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November 17, 1999 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-17

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lgSix xRrlmi i ttjag tomorrow in Daily Arts:
u 'The Big Six' comes to the League. Learn all the moves with U Weekend, etc. looks at the issues that are important to
dance lessons at 7:30 p.m. before the band performs at 9 p.m. students - housmig, University art, realy great movies and
Michigan League Ballroom. much more
Wednesday T
November 17, 1999
Timeless 'Earnest' appears at Mendelssohn Theatre'

By Greg Bibens Cortnev L Wright.
For the Daily Both soon find out t
With a little bit of earnestness and a plethora of is merely a relationshi
fine craftsmanship, the University theatre and quette. The women on
drama department will present their version of "Earnest," a great pla
Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest," attack of high society.
at the Mendelssohn Theatre this weekend. men to call themselve
This "trivial comedy for serious people" marry the two ladies, i
debuted in 1895 at St. James's Theatre and was as Wilde points out, to
the last work ever written by the critically ly- honest and truthfu
acclaimed Wilde. Originally set in Victorian of others to make univ
England, the three-act play tells a story of practi- "a life crowded with in
cality and wit, of truth and falsehood. It explores (Krista Braun) says in
the issues of human sin though the pursuit of While the story only
pleasure, and mocks high bitingly farcical, the o
society social standards of honest, observation of i
the time. is clearly a play that is
The play centers around a century ago, as it de
The Ipoance two men, Jack and the trivialities of life.
of BIeng Algernon. Both men, under Director Robert K
Earnest false identities, fall in love show's timeless qualit
Mendeissohn Theatre with two different women. play is set in the 20th
Nov. 18-21 While John "Jack" away from what has be
Worthing (Mathew H. tation of the play. T
Urban) is "Earnest" in the Victorian England has
country and "Jack" in New York City. Knop
town, Algernon Moncrieff between the two eras at
(Charlie Jett) assumes the ical edge in the "coc
roll of "Earnest" in town While the original was
and "Algernon" in the sibility" Knopf's versii
country. In the country, Jack falls in love with a backdrop of social a
Algernon's cousin, Gwendolyn Fairfax (Sandra Clearly, Wilde had a
Abrevaya); in the town, Algernon falls in love ing sarcasm and a cl
with Jack's "niece," Cecily Cardew, played by added his own viewpo
All That brings
jazzy funk music
to Blind Pig
By Chris Kula
Daily Arts Writer
Leave it to the musical fantasyland of New Orleans to act as the breed-
ing ground for the genre-defying band All That.
Drawing upon seemingly every nuance of the Crescent City's storied
musical tradition, All That has, in a relatively short time, created a sound
as unique as the band's instrumental lineup. The eight-piece group cre-
atively blends the jazzy horns of traditional second line brass bands, the
tight rhythm section of driving '70s era funk ensembles and the sprawling
rhymes of modem hip hop.
Just for funky good measure, All That uses a
sousaphone in place of bass guitar to lay down the
- grooving low end. The band likes to call its style
"sousafunk," but the growing audiences it's been
All That drawing simply call it old-fashioned party music.
"You could think of the band as Pharcyde meets
Blind Pig Parliament meets the Rebirth Brass Band," said All
Tom rrow at 9:30 p.m. That founder and keyboardist DJ Davis.
Several years ago, Davis, a New Orleans native,
had been hosting a popular community radio pro-
gram devoted to the city's brass band when he was
struck with the idea of modernizing the horn-driven
sound of this style.
- "Ever since I started following the brass band
scene, I knew this was the funk base sound,"
Davis said.
Davis successfully updated that solid foundation by recruiting musi-
cians from nearly every corner of New Orleans' huge local scene. In fact,
the band gained notoriety for its ever-changing personnel.
"People go away and they come back," Davis said. "I tell people the
new band is still the old band. This is what we're totally about."
Regardless of what players the band was featuring, All That quickly
earned a reputation as one of the most enjoyable live acts in New Orleans.
Readers of "Offbeat," the city's most prominent music magazine, voted
the band's eponymous debut, titled "Eponymous Debut,' the best funk

hat the love between them
p of social status and eti-
ly love their men for being
y on words and satirical
While it is important for the
s Earnest if they wish to
t is also socially important,
be earnest characteristical-
ul. Wilde plays on the flaws
ersal statements about life,
cident" as Lady Bracknell
the play.
grows more complex and
outcome is a satirical, but
life and human behavior. It
as relevant today as it was
als with issues concerning
nopf has recognized the
y, since his version of the
Century. Knopf is breaking
'come a traditional presen-
he high class setting of
been replaced by swank
f recognizes a connection
nd decided to find the satir-
ktail culture" of the '60s.
founded upon "social pos-
on seems to be laid against
voice of his own - a bit-
ever wit, and Knopf has
int. By changing the time

Theatre setior Philip Pirkola, assuming the
role oft ane in the upcoming production, agreed.
'The most interesitg thing to me is it sill comes
off the sam' . the comedy is still there." H
b lieves the artistic elements have greatly cdn-
trbuted to the production as well. From sound
(He-nry Reynolds), to lighting (Aaron Sporer)
scetsery (Vince Mountain), to costumes (L
Marroni) "It's all been brilliantly put together,
he complimented.
And these elements seem to fit beautifully in
the play as they are carried consistently through-
out the entire night at the theatre. From the back,
drop of I ondon to the skyline of New York, from
Britin sh dcor to a giant multi-colored Marilyn
Monroe painting, from tea to Martinis, and from
classical music to the "space-age, pop, cocktail
party music of Esquirel, all elements have
s listically transplanted into the "JFK, Camel
* . era of thel1960s.
Even before the show begins, the audience will
be a part of it all. Butlers will greet them at the
door as they enter the lobby of theatre, treating
them as they would the high-society citizenof
courtesy of Oa s 5mPhotogoph New York at that time. And during intermission,
Cortney L Wright and Charlie Jett star in "The Importance of Being Earnest- butlers and maids will provide non-alcoholic
period, it freed the cast from using British upper- ow the words." wine and other specialties to those in attendance.,
class dialect. "When you pull away the dialect, it Those working with Knopf have the same take that are dressed the part - the formal dress of
forces actors and directors to find style in other on the show as he does. "(Wilde's) wit absolutely high society, that is. As Knopf and Schlueter said;,
ways;' he pointed out. He added subtle physical withstands time,' said Ph.D. candidate in Theatre the more the audience dresses up, the more t '
comedy as well, which he predicts will make it Practice and assistant director Jennifer Schlueter. will be catered to.
easier for the audience to relate to. But in the She noticed that while the text is intricately writ- "I want the students to come, and I think they'lL
same breath he added, "I don't want to overshad- ten, it is still pertinent today, more than 100 years get a kick out of it, Knopf added.
Minot reads from debut
'Tiny One' at Borders

All That performs at the Blind Pig tomorrow.
album in 1997.
The group signed to Upstart, a division of Rounder Records, in
1998 and began work on their major labeldebut. The creative process
in the studio was anything but a structured plan, according to guitarist
Alex McMurray.
"There were people wandering around the studio with notebooks, try-
ing to figure out what they were going to thrown down on the next song,"
McMurray said.
The resulting album, "The Whop Boom Bam," is a true representation
of the band's diversity, with tracks like "El Futuro" displaying bright jazz
chops in the brass band tradition, while "Mardi Gras '99" is a hip hop
number in the Master P bounce style (and was the big crowd favorite dur-
ing last year's festival). And the hilarious "Fiasco" tells the story of "an
eight piece group with 58 cats" and all the ridiculous problems that come
from even playing a single gig.
With a creatively fun album in tow, the band now aims to win people
over with its original vision of a new sound in New Orleans music -
without crumbling under the pressure of a large label's commercial push.
"Some people are trying to measure success by selling a billion
records or something like that," Davis said. "I don't know what selling a
billion records is all about, what kind of diluting process you have to go
through to get there, or what happens to you when that kind of acclaim
falls on you.'
Also appearing on Thursday night at the Blind Pig are Minneapolis'The
Big Wu and Chicago's Harmony Riley.

By Nick Broughton
For the Daily
Coming to terms with the death of a loved
one is never an easy task. Eliza Minot's first
novel, "The Tiny One," deals with how a moth-
er's unexpected death affects a little girl of
eight. This beautiful, poignant and humorous
story stems partly from Minot's real-life expe-
rience of her mother dying in a car accident at
the age of seven.
The main character, Via Revere, an eight-
year-old girl growing up in Massachusetts,
recounts a panorama of childhood experiences
in a lush and sensual narrative with impeccable
childlike simplicity and humor.
Through Via, Minot constructs an image of
an entire family full of ups
and downs and all of the
little things that it experi-
ences together. Via's
Eliza vision of her "Mum" is
Minot particularly romantic and
Borders somewhat haunting, with
the knowledge of her
Tonight at 7:30 impending death looming
over the story.
As Via tells the story of
the fateful Valentine's Day
on which her mother dies,
her mind wanders through
recent memories of the
summertime and other
things that had happened before the winter.
Various misadventures and encounters inter-
weave themselves with the events of the day as
Via sits through her classes. Almost every
event she describes has an intense cinematic
quality about it that is both rare and refreshing
to read.
Many of her experiences deal with the very
beginning of her identity as a woman; her
exploration of her own body compounded with
curiosity about others (boys and even men)
makes for very provocative reading. In one
particular anecdote, she tells about how the
compliments paid to her by her male woodshop

teacher make her feel intimidated.
Via is quite honest when it comes to embar-
rassing experiences and regrettable times that
she disappoints her mother (such as throwing
away a gift and accepting money from a shady
Reading Via's experiences could make one
remember a surprising amount about one's own
childhood, and adults may very easily identify
with her experiences no matter how&r
removed they are from those childhood days.
One of Minot's aims for this book is to give
a child a sophisticated voice without compro-
mising those things that make her a child. As
universal as childhood may be, the limitless
kind of thinking of characters that age is too
frequently ignored in contemporary adult liter-
The way Via's mind floats from one subject
to the next makes the writing disorganized. But
this benefits the story because it accura*1
follows the train of thought that a child woul4
have without being repetitive. One of the
dilemmas that Minot found herself in was to be
able to do so while still making the book acces.
sible to an adult audience (this is clearly' nota
children's book).
Experiencing the death of one so close was
certainly a contributing factor to Minot's'tow
identity, growing up in a different, enigmatic
way because of the death. As a writer, M(iot
feels that it was a subject that she would have
had to face eventually.
Minot began writing the book shortly after
leaving NBC, where she was a staff member on
"Late Night with Conan O'Brien," doing
research for interviews and keeping tabs on
various other news stories. The bulk of th
novel was written while she was staying in
Bali, Indonesia, during an extended visit wit
one of her sisters.
Though she is not quite certain what her ne
project might be, it is clear that the confi-
and honesty that she had brought to "The
One" is an indication of many good things to

e H E' F.F J O-N E'

'ebrate /ur

Puerto Rican Association
P & RicnWe
November 14 - 20, 1999
"The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca"
A film by reowned Puerto Rican Director
Marcos Zurinaga
Wednesday, November 17 at 7:00 pm
1200 Chemistry Building
"Bringing Puerto Rico, Art and Museum
Together in the
Puerto Rico Art Museum"
Lecture by Adrian Cerezo, Smithsonian Institute
Thursday, November 18 at 12 noon
296 Dennison Building
"La Fiesta"
Dance Party (Free Admission)
Friday, November 19 at 9:00 pm
William Monroe Trotter House
S onsored by the Puerto Rican Association, Office of Academic
Multicultural Initiatives , Latino Task Force and Michigan Student Assembly

.1sfic Lectet
Tie Best Course IEver ook
H. D. Cameron, Professor of Greek and Latin, and
First Collegiate Fellow in Honors

Proessor Cameronwia reflectonhislonghistory
with the Honors Program and Great Books.
Allareinitettto eeeratewthus hsappointmentas
tirst ColegiateFettow In Honors.
Sponsoredby theHonorsProgram,CollegeotLiteratr,
Science, & the Arts, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Friday, November 19
4:00-5:00 p.m.
1800 Chemistry Building
Reception will follow in the atrium of
the Chemistry Building

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