The Michigan Daily
Wednesday, December 7, 1983
'Godspell' hopesto cast a charm
By Julie Edelson
THE TEACHING of biblical stories
through vaudeville sketches, pan-
tomime, song, and danceis the subject
of Godspell, this year's Soph Show.
Soph Show, sponsored by the Univer-
sity Activity Center (UAC), is a produc-
tion which involves primarily freshper-
sons and sophomores who are in-
terested in participating in musical
theater. The show is produced by
sophomore Debbie Kotick, and directed
by Gary Garrison, a graduate student
Kotick selected Godspell because it is
a show that can utilize the ages of the
people that are involved. Garrison said
that in previous soph shows, "using 18-
year-olds to play 40-year-olds destroyed
the illusion of reality."
The cast of 15 have majors that range
from English to engineering. At their
audition, they were asked to do
someting that would make their
audition memorable. This ranged from
such outrageous stunts as cartwheels
and skate-boarding to tap dancing
while singing arias. "I chose them on
the basis of an honest approach," said
Kotick said, "We wanted a mixture of
people, and we got a unique group from
very different backgrounds."
Godspell is an ensemble show, and in
addition to rehearsing, cast members
have helped build the set. They also
made all of their own costumes.
Garrison said that he intends to
present some unique aspects to this
production. The play, which is usually
set on a cyclone fence, will instead be
set inside of a school, with Christ being
the teacher. "It's a much more prac-
tical (versus emotional) approach,"
Kotick stressed the fact that Godspell
is not a religious show. "It's a happy
show, and we want to make people feel
good. It's a show celebrating life."
Godspell will be performed at the
Mendelssohn Theater on December 8
and 10 at 8 p.m. and on December 9 at 10
p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be pur-
chased at all CTC outlets: Group rates
Ensemble provides brilliant Bach
--READ THE DAILY
By Anne Valdespino
T HE CHRISTMAS SEASON invariably
means huge productions of Han-
del's Messiah, but in the case of J. S.
Bach, the Early Music Ensemble
proved Monday night that smaller is
better. 18 singers and an 11
piece orchestra hosted an all-Bach con-
cert featuring his Cantatas 122 and 39,
Kyrie and Concerto in D minor.
The selections for chorus had a won-
derfully transparent quality. In-
dividual parts were clearly audible
during the fugal sections of the Cantata
39, and then the singers blended for a
fuller sound during the closing chorale.
The chorus was meticulously
prepared by director Edward Parmen-
tier. Entrances were solid and their
pronunciation of the German texts was
crystalline. Rhythmic and dynamic
discipline was made possible by some
marvelous echo effects in the opening
chorus of the Cantata 122, Das
The ;sound of the full ensemble was
enhanced by the rich coloration of
Baroque oboes played by Stephen
Caplan and Martha Stokely. This
sonority was particularly appropriate
to the Kyrie; they sustained a distinct
yet unobtrusive tone that illuminated
the chorale melody on which the piece
Vocal soloists were accompanied by
the tasteful improvisations of har-
psichordists Brad Brookshire, Ron Fox,
Vivian Montgomery and Sam Wiersma.
Sterling Slosek on Bass, rendered ex-
pressive declamation in recitatives.
Virginia Smith proved her soprano
voice well-suited to Bach's arias; her
bright glorious sound and masterful
breath control matched the phrasing
and articulation of the wind players.
The highlight of the evening was Bar-
bara Weiss' fiery performance of
Bach's Harpsichord Concerto in D
minor. Her powerful technique enabled
her to create accents by quickly
grasping full chords or flipping triplet
figures from her fingertips. Weiss' en-
durance was astounding; repeated
notes remained crisp throughout and
extended trills were executed efor-
tlessly. She also made full use of the in-
strument employing loud and soft con-
trasts in the Allegro movements and
magical silvery sounds in the Adagio.
Her rhythmic verve and technical
prowess completely captivated the
audience that brought her back for 3
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Cyclones - 'Out in the Cold'
Something's catchy, and it sure ain't
the flu! 'Stead, it's the Cyclones' four-
song EP, Out in the Cold, on Plexus
Records, also home of the Individuals.
Fronted by Donna Esposito, who not
only sings and plays guitar, but also
writes all the material, this New York
trio plays in a jazzy-pop-rock vein.
Esposito's voice is breathy and fragile
sounding, but flexible enough to lend
each song its proper mood. "Face To
Face" is dreamily eerie, with
cascading guitar figures and smooth
skiffle-style drumming from Dan
Reich. In "Catch-22," however,
Esposito attains a know-it-allness to her
voice that borders on cool, but never
sounds forced. Same is true for "Too
Young To Know." The last cut, "I'm In
Heaven," is a straight-forward rocker
with a killer refrain that'll be ringing in
your head for weeks to come (maybe
Production is by Mark Abel (the
Bongos), and suitably cear, favoring
balance over beat. Whenever an album
is done, it'll be well-worth searching
out. But don't wait! Pick up Out in the
Cold and help combat musical frostbite.
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