Thursday, November 21, 1985
The Michigan Daily
3 shows open in theatrical bonanza
Cosi fan tutti - University
School of Music Opera Theatre
Mozart is all the rage these days. In
record stores across the country
people who would normally scoff at
the suggestion of purchasing,
(egad!) a classical music album can-
not seem to get enough of Mozart.
This new found interest is of course
due in no small part to the recent
popularity of the lavish movie
Amadeus, which has also caused
Ifashion houses to switch their style
from 20th century Paisley to 17th
S With all of the current interest in
Mozart it is fitting that the Univer-
sity's School of Music Opera Theatre
is presenting Mozart's Cosi fan tutte.
Directed by Jay Lesenger, Cosi is a
light comic opera. It is one of
Mozart's most widely produced
operas, and because of its small size
and entertaining libretto, you do not
have to be an opera buff to enjoy it.
Its plot, which is supposedly derived
from a true incident which caused
gossip at the court of Joseph II in
Vienna, is simple, easy to follow, and
very typical of its day. It involves (of
course) a love entanglement, hidden
identities, young lovers and an older,
and wiser, mentor who helps the
young lovers discover the
capriciousness of their love.
Two young men idealistically
believe in the fidelity of their
sweetheart's devotion, so their older
',,friend and advisor, Don Alfonso,
prods them into testing the strength of
their sweethearts' love. On a dare,
the two men leave their lovers, but
return in disguise to woo the other's
sweetheart. The plot twists are
amusing and certainly appropriate
for the day in which they were writ-
ten, when lovers were traded freely in
Lesenger is an associate Professor
of Music and Opera at the University.
He has directed Mozart before, and
produced The Marriage of Figaro a
few seasons ago. His other produc-
lions include Hansel and Gretel and
last year's successful Falstaff.
Gustav Meier will conduct the
University Symphony Orchestra.
Meier has worked abroad and at
If you love opera, you will enjoy this
beloved Mozart production. If you
have never seen an opera before, give
Cosi fan tutte a chance to show you the
beauty of this art form; there are no
fat sopranos with horns in this produc-
The Flies - Residential
"Man is nothing but that which he
makes of himself." These are the
who finds a link and communion with
the other men of Argos through his in-
dividualistic struggle for freedom,"
said Tara Pierson, the show's direc-
The play, written during the Ger-
man occupation of France, is viewed
as an expression of freedom by Pier-
son. "The point of our production is to
demostrate the necessity for an in-
dividual man to make his own
choices, and not to fall under the
organized spell of religious and
political propaganda," she said.
The Flies revolves around the hero
Orestes and his struggle with the
people of Argos to find freedom under
the tyrannical rule of Aegistheus and
Zeus. "The play is a modern
reworking of the Electra-Orestes
myth, and in this sense, it can be seen
as a classical drama that has been
radically transformed for Sartre's
purposes," Pierson noted.
The Flies can be seen at the R.C.
Auditorium in East Quad tonight
through Saturday night at 8:00 p.m.,
with a 2:00 p.m. matinee Sunday.
"Marathon '33 is not a comedy or a
drama or a musical or a vaudeville
show . . . it's a docudrama," says
Patricia Boyette, the play's stage
director. The Play, which opens
tonight at the Trueblood Theatre
characterizes the marathon dance
craze of the thirties, with all the
elements of dance, music and drama
"It is sometimes humorous, but also
portrays the compelling desperation
and survivalist nature of people of the
times," says Boyette. The original
version of the play was presented in
New York in 1963, by the Actors
Studio. June Novak's script is taken
from her own experience.
This production will take a more in-
trospective look at the marathons.
The actors in thisaUniversity Players
production have developed part of the
show themselves, creating side acts
as did the dancers who performed the
original marathons. Boyette allowed
the cast this freedom in order to,
"give more of the feel of the times and
show the elements of hope and sur-
vival, in a time when the most com-
mon leisure time activity for the dan-
cers was sleep."
This is not another Cotton Club
mind you. Marathon will have dan-
cing and vaudeville antics, but with
the underlying emotional and
physical struggle so ever-present in
the Depression era. According to
Boyette, "It was almost Gladiatorial.
People would become personally in-
volved by knitting sweaters for the
dancers or buying them shoes to wear
so they could dance longer. The
audiences' primary motive was the
heavy betting that went on for their
favorite dance. The Dances would go
on for days."
The Depression was a desperate
time and this production intends to
portray this aspect, as well as all of
the fun aspects associated with
The University Players, the un-
dergraduate performing company of
the University of Michigan Depar-
tment of Theatre and Drama will per-
form Marathon 33 tonight through
Sunday, in the Trueblood Theatre.
For tickets and more information call
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Mark Doerr and
in the University
Mary Shore play fatigued Depression-era dancers
Players production of 'Marathon 33.'
tion. But above all, if you enjoy good
entertainment come and see Cosi fan
tutte , performances will be tonight
through Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sun-
day at 2 p.m.
- Noelle Bro wer
words of Jean-Paul Sartre, existen-
tialist author of the upcoming
Residential College Players produc-
tion, The Flies. "Our production
focuses on the actions and growth of
Sartre's existential hero, Orestes,
T HERE'S NO doubt about it.
John Prine deserves to be
more popular than he is. Prine,
whose latest album, Aimless Love,
was recently released on the Oh
Boy! label, is one of America's
most gifted songwriters. Prine's
"Sam Stone," about the plight of
one of America's Vietnam
veterans, preceeded Bruce
Springsteen's treatment of the
same subject by ten years, while
his "Hello in There" vividly brings
the plight of the aged to our
This trait represents Prine's
most gifted talent: his ability t
bring out strong emotion. Whethe
it discusses the aged ("Hello i
There"'), or religion - an
patriotism ("Your Flag Deca
Won't Get You into Heave
Anymore"), John Prine's musi
challenges your opinions on an
particular subject he chooses t
Prine moved from his style o
the early '70s to a more rockie
sound in the middle of the decads
He even recorded a few honky
tonk albums in Memphis at the en
of the '70s.
Prime Prine, his 1977 Greatest
0o Hits release, remains one of my
r favorite albums. An extremely
n though-provoking LP, it is inded a
d rarity: there is not one weak song.
n So, perhaps, it's not worthwhile
c to worry about why this gifted
y talent isn't more popular. A line
o from Prine's own "Dear Abby"
puts this question to rest: "You
A are what you are and you ain't
r what you ain't.. . Stop wishing for
bad luck and knocking on wood."
John Prine will appear tonight at
d the Power Center at 8:00 p.m.
Tickets are $11.- Peter Ephross
... brings folk back
Uncle Bonsai comes in from the rain
By Peter Ephross
UNCLE BONSAI, a Seattle trio,
charmed a hundred fans with their
'whimsical lyrics and close harmonies
at the Ark on Wednesday night.
Bonsai, made up of guitarist An-
,drew Ratshin and sopranos Arni
Adler and Ashley Eichrodt, pride
themselves on not being able to fit into
a particular musical, played
songs that ranged from "kitchen
reggae" in "A Day Old Whale," to a
vocal rendition of Mozart's "A Little
Night Music," with stops at blues and
even their one "syntho-pop" tune,
While Ash Eichrodt claims the
group has no particular inspiration,
its performance was very reminiscent
of the Roches recent visit to Ann Ar-
bor. The group uses its songs to
satirize mundane, trite aspects of our
lives. "Man of the '80s" comments
upon the American history of sex,
"Johnny, It's Downhill from Here"
looks at the eventual downfall of
superachievers once out on their own.
The. group's humor grew on the
audience like ivy. The first time Rat-
shin announced that the next song was
going "to be a love song," it wasn't
particularly funny. By the time Rat-
shin, the group's self-appointed
spokesman, announced the same
thing for the tenth time, before their
hilarious Freudian finale, "Penis En-
vy," it was funny.
At times, the group's satire seemed
to border on envy. I suspect that if the
group had the opportunity to par-
ticipate in the mainstream culture
they were deriding, they might ac-
tually enjoy it.
Irreverence and self-deprecation
were the two catchwords of the
evening. When the group wasn't
deriding themselves and their music,
(for their final encore they played
Bette Midler's "Boogie Woogie Bugle
Boy from Company B" because
"we're out of our own songs.") they
were destroying the last vestiges of
sanctity in our society with things like
an a capella doo-wop version of "The
Star Spangled Banner."
The spectators at the Ark might not
have realized how lucky they were to
enjoy Uncle Bonsai's Ann Arbor
debut. Uncle Bonsai's wit will never
be heard on the radio, but their satire
seems destined to capture attention
among students and intellectuals.
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