Free 'Life' screening
See "A Life Less Ordinary" for free. Starring "Trainspotting"'s Ewan
McGregor, Cameron Diaz and Holly Hunter, the film follows a janitor
and his hapless plot to kidnap his boss' daughter, an all-too-willing
victim. The screening is sponsored by M-Flicks and UAC and will
begin at 9:30 p.m. at Lorch Hall. Get there early because seating is
October 22, 1997
Dan Bern fires up Ark
with intense concert
A2 Writers Harvest to
help fight poverty
y Amy Barber
or the Daily
What a shame it was that the Ark was only half full
as hursday to see Dan Bern perform; the concert
as absolutely amazing.
For those of you who have never heard of this guy,
et me try to sum him up for you. Think Bob Dylan
verloaded with sarcasm, satire
nd despair, but intertwined with R
umor and social messages.
For those of you who do know
an Bern, you know that his
nly album, "Dan Bern," is
xceptional. So it would seem
*etunate that throughout his
hree-hour performance he only played three songs
Nothing could be further from the truth. After a suc-
essfully mellow and emotional performance by open-
-r Martha Wainwright, Bern opened with a humorous
-ong about moving to Mars or Uranus to find success.
He later sang about his friend whose only goal in
ife was to "go down on Madonna, and when he actu-
Ily achieved his goal "life was shit from then on."
ern pondered whether Charles Manson could have
e e what he did if he had not changed his last
to Manson from his original, somewhat less
ppealing, last name. He suggested that "they should
just get Mike Tyson to bite off (Timothy McVeigh's)
ears" rather than giving him the death penalty. The
audience was beyond entertained.
After five songs, he did get to a track from his
album, and it was extraordinary. "Jerusalem," in
which Bern proclaims, "I am the Messiah" because he
doesn't want to keep us all in suspense any longer, was
especially great because Bern unexpectedly and won-
By Anita Misra to describe
For the Daily was the
It's nearing that time of the year Fearless,"v
again. Time to pick out a costume, Dario Fo,
carve those pumpkins and stock up on The origin
th. candy. Halloween is just around named Gi
thW corner. Not
quite in theR
Halloween spirit? GiEvai
Checking out the Giovann
College's produc- ThursESat. at 8 p.m. Su
tion of "Giovanni East Quad Audit
the Fearless" will
mood. he meetsG
Iit don't go to the show expect- him to a c
in o see a standard, run-of-the-mill that is.
ghost story; this version of So Giova
"Giovanni the Fearless," as per- tie, at m
formed by the Residential College, encounters
is full of singing, dancing, humor Giovanni i
and puppets. seeking is d
"A fusion of an Italian folktale and he mu
and the commedia dell' arte tradi- The Resi
tion," were some of the words author is based o
and lyricist Carolyn Balducci used "Giovanni
derfully improvised during key parts in the song.
The other two songs Bern played from his self-
titled album were equally impressive. The emotion-
al "Estelle" touched everyone and the upbeat
"Marilyn," which ponders how Marilyn Monroe's
life would have been different had she married bad-
boy Henry Miller, had us all itching to jump out of
our seats and dance.
Some audience members
became offended during Bern's
show. Although many fans
(myself included) are of the
opinion that Bern's question-
able lyrics contribute to what
makes him a success, others
by lyrics like "I wish I had balls
as big as grapefruits / Balls as big as pumpkins"
and "He'd have tied her to the bed and eaten din-
ner off of her." As the highly scrutinized Ani
Difranco said, "He's the only guy who catches
more flack than me."
One thing everyone in the audience loved about
Bern was his intimate communication with us.
Through inviting fans on stage, asking us questions
and prompting us to sing along, he made each of us
feel like a friend.
The biggest, and perhaps only, problem of the
night was that three times Bern broke a string mid-
way through a song. Although it took away from the
performance, the way Bern improvised made up for
it. The first time, he realized he couldn't continue
his song, so he suddenly broke into a highly ener-
getic version of the Beatles' "I Wanna Hold Your
Hand," minus the third string. He changed his string
with the drums and bass still playing as he told a
story the second time, and the third time, he
By Cara Spindler
For the Daily
Starving artists - we all know that
metaphor quite well. Jack Kerouac,
uncooked ramen and an empty apart-
ment. That's the romantic view ... star-
vation equals art.
And then there's
our own communi-
ty of artists here in Wril
Ann Arbor, a com-
munity that some-
how gets missed in suggested
descriptions. The woman with her Urban
Outfitters and/or Speedo bag, which she
has had for at least three years, somehow
just isn't as cool as Diane DiPrima's auto-
biography of starving in an NYC flat.
In a reversal of fortune on Thursday,
it will be the writers ofAmerica feeding
the starving people ... with your help.
In Rackham's fourth-floor
Amphitheater, the Share Our Strength's
Writers Harvest is underway. It's a
nationwide event in which local authors
share their work with the public to raise
public awareness and commitment to
the elimination of local poverty.
Sponsored in part by American
Express, it is presently the largest liter-
ary benefit event in the nation.
"Writers Harvest gives literary pro-
fessionals an opportunity to lift their
commitment off the page and into our
nation's communities," said Bill Shore,
founder and executive director of the
More than 2,000 authors will be read-
ing across the country tomorrow. "We
need to use our literary passions to make
a difference in the lives of others," said
E W author of numerous
ers Harvest One of Dubus'
Thursday at 7:30 short stories
ackham Amphitheater involves a man who
5 donation at the door conducts a mini-lit-
erary class for
abused teens, showing how stories can
bring people of different experiences
The idea is to mobilize the entire
community to fight hunger and poverty.
Sponsored by Borders and the
University English Department, all of
the donations will go toward a
Michigan anti-hunger and poverty
advocacy group, The Hunger Action
Coalition, based in Detroit.
The English faculty's Thylias Moss,
who spent last year writing "Last Chance
for the Tarzan Holler" and "Tale of a
Sky-blue Dress" on a MacArthur grant;
and new additions Wendy Hammond,
recent debut-novelist Brenda K. Marshall
and Nicholas Delbanco, 17-book giant
(most recently the author of "Old
Scores"), will all be reading.
Head on out and help fight poverty in
your neck of the woods.
Dan Bern brought crazy lyrics to the Ark last Thursday.
humored us by throwing down his harmonica,
throwing up his hands and saying, "That's it, I give
The other two members of Bern's group are to
be commended. The drummer, a man who was
more into his job than anyone I have ever seen,
did an outstanding job, as did the highly talented
Whether you want to laugh, sing, philosophize or be
purely entertained, go see Dan Bern in concert. It is an
utterly remarkable experience.
;s Halloween spirit to East Quad
her version of the play. It
original "Giovanni the
written by political satirist
that was her inspiration.
features a peasant
who takes on a
endeavor. He sets
off to seek for-
tune at a time
cannot leave their
undergone a transformation into a com-
media dell'arte musical with twists and
At the hub of the production is
Carolyn Balducci, a writer of chil-
dren's books, screenplays, poetry and
plays, as well as a Creative Writing
professor at University's Residential
Balducci's list of credits includes
many translations of Italian works and
one Greek work, most of which have
been performed and some published.
Balducci has translated five full-length
Italian comedies, including one for
director Carl Terron, which was per-
formed off-Broadway in late
Hard at work since the early 1970s,
Balducci has acquired a reputation for
comedies among colleagues.
"Being funny is difficult", Balducci
No one can argue with her there. As
a recipient of many awards and recogni-
tions, it is obvious that Balducci is
indeed a pro at what she does.
into town, where
an innkeeper who directs
astle ... a haunted castle,
anni ventures off to the cas-
idnight, of course, and
a giant who is a ghost.
s told that the fortune he is
deep down in the basement,
st go there to get it.
dential College's production
n the original folktale of
the Fearless," but it has
In Balducci's version, Giovanni
comes across a wandering troupe of
vagabonds who have also encoun-
tered hostility on the road and were
thrown out of town. Among this
troupe is the fair Colombina who falls
in love with Giovanni, to the dismay
of the group members who are her
The men put Giovanni up to a test of
courage to see if he is good enough for
Colombina and also to see if they want
to take him on as an actor in their
Besides singing, dancing, an ordeal
of love and "slapstick college humor,"
the production also includes the use
of masks and puppets here and there,
an aspect of the commedia dell' arte
The commedia dell arte prevailed
from 1500-1800, when plays were
performed in the piazzas of Italy and
included the use of masking and
puppetry techniques in perfor-
The cast consists of 15 Residential
College and LSA students, including
Charlie Jett and Kristin Braun in the
lead roles. Martin Walsh, head of the
Residential College Drama Program,
will play the giant.
The production is directed by Kate
Mendeloff with musical direction by
"Giovanni the Fearless" opens
Thursday and runs through Sunday
Nov. 2. Performances are scheduled for
8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays,
with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and
To celebrate the Residential
College's 13th anniversary, chamber
music students of professor Maria
Kardas Barna will perform a short
recital of music by Hadyn, Boufill
and Cui before the play begins on this
Thursday and Friday.
An old-fashioned ghost story and
then some ... perfect for the Halloween
Seventeen-book giant Nicholas Deibanco will read at Ann Arbor's Writers Harvest.
LAST CHANCE TO REGISTERI!
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Charlie Jett (Giovanni, left), Martin Walsh (the giant) and Krista Braun (Colombina, right) star in "Giovanni the Fearless."
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 22
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