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October 11, 2002 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-11

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 11, 2002 - 9A

Venice
bringse
fresh
'Seasons'
By Jim Schiff
Daily Arts Writer
'The Four Seasons" is among
the most recorded and per-
formed classical pieces of all
time. One has to wonder how
many fresh interpretations are
left.
Thankfully for the Venice
Baroque Orchestra, the well
hasn't run dry just yet. Under
the direction of Andrea Mar-
con, the VBO has given Vival-
di's masterpiece and dozens of
other Baroque pieces new life.
This Sunday, the group will
perform "The Four Seasons" as
part of an all-Vivaldi program
at St. Francis of Assisi.
The 16 member VBO is as
much a part of Venice as Vival-
di was four centuries ago. As
the resident ensemble of the
city's Scuola Grande di San
Rocco - one of Venice's most
esteemed cultural institutions
- they are given unparalleled
latitude in selecting their
music. With access to hundreds
of Baroque literature and man-
uscripts, the orchestra has the
ability to plunge deeply into a
specific composer's works, and
as of late, that composer has
been fellow Venetian Antonio
Vivaldi.
Marcon, an accomplished
organist and harpsichordist in
his own right, feels the Venetian
connection is beneficial to the
orchestra. "By working there
and living there, you feel you
have something of the city in
your spirit, in your culture, in
the aesthetic you feel for the
music of Vivaldi," he said. "You
feel more near because you
have the privilege of working in
this wonderful city."
The VBO's Italian connec-
tions continue with Sunday's
featured soloist, Giuliano
Carmignola. An award-winner
since the early 1970s,
Carmignola has toured with
such orchestras as the Berlin
Philharmonic and has given
performances at La Scala and
Moscow's Tchaikovsky Hall.
He has also worked extensively
with the VBO, recording two
all-Vivaldi albums: one with
"The Four Seasons" and anoth-
er with rare violin concertos.
Though equally proficient in
Baroque and modern violins,
Carmignola will play the for-
mer on Sunday to create an
authentic period sound.
"His way of playing is daz-
zling," said Marcon of
Carmignola. "In concert he's
very spontaneous, and this is an
important quality for the music
of Vivaldi."
Both Carmignola and the
VBO's talents have not gone
wasted in performing Vivaldi.
Since much of Baroque music
was written in shorthand, musi-
cians are left to interpret the
notations themselves. Vivaldi,

in particular, was known as a
quick composer who could
draft new pieces before a copier
could replicate old ones. In per-
formance, Marcon tries to
recapture Vivaldi's energy and
innovation. "Vivaldi always
seems like something light -
the music has a quality of
freshness," he said. "His spon-
taneity is still there - the
music always sounds very fra-
grant and sparkling."
Marcon emphasizes that
interpretation and delivery of
the music is often more impor-
tant than notes on a page. "The
goal is not to follow the rule of
how you should play," he said.
"In music there are no rules --
the only rule is that you should
feel confidence with the public
and you should be able to speak
to them."
In addition to "The Four Sea-
sons," the VBO is also perform-
ing "Sinfonia in C Major from
Il Giustino" and "Concerto in
E-flat Major for Violin and
Strings," among other pieces.
Sunday's concert opens UMS'
"Divine Expressions"" series,
which includes performances
from the Boston Camerata,
Bach Collegium Japan and the
Hillard Ensemble.

Innovative 'Boom' lowers on NBC

Courtesy of CBS
Everybody loves "The Honeymooners."
Gleason depicted
warmly i new biopic

By Christian Smith
Daily Arts Writer
Currently, there are no fewer than 23
crime-related shows on network televi-
sion, from NBC's "Law & Order" fran-
chise to CBS' "Hack" to spy thrillers
"Alias" and "24." And with a whole
slew of them planned for midseason,
audiences are clearly buying into the
most thriving television trend of the
past few years. Whether or not these
shows accurately depict the daily lives
and duties of policeman, lawyers and
anyone else who happen to inadvertent-
ly come in contact with any fragment of
the criminal justice sector is a moot
point. As long as they satiate a public
curiosity for danger for the 9-5 office-
dwellers whose days are highlighted by
lunchtime excursions to Applebee's,
network execs will continue to fill their
primetime schedules with crime-related
fluff. At best, these TV shows intelli-
gently weave intricate crime stories into
a fascinating web of mystery, suspense
and intrigue. At worst, they are "Cross-
ing Jordan." Unfortunately, the majori-
ty of today's crime shows fall into the
latter category.
One exception is NBC's innovative
new crime drama "Boomtown." The
show is an ensemble drama that tells
the street-level story of Los Angeles
with a unique twist. If Quentin Taranti-
no remade "Rashomon," the result
would quite probably resemble an
episode of "Boomtown." Each one lays
the foundation by presenting a crime,
and unravels it utilizing a multiple per-
spective narrative technique, telling the
story through the eyes of the city's
detectives (Mykleti Williamson and
Donnie Wahlberg), cops (Jason Gedrick
and Gary Basaraba), a ruthless Assis-
tant District Attorney (Neal McDo-
nough) and a beat reporter (Nina
Gabiras). Sporadically, the perspectives
of victims, witnesses and perpetrators
are incorporated as well.

active participant in the
mystery.
Last week's episode *-
was a masterful piece of Boo
television, effectively
deceiving the audience Sundays
with the illusory story-N
telling device. After
seemingly solving the
murder case for the viewer by assuming
the perp's point-of-view, the story took
a 180-degree twist, which seemed all
the more cunning once it ultimately
came together.
Created and written by Graham Yost
("Band of Brothers," "From the Earth
to the Moon") and directed by Jon
Avnet ("Uprising"), each episode plays
mass

vi
at
qBi

Like "24" before it, which follows
the events of a single day over the
course of an entire season, "Boom-
town" attempts to differentiate itself
from the excessively cluttered crime-
spree that is primetime television.
Occasionally it becomes apparent that
the structure exists for no other reason
than to tell a story through a different
narrative method, but for the most part,
the construction is an

out like a mystery, with every perspec-
tive introducing a different piece of the
puzzle. Despite an obligatory cliched
car chase in each of the first two
episodes, and some rather forced char-
acter development, especially on the
part of McDonough's politically ambi-
tious A.D.A, the raison d'etre here is
unmistakably the engrossing story-
telling and remarkable acting.
A long list of notable
names make up the
show's ensemble, includ-
ing ex-NKOTB singer-
cum-actor Wahlberg, TV
[OWN regular Gedrick ("EZ
t 10 p.m. Streets," "Murder One")
and of course, the
shrimp-loving
Williamson of "Forrest
Gump," who showed similar range in
last year's criminally unappreciated
"Fugitive" revival. Even as it develops
these characters, it manages to tell self-
contained stories in an innovative way.
And as long as "Boomtown" keeps
churning out fresh stories, viewers will
have a reason to skip a long deflated
"The Practice" and try something new.

By Jim Schiff
Daily Arts Writer
Jackie Gleason was larger than
life. So was his ego. An immense
man and an immense talent, he
became one of television's first
superstars with his sitcom, "The
Honeymooners." But behind his
cool, confident demeanor hid an
insecure control freak, a womanizer
and most of all, an overgrown child.
As the subject of CBS' new biopic,
Gleason is shown in an affectionate
but unforgiving light. His multiple per-
sonalities - ranging

career moves. "Gleason" is privy to
Jackie's dualities; the film does a stellar
job at conveying his daring behind-the-
scenes maneuvering with studio heads
and agents. We watch Jackie transform
from an affable everyman into a power-
hungry tyrant, especially when he did-
n't get his way. Insisting on complete
control over writing and directing,
Gleason thought himself a star before
the rest of the world did.
"Gleason" achieves a good balance
between Jackie's personal and profes-
sional lives, though his onstage antics
are far more entertaining. The recre-
ations of the short-lived

from loving, devoted
husband to tactless
drunkard - are master-
fully handled by Brad
Garrett, in a role that
ought to give him a
career beyond "Every-
body Loves Raymond."
He brings to life a man

GLEASON
Airs Sunday, Oct. 16
at 9p.m.
CBS

Gleason-hosted variety
show "Cavalcade of
Stars," as well as "The
Honeymooners," are
authentic and welcome;
his "Honeymooners" co-
stars, Art Carney and
Audrey Meadows, are
faithfully brought to life
by Michael Chieffo and

Courtesy of NBC

Doug Masters and his friends look for Chappy.

so beloved, yet at the
same time, so confusing and contradic-
tory. When looking at Gleason, we
realize the eerie parallels between his
life and that of Ralph Kramden, the
foul-mouthed bus driver he portrayed
on "The Honeymooners."
"Gleason" is told in flashbacks
from a "60 Minutes"-type of inter-
view. We first see Jackie at the age of
8. Then, he was a starry-eyed wonder-
er, drawn in by the vaudevillian stage
shows he attended with his father.
These shows served as a distraction
from more pressing concerns at home:
both parents were alcoholics, and his
father left while Jackie was still
young. Raised by his mother until
early adulthood, when she passed
away, he used comedy as an outlet for
his frustrations.
Working his way up from talent
shows, to night clubs, to eventually his
own sitcom, Gleason's drive for success
carried him through. But his ambition
also got the best of him, resulting in a
failed marriage and a number of bad

Jayne Heitmeyer.
Though not a dead ringer, Garrett is
nonetheless highly convincing as Glea-
son. Far different from the dense,
docile cop he portrays on "Raymond,"
Garrett seamlessly inhabits Gleason's
anxiousness, temper and in particular,
the low-key charm that made him
famous. Standing at 6-foot-8, he's
probably a foot taller than the man he
portrays, but his stature works to his
advantage in the film; Garrett's intimi-
dating size only reinforces the intimi-
dating presence that Gleason was.
Ultimately, "Gleason" works better
as a nostalgia trip, rather than a faithful
biography. Fans may be disappointed
that the film ends in the mid-1950s:
Gleason's extensive movie career,
which peaked with an Academy Award
nomination for "The Hustler" in 1961,
is never explored. Regardless of the
film's focus, "Gleason" is worthwhile
if only for Garrett's performance and
the chance to see what made "the great
one" so great in the first place.

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SThe number is: (734) 764-DER

the forum on religion and learning presents:
"the case for faith-informed scholarship"
dr. george marsden
francis a. mcananey professor of history
the university of notre dame
thursday, october 24th 2002
angelt hall auditorium b 4pm p
sponsored by the association of religious counselors and the history department
the university of michigan
UM School of Music " Musical Theatre Dept.
with generous support in part from the UN4 dENO
Directed by Mark Madama
Musical Direction by Karl Shymanovitz
Choreography by Beth Dukleth
October 10-12 at 8pm - October 13 at 2pm
Mendelssohn Theatre
League Ticket Office 734.764.2538
Remember that rebellious stage you had in high-school? Parent-
child conflicts have been happening since the beginning of time.
C

CORPORATE
11 EXECUTIVE
"""B O -A "R -D
THE CEB ADVANTAGE
- Exposure to leading-edge business practices from the world's great corporations
- #3 ranking in Business Week's 2002 ranking of "100 Hot Growth Companies"
- Selected to Fortune's 2002 list of "100 Fastest-Growing Companies"
- Named to Washingtonian's list of "50 Great Places to Work" in Washington, D.C.
- Dedication to staff's professional development in a meritocracy
- Dynamic corporate culture
Corporate Executive Board (CEB) is a 900-person business-to-business content firm that provides
best practices research and analysis to help senior executives at more than 1,800 corporations
address a number of important business decisions and benchmarking efforts.
"Growing Company, Growing Minds...
Come Rise Above the Curve"
Univ. of Michigan on-campus interviews: November 19, 2002

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