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October 10, 1996 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-10

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8B - The ichigan Daily WeekedtM agazine - Thursday, Oct er 10, 19960

The Michigan Da4Weekefdl Ma
Diverse, world-class performances IN.
slated for University Productions

New teen-age R&B group,
Mista, releases first record

By Eugene Bowen
Daily Arts Writer
It could just as easily have been a
phone conversation with my younger,
teen-aged cousin, Brandon. Only the
Brandon I was talking 'to wasn't my
cousin. He looks nothing like my
cousin. He's a native of Atlanta, not
Little Rock. And he - unlike my
cousin - is a member of Mista, the
newest teen R&B quartet out right now.
At 13, Brandon Brown is the
youngest member of Mista; the other
members, Bobby Wilson, Darryl
Allen,and Byron Reeder, are 16, 16 and

17 respectively. Yet reviewing the con-
tents of his entertainment career thus
far, one quickly notices that Brandon
has already come farther than many
ever will.
And things are only beginning.
"I've been in a couple of commer-
cials," Brandon said. "I was in some
TBS KidsBeat TV advertisements, and
I did a public service commercial on
healthy eating."
And now Mista has an album out.
The debut, self-titled release was
released June 11, and Brandon was
more than willing to talk about it.

FOR YOUR
EYE EXAMS & EYEGLASSES

"It's exciting to finally finish our first
album," he began. "And you know, this
album is like our first musical impres-
sion. This is the album that'll leave an
imprint in everyone's mind when the
next album comes out.
"One of the best things about our
music is that it's not like just, 'Baby I
miss you, and I want you back.' It's
more like songs about life and what
people go through. Like take the first
single from our album, 'Blackberry
Molasses.' It's basically talking about
the struggles that people go through
everyday; it's saying that there's no such
thing as paradise. But you gotta keep
pushin' on, because even though you
have problems, you need faith in God,
you know? And hopefully, things will
turn out for the best. You have to take
the bad along with the good, because
life isn't always happy.
"But 'Tears, Scars & Lies' is the song
that's gonna blow us up, hopefully,
'cause it's like the song we all (in Mista)
love. This song is so deep. It's basically
saying that in a relationship you did me
wrong, and now you're trying to get back
with me and pretend like nothing ever
happened. But it's not that easy 'cause
you really hurt me the first time."
Brandon admits that many would
scoff at his performing songs about love,
yearning and hurt. They would question
what personal experiences qualify him
(and his fellow Mista performers) to sing
about such sensitive topics.
"I've had girlfriends; I've broken up
and stuff like that' he contended. "I've
had crushes on girls, but I admit I don't

By Stephanie Jo Klein
Daily Arts Writer
After a busy week of last-minute set
changes, costume checks and frantic
dress rehearsals, University
Productions will be celebrating the start
of the 1996-97 drama season with the
exciting carnival atmosphere of Italian
playwright Carlo Goldoni's "Pamela."
The first of the year's ten selected
drama, theater, opera and dance pro-
ductions, "Pamela" should start off the
season on a grand scale. "Pamela" will
have 31 cast members, one of the
largest casts of any University produc-
tion, and will test the resources and
strength of the department as it goes.
Prof. Erik Fredricksen, chair of the
department of theater and drama, said
the School of Music had to pick the
shows wisely, so the University
Productions staff would not be over-
worked in the busy season.
"We want to get as many kids on stage
as possible, but it becomes a complication
for University Productions" Fredricksen
said. "(They do) all the sets and costumes
for the musical theater, theater and drama,
dance, and opera productions:"
"The operas are double-cast, requir-
ing two sets of costumes for each char-
acter;" Fredricksen said.
Hand made costumes take time and
money to put together; production staffs
will have to work more this season to
accommodate the larger cast numbers.
Direct production costs total $895,000

and are spread over ten shows.
Jeffrey Kuras, managing director of
University Productions, said the budget
may sound like a lot of money, but it's not.
"The Metropolitan Opera in New York
has a budget of $80 million and they still
always want more,' Kuras said. "Money
gets tight when you get to that quality.'
For the past month and for the rest of
the year, students have been and will be
working hard to create the scenes and
illusions of the shows, ranging from the
Italian opera "The Elixir of Love,' to
Charles Dickens' musical murder mys-
tery "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," to
the dramatic "Dancing at Lughnasa.
"U-Prod gives the kids the real
thing," Residential College junior
Lance Friedman said. "We don't do
half-ass. We're all professionals here.d
Friedman is one of many students
working behind the scenes on lighting,
scenery and make-up.
For Friedman, the long hours of work
is a labor of love, even though they are
required for the academic program.
"Engineershate doing long labs, but
I love to design all the time, he said.
"Ninety percent of what goes on in a
production, the audience is unaware of.
You can have a red color slowly dim-
ming on stage and after 20 minutes
you're not aware of it, but the stage is
red. The mood is set."
Heather Dilly, a senior in the BFA
theatre program and the star of
See PRODUCTIONS, Page 17B

The youngsters are Byron Reeder, Brandon Brown, Bobby Wilson and Darryl Allen.

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think I've ever been in love. I've been
happy and sad, too. Anyone can feel
those ways. Besides, we're not just writ-
ing from our own experiences. I've seen
what other people in my life have gone
through over time."
However, questions of Mista group
members' ages don't just end with what
they sing about. Some go on to question
why these "children" should even be
allowed to sing professionally. There
are people who graduate from college
not knowing what they want to do with
their lives. So how can a 13-year-old be
so certain?
"Every time I hear music or sing or
perform, there's this feeling inside that

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reassures me and makes me happy,"
Brandon said. "All of us in Mista love
performing. There's nothing like it. I
wouldn't trade it for anything else."
But of course, getting tired is far
from an impossibility. Brandon
explained: "Our voices have gotten
stronger by performing so much. But it
is kind of tiring. Performing takes a lot
more out of you than most people think.
I mean, it doesn't take so much out of
you that you can't live or anything like
that, but it sort of wears you out."
Brandon used the group's first tour
- this past summer's 26-city EarthJam
tour -- as an example. "We would wake
up as early as six, perform two shows,
visit a couple of radio stations and inter-
view with a couple of magazines in one
day. We'd be lucky to get to bed by mid-
night. It does wear you out, but that's
the sacrifice we have to make for the
life we've chosen."
Besides, Brandon does have a life
outside of his music, and he plans on
doing more with his life than simply
performing. "I mean, we're regular
kids," he said. "We trip out. We play
basketball. I like to swim, and drawing
is a good hobby of mine. I might have a
comic strip or something like that one
of these days. Maybe I'll have a TV
show or something. I want to act and
produce, maybe even be in the movies.
But right now, Mista is just concentrat-
ing on coming out. We're working so
hard on trying to be in the public eye.
that just seems like the greatest thing in
the world."
See MISTA, Page 17B

A student works on a dress d

The Cleveland (
Christoph von Dohnin:

"Te uren camio a nA er9a

October I11

i

From left to right: Jenna Davis, Heather Dilly and Alexander Alloto In "Pamela."
'amela' opens theater
season in ca val yl

Friday, October 11
8:00pm, Hill Auditorium
The Cleveland Orchestra
Christoph von Dohninyi,
Olaf Baer, baritone

music director

Sate
8:00
The
Chri
Step
Prog
Wagi
Herb
Tcha

By Tyler Patterson
Daily Theater Editor
With a festive and celebratory fervor,
the University department of theater and
Drama opens its '96-'97 season with the
first English rendition of Carlo
Goldoni's historic play, "Pamela."
Directed by internationally renowned
University faculty member John Russell
Brown, this production promises to be
one of University Productions' most
ambitious and intriguing ventures yet.
Originally performed for the Venice
Carnival in the year 1749, this piece
was the much-awaited stage adaptation
of a Samuel Richardson's novel of the

same name. Considered by many histo-
rians to be the first novel ever written,
"Pamela" took Europe by storm, inspir-
ing many copy cat artists and a pletho-
ra of "Pamela" souvenirs. No other
work, however, had the power or the wit
of Goldoni's stage version.
"There were two streams of theater
(in Italy at the time)," Brown said in a
recent interview with The Michigan
Daily. "One of them was very courtly
and very sophisticated, religious and
philosophical, very political. But there
was a huge amount of very popular the-
ater, as well, which was also political,
See PAMELA, Page 17B

Program:
Rands Canzone per orchestre
Schubert Lieder
Debussy La Mer
Sunday, October 13
4:00pm, Rackham Auditorium
Chamber Music with Members of the
Cleveland Orchestra
Program:
Sagietti Suite for Trombone Contralto and Strings
Stravinsky Octet for Wind Instruments
Brahms String Sextet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 36

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