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March 19, 1999 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-03-19

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The co-ed a cappella group celebrates its 5th anniversary. 58
reene presents its birthday concert tomorrow at 8 p.m. in
Rackham Auditorium. Tickets are $6.

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Monday in Daily Arts:
Daily Arts returns from a relaxing weekend with a review
of "Ravenous" and other new films.
Friday
March 19, 1999

5

Alvin Ailey bounds into A2

..

By Leah Zaiger
Daily Arts Writer
With open arms and the obvious prediction
of standing ovations, Ann Arbor welcomes the
return of Alvin Ailey American Dance
Theater for their 22nd, 23rd and 24th perfor-

Alvin Ailey
American
Dance Theater
Power Center
Tonight & tomorrow 8 p.m.
Sunday at 4 pm.

mances here. Distinct
programs for each
evening make it possible
to enjoy three different
performances.
Established in 1958
by Alvin Ailey and a
group of black modern
dancers who performed
at the 92nd Street Young
Men's Hebrew
Association in New
York, the troop has come
along way. As one of the
world's most acclaimed
companies, the dance

pany continues to perform Ailey's works
while continually adding to their repertoire.
Ailey's goal was to preserve a sense of conti-
nuity of significant pieces throughout history,
simultaneously adding new ones to maintain
the special quality of the original company.
Ailey joined his original teacher, Lester
Horton's California-based company, in 1950
and continued to choreograph for it after
Horton's death in 1953. He also studied with
Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey and Hanya
Holm, while dancing and acting on
Broadway. In 1965, he completed his own
dancing days, transferring all of his energy
into his company and choreography.
The success of the Alvin Ailey Dance
Theater has been overwhelming, beginning
with its initial reception upon introduction to
the world of modern dance performance.
Even more impressive, however, is its recog-
nition and the fans that have followed
throughout its entire existence.
Among his many memorable works is the
company's signature piece "Revelations"
(1960) which will be performed all three
nights while here in Ann Arbor. Celebrating
black America, set to spirituals, blues and

jazz, Ailey's choreography appeals to the ears,
the eyes, heart, and soul and, of course, the
tapping foot.
Currently, Judith Jamison is directing the
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Jamison attended First University as a psy-
chology major, and later transferred to the
Philadelphia Dance Academy (now the
University of the Arts) where she has now
taken on the role of a visiting professor. She
joined the Alvin Ailey group in 1965 and has
performed throughout the United States,
Europe, Asia, South America and Africa.
This Sunday, Jamison will be receiving an
award presented by the Washtenaw County
Campaign of The College Fund/UNCF
(United Negro College Fund), and will
receive the Eugene Power award for outstand-
ing artistry.
Performances ofAlvin Ailey American Dance
Theater are tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m.
and a Sunday matinee at 4 p.m. Tickets are
$18-$38 and can be purchased at the UMS
Box Office, or at the Power Center Box
Office prior to performances. Call 764-2538
for more information.

4
f

theater has performed for more than 18 mil-
lion people throughout the United States and
in 67 countries. "
Ailey, who passed away in 1989, produced
79 ballets throughout his lifetime. The com-

Courtesy of University Musical Society
Dancers recreate the bold choreography that made Alvin Alley famous.

,Pat McGee
tovisit Pig
By Chris Kula
Daily Arts Writer
The story sounds familiar: A group of talented musicians
come together behind an upcoming singer/songwriter in
orthern Virginia and, within just a couple of years, find
themselves playing packed clubs and colleges along the
Atlantic coast. Just like Dave Matthews and company earli-
er this decade, the Pat McGee Band has begun to take the
path toward higher success.
That road currently finds the band touring newer markets,
an outreach that will bring it to the Blind Pig on Saturday

RC to showcase Durang plays

Pat McGee
Band
Blind Pig
Tomorrow at 9:30 p.m.

night. The Midwest may seem a long
way from home for the Richmond Va.
based band, but in the three years that
the PMB has been playing, it's experi-
enced a remarkable boom in popularity
that has naturally led them to fresh
audiences across the country.
The PMB's highly melodic brand of
acoustic pop/rock keeps the fans com-
ing back. Led by McGee's southern-
fried vocals and lively rhythm guitar,
the band is completed by guitarist Al
Walsh, bassist John Small, keyboardist
Jonathan Williams, drummer Chris
"No Relation" Williams and percus-
sionist Chardy McEwan. The dance-

Courtesy of Pat Mc Gee Band
Pat McGee Band is expect to wow the 'Pig' crowd tomorrow.
nered the band "Best Recording Pop/Rock" honors from the
Washington Area Music Association. While the PMB has
had great studio results, the stage is where it has earned its
reputation as one of America's most exciting live bands.
The PMB has already performed at some of the top clubs
in the nation, including Boston's esteemed Paradise,
Atlanta's Variety Playhouse and Boulder's Fox Theater. It's
shared the stage with the Allman Brothers Band, Ziggy
Marley and Rusted Root (who, by the way, put on a tremen-
dous show at Hill Auditorium last weekend that I'm still try-
ing to get over). The band has even jammed in concert with
harmonica demon John Popper of Blues Traveler.
The PMB was also featured in Dean Budnick's "Jam
Bands" book, a look at the hottest live acts in the country.
This kind of recognition is akin to the touch of God in the
jam band community, and the PMB's stirring performances
have backed up these lofty claims.
From their upbeat, friendly style of music and Virginian
origins to their clever acronym nicknames, similarities
abound between Dave Matthews Band and the Pat McGee
Band. While it remains to be seen whether the PMB will
reach the same dizzying heights as Dave, Carter and crew,
it's certainly on the right trail.
Opening up the show is Vertical Horizon, a four piece,
acoustic groove-rock band from Washington D.C. known for
its tight, expressive playing and articulate songwriting.

By Lauren Rice
Daily Arts Writer
This weekend, the RC Players will make the walls of East
Quad Auditorium buckle with laughter, as they perform
"Thirteen Short Plays," written by Christopher Durang.
The various satirical comedies are a compilation of
Durang's original works. His inspiration and content are often
autobiographical in nature, as he occasionally dips into the
accumulation of his personal experiences.
The show's director, Kelsey Cameron, and RC sophomore,
said "All thirteen sketches bring out certain idiosyncrasies
that we observe in modern day American society. Some also
reveal the superficial aspects of relationships" On the sur-
face, the relationships seem dramatic, but once the external
layers are peeled away, the pettiness is exposed. Despite the
biting flavor of the content, Durang's comedies are, in part,
autobiographical in nature, reflecting a range of experiences
from his childhood spent in Catholic schools, to his frustra-
tions with the L.A. movie business.
The show is unique in an unconventional way. "Everyone
is cast in five to six parts, which not only creates balance, but
allows each individual a moment to shine," Cameron said.
This blend lends itself in creating the diversity throughout the
performances.
In addition to the multitude of roles, the actors also take on
auxiliary duties. "The show is also an ensemble in that the

actors have taken on a good deal of responsibility, in addition
to their roles. They have been responsible for their own cos-
tumes, props, and music ideas," Cameron said.
The evening's lineup is comprised of light comedies,
including "The Funeral Parlor," which finds peculiar mourn-
er Bill Nicholson at the side of a grieving widow, played by
Becca Fried.
Durang incorporates his experiences with Hollywood in
"Business Lunch of the Russian Tea Room." This sketch foa-
tures Paul Kuttner as a playwright caught in a tug-of-war
between his sense of literary honor and his desire to succeed
in a world of money hungry sharks. Students Rachel Rennie
and Becky Katzman portray big shots that try to reel him in.
"The Book of Leviticus Show," featuring Amanda Elder
as a young Southern wife, takes a shot at the eccentricities
of Bible thumpers. The segment follows their fanatical
interpretations, which lead them astray, and the pitfatls
they encounter as a consequence of taking the book as ver-
batim.
A lineup of satirical sketch comedies wouldn't be complete
without a parody, which Durang provides with his rendition
of "Medea." The short play employs theatrical tools 'aid
superstitions to wrap up the evening with a round of laughter.
"Thirteen Short P/ays by Christopher Durang" runs tonight
and Saturday at 8p.m. in the East Quad Auditorium. Tickets
are $5, $3for students, and can be purchased at the door

able grooves they create are filled with enough catchy hooks
to delight every dance-hungry sorority girl in the Ann Arbor
area.
A testament to the appealing nature of its music, the

PMB's debut album "Revel" has sold
copies since its independent release in
Joan Rivers
By Erin PodolsWy
4pady Arts Writer
It's that time of year again. Harry
Winston is loaning out his famous jewels
and the stars are primping and preening.
But we all know what is going to happen
inside the Shrine Auditorium on Oscar
night - but the real fun and games are
out on the red carpet. It's time for non-
stop Oscar mania on E!, from analysis of
the nominees to the ghoulish Joan Rivers
16crew.
You heard me right. The bitch is back.
More than any awful television series,
Jurassic Joan's pre-show awards special
never fails to impress due to her ability to
sink to new lows. She dispenses insults
after sweet-talking an interviewee and
her perennial potty mouth comments
never fail to entertain.
At least she is dependable. There are a

more than 40,000
1997. It even gar-

dishes dirt on E! Oscar

few givens to look forward to: She will
attempt to kiss every single person she
interviews since it's probably the only
opportunity for action she is going to get
until the Emmy's roll around next
September; she will rant about hideous
outfits; she'll ask every interviewee will
be "Who are you wearing?;" and she will
spend a large chunk of the evening bad-
mouthing Gillian Anderson, against
whom Joan holds a mysterious, unwar-
ranted grudge.
Apparently, E! is fascinated with
Rivers, otherwise they wouldn't continue
to let her emcee the Oscar festivities.
Either that or they can't find anybody as
offensive to fill her spike heels.
But the Rivers fascination ends with
Joan. The E! pre-show will be plagued by
one awful phrase, "Back to you Mom!"
This ugly statement will issue forth from

the siliconed lips of that "Fright Night"-
worthy progeny, Rivers'. daughter
Melissa. Melissa has none of her mother's
nasty charisma, but all of her bad genes.
She comes across as a wannabe riding on
her mother's broomstick to infamy.
Then it's time for the Bitch Brigade's
live carpet coverage. After all of the gold-
en bald guys are handed out, Todd
Newton and Melissa will hop from one
post-show party to another, seeking out
interviews with swilling actors ,living the
good life on somebody else's dollar.
All ofthe E! coverage, with 10 cameras
and 5,000 hours of manpower behind it,
will no doubt be entertaining. Joan Rivers
is the real highlight (or highfright) of the
evening, and her performance should be
worthy of any one of the actual nominees.
The festivities start Sunday at noon with
the bitch launch scheduledfor 6p.m.

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