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November 13, 1996 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-13

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Book signing at Borders
Acclaimed Native American author Sherman Alexie will be reading from
and signing copies of his new novel, "Indian Killer," today at Borders
Books & Music. It is a rare opportunity to see this writer and poet up
close and personal. The event begins at 7:30 p m., and, as you should
expect, it is free.

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N A LvWednesday
November 13,1±96

DiFranco sheds attitude on Ann Arbor

By Shannon O'Neill
For the Daily
The Michigan Theater stage was stripped to
its barest necessities; a black curtain backdrop
and scattered instruments set the mood for the
evening Sunday night. The crowd was a mix of
die-hard Ann Arbor folk fans and college-age
smart music listeners.. By the time Ani
DiFranco hit the stage, the mood was set for a
high-energy, softly introspective 25-song set.
DiFranco and her acoustic guitar, backed
by her drummer Andy Stochansky and a
female bass guitarist, provided a hard-driving
sound throughout the evening. Opening with
"Fire Door" the crowd got to its feet and
stayed there, entranced, for the following two
hours. The bass-driven lullaby of
"Untouchable Face" kept everyone quiet. The
refrain of "Fuck you and your untouchable
face, and fuck you for existing in the first
place," brought out loud cheers.
DiFranco's delivery was part swaggering

attitude and part stand-still vulnerability.
Dressed in a vest and jeans, her hair held back
with a red bandanna, DiFranco took center
stage with ease."Worthy" got the crowd bop-
ping, and DiFranco's cynical tone could be
heard beneath each line.
She spent time
between songs talking RE
to the audience, and
laughing at herself."We
have instruments, and M
you want to hear people
play instruments. ... _
What a deal!" she said
before breaking into a spoken-word delivery.
DiFranco's solo, "Just a Thought," came
before the intermission. It was a fast and
energy-driven song that was delivered as
quickly as the thoughts came to her head.
The intermission was a nightmare mob of
people stampeding out the front doors for a
cigarette. By the time everyone was pressed

Ai
fci

shoulder to shoulder for 20 minutes, standing
up and craning your neck to see the stage did-
n't seem too bad at all.
DiFranco's performance after the set had an
increased intensity to it, as though she were
becoming more com-
fortable in front of the
VIE W crowd. The percussion-
driven "Anticipate" was
ii DiFranco a more direct version
higan Theater than the original, which
Nov. 10, 1996 enhanced DiFranco's
yodel-sounding vocals.
The harmony on "32
Flavors" balanced the hurt and witty lyrics.
This half of the show was characterized by
a more varied delivery. A song about a road
trip became a dark and haunting moment
with Stochansky playing the harmonica, and
a reverberation of bass. The "Smile pretty
and watch your back" refrain kept the mostly
female crowd chanting.

' DiFranco's bluesy delivery of her song
about a "diner on the corner" had the whole
crowd bopping en masse, as DiFranco's
vocals climaxed into a scream. "Shy" had
much of the same effect on the crowd, and
DiFranco became more and more breathy in
her delivery of the refrain, "stop me, won't
you, if you've heard this one before."
The band said its formal thank-yous and left
the stage, only to be followed by deafening
screams of "We love you Ani" and thunderous
applause. The first encore was a soulful ballad,
followed by a second encore of Stochansky
and DiFranco playing bongo drums to "Not
So Soft." It was a perfect final exit song as it
gave DiFranco a chance to rap about "the
failed America in me" with intensity.
The house lights came on, and we were left
with an empty stage, and a crowd gloating
after their more-than-fulfilling fix of intro-
spection and cynicism that only Ani can
deliver.

Folk balladeer Ani DiFranco gave Ann Arborites their fix of
raw cynicism in her Michigan Theater concert on Sunday.

Emotion swings into motion
'Swingers' takes a fresh look at dating, love in the '90s *

By Julia Shih
Daily Arts Writer
If you've ever felt the pangs of love
or have ever tried to pursue a member
of the opposite sex, then "Swingers"
will definitely grip you with all the pas-
sion and warmth of a lover's embrace.
Set in the '90s, a decade when love is
anything but simple, "Swingers" tells
the tale of a man trying to find love,
while mending a broken heart. Jon
Favreau plays Mike, an aspiring actor /
comedian whose move from New York
to Los Angeles has caused his relation-
ship with his girlfriend to become non-
existent. Desperately waiting for her to
call, Mike plods through life hanging
on to the hope of rekindling his rela-
tionship while his mindless gigolo

friends push at him to play the field.
The quick-paced and witty style of
the film make it extremely entertaining
and riveting. From the opening credits
to the final scene, "Swingers" wraps
itself into a neat
little package,
devoid of flaws. RE
All of the awk-
wardness and /
insecurities of the
modern dating
scene are adeptly
captured by the
film's brilliant director, Doug Liman.
Nice guy Mike, six months out of the
superficial rat race, attempts to re-enter
the dating scene with the help of his
friends Trent (Vince Vaughn), Rob

I1

The cast of Basement Arts' "The Comedy of Errors" is set for this weekend's performances.

Shakespeare's 'Errors' hits Arena

By Evelyn Miska
For the Daily
What do you get when you cross William Shakespeare and
Aretha Franklin? You get the latest Basement Arts produc-
tion, "The Comedy of Errors," which runs this weekend at the
Arena Theater in the basement of the
Frieze Building. Directed by Ernie
Nolan, this version of Shakespeare's PR]
This is the first time directing for
Nolan, a musical theater sophomore.
"It's a comedy, a love story and a Thursday1
piece of entertainment wrapped up into Arena Theater. G
one," Nolan said in a recent interview
with The Michigan Daily.
The play centers around two sets of twins, Antipholus of
Ephesus and Antipholus of Syracuse, and Dromio of Ephesus
and Dromio of Syracuse. The Dromio brothers are the ser-
vants of the Antipholus brothers, but tragedy strikes early.
Separated at birth, Antipholus and Dromio of Ephesus go in
search of their respective twin brothers, all the while leaving
a trail of confusion and mayhem behind them. Antipholus
claims not to recognize his wife, flirts with her sister, beats
servants and refuses to pay his debts, because he isn't the
right twin. "It's the idea of man out of control with his des-
tiny,' Nolan said of the work, which was Shakespeare's first
play.
Almost the entire cast is made up of musical theater
majors, which helps when dealing with the language
Shakespeare used. "These people are speaking in poetry and
the language almost becomes a song;' the director said. "So
you have people who are familiar with the musicality of lan-
guage."

m
E
T
th
en

Nolan also hopes people will not be hesitant about com-
ing to see one of Shakespeare's plays, even though they are
often thought to be boring shows with men prancing
around in tights. While Shakespeare set "The Comedy of
Errors" in the ancient town of Ephesus, Nolan has used his
own vision in this particular produc-
tion. "Ephesus is one big party with
VIE W lots of dance and music; the audience
he Comedy should come ready to party with the
actors," he said.
of Errors Along with Ephesus being a party,
rough Saturday at the Nolan also had certain visions for the
eral admission is free. different characters. "I pictured these
people in my mind, Dromio as Shaggy
from 'Scooby Doo' and Luciana as Marcia Brady from the
'Brady Bunch,"' he explained.
Nolan's goal for the production is to bring across his love
for theater and share it with the audience. But above all else,
he wants the viewers to see Shakespeare in an entirely differ-
ent way. "It's going to be different, it's not what people are
going to think it is. It's 'Laugh-In' (with) a contemporary
approach," he explained. As well as having characters like
those straight out of a '60s sit-com, Nolan has condensed the
text and, therefore, the show does not seem to be much longer
than a sit-com.
While a retro-Shakespeare production may seem a little
strange, the show at the Arena Theater should be colorful
and exciting. A love story and a comedy full of song,
dance and confusion should make Shakespeare anything
but dull and boring. Whether a die-hard Shakespeare fan
or a first-timer, this production of "The Comedy of
Errors" is bound to be a worthwhile evening of entertain-
ment and culture.

(Ron Livingston), Sue (Patrick Van
Horn) and Charles (Alex Desert) -
four guys who are the nightmares of
every Catholic schoolgirl's mother.
Through them, the audience learns
along with Mike
that: 1) You wait
VIE W at least two days
before you call a
Swingers honey; 2) You
** don't make eye
At the State Theater contact with your
prey; and, 3)
You'd betterook
"money" if you want to get the "diits."
Mike's readmittance into the dating
game bounces from bar and party hop-
ping, to crude nights of video games
with the gang, to diners where, after a
long night of chasing "babies," they
obsess about women and the tribula-
tions of life. Almost every aspect of dat-
ing and male bonding is covered here,
in a refreshing and honest manner.
Written and co-produced by its tal-
ented star Jon Favreau, "Swingers" is
largely based on Favreau's first y 'n
Hollywood. His friends in the movje,
outrageous as they may seem, are baed
on his real-life friends, as many scifes
are also based on real events. Favrau
jokes, "If I'd known (the movie) w'as
going to be made, I might have changed
some of the facts:'
Much of the movie is set againstos
Angeles' booming lounge scene, whlire
the film realistically captures the ier-
gy and excitement of its night jlife.
From the Lava Lounge to the Dresden
Room, the inventive directing and
excellent cinematography createan
atmosphere of freedom and euphoia
that the audience can't help getting
sucked into. It doesn't matter that Mike
and his friends are struggling acrs
whose lives appear to have no direciidn.
All that matters is just graspingthe
moment and obtaining the full experi-
ence of life. More than anything, tfhe
film celebrates living.
The feeling created in "Swingers"',is
what makes it tick. The film is a joer-
ney behind the scenes of the worldof0
guydom, with all its ridiculous textutes
and quirks. Men watch the film and
they sympathize, having been in the
same situations. Women watch the fm
and feel as if they are being let in on a
1 closely guarded secret - the secret of
all the insecurity and scheming be d
the male super-macho front.
The abundant laughs throughoutjte
movie come not only from witty &a-
logue and the antics of the characters,
but also from unexpected creatiie
brainstorms, such as the hilarious
homages to Quentin Tarantin's
"Reservoir Dogs" and Main
Scorsese's "Goodfellas." Not monty"re
these shot sequences tongue-in-i'%k
and technically daring, but they help
make "Swingers" one of the most bold
and innovative movies to come out of
Hollywood in a long time.
With its talented cast, brilliant doe t- *
ing and innovative script, "Swingers"
will, without a doubt, charm the socks
off audiences. Its irresistible story pf
friendship, love and life makes tlis
energetic and honest film one of te
most entertaining movies to come cut

A bunch of little-known actors shine In "Swingers."

m

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