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February 05, 2003 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-02-05

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-

Wednesday
rFebruary ,2 3
michigandaily.com/arts
mae@michigandaily.com

RTS

5

'Stella!' Students take on Williams''Desire'

By Archana Ravi
Daily Arts Writer
"It's only a paper moon," Blanche
sings while sitting in a tub, cleans-
ing herself of her troubles and ill-
fated reality. The
protagonist of "A
Streetcar Named
Desire" is fraught with A STR
anxiety and pain from NAMED
events in her past. She
reveals to the audience At the
that a troublesome life Mendelsso
is tolerable if one only Thursda
imagines their own Saturday a
reality. The play is Sunday2
meant to portray social UP]
realism in the form of
an imagined story, the play itself.
This week, the University's
Department of Theatre and Drama
will present Tennessee Williams' "A
Streetcar Named Desire," one of the
most admired and discussed plays of

the twentieth century. This 1947
Pulitzer prize-winning drama fol-
lows the character Blanche DuBois,
a former southern belle, in her fanta-
sized and feigned life.
"Streetcar" was considered a the-

EETCAR
)DESIRE
e Lydia
hn Theater
y through
t 8 p.m. and
at 2 p.m.
ROD
stray far

atrical pioneer upon its
release after World War
II. It plays on issues of
violence, sexuality,
alcoholism, rape and
homosexuality. It even
engages the issue of
postwar restrictions
placed on women in
America.
The director, Darryl
Jones, has promised a
depiction that doesn't
from the original play.

courWteso ) rvu
Long before the superdome...
All Saints' Day.
Jones has received numerous
awards and nominations for such
productions as "Spunk," "The
Grapes of Wrath" and "We Are Your
Sisters," to name a few. He is joined
by a talented crew of designers and
artists as they adapt the classic
Williams play. In addition to "Street-
car," Williams produced other great
works like the 1955 Pulitzer Prize
winner "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and
"Night of the Iguana."

"There will be nothing radically dif-
ferent in this production." He added,
however, that the show will try to
explore the oddities of New Orleans'
diverse culture, from Mardi Gras to

sko uthe y 0orplaye.. LOl
Bass in your face, not an eight track gettin' it good to the wood, so the people give...

Clarke's 'Vienna' a subconscious trip

THE ROOTS' THOUGHTFUL ?UESTLOVE

By Joseph Litman
Daily Arts Writer
Central to Sunday's Roots' concert was drummer and
creative force Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson. Although he's
an accomplished producer, DJ and businessman, Thomp-
son is usually recognized by his distinct afro. However,
those who only know the man's hair are unfortunately
neglecting Thompson's charisma, intelligence and Vitru-
vian nature
Before the concert, Thompson spoke with The Michigan
Daily about the Roots' latest masterpiece, Phrenology.
The Michigan Daily: Phrenology was a departure
from the other music we've heard from the Roots. What
was the discussion like when you were coming up with the
concept of this record?
Ahmir Thompson: (To) earn our renegade stripes. All
the time it's like [mockingly], 'You guys are so innovative,
you guys are so great, you guys are so great' - but, the
"great" people that I know of, or that I call great, part of
their careers has been about exploring uncharted territory.
I just never want to be called predictable, or 'that's a
typical Roots sound.' I got a lot of that in 2001. [Mocking-
ly] 'Yo man, the Roots' sound is in, the Roots' sound is in.'
I'm like what is 'the Roots' sound is in?' Is the Roots'
sound "Mellow My Man," or is the Roots' sound
"Clones?" The Roots' sound could be pretty much any-
thing if you look at our production spectrum.
TMD: On what did you draw for this record?
AT: I've always been a Bomb Squad fan. Lyrically,
Tariq (Black Thought) has been a Juice Crew fan, so any
Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Biz, Roxanne, Masta Ace,
Craig G and Marly Marl, that's who he idolized. With me,
it was the Bomb Squad. Anything to do with Public
Enemy or any of the groups that Public Enemy produced
between '87 and '92, that's what I was obsessed with.
So, I got in Spike (Lee)'s earabout redoing "Burn Hol-
lywood Burn" (for "Bamboozled") and I used it as a lit-
mus test to see how it would work, and if I felt' pleased
with the results, we would try to make our album that radi-

cal. At the end of the day, we just decided not to do the
whole album as radical as that song. So pretty much, I
wanted to do something PE-like on the new album, but I
didn't want it to stick out like a sore thumb. (That led to)
"Thought at Work" and ... we had to go for the gusto.
TMD: That piano beat that the song was first over ...
AT: Yeah, yeah "Hey Bulldog." We were down, mixing
it. Our engineer walks in and is like 'Hey, the Beatles!' I
was like, 'Nah, that ain't no Beatles' and he's like [high
pitched] 'No, man, it's the Beatles.' I found out that it's a
Lennon-McCartney composition, and that means that
Michael Jackson owns it and right now, he's in a major
battle with Sony over who owns the Beatles' stuff, so
they're basically not clearing anything. Trust me, I tried. I
emailed the shit out of Sean Lennon and all that stuff, but
in a way, it kind of freed me. It kind of liberated us. That
freed me to just, fuck it, do the PE version, do the "Bring
the Noise" tribute.
TMD: It was nice to hear that Incredible Bongo Band
sample on there.
AT: That, to me, is like a b-boy tribute.
TMD: How did you guys hook up with Cody Chest-
nuTT (on the track " The Seed (2.0)")?
AT: Actually, I first discovered Cody in the "D." A good
friend of mine who's a writer from Detroit, Dream Hamp-
ton, had his demo, but she didn't want to give it to me,,ypu
know, because it was so sacred to her, but that shit wasn't
ever gonna stop my ass. So, I put an APB out on him and
luckily, he had sent his dero to every major label includ-,
ing (mine) and it wound up in the throw away pile. It just
so happens that one of the interns remembered the name
Cody ChestnuTT, and as a result, I found him and insisted
that we meet and talk about working.
TMD: What is going on with Malik B these days? I
think that everyone has heard "Water," and they're
kind of curious.
AT: To be honest, I have not really spoken to Malik
since the album came out. Right now, I think that he's
just living his life and pretty much just dealing with his
life, so it's cool.

By Lynn Hasselbarth
Daily Arts Writer
When looking back through histo-
ry, it seems that the most poignant,
intense moments linger just before the
outbreak of war. Martha Clarke, cho-
reographer and theatrical visionary,
recognize this trend and has expound-
ed upon pre-war society in her pro-
duction "Vienna: Lusthaus
(revisited)." In her dramatic depiction
of pre-World War I Vienna, Clarke
unveils the subconscious
thoughts of a society on
the brink of collapse.
This weekend, audi- VIE
enices will experience the Lus
decadent and dismal (REVI
world of Vienna in the At the P
early 20th century. The
drama takes place in the Friday and
Lusthaus, a sort of pleas- p.m.
ure pavilion, in Vienna's University 1v
great Prater Park. With
women dressed in scant Victorian
undergarments and men decked out in
full military uniform, Clarke presents
the extremes of this society.,
What distinguishes this piece from
other theatrical productions is the lack
of continuQi. interactime dialogue.
Instead, Clarke lures us into a dream-
like haze, through fragments of text,

classical music, subtle gestures and
expressive dance. This collaboration
of art forms allows audience members
to submerge themselves in this surreal
world; a hallucination of our own fears
and pleasures. What Clarke seeks to
evoke is a sense of what is stirred up
beneath ones' conscious thoughts dur-
ing this period of self-indulgence.
A trademark of this production is
the fragmented monologues that filter
through the performance. Playwright
Charles Mee, co-creator of the pro-

NNA:
THAUS
SITED)
wer Center
Saturday at
$16-$32
Musical Society

duction, incorporates
historical texts including
diary entries of the
Hapsburg imperial fami-
ly. Mee also layers in
pieces of letters that
Sigmund Freud wrote to
his wife. "Vienna:
Lusthaus (revisted)"
takes place during the
time when Freud pub-
lished his theories about

ality, the play sparked immediate
controversy. However, it soon
became established as one of the
most courageous, honest pieces of
dance-theater ever created. Now, sev-
enteen years since its conception,
Clarke brings to Ann Arbor a newly-
developed, equally provocative
"Vienna: Lusthaus (revisted)."
In addition to the performance, a
roundtable discussion with Martha
Clarke will be held at the Museum of
Art this Saturday at 1 p.m.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Manipulating Opinion
Commenting on the PRG, the
author states, "We knew the
creation of this government
would be regarded by the Nixon
administration as an exercise in
propaganda. But this reaction
was essentially irrelevant. Our
goal was to influence public
opinion." Page 146, A Viet
Cong Memoir. The protestors
fell for it.
Gary Lillie & Assoc., Realtors
www.garylillie.com

0

the human mind and its dream state.
This provides the central focus -of
Clarke's production: What was really
going on the minds of, these Euro-,
peans, living a life of frivolity amidst
surrounding moral decay?
The original "Vienna: Lusthaus"
premiered in 1986, in an off-Broad-
way church. Steeped in intense sexu-

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