The Michigan Daily
Thursday, November 19, 1992
In the batcave
The School of Music opera
theater finally gets its act together
with this year's production of "Die
Fledermaus." Past debacles, from
the ultrapretentious "Falstaff' to
the sitcomized "The Barber of
Seville" were plainly out of the
students' vocal league. But Johann
Strauss' charming operetta should
come off just fine, even sung in
English, especially with
Stratford's Brian McDonald
directing. It runs at the Power
Center tonight through Saturday at
8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $14 and $10, $6 for
Come play with us
Minneapolis is known for a lot
of bands, nay gods - Iiisker Dii,
Soul Asylum, the Replacements -
but the one name that gets lost in
the shuffle is Babes in Toyland.
Led by guitarist'spirit yeller Kat
"Courtney Love hates me"
Bjelland, this three-piece confronts
the powers that be, both within
them and without them. Get
indoctrinated at the Blind Pig
tonight; doors open at 9:30 p.m.
Mudwimmin (which includes ex-
members of Tragic Mulatto) open.
Tickets are $7.50; call 763-TKTS.
The cry goes out near and far ...
Underdog, Polly Purebred and friends make a triumphant return
by Andrew Levy
"When criminals in this world
appear, and break the laws that they
should fear, and frighten all who see
and hear, the cry goes out both far
and near for ... Underdog!"
Do you remember the "lovable,
huggable shoeshine boy?" Does the
name "Sweet Polly Purebred" ring a
bell? How about "Simon Bar Sinis-
ter?" The common thread here is
that these characters from "The Un-
derdog Show" represent a more in-
nocent time in TV cartoons. A time
before "The Simpsons" and "Ren
and Stimpy." A time when Fred and
Barney could get away with appear-
ing in commercials to endorse Win-
ston cigarettes. A time when portray-
ing a woman as a "damsel in dis-
tress" wasn't a cultural faux-pas.
"That's what makes the show
funny - that it's not 'PC,"' said
Bob Lukas, a '60s television enthu-
siast who is bringing the "IHooray
for Underdog" retrospective to the
Michigan Theater tonight and to-
"I think back then, they had a lot
more free reign with comedy,"
Lukas said. "TV at that time was just
in its infancy."
"Hooray for Underdog" is actu-
ally a 90-minute anthology of classic
cartoons, including "Underdog,"
"The Go-Go Gophers," "Tennessee
Tuxedo," and "Super Chicken," in-
terspersed with commercials from
When these cartoons first aired,
Saturday morning was an event. If
you wanted to find a kid on a Satur-
day morning, he or she was watch-
ing cartoons. And that's the atmo-
sphere "Hooray for Underdog" is
trying to create.
"It's an audience participation
show," Lukas said. "People sing
along to the theme songs from the
cartoons - and not just kids. People
in their twenties and thirties. It sends
people back to their childhood."
Indeed, Underdog is a time warp.
The show features a full, four-part
Underdog cartoon - complete with
your hero, his protein pills, a phone
booth, reporter Polly and villain Si-
mon. But in contrast to the rambunc-
tious cartoons of today, Underdog
was relatively tame.
"It wasn't violent - it was sort
of like a Saturday morning 'MAD'
magazine," Lukas said. "And Un-
derdog's appeal is that he can lead a
normal life until a time of trouble or
a time of need. All of the characters
are like that. That identifies with a
lot of people."
Well, whether or not you identify
with Underdog, he's still fun to
"Speed of lightning, roar of
thunder, fighting all who rob and
plunder ... Underdog! Underdog!"
HOORAY FOR UNDERDOG: A
RETRO '60S TV BASH is playing
tonight at 10:30 p.m. and tomorrow
at 7 p.m. and midnight at the Michi-
A chorus of approval
by Melissa Rose Bernardo
The U of M Arts Chorale has the
unfortunate disadvantage of being
practically unknown. One hears
about the Men's and Women's Glee
Clubs or the University Choir - but
not Arts Chorale. Nevertheless, in
their fall concert, the Arts Chorale
made a valiant attempt at making a
name for themselves - and suc-
The choir's manipulation of dy-
namics enabled them to paint very
clear images in the songs. "Three
November 17, 1992
Scottish Folk Songs" was a delight-
ful mix of flowing legato and gaily
accented staccato in the lyrics. I
pictured rolling hills, green pastures,
people running around collecting
bouquets of heather.
The choir could easily make the
transition from whispering to pro-
claiming at the top of their lungs -
especially in the Scottish folk med-
ley. Other strong uses of dynamics
appeared in Copland's "Long Time
Ago" and "The Boatmen's Dance."
Harmony between sections was
artfully exhibited in the exuberant
"Daniel, Daniel, Servant of the
Lord." Also, soloists Dan Sonntag
and Andy Poe were clear and full of
character, adding to the joy and
spiritual uplift of the song. The choir
exuded life in this selection.
However, the choir was not
without problems. At times individ-
ual voices stood out within the
tenors and the altos - "The Road
Not Taken" and "Lullaby of the
Duchess" (respectively) in particu-
lar. Enunciation could have been
better; the audience was provided
with a text for the songs and I found
myself looking at it not for en-
hancement but for lyrics, especially
in "Alice in Wonderland." At times,
facial expressions were nonexistent
for half of the choir; all of the songs
required telling a story, and when
only half of the group was telling it,
it was not believable.
The Arts Chorale definitely has
the makings of a superb choir: clean
entrances and exits; a pretty constant
relationship between individual sec-
tions and the whole group; good use
and no overuse of musical devices;
acute responsiveness to the conduc-
tor. If the group keeps using these
ingredients, within no time it will
have a defined place of its own
among University vocal ensembles.
LOOKING FOR THE Find it
\ 9 Tipof f
A Special Supplement to The Michigan Daily
1992-1993 U-M Faculty-Staff
Sa lary List
will be on sale
420 Maynard " Room 206
rrY '' ' ""'' 1 arAr
Defeat OSU and help your community, too.
Donate a pair of old jeans on Levi's 501 Amnesty Day and we'll
give them to a local homeless shelter. Students at Ohio State
will also be donating jeans on their campus. Help Michigan
beat OSU in collecting the most jeans!
Here's how it works:
1. Donate a pair (or pairs) of non-Levi's jeans.
2. You'll get a FREE T-SHIRT and a chance to win a pair of
genuine Levi's 501 jeans.*,
3. We'll donate all jeans to a local homeless shelter.
A a9 i