November 13, 2002
By Marie Bernard
Daily Arts Writer
It is easy, if not natural, to compare John Fulton to
J.D Salinger. Fulton does, after all, often write about
adolescents - intelligent, wry, insightful adolescents
- and he does so convincingly. Fulton's young narra-
tors are genuine, caught in the crossfire of Raymond
Carver-esque family conflict, and they give the same
infallibility to a young voice that Salinger so aptly
achieved decades ago. But much of Fulton's universe is
one untrodden by Holden Caulfield. It is not the city or
prep school - it is a world where kids dream of gro-
cery shopping without coupons, where father is angry at
his ex-wife for choosing his son's braces over the prized
Mercedes, where a road trip to Montana with a reckless
mother ends up in an erratic roadside crime. And Ful-
ton's landscape is the American West - often Utah,
where Fulton grew up. The landscape's vastness lends
itself nicely to his remarkable stories of the conflict and
emptiness of everyday people.
Fulton, a graduate of the University M.F.A. program
and current University professor, will be reading tomor-
row night in Davidson Hall. He has published two
books - "Retribution," his debut short story collection
and "More than Enough," a novel.
"What's compelling about the figures that I write
about who are torn between mothers and fathers and
this side and that side," Fulton told The Michigan Daily,
"is that there is still some innocence looking on corrup-
tion, and trying to figure out: How can I act in a way
whereI can still feel good? And the answer often is:I
can't. The dilemma of that situation is interesting to
"More than Enough" is the story of Steven, a 15-year-
old who is beat up by Mormon kids almost immediately
upon moving to Salt Lake City with his family. When
the Parkers receive a settlement from the
accident, the upper-class life they always
dreamed of seems within their reach.
Before long, the money is gone and the JOHN
familial conflict unearths itself - his sis- D1270 D
ter Jenny wants to be Mormon and popu-
lar; his mother is convinced it's time to Tomorro
leave her unemployed husband. The family
affirms its quiet agony upon Steven, and the result is a
sharp and sensitive narrator that leads the story deftly
through its honest realism.
"The conflict of religion is a really interesting one,
and I feel like characters dealing with it are more real.
Salt Lake is a great stage for that," Fulton said. "One of
the things that the novel is interested in is belief, and
Michigan Pops offer alternative
to redundant orchestra shows
By Jim Schiff
Daily Arts Writer
conviction - to what the world is just what it is, and to
what degree to which a belief in something can make
the world more than it is."
"Retribution," the award-winning and masterful col-
lection that established Fulton as a new literary voice, is
a stunning (and necessary) read. He released "More
than Enough" only a year later, and has just completed
The University is known for its
wealth of classical music ensem-
bles. From the Campus Philharmo-
nia to the dozens of international
orchestras that visit Ann Arbor
every year, students have no short-
age of concerts to attend.
But a different sort of orchestra
is playing at the Michigan Theater
tomorrow night. Putting aside
Bach and Beethoven for the Beat-
les and the Beach Boys, the Michi-
gan Pops Orchestra promises an
evening of upbeat American
favorites and modern classics.
Comprised of students from
LSA, nursing, engineering, busi-
ness and music, the 55-member
MPO is the only student-run and
directed orchestra on campus. The
ensemble's leadership, elected
each fall, is in charge of choosing
and arranging music, auditioning
musicians, publicizing concerts,
designing program booklets and
keeping strong relations with its
sponsor, the University Activities
On top of all this responsibility
is music school senior Chris Lees,
the ensemble's musical director.
While conducting a group of musi-
cians, let alone his peers, might
seem intimidating, Lees finds that
the MPO is highly cooperative.
"The first rehearsal I went to I was
stunned by the eerie silence that
happened when I first got on the
podium," he said. "They are very
focused in rehearsal and we get
some good work done that way -
there aren't issues with talking,
since we have very limited
Speaking of time constraints, the
MPO rarely has over
eight weeks to pre-
pare for a concert.
This semester, in par- MICHIG
ticular, with the con- ORCHG
Thanksgiving, the At Thel
orchestra has had to The
pull together quickly.
french horn player Tomorrov
and program director $5 students
Nora Dunlop, an LSA U
junior, felt the pres-
sure on her shoulders,
but finds that the MPO's work
ethic carried them through.
"Everyone really pulled together
and went home to practice," she
said. "This is a much earlier date
than we've ever had, so everyone
knew that it was going to take
work to play pieces of this cal-
Tomorrow's program ranks
among their most ambitious in
recent memory. Performing Gersh-
win's "Rhapsody in Blue," Led
Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven"
and Billy Joel's "Lullaby," the
MPO dug deep into existing pops
repertoire and in some cases,
arranged pieces of their own. Lees
added a few lines to the Cincinnati
Pops' version of "You are my
Lucky Star" from the musical
"Singin' in the Rain" and commis-
sioned another student to arrange
"Lullaby." The two Beatles' tunes,
"A Hard Days Night" and "All My
Loving" were arranged specifical-
ly for Michigan Pops by a fan in
This year, beyond
performing as a full
N POPS group, the MPO
N OPS began supporting
STRA three smaller ensem-
ichigan bles. After practicing
ter for only three weeks,
a string quartet,
at 8 p.m. woodwind quintet and
10 general brass quintet played at
C Tech Day, an event
held last Saturday at
the Media Union for
prospective engineering students.
Prior to tomorrow's concert, the
brass quintet will play in front of
the Michigan Theater as a prelude
to the performance.
Dunlop, who administrates the
new ensembles, finds her partici-
pation in the MPO rewarding. "It's
just different than any orchestra
I've ever been in," she said.
"Everyone is there because they
want to be and that creates a light-
hearted and fun atmosphere."
Lees, a choral education student,
echoes Dunlop's sentiments.
"We're all there for the music," he
said. "There's an understanding
that we're going to work hard and
have a lot of fun doing it and the
end result will be very very cool."
w at 5 p.m.
which is the
place in Ann
his obligatory book tour, all the while
maintaining his teaching position. "It's get
on a plane in the afternoon, read in front of
10 or 15 people if you're lucky, crash at the
hotel, get up at 5 a.m., catch a 6 a.m.
plane, and make a 9 a.m. class," Fulton
recounts; "It's terrible." He is currently
working on some "very long stories, one of
first I've written outside the West; it takes
"Books are beautiful things, literature is beautiful
stuff. In a very humble way, I would like to be a part of
that," Fulton says. "When I sit at the desk and some-
thing comes out - it's this thrilling thing; it's the most
exciting experience I could ask for."
By Marie Bernard
Daily Arts Writer
Jeremy Leiner, a B.F.A senior, was
struck by University alum Andrew
Lippa's musical, "John and Jen," and he
fought for a year to get funding and
clearance to produce the show through
Basement Arts. Lippa eagerly returned
to the Frieze Building to work with the
ensemble. "When I first listened to John
and Jen," Leiner remembered, "I felt
like my life was transformed. I had fall-
en in love with a musical."
The play follows Jen's life from six
to 44, showing her both as a sister and
as a mother. It deals with many com-
pelling issues - child abuse, losing a
loved one and the Vietnam War. The
play is done simply, with black box fur-
niture, and all costume changes take
place on stage. "We're living in such
crazy times right now," said Leiner. "It's
somewhat eerie how the issues that
seem so distant from the '50s and '60s
are creeping up again in our lives"
Leiner says, "I hope that this show
will create a significant impact on stu-
dent life and learning at the University
of Michigan. "John and Jen" uses music
and the arts to tell this beautiful and
complex story of a sister and brother,
mother and son. It is my hope that audi-
ences will be inspired by this story in
light of the time we are living in."
Interested in the ARTS?
GET ON THE BUS! the......
(* (tUat Michigan bus
"Dirty Little Stories 2"
Friday, November 15, 2002
6:30 pm. departure
UM Museum of Art
(525 State Street)
It's back! Wetter, wittier and dirtier than before! Walk and Squawk brings back Dirty Little
Stories, which features a "ballet of bullets, blondes and bourbon" about the mysteries of
love and our love of mysteries, using film noir imagery and iconography to explore time,
intimacy and cooking. Enjoy a discussion with performers after the show!
Admission Fee: $10 to students with ID
(Arts at Michigan offers a special subsidy of $10 off the $20 ticket price!)
register online at: www.umich.edu/-arts
For more information call 734.936.5805
or email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
An office of the University of Michigan Provost's Office, Arts at Michigan promotes
arts opportunities for University of Michigan undergraduates.
1220 South University, Suite 208 . Ann Arbor, Mi 48104-2585. Tel. 734.764.5123 Fax 734.998.6301
www.umich.edu/-arts ... email@example.com
JOHN AND JEN
At the Arena Theater
Tomorrow at 7 pm, Friday at 7:30
pm, 11 pm, Saturday at 7 pm. Free
FOOD F RTrUGHT
JOAN OSBORNE MARK KNOPFLER
How Sweet It Is the Ragpicker's Dream
S--- ,.'.4.......-. .