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September 07, 2001 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-07

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This coming weekend...
The Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival, featuring
Maceo Parker, John Scofield and Ike Turner hits
Gallup Park this weekend. Gates open at noon
and tickets are available at Ticketmaster.
michigandaily.com/arts

ARTS

FRIDAY
SEPTEMBER 7, 2001

9

Fatboy Slim, 'NSync win big at annual
MTV Video Music Awards ceremony

By Lyle Henretty and Jeff Dickerson
Daily Arts Editors

Possibly the most honest moment to come from the 2001 MTV video
music awards last night at the Metropolitan Opera
House in New York came from gravelly-voiced diva
Macy Gray. Instead of the usual unrehearsed reading of
a hackneyed joke, Gray commented on how music and
MTV Video video's were "all well and good, but that the audience
Music Awards really needed to look at her dress. Printed on her dress
in large white letters was an announcement for the
MTV release of her upcoming album. She turned around to
September 6, 2001 show her posterior, which prompted the viewing public
to "buy it." It is assumed that this refered to her album.
In an awards show that has become increasingly pre-
fabricated and as slick as the boy bands it showcases,
Gray's brash commercialism and lack of restraint was
.1 admirable.
.____{_ The VMAs were originally shotty productions that
sat atop the house of cards that is popular music. One
fued between two rock prima-donnas or dueling rappers
could place the entire show in jeopardy. As this year's outing proved,
though, every second of the telecast is now carefully accounted for, even

the so-called "spontaneous" moment the show is famous for. Near the end
of MC Jamie Fox's opening monolouge, "Saturday Night Live" star Will
Ferrell "bolting" onto stage screaming about how he was "raging" before
beginning to climb the set, a-la the surprise incident with "Rage Against
the Machine" last year.
The broadcast reached a sad note early in the hour, as artists mourned the
death of 22-year-old Michigan native Aaliyah, who died last month in a
plane crash. The singer's brother appeared on stage to thank fans and also
mention the others that lost their lives in the fatal crash.
The awards themselves seemed to honor happier circumstances, awarding
such sunny acts as 'NSync and the immensly colorful rendition of "Lady
Marmalade" from the "Moulin Rouge" soundtrack. "Marmalade" took
home top "Video of the Year" honors, as well as Best Video from a Film.
The songs artists (Christina Aguilera, LiI' Kim, Mya, and Pink) were all in
attendence. 'NSync took four awards, including the much-coveted viewers
choice award.
Five technical awards went to Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice," includ-
ing Best Director, given during the show, and four others given at an earlier
ceremony. Christipher Walken, the video's star, appeared as a crowd
favorite and used surprising levity in introducing 'NSyne's performance.
Walken was amazed that he was appearing at the Met, and that he did not
care to read the lines given him.
The three hour plus show had a variety of lackluster perfomances, start-
ing with a touching rendition of "I'm Real" by J. Lo and Ja Rule. Next up
was 3l11, make that Linkin Park showing off their generic hard rock.
Between each act the producers pushed for breif moments of comic relief
from Julia Stiles and Chris Kattan dancing interpretively to modern pop
hits to Andy Dick dressing up in full drag as the bizarro Christina Aguilera,
Daphne. Alicia Keys performed "Fallin" and was later awarded with the
best new artist award. Like the past several VMAs, MTV went all out with
elaborate sets, most apparent in 'NSyne's strained recreation of their out-
landish video "Pop." It took a special guest appearance by none other than
the "King of Pop," Michael Jackson, to save the act. Showing age has not
affected him, the former Jackson 5 frontman displayed an incredible array
of moves, with the grand exception of the "Moonwalk" which he may be
saving for his sold out show tonight at the Met.
Another eye-catcher was Britney Spears performance with live animals,
shortly after 1lp.m., when the show was scheduled to conclude. (Maybe
producers were waiting for the zoo to close?) Britney, scantily clad in jun-
gle attire, danced, lip-synched and coddling an albino snake. The brand
new song, "I'm a Slave," declares her departure from the ideals of femi-
nism..
More of the sought after "Moon Men" went to such commercialized
bands as Destiny's Child, who's "Survivor" video took best R&B Video,
and Limp Bizkit, who took Best Rock Video honors for "Rollin."'
The greatest of all MTV honors went out to U2, this years recipiant of
the Video Vangaurd award. The Award, MTV's version of the "Lifetime
Achievment Award," goes to a band who has raised the bar for breadth and
creativity of music videos throughout their career. The band thanked the
network for their continued support of the group, and New York City for
producing pioneer punk band, The Ramones. The three living members of
that band joined U2 on stage to a standing ovation from the crowd.
Fox attempted to keep the show rolling, and while he faired slightly bet-
ter than last year's hosts, Shawn and Marlon Wayans, most. of his jokes fell
flat. He kicked off the show with medely of songs ranging from "Gin and
Juice" to "Marmalade," changing up the tempos and lyrics, Billy Crystal
style.
The show will undoubtedly air repeatedly the next few weeks, as fans and
analysts alike discuss the implications of the broadcasts.

Courtesy of MTV
VMA artists remember their friend Aaliyah (top left), who died.In a plane crash last
month. Best new artist winner Alicia Keys (topright) was a crowd favorite, as was
Walken (center), seen in "Weapon of Choice. Ja Rule and J-Lo gave the crowd
plenty to look at (bottom left), while Beyonce wonders whether or not your ready
for some jelly.

'Vagna Monologues'unite
women via funny narratives
By Jim Schiff" :
Daily Fine and Performing Arts Editor

It's hard to say exactly why Eve Ensler's "The Vagina
Monologues" (opening tonight) has become such an

The Vagina
onologues
Power Center
Sept. 6 thru Sept.12
'
Enthusiasm" and l

international phenomenon. Perhaps
it's the play's theme, about women's
experiences with their vaginas. Or
maybe it's the long roster of celebri-
ty actresses who have taken on a part
in this incredible production. More
than likely, however, "The Vagina
Monologues" is popular simply
because it's so entertaining.
Comedienne Susie Essman, the
guest actress at each of the Power
Center's performances, has built her
career on her ability to be entertain-
ing. She hosted this year's American
Comedy Awards on Comedy Cen-
tral, has a role on HBO's "Curb Your
has also been in several movies, includ-

ing "Keeping the Faith," "The Siege" and "Punchline."
Here, in "The Vagina Monologues," Essman makes some-
what of a departure from her normal repertoire. Accus-
tomed to writing her own stand-up comedy routines,
Essman finds joy in performing another author's work.
"In a certain way, when you're a comedienne, being who
you are on stage and writing your own words can be a
powerful thing, a wonderful thing," she said. "Yet I loved
the chance to interpret someone else's words."
Essman, who also performed in "The Vagina Mono-
logues" on Broadway at the West Side Theater, is joined
on stage by actresses Tracy A. Leigh and Amy Love.
Leigh, a veteran of local theater as well as television, has
t appeared on "Law and Order" and narrated Lifetime's
"Intimate Portrait" on author Terry McMillan. Love, a
graduate of Northwestern University, is also an accom-
plished stage actress, appearing in plays such as "You
Can't Take It With You" and "Much Ado About Noth-
ing."
All three actresses bring their personal flare to "The
Vagina Monologues." In between each monologue, they
can interact with the audience, other women on stage and
make lists and other fun things that add humor to the
show. These interjections not only add variety to each
performance, but they also add to the audience's ability to
relate to the nlhv "I think all women can relate to some-

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