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October 30, 1991 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-30

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Wednesday, October 30, 1991

Page 5

_:.

Ooooh, scary!
School ofMusic's Halloween
Concert brings chills to Hill
by Diane Frieden
Four thousand seats were sold out in 20 minutes.
Without a doubt, the School of Music's Annual Halloween Concert
is one of the most well-liked performances on campus, and certainly one
of the most well-attended. To capture the flavor of a not-so-Hallmark-
Halloween, all of the performers outfit themselves in zany and creative
costumes, and most of the audience also catches the spirit by appearing in
disguise. This year's concert, featuring the University Symphony
Orchestra and the University Percussion Ensemble, is tonight at Hill
Auditorium.
Often, sections of the Orchestra try to dress with a unique theme in
mind. Last year, the Percussion Ensemble came en maquillage as rock
group rebels Kiss. For this year's concert, some of the sections, such as
the oboes, are still planning their costumes.
As opposed to being assigned a cohesive theme, "it's up to the indi-
viduals," says Michael Herbst, who plays both the oboe and the English
horn. Fellow oboe player Jared Hauser says, "Since (we're) a small sec-
tion, we dress as a group. It can get as elaborate as we want." And Nick
Hart, a third oboe player, adds, "There are a couple of options."
All three men were hesitant about giving away any serious secrets re-
garding this year's costumes, but they said that last year, the costumes
were anything but basic black tie, ranging from the fuzzy Energizer
bunny, complete with drums, to a male violinist whose conical brassiere
was Madonna-inspired.
The format of the Halloween Concert remains classical, with spooky
selections from Bizet, Dukas, Holst and Rimsky-Korsakov, as well as
,favorite chillers like Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" and
excerpts from Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. "It's a pretty
straightforward concert," says Herbst, "but all of the music is
Halloween-y." Hart says that the feeling is more laid-back for tonight's
show. "I enjoy playing in the Halloween Concert because it's more
relaxed," he explains. "There's no worry about pitch or togetherness,
really- we're all just trying to have fun." The caliber of the
performance is still excellent, even enhanced by the festive aura in which
the orchestra's members are surrounded.
What separates the Concert from formality are the skits that both the
orchestra and the conductors (Gustav Meier and Donald Schleicher) put
on prior to the start of the concert, as well as those that the conductors
put on during the performance itself. "Last year," says Hart, "the con-
ductor had his baton as a lightening rod. And the Percussion section usu-
ally does something impressive."'
The audience provides a "really frenetic, hyper atmosphere," says
Herbst, who adds, "I like doing (the Concert) because of the little kids.
There's always a bunch of them screaming." Hart concurs, saying, "I like
that everybody comes. The audience is so rowdy that you don't notice
anyone in particular at all. Usually little kids annoy me, but for the
Concert, they add to the mayhem." All three suggest getting to Hill a
half-hour before the performance starts. "That's when the spectacle be-
gins," says Herbst.
THE SCHOOL OF MUSIC'S ANNUAL HALLOWEEN CONCERT is
tonight at 9 p.m. at Hill Auditorium. The performance is sold out, and
tickets are general admission seating. Costumes are optional, but
strongly suggested.

All Play and no plot makes Patty dull film

House Party 2
dir. Doug McHenry
and George Jackson
by Jen Bilik

partying high school kids in Ohio,
based on the experiences of the
director/producer/brother team of
Warren and Reginald Hudlin. The
Hudlins created a movie that was
both definitively African-American
and youthful in perspective - it
depicted young people with humor
and sympathy without resorting to

The first
hip-hop

House Party was a fun,
extravaganza about

the stereotypes of teenagers that
plague Hollywood. Banking on the
appeal of African-American music
stars, the Hudlins cast rappers in all
the main parts and achieved honest,
funny and fully-developed perfor-
mances that gelled with the comic
book style of their filmmaking.
Unfortunately, House Party 2
doesn't continue in this successful
vein. Part of the problem, no doubt,
is the absence of the Hudlins, whose
personal and creative influence was
evident throughout House Party.
The sequel, directed and produced by
Doug McHenry and George Jackson
(the team behind Krush Groove, and
the producers of New Jack City),
neglects character for an overly
contrived and complicated plot, a
plot that would've been unnecessary
- as in the first film - had the
characters conveyed their former
depth.
Rappers Kid 'N Play reprise
their roles as the leads (also named
Kid and Play). The story opens as
Kid prepares to leave for college,
against the will of Play, who
foresees a lucrative future in rap
which Kid will have to postpone.
The acting, though natural and
endearing, suffers due to the film's
shoddy excuse for a script.
The premise for the movie as a
whole is also unbelievable: after a
reluctant Play drives Kid to college,
Kid accidentally leaves his tuition
check in the trunk of Play's car,
whereupon Play signs the check over
to Sheila (Iman), a fraudulent music
agent who skips out with the
money. The entire movie consists of

Kid trying to stave off evil tuition
collectors until he and Play can
raise the money to replace it by
holding - you guessed it - a house
party, college style. Despite the
plot, the characters are likeable, a
virtue that can only be attributed to
the actors. Without interesting
words to say, however, the
characters' appeal can only go so far.
All talk functions in service of the
overly-construed plot.
Interesting - if didactic and
poorly executed - are the political
issues the film touches upon. House
Party 2 echoes Spike Lee's School
Daze in its exploration of Black-on-
Black issues within a university
context. It seems that only African-
American filmmakers are willing
to touch the volatile issues, such as
political correctness, Afro-cen-
tricity, feminism, and so-
cial/political affiliations, facing
university campuses these days.
Each character represents one
political extreme, and functions as
moral advisor and gadfly to the
main characters. Kid's roommate,
Jamal, played by white rapper Kam-
ron from Young Black Teenagers, is
a white person who wants to be
Black and succeeds. Kid's girlfriend,
Sidney (Tisha Campbell), lives with
Zora (Queen Latifah), an Afro-
centric feminist who apprises
Sidney of her self-deprecating ten-
dencies in relation to men.
The message, overall, is positive
In House Party 2, African-American
characters see music and education as
a means of self-improvement, and
See PARTY, Page 7

Young Black Teen Kamron hangs out with his buddy Kid in the new,
Hudlinless House Party 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Guild House readers pierce the listeners

by John Morgan
take pride in confusing people,"
the poet said. "Although not in a
negative way."
These were the words of M.L.
Liebler, one of three poets who par-
ticipated in the Monday night Guild
House program. Although both of
the others, Lawrence Pike and Gay
Rubin, have their own unique styles
of writing, it was evident that they
all shared a similar sentiment.
Liebler has published several
volumes of poetry and short stories,
and has created his own publishing
house, the Ridgeway Press. Cur-
rently teaching at Wayne State
University, Liebler is known for his
continual efforts to promote the
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reading of poetry on campus. He
also recites poetry in the Magic
Poetry Band, a unique combination
of poetry and music that has earned a
local reputation.
It was music, especially that of
the Beatles, that first appealed to
the Muse in Liebler's soul. "My
work grew out of it," he said. "I
come from a blue-collar family, not

an intellectual background. Music
was a sort of back door for me." An
emphasis on the music and sound of
poetry is evident in much of
Liebler's work, as in "Listen To The
Stars": "SHHH!!! / QUIET!!! /
LISTEN to the stars. / They talk
softly. / Don't they talk softly? /
Listen as their beams / Pass quietly
over / The lawns in our neighbor-

hood / Of silence."
Liebler likes the "quirky" ele-
ment of writing best. "I like strong
images," he says. "That which can be
felt, but not explained intellectu-
ally."
Liebler admits that he is best
known for his work with Magic
Poetry, but says that it is only one
See GUILD, Page 7

4

Prince and the New
Power Generation
"Cream"
This is absolutely brilliant.
Prince is still coming up with cre-
ative new ways, even in this time of
his self-professed maturity, to of-
fend. The two white women from
the "Gett Off" video, Diamond and
Pearl, have been replaced by a couple
of Cindy Crawford lookalikes and
joined with a like sequence of danc-
ing girls in skimpy, burlesque attire

(there is a token oack woman,
however.) One look at the array of
pearls in this video tells us that this
is one of the Imp Perverse's more
exquisite visions of cultural subver-
sion.
Musically, "Cream" is Prince's
foray into a laid-back, sensuous funk
realm as previously touched upon by
the Isley Brothers, bordering on
Isaac Hayes at his most playful and
reclined musical levels. Visually,
this romp through the retronuevo
See VIDEO, Page 7

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DATE
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TIME
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PLACE
Michigan Union Ballroom
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