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November 07, 2002 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-11-07

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November 7, 2002

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Religious differences
shelved for music

Courtesy of Columbia
Laugh hard-.
Reiner acting career
shown in -'aughng

By Jim Schiff
Daily Arts Writer
Given the current tensions between
the Muslim and Judeo-Christian worlds,
it's hard to imagine a musical program
that can unite them.
But three ensembles visiting Ann
Arbor tonight will do just that. Perform-
ing selections from the medieval mas-
terwork "Cantigas de Santa Maria," the
Boston Camerata, the Camerata
Mediterranea and L'Orchestre
Abdelkrim Raiz of Fez, Morocco, will
offer a glimpse into Medieval Spanish
music and a thoughtful king who
brought three cultures together in song.

original manuscript. "You can only give
a sampling really," he said. "I wanted to
use the ones that were very beautiful
and fit the talents of my soloists."
Cohen is particularly interested in
how the diversity of King Alfonso's
court reflects contemporary American
culture. Alfonso himself was half-Ger-
man and always ensured that the com-
position of his court reflected Spain's
many ethnicities. Initially, the events of
Sept. 11 never factored in performances
of "Cantigas," but due to the tragedy's
lasting impact, Cohen can see the con-
nection. "I certainly began it for the
music, but look at this mess we're in,"
he said. "A bunch of Jews and Muslims

By Meredith Graupner
For the Daily
This week, the Ann Arbor Civic The-
atre will open its performance of
"Enter Laughing," directed by Thom
Johnson. A carefree comedy about Carl
Reiner's early acting career will provide
a new perspective for those people
already familiar with this
famous actor, writer,
director and producer.
One of Carl Reiner's EN
most noteworthy LAUC(
accomplishments was
"The Dick Van Dyke At the A
Show," which he creat- Civic 7
ed and produced in the Nov
early 1960s. However, Today -Sa
before succeeding in Sunday at 2
the realm of television Ann Arbor I
comedy series, Reiner
wrote the novel "Enter
Laughing" (1958) as an autobiogra-
phy, later adapted as a play (1963)
and then a movie (1967).
Since the play opened almost 30
years ago, little has been done to pro-
long its running. After having first
acted in "Enter Laughing" several


years ago, director Thom Johnson felt
that it was time to bring this wonder-
ful comedy to the Ann Arbor area.
According to Johnson, "Comedies are
my favorite ... and this one has a
snappy dialogue, similar to 'The Dick
Van Dyke Show,' which is one of the
reasons why I enjoy it."
This play will easily appeal to those
theatregoers who are just
looking to have a good
time. Johnson plans to
'ER keep his version of the
-ING play true to the way it
was originally written.
n Arbor He feels that "the play
heatre carries itself" and there-
7-17 fore does not require any
: at 8 p.m. additional interpretation.
P.m. $9-18 In "Enter Laughing"
vic Theatre the audience will leave
the performance know-
ing that Carl Reiner is a
man of many trades and his talent
extends far beyond the realm of act-
ing. However, this does not take away
from the light-hearted atmosphere of
this delightful play. As Thom Johnson
puts it, like many comedies, "this one
has no moral ... its just fun."

A profoundly reli-
gious work, the "Canti-
gas de Santa Maria" is a
collection of more than
400 sacred songs dedi-
cated to the Virgin Mary.
The program originates
from the Spanish King
Alfonso X, who lived
from 1221-1284 and was
referred to as King
Alfonso the Wise. While

At St. Francis of
Assisi Catholic Church
Tonight at 8 p.m. $25-$35

and Christians on stage
working together - sure
that means something."
Tomorrow's perform-
ance marks the debut of
all three ensembles
under UMS auspices.
The Boston Camerata,
founded in 1954, is
known for its unique
programs, including sev-
eral that focus on the

the program's composer is unknown, it
is believed that Alfonso was the largest
artistic influence, blending together
Christian texts with instruments and
sounds of the Muslim and Judaic world.
In researching the history of the
"Cantigas," Boston Camerata and Cam-
erata Mediterranea Musical Director
Joel Cohen visited Morocco and Spain
and looked at how the piece was origi-
nally performed. Tomorrow's perform-
ance features many of the same
instruments present in medieval Spain,
such as the rebec, an early form of the
violin. Many of the percussion instru-
ments used in the concert, such as the
darbouka, taar and ud, are still played
today in the Mediterranean basin.
In deciding which songs to perform
at the concert, Cohen said he wanted to
pick the ones that best reflected the

music of particular religious groups or
regions. In addition to numerous tours
throughout Europe, Japan, Mexico and
Canada, the group has undertaken
ambitious projects such as "Simple
Gifts," a historical chronicle of Shaker
music in America. As the Camerata's
musical director, Cohen hopes to
explore the music of the Jews of
Morocco and American religious
minorities in the future.
The Camerata Mediterranea,
founded in 1990 by Cohen, is the
European-based sister ensemble to
the Boston Camerata. They, along
with the L'orchestra Abdelkrim
Rais, one of Morocco's preeminent
practitioners of Arabo-andalusian
classical Spanish repertoire, per-
form with the Boston ensemble sev-
eral times throughout the year.

Courtesy of FOX
Almost as funny as "The Simpsons," and neither is funny.
'acolm' first year
captured on DVD

By Adam Rottenberg
Daily Arts Writer
In the winter of 2000, Fox intro-
duced an innovative new series to
complement the hit cartoon, "The
Simpsons." "Malcolm in the Middle"
provides a new take on the sitcom
and the conventional family structure
featured Within the genre. From the
creative mind of Linwood Boomer,
"Malcolm" stars young actor Frankie
Muniz ("My Dog Skip") in the title
role. The premise and series is loose-
ly based on Boomer's own childhood
experiences as a genius child in a'
household that is bizarre yet loving.
The recently released
DVD set features the a
full first season of this
inventive sitcom as well MALCOLM
as numerous extras. MIDDLE
It's rare for a series to 1 D
hit its stride in its first
season; however, "Mal- Picture/Sound
colm" manages just Movie: ***
that. Malcolm is the Features: **
middle child in a com- Fox Hom
plicated family. To
make matters worse, in

steal the show. Hal is a lovable father,
but aloof and almost as childish as
his children. And Kaczmarek's Lois
is one of the mostintriguing and
original characters on television. As
the abrasive mother, she dominates
the family life through her cunning
and anger, yef maintains her position
as a nurturer and strong mother.
The DVD features all 16 episodes
from the first season in a clear,
sharp quality picture that enables the
sight gags from the show to shine
even more. "Malcolm" uses only a
lone camera and takes a unique
approach in how it is filmed. Mal-
colm talks directly to the camera and

go~j4 One ea4,4

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audience in addressing
the events that are
going on in his life. And
much of the humor is
derived from the crazi-
ness that stems from the
bumbling children's
misdeeds. Also, "Mal-
colm" defies one major
sitcom convention, the
laugh track. Without the
laugh track, the jokes
seem even funnier.




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the pilot he is identified as having
genius level IQ and moved into the
Krelboyne class. He becomes even
more of a social reject because of his
newly identified intelligence and has
to cope with problems at home and at
school. Malcolm's siblings always
manage to create trouble either with
or without him. Francis (Christopher
Masterson) is away at military school
for misbehavior and is often solely
seen through his actions away from
his family. Reese (Justin Berfield) is
slightly older than Malcolm*and is a
moronic bully. And his youngest
brother Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan)
causes all kinds of craziness with his
dimwitted actions. But, it is Mal-
colm's parents, Hal (Bryan Cranston)
and Lois (Jane Kaczmarek), who




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A biopic of Mexican artist CO U BN
Frida Kahlo with Salma Hayek COLUMBINE
OnsFrida Novelmbe Michael Moore's latest documentary
Opens Friday, November 8 gg
Call 668-TIME for showtimes! 0 BROTHER
www.michtheater.com WHERE ART THOU?
Saturday Midniaht - Sunday 2:45

For a television series on DVD,
"Malcolm" features numerous extras.
However, none of them are really
going to be seen more than once. It
features a commentary track for every
episode with all major cast members
and writers on it. These tracks pro-
vide some humorous remarks, but for
the most part are uneventful. There
are deleted scenes and a gag reel that
can be funny, but one viewing of
these is enough. A behind the scenes
feutrette on the cast is present as
well as one on the creation process
behind the show. The one on the cre-
ation of the show, "Behind the
Genius," offers some interesting tid-
bits about the difficulties in getting
the show on the air as well as the
reasons for characterizations and
events. Erik Per Sullivan (Dewey) is
spotlighted in a featurette on his
life outside of Hollywood, which is
an unnecessary extra. But, the most
interesting of these special features
is the inclusion of all the promos
that originally aired on Fox to hype
the show before its debut and all the
commercials that hyped each
episode that followed.
"Malcolm in the Middle" is still
relatively short. in its run, but the
first season shines on the DVD.
The show creates huge laughs
through the use of the family's
incompetence, but the underlying
theme is always the importance of
love of the family. "Malcolm"
shows how a fresh idea can create
entertaining TV, even in just the
first few episodes.


02/03 Fall Season

,. F g~
; Y
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$10 Rush Tickets on sale 10 am-5
pm the day of the performance or
the FridayMbefore a weekend event
at the UMS Ticket Office, located in
the Michigan League.

50% Rush Tickets on sale
beginning 90 minutes before
the event at the performance
holl Box Office.

I Cinema elegance! |I Downtown fun!

Cantigas de Santa Maria
with The Boston Camerata, Cam-
erata Mediterranea and L'Orchestre
Avdelkrim Rais of Fez, Morocco
Thu 11/7 8pm
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church

Cantigas de Santa Maria
recreates the unique musi-
cal, poetic, and spiritual
climate of Iberia in the 13th
century, weaving Jewish and
Islamic elements around King
Alfonso's collection of songs
to the Virgin Mary. 0



o C o



Caetano Veloso Dubbed "one of the greatest
songwriters of the cen-

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