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October 23, 1998 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-23

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 23, 1998

Greek Lyres sing in a
cappella harmony

Shocking 'Happiness' delights*-

By Lauren Rice
For the Daily
Substituting vocals and finger snap-
ping in the place of instruments,
"Compulsive Lyres" is a close-knit group
comprised of 15 men and women who
radiate pure enthusiasm at the prospect of
theirfirstconcertoftheyear. Theirexcite-
ment is understandable after all, since this
is only the second year that the Lyres have
officially been recognized as an a capella
group.
It all started last year during Greek
Week's a capella singing competition.
Different students, each representing one
of the many fratemities and sororities on
campus, lent their voices forthe day. Fast-
forward one year and the crew now
includes many veterans from lastyear and
some new faces as
well. Boasting two
members who are
School of Music
Compulsive students, the rest of
Ly S the Lyres have
singing experience
Mendelssohn or are lucky
Theater enough to have the
Tomorrow at 8 p.m. natural gift.
During a typical
performance, the
group will include
anywhere from six
to eight songs. The
pieces are usually
contemporary,
taken mostly from the pop category.
Tomorrow, their season opener will
include popular hits from such artists as
The Bodeines, U2 and Prince. The most
important technical aspect in pulling off
the correct execution in any given song is
maintaining unity throughout the group.

As Sarah Chobanian, a Compulsive Lyre,
said, "We always stive to be unified in
what we are singing and the way in which
we sing it. Throughout the year, we prac-
tice for about two days a week for two to
three hours. Once a performance draws
near, we're out there pincticing every
night."
The comradeship clearly runs deep
when they huddle before their rehearsal
performance. As they fall into formation,
their anticipation and excitement fills the
air. They glance at each other and draw a
breath, all the while maintaining their
composure. The background vocals begin
in their simulation of musical instruments
that sound strikingly 'imnilar to the begin-
ning of U2's "With or Without You.
There can be no mistake as the soloist's
clear baritone resonates an unparalleled
dead ringer for Bono.
Those in the audience Saturday night
can also expect a lively cover of Prince's
"1999" and a heartfelt rendition of "Good
Things"fromThe Bcines. Although the
Lyres are quite successful in their interpre-
tationof'theusongsthyitendtodabble in
creating some original works in the future
to perform along with the classics.
But the Compulive Lyres have much
more to offer the Unversity community
than their talent alone. All profits from.
their performances go to help the children
of Mott's Chlildren's Hospital. As
Chobanian explains, "We are singing for
something important, the kids. This is all
made possible through everyone's efforts
in coming to ether and working to
achieve something important for the com-
munity."
7Icr frl Citnlomp Yr Lvres are $7 and
anevm ailable at hes cizr or i advance
at M/sihi an ion 7c /set OJice.

By Chris Cousino
Daily Arts Writer
"What does cum mean?," a young
Billy Maplewood asks his father in
an early scene in "Happiness." Dad
then goes into a technical explana-
tion of the sticky substance and
poor Billy starts to cry because he
hasn't cummed yet and whimpers,
"I'm not normal." Dear old Dad
consolingly states, "You'll cum one
day son, you'll see," giving him a
victory punch
on the shoul-
der. Ah, one of
those pristine
Happiness father and son
m o m e n t.s
*** found in cvery
At the day America.
Michigan Theater If this scene
is offensive,
don't take in a
dose o f
"Happiness."
Holding noth-
ing back,
"Welcome to
the Dollhouse"
director Todd Solondz erupts with
the most shockingly brutal comedy
to be released this year. Poking fun
at suburbia is nothing new, but this
i no laughing satire.
Solondz commands an all out
assault at suburbia Americana in an
attempt to find the inevitable truths
to who people are and how they
carry on, With the brash Neil
LaBute's "Your Friends and

Neighbors" already released this
year. these tsvo indie wonderbrauns
lead the way in forcing quandaries
of feeling both utterly disturbed and
painfully sad while trying to bring
raunchy laughter at the same time.
LaBute and Solondz both ask us
to take a deep. crtical look into who
we are, what we've become and the
actions that we do.
Solondz, who also wrote
"Happiness," wveaves his dark, ten-
der tale through a series of neatly
intertwined stories which all center
upon the three Jordan sisters, Trish,
H elen and Joy. While Trish has a
husband, kids and a lawn sign that
reads "The Maplewoods," Helen
accomplishes sex, money and pro-
fessional success as a poet while
staying single. Joy, though, they feel
is "doomed to failure" because she
can't seem to get a break as an
aspiring 30-vear-old musician who
still live: with her parents. While
ach o f th h thee map out different
lives, they still share a common
ground of family and dysfunctional-
ity in order to love each other, or at
least try and pretend to.
Irish sublimes as a typical subur-
ban well-to-do housewife who stays
at home with the kids, drives a mini-
van and realizes "it's hard, all this
success.' Though very reprehensi-
ble in her short-lived sitcom "Hope
and Gloria." Cynthia Stevenson
rightfutll redeems herself with
near-perfect perkiness in this role,
bringmig a charming, Stepford mom

tone to Mrs. Trish Maplewood, her
shining, bright cheeks and wonder-
ful curling smile and all.
Her character is one of many in
"Happiness" that Solondz refuses to
blatantly stereotype. Trish presents
a facade of happiness while she is
superficial and uncaring. When her
mother Mona (Louise Lasser) calls
and tells her that her father Lenny
(Ben Gazzara) wants a separation,
Trish consolingly asks, "Did you
catch Leno last night?"
Though she may seem callous at
times, she gives much affection to
her two sons. This begins to show
the care with which Solondz molds
his characters, for much of the film
is very literary in the sense that the
penchant dialogue ascribes much to
the individuals.
Trish's sister Helen boasts strik-
ing, sharp lines delivered in a cool
reality by a sly Lara Flynn Boyle.
She adds witty comedy to Helen
Jordan's utter shallowness in her
complaints that she's "so tired of
being admired" or her lament, "If
only I'd been raped as a child."
Boyle brings an almost over-the-top
hilarity to her sad, lonely reality.
While Trish and Helen banter
back and forth over the doomed Joy,
they fail to realize that the appropri-
ately named Joy, played tenderly
naive by Jane Adams, may be the
one who knows at least a slice of
happiness. As she sings a song pon-
dering "Happiness, why do you
have to stay/So far away/From

Me?," she's doing the one thing that
makes her happy - making music.
While she makes numerous
gullible blunders,. her tenderness
isn't totally naive to the cruel world.
When stalwart lclen explains near
the end of the film, "We'reot
laughing at you, we're laughtng
with vou." Joy replies, "But I'm not
laughing.
Though Joy utters this statement,
it resonates a shear brutality that
Solondz sees in today's America in
that he's not laughing. And Solondz
doesn't shy away from this in his
challe n ing, sometimes tortuous
script. He pushes she limits of any
comedy with tender and bother-
some 'ccn's. both wonderf
acted by Dylan Baker and Phimp
Seymour Hoffman. Involving such
taboo subjects as child molestation
and masturbation (this film van-
quishes all the ha-ha of a Sears cat-
alog and Ben Stiller), these may
alienate mainy from attending this
film and ultimately, tear down the
subtle comedy of"Happiness."
"Happiness" remains unresol- l
in that you don't know wher >
laugh or when to cry. Though
Solondz's characters are genuine,
the comedy fails to bring much
laughter in many of its darker
sides. Solondz realizes the blend
of kindness and evility we allare,
but he fails to give an answer into
what to do about the dark and
beautiful place of suburban
America.

__ H . MICHIGAN RADIO
MIC HIGAN -------
Watch UM Athletics coverage of home football games over
UMTV, the campus cable system
onUM Athletics Channel 14
featuringMihigan Radio play-by-play
with Tom Hemingway and David Hammond
UMTV is available in over 84 campus uiidings, including all residence halls
and is a service of InformationTechnogy at the Unisersiy of Michigan.
-1 4www.itd.umich.edu/umtv

Budapest visits A2
By Kate Kovalszki London, Paris, and
Daily Arts Writer Orchestra established its
The Budapest Festival Orchestra standards to critical accl
returns to Ann Arbor this Saturday to firmed its power to awe w
marvel its audience with a program of Hall debut last fill. Excl.
Bartok and Stravinsky. The Orchestra, to Philips Classics it
under the conduction of Ivan Fischer, Orchestra offers a wi
will be joined by pianist Andras Schiff which includes works
to promise a night of technical and artis- Schubert, Brahms, ant
tic perfection in the realm of classical How
music, their
Founded in 1983 by Ivan Fischer and Bart
pianist Zoltan Kocsis, the Budapest work
Festival Orchestra quickly developed Budapest and
into an award-winning international kNswhi
souring orchestra. With dh s in Festival the
Orchestra E u
Hill kAuditorium Era&
she
and
Tomorow t 8 ~m.their
ta
Furd
Orch
the

Vienna, the
high artistic
aim and reaf-
ith a Carnegie
usively signed
n 1995, the
de repertoire,
by Mozart,
d Stravinsky.
never, it is
r recording of
ok's complete
ks for piano
orchestra
ch won them
prestigious
ir o p e a n
mus award
showcased
r'far-reaching
I e n t s
hermore, the
hestra holds
unmatched
inction of
9 9 8
the orchestra
ng of Bartok's
et.
director and
'Orchestra, is

a e
Cour tesy of University u e
Ivan Fisher visits Ann Arbor with the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

Gramophone Winner in
category for their recordin
Miraculous Mandarin balls
IvanuFischer, artistic
prinscipal conductor of the

not new to the United States. He held
the distinction of Principal Guest
Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony
Orchestra from 1989 to 1996, and has
conducted with orchestras in Chicago,
Baltimore, and San Francisco,
Pianist Andras Schiff likewise can
claim a lifelong commitment to music.
lie began piano lessons at age five and
has developed a style recognized for its
thoughtful and inspired interpretations

Most companies would call 21 equity
transactions, two mega-mergers and record
breaking growth a great year.
We called it June.
Come join our team next June.
SBancBoston
Robertson Stephens
Please submit resumes to:
Yuka Kataoka
Recruiting Coordinator
BanclBoston Robertson Stephens
555 California Street, Suite 2600
San Francisco, CA 94104
IB_Recruiter@rsco.com
Please join our information presentation on Thursday, October 29'h
in the Paton Accounting Center (P1016) at 4:30pm. Investment Banking
positions available in San Francisco, Boston and New York.
Interviews Will be held January 19th.

The University of Michigan
School of Music
Sunday, October25
Halloween Concerts
Hill Auditorium, 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
[Tickets availableat Michigan League Ticket Office.
Phonefirst for tickets 764-0450]
Octubafest
Monday, October 26
Guest Master Class
Roger Rocco, breathing specialist and tubaist from Chicago
Britton Recital Hall, E. V. Moore Bldg., 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, October 27
University Choir
Sandra Snow, conductor
* music by Palestrina, Gabrieli, Handel, Lauridsen, Thompson
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Wednesday, October 28
Faculty Recital
Erling Blondal Bengtsson, cello; Anton Nel, piano
" Prokofiev: Sonata for cello and piano, Op. 119
" North American Premiere of
Sibelius: Theme and Variations for Solo Cello
" Debussy: Sonata for cello and piano (1915)
" Rachmaninoff: Sonata for cello and piano, Op. 19
Mendelssohn Theatre, 8 p. m. [NOTE VENUE]
Opera Performance World Premiere
" Michael Udow: The Shattered Mirror, a percussion opera
Michael Udow, music director; Jessica Fogel, choreographer
Rebekah Nye, soprano
George Shirley, tenor; Peter Lightfoot, baritone
Media Union Video Studio, North Campus, 7:30 p.m.
[Admission $10; students $5. Phone 764-0450 for tickets]
Friday, October 30
Faculty Recital
Logan Skelton, piano
" music by D. Scarlatti and Mompou
" Skelton: Civil War Variations
" The American Dream Suite, by various American composers
" Beethoven: Sonata No. 23 in f, Op. 57, Appassionata
Britton Recital Hall, E.V. Moore Bldg., 8 p. m.
Opera Performance
" Michael Udow: The Shattered Mirror, a percussion opera
Michael Udow, music director; Jessica Fogel, choreographer
Rebekah Nye, soprano
George Shirley, tenor; Peter Lightfoot, baritone
Media Union Video Studio, North Campus, 7:30 p.m.
[Admission $10; students $5. Phone 764-0450 for tickets]
Events are free and wheelchair accessible unless otherwise
specified. The E.V. Moore Bldg. is located at 1100 Baits
Drive, North Campus. For more information phone
(734) 764-0594 Monday - Friday 9a.m. 5 p.m.

of various composers. However, his
cialties include Bach, Haydn, Mo;
and Bartok, and he, like the Bu
Festival Orchestra, has won more aw
than can be mentioned. Mr.Schil
know for his unwavering anentiot
technical perfection, and OT
Holland of the New York Ti
described M c hiff's aristic easene
a combinat on of "elegance,s rious
of purpose, musicianly rectitude, reli
technique and touching directness."
Tomorrow night's performance
include S vavinsJeu de Ca e
Petrushka, along with Bar ok's Pti
Concerto No. 2 and No. 3. These w
highlight each composer's uni
essence yet show certain similai
between the composers. Str 's
works include experimentations
almost every technique of twent
centurymusic and personalization
tonal, Iolyonal, and 12-tone aserial
to connect traditional melodic style
modem times. Likewise, Bartok's mi
also has a strong emphasis on tona
with dissonant combinations and t
clusters in his piano compositions.
ickets for the Budapes .tst
Orchestra are $16-$45. Call -2
for more informa

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