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April 10, 2002 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-04-10

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'Trembling Before G-d'
Homosexual Orthodox Jews
are interviewed in this new
film. Michigan Theater.
Opens tonight.
michigandaily.com /arts

fi~thy Og

WEDNESDAY
APRIL 10, 2002

Poignant 'Parade'
visits Power Center

Les Musiciens, Von
Otter bring Baroque
masterpieces to Hill

By Jenni Glenn
Daily Arts Writer
In a departure from the often
fantastic world of musical theater,
University Productions tackles a
serious musical based on a true

story with "Parade"
this weekend.
"Parade" tells the
story of the 1913 mur-
der of teenager Mary
Phagan in Marietta,
Ga., and the subse-
quent trial of her
accused employer, Leo
Frank. Frank, a Jewish
industrialist from
Brooklyn, N.Y.,
became the target of
prejudice during the
murder investigation

PARA
At the Pow
Tomorrow-7
at 8 p
Sunday ai
$15.20Oa
$7 studen
764-2
University P
and trial,

great uncle, and Lucille Frank was
friendly with Uhry's grandmother.
Uhry's curiosity about the trial led
him to write "Parade," which
debuted on Broadway in 1999.
"Uhry captures the turmoil of
Frank's struggle to prove his inno-
cence and pairs it with
a love story of the
deepening relationship
ADE between Frank and his
er Center wife, Lucille," said
Meghan Randolph, a
Thursday Music sophomore who
.m. portrays Lucille Frank.
t 2 p.m. As a result, the
adults,
its w/id musical "is not smiles
538 and tap dancing at
all," she said. "It really
roductions tells a compelling
story, and it really
makes you think."
"The factual nature of 'Parade'
challenges the cast to portray the
characters as they were," said
Musical Theatre Department Chair
Prof. Brent Wagner, who directs
the show. To prepare for "Parade,"
he assigned the cast books and arti-

By Melissa Gollob
Daily Arts Writer

Courtesy or University Productions

Leo Frank is held back from an angry mob in 'Parade'

cles to read on the time period as
well as the trial.
"It presents an obligation to
research the era and the characters
that one wouldn't have in a non-
fiction musical," he said.
The musical's Tony-winning
score also reflects the time period
in which the events unfold. Com-
poser Jason Robert Brown incorpo-
rated a variety of musical styles,
including patriotic marches, blues,
ragtime and revivalist tunes, into
"Parade."
"Musically, it's a very rich score,
but because of the wide range of

styles, it's a challenge," he said.
"The crew's efforts also help
make the production realistic,"
Wagner said. "Parade" requires
several settings, from a courtroom
to city scenes. With all the loca-
tion changes, the crew uses nearly
500 lighting cues.
Wagner said he hopes the show
will inform the audience about a
little-known part of American his-
tory. "It makes me proud that
we're reminding people of dark
incidents in the past that we
shouldn't allow to happen again,"
he said.

which were covered by the national
media.
Playwright Alfred Uhry first
envisioned a musical about one of
the century's biggest trials because
of his family's connections to the
Franks. Frank worked for Uhry's

Mendelssohn welcomes program on love

By Jim Schiff
Daily Fine/Performing Arts Editor
A topic as broad as love is difficult to tackle
through any one art form. So this Saturday night, the
renowned Takics Quartet and poet Robert Pinsky
offer two takes on the subject, combining their crafts
into the program, "All the World for Love."
Closing out the University Musical Society's pop-
ular Literary Chamber Series, Saturday's perform-
ance features 14 poems interspersed with three string
quartet interludes. Each poem and musical piece
focuses on the theme of love, whether written for
courtship or to mourn the death of a family member.

Pinsky, the former Poet Laureate of the United States
(1997-2000), will recite the works of Emily Dickin-
son, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams and W.B.
Yeats, among others.
"All the World for Love" is a new adventure for
the Colorado-based Takacs Quartet,
which since its formation in 1975 has
become one of the nation's preeminent
chamber ensembles. To call the group TAKAC
technical masters would be an under-
statement; they frequently tackle the TET AN]
most challenging of pieces, such as the PINSK
Bart6k cycle, with the greatest of skill. At Lydia I
Their success is undoubtedly due to Th
their grueling four-hour daily rehearsal Saturday
schedule and musicianship that is $3
rivaled by few. 764
Takacs first violinist Edward Dusin- University r
berre approached his fellow musicians
with the idea for the program over a
year ago. As a close family friend of Pinsky's, Dusin-
berre, not surprisingly, needed little to convince the
group of the program's merits. "When Pinsky is
reciting, we become part of the audience and it is just
fascinating to see how it works," said Takacs cellist
Andras Fej&. "We are just happy to listen to him and
the way he performs in all of his charisma and pro-
jective force - he's very convincing."
The two have toured with the program since Sep-
tember, varying the order of the poems and musical
interludes slightly each time. Fej6r found that the
poems work best in blocks, which allow the mood to
set in the audience's minds before changing tones.

2
:5
jy
30-
42

"All the World for Love" begins with five poems
and then proceeds to Janacek's "String Quartet No.
2," affectionately titled "Intimate Letters." The piece
addresses the septuagenarian's love for a much
younger woman. Janacek created several operas in
which the woman was the heroine, set-
ting her as the object of his romantic
fantasies. Fejer says that the listener
QUAR- can decipher the composer's feelings
ROBERT through the music. "His love almost
POET burns through the string quartet," he
said. "The music is extremely passion-
endelssohn ate and surprisingly vitalizing even for
atre a young man, but especially for some-
at 8 p.m. one over 70."
.40 Indeed, the other two quartets also
2538 address themes of love, but in starkly
isical Society different ways. The Barber adagio is
known in America as a national
mourning piece, but it was originally
based on the poet Virgil's extremely sensual and erot-
ic last poem. Benjamin Britten's "String Quartet No.
3" is inspired by his own opera, "Death in Venice."
The piece became the musical version of Thomas
Mann's story of an older gentleman who falls in love
with a younger boy.
Fejer believes Saturday's program will leave a last-
ing effect on the audience long after the show. And
with such fine artists presenting these musical and
poetic treasures, they can certainly expect an uplift-
ing performance. "We're taking about primal feelings
and passion - it's a very moving program," said
Fejer. "It just feels great to dive into it."

One of the world's finest mezzo-
sopranos, Anne Sophie von Otter
will sing with the renowned
ensemble Les Musiciens du Louvre
this Friday. Together they will pres-
ent a program that displays the
beauty of the 17th and 18th cen-
turies and show why they are com-
mitted to preserving it.
The Baroque period featured
men who were able to sing
extremely high for their gender.
This was accomplished by remov-
ing young boys' family jewels so
they would not enter puberty, and
therefore be able to play women in
the theatre. These men were called
castrati. In the present era, howev-
er, there are talented women who
perform the elaborate music com-
posed for these men during the
Baroque period.
Anne Sophie von Otter began her
vocal studies in Sweden and has
performed numerous roles in major
operas, such as "Carmen" and
"Staden." Her career started as an
alto instead of a high soprano when
she joined the Basel Opera in
1982. Since then she has flourished
and taken advantage
of modern technolo-
gies in the recording
studio. Her repertoire LES MU
may contain classical DU LoU
pieces, but she pushes ANNE
her interpretations to VON (
the limit with con-
stant experimentation At Hill A
in the studio.
Marc Minkowski FridaTa
founded Les Musi- 764-2
ciens du Louvre in UnivesityM
1982 when he com- _________
mitted himself to
defending 17th and 18th century
works. The self-taught conductor
has not been limited to the Baroque
period and has taken every oppor-
tunity to branch out to other peri-
ods. His ensemble is a major
European period instrumental
group. Les Musiciens Du Louvre
are based in Grenoble, France and
have performed in the most presti-
gious places in the world, such as
at the Cologne Philharmonic and
the London Barbican Centre.
Their program included selec-
tions from their beloved Baroque
period. They will perform four

S
0

I
JS
V
Sc
it E
-42
25
us

Courtesy of Cantabile Subito
Mezzo-Soprano Anne Sophie von Otter
works from the English composer
Handel. His "Concerto Grosso in G
Major, Op. 6, No. 1" and "Qui
d'amor, nel suo lin-
guaggio" show off the
distinctness of the peri-
ICIENS od von Otter and Les
RE AND Musiciens du Louvre
OPHIE devote so much of their
TTER time. The other two
Handel pieces are
ditorium works from the opera
"Ariodante." The opera
2 P.M. explores the mutual
38 love between a
ical Society princess and her
betrothed and the sinis-
ter duke who wishes to
marry the princess for political rea-
sons. He plots revenge against the
couple in this "Othello"-type story.
Von Otter and the Musiciens will
also perform a piece by the father
of the Baroque period, Johann
Sebastian Bach. This piece, titled
"ich habe genug," is a church work
that features von Otter in a delicate
soprano part. The show concludes
with Rameau's "Orchestral Suite
from Les Boreades." Rameau is
known for his avant-garde
approach to composition and was
an innovator during the Baroque
period.

A

0

Courtesy or UMS
Takacs and Pinsky smile pretty for the camera

'Shackleton' DVD lacks extras, but still delivers

0

By Ryan Blay
Daily TV/New Media Editor

British pounds to fund the expedi-
tion, the charismatic captain had to

with such passionately delivered
lines, as "I will not fail!" They

Kenneth Branagh is known more
for his acting skills than his mod-
esty. If this was ever in question, the
recent A&E presentation of "Shack-
leton" left this beyond doubt.
Branagh portrays British Capt.
Sir Ernest Shackleton, the leader of
a 1914 expedition to Antarctica. He
and his 27 men expected to be the
first crew ever to cross over the
whole continent. But they had more
than just the typical cold and ice to
face. To raise the thousands of

solicit the Royal Geo-
graphical Society, woo
private investors and
most importantly, raise
a crew.
Posting an advertise-
ment noting poor
wages, the long jour-
ney, danger and poten-
tial glory, Shackleton
took his crew from
South America to the

SHACKLETON
DVD

reached the continent
all right, but the tra-
vails they faced were
amazingly difficult.
The men grew discon-
tented as the ship, The

Picture/Sound:
Show: ****
Features: **
A &]

1111

Endurance, is
destroyed and the time
passes. Without reveal-
ing the ending (and
E whether anyone per-
ished on the trip), it
should be noted that zealous animal
lovers and people disgusted by

Weddell Sea while Britain was
entering World War I. He proceeded

frostbite probably should pass on
this fine work.
Although Shackleton's crew,
including Henry "Skippy"
McNeish, photographer Frank Hur-
ley and second-in-command Frank
Wild are fleshed out well, it is obvi-
ous the focus is on Branagh and his
near-Shakespearean interpretation
of the captain. Ernest wasn't the
best parent or husband, but as cap-
tain he was outstanding in times of
trouble. The story seems destined to
prove without Shackleton, the expe-
dition would not have functioned as
well as it did with the occasionally
dictatorial but generally humorous
man.
The story was filmed beautifully
in Greenland. The views are stun-
ning. But the suspenseful and well-
acted story saves the two-part series
from degenerating into a typical
made-for-TV event. Branagh cap-
tures Shackleton's charisma and
leadership, as well as his character
flaws and his suffering at the hands
of sciatica.
That said, the DVD extras fail to

do justice to _ ..'
the series. A
biography and
filmography
are provided
for Branagh,
but none of the
fine support- h.
ing cast mem-
bers. The
History Chan-
nel's "Antarcti-
ca: A Frozen
History" is
lackluster,
despite Antarc-
tica's rich his-
tory from
Cook to
Amundsen.
"The Making
of Shackleton," a featurette, is
equally dull despite the danger that
the filmmakers braved as they
filmed. A&E's episode on Shackle-
ton from the "Biography" series is
the lone interesting feature. It lends
valuable insight into the character
of Shackleton.

--v .. _ .. _ r - r -r -o -r

.-

Following the outstanding "Hora-
tio Hornblower," A&E has found
another fine piece about the sea.
However, they should stick to mak-
ing TV and leave DVD work to
other companies if this is the best
they could do for a "Collector's
Edition."

DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'LL BE DOING AFTER
SCHOOL IS OVER?
APPLY NOW AND YOU COULD BE IN THE PEACE CORPS
BY THIS FALL.

m

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