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December 06, 2002 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-12-06

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Fn day
Decermber 6, 2002
michigandaily.com/arts
tnae@michigandaily.com

ARTS

5

'Hamlet' takes the
stage at Power Center

By Sarah Peterson
Daily Arts Writer

Hiding who you are behind a
mask of a different personality is an
act anyone can relate to. For this
reason, William Shakespeare's
"Hamlet" has survived the passing
of time with its relevancy intact, and
is now being performed by UProd
this weekend.
This play tells the harrowing story
of the internal conflict of the pro-
tagonist, Hamlet, a Danish prince.
The play begins with Hamlet's dead
father appearing to
him as a ghost. The
ghost reveals that his
brother, Hamlet's HA
uncle, murdered him
to win the throne. Atthe Pom
Hamlet's struggle Today-Sat
comes from his uncer- Sun. at 21
tainty about whether UniversityF
C to believe what his
eyes and ears are
telling him. As Consulting Director
Mark Lamos states, "The highly
educated, skeptical Hamlet wonders
if, after all, the vengeful ghost was
only an illusion." If the ghost truly
was his deceased father and what
was said is true, then Hamlet will
take revenge, but how can he be sure
of what he saw? Killing an innocent
man is not something Hamlet wants
on his hands. While trying to find
the truth, Hamlet dons a mask of
insanity, for a crazy man can see no
truth. In the words of Director Philip
Kerr, "Hamlet is playing a role in
feigning madness."
The turning point of the story is
the arrival of an acting troupe that is
going to perform a play for the royal
family. In all of their splendor and
color, they serve as a counterpoint to
* the natural gloom that has settled on
Denmark. In his quest for resolution,
Hamlet uses the play to discover the

MI
w
t.a
p.n
Pr(

truth behind his father's death. "The
actors here are instruments of
change, embraced by Hamlet, who
seems to trust the power of the actor
to reveal the truth." Lamos said.
This production has a definite
Medieval European look to it, but
not one of any specific time period.
Prof. Kerr explained that the set was
created to remind the audience that
the play is old without setting it is a
specific year. The setting also lends
itself to the inclusion of the tradi-
tional swordplay of "Hamlet."
While traditional in setting, this
particular production
adds the live playing of
a cello to underscore
LET the action. It is used to
help lead the audience
er Center along, but it is also
at8p.m. used to emphasize
m. $-20 Hamlet's internal strug-
oductions gle and inner voice. In
the words of Kerr, "the
cello is the instrument
closest to the human voice.
Mark Lamos describes Hamlet as
being "about using illusion in order
to strip illusion and expose truth."
This is a timeless theme that people
will always relate to. This specific
production has been shortened, focus-
ing on the family dispute and leaving
out the political issues, making it
even more relevant to the modern day
audience. "It is accessible to anyone
in any stage of their life, from seven
to 70," Kerr said.
What will the New Year bring?
These uncertainties are embodied in
the character of the Hamlet. The
action, centered around and within
Hamlet, serves to remind us of the
human condition. When asked to
describe this specific production,
Kerr said that the play is a, "valid,
thought provoking, in depth produc-
tion of a classic and it is darn good
entertainment."

Courtesy of the Boston Pops

Santa says, "If this is your idea of Christmas, I gotta be here for New Years."

AFTER 40 YEARS, THE BOSTON POPS
RETURN TO ANN ARBOR

By Jim Schiff
Daily Arts Writer
Holiday concerts can be as predictable as apple
pie, but not when the Boston Pops Esplanade
Orchestra performs one. In its first visit to Ann
Arbor in 40 years, the ensemble will
defy convention with a program of
international Christmas tunes,
regional American favorites and a BoST(
few surprises here and there.
A ctually, Sunday's con cert is ESPL
chock-full of surprises, all of ORCF
which deviate from what we nor- At Cris
mally think of as a night at the
symphony. Crisler Arena, trans- Sun. at 6t
formed specifically for the occa- UniversityN
sion, will allow patrons to purchase
tickets at all angles from the stage
- even behind - with seats arranged in tables.
Keeping with game-time tradition, concession
stands will also be open..And if all this weren't,
enough of a change of scene, the concert will
also feature a special guest: Actor and Chelsea
native Jeff Daniels.
For the Boston Pops, in its 117th year, all of
this is standard fare. Accustomed to performing in
stadiums, rock concert venues and even the banks
of the Charles River, the ensemble has earned a
reputation for being adventurous. Its founder,

Henry Lee Higginson, envisioned the Boston
Pops as an alternative to strait-laced classical
music. His vision has carried over to the orches-
tra's prestigious conductors: The infamous Arthur
Fiedler, film score giant John Williams and now,
Keith Lockhart.

ON POPS
ANADE
HESTRA
sler Arena
p.m. $15-75
Musical Society

Taking over the post from
Williams in 1995, at age 35,
Lockhart stepped immediately
into the celebrity spotlight. He
finds that, after working in rela-
tive obscurity for 13 years, the
Boston Pops was a considerable
adjustment. "It was a big change,
it took some guts, when things
like the news of your engagement
is an Associated Press news item
- it gets a little freaky," Lockhart
said. "You don't go into classical

orchestra performs an ambitious program that
continues to push boundaries.
"When you do a Christmas concert, you have two
conflicting things to go through," Lockhart said.
"One is that the holidays are a touchstone for people
- it's a place to recognize the familiar, and therefore
people come to those concerts with the expectation that
they'll hear things they know and love."
"On the other hand, since we do these concerts
every year, they can't be cookie cutters of the year
before,"he added. "You have to balance that expecta-
tion - it's a combination of doing what we do at the
Pops in general, which is bridging the gap between
great classical music that was written for orchestra
with material that was arranged just for us."
The Boston Pops is pulling out all the stops this
year with its diverse program. While traditional
songs such as "O Holy Night" and "Joy to the
World" will be performed, lesser-known pieces
such as Hollenbeck's "Cajun Christmas" and
Hairston-Hollenbeck's "Mary's Little Boy Child"
will also be featured. Daniels will narrate "'Twas
the Night Before Christmas," and Randall
'Pittman, owner of Forest Health Services, will be
the guest conductor for "Sleigh Ride."
The orchestra will be also be accompanied by
soprano Kathleen Brett and the renowned Uni-
versity Singers from California State Universi-
ty, Fullerton, under the direction of John
Alexander.

'Man of La Mancha'
revamps 'Quixote'

music with the idea of being famous - it's some-
thing you grow into and it gets more natural, and
after eight years, it's part of who I am and what I
do."
Speaking of what Lockhart does, the"lisf just
keeps getting longer and longer. In addition to 50
regular-season concerts at home and national
broadcasts on the A&E channel, the orchestra
undertakes three tours a year. The holiday tour is
a relatively new concept that started with Lock-
hart. Stopping in seven cities in seven days, the

By Meredith Graupner
For the Daily

Imagine a tale of monsters and drag-
ons, gypsies and thieves and an honor-
able knight on a dangerous quest to save
his true love. Now add a crazy old man
and a mandolin and you have "Man of
La Mancha."
Based on the novel,
"Don Quixote," "Man of
La Mancha" combines the MAN
fantasy of a legendary MA
character and the reality At the P
of a struggling poet during Ne
one of the darkest periods D
in Spanish history. Dec. 5-22
The play opens in a The Perform
Spanish prison where a
collection of thieves and murderers
await their punishment. Enter Miguel de
Cervantes and his servant, Sancho. Their
presence raises some questions among
the prisoners, which leads to a mock
trial where Cervantes has to defend him-
self. It is through his defense that the
prisoners and the audience become
acquainted with the story of Don
Quixote.
The scenes of Don Quixote's quest
provide the comic relief for a play that is
set in a time where the Holy Office,
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whose primary concern was to win
Catholic converts frowned upon come-
dy. When Cervantes mentions his book,
he says, "I would have made the book
more amusing, had it not been for the
Holy Office."
Though the plot of "Man of La Man-
cha" may progress slowly during some
scenes, the highly talent-
ed actors make up for
any shortcomings.
OF LA Robert Grossman (Cer-
CHA vantes) plays his role
formance with style and grace.
york His talents, both as
musician and actor,
2.50-27.50 make this an exceptional
nce Network performance. The col-
lection of supporting

SCOREKEEPERS

a

, Io

A4SoLL,,

actors also serves to strengthen the
presentation of this play.
The director, Malcolm Tulip, has
carefully selected a wonderful group of
actors to present this timely story of a
quest for happiness even when life can
be disappointing. According to Tulip,
"This is an apt time for a story of a crazy
man whose madness lies in seeing good,
beauty and hope where other initially do
not." This play will remind theatergoers
to enjoy the beauty in life and to take
time to "dream the impossible dream."

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