By MELISSA ROSE BERNARDO
Today there are over 24,000
NAMES Project Aids Memorial Qu
less more being added as you readt
some 200,000 dead of the AIDS e
lions more infected. Unless you'v
under a rock, you know that AIDS
Quilt: A Musical
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre
October 21, 1993
disease; why do we need a piece of
us that? Because "Quilt, A Musica
depicted what exists beyond the col
- the intensely personal stories of
tions that do not die with the victir
"Quilt," a new musical by Unive
Michael Stockler (music), Jim M
Hubbard and John Schak, saw itsl
miere this weekend. Driven by pov
mances and some great set pieces, th
conveyed the gut-wrenching feelin
honesty that accompany the stories
Thankfully, all of the performe
the demands of the show's structu
25 stories were told, an actor oftenI
three different roles. Just a few of 0
ally moving portrayals included: Z
asks for 1
a mother denying her sc
panels in the death of AIDS ("He died+
ilt, with count- all there is to it!"); Ein
this. There are contracted the virus thr
pidemic, mil- passed it unknowingly tc
ve been living "In the Absence of Angel
S is a horrible Ferris as a 12-year-old gi
favorite uncle in the due
Kessler as Mikey Mike, a
(Danny Gurwin, Jeffre
Sugarman) in "Hot Sex
crotch-grabbing and pel
but things settled down
ballad. Kessler saw a p
Peggy Porter, and told us
ftheater to tell lying that he loved her,p
I Celebration" Farm wine. In fact, all th
d, hard stories but they were tough (hats
f human emo- nel shirts), and they were
ns. or wearing no condoms.
,rsity graduate Two through-line c
iorgan, Merle (James Cooper) and Kar
Midwest pre- vided a clear frame ofr
werful perfor- Wes' loverhadjustdied,a
his production for him, which began hi
ig and searing NAMES Project. Karenv
of the quilt. make a panel for a friend
-rs lived up to Wes, Cooper was touchin
re. Since over Philip (his lover), with b
played two or life fairy put another da
he exception- night") and biting cynic
adda Bazzy as about a bunch of dead fa
on's homosexuality and rently Wes' lust for life and his vulnerability.
of pneumonia and that's Mitzner provided great comic interludes as the
Dilly as a mother who domestically inept Karen, with strong vocal work
ough a transfusion and ("Karen's Song") and hilarious monologues.
o her now dead son (her While the believability of the characters was
s" was beautiful); Brooke essentially what made this show work, set pieces
irl and John Halmi as her were integral to the visualization of the subject.
t "I Believe in You." Patricia Maria Moore designed quilt panels (ac-
was tough guy Marc tual size - three feet by six feet) to go along with
accompanied by his Boyz every story, incorporating all the details the char-
ey Shubart and Eddie acters revealed. At the beginning and the end of
x." There was a lot of the show, all the panels were strung together and
vic thrusting in the rap, lifted up as a background for the stage. It was an
when it moved into a amazing feeling to see a panel and know the story
panel memorializing his behind it- even more amazing to know that the
all about his first time - stories in the show were real.
plying her with Boone's While the show was a little long (three hours
e Boyz did it with Peggy, without intermission), each story was relevant to
turned backwards, flan- the show in its own way. They were not just stories
't gettin' no blood tests of gay men, but stories of heterosexual men and
women, mothers and children. Stockler's music
characters, Wes Cronk ran the gamut of musical theater styles, but can be
en (Ronit Mitzner) pro- compared to that of a more down-to-earth Stephen
reference for the show. Sondheim, with clever lyrics and catchy but not
andhemade aquiltpanel cheesy tunes.
is role working with the While the statistics are clearly lamentable, this
was trying desperately to production gives us cause for celebration by show-
, and so she met Wes. As ing us a new side of the disease. Here is this
ng in his conversations to incredible work of art - a testament to the vic-
its of sardonic wit ("The tims, a memory for the survivors and a promise for
ay under my pillow last generations to come that we are coming together
ism ("Who gives a shit to fight AIDS. It did not ask for our sympathy -
ags?"), showing concur- it asked for our understanding.
"Quilt" served as a testament to the victims of AIDS.
A full year before the Bobfest,
there was the much smaller, much
less star-studded, Frankfest. On No-
vember 7-10, 1991, at the Ritz The-
ater in New York City, Joel Thome
conducted an orchestra and rock group
through the music of Frank Zappa to
celebrate Zappa's 50th birthday and
his first 25 years in the music busi-
ness. Though Frank selected the pro-
gram along with Thome, he appears
nowhere on "Zappa's Universe," the
album commemorating the event. In
his place is a combination rock band/
symphony orchestra of some 30+
members, including Zappa's son
Dweezil and Steve Vai, the two of
whom work themselves into a com-
petitive frenzy on "Dirty Love."
Celebrating Zappa's music in such
a manner is an interesting concept,
but ultimately it is not, well, Frank.
,@While guitarist/vocalist Mike
Keneally does an eerily perfect job of
reproducing Frank's vocals, the
group's rendition of "Brown Shoes
Don't Make It" lacks the original's
spirit of prohibited exploration. Like-
wise, "Hungry Freaks, Daddy,"
though still as relevant today as in
1966, cannot match the energy the
Mothers of Invention pumped into it.
Vai's solo rendition of "Sofa," in
which he actually soundslike he cares
about the piece rather than for show-
ing off his technical skill, goes a long
way towards redeeming this disc, as
does the all-out noise-vocals-orches-
tra chaos of "Hot Plate at the Green
Hotel." While the music may reside
in "Zappa's Universe," it just cannot
claim residence in the genius' house.
- Dirk Schulze
Dead Can Dance
into the Labyrinth
"Into the Labyrinth," the newest
album from Dead Can Dance is very
atmospheric - an intricate, personal
record that requires the listener's full
attentioh. It's similar in feel to Peter
*Gabriel's "Passion," but it is far more
original and authentic in its use of
ethnic instruments and influences.
Ironically, Brendan Perry and Lisa
Gerrard have scored many films
worldwide; this shows in their records,
which are seamless, lulling and moody
"Into the Labyrinth" is more fo-
cused than the band's previous al-
bums and comes close to even being
accessible; "The Ubiquitous Mr.
Lovegrove," for example, is one of
the most "pop" songs that the group
has recorded. Perry's voice sounds
like a post-modern Sinatra set to Ara-
bic music, replete with buzzing and
droning sitars. "The Wind that Shakes
the Barley" is a traditional ballad and
Gerrard's voice has never sounded
stronger or warmer on this stark track.
"How Fortunate the Man With None"
is music set to the words of Bertolt
Brecht. It's a dark, cutting song about
the problems virtues can cause, hence
"how fortunate the man with none."
While all the tracks with vocals
are strong, the instrumentals such as
"Yulunga" and "Toward the Within"
are beautiful but a bit ponderous and
self-indulgent. Despite this, most of
these tracks succeed on a level be-
yond the expectations one would have
for intense, ethnic art-rock.
All in all, the moody, melancholy
works on this album make "Into the
Labyrinth" an amazing journey.
- Heather Phares
The Problem With Me
Touch and Go
Seam's second record, "The Prob-
lem With Me," is essentially a pleas-
ant, 9-song journey through thought-
ful, if somewhat melancholy, guitar
pop. The similarities with groups such
as ebadoh, The Wedding Present
and Pavement (amazingly apparent
on songs such as "Sweet Pea" and
"The Wild Cat,")spring to mind, but
Seam has left the experimental quirks
and rough edges of these groups aside.
In many ways, this works very
well. Without exception, every track
on the album is a sure winner, in-
stantly accessible and enjoyable, a
trait usually not associated with the
aforementioned groups' albums. On
the downside, though, Seam come off
as being afraid to take certain risks
with their music, which is about the
only thing that keeps "The Problem
With Me" from being one of the best
albums of the year.
Most of the tracks here are near-
perfect blends of emotion, subtleties
and noise. On tracks such as"Rafael"
and "Bunch," this blend works won-
derfully, with each song complement-
ing shy, heart-wrenching guitar mo-
tives with explosive, discordant frus-
tration. Unfortunately, this formula
wears a bit thin on songs like "Stage
See RECORDS, Page 8
'Girlie Show' shocks
By CHAD A. SAFRAN
It was part Broadway musical. It was part Las Vegas production. It was part
upscale, strip club. But one thing is for sure it was all Madonna.
Thursday, the one-time East Quad resident brought her "Girlie Show"
world tour to the Palace of Auburn Hills and gave a concert with dazzling
costumes that appeared to change after every song and athletic dancing that
The large curtain that draped the
Madonna front of the stage rose to open the
show, revealing nothing more than a
Palace of Auburn Hills slender, pole that stretched from the
October 21, 1993 stage to ceiling. However, it wouldn't
be Madonna if she didn't do some-
thing to sexually shock the public in the first few minutes of a performance.
Sure enough, a female dancer, clad in only a tiny g-string slithered down
the metal rod as if she were performing at Deja-Vu. Needless to say, it
definitely drew attention, especially from the males in the audience.
Madonna soon made her appearance, as she rose from the depths of the
arena on a circular platform that throughout the show was used to wisk her
away for costume changes as well as bringing her in for the various songs.
Dressed in a pair of skimpy, leather shorts and halter top in addition to a mask
that hid her eyes, the divine one launched into "Erotica." And it certainly was.
The dancers were bumping and grinding as if the Lambada was still
fashionable while Madonna used the equestrian bat she brought on stage to
give some mock self-arousement. It was not a concert for those not comfort-
able with public displays of affection, much less public displays of fake sexual
Unfortunately, just as the concert was gaining energy, Madonna decided to
slow the tempo considerably with a version of "Rain" that one could have
heard on any Top-40 radio station without paying $35. The fake rain that
appeared to drizzle throughout the song took away from what little emotional
impact the song had.
Singing a majority of tunes from "Erotica," Madonna offered the diversity
of a Kellogg's Variety-Pak, from her Phyllis Dyler wig (which covered
Madonna hairstyle #2,351-a short, platinum blonde cut) in'70s garb during
"Deeper and Deeper" to her Marlene Ditreich tribute while performing "Like
a Virgin" with a German accent (pronouncing virgin as wergen).
As the dancers bounded across the stage with endless energy from begin-
ning to end, Madonna displayed the same. Before concluding the concert with
"Everybody," the troupe put on a performance of "Holiday" that made the
show worth the price of admission. Bellowing to her troops like a general,
Madonna, dressed now in along, military style trench coat, performed the song
as if she had when the song first came out nine years ago. It was energetic,
lively, while enabling Madonna to display her enormous stage presence.
Even though, she stands only 5' 41/2", she seemed to be a 20-foot giant of
the music scene. She took many elements of show business and turned them
into one shocking and entertaining show.
Madonna put on a breathtaking performance at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
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