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December 11, 2002 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-12-11

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December 11, 2002




Emerson Quartet to
perform at Rackham

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By Lynn Hasselbarth
Daily Arts Writer
Imagine the vibrating energy and
sheer power of a full piece philhar-
monic orchestra. Combine this with
the unique musical interpretation and
heralding voice of a soloist and you
have found the heart of the Emerson
String Quartet. Despite the distinct
musical personalities of its four mem-
bers, this ensemble is remarkably
cohesive, united in full commitment to
the art and joy of performance. The
Emersons return to Ann Arbor this Fri-
day for a performance at Rackham
Auditorium where they will perform a
selection of classical music's most riv-
etmng masterpieces.
Friday night's program
will consist of works
from famous composers
Bedrich Smetana, Franz EMERSOI
Schubert and Dmitri QUA
Shostakovich. With each
piece having been creat- At Ra
ed in a different historical Audit
context, audience mem- Friday a
bers will travel in time $20,
through 180 years of .
classical music. The per- Unversity M
formance will open with
Smetana's String Quartet in e minor,
also known as "From My Life." Written
in 1876, the quartet is an autobiographi-
cal account of the composer's descent
into deafness. In its melodic, yet
intensely dark musical phrases, the
piece chronicles Smetana's bouts of
silence and loneliness as his hearing
slipped away. In the final movement,
Vivace, the violin strikes a shrill, sus-
tained E natural, representing the inter-
nal ringing that precedes complete loss
of hearing.
Following Smetana's piece will be
Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 8 in c
minor, the center point in a series of 15
quartets composed by the Russian
musician. As a public artist in the Sovi-
et Union during Stalin's great terror,
Shostakovich's career evolved with the
political climate. This particular piece,
composed in 1960, displays the tensions
of Russia's unstable past. The final
piece of the evening will transport the
audience back to 1824 with Schubert's
String Quartet No. 14 in d minor titled
"Death and the Maiden." With this


piece, Schubert expands on a melody
from a song written seven years earlier.
The recurring theme of triplets running
through musical scales brings continu-
ity to this diverse and highly emotional
piece of music.
Interpretations of these great works
are heightened to a new level when per-
formed by the Emerson String Quartet.
The distinguishing aspect of this ensem-
ble lies in its ability to maintain the
individual voice of each of its musicians
while maintaining and unity throughout.
Typically, a single lead violinist domi-
nates string quartets. However, this
approach narrows the potential of other
members and lowers the prestige of the
entire group. The Emersons, on the
other hand, alternate Eugene Drucker
and Philip Setzer as first
violinist in order to share
the role of leader and fol-
STRING lower. Unlike other quar-
ITET tets, the Emerson String
Quartet pays equal atten-
kham tion to the inner workings
nrium of the two remaining
8 .m. instruments. A third vio-
$40 lin is played by Lawrence
Dutton, providing a per-
sical Societ cussive edge to the
group. To fully complete
Emerson's multi-layered sound is cellist
David Finckel. He provides a constant
vibrating rhythm as well as neat and
articulated musical lines. Emerson sees
the voice of each instrument as a criti-
cal component as well as the personal
sense of artistry of each musician.
"Their individual personalities are cur-
rent," said publicist Austin Wrubel.
Musical talents and suggestions are
"combined for the good of the music."
With six Grammy Awards and over-
whelming international acclaim, the
Emerson String Quartet has made its
permanent mark in the world of classi-
cal and contemporary music. Named
after the beloved American author,
Ralph Waldo Emerson the ensemble is
based in New York City and is a regular
guest of Carnagie Hall. With a 120 per-
formances a year in venues from Vien-
na to Paris, Philadelphia to San
Francisco, Emerson has inspired audi-
ences across the world. What keeps
them grounded is a collective yearning
to share their art and an "incredible zest
to create music."

' Rob Schneider
is ... "The
< v .stapler.
Courtesy of Touchstone

By Jenny Jeltes
Daily Arts Writer

From running around with animal instincts to
playing a male gigolo, Rob Schneider has devel-
oped an interesting array of characters in the film
industry, not to mention in his successful stint on
"Saturday Night Live." In his upcoming film, "The
Hot Chick," directed by Tom Brady, the star come-
dian entertains audiences once again by playing a
popular high school girl, Jessica, who gets trapped
in a man's body. "The Hot Chick" will be the third
screenplay in which Schneider had a significant
part in the script writing. He also wrote "The Ani-
mal" and "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo." In a
recent interview with Schneider, Brady and
Schneider's co-star, Anna Faris, The Michigan
Daily got the inside scoop on what it was like to
create "The Hot Chick."
When asked how in the world the idea for this
movie came about, Schneider explains, "Tom used
to see me making fun of my own girlfriend, and he
thought that would be a funny movie. We took the
form and inverted it and made it a weird love
story." Schneider also mentioned how he had just
gotten married during the production, and this new
joy carried over into his acting, especially during
the special moments between characters Jessica
and her best friend, April. "This was a special one.
I was falling in love. All of those scenes were really
sweet. It was fun to play."

Anna Faris ("Scary Movie") plays April, who is
also a member of the "in" group, one in which
each member is, of course, an attractive, popular
cheerleader. When asked how Faris identified with
the role, she explains how it embodied experiences
that she never had. "This was a high school I did-
n't have in my high school reality, I was pretty
angry. I was president of the drama club for three
years. I turned 16 and looked like I was 11. I
looked so young."
Faris expresses her enthusiasm about working
with Schneider, "I'm lucky to work with such a
great comedian and such great people. I was really
excited to be a part of the project." The young
actress had just finished doing a series of training
videos, which she described as just plain "awful."
She is far more excited about her next job, "Lost in
Translation," a comedy starring Bill Murray. Faris
plays a movie star who is doing press in Tokyo for
her recent film.
Of the many hilarious scenes in "The Hot
Chick," Faris mentions the "pillow fight" scene,
where Jessica and all her friends start playfully
knocking each other around, as her favorite. Most
of them were wearing only shirts and panties,
including Jessica, with "her" hairy chest and pits.
When asked how Rob liked being seen so often
wearing only silky ladies underwear, he notes how
he had spent hours on the stairmaster for the part,
in order to tone his rear end.
Schneider kept female viewers in mind while

playing the role. While sipping his organic tea,
Schneider remarks, "I wanted to be respectful to
women. I didn't want to be mocking them; that's
one thing I didn't want to do because then I'd think
it would defeat the purpose of what you are trying
to do." He also mentions the benefits and chal-
lenges of playing such a role. On a more serious
note, he discovered what it was like to be more
emotionally available, and at times "more vulnera-
ble." To Schneider, this character allowed him to
explore such areas.
Brady is well aware of Schneider's risk-taking
abilities. He explains how "He's willing to do any
thing ... It's not like he panders for a laugh. He's
willing to go to the most vulnerable places. He tries
things that no one else will, and as a writer and a
director, that's more than you can ever hope for."
Brady and Schneider met on the television series
"Men Behaving Badly," which had a successful,
though short-lived run. Brady's first significant
writing job was on "The Critic," which began in
1994 and ran for two seasons. He was also a pro-
ducer of the show. Brady had also written a few
episodes for "The Simpsons" and "Home Improve-
ment" before moving on to the more recent films
that he co-wrote with Schneider.
The relationship between Brady and Schneider
has been successful. Brady remarks how, "Our sen-
sibilities are different ... and I think that works."
When Schneider asked to describe himself, he
had quite an amusing response: "Not very tall."

Danes' 'My So-Called Life' shines on empty DVD

By Katie Marie Gates
Daily Arts Writer
Nearly a decade ago, ABC took a
chance on a new drama about the life
of 15-year-old Angela Chase, a
young girl overwhelmed with
teenage angst as she searches for her
identity. Unfortunately, the series
only lasted 19 episodes. But during
its brief run, "My So-Called Life"
supplied one of the best teenage dra-
mas of our lifetime.
Now, eight years later, BMG pres-
ents the entire series on five DVDs
complete with specific scene selection
for each episode. The package is a
reminder that many great shows are
often lost because of bad ratings.
Set in suburban Philadelphia, the

pilot introduces us to the Chase fami-
ly: Graham (Tom Irwin, "My Life
and Times"), Patty (Bess Armstrong,
"That was Then"), Danielle (Lisa

Wilhoit, "Flying
Virus") and of course,
Angela (Claire Danes,
"Romeo and Juliet").
They perfectly depict
the typical suburban
American family com-
plete with sibling spats
and overprotective par-
Annoyed by her
mother and distanced
from her father by
puberty, Angela's lone-
ly and confused state

Show: ****
Features: No S
20th Centu
leads her to

"Beverly Hills, 90210") and Rickie
Vasquez (Wilson Cruz, "Party of
Five"). This interesting pair offers a
fun alternative to her boring "so-
called life" but not with-
out consequence.
Rayanne suffers from
;ALLED alcoholism while Rickie
E COM- struggles with his sexual-
ERIES ity throughout the series.
D The two show Angela the
teenage world of parties
***9 and mayhem. Many of
their excursions seem
unrealistic especially
tars considering these stu-
ary Fox dents aren't even old
enough to drive.
Throughout the series, Angela's
voice echoes over her actions revealing
her innermost thoughts and dreams
and eloquently describing each
moment of her life, giving it meaning
and significance. Many of Angela's
thoughts revolve around Jordan Cata-
lano (Jared Leto, "Fight Club"), a very
good looking boy at school who, in his
mysteriousness, intrigues her to the
point of infatuation.
One of the 19 episodes is voiced
over by another character, Brian
Krakow (Devon Gummersall, "Felici-
ty") the boy-next-door, who is in love
with Angela. His parents are psychia-

trists and he longs for the "normal"
family life of his neighbor. Brian and
Angela were friends as kids but grew
apart and are now only linked by
Brian's obsession, which leads him to
the Chase residence frequently with
lame excuses to see her. His unrequit-
ed affections are sad as she oblivious-
ly focuses on Jordan.
Though the menu on this DVD is
lacking artistically with bizarre color
choices and fades, the scene selec-
tion is an excellent feature usually
unseen with television programs.
There are no special features, but
this is understandable considering
the history of the series. Despite fan
efforts to save the show in the winter
of 1995, it ended abruptly yet appro-
priately for this thought provoking
drama. Unlike many teenage series
of today, fast approaching soap-
opera like proportions with overly
repeated storylines, the cancellation
of "My So-Called Life" allowed for
it to be viewed as something inspir-
ing instead of overdone. The final
scene of the series leaves the audi-
ence wondering about the outcome
of the characters and about their own
lives. No matter how many episodes
actually aired, in this aspect, the
show achieved great success making
this DVD a worthwhile purchase.


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