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October 05, 2003 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-10-05

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October 3,2003




By Jennie Adier
Daily Arts Writer
"You mean the sausage Package?"
asks Jack Black on the phone last week
in anticipation of his newest movie,
"School of Rock." Interestingly, Black
theorized that it's not about size, in
fact, the smaller it is, "the harder you
rock." Which would explain why he
rocks so hard in "Rock."
Directed by Richard Linklater
("Dazed and Confused") and written
by Mike White
("Check and School of
Buck"), "Rock" Rc k '
was created
specifically for Opening Today
Black's unusual
talents. He explained, "Mike wrote
this script for me. It's like he pulled up
in a Ferrari that was built for me and I
got in and I knew how to drive this
thing and I floored it and pushed the
nitro button that you didn't even know
about under the dash."
Maybe Black could've saved "Too
Fast, Too Furious" with a nitro-
induced performance, but for now, he
embodies the role of lazy but deter-
mined rocker Dewey Finn perfectly.
Finn, fired from his glam rock band,
finds a job impersonating his room-
mate (White), a substitute teacher, at
Horace Prep School. Initially in it for
the money, Dewey begins to realize
the talent in the kids and starts his own

can't drop any f-bombs."
Although Black describes himself
as a kid - just a "big fat one" grow-
ing up, he was nothing like the tal-
ented kids in "Rock." His parents
gave him free reign of his life and he
was nowhere close to being a musi-
cal prodigy - only a "professional
For "Rock," Black drew multiple
inspirations. While Dewey's taste in
music is mostly classic rock like Zep-
pelin, Black's favorites range from
Simon and Garfunkel to N.E.R.D.
Black himself is a musician in his
band Tenacious D (which Black
claims is far better than "Dogstar"
despite the fact that "Keanu Reeves
can dodge bullets"). The "D" is releas-
ing a DVD movie, written by Black,
which he assures will discuss any
unanswered questions.
"Rock" is not only about the music
but the comedy as well. White com-
pares Dewey to Willy Wonka while
Black considers his personal influ-
ences of Chris Farley, Jim Carrey,
Richard Pryor and old-school Gene
Wilder (which according to Black, nix
Willy Wonka).
Ever since he can remember, Black
has wanted to entertain. In "Rock" he
does just that through his music,
humor and let's be honest, a touch of
peewee (sized) class.
School of Rock - where do I

Lynch offers acoustic

By Niamh Slevin
Daily Arts Writer
Though furry rodents
and hermaphrodites
musical stylings, com
Lynch says he's reallya
guy at heart. WhetherI
his recent wedding deta
shrugging off talk of h
Lynch is, in every.

... With a twist
versial, he asserts his lyrics are
always portrayed in jest and sarcasm
and are merely meant to be funny.
"The only feedback I really care
about is when I'm on stage, you
, deadbeat dads know, whether people are laughing,"
dominate his Lynch notes.
edian Stephen Even though he's made several
a shy, sensitive guest appearances on Comedy Cen-
he's discussing tral, the humble Lynch says he still
ils or modestly can't watch his own work. "I'm far
is own success, too critical of my performance. I
don't like watching myself on TV or
hearing myself on a CD. I'll leave
Stephen that for other people to enjoy."
Lynch In his current tour, Lynch is intro-
Tonight at 7 p.m. ducing a slew of new songs to test out
At Clutch Cargos on the road. He hopes his upcoming
clear Channel show at Pontiac's Clutch Cargos will

Courtesy of Paramount
Now it's time for me to tell you about Young Nastyman ... nemesis of Wonderboy.

way, almost the
exact opposite of
his many musical
Lynch, a Michi-
gan native and
practically a music

"School of Rock."
With jobs from drummer to gui-
tarist, the kids in "Rock" are without a
doubt talented - Black goes as far to
call them prodigies: "Any kid who can
rock like these kids do at age 10 is a

musical prodigy." Black hopes to
someday make a children's show mod-
eled after his old favorite "Pee-wee's
Playhouse" (Black already has the
public indecency part down). The only
catch is that around the kids, "you

Go behind the scenes with University Productions

By Messa Runstrom
Daily Arts Writer

There is a claustrophobic room, in a
little known prop shop on Fletcher
Street, which houses thousands of shoes
worn by countless actors. A little further
down are ethereal
costumes, freshly Goodnight
died and drying.
Over in another Desdemona
room men are busy Oct.24 and 9-11at
sawing and paint- 8 p.m. and Oct. 5
mg Ne Yorksky- and 12 at 2 p.m.
mng New York sky- $8 Students
scapes. Workers $15Adults
are creatively mak- At the Trueblood
ing these things Theater
look "real." Just as
actors immerse themselves into charac-
ters that become true, the props cease to
be props and become real items.
University Productions is a multifac-
eted organization responsible for more
than most people realize. The organiza-
tion was developed in 1985 after the the-
ater and dance departments became
part of the School of Music. Now it
services the School of Music as well as
other production bodies that use the
space they control.
University Productions handles the
Trueblood Theater, the Mendelssohn
Theater, the Power Center and Hill

Auditorium. It must verify that all build-
ings are up to code, and in the case of
Hill Auditorium, must assess how the
renovation is proceeding. This is all
while preparing its own productions and
training students.
"There is a lot of value in people
teaching and not just being consumers,"
University Productions Director Jeffrey
Kuras said.
Students can participate directly in
over 45 events every year. Positions
include work study in various build
shops, ticket takers, student actors and
stage producers. The organization uti-
lizes qualified design students to work
alongside designers from University fac-
ulty. Kuras stresses that everyone has an
opportunity, "There is a progression and
that is how we do it. They can work up
and they can build."
The group is already excited for this
season's schedule, including "Goodnight
Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)" and
"Guys and Dolls," both in October, and
three pieces in the University's St.
Petersburg Festival.
Even with a full season, UProd would
love to expand the number of produc-
tions and increase the amount of roles
offered. Kuras said, "There are many
many talented students. It is very com-
petitive for them to get roles on stage."

veteran, has been strumming his guitar
since his college days. His sweet,
lulling voice and melodies could easi-
ly double as beautiful love ballads
with a few lyrical tweaks. However,
this facade only adds to the song's
hilarity as it delves into the darker;
creepier aspects of life. For example,
"Lullaby" begins as a gentle, soothing
good night treat to an anonymous little
one and progresses into a full-blown
explanation of the many raunchy rea-
sons why Mommy doesn't live with
Daddy anymore.
While Lynch wouldn't mind
exploring his musical capabilities
even more, he understands his fans
crave the comedic portion of his
shows. With a combination of
clever word play and physical
playacting, he appears to have
hit upon a fairly unusual gig. "I
wouldn't do it unless there were
both elements. I would never
get up on stage and just tell a
jokes," says Lynch, "and I
seem to have locked on to
something fun here."
Lynch isn't all laughs and games,
though. Some of his songs, including
the infamous "Kill a Kitten" have
brought him an unwanted notoriety.
Although some people may find his
subject matter offensive and contro-

Actresses must stay still during wardrobe preparations or risk a pin in the shoulder.

The organization plays an important
role in Ann Arbor by adding to the cul-
ture of the city and campus with produc-
tions, venues and new talent. Kuras said,
"The difference between us and Univer-
sity Music Society, for example, is that
UMS hires professional artists who are
on tour, and our job is to train students
to become professional artists." He also
hopes those students eventually become
the artists that UMS recruits.
- For more information on
University Productions go to
www uprod.music. umich.edu





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