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October 09, 2001 - Image 5

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-09

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Something for everyone...
Lucky Boys Confusion visits
the Blind Pig bringing with
them a Chicago ska punk
sound. 10 p.m. 996-8555.
michigandaily.com /arts

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RTS

TUESDAY
OCTOBER 9, 2001

5

'Serendipity

a

Malkmus,

The

fortunate accident

Jicks: A work in
rock progress

I By Tricia Donelan
For the Daily

The title of the new romantic comedy directed
by Peter Chelsom ("The Mighty") has an under-
lying meaning. Not only does the word serendipi-

Serendipity
Grade: B+
At Quality 16
and Showcase
Aft

ty describe the sequence of
events that happen during
the course of the film, but it
also portrays the genuine
reaction many members of
the audience may have after
viewing.
On account of previews,
the film can simply be cate-
gorized as a "chick flick,"
and do not be mistaken, it is.
However, 80's icon John
Cusack, has proven once
again that he has unbeliev-
able talent. Not only does
Cusack continue to have

.... :.: .
whose cynicism causes
them to curse cheesy,
unrealistic love flicks
and all that they stand
for.
The film is set in the
early-'90s and opens in
a hectic New York City
Bloomingdale's during
Christmas season. Two
complete strangers,
Jonathan (Cusack) and John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale leave their love to a twist of fate.
Sara, played by Kate

By Nick Dybek
For the Daily

The microphone wasn't grounded
and it shocked Stephen Malkmus as
he took the stage at the Kalamazoo
State Theatre on Saturday. When
fixed, he stepped back to the micro-
phone and mumbled, "It seems like,

Courtesy of Miramax

Be
bot
palil
is b
ing
sha
by
woi

considerably volatile performances (unlike the life
many other teen actors from this infamous of
decade whom have in totality vanished from the nig
film industry) in classics such as "High Fidelity" eac
and "Being John Malkovich;" he can also save a cov
film with his underrated, subtle genius for come- boo
dy. The hilarious chemistry between Cusack and mat
Jeremy Piven ("Very Bad Things," "Grosse tiny
Pointe Blank") is enough to make the claim that 'fate
the accidental viewing of "Serendipity" can be S
quite a fortunate experience, even for those Jon
b Ftbaltake
over the stag
By Jenni Glenn
Daily Arts Writer

ckinsale ( "Pearl Harbor") enter the scene,
h with the intent on of purchasing the same
r of black cashmere gloves as a holiday gift. It
latantly obvious by the way that they are gaz-
into each other's eyes, that they are indeed
ring a moment.
Vhile partaking in some coffee talk at a near-
diner, Jonathan learns that this mythical
man whom he is intensely drawn to leaves her
entirely up to destiny. Jonathan is the essence
confusion when he is left at the end of the
ht with a promise that fate will guide them to
h other if it is truly meant to be. This
enant is prompted with the circulation of a
k and a $5 bill, complete with contact infor-
ion. And so the drama continues on and des-
leads the film upon the path of which it is
d to travel.
ara's best friend, Eve (Molly Shannon), and
athan's best man (take notice of the inevitable

complications here), Dean, played by Piven, pro-
vide extremely humorous counterparts to the two
lead characters. As previously mentioned, this is
especially apparent during the interactions
between Dean and Jonathan. Cusack and Piven
ultimately rescue the movie from drowning in an
undertow of pure sappiness. Now, don't get me
wrong. The plot really is not that bad; a bit fan-
tastical, but hell, it's the movies. However, I find
it a necessity to reiterate the fact that the
comedic value of John Cusack's and Jeremy
Piven's performances undoubtedly, make the
movie.
Whether you see the film for the quirky
dynamics of those two palpable individuals or for
the Heather Nova and David Gray songs in the
background, you will find that it is quite enjoy-
able. In fact, you will be experiencing the powers
of serendipity, and cracking many a smile in the
meantime.

here in Michigan
Stephen
Malkmus
Kalamazoo State
Theatre
October 6, 2001
Malkmus andl

, a lot of bands die
from electrocu-
tion," then
added with his
characteristic
smirk, "because
they rock so
hard." This was
an ironic open-
ing to a perfor-
mance that was
more like a jam
session at the
local communi-
ty center than a
big-budget rock
show.
his new band, The

effortless charm do the work for
him. The result was an extraordinari-
ly intimate show. Malkmus respond-
ed regularly to calls from the
audience with his trademark sarcas-
tic wit, ignoring only those who
called for old Pavement songs. When
someone requested dancers on stage,
he replied, "Sure, I never discourage
dancing except at funerals and math
tests." Then the band kicked into a
cowbell-heavy version of "The
Hook."
Sadly, it seems that Malkmus is in
no immediate danger of being elec-
trocuted for "rocking too hard" As a
band, The Jicks lack the sonic power,
intensity and tightness that Pavement
once had, and Malkmus himself has,
slowed down in the last few years.
His new songs are more lyrically
based than ever and many did not
translate well on stage, though the
great ballads, "Church On White"
and "Trojan Curfew" still hit home.
Malkmus has lost none of his chops.
His vicked lead guitar licks still
have the capacity to be oddly quirky
and beautiful at the same time.
What made the show so enjoyable
was the intimacy between performer
and audience. When Malkmus came
back to deadpan a medley of Radio-
head's "High and Dry" and Sheryl
Crow's "If It Makes You Happy" for
an encore, it was clear that everyone
involved was having a great time.

Jicks, went through 12 songs. That
gave them the opportunity to cover
the majority of the tunes from their

debut, self-titled album and try out
several new songs, all of which were
clearly still in developmental stages.
"This one doesn't have a name yet,"
confessed Malkmus, as his band
kicked into one of the new songs.
One got the impression that Malk-
mus and The Jicks are still a work in
progress and that they are taking
their current shows as an opportunity
to work out the kinks.
The Jicks are already a much dif-
> ferent creature than Malkmus' old
band, Pavement. On Pavement's last
tour, Malkmus appeared on stage as
a musician very near his breaking
point. He rarely smiled or spoke,
looked disheveled and nearly stood
off-stage when the band played
songs that its other guitarist, Spiral
Stairs, had written.
On Saturday, it seemed like an
enormous weight was taken off of
Malkmus' shoulders. He came on
stage, sharply dressed in a white but-
Courtesy of University Productions ton down shirt and blue blazer, and

It may be Homecoming, but this weekend's big
game won't unfold at the Big House.
Instead, players will face off for the Homecoming
football game on the Mendelssohn
Theatre stage in the musical come-
dy "Good News." The University
Productions show, which coincides
Good with the University's Homecoming
News weekend, follows the fate of a
Mendelssohn Theatre 1920s college football team and
their avid fans.
October11-14 "It's a real throwback to old
Homecomings and the spirit of
carefree youth," said director
Mark Madama.
The plot revolves around Tait's
star player, Tom Marlowe, who
struggles with his studies, and
Connie Lane, the only Tait student
who isn't interested in football. Connie must tutor
Tom in order to for him to be eligible to play in the
Homecoming game. The show also examines two
other romantic subplots while following the football
team.
Football fans among the cast have a chance to por-
tray college athletes. Senior David Reiser, who plays
Tom Marlowe, watches the Wolverines from his sec-
ond-row seats on football Saturdays. He said he loves
being the football star in "Good News."
"It couldn't be any more appropriate than here at
Michigan, where football is such a big tradition," he
said.
The show highlights one of the Michigan football's
traditions, Tom Hemingway's play-by-play commen-
tary. Hemingway announced the football games on
Ann Arbor's WUOM for nearly 40 years before retir-
ing in 2000. His voice will be heard from off-stage
announcing the Tait game in "Good News."
The production also features faculty members who
were involved in the 1993 revival of "Good News."
Director Mark Madama wrote a new script for the
1927 Broadway musical, and choreographer Linda
Goodrich worked on his production for the Music
Theater of Wichita. Both are returning to the script
after an eight-year hiatus.
"Other people get the rights to the show, and they

Bobby (Stan Bahorek) and Babe (Annie Ramsey) have a true love for football.
only get the paper," said senior Kristin Williams, who
plays Connie Lane. "We have the artists with us, and
we know how they wanted the show to be."
The University production offered Madama the
chance to perfect his script. He added in a finale that
he did not have time to include in the 1993 show and
tinkered with some parts of the script.
"To hear all the lines again, to go back to it after a
long time, it's like rediscovering it all over again,"
Madama said. "Hearing it with the new voices, it just
brings a new sensibility to it."
Those voices will be singing the classic period
tunes that make up the show's score, including
"You're the Cream in My Coffee," "The Best Things
in Life Are Free," "Button Up Your Overcoat" and
"Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries." Madama said "Good
News" will introduce these catchy songs of the 1920s
to students in the audience as well as the cast.
"One of the goals was to let the students discover
some of this music that has been such a mainstay in
American culture since the 1920s," Madama said.
The actors did research on the 1920s while reading
the script, Williams said. They watched documen-
taries and looked at photographs so they could better
understand the lighthearted nature of the period, she
said.
Reiser said it is hard to perform in a carefree show
when the country is undergoing a mourning period,
but he said he hopes "Good News" will lift the spirits
of its audience, at least temporarily.
"I really do think that not only is it a nice escape
for people to be able to come and forget their cares . TIA
for a while, but it also helps you recall a time with Co
fewer worries," he said.

let his madcap sense of humor and Malkmus paves the way for The Jicks.

..

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