By JESSIE HALLADAY
Who ever said Shakespeare was dull? It sure
wasn't the members of the Stratford Festival, who
brought their musicalized version of "A Midsum-
mer Night's Dream" to Ann Arbor this past week-
November 21, 1993
From the moment the play opened it was clear
that this would be no ordinary, run of the mill
Shakespeare performance. There were no flowing
period costumes or ornate set. Rather the audience
was met with men in contemporary suits and a
simple set made up of an elevated platform. And
this was just the opening scene.
The play progressed into a frolicking musical
that took the audience by storm. Never for a
moment did the pace of the play let up and allow
the audience to relax. With every twist and turn of
the play the audience roared with laughter or
gazed in awe.
Shakespeare's classic story of four "star-
crossed lovers" romping through the forest
amongst the fairies is transformed into an extrava-
ganza for the MTV generation. When least ex-
pected characters broke out into song. And we're
not talking pretty, sweet melodies here. We're
talking down and funky rock music with strains of
Prince thrown in for good measure.
When the play moved from its setting in Ath-
ens to the "Forest," smoked started pouring off the
stage as huge pieces of apparatus inflated. The
performers would use these props to climb and
jump on throughout the show. There was one
piece that the players could climb through in order
to jump up as if appearing from nowhere.
Not to be upstaged by the play's non-tradi-
tional additions were the actors themselves. None
failed to provide the essence of the Shakespearean
text in the way it was intended by old BIll himself.
However, there were a couple of standouts in this
crowd of magnificent performers.
Colm Feore and Lucy Peacock were marvel-
ous as Oberon and Titania the King and Queen of
the Fairies. They played off each other marvel-
ously, exchanging jabs and amorous glances as if
they actually belonged to the mythical kingdom
they ruled. Peacock's scenes with the ass-headed
Bottom the weaver, Ted Dykstra, were so funny
that at times their dialogue could barely be heard
over the audience's laughter.
V, causes stir
When Dykstra appeared in a scene he was sure
to steal'it. He used both his voice and body
language to cause a laugh no matter what he did.
And how could you not be funny while singing
"Some Enchanted Evening" while wearing an ass
head? During the performance of the "play within
the play" in the last act, Dykstra's character Bot-
tom came out wearing a Michigan hat which
stirred rousing applause from the viewers. It was
these little touches to Dykstra's performance that
made him a stand-out.
Frank Zotter, who played Puck, breathed new
life into this fairy character who too often be-
comes cliched. Zotter bumped and grinded his
way through the performance creating
Shakespeare's mischievous fairy. This modern
Puck even performed a rap-like version of one of
Adding an especially intriguing twist to the
comedy was the costuming. The fairies donned
bodysuits in vibrant colors while the lovers roamed
the forest in their underwear. This played up the
sexiness of the play so as to make it crystal clear
for the audience. Some Elizabethans are probably
turning over in their graves.
All in all this production grabbed Shakespeare
by the balls and ran with it making for a rip-roarin'
Tad, although sick, still performed admirably at St. Andrew's.
*Real 'heavy' music
By TED WATTS
Looking like both a truck and a trucker, Tad brought his mighty girth to St.
Andrew's along with three other great bands. Unfortunately, the Seattle rocker
was ill, and could not sing as well or
as long as the audience would have
Tad and Therapy? Fortunately there was plenty of
St. Andrew's Hall talent on hand. Bringing the night to
Novermber 18, 1993 its beginning was Tripping Daisy. The
audience was well entertained by their
strange brand of hard psychedelia,
found as much in the surreal movie clips projected behind them as in the music.
Next at bat was New York-based Barkmarket. Playing about half their set
from their new album "Gimmick," the band encountered a rather uninterested
crowd, which is a shame because the set was energetic, Dave Sardy's vocals
sound better live and it was altogether a fine bit of performing.
Therapy? took the stage with singer Michael McKeegan telling the audi-
ence "This song is for River Phoenix. It's called Speedball." Sweat pouring
from them, they played an amazing 11 songs in just over half an hour. Despite
the brevity of the set, it was made up for in quality. With intensity rarely
matched, the band excited the crowd into forming a small but frenzied slam pit.
The pit was most active during the band's popular "Teethgrinder," but was
strangely calm during the single "Nausea." The combination of fine music and
a friendly band that jumped around on stage quite a bit made for a dandy time.
Tad finally took the stage, professing his shamefully altered state. Like a
blast from the decaying swamp which was the '70s, the band looked like one
of the bloated bands from that best-forgotten era. Ironic, then, that Meatloaf
himself was performing that evening only several miles away. Despite this
disgusting image, however, Tad produced some of the best "alternative" metal
to come to town in some time. Playing a large portion of the show from his new
album "Inhaler," Tad caused the pit that formed during Therapy? to increase
in. size but to decrease in intensity in any given area. Clearly he was who the
people had come to see. And he protected his fans, too. In the middle of one
bong, a bouncer was punching someone who was getting out of hand. Tad
stopped the band, and told the bouncer not to punch anyone. Perhaps that's the
reason the people like him -he's a buddy. Unfortunately, Tad's sickness had
him coughing up things, and there was no encore. This may have left a bad taste
in the audience's mouth, as people seemed angry upon leaving.
All in all, Thursday was a good time for music.
Michael Hutchence of INXS croons away at the Palace of Auburn Hills, during the band's tour stop Saturday night.
Michigan and Ohio State sing together
High Street Records
With the vast number of mediocre
singer/songwriters in the world to-
day, it is rare to find a new album in
this genre that is more than average.
However, Patty Larkin's "Angels
Running" is one such record. Her
voice, unfortunately, is unspectacu-
lar and even detracts from the music
*in a few places, but her songwriting
and guitar playing abilities shine.
Larkin's acoustic picking is every-
where on "Angels Running" and she
even includes the instrumental "Ban-
ish Misfortune / Open Hand," one-
half of which was arranged by guitar
legend Richard Thompson.
"He said 'I read the Bible every-
day / Trying to keep the demons at
bay / Thank God when the sun goes
down / I don't blow away," Larkin
sings on "I Told Him My Dog
Wouldn't Run," a portrait of a fading
love. "Booth of Glass" is a not-so-
flattering take on the touring life and
"Winter Wind" finds her pleading for
a "warm hand to hold."
All is not so dreary on "Angels
Running," however. "Might As Well
Dance" is a celebration of happiness
n the face of one's troubles and
"Video" offers, along with backing
vocals from the Story, a tongue-in-
cheek look at the world of MTV and
ends with her repeating, to the tune of
Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing,"
"I want my / I want my / I want my
own video." "Angels Running" is a
fine album from an exceptional gui-
tarist and songwriter.
- Dirk Schulze
Call it the Bluegrass Invasion of
1993 perhaps, but for whatever rea-
son this year has seen the release of an
inordinately high number of blue-
grass-oriented albums and without a
doubt one of the finest to ride the
current tide is fiddler Laurie Lewis'
"True Stories." Truthfully more a
mixture of folk and bluegrass rather
than the straight bluegrass her band
Grant Street plays, "True Stories" re-
mains true to the spirit of that music
while leading it to always-interesting
new territory. "Singin' Bird," for ex-
ample, takes a traditional Irish tune
and turns it into a mountain romp and
"Still a Fool" finds Lewis moving in
a decidedly Cajun direction.
Lewis' songwriting remains top-
notch on this disc, as does her selec-
tion of other's material to cover. Her
See RECORDS, Page 7
By MELISSA ROSE BERNARDO
After the trouncing Michigan gave
Ohio State earlier in the day, a little
tension was inevitable when the OSU
Men's Glee Club and the Michigan
t p.1 Avi
, f - "" I
Men's Glee Club
November 20, 1993
Men's Glee Club shared a stage. For-
tunately, that tension quickly melted
away, making way for an exciting
evening of choral music.
Except for those bright red
sportscoats which could have lit the
auditorium, OSU really is a superb
choir, and made the most of some
rather traditional pieces. They
breathed some life into the achingly
sentimental yet highly overdone
"Sometimes I feel like a motherless
child" with extremely soft but equally
They also did some music from
the theater - "Bring Him Home,"
the moving ballad from "Les
Miserables" and a trio of songs from
"West Side Story" (with a convincing
solo by tenor John Kenaith). From my
seat I could not see their faces in order
to gauge their involvement in the
piece, but what I heard was indeed
passionate, honest and believable.
In "The Buckeye Battle Cry" and
"Campus Echoes," OSU let loose and
employed gestures, swaying and ham-
ming it up, which immediately en-
gaged Michigan and OSU fans alike.
It is important to remember that
while Michigan is just as good musi-
cally as OSU, they are two different
choirs with different personalities and
priorities. The Michigan men did their
best work in their most unique pieces.
"Mis oli see, mis juba
lapsepdlves," an Estonian piece tell-
ing of devotion to the fatherland,
worked particularly well. A wave of
pride and nostalgia swept the choir as
it no doubt had swept Konstatin
Turnpin when he wrote it. The choir
was very centered, and very grounded,
which is imperative for the presenta-
tion of this piece.
Byron Adams' new work, "A Pass-
erby," saw its premiere, and was met
with great reception. Based on a Rob-
ert Graves poem telling of a great ship
on a voyage, the piece was quite mu-
sically challenging, especially as in-
tensity was created using text and
dynamics, rather than volume. It was
also achance for accompanist Howard
Watkins to show off.
The other premiere, David
Cortwright's "Memories of Michi-
gan," was also a great success. The
words may have been cheesy ("Look-
ing back on these four years / It all
seems like a dream"), but. the a
cappella melodies were nice, and the
message rang true.
The choir also reprised
"Betelehemu," a Nigerian Christmas
song which faithful Hill-goers will
remember from last fall's concert.
The piece is a very powerful one,
using congos, tamborine and various
other percussion instruments to cre-
ate a ritual-like song. The excitement
comes in the syncopation of the per-
cussion and the melody, plus the clap-
ping and the swaying of the choir.
This piece gets better every time.
Also making an appearance were
the Novelaires, a barbershop quartet
from the '50s. "Sesame Street" guy
Bob McGrath stole the set with his
"My Echo, My Shadow and Me,"
hitting notes no one knew he still had.
And the Friars are back, armed
with a brand-spanking new CD ("Ran-
dom," on sale at local record stores),
and (thankfully) some new jokes. A
highlight was Huey Lewis' "It's
Alright," with engaging solos by Dan'
Ryan and Bob Kleber.
As a fitting ending, the OSU club
joined theMichigan men on stage and
they combined their voices for
"Carmen Ohio" and "The Yellow and
the Blue." Rivalries were left at the
stadium and music brought everyone
together. Because as Dr. Blackstone
said, "In the arts, we are all winners."'
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