Big, green ogre...
Screenwriter Joe Stillman
will answer questions after a
free screening of "Shrek."
Michigan Theater. 7 p.m.
NOVEMBER 13, 2001
Bell plans to wow
audience at Hill
will take on Ark
By Jim Schiff
Daily Fine/Performing Arts Editor
Joshua Bell is no stranger to a chal-
lenge, and a challenge he has certainly
had to face over the past week. After
German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter
remainder of her
Joshua tour, Bell was
Bell asked to take her
place on the Hill
Hill Auditorium Auditorium
Tonight at 8 p.m. stage. Tonight,
Bell and the
in such venues as Carnegie Hall. Now
33, Bell has performed with some of
the world's leading orchestras and
recorded an impressive 25 albums.
In addition to his heavy touring, Bell
has also undertaken a number of side
projects that have garnered him consid-
erable praise. He kicked off the 2001-
02 season with a performance in
Central Park which was recorded for a
PBS "Great Performance" television
special. Also this year, Bell composed
his own cadenzas for a recording of
Leonard Bernstein's "West Side Story"
suite. Early next year, he will team up
with two orchestras which have been
recently featured in Ann Arbor: The
Berlin Philharmonic and the Camerata
A particularly ambitious project of
Bell's includes his recording of the
soundtrack to "The Red Violin." Com-
posed by John Corigliano, the music
won the Academy Award for Best
Score in 2000. The film follows the
journey of a superbly crafted red violin
around the globe from Vienna to
Oxford, to Shanghai and Montreal.
Given the international scope of the
film, Bell's music not only reflects
"The Four Seasons."
Soloists will wow
the audience with
a program featur-
Classical music has never looked so good as Joshua Bell visits Hill Auditorium.
native musical styles of each location,
but also the changes in violin repertoire
over time. Additionally, Bell was also
given the roles of violin coach, body
double and cameo actor for the movie.
The film's director, Frangois Girard,
claims that Bell "gave us the most sen-
sitive and intelligent playing you could
imagine - a dream."
Similarly enthusiastic about Bell are
the Trondheim Soloists, a Norwegian
ensemble of 18 musicians who will be
joining him on stage. Specializing in
performing the works of Norwegian
composers, the Soloists also pride
themselves on their numerous record-
ings of "The Four Seasons." Bjarne
Fiskum, the group's founder and artistic
director, is particularly fond of this
piece. "I think Vivaldi is very good for
the public," he said. "His playing is
very modern -- it's very robust and
In their short history, the Soloists
have embarked on dozens of interna-
tional tours and recorded a number of
critically-acclaimed albums, including
the works of Grieg and Shostakovich.
Fiskum begins teaching his students at
the age of 14 and works with them over
a period of about eight years. While
most of the members of Trondheim are
professional musicians, some are still
students, ranging from age 20 to 30.
Tonight's program, in addition to
"The Four Seasons," includes Grieg's
"Two Nordic Melodies," Bjorklund's
"Sarek" and Kilar's "Orawa."
Bell, a native of Bloomington, Ind.,
has spent most of his life taming the
violin. His talent was evident early on:
By age 12, he was already studying
under legendary violinist Josef Gin-
gold. He made his orchestral debut with
Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia
Orchestra and soon after he was playing
By Elizabeth Manasse
Daily Arts Writer
Kate Clinton is one of America's
brightest political comedians. She will
perform Sunday at the Ark in Ann
Arbor as part of her 20th Anniversary
Tour. The performance will be a retro-
spective of the 20 years she has been
performing as a
Kate politics, femi-
Clinton nism and life as a
The Ark Clinton's com-
Sunday at 7:30 p.m. edy is not tradi-
with a joke and
punch line, which
she refers to as "a
:. very male kind of
humor." Her style
is more narrative,
developed and reflective of life. "I've
never been part of the mainstream,"
said Clinton:"It's been both a blessing
and a curse, but a wonderful place to
find humor." Most of Clinton's work
has a political edge - from views on
the daily news to modern family rela-
One of Clinton's favorite topics is
feminism, which she sarcastically
describes as the "radical notion that
women are people." Her performances
often address women's roles in sports,
government, church and family. She
claims that men enjoy her perspectives
on feminism because they realize
"what's good for women is usually
good for them too ... they just need to
be reminded sometimes," she said.
Clinton spent eight years as a high
school English teacher before pursuing
comedy. She feels that teaching was a
challenging profession and great prepa-
ration for her new career. "Teaching
gave me the discipline to see a task
through to the end," she said. Clinton
always felt that she owed it to herself to
give comedy a try, but never gave it a
shot until a friend secretly booked her
at a club in 1981. From there, the tran-
sition was gradual, but rewarding. "My
former students are so proud of me,"
Besides performing, Clinton is also
an accomplished writer. Clinton's first
book, "Don't Get Me Started," was
published .in 1998, and she is currently
working on her second book, "Kate
Clinton: Collected Speeches I Never
Gave." In addition, she writes monthly
columns for The Progressive and The
Advocate in which she makes comical
and philosophical comments about the
state of our nation and those who have
put us in such a state. She has also writ-
ten pieces for The New York Times and
served as a writer on the "Rosie
O'Donnell Show" during its rollout
period in 1996.
In 1993, Clinton's "Out Is In,"
debuted in L.A. to rave reviews and
then moved to New York where it
enjoyed a three-month run off-Broad-
way. Throughout 1996, Clinton's show,
"All Het Up," toured cities across the
country and in 1999, "Correct Me If
I'm Right," premiered off-Broadway. In
2000, Clinton opened her tour of
"Y2K3.comedy" at The Public Theater
in New York. This winter, Clinton will
take part in "The Vagina Monologues"
at the Westside Theatre in New York.
Filmmaker Catherine Gund is cur-
rently filming a retrospective of Clin-
ton's first 20 years with a preview of
what is to come in the next two
By Robyn Melamed
Daily Arts Editor
It's 1930 in New York, and there is love in the
air. As a matter
of fact, there is a whole lot of
love. But with this love,
comes quite a conflict. This
weekend, get ready for the
Ann Arbor Civic Theatre's
version of the oldest, sassiest
love triangle around, "A Mid-
summer Night's Dream."
n The story goes a little
something like this: Oberon
and Titania are in a scuffle:
Titania has a young Indian
boy, and Oberon wants him.
Meanwhile, Hermia and
Lysander are in love, but are
forbidden to marry. Hermia
must marry another man, Demetrius, or she will
be killed. In desperation, Hermia and Lysander
escape into the woods.
Although Shakespeare set his stage in Athens,
the Ann Arbor Civic theatre's stage becomes
Central Park in the middle of New York City. The
characters are dressed in 1930s style, and the
lovers are swingkids. A few of the characters
have thick accents, adding more of the New York
flavor into the mix.
Besides these additions, the audience also gets
to experience Native American art and dance. In
Central Park, there are many dreamy, mystical
scenes in which Oberon and Titania's friends
wear Indian masks and perform Indian dances.
The play takes a comical turn when Demetrius,
who loves Hermia, and Helena, who loves
Demetrius, follow Hermia and Lysander into the
woods. Throughout the play, Helena makes her-
self one of the major laughable characters. She is
completely over the top with her love for
Demetrius; she begs for his affection, and con-
fesses that the meaner he is to her, the more she
will love and obsess over him.
Another highlight of the show is the player,
Bottom. During rehearsal for the play within a
play, Bottom wants to be given several roles. He
is such a ham that he completely takes the lime-
light when he is onstage.
This version of "A Midsummer Night's
Dream" takes the theme of nature and meshes it
with the theme of love. Because of this, the audi-
ence feels taken in by the beautiful and innocent
side of love.
The mix of the characters, the comedy tech-
niques and the New York swing era setting make
the Civic Theatre's production a hilarious, magi-
Yet after it is all over, go ahead and ask your-
self: Was this all just a dream?
Courtesy of Jonas PR
Kate Clinton yuks it up at The Ark.
Baba Akin Aina
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