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April 14, 1999 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-04-14

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N The Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg waltzes into town.
Hubert Soudant conducts the visiting orchestra. Featuring an all-
Wolfgang program, including Symphony No. 25 in G Minor, K. 183,
Piano Concerto No. 25 in C Major, K. 503 and Symphony No. 36
in C Major, K. 425. Hill Auditorium. 8 p.m. $16-45. 764-2538.

ftmw#gmav*
LlTS

Weekend, etc. Magazine recounts the very last opening
day at Tiger Stadium.
Wednesday
April 14, 1999

5

'Candide' features Maestro's genius

By Jenni Glenn
Daily Arts Writer
Leonard Bernstein reigns as a cultural icon known
for his creative compositions. In finally bringing his
show "Candide" to the University, the School of
Music's department of musical theater tackles a tough
score.
Although the energetic music, particularly the over-
ture, remains in the mainstream more than 40 years
after the show's debut, this production marks the first
performance of "Candide" in Ann Arbor. "Certainly
the overture has been played at many concerts, the

Courtesy of capricorn Records
Members of Widespread Panic pose for a picture.
idespread PaiC
comes to Michigan

Candide
Power Center
April 15-17 at 8 p.m.
April 18 at 2 p.m.

music's been performed, but the
show's never been done before,"
said director Brent Wagner. "It's
quite rare for audiences."
Based on a novella by
Voltaire, "Candide" retains its
roots as a satire on eternal opti-
mism. The cast must communi-
cate the period humor to a mod-
ern audience. "The work is
about an attack on a philosophy,
and we're not aware of that when
we go see Candide' today'
Wagner said. But "people can
come to 'Candide' and still
enjoy it on its own terms."

C~ourtesy 0f uaviduSimthPhotography

Daniel Reichard and Jessica Murphy sing "Oh Happy We."

By Ch f Kula
Daily Arts Writer
Metaphorically speaking, there's
something of a hierarchy in today's jam
band scene.
The Grateful Dead is the warmly-
remembered late grandfather, Phish the
brilliant yet crazy cousin who goes to art
s I and the dozens of burgeoning
g groups not unlike children
embroiled in a food fight. In relation to
this crowd, Widespread Panic is the
charismatic old uncle from down south
who carries the faint smell of Jack
Daniels and never fails to amuse the
folks with his energetic, down-home sto-
ries of life on the road.
And on Wednesday night, Uncle
Widespread's coming to visit.
Through nearly 13 years of perform-
irits patented style of fiery, blues-
based improv-rock, Widespread Panic
has developed a reputation as one of the
foremost live acts in the world. This
devotion to the
concert setting is
evident in the
band's most recent
Widespread release, "Light
Panic Fuse Get Away," a
igan Theater double live album
ght at 7:30 p.m. that features a col-
lection of some of
the band's most
popular songs.
"We've actually
been in the studio
since January,
working on our
new studio
album," said the band's eternally gra-
cious percussionist, Domingo "Sunny"
Ortiz. "So we're anxious and ready to
geack on the road.'
The band will be returning to
Michigan for the first time since the fall
of 1997.
"We were going to do a Detroit show
at the State Theater last fall, but for some
reason the show fell through. You know,
it's the promoters that really hold the key.
We just show up and play," Ortiz said.
And playing is what the band does
Thanks to spirited appearances on
th I.O.R.D.E. tours of both 1992 and
1993, as well as numerous tours of its
own, Widespread Panic has attained a
level of success generally unheard of for
a band lacking significant radio airplay
or mainstream media exposure.
"We continue to do what we've
always been doing, and that's going out
touring," Ortiz said "And we really
don't depend on the radio play - we'd

rather have our live performance be our
precedent."
"And even though MTV and VH 1 are
great outlets, I just don't think we're that
kind of band," Ortiz said. "If we're lucky
enough to ever go to that next level, hav-
ing a major song played on the radio sta-,
tions and everything, we'd accept that,
too. But, you know, we're happy where
we are now."
As a way to appeal to those newer
markets in which concert-goers have yet
to be fully exposed to the band's music,
Widespread Panic began crafting tightly
constructed setlists several years ago.
The result was a concert that segued
seamlessly from one song to the next.
"From about '86 until about '91, we
didn't have any kind of setlist, so we'd
just go for it," Ortiz said.
The coming months look to be an
exciting time for the band. The current
spring tour that winds through Ann
Arbor will soon make its way to New
Orleans, where Widespread will head-
line one of the special evening slots at
the prestigious Jazzfest and Heritage
Festival. The band will also perform in
early May at the always popular Music
Midtown festival in Atlanta, and late
July will see the release of the band's
seventh studio album.
"The tracks are really coming togeth-
er well, and John Keane has done a real-
ly great job of producing," Ortiz said.
"We've been able to take a lot more time
on it, so we're really pleased and
Capricorn's really pleased."
At present time, the band has yet to
reveal plans for the upcoming album's
release party. Last April's free concert
in downtown Athens, Georgia that
accompanied the release of "Light
Fuse" drew an estimated 60,000 peo-
ple, stretching 13 blocks and lasting
until dawn.
"I don't think the city of Athens would
like us to do another one so soon," Ortiz
said with a chuckle. "Personally, I'd like
to see a contest where people could write
in and tell us why they'd want
Widespread Panic to have the release
party in their city. But we'll have to see
about that.?
A special three night stand in
Colorado's beautiful Red Rocks
Amphitheatre is a definite happening,
though.
"The last day is a kind of a matinee,
because it's going to start so early in the
afternoon" Ortiz said. "We're going to
have the Dirty Dozen Band and Leftover
Salmon play and then we'll do our two
sets, so it'll be an all-day thing."

The musical follows the travels of optimistic
Candide throughout the world as he encounters a
range of catastrophes, including earthquakes, ship-
wrecks and battles. Bernstein's composing reflects
these journeys as well as his interest in various types
of music. "He uses all different styles of music for
different scenes and characters;" said the show's
musical director and conductor Ben Whiteley. "He
has certain themes that weave through and show up
in a different place."
The responsibility of interpreting the music along
with the cast belongs to Whiteley, a University gradu-
ate who also serves as the musical director of "Cats"
on Broadway. He made five trips between Ann Arbor
and New York during the rehearsal process.
Whiteley, who has worked on University produc-
tions for four years now, said he enjoys doing a differ-
ent type of project by working with the department. "I
like the energy and the talent of the students," he said.
Today s televisi
Our culture is dead. When television fascinating.
becomes a main focus in our daily lives, Howard
we know we're doomed. It's not called "King of all
the idiot box for nothing. I'm not exempt Springer, y
from my own condescension. I, too, suf- about the q
fer from the need to indulge in daily pro- entertains S
gramming, brought to me by millions of Stern has rec
airwaves. retiring, sayi
Jerry Springer I say he's o
has become an shocking an
icon for our bian gags. Y
times. Recently, bians, beaut
he served as host ,-rbutch lesbi
for MTV's Spring Enough aln
Break specials, s ,"alone. You d
much of which problems? N
included "games" appear on te
where bathing- or accost an(
suit-clad contes- Most of th
tants had to Christopher to air laten
switch suits with Tkaczyk won over E
their partner State of "The Red S
while manuever- seems to be
ing on the back- the Arts read that a1
seat of a brand porn audien
new VW bug. "Risque?" You may won- Tom Gree
der. Not in the least. If you'd stayed vision preser
tuned, you'll remember the contest where shocking pe
co-ed partners had to cover each other's practical jok
nekkid bodies with whipping cream. In one of tI
MTV did little to block out the brief episodes, To
nudity. I don't know if I was sickened parents gars
more by the thought of complete father's reac
strangers fondling each other through a family vehi
thin mask of whip cream or because I lesbian sce
wasn't the one having all the fun, sitting Mobile"ser
at home in cold Michigan. to admit tha
Springer's daily helping of twice-told simply becai
tales and degenerate lifestyles only goes one's done be
to show the reality of life. Why we tune well with th
in is another matter. His program is one Now, if we c
of the highest rated in syndication. I can- Ann Arbor a
not comprehend why his schtick is so But in lig

"I think, having been out in the world, I can give them
something they want."
That experience helps in working with the large
cast. The show's 42 actors deal with many costume
changes as well as complex songs. "The music is quite
complicated in places, rhythmically tricky and har-
monically tricky," Whiteley said.
Also facing the challenging music, the orchestra
boasting 33 musicians stands out in the theater world.
With today's economy, few shows can afford to use a
full orchestra. "We wanted the audience and the kids
to have the experience of singing with a big orches-
tra," Whiteley said.
.The large cast and orchestra gives the show the
authentic feel of a journey. "It's large because in the
story they go around the world in all these different
locales," Wagner said. "'Candide' is really about
young people traveling the world and growing up."
Wagner decided on "Candide" for this year's show
partly because the characters are around the same age

as the students. This helps the actors relate to their
roles. "I chose it because many of the characters are
young in the story," he said. "That makes it right for
them."
Wagner emphasizes the learning aspect of the show
in his direction. While he chose to follow up last year's
"West Side Story" with another Bernstein show,
"Candide" focuses on singing rather than the dancing
that is emphasized in "West Side Story' giving the
cast a different kind of experience. "I try to keep a bal-
ance in the works that we do;' he said. "I like occa-
sionally for students to do something that they've
never done before"
In spite of all the challenges to producing
"Candide," Wagner said he believes the show will
be a success due to its cast and crew. "They're tak-
ing on one of the most sophisticated musical scores
ever written for the stage," he said. "It's the com-
bined talent of all these students that really makes it
come to life."

.I

son: Eye candy for idiots?

Stern, the self-proclaimed
Media" isn't that far from
et Stern still makes jokes
uality of programming that
pringer's millions of fans.
cently toyed with the idea of
ng that the job is getting old.
on the right track. He isn't
ymore. He's run out of les-
(es, I've met all kinds of les-
iful lesbians, ugly lesbians,
ans ... lipstick lesbians.
ready. Leave the lesbians
on't think they have enough
Vot every lesbian is ready to
levision or the radio to kiss
other woman.
he cable networks have opted
ight skin flicks. Showtime
David Duchovny fans with
hoe Diaries." Softcore porn
faring quite well. I recently
large percentage of the soft
ce is women.
n is an up-and-coming tele-
ce. He seems to be the only
rsonality, with a full set of
es and assinine shenanigans.
he Tom Green Show's first
im hid a camera inside his
age in order to catch his
tion to the newly-repainted
cle, which bore an X-rated
ne and the words "Slut
awled across the hood. I have
it I do find him funny -
tuse he's doing something no
efore. MTV will probably do
he ratings for his time slot.
ould only get him to come to
nd cover the Naked Mile ...
ht of the indication that our

culture is dead, there's a new hope out
there. But my dose of idiocy doesn't
arrive until after midnight - not until the
wee small hours of the morning. Usually,
I'm up late, at the Daily or at home try-
ing to catch up on reading. It's when the
quiet hours of the night call to me that I
find the need for background noise and I
turn on my 13" box of joy.
And that's when I welcome Barbara,
Meredith, Star and Joy into my home.
Yes, I am ashamed to admit that "The
View" has become a fixture in my daily
schedule. I'm not sure exactly why I
admire their show. It may have some-
thing to do with the presentation and the
content. It's one of the only remaining
non-PBS forms of intelligence left on our
airwaves. In addition to honestly dis-
cussing current events, Barbara and the
gang deliver humorous dialogue and cap-
tivating interviews. It's a pity that
Detroit's ABC affiliate only airs the show
on weekdays at 3 a.m.
When "The View" first aired, a fifth
co-host, Debbie Matanapoulous, con-
tributed to their daily bickerings. Much
to my relief, she was soon to leave the
show. Her inane and often-juvenile com-
ments didn't contribute much to the show
except a false reassurance that
Generation X is goofy and off-goal.

When I discovered that the team was
searching for a new 20-something co-
host to replace Debbie, I called ABC and
asked to speak with a representative. I
was told that they were only accepting
applications from females, since the
audience was mostly estrogen-driven. I
pleaded, explaining that my presence
would fill out the circle completely, and
that any other woman would only give
viewers a biased sense of reality. A man's
perspective, however wrong and dillu-
sioned it might be, would only make
them more complete. She hung up.
Needless to say, I'm not in the final
round of the quirkly little airheads who
continue to disgrace my generation. I
may just have to start watching Jerry.
We watch Jerry Springer not because
we find him entertaining, but because we
have an insatiable need to discover that
we're not the only crazy ones out there.
We need reassurance that our lives are
not that completely bad. We all have
problems and as sick as it sounds, it's
nice to know that somewhere out in the
world, someone else is suffering just as
much as we are.
Remember: Your television set is only
a piece of furniture.
- Chris can be reached over e-mail at
tkaczykc@umich.edu.

AITENJION
CLASS OF 99
YOURI NEW YOREi APARM[NT IS AT

I ______________________________________ -lop_

J

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