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October 25, 1991 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-25

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily
Lying
close
t K e
by Kim Yaged X,

Friday, October 25, 1991
M. Butterfly migrate
Arbor for amour ani

by Julie Komorn

"Are you from Michigan?!"ex-
claimed Queensryche's bass player,
Eddie Jackson, from his hotel room
in Winnipeg, Canada. "I am the
biggest Wolverine fan... Last time
we played Michigan, I spent my
weeks PD (pay) on all this
Michigan regalia - helmet,
jersey... I'm from Seattle, and the
Huskies are still undefeated... I
think it's gonna be Washington and
Michigan in the Rose Bowl this
year, and we have a show in Portland
that night. The game should start
around twelve-thirty p.m. The
flight from Port-land's only about
two hours, so I might still go."
Three days later, from Toronto,
Jackson (a.k.a. Rico Suave: "Gerardo
and I go way back," he laughed), was
still joking about calling in sick so

Queensryche (-r, Scott Rockenfield, Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson,
Geoff Tate and Chris Degarmo) are so big that they don't have to stand
around on pallets like the Toll (see page 9).

night's performance at the Palace
marks the one year point for the
band's road trip. The Building
Empires 1991 Tour includes the
performance of the concept album
Operation: Mind-crime in its
entirety, along with material from
their other four albums, including
their current release, Empire.
"Each of our albums have a
theme behind (them), right. This
one, Operation: Mindcrime, sure, it

'Operation: Mindcrime, sure, it has a theme.
There's a fictional storyline. However, you
never know if some of that might be true,'
-Eddie Jackson,
bassist, Queensrche

because (of) the fact (that) we
weren't really in no position to
start coming up with an album that
really has no commercial value to
it... The record company wanted
hits. They wanted singles... It
sounds like a contradiction, but, you
know, we've never been a radio-,
oriented band. The success with
Empire, it kinda opened up a lot of
doors. As matter of fact, 'Silent
Lucidity' knocked down a lot of
doors...
"So, we just figured, 'Look guys,
to hell with it, man, let's just do
this.' So, Geoff kinda came up with
an idea, ya know, lyrically. And, as
we were putting it together... it
just started falling into place, and
next thing you know, here we are
with this conceptual album that's
very controversial... It deals with a
lot of issues - the drugs, the
personal side... We said to our-
selves, 'Guys, no limits...'
"It all comes naturally. We
write what we feel, and whatever
happens, happens. Who knows?
See QUEEN, Page 10

that he could make this year's Rose
Bowl.
Between football games, Jackson
and the guys - lead vocalist Geoff
Tate, guitarists Chris DeGarmo and
Michael Wilton, and drummer
Scott Rockenfield - have been
touring Europe, Japan and, more re-
cently, North America. Tomorrow

has a theme. There's a fictional sto-
ryline. However, you never know if
some of that might be true," said
Jackson in a rather playful, cryptic
tone.
"Anyways, we at that time were
kinda always interested in doing a
conceptual album... So, we were
kinda skeptical about it, ya know,

it's strange but true. If it wasn't
a true story, it would be pretty far-
fetched," says Gary Springer,
National Press Director for M.
Butterfly. David Henry Hwang's
play about an incredulous romance
between French Diplomat Rene
Gallimard (Graeme Malcolm) and
Chinese opera singer Song Liling
(Francis Jue) involves passion, scan-
dal and bizarre disillusion. The cap-
tivating essence of the play lies in
its challenge to the imagination.
With M. Butterfly, Hwang at-
tempts to deconstruct these cul-
tural and sexual stereotypes that
have permeated our culture. His
play is quite different from
Giacomo Puccini's opera Madame
Butterfly (1904), in which Chinese
Butterfly is a sensitive, gentle
geisha whom the British Pinkerton
buys for 66 cents. M., however,
takes these traditional representa-
tions of a "demure, feminine" East
versus a "masculine, Big Gun" West
and gives them a jolting twist. One
line in the play exemplifies the
reshaping of these stereotypes: "I
am an Asian. Being an Asian in your
eyes, I can't fully be a man."
But as Springer emphasizes, the
story is about more than just deceit.
"It is a story about a man who it is
so in love," he says. "Everyone re-
members puppy love or their first
kiss. That's what happened to Gal-
limard - but at twenty-nine. He is
blinded by everything, deluded by
his lover. This happens to everyone.
'Am I really seeing what I thought
I saw? Or am I seeing what I want
to believe?"'
Hwang, who shows that blind
love with a butterfly can be quite
horrifying, got the idea for M.
Butterfly from an article in the New
York Times about an odd 20-year af-
fair between a French diplomat,
iew play
ential Black leaders in American
history, yet Gailes fails to create a
working allegory for his subject.
Kang, whose name reminds us of
Reverend Martin Luther King, leads
a frighteningly idealistic commune,
the PCU (People for Community
Unity), where the inhabitants' com-
mon goal is an integrated town with
no divisions between them from
creed to color. His ideological en-
emy, Moquito, might remind us of
Malcolm X, because he has no
qualms in drawing blood. He is con-
vincingly played by the ominous
Joniah Martin, who commands our
attention from the moment he steps
onto the stage from the theater's
aisles to voice his objections.
Ironically, in this presumably
futuristic society, the Moquito
character can incite the discontent-
ment of the PCU's Black people by
noting their lack of power. He even-
tually gains enough support to stage
a coup with lackeys and machine
guns, which causes Kang to lose
both his followers and his woman,
Jane (given a passionate performance
by Nicole Glenn). The dynamic tal-
ents of choreographer Akosua
Burs and the cast burst into action
in the following scene, "Revolution
Hurts." Glenn then usurps the stage
in her duet with Reeves' Kang, dis-
playing equally powerful talents in
both singing and acting. Repeatedly,
almost every scene wins us over

through sheer emotion, even when
the story lags.
Moquito's new society, the BBP
(Better Blacker People), is over-
taken by an insurance saleswoman,
See COLORS, Page 10

Bernard Boursicot, and Shi Peipu, a
singer with the Peking Opera.
Boursicot was accused of passing
French government information to
China after he fell in love with
Peipu. Hwang's adaptation won the
1988 Tony Award for Best Play.
Hwang got the idea
for M. Butterfly from
an article in the New
York Times about an
odd 20-year affair
The mixing of West and East is
also demonstrated in the music,
which includes pieces from
Puccini's opera along with composi-
tions from Lucia Hwong (the
mother in The Last Emperor). The
recorded music craftily utilizes
Asian instruments. For instance, the
twang of the pepas (a form of lute)

Page 8
s to Ann
d mon peni
frequently enters the score to con_;
trast with the hum of the Western
violin strings.
"The stage is a beautifulo
Oriental crackerbox - almost,";
Springer says. "It is red and black
with a sweeping ramp." In addition,
the use of artificial screens help to
create a mood of fantasy and
illusion with a tinge of surrealism.
Beyond the unconventional plot;
of the play, there lies an Everyman
theme where perfect opposites fa
in love. "Blinded by happiness, your
can be led into a relationship, where
the fascination you feel for another
can destroy," Springer adds.
As Gallimard says in the show;
"Happiness is rare and our mind car
turn summersaults to protect it."
M. BUTTERFLY will be performed
this Sunday at 8 p.m. at the M
chigan Theater.6Tickets are $27.50-
$29.50.Call 668-8397 for Tickteon.
information.

True Colors shine through in 1

Colors
Mendelssohn Theatre
October 23, 1991
(Dress Rehearsal)
Colors, the new musical by
University alumnus Rod Gailes, is a
dazzling and ambitious narrative

that falls short of its promise only
by its explosive scope. The musical,
which was written, produced and di-
rected by Gailes, manages to load
many disparate elements surround-
ing a relevant issue - integration
vs. segregation - into a moving, en-
tertaining drama, yet not a

completely successful one.
The main problem with Colors is
its sometimes glaring lack of a
strong, supportive dramatic struc-
ture. The two main, opposing fig-
ures, Kang (Eric Reeves) and
Moquito (Joniah Martin), in many
ways represent the two most influ-

Graeme Malcolm and Francis Jue star in M. Butterfly.
o rano Ager is a
Queen of Crooning

by Heidi Hedstrom

Take a break from your studies this
Sunday afternoon and allow
yourself to be enveloped in music.
American soprano Arleen Auger, in
her second Ann Arbor appearance,
will grace all who come to Hill
Auditorium with her melodious
voice.
Auger first embarked upon her
musical career in Europe in 1967,
with a modest repertoire of only
three arias. Nevertheless, as Auger
says, she was "in the right place at
the right time." After her debut as
the Queen of the Night in Mozart's
opera The Magic Flute at the
Vienna State Opera House, Auger's
musical career skyrocketed.
She has performed in prestigious
concert halls such as La Scala,
Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan
Opera, and has collaborated with il-
lustrious conductors such as Sir
George Solti, Kurt Masur and Ric-
cardo Muti, as well as with the late
Leonard Bernstein. And, if you

watched the Royal Wedding of
Prince Andrew and Dutchess of
York Sarah Ferguson along with
700 million other television view-
ers, you may have seen Auger sing
Mozart's "Exsultate Jubilate."
This December, she will perform
in Mozart's Requiem with Solti and
the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
to commemorate the 200th ann-
versary of the composer's death, an
event which will be televised and
made into a video recording.
Auger says, "I love singing
Mozart's music and perform(ing), a
lot of concert work of religious na-
ture." Auger does not, however, fo-
cus only on the traditional and care-
fully structured music of the
Classical era. Her program for
Sunday's performance in Ann Arbor
reveals that her taste in composers
and styles of music is quite varied.
In the first half of her program;
Auger, accompanied by pianist Ste-
ven Blier, will perform traditional'
German Lieder including five ro-
mantic songs by Franz Schubert and
"Four Mignon Songs" by Hugo'
Wolf. Typical of the Romantic era,
See AUGER, Page 10:

1..11

The University of Michigan
SCHOOL OF MUSIC

Tue. Oct. 29

University Choir
Jerry Blackstone, conductor
Music by Britten, Byrd, Hoist, Vaughan
Williams, Stanford and Wilberg
ui11 A .i .tn ...- Q . -

I

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