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February 06, 2002 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-02-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Stanley Spielberg ...
The Michigan League will
show Steven Spielberg's
"A.I.: Artificial Intelligence"
tomorrow at 8 p.m. Free.
michigandaily.com /arts

YE Aitrbigatn tadl

FEBRUARY 6, 2002


'Tavern' brews up a big
storm at Mendelssohn

Van Dyke returns in
new 'Diagnosis' film

By Jenni Glenn
Daily Arts Writer
University Productions pokes fun at the melo-
dramatic nature of murder mysteries with its lat-
est play, "The Tavern."
This satirical look at murder on a
dark, stormy night comes to the
Mendelssohn Theatre stage starting
Tomorrow. THE ]
The script revolves around a
vagabond, who enters a tavern to Mendelssc
escape the storm and finds himself a
suspect in a murder. "The Tavern" Thursday-S
also features a cast of stereotyped p.m. and S
characters, from the mysterious P.
woman to the tavern wench in love $ 15-201
with the owner's son.
"There's something very apparent- University
ly theatrical about this play and
about the silliness of it," said Prof. Philip Kerr,
the show's director.
Composer George M. Cohan of "You're a
Grand Old Flag," "Give My Regards to Broad-
way" and "Yankee Doodle Boy" fame penned the
play, one of his few non-musical works. Cohan,
who was involved in some 230 shows during his
lifetime, directed, wrote and eventually took over
acting the role of the vagabond in "The Tavern."
The production's Vaudevillian style has its
roots in Cohan's legacy. Along with the stylized
characters, "The Tavern" features sound effects
visible to the audience. A wind machine and
thunder sheet sit on the fringes of the set and cre-
ate the storm effects.
In addition to the effects, the script, direction
and acting hinge together well, said Josh
Lefkowitz, a junior Theater student who portrays
the vagabond. The overall effect keeps the pro-
duction moving at a fast pace and preserves audi-
ence interest, he said.

By Melissa Gollob
Daily Arts Writer

y Pr(

"It's so super-charged and fast and furious,"
Lefkowitz said.
The cohesive nature of "The Tavern" demon-
strates Cohan's ability to find what works on
stage, Kerr said. The actors primarily stayed true
to Cohan's production, but Kerr also offered them
creative freedom to experiment with
their own comic ideas.
"I've given them a bit of leeway to
WVERN find their own rhythm," Kerr said.
This openness made the rehearsal
n Theatre process for "The Tavern" very
enjoyable and stress-free, Lefkowitz
:urday at 8 said.
nday at 2 "You throw all your problems at
the door at the beginning of
$7 w/id rehearsal and pick them up again at
the end if you want or just forget
.oductions you ever had them," he said. "What
more could you ask for as an actor

Dick Van Dyke and company return
to CBS in an all new "Diagnosis Mur-
der" mystery movie. "A Town without
Pity" explores ethnic racism in the
wake of Sept. 11 and the extremes to
which some are willing to go to express
their hatred. Van Dyke ("Mary Pop-
pins") reprises his role as Dr. Mark
Sloan in this new television movie. This
doctor and amateur

against them and they fear the worst for
Carol and her traveling companion.
They meet a couple non-hostile townies
that help in the investigation. Steve
even assists the young blonde deputy
when a woman from town just acciden-
tally turns up dead from a car accident.
Because this is part of the television
series "Diagnosis Murder," there is of
course at least one murder. This one
hits close to home for the Sloans and
brings a new set of emotions to the

than being given a license to play?"
The actors also worked hard to learn to per-
form in the Vaudeville style of Cohan's work,
said Christina Reynolds, a junior Theater student
who portrays the tavern wench. She said it was
important to find a balance between having fun
as a cast and concentrating on the acting.
"You have to surrender yourself to some big
choices and not go too far and get dragged off by
the acting police," she said.
This performance also will add to the history
of "The Tavern" at the University, where the
show once experienced a significant revival, Kerr
said. The show debuted on Broadway in 1920 but
gradually had lost its high profile. Ellis Rabb,
director of the University-sponsored Association
of Producing Artists, rediscovered the play in
1962 and brought it back to the stage and nation-
al attention.
"I think it's sort of a hidden treasure of the-
ater," Kerr said.

murder investigator
takes his show on the'
road to Nevada in **
search of his missing A TOWN
daughter Carol.
Dr. Sloan receives a WITHOUT PITY
frantic phone call from Tonight at 9 p.m. on
his daughter asking for CBS
help during his son's
birthday party. The con-
nection on the cell phone is bad so he solve the cr
does not understand her very well. He his son is a
becomes worried and sets off to make The plot:
sure his daughter is safe. Dr. Sloan trav- the constant
els to Nevada and finds a gas station ted men har
attendant who informs him that he sent garage prov
a young woman and her foreign friend ous messag
to a near-by town to have their car they findt
repaired. When he arrives in town, the venirs. The
entire community countinually tells lies discovery ti
and tries to force him back to Los the murder.
Angeles. Dr. Sloan's son Steve (Barry The mov
Van Dyke, "Battlestar Galactica") fol- crime poss
lows his father to the town in search for effect that
answers to Carol's disappearance. foreigner, w
Unable to find Carol, they eventually descent, by
call on their friends, the medical exam- crimes not
iner Amanda Bentley (Victoria Rowell, plot has rel
"The Young and the Restless") and fel- only keeps t
low young doctor Jessie Travis (Charlie end, but to
Schlatter) to help. With the entire cast entertainme
reunited, they attempt to uncover the the limits of
prejudices the town desperately tries to statement a
keep secret. The town totally turns for acceptan

usual ambivalence to
death the show has had in
the past. Dick Van Dyke
turns in a good perfor-
mance while commenting
on a recent social prob-
lem. The supporting cast
is there to move the plot
along and to give Dr.
Sloan the expert knowl-
edge necessary to actually
ime. It's just convenient that
moves at a steady pace and
t distraction of two dim-wit-
nging around the mechanic's
vide comic relief to the seri-
e. They sell so-called fossils
to out-of-towners as sou-
ir purpose involves a major
hat leads Detective Sloan to
ie centered on the worst hate
sible and the snowballing
can occur. The hate of the
vho turns out to be of Arab
'the town, shows that hate
only affect the victim. The
evance to the times and not
the viewer guessing until the
eaches tolerance through
nt. Dick Van Dyke stretches
f his acting to make a public
gainst violence and the need
at Hill

Courtesy of University Productions
Lefkowitz (top) schemes in "The Tavern."
"The Tavern" offers audiences not only an
opportunity to see a little-known piece of theater
but also a chance to see a show that's pure enter-
tainment, Kerr added.
"I think the fun is infectious," he said of the
show. "It's a little pre-Valentine in the dead of
Michigan winter."


alum Kasischke to read

from her new novel at Drum

By Katie Cloud
For the Daily
On Thursday, Shaman Drum
will be hosting a reading from

writing class at Michigan and
repeatedly winning the renowned
Hopwood Award to actually mak-
ing a career out of her poetic gift.

She said,

"The Life Before
Her Eyes" author
Laura Kasischke.
Kasischke is an
accomplished poet
and promising novel-
ist with achieve-
ments including the
Alice Fay DiCastag-
nola Award from the

At Shaman Drum
, ' f Qr

"I began to get pub-
lished when I let go
of the need for
instant gratification
and began to focus
on the original rea-
sons I began to write
- to put an order to
the world and direct

LLi rsa

Poetry Society of America and
the Bobst Award for Emerging
She attended the University,
graduating in 1984, and contin-
ued here for her M.F.A before
going on to Columbia. Though
she has written all her life, her
literary talents became her life
passion and pursuit when she
declared creative writing as her
major in the Residential College.
In a recent interview with the
Daily, Laura described the transi-
tion from sitting in a creative

.M my energy toward
what I enjoyed
instead of obsessing on what I did
not understand or could not
"The Life Before Her Eyes" is
set in Ann Arbor. The novel com-
bines the careless freedom of
adolescence with the maturity
and understanding of middle age
in an imaginative and captivating
plot. The novel's heroine, recluse,
artist, daughter, friend, girlfriend,
mother and wife are combined
into the multidimensional charac-
ter, Diana. Kasischke juxtaposes'
Diana's teenage discovery of sex-

uality, free will, mysteries of life
and death, with her own middle-
aged reflection on her past deci-
sions and her current life.
"Life Before Her Eyes" opens
with a prologue describing a fatal
circumstance followed by a fatal
decision as the teenage Diana is
asked to choose between her own
life and her best friend's life. The
text reads, "And when he asks,
'Then who should I kill?' She
hears herself answer, 'Kill her.
Not me."' Kasischke then slowly
slips into the clandestine narra-
tive of Diana's youth and Diana's
middle age, forcing one to con-
stantly question the outcome of
the prologue.
"The Life Before Her Eyes"
reflects Kasischke's first passion
of writing, poetry. Though this is
her third novel, she excelled at
Michigan, as well as in the begin-
ning of her writing career, as a
poet. Her verse did not metamor-
phasize into prose until 1993
when she began writing her first
novel, "Suspicious River"(1996)
followed by her second, "White


By Joshua Palay'
Daily Arts Writer
This Thursday, University students
will lead the University Symphony
Orchestra in a concert devoted solely to

the music of University
student composers. An
annual event, this concert
has consistently been an
excellent showcase for
young talent. Michigan is
known for producing
some of the best young
composers in the field,
ones who are character-
ized by a music that is

Joel Puckett's "A Jacobs Lullaby" for
strings and tuba draws its inspiration
from other resources. Having grown up
with a Tuba-playing father, Maestro
Puckett has always been very familiar
with the standard tuba repertoire. But

Hill Auditorium
Thurs. at 8 p.m.

this work is not what one
might expect from the
usually jagged combina-
tion of tuba and strings.
Delicately lyrical, the
work derives much of its
material from a Welsh
folk song that the com-
poser's grandmother sang
to him when he was a
boy. The title itself is a

Bird in a Blizzard" (1998). Kasis-
chke admits her poetry is very
narrative, and after reading "The
Life Before Her Eyes," you will
discover that her prose is very
poetic. She is currently working
on a new novel, and has just fin-
ished a fourth collection of poet-
ry, "What It Wasn't". Kasischke
intends on reading the prologue
and excerpts from her latest novel
at Shaman Drum tomorrow. She
will answer questions after the

both extremely well crafted and accessi-
ble to those unfamiliar with contempo-
rary music. Those featured in this year's
concert are no exception. They include:
David Byrne, Joel Puckett, Timothy
Hanson, Andrea L. Reinkemeyer and
Andre Meyers.
"Star. Bang." by David Byrne, opens
the concert. Inspired by Holst's planets
and the "E!True Hollywood Story" of
Savannah, Maestro Byrne explains
"While watching the 'E!True Hollywood
Story' and thinking about the similarities
between stars in the sky and Hollywood
stars, I noticed that, beyond the obvious
comparison that both exemplify beauty,
both lead similar existences. Both start
from nothing, they burn with an incredi-
ble intensity and then burn out with a
huge burst of light. I wanted to write a
piece that captured this form."

reference to these two worlds: To his
grandmother's lullaby and to Arnold
Jacobs, one of the most influential tuba
players of all time.
"Scenic Highway: Gazing Skyward,"
the work's composer Andrea Reinke-
meyer explains, "arose from a terrible
sense of homesickness for mountains,
green trees and misty summer mornings.
Natural beauty has always played an
important role in my life. As a kid, my
family used to do a lot of hiking in the
Columbia River Gorge, and those expe-
riences made a deep impression on me
and my music."
With such a variety of inspirational
resources, one can only speculate at the
veritable cornucopia of music this con-
cert will be. An orchestral concert of
contemporary music of this caliber is, to
say the least, a rarity.

CSNY still relevant after all these years

By Shelia McClear
Daily Arts Writer
"Dear Stephen [Stills]," Neil
Young wrote in 1971. "Funny how
things work out some-
times. Eat a peach. I
Neil." The letter was
his economical way of CROSBY
letting his band, Cros- NASF
by, Stills, Nash and YO
Young, of knowing The Palace
that he was not only H
quitting the band, but
jumping bail in the Tonight;
middle of a national $43-
stadium tour.
Well, things sure do turn out
funny sometimes, because twenty
years later Young is back with
Crosby, Stills and Nash, in the mid-
dle of another national arena tour
- next stop, Detroit. Call it guilt,
greed or just an urge to show the
world what they've really got now
that they have matured, but Crosby,
Stills, Nash and Young still shine,
playing songs from their 1999

11 cultural rubble pile. Even the
irreverent way it was released
pointed to the fact that it is a new
time - rumor has it that Young
mailed the song in a plain package

e of Auburn
at8 .m.
ing of four
University -

to only to non-corpo-
rate radio stations,
containing only a
burned CD with the
words "Let's Roll -
Neil Young" scrawled
across it with a
Never since "Ohio"
- CSNY's knock-
down, drag-out
response to the shoot-
students at Kent State
- have Young and Co.

- anguished, confused, messy and
pissed off as it may be.
In fact, notably Young and Stills
have an even longer track record of
spitting out modern-day protest
songs that you can dance you -
going all the way back to Buffalo
Springfield's 1966 hit "For What
It's Worth." With the the simplest
hook in pop history (two notes on a
single string extended for four
counts each) and it's chorus of
"stop children / what's that sound?
/ Ev'rybody look what's going
down," today those mere two notes

conjure the memory of the late
'60s and the civil unrest and sense
of boundless idealism that defined
The whole band crowded around
one mic, backed by frequent Young
collaborators Booker T and the
MGs. Over two decades of materi-
al. Over two decades of a rocky
friendship that can't seem to stay
apart for too long. It could end ip
disaster, or it could bring new
heights. Either way, Crosby, Stills,
Nash and Young will be damned if
they don't at least try.

OSCR Open House!

so successfully and decisively
welded their social and artistic con-
sciousness with the national pulse
Food for Thought
Protest Movements


The Office of Student Conflict
Resolution is hosting an Open
House at its new location. Come
and dialogue with OSCR staff
about the Statement of Student
Rights and Responsibilities (Code)
and possible amendments to this


Ai .

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