8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 12, 1996
UAC's 'Lear' shines at Mendelssohn
By Kristin Bartus
Wth the current trend of modernizing Shakespeare,
the University Activities Center's Soph Show played
its part this weekend by presenting an updated version
of Shakepeare's utter tragedy "King Lear." This pro-
duction could not boast hot young actors like Claire
Danes or Leonardo DiCaprio. But "King Lear" still
shone, due in great part to the performances of its own
promising young cast.
Although not without faults, the Soph Show pro-
duction engaged audiences in
spite of its highly depressing
plot. In addition, the cast main- RE
tained the passion of the text
and the audience's attention Lydi
through more than three hours
of Shakespearean text.
This adaptation remained
trueto Shakespeare's play, but it
modernized other aspects of the production. "I think
that should be the driving force behind any type of
modernization or adaptation, not to necessarily take
some sort of poetic license with the work, but to bring
it closer to the audience. We want to make it look like
it did to the people of that day," said Michael
Newberry, producer and designer of the show, in an
interview with The Michigan Daily.
..Director Nitchie and Newberry were amazed at
finding such a talented cast of first-year and sopho-
more students that only included three theater majors
and one directing major out of 25 people. They credit
the 'cohesive cast with successfully bringing the
tragedy and comedy of "King Lear" to the audience.
"You can direct a show the best you can, you can
throw gobs of money at it, but that's the key that
makes a successful production - the cast being able
to know each other and play off each other," Nitchie
The two were anxious to create an impressive pro-
duction because this was the first time in recent histo-
ry that the Soph Show presented a straight drama
rather than a musical. "I want to impress the campus.
The Soph Show last year was Little Shop of Horrors.'
but prior to that for two years it had been gone.
Nobody had really been inter-
ested in taking hold of that par-
. I E W ticular committee of UAC and
King Lear doing anything with it. So, one
Mende/ssohn of our goals was to help Soph
Show keep coming back and
Theater really be a strong and respected
Nov. 8, 1996 theatrical group on campus,"
The Soph Show's adaptation of "King Lear" creat-
ed an impressive balance between the age of
Shakepeare's text and the modern age. Nitchie's deci-
sion to stray from the minimalist perspective on
scenery that is currently popular in productions of
Shakespeare was a good one. Although an extremely
well-trained cast can excel at Shakespeare on a nearly
bare stage, the use of scenery in this production
helped compensate for anything the young cast lacked
in its characterizations.
Newberry's actual scenic designs offered an
appropriate juxtaposition of modern and
Shakespearean elements. Four gray stone pillars
remained on stage throughout the play. This back-
drop served as a constant reminder of the age of the
text while modern scenic devices were added.
Goneril's living room contained palatial red velvet
curtains, but also a clock and modern couches. The
Gloucesters conducted business from a modern
office that overlooked a beautiful city skyline, rather
than from a castle.
The costumes also created a nice balance of old and
new, with the use of modern casual clothing and royal
uniforms that could be appropriate to either age. In
addition, the male characters still carried swords as
well as guns, but acceptably so because swordplay
remains a part of royal life today. The swordfighting
scenes (directed by Chris Barbeau) were visually riv-
eting and well-performed even while the actors recit-
ed Shakespearean text.
Although initially some of the actors performed in
a stiff manner that hindered their believability, their
performances intensified as the text's action escalated.
Also, even though several actors garbled the
Shakespearean lines occasionally, in general the cast
performed the text quite naturally.
Especially impressive performances came from the
evil seductresses Goneril (Elizabeth Shaw) and Regan
(Libby Walen) as well as from the sinister Edmund
(Jef Cozza). The finest performance however, came
from Lear himself (Kristopher Chung). Chung spoke
beautifully and played both Lear's evil and mad sides
This production of "King Lear" successfully cap-
tured the excitement and tragedy of the play despite a
few minor glitches. Filled with young talent, the show
promised an exciting future in theater at the
David Wilcox performed Saturday at the Ark.
Wilcox rocks the Aro
Wang Ping visits
Tonight at 7:30, Shaman Drum:
acclaimed Chinese writerf
Watg Ping. Wang 'Is on tour to t
celebrate the publication of
her first novel, "Foreign Devil"
(Coffee House Press). Critics
are heralding the novel as a
wonderful debut, a vibrant,
vivid and poignant portrayal of
life in China just after the
Cultural Revolution. Wang,
borff In Shanghai, now lives in
New-York. Admission to her
exclusive Ann Arbor reading is
free, and a reception will fol-J
low the main event. Call 662-
7407 for more information.
Tuesday, November 12 7:30 PM Wolverine Room, Union
'Hip Hop Classics' take a
long trip down memory lane
Hip Hop Classics
(vols. 1 & 2)
As more and more mediocre per-
formers continue to get undeserved
recording contracts, many rap
lovers are turning to the
songs of the past.
Maybe they want to
hear music from a
time when rappers
had to dish out good
lyrics in an interest-
ing manner.- regard-
less of how nice a
song's beats were - in
order to become a success.
Or maybe they just want to know
where things began to go wrong.
"Hip lop Classics" is a compilation
of favorites composed at a time when
rap music was performed for the love of
the music, not a love of the money. The
breadth of offerings found on these two
CDs will satisfy anyone with a respect
for hip hop's roots.
"Vol. 1" features EPMD ("You're a
Customer"), the beat-boxing skills of Biz
Markie ("Make the Music with Your
Mouth"), the hip-hop revolutionaries of
Public Enemy ("Rebel without a Pause").
the joyful duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh
Prince ("Rock the House") and the for-
ever-scowling philosophical rapper Ice
Cube ("AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted").
"Vol. 2"'s offerings include another
EPMD selection ("You Gots to Chill").
D.O.C. before his accident ("It's Funky
Enough-). the upbeat Main
Source ("Looking at the
Front Door"). the always
hip duo Eric B. &
phone Fiend"). Doug
E. Fresh & the Get
Fresh Crew ("The
Show") and Brand
Nubian ("All for One"),
as well as some of the first
women of rap - Salt-N-Pepa
("Push It") and IJ Fad ("Supersonic").
Sometimes people can be so clouded
by things going on now that they forget
what came before them. '"lip Ilop
Classics' pushes past the blinds of
today's oftentimes weak rap offerings
and reminds us of the noble beginnings
of this musical form. Listening to these
songs. it should renain a firm fact in
everyone's mind that we owe it to rap's
progenitors to always demand the best
and never settle.
By Mark Feldman
Daily Arts Writer
In a recent interview with The
Michigan Daily, David Wilcox said,
"Most music today is marketed without
regards to durability." Perhaps this is
the reason why his music hasn't
reached a wider audience yet. But near-
ly a decade of almost constant touring
hasn't taken its toll yet on Wilcox.
On Saturday night he played for two
and a half hours in front of 200 or so
adoring fans with all the enthusiasm
and enfergy of an artist's first show.
It is more
accurate to use
the "folk music" RI
label for [David .
Wilcox thlan it is
for most, because
le actually sings
about folks. "I try
to write songs for
one person." Wilcox said. "I want
someone to listen to my lyrics and feel
'Yikes, that hits close!"'
Indeed, that anecdotal style of lyric
writing is employed by very few singers
these days, and it is done with such con-
sistent high quality by even fewer. In
one evening, there were songs about
everything from 1950s cars to hardware
stores to waffle houses, as well as some
of the most insightful songs about rela-
tionships in contemporary music,
Wilcox should be commended for
being able to write and sing about both
sides of a difficult situation rather than
taking the easy way out and doing
entire albums of you-left-me, therefore-
"There's a lot of music that uses the
human voice as an instrument, not
paying a whole lot of attention to
what the words actually are.' Wilcox
said. "And that's fine to write that
way. but I want to respect the listeners
more. I want my !yrics to be the part
of the song that people get to know
gradually. It's like whn you get to
know someone, their personality
takes a while to come through - I
want the words to be my songs, per-
Nov. 9. 1996
The show was entertaining and
accessible for new fans, and authentic
enough for old fans as well. No folk
concert is complete without a few
laughs, but even Wilcox's funny songs
are respectable. "Blow 'em Away" is a
tirade against bad drivers that anyone
who's ever been on U.S. 23 at rush hour
would love, "East Asheville Hardwa "
warns us to buy local before going
the superstore and "The Lost Years"
will cause any recent college graduate
who doesn't yet have a plan for life to
think Yikes, that hits close!'
As for old
were plenty of
thenm in the showv
- "'Eye of the
D r e a m
"Sunshine On the Land" and "Farther
So does Wilcox get sick of playing
those songs continuously since 1989?
Au contraire. "I really enjoy getting
inside the process of playing a song," he
said. "There are times when (in an od
song) it feels like l've never played it
before and I'm never going to plays
again. The whole live performance
thing is still very much a mystery to
As for the next album, we should be
seeing it pretty soon. "I've got about IQ
new songs," Wilcox said. "I'm branch-
ing out in many new directions, playing
a lot of new instruments. What I put on
the album may depend entirely on what
mood I want it to take."
If any of these new songs are tI s
ones he played on Saturday night. su*
as "The Waffle House:' "If You Don't
Die in Glory" or "We're Good
Together," we'll be in for a treat.
But Saturday night proved that David
Wilcox needs no hit singles to be sati$-
fied or to satisfy his audience - every
song (and heplayed nearly 30) was a
hit. If you missed him this time around,
only one word needs to be said about
the next time: don't.
"Stand Up for Everyone's Rights Through
Nobert W. Jeffries, C.S.B. Member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship
A free lecture sponsored by the University Christian Science Organization
A SET OF COURSE OFFERINGS
IN MICROBIOLOGY AND IMMUNOLOGY
FOR WINTER TERM 1997
The Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the Department of Biology will be continu-
ing a series of courses set in a modular format. Each one credit module runs for one third of a
semester. In some cases multiple modules can be combined to make up a traditional course.
Students may choose from the various modules to create a program that best fits their educational
oAectives and interests.
Microbiology 606, 607, and 608 are three modules focusing on microbial physiology and patho-
enesis. They are designed for upperclass advanced undergraduates and graduate students interest-
ed in health sciences. These modules will be offered consecutively and will meet TTH from 10-
11:30 AM in 5623 Medical Science Building II.
Prerequisites for the nodules -first year biochemistry and genetics or permission
Module I (Not offered for Winter '97)
Microbiology 606 - Microbial Physiology & Metabolism (I credit)
of course director:
The Cellular Biotechnology Training Program will
offer Cellular Biotechnology 504 in the Winter '97 term.
Sopics covered include biomolecular recognition,
ligand-receptor dynamics affecting cytoskeletal
rearrangements, biotechnology applications in disease
treatment at the organ level, retroviral targets for the
therapeutic drug design, tissue engineering, cellular
differentiation control, and microbial adaptation and
response in environmental biotechnology.
The course provides an overview of the disciplinary
foci that define the field of cellular biotechnology, with
emphasis placed on conveying knowledge of basic
principles and on illustrating the relationships between
the various subjects within the context of the integrated
Microbiology 607 - Microbial Pathogenesis I (I credit)
Module III (2/18-3/25)
Microbiology 608 - Microbial Pathogenesis 11(1 credit)
TIe first module focuses on the metabolism and physiology of growth (not being offered for Winter
'97). The second module deals with colonization mechanisms and attributes of pathogens. The
third module focuses on molecular mechanisms.underlying bacterial infectious disease. Note -
Module II is a prerequisite for Module III.
Microbiology 641 and 642 are two modules focusing on molecular and cellular events in the
immune response. They are designed for upperclass advanced undergraduates and graduate students
interested in the health sciences. These modules will be offered consecutively and will meet TTH
from 1-2:30 PM in 5631 Medical Science Building II.