The Michigan Daily
Wednesday, December 11, 1985
Bromberg blows roof off Ark
By Jeffrey Haus
T HE ROOF of the Ark shook last
night, as David Bromberg and his
Big Band-back on the road after an
eight-year hiatus-made an impressive
return to Ann Arbor.
Bromberg began the second of his
two shows with his traditional
opening, "Don't Let Your Deal Go
Down." The fast-paced picking ot the
tune was highlighted by solos from
Gene Johnson, whose fingers became
a virtual blur on the neck of his man-
dolin. Bromberg played the opening
bars of "Sweet Home Chicago."
From the outset, the quality that the
band gave to the sound became ob-
vious: the tone, precision, and touch
of humor common to a Dixieland
combo. Such a sound provided the
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perfect embellishment for the tongue-
in-cheek Bromberg standards such as
"Send Me to the Electric Chair."
One of the best qualities about
Bromberg's live show is the almost
immediate rapport he strikes up with
his audience. Perhaps this is the
result of his extensive touring as both
a sideman and a headliner, but one
gets the feeling that such an at-
mosphere would exist even if he were
playing at a Holiday Inn cocktail
Bromberg likes to put on a show, act
the ham, and show off the con-
siderable talent he possesses on
the guitar, mandolin, and fiddle. Yet,
even when he rips off an incredible
lick on a solo, he does it looking
sideways at the audience, as if to say:
"Look, guys, no hands," while at the
same time saying "Jeez, how did I get
myself into this?"
That's all part of the act, though.
What Bromberg really does on stage
is play the hell out of his guitar, and
let his sidemen do the same. Con-
sequently, the distinctive image one
gets from the Big Band show was one
of artistic comraderie: nine
musicians, cramped into a small
stage area, playing their socks off.
The show lasted about an hour and
forty-five minutes, usual by today's
standards. By the end, though, a
crowd that had seemed somewhat less
than alive at the beginning, had been
treated to one of the finest perfor-
mances they'll ever see in Ann Arbor.
They let Bromberg know it, as they
stood and called him out for three en-
cores. Even after the third, in which
Bromberg entered the audience for
one of his solos, the crowd stood and
yelled for more. They were still stan-
ding as the house lights came on a
minute later. Five minutes later, they
were still cheering, whistling, clap-
ping, and demanding one more song.
In another amazing mixture of surprise and talent, David Bromberg and
his band set the Ark afloat Monday night. -
B. T. W. presents 'A Salute
"Money and packed houses
speak for themselves. We want the
University to know that the entire
community wants and needs Black
Theater here and should never let
it die," says Lundeana Thomas of
the University's Black Theater
workshop. Formed just this past
year in reaction to the lack of
Black theater presented in the ac-
ting classes and in the area, The
Black Theater Workshop has
already presented a show this past
April. Quite a feat, since Thomas
and her organization were under
financial strain when the Theater
Department was heavily hit by
budget cuts and funding was a real
Since the University's Black
Theater Department was one of
the first of its kind in the country in
the '60s, and served as a major in-
spiration to other universitys,
Thomas feels continuing support
for the Workshop has near national
importance for Black Theater at
the college level and beyond.
In order to elicit this deserved
support, the BTW will be presen-
ting "A Support to Black
Musicals," featuring an array of
song, dance, and drama from the
Broadway musicals Sophisticated
Ladies, Dreamgirls, and The Wiz.
A worthwhile cause, culture to'
boot, and lest we forget, lotsa en-
tertainment as well. "A Salute to
Black Musicals will be presented
Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00
p.m. at the Trueblood Theater.
Call 769.5017 for further details.
A STEVEN SPIELBERG
Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize Winning Story
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