The Michigan Daily
Friday, November 16, 1984
Tony Bird flies:
By Joe Kraus
In his Tuesday night performance at
The Ark, Tony Bird proved one thing
for sure: he is a paradox.
He takes contradictory elements and
weaves them together to make
them something more than their parts.
Now if you think you know what that
means, you're worse off than ILam.
His songs are filled with beautiful
images of his South African home but at
the same time hold onto the specter of
Apartheid that casts a shadow across
his jungle paradise.
In one example, he introduced the
song "Cape of Flowers", about a beach
he knew as a child, by saying, ". . . a
song that describes the tremendous
beauty of the cape area ... but in a
land of legalized racism, it's really
hard to relax and emjoy it."
His voice shows the same strange
mixture of beauty and darkness.
Almost impossible to describe, his
singing voice sounds nothing like his
fluid English accentuated speaking
voice. It seems, if possible, a sweet
blues voice-Cat Steven's with vinegar
added-but his varied phrasings
(calypso/blues/folk) made it even
Well aware of the peculiarity of his
voice, he remarked after his first song,
"If that was the first time for you, I
hope it wasn't too much of a shock."
Later, after singing the refrain to
"Mango Time", a song that repeated
the same lines differently, he quipped,
"It's amazing what you can get away
with when you have a weird voice, isn't
" " "
THIS ENTIRE AD GOOD FOR
TWO TICKETS AT $3.00 EACH
* Alan Bird is getting
* nothing he wants this Christmas
* From Bill Forsyth, the Director/
" Writer of "Local Hero" and "Gregory's Girl'
FRI. 1:00, 7:00, 9:00,11 PM.
" SAT. 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, 9:00, 11 P.M
" SUN. 1:00, 3:00, 5:0 7:00, 9:00
:my Award Winner Giorgio Moroder
its Fritz Lang's classic vision of the
now beautifully restored and with a
nporary music score.
Songs Preformed by
Pat Benatar " Billy Squier
Adam Ant " Lover Boy & More!
FRI. 1:00, 7:20, 9:20, 11:15 P.M.
SAT. 1:20, 3:20, 5:20, 7:20, 9:20, 11:15 P.M.
SUN. 1:20, 3:20, 5:20, 7:20, 9:20
His stage personality fluctuated from
seeming to be totally at ease between
songs to a nervous intentsity when
singing. On one song in particular,
"Athalon Incident", about walking in a
black section of the city, his face grew
red almost to purple and his ex-
pressions seemed to etch themselves
across his forehead as he leaned over
the edge of the Ark's stage.
Although billed as a topical singer-
songwriter when he recorded for
Columbia Records in the mid 70s, his
music is more lyrical than protest-
oriented. He paints a picutre of his
world-usually a world of beauty-an-
d then only hints at the darkness out-
Unfortunately his show was under at-
tended. No more than 40 people showed
up, and in the Ark's new larger room,
his performance took on more the
aspect of a traditional stage show than
the come-on-into-the-living-room feel
that made shows at the the old Ark, or
perhaps at a fuller new Ark, charac-
The small crowd was particularly un-
fortunate taking into consideration
Bird's recording history. Although
Columbia pushed him as the next big
singer-songwriter of the '70s (timed
unluckily simultaneous to Saturday
Night Fever), he claims they didn't
promote him sufficiently and his com-
merical success never materialized.
His last album, Tony Bird of Paradise,
was released in 1978, and since he has
written a sizeable number of new songs,
the only way to catch him is to see him
But no matter the crowd, Bird gave
the show his all. Playing two sets of
about an hour each, he came back for
an encore even though he had virtually
lost his voice.
Throughout the show he encouraged
the audience to sing along, hum along,
or even to make the noises of the
animals in the African bush, and - in
spite of having more empty seats than
full - he got them going with him.
Appropriately he closed with "The
First Fall Snow", a song that showed
his at his very best, mixing beauty and
darkness into a compelling result.
Although he was quite hoarse by the
time, he got what was left of the
audience to join him in the chorus:
'Twas the first fall of snow/Lying
white on the ground/Shining so
brightly as it lay all around/The fir-
st fall of snow/Softly kissing the
Earth/Come all and rejoice/Let us
join the rebirth.
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operetta at Mend
MANN ARBOR EXTRA SHOWS FRI. & SAT. NIGHT - REGULAR PRICE.
The Ann Arbor Film Cooperative will present the local premiere of "When The Mountains Tremble," which explores
the civil war in Guatemala that has caused so many to flee their homeland. The film will be shown at 7 and 9:30 p.m. in
Auditorium A of Angell Hall. A panel discussion about the current situation in Guatemala will be held following the first
PTP presents Strauss
By Ted Moncreiff
Johann Strauss' masterpiece Die
Fledermaus (The Bat), which will be
performed by the Professional Theatre
Program and the University Orchestra
tonight, tomorrow and Sunday, at the
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, promises
to be one of this season's most delight-
This Viennese operetta, conducted by
Gustov Meier and directed by David
Morelock, is a festive production which
allows its audience a brief intermission
from reality. Die Fledermaus is an
The Guide to
the One Thing
Dares to Admit!
operetta, the forerunner to our modern
musical, concerning infidelity, revenge
and, above all else, champagne. Con-
fusion, mistaken identities and a little
bit of slapstick make this a very funny,
light-hearted and entertaining produc-
The original production of Die
Fledermaus has been adapted slightly
in order to accommodate the rather
small stage 'of the Mendelssohn
Theatre, said Robert Libcke, general
manager of Die Fledermaus. The
Viennese operetta, traditionally a lavish
production, has been scaled down to
some extent to meet the confines of the
stage. Nevertheless, the cast and crew
of Die Fledermaus have done a fan-
tastic job of creating a sense of the
lavishness of the original production
through both the sets and the fabulous
Tuesday night's dress rehearsal in-
volved mainly fine tuning the or-
chestra, although some refining was
done on the performance itself.
There will be two casts alternating
each performance, and those present
Tuesday night seemed to believe that
each cast has its strong points and th
each performance was going to be su
With the final bugs worked out, Die
Fledermaus' opening night does indeed
seem destined to success. With a fine
cast, and the festivity of the sets and
costumes, as well as the enthusiasm of
the performance itself, Die Fledermaus
is one show you will not want to miss
AT 11:00 P.M.
"COMFORT AND JOY" (PG)
" 0 0 0 " " " " 0 " 0 0 0
AT 11:15 P.M.
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reshly released, this ground-
reaking report blows the lid off a
:zen explosive issues: the history,
iology, lore and legend, acoustics
nd ballistics, jokes and limericks,
raffiti and games, etiquette and
nvironmental impact of the biggest
>cial "no-no" you can pull.
nzcIudes hilarious and abso-
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The "Swamp Gas Factor"
What Ben Franklin said about it
The incredible Frenchman who
played tunes doing it
How Hitler and Stalin were
famous for it
immortal words from world
literature on it
wam~c" iln~htr~ lic
Eastern Michigan University
Office of Campus Life
LIVE IN CONCERT!
Sunday, November 18, 1984
Bowen Field House
Tickets $1 0.00 reserved, $8.00 general admission.
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