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September 15, 2000 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-09-15

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 15, 2000,- 9

SPychedelic Rangers & RCMP oh my!
ally held in exile at St. Clair College in Windsor,
Continued from Page 8 But Sinclair was turned away at the border and
was not able to attend the event, which was just the
Ornette Coleman Quartet to the traditional blues beginning of the festival's problems that year.
styles of Jimmy Reed, Ray Charles and others. Daily "They (St. Clair College) inflated the size of the
coverage of the event estimated crowds of 14,00 venue, so even if we'd had the full cooperation of
and 20000 for the first two days of the festival. everyone and filled the thing, there wouldn't have
Rainbow Multi-Media made arrangements to limit been enough people to break even," said Sinclair.
police security to the perimeter of the festival, "So there was that and the Royal Canadian Mounted
instead deploying their own team of Psychedelic Police had an all-out campaign against us. The
Rangers to assist with minor medical problems and national police there did everything they could to
drug overdoses and to prevent the sale of hard nar- sabotage the attendance, refusing to let people
cotics. Both the '72 and '73 festivals went by with- through customs. On the site itself, the backstage
out any major incidents or legal hassles. area, from what I've been told, was just saturated
But the contractor that Rainbow Multi-Media with police and they would walk out into the
hired to help clean up and strike the '73 festival site amphitheater, walk down into the heart of the crowd
proved unreliable. "A lot of the people that were on and snatch people out for smoking joints and arrest
his staff didn't get paid," said Sinclair. The site was them."
not cleared immediately, as many of the unpaid As a result, the entire Rainbow Multi-Media com-
\orkers refused to work. "So then in '74, the city pany was forced to shut down. "We would've
counsel pretty much used the issue that the site declared bankruptcy, but we didn't have enough
wasn't cleaned up promptly as an excuse to deny a money!" Sinclair said.
permit." Erlewine said Andrews continued to lobby the
Erlewine remembers that "in '74, there was a Ann Arbor city counsel unsuccessfully until he
change in the city government and there were more began to collaborate with Ann Arbor music prornot-
Republicans on the council, so they couldn't get a er Lee Berry. Berry, with Andrews and Eric Cole
permit. Because these were undesirable people from began a different campaign. "Lee bypassed the parks
the city's point of view that were coming in to see commission and took the question directly to the city
these festivals." council," Erlewine writes in the festival archives'
Sinclair views the conflict with the city in similar history. "It took some 80 private meetings and a
Oterms: "We were a bunch of radicals and marijuana number of public ones to bring the council around,
advocates presenting African American performers but they managed to do it."
for three days in this lily-white rich, wealthy cormu- The Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival was held
pity. So it was like all your demons are congregated again in 1992 and has continued as ai annual event
into one handy mass that you could disperse by not to this day. The festival is now held at various loca-
giving them a place to be." titots around Ann Arbor, including ait outdoor stage
So Rainbow Multi-Media scrambled to find an at Gallup Park, the jazz club setting of the Bird of
alternative location at which to hold the festival. Paradise and at the Michigan Theater.
"The city council in Ann Arbor jerked us around The festivals of the '90s have continued to present
until well into July. By that time we had contracted a blend of traditional blues and intriguing jazz musi-
with artists, we had people on hold, we had deposits cians, featuring several artists who performed in the
with some people and most of all we wanted more festivals of the '7ls, like Pharoah Sanders, Bonnie
than anything to produce this festival," said Sinclair, Rait and Hubert Sumlin. Yet, when compared to the
who described the lineup for '74 as "my dream myriad of large blues festivals and jazz festivals that
billing of all tirme. It had been in my mind ever since have been established around the world since the
years before when I had read something by Amiri seventies, the '90s revival is just another small fish in
Baraka where he said 'the music of the future will be a big pond. And the even the biggest and best con-
a combination of Sun Ra and James Grown, Sun temporary festivasl simply can't hold a candle to
Brown and James Ra."' those of the first four Ann Arbor festivals, which
The James Brown Revue and Sun Ra & His brought an unprecedented array of authentic blues
Arkestra were scheduled to perform on the first night and adventurous jazz performers to the attention of
of the '74 blues and jazz festival, which was eventu- thousands.

Henner stars in
sexy 'Annie' update

Sinclair agreed with this assessment of the festi-
val's latest run. "I think they could probably use
help," he said. "I mean, they've struggled to get a
fess thousand people there." Rainbow Multi-Media
promoted the festival like a rtck event, with a bar-
rage of psychedelic posters and a national d iicam-
paign. Moreover, the '73 festival was broadcast
nationally over a 96-station radio hook-up, which
was the first major festival broadcast for National
Public Radio.
And Sinclair would like the opportunity to pro-
tnote again. "I feel very badly that they won't invite
tie to have a role in thist" he said. "I've had frieds
who are board members who have made serious
efforts to let them know that I would like to be
involved in some capacity. I just think people don't
really have any idea of what it was, except for the
dope aspect. There sas a bi.g story a couple years
ago that said things like 'those people were all mari-
juana and drug users and thisis i a family event now.'
And I noticed that it was sponsored by SOtttIet it
But politics aside, the vr presence of the fes-
tival itself is a promotion of the music's first gen-
eration innovators. Atsd with this year's festival
losing two of its scheduled headliners to strokes,
now is a particularly important time to be contin-
uing this legacy.

By Jaimie Winkler
Daly: Arts Writer
1)1.1ROIT - With energy and vitali-
ty. a youthful Marilu Henner leads the
touring cast of "Annie Get Your Gun"
straight off the Oregon Trail and into the
Fisher Theater.
."Annie Get
Your Gun, uwith
Annie Get music and lyrics
by Irving Berlin,
Your Gun is a fictional love
Fisher Theater revolving around
Through 10/1 the legend of the
(3:13872-000 sharpshooter
Annie Oakley as
she tours the
frontier with
Wild Bill's Wild
West Show.
Annie, a shoot-
er who can't
miss. swoons emphatically for the studly
starI Frank Butler, and is determined to
one-up him in every conceiveable way.
Her skill lands her a place on the cov-
ered wagon and their biting competition
provides the stoty's conflict.
Opening with the classic, "There's No
Business Like Show Business," made
famous by the late-great Ethel Merman,
the cast begins the toe-tapping score
with big smiles and continues to enter-
tain with a wonderfully charming rend-
tion of"tAnything You Can Do.
Punchy and witty dialouge, delivered
to perfection, maximizes laughs and
keeps the sho moving quickly through
the various love affairs and business
venttres. 1th the show's strotg)acting
and dancing, and even its weaker vocal
performances. are highly entertaining.
Marilt IHenner, known fr her stage
and screen work particularly in the tele-
vision show "Taxi" brings her vivacious
red hair and undeniably lovable charm to
the part of Annie. Speaking with a hint

of southern twang, Henner's body and
voice are remarkably fitting for Annie.
Rather rubbery, she's childish but strong
enough give depth to this character.
I lenner seems to scream for connec-
tion with Rex Smith, convincing as the
desireable Frank Butler. Smith sparkled
during Frank's musical numbers, but fiz-
zled in many of his scenes including tIe
supposedly passionate meetings with the
excitable Annie.
The supporting duo made up for their
loss of chemistry. Winnie Tate and
Tommy Keeler, played by Claci Milrer
and Eric Stiotto, are lovey and lusty
enough to make the audience -o
Directed by Graciela Daniehe, this
revival is fun to watch. The ensemtble
doubles as a rhythm section during te
shooting match and creates the sound of
a moving train with their shoes. Th
choreography of Daniele and Jeff Cal
houn, with a surprizingiy well integrated
quote from competitive cheerleading
outlines a new, sexier "Annie.
The revised script by Peetr Stote
lends to the more sexually explicit prot
duction. While being updated, it sticks to
the notion that the real Sitting Bull
appears onstage, but throws in confusing
anachronisms including references. to
Madison Square Garden.
Daniele's production highlights tb
fact that "Annie Get Your Gun" is a
show within a show. The book, written
in 1946, plays heavily on stereotypes of
the Wild West and Native Americats.
By placing the orchestra onstage, the
conductor in a cowboy hat and fiamting
the stage in publicity posters, Daniele
successfully stresses that it's just a-show.
More sarcastic dialogue counters the
built-im stereotypes with humoruos rea
tions to "savage"-type comments. The
darker skinned members of the cast
often come off as rooted in reality, while
the cowboys stick to caricature.

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Photo courtesy of the Michiganensan
During the social upheaval of the early '70s, the festival served as a high-profile opportunity for political propagandists.

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