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November 19, 1993 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-11-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ART

Not your typical
Shakespeare routine

By MELISSA ROSE BERNARDO
Continuing their week-long resi-
dency in Ann Arbor, the Stratford
Festival of Ontario will present
Shakespeare's whimsical comedy, "A
Midsummer Night's Dream."
"Dream" narrates the folly of four
young lovers and their folly in a merry
romp through the forest. With dainty
fairies and fancy foliage, it is a most
delightful comedy. '
"It's all about sex. Sex, drugs and
rock 'n' roll," stated an emphatic Colm
Feore, cast member of "Dream" and a
12-year veteran of the Stratford com-
pany.
"One is always faced with what
preconceived notions of tradition and
)convention are, and for 'Dream' it
tends to be sort of a very decorative
Elizabethan with loads of gossamer
'fairies flitting in and out. We're not
doing that."
How can the Stratford company, a
company lauded for its excellent rep-
"'resentation of classical drama, bas-
tardize the work of the greatest dra-
matist in Western theater?
"It's exactly the same play," Feore
insisted. "But instead of appearing in
great still ruffles and pumpkin pants
and this kind of ridiculous accoutre-
ment of the day, we've simply trans-
posed it to now."
' The nobles are costumed by
aArmani, accompanied by Secret Ser-
vice men. And the fairies, well -
think '60s drug trips. "You close your
eyes, and you wake up - somewhere
else. It's impressionist, rather than
realist," Feore explained.
As many other Shakespeare plays
do, "Dream" lends itself quite well to
varying interpretations, usually with
great success. Therefore a 1990's

melting-pot pop culture representa-
tion does not seem so farfetched.
"People come away saying 'Well
golly I didn't know Shakespeare could
be like that.' Shakespeare can be like
anything - you just have to have a
little imagination," Feore said.
Feore plays Oberon, the King of
the Fairies. "Oberon is the metaphysi-
cal power of the play. He's the one
who holds the key to the balance of
the power," he explained.
Viewing Oberon as a sort of
Mephistophelean puppet master im-
plies a serious shift in the analysis of
"Dream." Looking past the Armani
suits and the drugged out fairies, we
see a darker, shadowy "Dream" lurk-
ing in Shakespeare's subconscious.
"Titania is made to go to bed with
a donkey ... the lovers are trying to
tear each other's throats out in the
forest ... the opening few lines ('I
wooed thee with my sword') involve
violence in tandem with love.
"There's an enormously powerful
psycho-sexual element to the play
that has to be brought forward, par-
ticularly now. It deals with the lies we
tell, the manipulations we perform --
we see it all exposed. In the forest
people see what they imagine, and
sometimes your imagination is a scary
place to be."
Not that this production of
"Dream" doesn't retain its full come-
dic value. "It's very charming and
amusing," Feore assured, "but at the
core there are some very serious is-
sues. And if those things are not played
for real, with the depth and the strength
they require, they're just shallow little
presentations of a possibility. You
don't learn anything at the end of
them."

Hail to the Victors
By MELISSA ROSE BERNARDO
After 134 years, the Men's Glee Club is making a tradition of being
untraditional.
This weekend's fall concert involves not only the roughly 100-member
choir, but also the Ohio State University Men's Glee Club, the Novelaires and
some very exciting pieces.
The group performed together two years ago in Ann Arbor and last year in
Columbus. "The clubs used to do that every year, and then it quit happening
for who knows what reason ... so we've started it again. Who knows how long
it'll last, but it's great fun," explained director Jerry Blackstone.
The Novelaires was a quartet within the choir in the '50s, sort of a
predecessor to the famous Friars. They have a few famous alums - "Sesame
Street"'s Bob McGrath for one, plus Ara Berberian, who sings at the Metro-0
politan Opera.
As for the program, Ohio State will perform half, and Michigan a little more
than half. Michigan's program includes some very special pieces, about which
Blackstone was very excited.
The first is the premiere of a piece for which the glee club had commis-
sioned composer Byron Adams. "It's called 'A Passerby,' based on a poem of
Robert Bridges'. It's the story of the dreams that one imagines when looking
at a great ship on the ocean," Blackstone described.
"And hopefully it will, as Byron said to me the other day, 'warm our hearts
in the cold of Michigan winter."'
Keeping with the sentimental theme, the second premiere is the winner oto
the "Write a Michigan Song" contest the glee club sponsored last spring.
Chosen from 39 entries was "Memories of Michigan," written by David
Cortwright, a '93 graduate. "It's a lovely piece; a wonderful addition to the
Michigan repertoire," Blackstone commented.
And never let it be said that the Men's Glee Club doesn't like to try new and
exciting pieces. They will be performing an Estonian piece, which they
received on their 1991 tour to Eastern Europe, in a repertoire exchange with
the national male chorus of Estonia.
"It's a very powerful piece that extols the virtues of fatherland. The
Estonians, of course, have been overrun so many times ... Now that they're
independent, this piece has even more meaning," Blackstone said.
You'll be seeing more of Men's Glee Club around campus too. This
December, for the first time in history, the Men's Glee Club will perform with
the Women's Glee Club and the Arts Chorale in a holiday concert.
As for the concert immediately at hand, will it be eclipsed by the fierce
rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan? "We hope we can leave the rivalry
at the football game and when we get to Hill just make great music,"
Blackstone said. Does he have any predictions for the game? "Stayin' out of
that one," Blackstone laughed. But he did not hesitate to add, "I've never done
a fall Hill concert when we haven't won a football game."

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" is all about sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

"I make it sound very dark be-
cause I want (people to realize) that
the seriousness of it, the Shakespeare
purism about it can still be preserved,"
he said. With a mischievous smile, he
added, "It just happens to be POW!
jack-in-the-box crazy as well as all
that."
So if you like your Shakespeare
"pure" (read: dull), you had better
stay home. For the more adventurous,

bring your imagination and wear your
platforms. And pick up a copy of the
CD after the show.
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
will be performed at 12 p.m. and 8
p.m. today, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the
Power Center. Tickets range from
$30-$42, with $10 student tickets
available for today's 12 p.m. show.
Call 764-2538.

JHE MEN'S GLEE CLB (wsg. the Ohio State University Men's Glee
Club, the Novelaires and the Friars) will perform Saturday at 8 p.m. at Hill
Auditorium. Tickets are $10, $8, $5 ($3 students). Call 763-TKTS.

r

i

'The Lion and the Jewel' dances
University production uses African dance to get the
By LIZ SHAW Sidi and Lakunle are to become a must go out to Harrison who stole the
The congo drum beats echo the classic old-married-couple, the 'Bale' show as the gossiping friend of Sidi
theateras the stageilluminates: morn- (king) of Ilunjinle enters. Baroka and pseudo-condidante/wife of
ing has come to the villageofIlunjinle. (Charles Jackson, director) decides Baroka. Her facial expressions alone
Slowly the people trickle out of the afterclose scrutiny ofSidi's new found were priceless, and often had the au-
wings, bailing water, collecting wood, fame as the cover on a National Geo- diencerolling in the aisles with laugh-
lovingly greeting each other with a graphic-like magazine that she will ter. Her sly, sarcastic tone had every-
hug or a smile. Welcome to the small be his next wife. He quickly sends one waiting for her next slight. She

to a connon beats
audience bouncing in their seats

The Lion and
the Jewel
Mendelssohn Theatre
November 18, 1993
jungle village in Yorubaland, the set-
ting of U Production's "The Lion and
the Jewel."
At the top of the play Sidi (Tonya
Warren) is left at the edge of the stage,
finishing her chores while the school
-teacher, Lakunle (Jiba Molei Ander-
son) herds his students into the roughly
built, old-fashioned school house.
However, the school doesn't contain
him for long. He leaves the children
to their times tables and sneaks out to
the waterside to bicker with Sidi. What
ensues is a wonderfully playful ban-
ter and hurling of both back-handed
compliments and personal jabs be-
tween Sidi and Lakunle which was
both hilarious and endearing.
Unfortunately,just when you think

word through his head wife that he
wishes to wed Sidi. The wife, Sadiku
(Lakeisha Harrison) passes on the
information to Sidi in Lakunle's pres-
ence, thus beginning the race for Sidi's
hand between the two equally stub-
born and truly different men.
Anderson's portrayal of the Euro-
pean-taught Lakunle was excellent.
There was such an air about his char-
acter, such a staunch belief in progress
and growth that Anderson empha-
sized greatly. Warren and Anderson
played off each other perfectly, leav-
ing the audience easily believing that
they would always be together, de-
spite their extreme difference of opin-
ion about nearly everything.
Jackson played an almost fright-
eningly believable old man, from his
stodgy behavior to his short-
windedness, he was the essence of
aging gracefully. His voice boomed
one minute, only to purr the next. He
charmed the audience as thoroughly
as he hoped to charm Sidi.
The most exhultant hail however

performs a song and dance mocking
Baroka that had every woman in the
house singing along with her, if only
just to sing her praises.
The most delightful surprise of
the performance was how intensely
riviting and moving the dance pieces
were. The use of authentic African
choreography under the instruction
of Dr. Pearl Primus proved insightful
and the dancers took it to amazing
proportions. The dancers did a show
stoping job with each effort. Each
leap, kick and spin was a roaring
success.
Equally impressive was the music
and vocal perfomances that accom-
panied the play. There was no mo-
ment without sound, not one beat was
missed. The sets and the costumes
were stunning. The village was framed
by faux-wood carvings that took great
talent and time committment on the
part of the set design crew. The stage
had two large props: the old, gnarled
tree, which represents the tradition of
the village, and the worn schoolhouse,
representing the underappreciated
teachings of Lakunle.
The play was received by tumul-
tuous applause, which it greatly de-
served. It is a play that should not go
unnoticed, and the life-giving cast
made sure that this will not happen.

REC0RDS
The Impatients
First
Jewelweed Records
Straight guitar-pop is arguably thq
hardest rock genre to pull of convinc-
ingly, but Ann Arbor's the Impatients
do it with a considerable amount of
grace.
Taking their cue from the mid-80s
guitar strum & jangle of the Smiths
and R.E.M., the band creates an en-
joyable clatter on their six-song EP,
"First." Although their lyrics can be
as angst-ridden as Morrissey's, the
often lack his invaluable self-depreci-
ating humor; the sheer strength of
their hooks and melodies carry the
songs effortlessly over any minor
4.. flaws.
And when the group does go for
laughs, such as the boisterous "Fake
ID," the results are hilarious. But the
real strength of "First"is in the first
three songs- "Winter," "You Didn't
Love Me Anyway" and "What I Can'1
Have" - a series of broken-hearted
laments that are simultaneously gor-
geous, melancholy and powerful.
With "First," the Impatients have
<;:< scored a thoroughly winning debut.
Hopefully a full-length album will
follow soon.
"First" is available in local recor s
>>, stores across the city. Catch the
Impatient's live, acoustic in-store *
performance at P.J.'s-Used Records
tonight at 7 PM. Get there early,
because there is no admission fee
and the place is SMALL.
- Tom Erlewige

the .lion ad hie Jewe
_ by 9&ofe Soyinkaz

Jiba Anderson (Lakunle) and Tonya Warren (Sidi) in 'The Lion and the Jewel.'

* Brussels * Paris * London Rome Spain Israel U
Chart a Course for Success...
... The waters of international business and commerce are
difficult to navigate. Let us guide you through the ebb and flow
of global change.
Combine the excitement of Graduate study in an
International setting with the academic excellence of
A Boston University Degree.
. Master of Arts in International
Relations
" Master of Science in Management
. ® Rn*rtnini uarcity nflnrna

The Daily Music Staff is looking
for folk writers. If you qualify call
Tom at 763-0379.

S

------mm m-- u u= m... . m mm . -n mus e.am -m n1
AN KN A R o R1&
5th AVE. AT LIBERTY 761-9700 0
THE REMAINS OF THE DAY (PG) - Fri, Mon, Wed: 4:00, 7:00,9:50 ;
Sat, Sun, Tues, Thurs: 1:00, 4:00,7:00,9:50
---r MY LIFE (PG-13) - Fri, Mon, Wed: 4:45, 7:15, 9:35
Sat, Sun, Tues, Thurs:12:15,2:30,4:4s,7:15,9:35
BARGAIN MATINEES $3.50 BEFORE 6 PM
I STUDENTS WITH ID $4.00 EVENINGS

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