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March 01, 1995 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-01

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Magic Fingers
If you're feeling down that the Spin Doctors cancelled their concert at Hill
tonight, don't fret - there's plenty of entertainment at the Michigan
Theater. Sure, "The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T" (showing at 7 p.m.) isn't from
the same planet as the Doctors, but it is the most bizarre interpretation
of a Dr. Seuss story ever filmed. Filled with mind-bending photography and
incomprehensible plot lines, it's the weirdest children's movie ever made.

Page 5
March 1, 1995

NYC Opera takes culture cross-country.« "


By Brian Wise
Daily Arts Writer
With the current battle over fed-
eral arts funding in full swing, ad-
vocates for both sides have waved
the banner of making the arts more
accessible to the majority of Ameri-
cans. In the political backlash
against "elitism," opera is perhaps
most susceptible to criticism, given
the fact that few productions exist
outside of major cities.
Yet much of the opera that is
presented was originally conceived
as popular entertainment. In the Ital-
ian opera houses of Rossini's time,
new works were avidly consumed
by a broad middle class, and mar-
keting forces and consumer taste
were very much linked to the artis-
tic climate.
It therefore makes perfect sense
that the same populist approach gov-
erns the New York City National
Opera Company's current produc-
tion of Rossini's "The Barber of
Seville." The comic favorite will be
presented in over 25 states on a 10-
week U.S. tour. This will include
four performances beginning tonight
and continuing Friday through Sun-
day at the Power Center.
* Established in 1979, the National
Company adapted the same touring
resources that have allowed Andrew
Lloyd Webber musicals to show in
cities coast to coast. Consequently,

up-and-coming singers, instrumen-
talists and designers are given the
opportunity to hone their skills
through repeated performances.
This, the company's 10th visit to
Ann Arbor under the auspices of the
University Musical Society, comes

Another asset of the production is
the enduring popularity of "The Bar-
ber of Seville", which has become
Rossini's most successful opera since
its premiere in 1816. Known for its
brilliant and catchy melodies, exhila-
rating rhythms, and expert vocal writ-
ing, it is also perhaps the greatest
farce opera ever written.
The plot is based on the first of a
trilogy of plays by French author Pierre
Beaumarchais (Mozart's "Marriage of
Figaro" was adapted from the second of
the three.) It concerns the attempts by
the Count of Almaviva to approach and
win Rosina, who is kept under lock and
key by her jealous old guardian, Doctor
Bartolo, and who hopes to marry her
Almaviva concocts several strat-
egies to get inside Bartolo's house to
see his beloved, with the help of the
town barber and jack-of-all-trades,
Figaro. These include masquerading
as a soldier and later disguising him-
self as Rossina's music teacher.
Amidst the ensuing madness and
mayhem, the wily Figaro plans a dar-
ing midnight elopement for Rosina
and Almaviva, outwitting the hapless
"The Barber of Seville" is the
best display of Rossini's melodic
wit and ingenuity, particularly in
the famous overture, Rosina's
virtuosic "Una voce poca fa" and
the barber's lauded "Largo al facto-

a year after its successful produc-
tion "Madam Butterfly."
"We try to find repertory that
audiences will enjoy and respond
to," explained Joseph Colaneri, the
National Company's music direc-
tor. "'The Barber of Seville' is well-
suited to touring. Because it is a
one-set opera, there are none of the
tricky scene changes that you might
find in a more extravagant Verdi or
Wagnerian opera. Also, a small cast
of principle singers and a chorus of
only 10 men allows for greater man-

tum." Language should pose no bar-
rier to those not versed in either
Italian or the opera's libretto in this
production, as an English transla-
tion will be provided with supertitles
located above the stage.
Colaneri deemed the supertitles
to be a great success since their
implementation 10 years ago, al-
though said that touring is not with-
out its difficulties and compromises.
"We must deal with the vagaries
of different auditoriums every stop
along the way," he explained.
"When you play and sing in differ-
ent acoustics every night, you must
rely on the quick reflexes of the
This often means performing in
decidedly non-operatic conditions in
which singers and orchestra are un-
able to hear each other and interact.
Arriving to a small orchestra pit, or
worse yet, no pit, is one of the chal-
lenges of touring, he added. These
problems are anticipated by a string
section which is moderately reduced
in size, making for a 27-piece orches-
tra in addition to the 23 singers.
A double cast will supplement the
current tour, along with several techni-
cians and designers. The role of Count
Almaviva will be shared by Matthew
Chellis and Euro Nava. Daniel Mobbs
and John Packard will play Figaro, along
with Rachelle Perry and Helen Yu as
Rosina and Thomas Hammons and
Ed Kuepper
Character Assassination
The Butterfly Net
Though well-known in his native
Australia, Ed Kuepper has remained
a complete nobody in America for the
duration of his prolific 19 years of
musical work. During those 19 years,
he played with the Saints, the Aints,
the Laughing Clowns and released
several solo records. "The Butterfly
Net" collects songs from 1985 to 1992,
some of them previously unavailable
on CD. As an introduction to his work,
it functions well, offering several dif-
ferent perspectives on his unique take
on British pop. The songs range from
the stripped-down sound of "What
You Don't Know" and "Electrical
Storm" to the horn-laden "Also Sprach
the King ofEuro-Disco."
Kuepper's latest release, "Char-
acter Assassination," is a primarily
acoustic effort. Violins, washboards
and the occasional horn and
didgeridoo keep the record running
smoothly around Kuepper's finely
crafted pop gems as introspection in
the form of "By the Way" and "So
Close to Certainty" meets with the
pure pop of "La Di Doh" and the
jangly "A Good Soundtrack."
Kuepper closes "Character Assassi-
nation" with two covers, one a won-
derful chamber-pop take on "Ring of
Fire" that somehow is not at all out of
place on one of his best records to
- Dirk Schulze
Universal Stomp
Stomping of Jake
Every once in a while a hardcore 7-
inch comes out that makes you remem-
ber how great the genre can be. The

The NYC National Opera's production

Daniel Smith as Bartolo.
With Colerani stationed in New
York, direction will be provided by
Richard McKee, and conducting by

David Charles Abell. "In addition to all
of the challenges of touring," Colerani
noted, "there is the task of making the
familiar sound fresh and vital."

of 'The Barber of Seville" will thrill.'

history of hardcore hasproducedahand-
ful of greats including those by Bad
Trip, Gorilla Biscuits, No For an An-
swer, and now, Universal Stomp. Be
warned, however, because this record
is not for the weak at heart. It is as hard
and raucous as hell itself. It's the kind of
music you might want to put on after
you've broken up with a significant
other and are contemplating murder.
This should get your aggression out and
make you think twice (or drive you
right over the edge).
The music is, of course, very juve-
nile and reminiscent of early Judge.
With lyrics like "only enemy, enemy,

enemy, only enemy myself," it's doubt-
ful that vocalist Ed McEachern will be
going into brain surgery. Is intelligence
what hardcore is all about, though? N
It's about heavy, dancy riffs and Uni-
versal Stomp is full of them. "Lost" and
"O.E.M." are the best cuts by far be-
cause the riffs are just so incredibly
heavy. There's even some cheesy self-
effacing spoken word poetry dia Henry
Rollins to prove that they're really sen-
sitive guys at heart. It's available on
vinyl and disc, but try to get it on vinyl;
it's the way it's meant to be.
- Gianluca Montalti
See RECORDS, page 8


C AMMERMEYER in person

'Brady': A 1
By Joshua Rich
Daily Arts Writer
OK. Here's a little "Brady Bunch"
quiz for all you who think you really
know what keeps America's favorite
1970s family ticking .
1.WhatdoesMikedo foraliving (to
miraculously support afamily of nine)?
2. Does Marcia choose Doug or
Charlie? And who ARE Doug and
3. Who warns his brother, "Mom
always says: 'Don't play ball in the
4. Who hates Marcia the most, Jan
("Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!") or Cindy?
5. And whatever happened to Ti-
(Answers: 1. architect; 2. she
chooses Charlie, the nice guy, over
Doug, the Big Man on Campus; 3.
Bobby in the TV show; 4. Peter in the
movie; 5. Jan; 6. nobody knows ...)
Anyone who can not answer these
questions about one of the silliest yet
most loved television shows of all
time probably won't understand or
even care about the new film based
upon the 1969-1974 TV classic. For
the true "Brady" fan out there, how-
ever, "The Brady Bunch Movie" is a
fun flick filled with plots and themes
taken straight out of the show's clas-
sic episodes and faithfully sent again
into our hearts.
The whole movieplays like ajoke,
t' one time spoofing the original
Brady" cast and episodes, then at-
tempting to prove that the whole clan
is a bunch of geeks. In this film, the
Bradys are stuck in some sort of time
warp, lost in the 1970s while the rest
of the world has arrived in the 10s .

L--nch of goofy jokes
character in the TV show - plans to show and usually funnier than before.
tear down all the houses on Clinton The acting (by a cast of mostly un-
known actors) is generally solid -
even though the script demands little
of its players except to imitate the
The Brady mannerisms of the original cast --
B hMvi and the direction remains cleverly
Bunch Mo~pointed towardsmaking amockery of
Directed by Betty Thomas the old show. As a result, this film
with Shelley Long and remains an interesting and exciting
remake of its TV forebear, especially
Michael McKean in comparison to other movie updates
At Briarwood of late such, as "The Flintstones" or
"The Beverly Hillbillies."
Avenue where the Bradys live. With Most sophomoric is the extensive
the prospect of losing their special hyperbole which is used to present
home (which, of course, has no glass the Bradys as humorous dorks. Peter's
in the back doors or toilets), each voicedoes notcrackthatmuch, Marcia
Brady member sets aside his or her does not brush her hair so often, and
own difficulties to aid in the cause to Jan certainly does not hate Marcia as
save the house and restore peace to much as we are led to believe. Yes,
the neighborhood. the Bradys are not very hip for the
Throughout the production popu- '90s, nor were they especially cool in
lar themes from the original program the '70s either, but they are really not
repeatedly arise to the delight of many as geeky as the film presents.
a "Brady" fan or to the confusion of Nevertheless, what we areleft with
all who are not very familiar with the is a feeling similar to one we may feel
show. Marcia struggles to choose be- after watching a few episodes of the
tween two boys after getting a swol- TV show. We feel good and have had
len nose; Greg aspires to be rock star a few laughs, yet we are disgusted by
Johnny Bravo; Jan forgets to wear her the innocence of this clean family at
glasses; Peter's voice keeps cracking; the same time. Either way, the die-
Cindy speaks with an annoying lisp; hard "Brady" enthusiast and the
Bobby is the dreaded safety monitor newly-converted fan may certainly
at school. And the parents and Alice leave the theater singing one of the
play their usual role as foils to the family'strademarksongs.Onceagain
wild antics of their offspring. "The Brady Bunch"reminds us, how-
The execution of the old anec- ever annoyingly, that every day can
dotes is always faithful to the original be "A Sunshine Day."

author of SERVING IN SILENCE: Perpetuating
Military Prejudice-A Prototype forAmerican Society

Discrimination Against Gays & Lesbians in the Military



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