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December 02, 1997 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-12-02

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Daily Arts is giving away passes to "The Rainmaker," in theaters
now. Don't miss your chance to win a free ticket for two to see the
latest John Grisham thriller, starring Matt Damon and Claire Danes.
All you must do is stop by the Arts office in the Student Publications
Building at 420 Maynard after 1 p.m. and tell us in what film Matt
Damon starred with Brendan Fraser. Supplies are limited.

December 2, 1997

9erlman to perform at Hill

By Emily Lambert
Daily Arts Writer
Violinist Itzhak Perlman is one of the
biggest names in classical music and he
has:one of the biggest resumes to boot.
He can boast
ap pearances with PR
very major
orchestra on stages Itz
throughout the
world and addition-
al cameos on "Late $10 studen
Show with David
Letterman," "Sesame Street" and "The
Frugal Gourmet." That was Perlman
who soloed on the soundtrack for
"Schindler's List" and that was Perlman
*ho joined the Israel Philharmonic for
its historic first visits to China, India and
the former Soviet Union. He's a rarity, a
classical music superstar, and tonight he
brings his name and fame to Ann Arbor.
But he won't play a note of classical
music. He'll play klezmer.
In the words of this Israeli-born fid-
dIer, his interest in performing klezmer,
Jewish folk music, was "a fluke."
About two years ago, he was
approached to host a PBS documentary
-,otit this sound, born of the Yiddish-
speaking culture that once flourished in
Eastern Europe. Combining dance, folk
and liturgical tunes, klezmer survived
with Jewish immigrants who traversed

the globe in search of freedom. Perlman,
whose parents were Polish emigrants,
agreed to host the show. Asked if he
would be willing to play a few notes
with the film's featured groups, Perlman
said he'd consider

hak Periman
Tonight at 8
Hill Auditorium
nt rush tickets available

"I said perhaps,"
said Perlman in a
recent interview.
"And then when I
started to play, I got
totally taken by the

actual act of playing this kind of music."
Part religion, part nostalgia, klezmer
was not foreign to Perlman's ears.
"Any person who grows up in Israel
or listens to anything that has to do with
his roots would obviously listen to
Klezmer music somewhere along the
way," he said. "It's all over the place. It's
part of the culture"
Klezmer did not fall naturally under
Perlman's fingers, however. Known for
flawless technique and control, he had
to adjust to the less literal style.
Klezmer, he discovered, is all about lis-
"You learn, basically, from experi-
ence," he said. "You listen to people that
you admire do certain things a certain
way and then you try to make it your
own ... . So as I'm playing, I'm con-
stantly learning."

He will be learning tonight, as he
takes the Hill Auditorium stage with
four modern and disparate klezmer
ensembles: The Klezmatics, Brave Old
World, The Klezmer Conservatory Band
and The Andy Statman Klezmer
"These groups have extremely won-
derful players who've had years of expe-
rience and exposure to this kind of
music," Perlman said. "Throughout
rehearsals, one always gets instruction,
whether on purpose or not."
Perlman called klezmer and classical
"oranges and apples," but said klezmer
was not a stretch for him. The styles
have similarities, notably the role of
An obvious trait of klezmer, he
explained, improvisation is equally
important for Bach and Brahms.
"That makes classical music work,
the ability to improvise," said Pcrlman,-
who said playing with tone, phrasing
and direction brings classical pieces off
the page. "It can be very, very subtle and
when it works it makes a good perfor-
mance a great one."
Some other great classical violinists
could well have fiddled in klezmer, said
Perlman, who immediately thought of
Yehudi Menuhin, one generation his
"He had that kind of incredible spon-

taneity to his playing. You felt that what-
ever he was doing was for the first
time," Perlman said. "I don't know if he
ever played (klezmer), but it's certainly
not far fetched"
Handicapped from a childhood case
of polio, Perlman is popular for his
humanity as well as ability. Some of his
many supporters may prefer he keep his
often conservative focus, but the
response to his foray into klezmer has
been enthusiastic.
The klezmer documentary, which
won an Emmy award, was followed by a
best-selling recording and tour. A sec-
ond "Fiddler" album, recorded in New
York's Radio City Music Hall, hit stores
last year.
Proof of Perlman's enduring popular-
ity seems to have come last summer at
Tanglewood, where the audience was
dancing in the aisles by the program's
end. Perlman joked that Tanglewood,
"the bastion of classical music, could
be renamed "wood untangled."
"Fiddler" isn't Perlman's first
crossover project. He has recorded in
other styles, including jazz and ragtime,
and recently began conducting, too.
According to Perlman, every musical
experience complements others.
"It's nice to have variety in your life,"
he said. "Variety helps you keep what
you do fresh, always spontaneous."


Itzhak Perlman performs klezmer, a style of Jewish folk music, tonight at Hill.
That, he stressed, is among the great- as the old masters might have - for
est challenges for any musician. family celebrations, such as the bar or
Perlman has taken klezmer on the bat mitzvahs of future grandchildren?
road, now, but he hasn't taken it home. "Yeah, maybe," said Perlman, consid-
Would he, the father of five, ever play it ering the possibility. "If they ask me."

'Anastasia' gives Disney a run for its money

e members of ResRep get ready for their big show tonight.
I ResRep lvens'U '

By Prashant Tamaskar
Daily Arts Writer
In the unpredictable world of children's movies, the
only constant seems to be that clever marketing is
enough to lift a film to financial success. Recent pro-
ductions such as "Jumanji," "The
Hunchback of Notre Dame" and R
"Hercules" have grossed more
than $10 million despite receiv-
ing mixed reviews from both crit- 91
ics and audiences. Without their
shrewd promotional departments, At E
these films probably would have
exited theaters quickly and quietly.
Along the same lines, the pub-
licity surrounding 20th
Century Fox's new
release "Anastasia"
should all but guarantee
a healthy profit for the
company challenging
Disney's control of the


By Christopher Tkaczyk
Campus Arts Editor
ResRep, short for Residential
Reperatory, is a group of 13 students that
presents a series of sketches and plays
,ithin a singular
rformance. There
are a multitude of 1
theater troupes
within the commu-
nity, but not that
many have the extra
oomph that ResRep
puts into each production. Designed as
more of a social commentary and inter-
pretion of theater, the group of students
writes and performs its own work within
e University's Residence Halls.
ResRep started as a graduate student's
thesis project in 1985, but suffered from
lack of interest in recent years. Four years
ago, Decky Alexander, a professor at
Eastern Michigan University, started the
group again, and it has since taken off to
be a team whose membership is coveted
by amateur actors, playwrights and direc-
tors. Members must audition to become a
part of the troupe, and those involved stay
* their positions until graduation. Not
until someone leaves does ResRep hold
auditions for open positions.
According to Alexander, and the


troupe's assistant director, the financial
backing for the troupe comes from fund-
ing by Residential Education, a division of
the Residence Hall Association. Hillel
provides the group with all of its publicity,
even though the
EVIE w group is secular in
context. Many stu-
ResRep dents who are new
Tonight at 9 to the University
East Quad Auditorium have seen ResRep
Free during their first-
year Orientation.
"We've been the highest rated pro-
gram during Orientation for the past
two years," Alexander said.
The final performance of this semes-
ter's show, "The Meaning of Life," will
begin tonight at 9 in East Quad
Residential Structure.
One particularly popular sketch is
titled "Cooking with Geeta." The fea-
tured performer of the sketch, Geeta
Makhija, an LSA junior, has been
involved with ResResp since she
entered the University three years ago.
"It's important to me because of the
diversity. We present interesting ideas
that affect each other as a community of
different individuals ... ResRep is mak-
ing this University a more aware and
celebrated place:"

of the movie, but in its content, which may be too heavy
for the younger segment of its target audience.
The historically questionable "Anastasia" tells the
story of the youngest daughter of the Romanov
Dynasty, which was deposed during the Russian
Revolution of 1917. Cursed by
E V I E W Rasputin, the evil magician, all of
the Romanovs except for
Anastasia Anastasia and the Dowager
Empress Marie, her grandmother,
**A are killed during an attack on the
Briarwood and Showcase royal palace. Although these two
are able to escape because of the
help of a young servant named Dimitri, they are sepa-
rated, presumably forever.
Ten years later, Dimitri and his friend Vladimir are con
men hoping to receive a large reward for reuniting the
Empress Marie, now in Paris, with her long lost grand-
daughter. They devise a scheme to teach a common woman
to act like a Romanov princess. Dimitri and Vladimir find
the perfect person in Anya, an 18-year-old orphan search-
ing for the family that she cannot remember.
Meanwhile, Rasputin, who rec-
ognizes that Anya is indeed the
youngest Romanov, seeks to
<.. make sure that the reunion
never takes place.
Aside from history, kids will strug-
gle with some of the more human aspects of
"Anastasia" But this is because certain plots and
themes throughout the film are too developed.
"Anastasia"'s major shortcoming is that it may be
more entertaining to the parents who take their children
to the movie than to the kids themselves. While there
are many entertaining songs, the film suffers from a

dearth of silly humor.
Nevertheless, the film's strength lies in its creation of
excellent, three-dimensional characters. Anya (Meg
Ryan), Dimitri (John Cusack), Vladimir (Kelsey
Grammer) and the Empress Marie (Angela Lansbury) all
show a wide range of emotions. These fitting protago-
nists are contrasted nicely by the truly malicious
Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd), whose hard edge is miti-
gated by a rickety body that literally falls apart at times,
and by Bartok (Hank Azaria), his bat sidekick, who can
be credited with most of the film's funny moments.
While the writing of "Anastasia" stands out in many
ways, the most memorable aspect of the movie is its ani-
mation. Although its artists occasionally struggle with
human body movement and the mouthing of words, the
background scenery is nothing short of breathtaking.
"Anastasia" is a flashy, intelligent production that only
fails in reducing a complex story to a more basic level. In
all probability, because of its shrewd marketing cam-
paign, the movie's gross will not be indicative of how
viewers (in particular young chil-
dren) feel about it. Regardless,
for the debut production of
Fox's revamped ani-

animation industry. Yet it is
likely that this film will not
completely satisfy the major-
ity of the people who see
it. The reason for the
possible disappointment
does not lie in the quality

}i ,s e U a I{. Employment Opportunities


Prospective Teacher Education Meeting
Wednesday, December 8, 1997
6:00 p.m.
Schorling Auditorium
Room 1202 School of Education Building
Call 764-7563 for more information.

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