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Eclectic jam band, Smokestack,
performs Friday at the Blind
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under 21). 19 and over only.
DECEMBER 12, 2001
Baroque sound to church
Tomei boasts of
By Christine Lasek
Daily Arts Writer
Tomorrow at 8 p.m., Franco-American conduc-
tor and harpsichordist William Christie, along
St. Francis of
Tomorrow at 8 p.m.
with his ensemble Les Arts
Florissants, will bring Christ-
mas music of the Baroque era
to Ann Arbor.
Les Arts Florissants, which
takes its name from a short
opera by Marc-Antoine Char-
pentie, is a vocal and instru-
mental music ensemble
founded by Christie in 1979.
It is one of the most well
known and respected early
music groups in the world.
The ensemble consists of 21
vocalists and an orchestra and
25 strings. Woodwinds are
tions to a largely neglected and forgotten reper-
toire and has also contributed greatly to a reawak-
ened interest in vocal techniques of the same
Although Christie has a specific affinity for the
French Baroque era of music (composers such as
Charpentier, Rameau, Couperin, Mondonville and
Campra), Les Arts Florissants has also performed
music by such well-known masters as Handel,
Purcell, Monteverdi and Mozart.
The performance tomorrow will be a concert of
Christmas music composed by Marc-Antoine
Charpentier (1643-1704). Charpentier was a pro-
lific composer who wrote music extensively for
the church. He is most well known for his sacred
works, although he also composed some secular
pieces. The program consists of "Messe de Minuit
pour Noel, H. 9 (Midnight Mass for Christmas
Eve)" and "In nativitatem Domini Canticum, H.
Although it is the time of year that calls for
such scared pieces, Christie has always preferred
such works. "I was very much taken with sacred
works from the very beginning. It seemed to me
so special. I loved the idea of organs and harps
and recorders, things I didn't see and hear in a
normal orchestra. It was exotic and very com-
pelling," Christie said.
Courtesy of Shuman Associates Inc.
William Christie conducts Les Arts Florissants.
Several of the pieces in the program tomorrow
are not only sacred; they are also liturgical, mean-
ing that they were specifically written to be per-
formed during mass.
Les Arts Florissants has a high profile, both in
the concert hall and in the recording studio. Dur-
ing its 22 years of performing, the ensemble has
released over 60 albums, including its most recent
Noels, by Charpentier.
The ensemble tours widely, both within France
and abroad. Lovers of Baroque period music and
classical vocal music in general should not miss
this one time performance, which is sure to
enchant audiences and instill the Christmas spirit
into the hearts of its listeners.
Christie, the founder and present conductor of
Les Arts Florissants, is also a musicologist who
studied at Yale and Harvard. The ensemble focus-
es, primarily, on reviving and performing music
from the 17th and 18th centuries. Christie's work
with Les Arts Florissants grants new interpreta-
Stahl uses 'In the Bedroom to grow
.into exciting, challenging adult roles
By Todd Weiser
Daily Arts Writer
Marisa Tomei burst into the spot-.
light with her Academy Award-win-
ning role in "My Cousin Vinny."
Now, Tomei is acquiring new Oscar
speculation for her film "In the
Bedroom," costarring Tom Wilkin-
son, Sissy Spacek and Nick Stahl.
Actor Todd Field wrote the script
and makes his directorial debut, but
he was also the main reason Tomei
became a part of the film.
Field's enthusiastic approach and
experience as an actor attracted
Tomei. "It's exciting to work with
someone who has no preconceived
ideas and who has a lot of fresh
energy," said Tomei. "I love working
with actor directors, it's my absolute
favorite. I think that actors really
(possess) a sense of the truth about
human nature ... so I really trust
actors to be good directors. And
most of the time they are drawn to
doing things that are character dri-
ven because that's their first pas-
Field's presence may have helped
lure the talented and charming
actress, but the cast was also a
dream come true for Tomei.
"I was so lucky, they're just the
finest. Each person I was just blofvn
away by." At the 2001 Sundance
Film Festival, the Special Jury Prize
for acting was awarded to Sissy
Spacek and Tom Wilkinson. Tomei
confessed that "working with Sissy
was something that was a dream of
mine." And she also wasted no time
on the set, trying to learn as much
as she could from her fellow actors.
Tomei giggles when reminiscing, "I
tried to pick Tom's brain a lot - ask
him how he became such a genius,
but he really couldn't explain it to
While Spacek and Wilkinson have
been hailed for their performances,
Tomei's own, as a divorced mother
of two dating a much younger man,
was equally challenging and reward-
"I didn't really think it was going
to be as much of a challenge as it
was when I got there ... but what I
would realize for myself is that I
would do a scene where it was emo-
tional and it required a lot of con-
centration and I would think OK,
well that is out of the way, the hard
scene is out of the way, and then the
next day there would be another
quote unquote 'hard scene.' I didn't
realize how once you're involved in
it; it's really a portrait of grief."
Tomei has shown a flair for both
dramatic and comedic acting, but
admits no preference.
After her Oscar win, she appeared
in romantic comedies ("Untamed
Heart") and tender dramas
("Unhook the Stars"). Last year, she
co-starred -in the hit comedy "What
Women Want" with Mel Gibson,
and now has an upcoming role in
the romantic comedy "Just a Kiss."
She laughs at the idea of being
labeled an "Indie Film Goddess"
and reveals, "I have to say for
myself that wherever there is a good
script that I feel like I can believe
in, I'm happy to be there."
Tomei expresses uncertainty con-
cerning the lack of good roles for
female actors, but hopes for a more
peaceful film industry.
"I can only hope that there is,
especially after what we all went
through on the 1lth, less emphasis
on violent films and more emphasis
on character, or comedy ... some-
thing that has more heart in it, more
resonance. And reflects half the cul-
ture; that would reflect women,
Marisa Tomei may retain the
Brooklyn accent that made her
famous in the role of Mona Lisa
Vito with the "tickin' biological
clock" in "My Cousin Vinny," but
Tomei constantly proves with distin-
guished performances in a variety
of roles, that her much disputed
Oscar win was just a hint of more
greatness to come.
By Todd Weiser
Daily Arts Writer
While most people in their early-
'20s face a very difficult time in
their lives, usually involving col-
lege and deciding their future pro-
fession, 22-year-old Nick Stahl,
who is co-starring in the film "In
the Bedroom" with Marissa Tomei,
also leads a challenging life - that
of an up-and-coming new actor.
Stahl began acting as a young
child, doing theater in his home
state of Texas before moving onto
commercials and then films.
"For me, (my childhood) was sort
of a dual life. I was, like, a normal
kid in Texas, and then I would fly
off and do a movie and come back,"
Stahl said. "It was different - was-
n't what the rest of my friends were
Stahl earned the breakthrough he
needed when he was hand-selected
to star opposite Mel Gibson in "The
Man Without a Face." Stahl was 12
during its filming, and has since
endured the obstacles of overcom-
ing childhood success in the film
"It was difficult at times. You
have, like, a certain set of roles that
you're up for as a kid, and as you
age it really changes. When I was
(around the age of) 14, I didn't
work for almost two years, just
because that's a really awkward age
to begin with."
With a recent surge of roles,
including the films "Disturbing
Behavior" and "Bully," he feels like
he is finally playing more mature
characters, especially in Todd
Field's upcoming "In The Bed-
"It's definitely tricky for me still,
but this movie, I feel, is one of my
first more adult roles."
Stahl acknowledges that there
were many factors in his wanting to
be a part of Todd Field's directorial
debut. "I think there was a real
transformation in the character that
was interesting. And really, I just
loved the script and the writing."
Stahl portrays Frank Fowler, the
only son of a seemingly perfect
couple, who spends his summer
before college on a lobster boat,
while also engaged in a relationship
with a much older woman (Marisa
Tomei). Stahl actually prepared for
Courtesy o Miramax
"Gorillas in the Mist," oh wait ... it's only Marisa Tomel and Nick Stahl.
the movie by being a real lobster
fisherman for a few days.
"It was really great. I wish I had
had more time to do it actually. We
got to go out a couple days, but it
was a real discovery for me,
because it's a real different world.
And it helped me physically to sort
of acclimate to the role, and I came
away with a real respect for the pro-
fession as well. I mean, these guys
that do this for a living; it's a real
tough job and sort of a lonely job as
Stahl admits being "really excit-
ed" at the early Oscar buzz for the
film, as he also responds to the
claim that "In the Bedroom" is not
for the emotionally squeamish.
"If people don't want to go to a
film to experience emotion then I
guess they should just go see the
newest teen flick. The film attempts
to make a statement that is more
than a lot of films that I have seen
attempt to do."
Stahl is currently in Germany
shooting a movie called "Bookies,"
about three friends attending col-
lege together, which is due out
sometime next year.
As for Stahl's own personal edu-
cation plans, he is just enjoying his
acting career right now.
"Its kinda hard to say what I'll be
doing down the road. I really like
what I do now. I don't know. if I will
go to school or anything like that,
because that's really not my goal
right now - it's to keep working."
courtesy of Mirarnax
With a wink and a smile, Marisa and Sissy flirt with the camera.
Courtesy of Miramax
But "Disturbing Behavior" was good!
"Don't let your
get ahead of
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