A festival of film ...
The 40th Annual Ann
Arbor film festival continues
tonight at 7 p.m. $7.
MARCH 13, 2002
MUSKET's 'West Side Story' puts a
contemporary spin on a classic musical
By Jenni Glenn
Daily Arts Writer
The intense chemistry between star-crossed
lovers Tony and Maria draws more than the audi-
ence into MUSKET's production of "West Side
Story," opening Friday.
Even the actors walk off the Power Center stage
almost believing the feelings are genuine.
"During rehearsal, I fell in love with Maria,"
said Sean Panikkar, a third-year Music student
who plays Tony. "It's just an amazing experience
when it becomes real."
The show's cast and crew aims to reach that
same level of authenticity in every aspect of "West
Side Story," said director Andy Wiginton, a
fourth-year RC student. This production of "West
Side Story" incorporates a variety of racial, ethnic,
religious and economic back-
grounds into the
The plot fol-
lows Tony and Maria's secret romance in the midst musical numbers which were solos in the original
of a culture clash between two gangs,
one white and one Puerto Rican.
Wiginton replaced the white gang
with a multi-ethnic American gang in
order to bring the show's ethnic con-
flicts up to date. He said this allows
the cast to explore the societal privi- At
lege these young people receive as
American citizens and native English
Other characters represent minori- $7
ties that have gained visibility in 7(
American culture since "West Side
Story" debuted in 1957. These
minorities include immigrants from
the former Yugoslavia, homosexuals, Mu
prostitutes and the homeless, Wiginton said.
"We've made this a community that
could exist," Wiginton said.
But he said MUSKET's production
remains true to the script of the
original musical, a collaboration 4
__ _.. _ _ ., _a _.._
the Power Center
Friday at 8 p.m.
urday at 2 and 8 p.m.,
Sunday at 2 p.m.
64-0450 for tickets
"West Side Story."
This change allows the show to
harness the power of its 40-person
cast, Wiginton said. The actors con-
tributed a lot of input on their char-
acters' personalities and asked many
questions about their motives, he
said. He called the cast "a director's
dream" because of the way the
actors' analyze their roles.
The involved cast members also
help each other improve their per-
formances, said LSA first-year stu-
.dent Jamie Davis, who plays the role
of Maria. She said the cast members
Courtesy of Capcom
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all carefully watch the scenes in which they do not
appear. At the beginning and end of each rehears-
al, the actors sit in a circle and
exchange compliments and
constructive criticism, she
By Luke Smith
Daily Arts Editor
between Arthur Laurents,
Leonard Bernstein, Stephen
Sondheim and Jerome
Roberts. Much of the
challenge for him lay in
balancing the classic
aspects of the musical
with the crew's innova-
tive ideas, Wiginton
"From a directing
standpoint, I have to
reconcile the fact that
it's 'West Side Story'
with this new take on it,"
The crew only altered
the play's presentation in
order to preserve the
integrity of the original
work. For example, a
iy large chorus will sing
"Tonight" and "America,"
"We go out as a cast
to build real relation-
ships onstage and
'. off-stage, and you
can tell," she said.
said he also hopes
the audience will
nation from a dif-
after watching the
come because it's
'West Side Story,'
but they'll leave
with a fresh take on
it," he said;
Gaming systems continue their cross-
company arms races, bringing games
from the world of 2D platform into the
3D environment. Scores of games have
seen this evolution, with the "Super
Mario Bros." and "Legend of Zelda"
series being the most notable, and "Max-
imo: Ghosts to Glory" continues the
mass migration of classic series spin-offs
becoming 3D games.
Nintendo Entertainment System's
"Ghosts and Goblins"
had an eight-bit side
scrolling silver clad
knight hopping and run-*
ning throughout a king-
dom where each level MA
involved vertical scroll- GHOS
ing, all of course in an GL
effort to save the princess.
"Maximo: Ghosts to For Play
Glory" carries the Cap
medieval heroism of sav-
ing the princess, although
now the game scrolls in an interactive 3D
Gamers play as Maximo, a young
knight who returns to his kingdom to
find it in disarray. His fair-maiden has
been captured, and obviously it is Maxi-
mo's job to save her.
"Ghosts to Glory" is made up of five
primary levels, split into nearly thirty
subsections. Players navigate Maximo
through a 3D environment filled with
various enemies. The enemies use rela-
tively formulaic attack patterns, although
at times the action gets pretty sticky-
The difficulty of "Ghosts to Glory" is
frustrating throughout. While braving
onslaughts of enemies is not particularly
difficult, replenishing Maximo's armor
is. After taking only a few hits, it seems
Maximo's armor is scattered throughout
the playing area and the brave knight is
reduced to battling baddies in little more
than his skivvies.
Even more frustrating for gamers are
the wide-gaps between save points.
Gamers will often find themselves play-
ing for 30 minutes at a time without
coming to a save point. This forces
gamers to truly master each level and
memorize the patterns of the enemies in
order to advance successfully.
Maximo's graphics are lush. While the
opening levels of the game are extremely
shadowy and dark, these images corre-
late with the game's grim
environment. The graphi-
cal quality of the game is
stunted however, by the
game's finicky camera.
Gamers will find them-
selves constantly realign-
ing the camera in order to
combat enemies, and the
persistant realignment of
the camera makes it tricky
to dispatch the hordes of
evil coming at them from
uses sporadic bits of full
Los Muf equitos
brings rumba to Hill
By Jim Schiff
Daily Fine/Performing Arts Editor
If you see smoke rising from the
Hill Auditorium stage Friday
night, you'll know the source. The
reigning kings of rumba, Los
Matanzas, will set
Ann Arbor ablaze
with passionate per- L
cussion, fiery dancing MUUNEQU
and a musical authen- MAT
ticity that is rivaled
But then again, AtHilIA
these are easy feats Friday a
for Los Munequitos, Tickets:
who are celebrating 764-
their 50th anniversary University M
this year with a U.S.
tour. Since its found-
ing in 1952, the group has dedicat-
ed itself to preserving the
traditional Afro-Cuban rumba her-
itage. And with three generations
of performers onstage, the future
of this art form will be preserved
and passed onto their descendants.
Los Munequitos grew out of La
Marina de Matanzas neighborhood
in Cuba, considered to be the ori-
gin of rumba. To call the commu-
nity close-knit would be an
understatement: The members of
Los Munequitos are neighbors,
friends and, most of all, a highly
collaborative group of musicians.
It's not uncommon for the group to
gather on their porch steps and
take out a conga drum or assemble
in the street to show :off their
steps. "Rumba is not just a genre
of music - it's a lifestyle," said
Estrella Quiroga, Los Munequitos'
tour manager. "This is something
they've been participating in since
Since the group spans three gen-
erations, the audience can expect
to see both teenagers and septua-
genarians on stage. The younger
members of Los Muequitos aren't
given daily dance and music les-
sons; instead, they observe their
elders and catch onto the intricate
rhythms and movements. Quiroga
recalls one instance when a toddler
crawled onto a drum and started
imitating an older member of Los
Muniequitos who was playing. This
Although there are two common
forms of rumba practiced today, Los
Munequitos, according to Quiroga,
perform the variation which comes
"from 'the streets and the backyards,
the lower incomes and humble peopl
eof Cuba." Consisting of three
motion video sequences throughout the
game. The sequences are well-voiced,
and while they look cartoon-y, it does fit
the presentation of the game.
Overall, "Maximo: Ghosts to Glory".
serves as a decent, if slightly better-than-
average, 3D action/adventure game. The
characters are well animated, and the
game is fun (although completely frus-
trating to a generation of gamers spoiled
with "save when ever you feel like it"
mindsets). The flaws of the game are the
repetitive scrolling and the painful lack
of musical variation on the game's
soundtrack. The game is interesting, and
if gamers are willing to put aside their
angst toward the difficulty and repetition
of the adventure, "Maximo: Ghosts to
Glory" is worth checking out.
at 8 .m.
styles, each with a dif-
ferent.tempo and dance,
rumba is an invigorat-
ing yet challenging art
form. "Yambu," the
first style, consists of
drumming on wooden
boxes. "Columbia" is a
rumba which uses
machetes and knives
and props, while
the sexual tension
between women and
Courtesy of UMS
The Cuban Los Mulequitos de Matanzas will shake things up at Hill this Friday.
These three rumbas are featured
in the second half of Friday's
show, which is called "Kalenda." A
program showcasing African and
Afro-Cuban folklore, "Kalenda"
begins with a Nigerian ritual dance
dedicated to the Yoruban gods.
This dance is drawn from the folk-
loric cultures of Dahomey, Benin,
Zaire and Angola, and combines
rapid movements with explosive
drum cadences. As part of their
cultural heritage, "Kalenda" is a
dance which has been a part of
Los Munequitos for many years.
While the audience can expect
an exciting show on Friday, Los
Munequitos similarly anticipate an
enthusiastic crowd. As a renowned
cultural center and host to Alberto
Nassif's "Cuban Fantasy" program
on WEMU radio, Ann Arbor is a
prize stop on the Los Munequitos
"We have an audience that's
already educated and interested in
their style of music," said Quiroga.
"They won't be surprised or
shocked to see the quality of per-
formance that Los Munequitos
The University of Michigan College
,of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Ny MTsy Roa: Studyng
nri enus State Formation in
Henry T. Wright
Albert Clanton Spaulding Collegiate
Pofessor of Anthropology
Public Lecture and Recention