The Michigan Daily
Wednesday, March 25, 1987
NACO has a mission,
B Rebecca C hungever been together is a week prior players. Approximately a third of
By g to a concert, and during that week those are from Ann Arbor. The
we've had close to twelve rehearsals other people are from all over tie
The National Arts Chamber before concerts. Usually what we do country, schools like the Julliard
Orchestra will be performing this is mail out the music...two months Conservatory, the Cleveland Insti -
Sunday at 8 p.m., at Hill Audi - to one-and-a-half months before the tote....
torium. On the program is 'Over - program. Since we have a large D: What is the orchestra trying
ture to Coriolan' (Op. 62) by Bee t- number of members from Ann to do?
hoven, 'Piano Concerto No.2' (Op. Arbor, we have section rehearsals M: Eventually, what we're
83) by Brahms, 'Gymnopedies No. beforehand... trying to do is work the orchestra
1 and 3' by Satie and orchestrated D: This organization was formed into a position where it can sur -
by Debussy, and 'Symphony in D' in Ann Arbor? See ORCHESTRA, Page 8
The Daily spoke to Music
Director and Conductor Kevin
McMahon about the organization.
Below are highlights of the
Daily: How do you pull your
performances together in eight
rehearsals or less, particularly if
you're a national organization?
McMahon: The longest we've
M: The organization was formed
in 1982 in Wisconsin to perform a
benefit concert for an ailing musical
organization. The first concert was
a success; we were actually able to
donate an amount of money to that
D : What is the selection
M: People are auditioned. For
the Ann Arbor concert, we have 49
Theodore, Lettvin, 'U' Professor of Piano and Kevin McMahon, Music Director of the National Arts
Chamber Orchestra, prepare for tonight's Hill concert.
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715 N. UNIVERSITY
S. STATE & N. UNIVERSITY
'Street Smart' not very smart at all
By John Shea
Imagine, if you will, that you
are a writer for a big magazine in
New York. You have just prom -
ised your editor a feature story on a
day in the life of a New York pimp.
Now imagine yourself walking
alone on 42nd Street, at three in
the morning. You're a Harvard
graduate and wear oxford shirts.
You are stuck. You can't go back
to your editor empty-handed, or
he'll fire you. You're getting no -
where on the streets; you don't talk
their language. So what do you do?
Such is the inital premise of
Street Smart, a film which follows
Jonathan Fisher (Christopher
Reeve) in this very dilemma. He
has no leads and the deadline quick -
ly approaches. But, as all good
journalists do; Jonathan' gets his
story. When the deadline arrives, he
plops down on his editor's desk a
piece entitled "Tyrone," the story of
a pimp who believes world peace
can be attained by "giving everyone
a piece of (bleep) and letting them
settle down." He also owns racks of
fur coats and a condo in Hawaii.
Jonathan's editor loves it, and
"Tyrone" makes the cover of that
month's issue. Jonathan becomes
an instant celebrity, and a local
television station wants him to do a
regular series of investigative re -
ports on the streets. Life is good.
The problem is, he made the story
This creates unexpected prob -
lems, ethics aside. There is a pimp
in New York, Fast Black (Morgan
Freeman), who is being charged
with murder at the same time the
"Tyrone" story is published. Fast
Black talks to Jonathan and sticks
close to him, hoping the DA will
believe he is "Tyrone." Fast Black
-gives the reporter a tour of the
streets. Not long after, the DA
subpeonas Jonathan for his notes
on the "Tyrone" story, of which he
has none. The plot thickens.
Director Jerry Schatzberg never
convinces us that what he is
showing on the screen is real.
Every scene shot on the street is
too self-conscious and awkward.
Schatzberg struggles so hard to be
authentic, we can almost sense him
behind the camera, sweating, asking
everyone around him if this looks
right. It doesn't.
Street Smart wants to be two
things: an intelligent commentary
on the ethics of jounalism and an
insider's view on the lives of those
who make their living after the sun
goes down. This should be both a
very compelling and frightening
story, but it is neither. Screenwriter
David Freeman overextends
himself, and instead of having us
on the edge of our seats, he has us
sitting back, glaring at the screen,
trying to figure out what in God's
name is going on. And the last five
minutes, in which Freeman resorts
to a predictable wham-bam-thank
you ma'am ending is unforgivable.
I question the casting of Reeve
as Fisher. Without his red cape and
red boots, Reeve is just so-so. His
wears an impish grin throughout
most of the movie, as if winking at
the camera. It is both annoying and
unbelievable. Reeve is simply not
What stands out most in. Street
Smart is the performance of
Morgan Freeman as Fast Black.
Freeman is the only credible
element in the movie, almost
making it worth seeing. He is a
ball of intensity, always on the
edge and ready to explode at any
moment. Even when he appears
calm, one can sense the growing
tension and fear. Freeman is
intimidating, and whenever he is on
the screen, we forget about
Street Smart is not necessarily a
bad film, but I cannot recommend
it. Too much is either missing or
rings untrue. If you want to see a
good film on the ethics of
journalism, I recommend Absence
of Malice. If you want to see the
darker side of the New York City
streets, see Fort Apache, The
Bronx. In Street Smart, too many
people wear oxford shirts.
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