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October 26, 2001 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-26

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Indie pop...
French female vocalist, Ivy per-
forms tonight at the Blind Pig.
10 p.m. $13, $15 under 21.
michigandaily.com/arts

iRTS

FRIDAY
OCTOBER 26, 2001

5

Acappellooza brings
diverse styles to 'U'

'Tartuffe'

rife with

religious hypocrisy,
deceitful overtones

By Jim Schiff
Daily Fine/Performing Arts Editor
"Acappellooza" is definitely not
your ordinary a cappella concert.
Bringing talent from all over the

country, this year's'

Acappellooza
Michigan Theater
Tomorrow at 8 p.m.

"Acappellooza"
promises to be
one of the finest
collaborations
of a cappella
singing ever
assembled at the
University.
Hosted by the
Dicks & Janes,
each performing
group will bring
their voices and
best dance
moves to the
Michigan The-
ater tomorrow

and have performed in venues such as
Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center.
"Besides probably being the best
groups on their individual campuses,
all of the groups this year are among
the very best collegiate a cappella
groups in the nation," said G. Clark
Haynes, an Engineering senior and
Business Manager of Dicks & Janes.
Though the Dicks & Janes are only
three-years-old, they have quickly
risen to the top of the University's a
cappella community. Each year, the
group holds two large concerts,
including a performance at the New
Student Convocation in front of 4000
people. They are also currently
putting the finishing touches on their
first studio album, expected to be
released next February. Functioning
independently as a student-run orga-
nization, the Dicks & Janes pride
themselves on their ability to bring
students of diverse majors and back-
grounds into the ensemble. "We have
a great unified sound and vibe," said
Josh Bueller, the group's music direc-
tor.
For the Dicks & Janes, as well as
other a cappella groups, arranging
music is both an arduous and reward-
ing process. Most of Dicks & Janes'
arrangements come from individuals
in the group, while others are devel-
oped collectively. Music notation
software such as "Finale" helps the
ensemble polish their arrangements.
According to Bueller, arranging of

By Janet Yang
For the Daily
"Tartuffe," a play that was once
labeled as "scandalous" in 17th
century Paris, is coming to the Ann
Arbor Power Center this weekend.

JONATHON TRIEST/Daily

Tartuffe
Power Center
Tonight and
tomorrow at 8 p.m.

The Minneapo-
lis-based The-
atre de la Jeune
Leune is offer-
ing a new inter-
pretation of the
famous play,
"Tar tuffe,"
Moliere's tale
of deceit and
religious
hypocrisy.
The story of
"Tart u f f e"
involves a
wealthy French

Dicks & Janes get the a cappella party started.

night.
While the Dicks & Janes and
Amazin' Blue will return to the stage
from last year, "Acappellooza" also
welcomes groups such as the Univer-
sity of Pennsylvania Off the Beat,
Millikin University Chapter 6 and the
Crosbys from Binghamton University.
The Dicks & Janes sought out ensem-
bles based on awards they've received
and reputations as dynamic perform-
ers. Off the Beat, for example, has
been featured on the Best of College
a cappella (or BOCA) album seven
times. Other groups travel extensively

music does not require an extensive
musical theory background. "You can
just listen to something and know it'd
be a good a cappella song," he said.
Part of the enjoyment in having
groups from other universities per-
form is observing the stylistic differ-
ences among them. Haynes, for
instance, has noticed that East coast
groups often utilize a conductor while
performing, while Midwest groups
tend not to. Use of choreography also
varies among groups; some, such as
Amazin' Blue, are known for their
creative dance steps as well as their
phenomenal vocal ability. And of
course, professional a cappella

ensembles like Rockapella inspire
college groups to push the musical
boundaries of the human voice.
The Dicks & Janes hope that after
this year, a cappella groups from
around the country will be asking to
perform in Acappellooza. While the
group has earned the reputation for
being among the University's finest,
they also hope to make Acappellooza
the finest a cappella show in the coun-
try. "This year sets the precedent,"
said Bueller. "Bigger and better we
always look for ways to do that."
Tickets are available at the Michi-
gan Union Ticket Office or at the
door the night of the show.

A mixes Simpsons, Brecht

By Laura LoGerfo
Daily Arts Writer

JOHN PRATT/Daily
Drew Peters wants you to want him.
S x1 pS
hard rocks
Blind Pi~g
By Sonya Sutherland
Daily Arts Writer
In the tradition of pre-fame Blind Pig
performances Six Clips joined the ranks

For years, I refused to give in. The t-shirts emblazoned
with "Eat My Shorts" seemed annoyingly ubiquitous
throughout the early-'90s. Apparently the clownish cartoon
family depicted on the trendiest of chests was causing a revo-
lution in the entertainment world. But with phrases like
"Cowabunga, dude!" proliferating across the country, I natu-
rally assumed the show appealed to the lowest common
denominator. Not until one very boring Sunday night did I
finally tune in to "The Simpsons," and
I've now become what I long resisted:
A Simpsons fanatic.
The D'Oh, I'll confess. I hopped on the Simp-
Te h sons' bandwagon late, but niyaddic-
of Homer tion to reruns has turned me into a
Irwin et al compulsive quoter. So when a friend
Grade: A recommended a book of essays titled
Open Court "The Simpsons and Philosophy: The
D'Oh! Of Homer" and reassured me
the book did not attempt to equate
Homer with Confucius, I immediately
procured a copy.
This is a serious book for serious
fans. Unlike most books about our
favorite Springfield residents, which
typically comprise detailed summaries of episodes, "The
Simpsons and Philosophy" offers scholarly analyses of how
"The Simpsons"' plots and characters explicate some of the
most complex philosophical treatises known.
Professors of philosophy at major universities write all the
essays, and the discussions reflect the brainy nature of acade-
mia. Topics covered include Marxist class struggle, Kant's
moral imperative and Brecht's definition of drama as these
issues relate to Homer and his world. An example from one
essay:
"The Simpsons is a sort of Brechtian television show.
Much in the same way that Brecht rejected the artificial ele-
ments of drama ... "The Simpsons" scrambles reality, keep-
ing us on our intellectual toes so that we avoid the stultifying
habit of identifying with characters and continue to assess
the ideological content of what we are seeing."
Not your average bathroom read.
Philosophy often intimidates readers by its reliance on
abstract concepts and laws that do not prove immediately or

readily relevant to the average person. However, by explain-
ing the Nietzschean ideal man, the "ubermensch," who cre-
ates a work of art out of his life, through arguing whether
Bart Simpson is this "superman," the typically inaccessible
Nietzsche becomes much more comprehensible. Indeed, the
grounding of lofty philosophy within the very definition of
the American average, "The Simpsons," reveals the genius of
the show and these essays.
"The Simpsons and Philosophy" directly addresses those
fans that immediately interpreted the episode, "They Saved
Lisa's Brain," in which Mensans Dr. Frink, Dr. Hibbert, the
Comic Book Guy and Lisa assume political control of
Springfield, as a brilliant allusion to the Platonic notion of
philosopher-kings. However, the book would cause deep
frustration for viewers who found the same episode hilarious
solely because some guy in a wheelhair (Stephen Hlawking)
floats into Springfield a la Mary Poppins.
Despite all this seriousness, the book does introduce some
levity. The authors pay homage to Groening and his'crew by
not only deftly including episode descriptions anywhere pos-
sible but also enthusiastically using crucial quotes. For true
fans of the show, these quotes elicit raucous laughter and
prime recall of the entire show from which it came. A rudi-
mentary understanding of key philosophers and their ideas is
conveyed painlessly.
The book's only problem occurs when it strays from "The
Simpsons" and dwells too much on abstruse notions, as
exemplified in the chapter on Husserl, Schopenhauer, and
Heidegger entitled "What Bart Calls Thinking." Without a
background in philosophy, this essay approaches obscurity
and irrelevance.
Fortunately such lapses are anomalies within the edited
work, and the majority of essays instruct while they enter-
tain. For this reason, I recommend "The Simpsons and Phi-
losophy" as a thoughtful accompaniment to a class in
philosophy. Few other philosophical texts (keep in mind this
book is found in stores under "philosophy" not "popular cul-
ture") support demanding exegeses on Aristotle and Barthes
with examples snatched from our common experience and
culture.
As every astute Simpsons watcher realizes, the show oper-
ates on more than one level. Some fans love the toilet humor
portrayed by Homer, Barney, et al, while the biting satire of
American life provided each week appeals to others. Clearly
this book is meant for those who find themselves in the latter
category.

family that includes a father,
Orgon, his wife Elmire, their son
and a daughter who is engaged to
be married. Then Tartuffe comes
into their lives. Tartuffe is a schem-
ing, evil character who commits
atrocious acts all in the name of
religion. He weasels his way into
the household and takes control of
the trusting Orgon, who eventually
promises everything he owns as
well as his daughter's hand to
Tartuffe. All of this leads up to the
famously dramatic cable scene at
the end of the play where every-
thing comes to a shocking conclu-
sion.
Although the Theatre de la Jeune
Leune follows the principle of
"Tartuffe," they have changed what
was originally a farce into a darker,
more dramatic piece. Steve Epp,
the actor who is playing the charac-
ter Tartuffe, explains the premise
for their new interpretation. He
said that Theatre de la Jeune Leune
"wanted to pursue and explore the
tragic side of the play, and the bru-
tal, vicious side of the play, which
leads it to be more provocative
with real shocking, controversial
elements."
As a result, Tartuffe, who is
detested by everyone except for
Orgon in the original production,
is now a more complex character
who manages to seduce Almire
among other things. "Tartuffe is
not just an ugly ogre-like character

anymore, he is more of an overt
hypocrite," he said. "We tried to
pursue the idea of this guy as a
fanatic who actually believes the
outrageous things he does in reli-
gion, and then created a stronger
tension with the wife, Almire."
Epp also explains the message of
the play, which is to show the con-
sequences of religious hypocrisy
and the effects it has on a good
family and a faithful society as a
whole.
Moliere's play was banned in
1664 and condemned by the
church for its blasphemic content,
which forced him to rewrite
"Tartuffe." In this modern interpre-
tation, however, the Theatre de la
Jeune Leune tries to evoke his
struggle against censorship, bring-
ing up the more controversial ele-
ments of the play that appeals to
audiences today.
The Theatre de la Jeune Lune
was founded in 1978 in France and
now tours both France and the
United States. "Tartuffe" is a play
now two and a half years in the
making and according to Epp, the
theater feels' as though it is one of
the best productions in their com-
pany. Their distinctive approach to
performance is based upon'their
idea of a "physical" approach. to
acting, which Epp describes as
finding aspects of a play "that
speak to audiences today ... the-
ater that on some level is for the
people that are in the room, watch-
ing." The company of Jeune Leune
bases their productions on classic
works by Moliere and Shake-
speare, although Epp said, "gener-
ally when we're doing those, we
really work to make them our
own."
This is the first time that the
Theatre de la Jeune Leune is per-
forming in Ann Arbor and this per-
formance marks their debut at the
University Musical Society. It has
previously received high praise
and good reviews from many other
newspapers from around the coun-
try. Sidewalk Twin Cities, a Min-
neapolis based newspaper,
describes "Tartuffe" as the "sort of
show you want all your friends to
see, so you can drink wine and
smoke and fight about it late into
the night."

of bands like Tool,
Six Clips
Blind Pig
October 22, 2001

Papa Roach and
Tracy Chapman
in being deter-
mined as "way
too good for the
venue." The local
boys brought the
noise in a most
wicked way, with
vocalist Drew
Peters laying it
down with the
actual ability to

sing. His voice was supported by Chris
Peters, who conjured up an expansive
guitar landscape, Mark Dundon thumped
the bass and Dan Carol knocked the kit.
At a time when mainstream acts sim-
ply provide gimmicks to attract attention
to their musical stylings - ranging from
hoarse unintelligible cookie-monster
style lyricists to nine-man arsenals of
masked-people who jump around the
stage doing nothing other than providing
an atmosphere for intimidation - Six
Clips is making a valiant effort to re-root
rock.
Lead singer Drew Peters sporting his
trademark blondilock braids fronted the
show with an intensity comparable to
any other brand-name showman. Obvi-
ously into the crowd, Drew Peters vocals
and death-grip-and-thrust stylings with
the mic stand delighted the audience,
who despite the Monday night 10 p.m.
performance slot, obviously had come
out for the opening hometown heroes.
Providing a dynamic range of sound and
easily comprehendible lyrics, which
thankfully steer clear of political rhetoric
or dated nookie euphemisms.
Backing up the 45-minute set with

Hey, wake-up, my parents will be home any minute.

The Department of Philosophy
215 STA T E A BOVE MR. GR E EKS The University of Michigan
_ H AL OWE announces
' STUMESTHE TANNER LECTURE
-- - - -ON HUMAN VALUES 2001-02
SCOREKEEPERS Michael Fried
S ora ri & _ Herbert Boone Professor of Humanities and
lDirector, Humanities Center
The Johns Hopkins University
Mon-Home Games "Roger Fry's Formalism"
S B Friday, November 2, 4:00 p.m.
T$L E Angell Hall Auditorium A 435 South State Street
0A
DRINKS...
M SYMPOSIUM ON
IO a THE TANNER LECTUREJ "RI A
FRI DAYE MICHAEL FRIED

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