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April 16, 1999 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-04-16

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 16, 1999

Joe's Garage' presents Zappa

By leer Msrchnt
For the Daily
"Joe's Garage" is an experimental rock
album in three acts by one of America's
most controversial musicians, the late
Frank Zappa. The first act of the piece was
released in September of 1979, followed by
the release the second and third two
months later. It can be best described as a
collection of songs tied into a plot.
Although it was his dream to adapt it for
the stage or the screen, Zappa never got
around to it.
In what constitutes a world premiere of
sorts, the album will be performed on stage
for the first time this weekend. The brain-
child of Joe Grossman (director) and
Jordan Shapiro (musical director), it is
momentous in more than one sense. It is

one of the very few independent produc-
tions at the University and represents the
collaborative work of about 50 students

from diverse fields of
Joe's Garage
Media Union
(Video Studio)
Tonight and tomorrow
at 9:30 p.m. Tomorrow )
and Sunday at 2 p.m.

study and interest,
including a musical
theater troupe,
eight dancers, five
singers and a rock
band along with a
host of technicians
backstage. 'This is
a great example of
how the
resources can be
put to use, said
producer Lee
The four perfor-

mances will take place in the Video Studio
of the Media Union. Seelig describes the
adapted piece as a "cross between musical
theater, a rock concert, video art, projec-
tions and an art installation." The video stu-
dio proved the ideal site for the production
with its sound-isolated stage floor and
excellent multi-media resources.
The soundtrack, consisting of 18 outra-
geously comic, satirical songs, is to be per-
formed by The Element, a local band that
has performed at fraternities and several
local clubs. This marks their first perfor-
mance at a University-related event.
By far, the most exciting aspect of the
performance (especially for Zappa fans)
will be the cameo by Ike Willis, one of the
original creators of "Joe's Garage" and
band-mate of Zappa. The Saturday and


Mike Rubenstone plays Joe, an average teenager.

Sunday performances will feature him
singing a few ofthe songs and accompany-
ing the band on the guitar. The final perfor-
mance is to be followed by a complete ren-
dition of the soundtrack by Willis at the
Gypsy Cafe, for a $7 admission charge.
This will be only the second performance
of the piece in its entirety ever.
The fact that a majority of the perform-
ers are relatively unacquainted with Zappa's
music and style of expression is one of the
biggest challenges they face, according to
choreographer Heather Berkin. It is com-
pensated, however, by the combined "ener-
gy and talent of the entire crew" she said.
The storyline embodies the quintessen-
tial Zappa with generous quantities of
satire, sexual innuendoes and general
impropriety. The plot consists of a series of
outrageously random events in the life of
Joe, a basic teenager, and the people around
him. The plot was not the main focus of
interest. Its adaptation for theater, however,
demanded strengthening of the story line.
Grossman rose to the task by incorporating
two original scenes into the script, one of

which is a prologue.
It would be a mistake, however, to
assume that "Joe's Garage" is a trite piece of
experimental music. As is the case with a
majority of Zappa's music, it uses bizarre,
exaggerated scenarios and situations to
comment on some very pervasive issues.
The climax takes the audience to a world in
which total censorship prevails - even
music is outlawed. This opens the audi-
ence's mind to such issues without forcing
any opinions on them. "Certain important
themes are touched upon but we are not try-
ing to comment or make a point about any-
thing" Shapiro said. It is neither a tradition-
al social commentary nor a pure entertain-
ment piece.
Grossman, through the use of several
types of media, intends to provide the audi-
ence with what he calls "information over-
dose,"to ensure that each person has his/her
own unique interpretation and takes home a
unique experience.
- Tickets for "Joe's Garage" arefree
and available at the door prior to each

Wednesday April 21 - Hill Auditorium
Reserved seats at all Ticketmaster locations including the Michigan Union Ticket Office.
Charge at 734-763-TKTS or 248-645-6666. For info, call 734-99-MUSIC or www.99music.com
An Office of Major Events, Division of Student Affairs Presentation.

The University of Michigan
School of Music
Friday, April 16- Sunday, April 18
Musical Theatre Production
Brent Wagner, director; Ben Whiteley, musical director
" Leonard Bernstein: Candide
Power, 8 p.m. (Fri. -Sat.); 2 p.m. (Sunday)
[Admission $18, $14; for information phone 734-764-0450]
Friday, April 16
Michigan Opera Works
Tania Miller, music director; David Gordon, stage director
" Henry Purcell: Dido and Aeneas
McIntosh Theatre, E.V. Moore Bldg., 8 p.m
[For tickets (free) and other information phone 763-85871
Concert Band
Kevin Sedatole, conductor
" music by Presti, Barber, Gould, Williams, Welcher, Young
Hill Auditorium, 4 p.m.
BFA/BDA H Dance Performance
Betty Pease Studio Theatre, Dance Bldg., 8 p.m.
[Admission $5 at the door; phone 763-5460 for informationj
Saturday, April 17
Contemporary Directions Ensemble
James Tapia, director
Ronin Trio (from Indianapolis)
Jason Mc Featers, saxophone
Music of University of Michigan Composers from A through D
* James Aikman: Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano
" William Albright: Sonata for Alto Saxophone
" William Bolcom: Aubade for Oboe and Piano
* Evan Chambers: Cold Water, Dry Stone
* Michael Daugherty: Motown Metal
Rackham Auditorium, 8p.m.
BFA/BDA H Dance Performance
Betty Pease Studio Theatre, Dance Bldg., 8p.m.
[Admission $5 at the door; phone 763-5460 for information]
UM Men's Glee Club 139th Annual Spring Concert
Jerry Blackstone, conductor; Jeffrey Douma, assistant conductor
The Friars, an octet from the Men's Glee Club
" music by Britten, Elgar, Mendelssohn, Schubert and more
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m.
[Tickets $12, $10, $7; students $5. For information 764-14481
Sunday, April 18
Michigan Opera Works
Tania Miller, music director; David Gordon, stage director
" Henry Purcell: Dido and Aeneas
McIntosh Theatre, E. V. Moore Bldg., 2 p.m
[For tickets (free) and other information phone 763-8587]
University Philharmonia Orchestra
Rossen Milanpv, guest conductor
Hill Auditorium, 4 p.m.
Cabaret Studio Presentation
Baker's Dozen Cabaret
Students of Joan Morris perform an oleo of cabaret songs,
skits and short comic moments
Kerrytown Concert House, 8 p.m. (free)
Monday, April 19
Guest Master Class
Jerry Hadley, internationally acclaimed tenor
McIntosh Theatre, E. V. Moore Bldg., 4:30 p.m.
Vocal Arts Lab
Vocal students perform vocal repertory
Britton Recital Hall, E.V. Moore Bldg., 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 20
University Symphony Orchestra and Women's Choir
Kenneth Kiesler, conductor
Judy DeVaere, mezzo soprano
" Mahler: Symphony No. 3
Hill Auditorium, 8p.m.
Friday, April 23
Ann Arbor Dance Works 15th Annual Spring Concert
Betty Pease Studio Theatre, Dance Bldg., 8 p.m.
[Admission $8, $5 at the door. For ticket information 764-0450;

Lane jets.
to resort
in 'Moon'
By Bryan Lark
Daily Arts Writer
"The Blouse Man is on the premises"'
screams the uncredited voice of Julie
Kavner over the loudspeaker at the
Catskills campground where "A Wak
on the Moon" lays its scene. -
The Blouse Man, played by Vio
Mortensen, is a travelling hippie sales-
man whose presence, along with that of
the Ice Cream Man and the Knish Man
is heralded eagerly every day at t
But camper Pearl Kantrowitz (Diane
Lane) - and "A Walk on the Moo"r'
itself - would be better off without the
mopey studliness of the Blouse Man:.
A sort of companion piece to "Ditty
Dancing" in its exploration of a young
Jewish woman's sexual awakening in the
Catskills in the 1960s - only without
Patrick Swayze or dance lessons - "A
Walk on the Moon" tells the enga '
and beautifully acted tale of a house
and a handsome stranger, a pair of star-
crossed lovers having the time of their
lives during the summer of 1969, which
saw Woodstock and the moon landing
from which the film derives its title.
Much of the film, when not weaving
lunar metaphors, is spent on the lovers,
him seducing her with his blouses and
trying to get in her pants and she kvetch-
ing about finding the self she lost years
ago when she got pregnant and W
forced to marry TV repairman Marty
(Liev Schreiber).
But it's never quite clear why Pear
and the Blouse Man love each other so
much, expect for the fact that they're
both drop dead gorgeous and more than
a little bored with their lives.
Still, the Blouse Man never seems
appealing enough, even in the tpp'~
breathtaking Woodstock re-creation, fo
Pearl to considS
leaving the family
that she's created
since her loss of
A Walk on innocence 14
the Moon years prior.
As a funny and
complex family
At Ann Arbor 1 & 2 portrait, "Moon"'
lands nuanced
and moving per-
formances fr
Lane, Schreibe
F ~Tovab Feldshah As
Marty's protec-
tive, mystical
mother and Anna Paquin as their 14-
year-old mistake, whose own period of
sexual discovery parallels her mother's;
especially when their paths cross at the
nearby free love convention known as
But "Moon" still suffers from the fl*
eerily Amish presence of Mortensen in
the role that sets the action in motion -
or what can be called the action.
"Moon;' in its discussions, rants and
soliloquies and tendency to not go any-
where quickly is very actorly in its exe-
cution, which is not surprising as its the
directorial debut of Tony Goldwyn, an
actor best known as the bad guy jg
"Ghost" with - coincidence?
Patrick Swayze.
Goldwyn injects an everyday, realis
appeal to his characters and, thanks to
the sensitive, eloquent script, gives thea
endlessly interesting things to say.
Lane, however, seems to have the

most to say, announcing her own pres-
ence as a mature actress to be reckoned
with, permanently living up to the
youthful promise she showed in the
rockin' "Streets of Fire" and the rollick-
ing miniseries "Lonesome Dove.'
Whether or not you buy the Blo3
Man, Diane Lane and her supporting
cast make "A Walk on the Moon" an
ensemble worth trying out.
Continued from Page 9
If things go well, the success of
tonight's event could possibly result in
a regularly scheduled event in the fall:
"We'd like to see our event becom
monthly event because it comes back
our idea of 'community,"' Damiani
said. "It would be a place and an event
that party kids could attend regularly to
meet and see their friends, dance,
socialize, and have a good time."
"I would love that to death!" Payer
said. "That way, all the Ann Arbor kids
could play, and I would have something
to do and to look forward to since it's
something I find very worthy of put
my energy into. Also, maybe we cou d
eventually get a budget and work on
bringing in somewhat bigger DJs to
draw an audience beyond Ann Arbor,
still free of charge to the kids and close
to everybody that goes to school here,"
Paver said.

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