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October 10, 1997 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-10

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wigjema

Don't miss the special M-Flicks screening of "The Goonies." On
Saturday night, catch the antics of Mikey, Brand, Andy, Chunk, Data,
Mouth and Steph as they try to save their neighborhood from evil
developers and the even more evil Mama and her boys. Bring a Baby
Ruth and a friend to this kiddie adventure spectacle directed by the
now-well-respected Richard Donner. Saturday. Nat Sci. 7 and 9 p.m.

Friday
October 10, 1997

8

Funk' makes noise at Fisher NONE h 5tI i

By Christopher Tkaczyk
Campus Arts Editor
' When Savion Glover was just 12 years old, he stunned
Smoviehouse audiences with his fast-tapping dance style in the
1985 movie "The Tap Dance Kid."
Under the auspices of tap king Gregory
Hines, Glover learned the tricks of the tap
a dancing trade, and went on to become the Brir
best-known dancer on Broadway today. Br
Hines' most recent stage endeavor was
1992's "Jelly's Last Jam," a musical
based on the life of jazzman Jelly Roll
Morton. Glover appeared as young Jelly
while Hines portrayed older Jelly. It was during this run that
Glover began designing ideas for a new show, which would
eventually become "Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk."
Not until 1996 did it open on Broadway when director
George C. Wolfe and choreographer Glover moved the venue
from the Public Theater to Broadway's Ambassador Theater,
where it received rave reviews.
The national tour of the Broadway
production opened last week at
Detroit's Fisher Theater. The tour fea-
tures the same influence and musical
numbers that shaped the Broadway
show, including direction by George C.
Wolfe and choreography by Savion
Glover.
Apart from sending a reaffirmation
of dance in the Broadway musical (a
majority of new musicals have abused
the music and special effects of the-}
ater), "Noise/Funk" also gave a new
hope to the American stage musical. It
brought with it a new view of what the-
ater means to modernaudiences, and its
success has proved that the artform will
never die.
"Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da
Funk" has been successful not because Vickilyn Reynolds
of its implication of dance, but because
of its entertaining artistry that redefines
what audiences come to the theater to witness. "Noise/Funk"
shows us once again why dance is so important in the theater;

rinl

it is a no-holds-barred presentation of all that has the beat.
"'Da Beat," as it is commonly referred totin the production,
is the basis for the show's plot. The musical presents the his-
tory of 'da beat as the rhythm of the dance. 'Da Beat is fol-
lowed from early slavery days of the
Unites States up through the current Hip
:.V I E W Hop/Rap era of our current decade. We
in 'Da Noise, are allowed to witness not only the devel-
ig in: 'Da Funk opment and evolution of 'da Beat, but
Fisher Theater also a slight glimpse into a partial histo-
ry of Black America. 'Da Beat is also the
Oct.2,.1997 main character of the show, played on
Broadway by Glover himself, and by
Derick K. Grant in the national tour.
The show is not all dance however. There is one solo vocal-
ist who carries the singing aspect of the production. 'Da
Voice, as she is referred, is played by Vickilyn Reynolds in the
current national tour. Reynolds is a vocal powerhouse. Her
interpretation of 'da Voice proves emotional and moving.
Her gospel-like vocal quality
takes one to the confines of a Baptist
African-American church service.
Her voice is a treasure from a
supreme being, and she bestows it
upon the show like a blessing. She is
the only actual singer in the show
and she provides most of the back-
ground vocalizing as well. Her
amazing talent is alone worth the
price of admission.
"Noise/Funk" is structured into 26
musical numbers. Each number has a
theme and presents a way in which 'da
Beat is passed on from generation to
generation. "Slave Ships," one of the
show's first numbers, illustrates the
way in which the 'a Beat began on a
slave ship, making its way from Africa
to the Unites States. When the slaves
featured in "Funk." were denied use of drums by their slave
drivers, they carried 'da Beat in their
hearts and voices, and later applied it in
their dancing.
One emotional number, "The Lynching Blues," tells of a

There's plenty of noise and fun in this rollicking depiction of African-Americans during the Industrial Revolution.

long-forgotten incident in American history when 50 African-
Americans were slain in 1916 Georgia. The dancing
sequence is raw and evokes a sad atmosphere of the brutality
and inhumane treatment that occupied the early part of this
century.
A highlight of the production is undoubtedly "The
Panhandlers," a scene in which the show's two drummers
emerge wearng costumes composed of different-sized pots
and pans Using two drumsticks apiece, each drummer whips
out rhythm and song on a framework of metal as well as each
other, providing one of the many showstopping numbers that
the musical has to offer.
The hard-lined complexity of the Blue Collar
Working America is showcased in "Industrialization," a
scene in which four dancers and two percussionists
develop a factory machine using nothing but them-
selves, a steel framework and chains. Complete with
steam and lighting effects, this number is definitely a
highlight of the play.
The talent of Derick K. Grant is highly expressed in the
number "Green, Chaney, Buster, Slyde," a scene in which the

history of tap dancing is delivered by illustrating the styles
that each of these dancers contributed to the world. Grant per-
forms the dances in front of a set of three mirrors that face the
audience under a single spotlight that shines from overhead.
Grant's talent is amazing and leaves no longing for Glover's
expertise. He handles the shifts from each dancer's style with
ease, making the ability seem less complex.
The transfer of tap dancing into the world of hip-
seemed a strange and frightening possibility, but after wi
nessing the show's final number, audience members expe-
rienced what is probably some of the best dancing to be
featured onstage in quite some time. Transferring 'da Beat
from stage to audience probably was not Wolfp's and
Glover's original intentions. When middle-aged to-elderly
women are found dancing upon their exit from the theater,
it can be assured that one has experienced a quality display
of talent and entertainment!
"Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk" will beplayin
at Detroit's Fisher Theater through November 2._ For tic -
information call the Fisher Theater (313) 872-1000, tr
Ticketmaster (248) 645-6666.

is

Smoking
Popes light
up at MSU
By Colin Bartos
Daily Arts Writer
Few bands pour their hearts out the
way the Smoking Popes do. Maybe
that's what sets them apart from a lot of
the bands out there. Sure, they've got a
super-catchy sound and a totally radio-
friendly accessibility, but there's some-
thing so natural and uncontrived about
them that they're totally unique.
The three Caterer brothers, Eli, Matt,
and Josh, along with drummer Mike
Felumlee, from
Chicago way, have
by no means had it
easy thus far. Their :
debut, "The
Smoking Popes Get
Fired," is almost Call MSU Car
entirely unobtain-
able, and their Capitol Records debut,
"Born To Quit," has gone by and all but
been forgotten. The Popes looked to be
the next big thing in 1994, when their
single "Need You Around" started
blowing up all over the place, but noth-
ing else seems to have panned out for
them.
Now, three years later, the Popes have
been quietly making steps in the right
direction, as Josh Caterer stated in a
recent interview.
"So far, ... the best thing we've got
going is the response we've gotten from

Estonian choir travels in harmony
nBy Anitha Chalam
Iliy Arts Writr W "

These Popes are smoking - but they're trying to quit..

college radio. Right away we started
doing well on the college charts. So, we
thought we'd play all the Midwest col-
leges ... except for yours."
So that's what the Smoking Popes are
doing: hitting the road, playing small
colleges (and MSU) in support of their
excellent new

REVIEW
moking Popes
Saturday
Michigan State university
mpus Events for more info.
extra oomph that

a l b u m
"Des t i nat i o n
Failure."
"Destination
Failure" is more
of what the Popes
are about, that
makes the Smoking

Popes better than your favorite pop
band.
"Our goal was definitely to make a
better album, and I feel we accom-
plished that," Caterer said. "'Born To
Quit' took us about four days to record
but this one took a few months and
somehow, it ended up ... having more
of a natural sound to it, which is ironic,
considering that's less natural."
Caterer also explained what took so
long for the record to surface. "We had
14 songs we turned into the label ...

They listened to it and said, 'We like it,
but we can't decide what the single
should be,"' Caterer explained. "Then
we took the next probably six months
writing songs, demoing them, and
sending them to the label ... Finally, we
came up with some song that they
thought would be the, whatever, break-
through, fuckin' hit smash they need-
ed."
"Destination Failure" is strong,
though. The songs are loud, catchy, fast,
and melodic, and if you've never heard
Josh Caterer sing, you're in for a treat.
Picture a punk Frank Sinatra meets Harry
Connick Jr., and you're halfway there.
One song, "You Spoke To Me," was
inspired by a now-defunct band that had
a big effect on Caterer. "I was thinking
of Jawbreaker," Caterer said. "We
toured with them and I would see peo-
ple come up to (the lead singer) ... and
start to say weird things about how
much his music had meant to them. I
was really impressed by that, so I tried
to write the song from the point of view
of one of those people"
Don't look for meaningless pop crap
when in the friendly confines of the
Popes' arena. Where most bands play it
safe and sing la-dee-da, Caterer pours out
his heart honestly, something he finds nat-
ural.
"It seems like a waste of time not to,"
Caterer explained. "For the most part,
there's gotta be some kind of truth in the
song. Otherwise, it's like being hungry
and just eatin' a candy bar, you know. It
doesn't fill you up. I try to put a meat-
ball in every song."
I hope you're hungry. You'll need
quite an appetite to digest it all.

So you've heard 58 Greene, Amazin'
Blue, the Friars and the Iarmonettes.
Are you getting tired of the standard a
cappella fare at the University? Are you
looking for something new, something
different, something from a country
whose exact location you might not
know, perhaps'?
If you've answered yes to any of
these questions, or even if you're just
looking for something to do this
Saturday night before the parties start,
The University Musical Society just
might have what you are looking for.
Join them this Saturday evening as they
welcome the Estonian Philharmonic
Chamber Choir to the St. Francis of
Assisi Church.
You're hesitant, you say?
Well, don't be. This is not the Choir's
first time in Ann Arbor. The Estonian
Philharmonic Chamber Choir's debut
performance at the University was two
years ago, and they were a smashing
success.
Since turning professional in 1981,
the Choir has toured extensively
throughout
Europe, as well
as in Asia and the P RI
United States,
giving more than Philha
50 concerts annu-
ally. St. Francis ofA
Furthermore,
the Choir has
won a number of medals in competi-
tion, including three gold medals for
outstanding performance in the
Women's, Men's and Mixed Choir cate-
gories in addition to the Grand Prix at
the 1991 Takarazuka Chamber choir
competition in Japan.
In other words, this i's not just your
average chamber choir.
The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber
Choir hails from Estonia, formerly a
part of the Soviet Union, located in
eastern Europe, just south of the
Finnish Gulf.
This location defines the Estonian

I
a

I SwEiU ZE TODD 1

The Roiling Estonians: The Estonia Philharmonic serenades Ann Arbor on Saturday.
culture, marked by the Finno-Ugric in the School of Music and are opei
language and the Western Christian the public.
religion. Of late, Estonia has gained fame and
The Choir will be performing a num- prestige in the music industry as the
ber of works by country that gave the world contempo-
native composers in rary composer Arvo Part.
E V I E W their program, which At the University of Michigan, at
Estonian includes Bruckner's least, the country can be known for its
irmonic Choir "Virga jesse floruit," Philharmonic Chamber Choir, as well.
"Chritus factus est" They might not be singing University
Saturday at 8 p.m. and "Ave Maria" a cappella favorites like "The Yell:
Lindholm's "Libera and Blue" or that Friar great, "Anot
me" Nystedt's "O Load of Crap," but you never know;
crux" and "Miserere," and Tormis's "Curse Upon Iron" and "Miserere"
"Livonian Heritage," "St. John's Day could soon be campus favorites, too.,
Songs" and "Curse Upon Iron."
The pieces to be performed include
both ancient Estonian folklore as well
as church music from throughout the
ages, and is sure to be an interesting
array.
The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber
Choir is led by Maestro Tonu Kaljuste,
who is the artistic director as well as
chief conductor of the group.
Not even 50 years old, Kaljuste has4.
guest conducted in a variety of venues
throughout Europe as well as in
Canada, and has also directed a number
of choral seminars and workshops
throughout the world.
He will be conducting two education-
al events at the University in relation to
Saturday's performance. Both events
will take place today at the Recital Hall Maestro TonuKaljuste

THE DEMON BARBER
OF FLEET STREET
Music and Lyrics
by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
a
x t'.

~U I U

5tmarr~r 0

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*EUEEUUUU

R~ead

- A wild comedy byf

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