects In," and the audience claps along. At
d challenged the curtain call, the audience instantly
ations of ac- rose to a standing ovation.
Hair continues at the Power Center
its eah one tonight at 8sand Sundavat 2.

Julia Pedigo (Cherubino) and Stephen Morschek (Figaro) in the School of
Music's production of Mozart's 'Marriage of Figaro'.

less her equal; the two performed im-
pressively together, reciprocating in
both song and character. Morscheck's
powerful voice could also be tender,
and his varied ability, both musical and
dramatic, rightfully allowed him "to
set the tempo and play the tune."
The amorous role of Cherubino was
played convincingly by Julia Pedigo.
She performed her masculine role with
alternating spunk and bashfulness
which was complete with shuffling feet
and lugubrious expressions that evoked
their due laughter.
Elizabeth Elvidge effectively por-
trayed a jealous and crass Marcellina.
Eventually, aside from unexpectedly
losing her derriere support, she also
lost her spite when her maternal
relationship to Figaro was revealed.
After a brisk overture the orchestra
supplied receptive accompaniment
throughout the opera. Though a few
sections verged on dragging, com-
ANN ARBOR
INDIVIDUAL THEATRES
5M Ave at Lberty 71700
$2.00 WED. SAT. SUN SHOWS
BEFORE 6 PM
5 ACADEMY
AWARD
NOMINATIONS
INCL ...
BEST ACTRESS
MERYL
STREEP
FRI MON - 6:50 9:40
SAT SUN- 1:10 3:55 6:50 9:40 (R)
A FUN ACTION
FILM IN THE
TRADITIONAL
HOLLYWOOD STYLE!

munication between the stage and the
pit was not strained. Exposed scoring in
the otherwise solid string section oc-
casionally revealed some intonational
uncertainties; after warming-up, the
principal winds played very well, with
sensitivity and lucid tones.
With most all University dramatic
productions there always exists the
inherent lack of age. In Shakespeare,
for an extteme example, it severely
strains the mind to imagine a per-
suasive King Lear in his twenties.
Despite this reality the Michigan Opera
Theater presented a Marriage of
Figaro that did not presume the
wisdom that only age breeds; instead
the performers fully exploited their
energies and successfully displayed the
fruits of their long-cultivated talents.

10:00
12:15
2:30
4:45
7:10
9:30

THIS IS A HELL OF A WAY
TO MAKE A LIVING.
Toots e
DUSTIN
HOF'FMAN
A COLUMBIAEE
PICTURES RELEASE

.'

SP-NG
BREAK

1:00
3:00
5:00
7:15
9:30
Fri. & Sat.

ti
1i

i

10:00 G
1:30 The
5:00 thet
8:30 PG
No$1 Tues.
or Discounts

ANDHI
Man of
Century.
COLUMBIA
ICTURES RELEASE

Savannah
Smiles

- 11:30
1:00
3:00
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7:15
9:30

PG

EE1

G 1982 EMBASSY PICTURES

10:00
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7:00
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L e s 1:00
of the (3:00
L0 7*/7R 5:00
7:15
PG 9:30

9:15
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12:15
2:30
5:00
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!MAX
DUGAN
RETURNS
CPJ~

The
Outsiders

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