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November 23, 1992 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-11-23

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0i

Page 8-The Michigan Daily- Monday, November 23,1992

Three green apples,
complete with worms

by Melissa Rose Bernardo
No one ever said that putting on
three musicals was easy. However,
if those three musicals by the same
composers are on one bill, there
should be some hint of consistency.
"The Apple Tree," while it certainly
had its moments, was so full of holes
that it could not form a coherent
piece.
"The Diary of Adam and Eve"
was faulty in performance and tech-
nical work. When Scott Gingold and
Kara Pawlowski (Adam and Eve)
The Apple Tree
Merdelssohn Theatre
November 21, 1992
were together, they were a brilliant
comedy team; however, those mo-
ments were few. Clumsy set and
lighting changes added to this act's
drawn-out feeling.
The role of the Snake, however
thankless of a role it may be, was
wasted on Stephanie Pascaris - the
role was written for a man, and
should have been played by a man.
The attraction between Eve and the
Snake, an indispensable part of the
musical, was missing. Additionally,
Pascaris was off-key for the majority
of "The Apple Tree (Forbidden
Fruit)."
A bright spot was Pawlowski's
Eve, who exuded youthful intelli-
gence and bubbly naivet6. She was
also vocally versatile, shown in the
marvelous "Here in Eden" and the
heartwarming "Friends." However,
even Pawlowski, coupled with
Gingold's anxious Adam, could not
save this hour-long act.
"The Lady and the Tiger" moved

remarkably better. John Halmi was a
vocally commanding Captain Sanjar;
his voice was powerful, yet creamy,
and left the audience yearning to
hear more.
Unfortunately, his counterpart,
Ashley Leadbetter, did not match his
strength. As Princess Barbara, she
was a very gifted actress - the
agony she felt was apparent in her
body and her gestures. Even though
a lovely voice appeared once in a
while, her voice did not suit the
roughness and sexual bravado
exhibited in her character - most
apparent.in the vamp "I've Got
What You Want" and "Tiger,
Tiger." Dina Vernon was a blond
sexpot as the Tiger, clad in a tiger-
striped unitard, and agile in her
dancing movements stalking her
prey.
"Passionella" was an amusing
update of Cinderella. Ronit Mitzner
lived up to the expectations of the
role - purposely off-key and stiff as
pathetic Ella, and appropriately
physical and self-absorbed as glam-
orous Passionella. She was a delight
to hear, with a very clean and full
voice.
Nicholas D.F. Abruzzo went vir-
tually unheard as Flip "The Prince"
Charming; somewhere among his
Elvis impersonation, the lyrics were,
unfortunately, obliterated. Included
in the act was a misplaced upbeat
dance number; well-choreographed
though it was, it left the audience
wondering why it was there.
The problem with doing three
musicals on one bill is in how to
make each musical a production in
itself. SophShow had good inten-
tions, and a lot of talent, but their
lack of consistency resulted in noth-
ing but a bad apple.

0

Still going after 40 years, the members of the Modern Jazz Quartet are old radicals who can still find new ways to stretch the boundaries of jazz.
MJQ *Still modern after all tese years

FLEDERMAUS
Continued from page 5
required more precision and clearer
articulation than the orchestra could
offer. The overall sound was
polished and professional, but I,
would have preferred a more relaxed
approach with more schmaltzy,
romantic contours to the melodies.
Despite minor difficulties, the
overall effect of this production was
superb. The sets and costumes were

by Andrew J. Cahn
When the Modern Jazz Quartet was named in
1952, they were young radicals offering jazz fans
a more intellectual alternative to bebop. Forty
years later, they're old radicals who can still find
new ways to stretch the boundaries of jazz.
Their show at Hill Auditorium Friday night
surprised many students who confused "modern"
with "current." MJQ defines modern jazz as the
Modern Jazz Quartet
Hill Auditorium
November 20, 1992
cross pollination of improvisation, bebop and
blues with 20th century classical composition
techniques. This sub-genre has also been called
the "Third Stream."
Though bebop was king in the early '50s,
Miles Davis and Gil Evans began to break down
the wall between jazz and classical in 1949 with
"Birth of the Cool," a collection of thoroughly
arranged big band charts. MJQ wanted to take
that a step further and use elements of fugue.

Today, they are not only considered giants of
jazz, but of chamber music as well.
MJQ's two composers, pianist John Lewis
and vibes player Milt Jackson, took turns intro-
ducing the numbers on Friday, and their respec-
tive influences were evident in the tunes they se-
lected. Though Lewis began his jazz career as a
soloist with Dizzy Gillespie's big band, he also
seriously studied music composition. His works
are multi-textured, sometimes fugal pieces that
still manage to swing. "A Day in Dubrovnik"
guides the listener through that Yugoslavian port
city from the quiet of morning to the evening ex-
citement. The various melodies throughout the
song sound as if jazz came from "the old coun-
try" and not New Orleans.
Jackson's tunes stem from his work with
Thelonius Monk. Monk wrote many ballads,
songs like "Misterioso" and "Criss Cross" were
blues that contained ironic melodies and solos.
Jackson's "Bluesology" and "Bag's Groove,"
which were both performed Friday, are definitely
based in that tradition.
To pay tribute to Jackson's mentor, the band
played "'Round Midnight." Another standard
Jackson called, "Summertime," was one of the

most creative arrangements of that song I have
ever heard. In contrast, the non-original material
announced by Lewis spanned from another
"Porgy & Bess" classic, "I Love You, Porgy" to
Sidney Romberg's "Softly, as in a Morning
Sunrise" and a transcription of a Spanish con-
certo for guitar.
Though the four men are all in their sixties,
they can swing just as hard as any of the younger
jazz cats. Drummer Connie Kay, who has been
ill, was replaced by Mickey Roker who filled in
adequately and displayed some impressive chops.
Bassist Percy Heath broke up much of the seri-
ousness on stage when he humorously glided up
and down his strings and flashed mischievous
grins to the audience.
The show was equally as delightful to the
"nostalgists" in the crowd and to the youngsters
like myself. As a trade off, the older members of
the audience should attend next months presenta-
tion of rock's version of MJQ, Phish. Their break
down of traditions through their use of classical
elements and humor have had the same effect on
rock music as MJQ had on jazz forty years ago.
The true test will be if they can maintain their id-
iosyncrasies for as long as MJQ has.

opulent without being overdone or
excessive. A meticulous attention to
detail was evident in props and
facial expressions, and there were no
significant lapses in the dramatic or
musical continuity. The School of
Music Opera Theatre and University
Productions have done an excellent
job of making a masterpiece appeal
to a wide audience without doing
substantial disservice to the work
itself.

Man of Steel's death is far from super .

HOLIDAY

SAVINGS

Bring this ad and receive an additional
20% off the already reduced price
of our classic wool rollneck.

by David Rheingold
Something about Superman #75
indicates that this isn't the run-of-
the-mill comic book you'd find lin-
ing the rack of the corner newsstand.
Maybe it's the black plastic bag with
the trademark "S" embossed in a
foreboding blood red. Maybe it's the
black mourning armband included
inside. Or maybe it's enclosed
newspaper clipping, a Daily Planet
obituary for Superman.
Whatever the case, DC Comics
doesn't pull any punches in packag-
ing its latest issue of Superman, in
which the Man of Steel perishes at
the hands of Doomsday, an alien vil-
lain. But underneath its gray-flecked
tombstone cover, the issue itself is,
well, simply a comic book.
The plot goes like this:
Doomsday and Superman battle in
Metropolis. Superman takes a two-
page breather to talk to Lois Lane.
Doomsday and Superman resume
fighting. Both deal each other fatal
blows simultaneously. Superman
dies.
The trouble is, that's it.
All the interesting stuff - the
funeral, the impact, the aftermath -
will take place in an upcoming

eight-part mini-series called
"Funeral for a Friend." And to un-
derstand the events leading up to this
event, you have to buy more back is-
sues. All this adds up to Super
Bucks for DC.
Three million copies of the issue
have been sold worldwide and a sec-
ond printing is on the way, making it
the second-most popular comic book
I feel partly
disappointed that DC
did not exhaust more
of the Man of Steel's
potential ...
ever. The highest was a special edi-
tion of Marvel's X-Men last year,
which sold more than 8 million
copies.
Despite all the hype, I feel partly
disappointed that DC did not
exhaust more of the Man of Steel's
potential before they decided to turn
him into the Man of Rust. His swan
song seems like yet another attempt
to jump-start a series with a flagging
readership.
Less than 10 years ago, DC re-

vamped Superman entirely. They
gave him a slightly different origin.
They made him less powerful. And
recently, they let him get engaged to
Lois Lane.
But suddenly he's dead?
If DC truly wanted to make this a
grand occasion, they should have
made this a triple-sized issue (in-
stead, they killed off one of the most
popular comic book characters ever
in a mere 32 pages). They should
have made the finale more
apocalyptic than a slugfest in the
streets of Metropolis. And they at
least should have held it off until
issue #100.
But DC reportedly plans to resur-
rect Superman in a year, perhaps
with a darker attitude. Ironically,
this would be more of a demise. Af-
ter all, once a character has died and
come back, what's the worst thing
that can happen? By eliminating one
of the few absolutes in its universe
- however contrived its boundaries
- DC is only hurting the comic's
chances for survival. By relinquish-
ing its trump card solely for the pur-
pose of making money, DC has
jeopardized its long-term chances of
establishing any credibility.

q

AFRICAN-AMERICANS
CAN'T
FFERENCE!
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YOU?

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