The Michigan Daily Thursday, October 19, 1989 Page 7
BY KENNETH CHOW
IF My Friends Could See Me Now
- A Cy Coleman Revue is a
collaboration by the Musical Theatre
Program, the Centers for Performing
Arts and Technology, and the De-
partment of Theatre and Drama. The
production, written and directed by
Brent Wagner, director of the Music
Theatre Program, will examine
Coleman's musical career and feature
some of his most acclaimed pieces,
including "Hey, Look Me Over,''
"Witchcraft," and "Big Spender."
"The titles of his songs may not
be easily recognized," said Wagner,
"but they have been frequently used
in television commercials and politi-
cal campaign ads. Once they hear
them, most people should be able to
Cy Coleman found his career as a
composer in the early 1950s. Since
then, he has performed as a musician
and has composed scores for several
films, television programs, and the-
atrical performances. Among his fa-
mous musicals are Barnum, which
brought him a Tony Award, and If
They Could See Me Now, which
brought him two Emmy Awards.
One of the reasons Wagner chose to
make a revue of Coleman is that his
music is diverse, upbeat, and very
lively. To enhance these elements,
Wagner has decided to score the
numbers with a jazz ensemble rather
than a traditional Broadway ensem-
ble. "A jazz band is outgoing and
urban. It is ideal to complement Cy
Coleman's music," said Wagner.
Wagner also found the flexibility of
jazz a solution to fit the diversity of
the music. While some numbers
which need a full and overwhelming
tone to bring out their effects are
scored by the entire ensemble, others
which are more serene and subtle are
accompanied by a single guitar or
piano, bringing to them a soft and
tranquil effect. The entire perfor-
mance includes 30 of Cy Coleman's
songs, ranging from "Witchcraft,"
written in 1957, to "One Brick at a
Time," written in 1980.
Although there is not a specific
story line stringing all the numbers
together, the audience should be able
to "feel the momentum." In addition,
each of the songs is taken from indi-
vidual theatrical or non-theatrical
sources, and each song requires a dif-
ferent stage set to communicate the
nature of the theme and establish the
tone for the numbers. There are, as a
result, many scene changes and a to-
tal of over 140 costume and hairstyle
changes between the 30 performers.
The stage will be able to change
from a train station to a fraternity
party to a TV studio to a circus in
Much of the smoothness in the
dramatic transistions will have to
rely on the familiarity the performers
and stagehands have with them. But
since the preparation for this produc-
tion has been underway since the
first day of this term, Brent Wagner
has confidence that they will be exe-
cuted with the least amount of inter-
ruption. The cast and the orchestra of
If My Friends Could See Me Now
consist entirely of undergraduate mu-
sic students who, according to Wag-
ner, are very professional as far as
If My Friends Could See Me
Now has been an exciting project for
the Musical Theatre Program. As
Wagner indicated, the revue is done
in a totally new arrangement -- it is
indeed a debut. But the true highlight
of the show will come on October
21 when Cy Coleman himself at-
tends the performance. Coleman will
be meeting with the cast before cur-
tain, and thencast anxiously antici-
pates the event.
IF MY FRIENDS COULD SEE ME
NOW starts tonight and runs through
Sunday. Performances are at the
Power Center at 8 p.m. Thursday,
Friday, and Saturday and at 2 p.m.
on Sunday. Tickets are $10 and $7,
with $5 tickets for students.
if My Friends Could See Me Now, performed entirely by University
students, will remind us that Cy Coleman is not a TV jingle writer but
actually a talented composer.
Would like to welcome their.
AWESOMEe s. We Love You!
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TO THE MEN OF PSI-U - Thanks for the
great MSU roadtripl We. hope the par on
aturday is as memorable as the C-o
FIELD..Love, Sigma Kappa.
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TlEO OF FEELIl KE
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