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March 24, 1993 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-03-24

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I .1ARTS

The Michigan Daily Wednesday, March 24, 1993 Page 5
MUSKET proves 'An htling Goes'.

by Melissa Rose Bernardo
After the cynical history "Evita" and the heart-
wrenching betrayal "Chess," MUSKET has finally
┬░decided to brighten the lights and jazz up the tempo.
This weekend they present "Anything Goes," the
Marvelously upbeat Cole Porter gem.
V Director Theresa McDermit explained that
'MUSKET is making a concerted effort to stick with
"More upbeat shows. Conveniently enough, in addi-
ion to being upbeat and inherently fast-moving,
"Anything Goes" happens to be a musical theater
classic. "It's afaintastic score," McDermit said, "The
&rchestrations are great and the book is really funny.
It'sjustareallyfast, light-hearted, neatshow.(MUS-
KET) hasn't done a more classical score in a while."
MUSKET is producing the Lincoln Center re-
vival of the show, updated in 1988 starring Patti
LuPone. The show was first performed in 1934 with
Ethel Merman. Timothy Krouse and John Weidman
rewrote the show to tighten the plot and further
develop characters. "The main difference is the
different songs and new orchestrations, but the book
is also much more contemporary," McDermit ex-
plained. Krouse and Weidman rewrote the dated
jokes in order to cater to contemporary audiences.

S uor is inextricably woven into the plot of
"Anything Goes." Billy Crocker(RobertStanchina),
a handsome stockbroker, is in love with the famous
debutante Hope Harcourt (Jennifer Johns). Billy
learns that she is betrothed to the wealthy Lord
Evelyn Oakleigh (Jim Willhite), and thatthe two will
be married on a luxury liner. What's a boy to do? He
stows away on the ship (clever, eh?) to try to win over
Hope. On the ship is the notorious evangelist /
nightclub singer Reno Sweeney (Tamnmy Jacobs), a
friend of Billy's who vows to help him in his task.
"The plot basically focuses on the foibles, mishaps
and funny situations Billy gets himself into trying to
break up the wedding," McDermit summarized.
The slapstick nature of the plot intrigued
McDermit as a director and as a writer. "I love the
booktheway it's constructedandthehumorin it, and
I wanted to highlight that," she explained, "I wanted
to make this a really tight, funny acting show ... to
make the book seem as interesting and exciting as all
of the dancing scenes and music scenes."
McDermit also highly values Cole Porter's witty
score. "His lyrics are so cleverintelligentand learned
that the music itself is intellectual," she explained,
Thelyricsarefilledwithpunsjokes,doubleentendre

and wordplay - they'rejust very lyrically sophisti-
cated, which in the Andrew Lloyd-Webber style of
music you don't have."
As in past MUSKET shows, the chorus plays an
integral part. McDermit has guided each of them in
developing individual characters. Under her direc-
tion, thecastmembershaveimmersed themselves in
Cole Porter's era, looking at films, photos and old
news clippings from the '30s in order to visualize
what Porter verbalized. "We spent the first week and
a half developing personalities for them and little
bits of dialogue and bits of business they could be
doing to really bring their part to life," sheexplained.
McDermit characterized the musical as "a fan-
tastic, happy, bright evening of entertainment." But
more than that, "Anything Goes" is about following
your heart. All the characters embark on a journey
that takes them from doing something they are
forced to do to doing what they really want. Add a
handful of disguises, mistaken identities and con-
fused lovers, and you have "Anything Goes."
ANYTHING GOES will be performed March 25-
27 at 8p.m. at the Power Center. Tickets are $7,
$6 students and are available at the Union or at
the door. Call 763-TKS.

Upward
'Mobility
*lfts Off
by ,en Slajus
Graduate students Gina Buntz and
Maureen Janson think it's time to open
some eyes - outside the classroom.
With the help of extensive funding
from Rackham, they're finally stepping
out of the shadows of the University
*,Dance Department and into the spot-
light. This weekend they present their
MFA Thesis concert, a collage of new
and original modern dance works, opti-
mistically entitled "Upward Mobility."
Buntz, originally from Detroit, re-
turned to Michigan in 1992 after 12
years ofNewYork-basedmodem dance
work.Herprofessionalexperienceshave
propelled her through film and televi-
sion, as well as across oceans. These
- cross-cultural experiences seemed to
have most significantly molded the
shape of her choreography. "My danc-
ing reflects the variety of places where
I have been, or am going," Buntz said.
And so, of course, she has planned a
trip for the audience this weekend. Her
group work, "African Chill," is a suite
of dances that explores West African
ritual rhythms. "I want to show the
African aesthetic and how it has influ-
enced me as a dancer," Buntz said.
To accomplish this in the most pro-
found manner, she has incorporated an
analytical study of the correlation be-
tween physics and kinetic movement
(whoa). For one solo within "Chill,"
pre-med student Betsy Pugel will nar-
rate thedancer's movements in terms of
gravitational laws. Buntz said, "The
performance will parallel divergent
forces within the University: intellec-
tual, kinetic and intuitive. We - the
University, and society in general -
always try to divorce them."
This "prancerly" philosophical strain
is also found in the work of Chicago
native Maureen Janson. For the past
two years, she has been transforming
Ann Arbor-area introductory dance
classes into a synthesizing education of
physics and philosophy.
When asked to describe her solo
piece, "All the Conversations," she ad-
mitted, "I can't categorize any of my
work... The solo is completely abstract,
very sculptural. It'll be a challenge for
the audience to create their own thing to

Violinist likes recess

Upward Mobility

relate to it. It's like an abstract painting.
You can stare atit and first not get it, but
then it'll start to appear familiar."
Janson acknowledged the risk of
this entire concert, for it applies to all
modem dance. But she also knows it's
a risk that must be taken in order to
propel the culture towards a greater
sense of self-enlightenment. "It's bad
for humanity that we (hesitate to) use
our imaginations," she noted. "The au-
dience should like that challenge of
filling in the blanks of the (dance) sce-
nario, givenjust guidelines. Everybody
can relate to the human body. Whatever
you see isneverright or wrong; it's your
interpretation."
The vibes will be eclectic, too.
Janson's group work features Chicago-
based Winston Damon's music tech-
nology, in which he actually plays a
metal sculpture. And Buntz's own in-
trospective dance solo offers the cool
space drifts ofNorwegianjazz guitarist
Terje Rypdahl.
"People are going to be blown away.
It's a gem," Janson said.
Iwonder ifPlato couldboogie, what
would it look like?
UPWARD MOBILiTY will be
performed Thursday through
Saturday at 8p.m. at Studio A
Theatre in the U Dance Building.
Tickets are $Sat the door. Call 763-
5460.

by Michael John Wilson
When did renowned violist and
University graduate Patricia McCarty
learn her art? During recess.
"Recess wasn't really fun for me,
because they were always choosing up
teams for sports and nobody wantedme
on their team," she said on the phone
from her home in Boston. "So it turned
out to be pretty good to get a lesson
during recess every day ... I was about
seven years old."
A few decades later, McCarty is on
a world tour with Keith Jarrett, premier-
ingabrandnew piece, "Bridge ofLight,"
which Jarrett wrote for McCarty. The
duo stops at Orchestra Hall this week-
end in Detroit to play with the Detroit
Symphony Orchestra.
Jarrett seems like an unlikely com-
poser for a classically-trained violist to
commission apiece from. ButMcCarty,
like Jarrett, is interested in expanding
the boundaries of what's normally
termed classical.-"It's really wonderful
to try to bridge the gap (between types
of music) because I think the classical
music world needs to expand its audi-
ences," she said. "I think we have to
start thinking about music as a broader
category and stop labeling it, saying this
is popular, this is classical, and there-
fore it's not popular."
Jarrett's composition "Bridge of
Light" is perfectly suited to McCarty's
aims. "It'snotthe cutting edge ofavant-
garde, and it's not jazz," she said."And
I think that one of the things that Keith
Jarrett is very much interested in is
trying to dissolve our labels for music.
He's not crossing over and I'm not
crossing over -it's very firmly rooted
in the classical music tradition - but
there are some sounds in it and some
chords in it that could be said to have
blues notes, perhaps, some more mod-
ern kind of sounds."
McCarty also said the piece cap-
tures some of the improvisational na-
ture of Jarrett's solo jazz work. "Al-
though it is obviously is written down,
since the orchestra and I have to repeat
ourselves every time in terms of the

notes we play, the style in which it's
played is very free. The rhythms are
very free to a large extent."
"I justheard this intriguing music on
the radio," she said. "I had been think-
ing about commissioning a work for
some time. I really wanted to commis-
sion an American composer, and I
wantedapieceforviolaandsmallcham-
ber orchestra, but I hadn't really de-
cided who I wanted to commission. I
had listened to all of the academic com-
posers and I wasn't really taken by
anything about them -I didn't think it
would be unique.
'When I heard this, I assumed it was
going tobe tum-of-the-century because
it had a very romantic sonority about it.
When they announced at the end that it
was Keith Jarrett it was quite a surprise
to me because I knew only his jazz
piano work vaguely. When I realized he
was writing music for orchestra, I
thought that this was just the kind of
music I'd really like to have to play."
McCarty feels that unlike Jarrett,
manyoftoday'scomposers, "academic"
and otherwise, have lost touch with
audiences. "I think especially sym-
phonic music is becoming such elitist
entertainment," she said. "We've got to
find interesting new works, and some
interesting old works that haven't been
performed very much and somehow try
to enlist the people's interest in music
that's being written today, beyond just
popular music, beyond MTV. We have
to find music written today for chamber
music and for orchestral concerts, or
I'm afraid classical music is going to be
a museum piece."
PA TRICIA MCCARTY, KEITH
JARRETT and THE DETROIT
SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA under
HUGH WOLFF will perform
Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m.,
Saturday at 8:30p.m. at Orchestra
Hall in Detroit. Tickets are $17 to
$48. Call 833-3700.

La Serva Pardona" and "The Boor" are light comic operas.
U serves up opera lite
by Kirk Wetters
The University Opera Theatre's Spring production is clearly intended to
provide light, easy entertainment, both musically and dramatically. The produc-
tion is made up of two short comic operas, which could not be more dissimilar in
style and timeofcomposition. "LaServaPadrona"by Giovanni Pergolesiwasfirst
performed in 1733 and is considered the first comic opera, and the second opera,
"The Boor," is an American work, written by Dominick Argento in 1957. In spite
of this vast difference, the operas have in common an unlikely love affair and an
accessible musical style.
The conductor, Martin Katz, offered insights to Pergolesi's opera. "He's a
baroque composer, so he sounds a little like Handel or Bach or Pachelbel. He's in
the style of Handel, but he's just a little more simplistic than Handel," Katz said.
"Pergolesi writes good melodies, he writes excellently for the voice - it's real
comfortable to sing. The melodies are real simple so that the audience doesn'thave
to do homework to enjoy it."
To those who think that Italian opera from 1733 may be less than uproarious,
Katz offered reassurances. "I think the opera is very funny: How a young woman
who's working for an older guy manipulates him into marrying her-I think that
happens all the time. It's timeless."
"TheBoor," by the Italian-American composerDominickArgento, is aboutan
unlikely romance between a widow and a man who has come to collect money
owed to him by her late husband. Katz commented, "'The Boor' is a very
simplistic Chekhov comedy -even the original play is maybe 15 pages long, so
we're not talking about anything profound here. Argento has found musical
language to cope with that, which is accessible and easy to take."
Katz described Argento's personal style. "I don't think he has an 'American
sound'- whatever that is; I suppose you can say that Copland has an American
sound, or Leonard Bernstein. ButArgento's notjazzy, he's notBillB ok >mputting
rags and classical music all together. His language evolves for each opera that he
does. There is music in 'The Boor' that sounds vaguely Russian because of the
Chekhov origin."
"The Boor" was written to be sung in English, but Pergolesi's "La Serva
Padrona" will be sung in the original Italian with English translation above the
stage. Katz stressed the importance of performing opera in the original language.
"The advantages for the students are thatthat's how the worldis doing operas now.
Since subtitles, where they put the English translation over the stage, fewer and
fewer companies are doing anything in English translation. If we give our students
here an education in only singing in English, then they get out there and they have
to learn all over again."
Katz, however, admitted that using the original language has difficulties. He
asked, "Is it easier for the public? Probably not, but they are hearing the opera
exactly as it was written. Five years ago, when we did our first one this way, there
was some skepticism ... (Yet) there was no visible decline in people buying
tickets." He added, "For the students the Italian is a really big challenge, but
they've met the challenge really well."
THE BOOR and IA SERVA PADRONA will be performed Thursday, Friday
and Saturday at 8 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p m. All performances will be held
at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre at the Michigan League. Tickets are $10,
$14, students $6. Call 764-0450.

YMI, The Prodigals,
Round & A Distant Few
When: Thursday, March 25 9:00 p.m.
Where: The Blind Pig Who: 18 & over welcome
(college id and driver's license required)
....For A Good Cause!!

./

The Program in Film and Video Studies
Presents
"The State of the Film Industry Today"
A panel discussion with the F/V
Advisory Committee consisting of
three of the biggest names in
the film industry today (who happen
to be alumni as well!):
Robert Shaye, founder and head of New Line
Cinema, possibly the most successful indepen-
dent film company in America today with
releases like Nightmare on Elm Street and My
Own Private Idaho.
David Newman, prominent screenwriter for such
well-known films as Bonnie and Clyde, What's Up
Doc? and the Superman movies.

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