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April 09, 1999 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-04-09

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Sportswriter Tim Wendel reads from his new novel. "Castro's
Curveball" looks at the life of a man who played pro ball with
Fidel. Borders, 7 p.m.
8 Friday
April 9, 1999

Je £tcftkym &dl

* Check out a review of the new teen flick, "Never Been
Kissed," starring Drew Barrymore.

U

Liman and cast 'Go' the distance

By En Podolsky
Daily Arts Writer
Of all the "Pulp Fiction" clones of the past five years,
not a single one has gotten it even remotely right. But
"Go" tries its damnedest, and while like all the others it
can only dream of approaching the originality of its pre-
decessor, there ought to be points for that.
Featuring a meandering story that is told from vari-
ous character perspectives on Christmas Eve - and
even, in repeated scenes, various camera angles, which
is a nice touch - "Go" stars a young ensemble cast
that delights with its acting prowess even when the plot
gets a little kludgy. Things get started in the grocery
store check-out line and wend their way to an antihista-

mine-fueled rave, a
Go
Courtsy of1MG Atist

look-but-don't-touch strip club,
Vegas, baby, Vegas and beyond
as "Go"just keeps on going.
The characters blessed with
their own segments (announced
by title cards) are supermarket
superstar Ronna (Sarah Polley),
Simon (Desmond Askew) and
unlikely TV star duo Adam and
Zack (Scott Wolf and Jay Mohr,
respectively). The four cross
paths as a result of a stale drug
deal that results in a cold medi-
cine quick buck at the rave for
Ronna, two girls at once for
Simon and lots of orange juice
for the two soapers.

Sarah Polley plays In a puddle while Nathan Bexton waits for her In "Go."

Courtesy of 1MG Artists
Steve Reich and Beryl Korot will perform tomorrow at the Michigan Theater.
Reich ns le
challenges vieo'Iws

At Briarwood
and Showcase
4' -- .

By Julie Munjack
Daily Arts Writer
Steve Reich is one of the foremost
living composers and widely regard-
ed as one of the principal figures in

Minimalism. The
Steve Reich
Ensemble
Michigan Theater
Saturday at 8

popularity of his
music is a result
of his unique
style and power-
ful performance.
Reich is typi-
cally grouped
together with
other first gen-
eration minimal-
ist composers,
such as Philip
Glass and La
Monte Young.
His music
embraces not
only aspects of

Western Classical music, but also the
structures, harmonies and rhythms of
non-Western and American
Vernacular music, particularly jazz.
His music is deeply "American" in
its roots, with an unrelenting pulse
and short, repeating melodic figures
often compared to rock-and-roll.
Reich and his 18-member ensem-
ble have frequently toured the world,
and have distinction of performing to
sold-out houses at venues as diverse
as Carnegie Hall and the Bottom
Line Cabaret.
His combination of repetition and
process creates music full of vitality
and energy. His music has been
described as "anti-academic," chal-
lenging the conventions of early
musicians.
His unique insight has earned him
the 1986 Bessie Award for the ballet,
"Impact" and an election to the
Academy of Arts and Letters in
1994.
Reich's music is also largely influ-
enced by European forms and tech-
niques, generally viewed as a
response to the largely academic,
elitist climate of new music in the
1950s and '60s.
Like many other artists, Reich

uses his music as an expression of
the past. Known for their emotion
and power, his pieces serve as a
medium of communication - giving
the audience a taste of his life expe-
riences.
The pieces that Reich will per-
form this weekend serve this pur-
pose. He begins with the first two
parts of a piece entitled,
"Drumming." Reich will continue
with a string quartet called
"Different Trains," which won the
1990 Grammy Award for the Best
Contemporary Composition.
"Different Trains" is a musical
illustration of his journeys across
the United States as a young boy.
Being Jewish and growing up in the
'40s, Reich understood how differ-
ent his reality would be if he lived in
Europe - that he would be riding a
different train with an alternative
destination.
The ensemble will also perform
Reich's new video opera,
"Hindenburg," with video artist
Beryl Korot. An early pioneer of
video art, particularly multiple-
channel work, Korot is responsible
for the documentary portion of the
piece.
Reich's music has influenced other
areas of the music world. His new
record, "Reich Remixed," is packed
with top DJs around the world
remixing Reich's composition into
techno dance music. The new album
includes artist such as Cold Cut,
Howie B., Andrea Parker and many
others.
"Steve Reich has greatly con-
tributed to what dance music is
today," said Mark Jacobson, a pro-
gramming director at the University.
According to The New York Times
writer Bernard Holland, "Mr. Reich
at his best has managed to rearrange
our thoughts of what beauty and pur-
pose in music really are."
Tickets for the Steve Reich
Ensemble are $16-28. Call 764-
2538 for tickets and more
information.

Also in the mix are Claire (Katie Holmes) and
Mannie (Nathan Bexton), Simon and Ronna's cowork-
ers at the supermarket, drug dealer Todd Gaines
(Timothy Olyphant), slim shady Burke (William
Fichtner) and his lovely wife Irene (Jane Krakowski)
and Simon's Vegas buddies Marcus (Taye Diggs), Tiny
(Breckin Meyer) and Singh (James Duval).
Doug Liman certainly doesn't make it easy to avoid
mention of Vegas with his second, less ostensibly hon-
eybaby-oriented (instead using equally hot grungyba-
bies) directorial effort after the ubiquitous "Swingers."
But "Go" is so chock full of momentum and vibrance
that it could have easily sidestepped the Vegas trap -
only it doesn't, and it doesn't have to, because this is a

new Vegas with all new alternately self-confident and
bumbling characters who end up on the run after an ill-
fated lap dance.
"Go" also works in tantric lovemaking, shrimp food
poisoning, borrowed credit cards and mistaken identity
- all within five minutes of hitting the Vegas strip.
Back in Los Angeles, there are crosses and double
crosses resulting from a complicated drug transaction
(not to mention "moving up the drug food chain with-
out permission"), capitalist schemes and the unlikeliest
of bedfellows. In one of the film's most successful sub-
plots, Mannie goes on a bad trip and Liman goes crazy
with addled point-of-view shots.
The real standouts in the cast, though, are Polley,
Olyphant and Diggs. Polley looks to finally be hit-
ting the commercial market and introducing herself
to mainstream moviegoers with this film after her
incredible work in "The Sweet Hereafter," "Exotica"
and the long-running television series "Avonlea."
Her sharp, snarky performance gets "Go" off to a
running start. Olyphant and Diggs both make strong
impressions as the vengeful Todd and Marcus, the

Phoenix relives the magic at Michigan

By Zaheer Merchant
For the Daily
The Phoenix Ensemble, directed
and founded by University School of
Music graduate Annunziata Tomaro,
makes its second appearance at
Michigan Theater, as part of its pre-
miere season. In a continuing effort
to extend the boundaries of perform-
ing art, the upcoming event attempts

Relive the
Magic
Michigan Theater
Sunday at 3

to merge theater
and music on a
grand scale.
One of the
most recent
additions to the
musical society
of Ann Arbor,
the ensemble is
composed of 35
musicians and is
the only source
of community

lad who hasn't had ejaculated in six months thanks to
tantric meditations.
But Holmes tends to get lost by the wayside, not even
meriting her own version of events although she does
have the honor of kicking off the film. This is more the
fault of the script than of Holmes, who does what she
can with a slightly reduced role.
Fichtner provides the film's biggest laugh as Burke
during an impromptu Christmas dinner with his wife
and his two unfortunate charges, Adam and Zack-Two
words: "Amway." A John Hughes reference also makes
"Go" worth going to.
The bright lights of the big city in the desert and the
crazy world of the rave complement well the smart,
wise-cracking script by John August. Although not
nearly as groundbreaking as the aforementioned "Pulp
Fiction," "Go" holds its own thanks to its spirited ch
acterizations and Liman's direction and lensing. T
result is a less glamorous, more teen-oriented film that
entertainingly romps its way through seedy alleys and
garish neon, ending up right where it begins but much
the wiser for its journey.

orchestra
area,
winter

in the
during
and

spring seasons.
Tomaro has worked in collabora-
tion with internationally famous con-
ductors such as Gustav Meier and
Fred Ormand and was selected out-
standing conductor in the
Conductor's Guild's 1995-1997
Conductor Workshops.
Her founding of the Phoenix
Ensemble was motivated, among
other things, by a desire to perform
pieces, both classical and other,

Courtesy of the Michigan Theater
AnnUIElaTomar conduts the mble.
which are not considered to be
among the most culturally prominent
in today's time. The inclination is
toward, for example, Debussy's
"Danse Sacre et Danse Profane" as
opposed to Mozart's "Eine Kleine
Nachtmusik." Fusion with the other
performing arts is an attempt to "cre-
ate classical music that is more
vibrant and has a wider appeal, while
retaining its essential quality," Lisa
Powers, vice-president of the
Institute for the Humanities at the
University, said.
Titled "Relive the Magic: An
evening with Tony Amore," and
directly inspired by Frank Sinatra,
this performance is undoubtedly one
of the highlights of the musical sea-

son and promises to be quite a treat
for a wide range of audiences. Andy
Kirshner, current Fellowship student
at the Institute for the Humanities,
hopes to transcend the boundaries of
ordinary theater with the accompani-
ment of the 35-member ensemble.
He plays the character of aging pop
superstar, Tony Amore, but uses him
as more than merely a tool to gener-
ate the entertainment expected of a
musical or theater piece. He seeks to
comment on a variety of issues,
ranging from difficulties associated
with celebrity to the impermanence
of man.
Himself a composer and per-
former, Kirshner has a background
jazz and classical composition, in
addition to theater. He has received
nation-wide recognition in the form
of awards, fellowships and commis-
sions. "Relive the Magic" has a deep
significance for him. It was inspired,
he said, by "the music and persona of
Sinatra, thel940s-1970s history of
the American popular song and my
own experience of caring for my
father, who has Alzheimer's
Disease."
The show begins with the final
stage appearance of the 80-year-old
Amore on his TV "retirement" con-
cert. The once debonair and rugged-
ly confident performer is but a mere
shadow of his former self, due to the
effects of his advancing years. We
are subsequently taken, throughout

the course of the piece, taken to v
ious stages in the performing life of
the legend. The night will also
include dialogues with his son, Tony
Jr., played by Malcolm Tulip. It is he
who has organized the "retirement
concert" and tries to keep it. from
getting out of hand.
The music, consisting of seven
songs composed by Kirshner, are
rooted in the American Jazz tra
tion. The piece was, in fact, "ori9
nally based on a jazz song-cycle,
according to Powers. Performed by
some of Ann Arbor's prominent jazz
musicians, these songs are within the
realm of the theatrical aspect of the
piece. Through their widely varying
styles (ranging from Bop to Boss.
Nova, Swing to Easy Listening), they
depict the passage of time and of
Amore's career.
They highlight one of the them
of the piece; aging and the simila.,
ties in the effects it has on both the
celebrity as well as his audience. The
songs are glued together with poetic
monologues by Amore, in which he
sentimentally recalls the decades
gone by. Kirshner intends this to
work at several levels, which, though
not entirely independent of each
other, are not detrimental to one
another's quality. "I'm trying to c,
ate something that is entertaining
and funny, but is also a meditation on
aging and memory and loss of self,"
he says.

I ii

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