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February 20, 2004 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-02-20

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Friday
February 20, 2004
arts.michigandaily.com
artseditor@michigandaily.com

ag11smaa

5

5

Journey' follows Kahn's other life

By Jason Roberts
Daily Arts Editor
MOVI E R EVI EW **
Louis Kahn died suddenly of a
heart attack in a men's room at Penn
Station, alone, broke and unidentified
in 1974. He left behind a wife and
daughter. The untold story, however,
is about the two mistresses he had
and the two illegitimate children he
rarely saw.
When he was 11 years old,
Nathaniel Kahn remembers reading

the obituary of the
little about. He
was surprised to
find that his name
wasn't listed as
one of the archi-
tect's survivors. It
is Nathaniel who
now, 30 years after
Kahn's death,

father he knew so
My
Architect:
A Son's
Journey
At Madstone
New Yorker

Courtesy of New Yorker

Yes, I am pensive.

brings to light the life beyond the
architect, one of the world's greatest
masters of the late 20th century, in
"My Architect: A Son's Journey."
Often thought of as rebelling
against the modernist ideals of his
time, such as the glass and steel
designs of Mies van der Rohe, Kahn
worked in a style that glorified mate-
rial for its tactile, spatial and timeless
qualities. His completed works -
though there weren't many - were
often compared, in quality and aes-
thetics, to the ancient ruins of Rome.
He played with heavy materials like
brick and stone while manipulating
light in an almost spiritual way.
Though Kahn's public life was
well known, his personal life
remained very isolated, even from
the people he loved. His two long-

term mistresses, including
Nathaniel's mother, lived within
miles of where Kahn and his wife
resided. Even fellow architects, such
as Philip Johnson and I. M. Pei -
both of whom Nathaniel interviewed
- were quite unaware of the life
Kahn lived outside of the office.
It would be very easy for Nathaniel
to be angry at his father for his seem-
ingly selfish acts, but "Architect"
crafts a far different picture. In inter-
views with those whose lives he
touched, including Nathaniel's own
mother, there is nothing but love and
respect, tinged with sorrow, for not
fully understanding the man they
thought they knew so well. A mean-
dering tale, "My Architect" follows
Nathaniel in his journeys across the
globe, meeting people that knew
Kahn in life and visiting the architec-
tural works that he left behind.

It's in these places where the film-
maker paints a truly cinematic mas-
terpiece. Cinematographer Robert
Richman captures Kahn's works
beautifully. Sometimes saying more
than the people with whom Nathaniel
speaks, these well crafted sequences
are not only artistic, but also add to
the underlying theme of emptiness.
Nathaniel often used an elegant jux-
taposition of long, steady shots and
old black and white photos of himself
and his father to paint this multilay-
ered tapestry.
In the end, the question remains:
Who is Nathaniel actually making this
documentary for? Not only is it a
beautiful and passionate tribute to one
of the world's most fascinating archi-
tects, it's a personal endeavor - a
chance for a son who barely knew his
father to reconcile with his childhood
and find his place in the present.

If I put my ear close enough to this wall, I can hear West Germany.

FAMILIAR GROUND
MCGEE'S TROUPE TAKES ITS ROCK ON THE ROAD

'Broadway a c
By Rachel Berry
Daily Arts Writer
FINE ARTs PREVIEW
The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra is welcoming
Spring Break with a tribute to Judy Dow Rumelhart as
part of its "Best of Broadway" series celebrating the
orchestra's 75th anniversary Sponsored by the Ahn
Arbor News and Mckinley real
estate, this program will include per-
formances by Doug Labrecque, the
first and best Phantom of the Opera,
Larry Henkel, Melody Racine,
Deanna Relyea, S-A-T-B Quartet,
members of University's Musical
Theater and a finale by Rumlhart
herself.
Maestro Arie Lipsky commends Lipsky
Rumelhart for her involvement in the
community saying, "Judy certainly plays a major role in
Ann Arbor, having been on the stage and behind the
scenes." He considers her a "community ambassador to
Broadway."
Rumelhart was educated at Denison University as well
as the University of Michigan, and was honored with the
School of Music's Distinguished Alumni Award. Judy has
gone on to hold lead roles in legendary musicals such as
"Gypsy," "South Pacific," "The Mikado" and "Hello

ommunity treat
Dolly." Her experience as associate producer of the Broad-
way hit "Swenny Todd" earned her a Drama Critic Award
as well as a Tony Award. Additionally, she has made time
in her busy schedule to be a devoted and committed volun-
teer for nonprofit boards and organizations.
The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra is known for
playing classical music. The performance on Saturday
will mark the only time this year that
the orchestra willplay show tunes of Best of
this nature. Lipsky promises quite a
show for the community. My goal as Broadway
a conductor is to be a musician who Saturday at 8 p.m.
puts the music first, and to make Tickets: $19-$36
sure what the composers wrote is Atthe Michigan
delivered to the audience." Theater
Lipsky, who has served as conduc-
tor for the last four years, received extensive training as
a cellist and as a flutist in his native Israel. He is also a
member of the New Arts Trio, in residence at the Chau-
tauqua Institute, where he serves as director of chamber
music. He has garnered high praise from some of the
world's best conductors, including Semyon Bychkov,
music director of L'Orchestre de Paris, and Yoel Levi,
former music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orches-
tra, both of whom have noted his excellent technique.
The performance this Saturday will highlight the softer
side of the Symphony Orchestra, promising a fun time
for all music lovers. In the words of Lipsky, "It will give
the community the opportunity to laugh."

By Jared Newman
Daily Arts Writer
CONCE RT REVIEW
When most bands hit the road, the primary goal is to
play concerts and, if possible, make a few promotional
stops at radio stations and other media outlets along the
way. This is not so for the Pat McGee Band, who are
hyping their upcoming album, Save
Me, by packing their schedule with
radio promos all day, then settling Pat McGee
down with a concert to top off the Band
evening. That's exactly what happened Wednesday, Feb. 181
on Wednesday evening when Virginia- At the Blind Pig
based pop rockers got off the tour bus
to play the Blind Pig. Their latest promotional strategy
allows them to make stops at such tiny venues.
"We want to go out and do this college set-up tour for
the record and reconnect." said Pat McGee, who sings
and plays guitar for the band. "There are a lot of markets
that I really wish we were able to do when the record
comes out, but if we played every college that we've
been used to playing; we'd never leave the mid-Atlantic."
The album, 3riginally slated for February, was pushed
back to April, iiih to the dismay of the group's devoted
fans.
McGee made it a point to apologize for the album's
delay at the show, but was not hesitant to show off the
new material. The second song of the night, "Set Me

Free," featured the kind of melody-driven bass line that
is often lacking in today's radio tunes. While the song
was enjoyable, the bobbing head ratio in the crowd was
low, despite hand gestures and other such efforts by
drummer Chris Williams. There's no doubt that the
crowd was waiting for some familiar material off of
which to feed. McGee knows that this kind of thing
needs to be addressed. "We have a setlist, but all of the
time we're like "You know what, this room needs to hear
this song right now."
It was the opening chords of the slow ballad "Haven't
Seen for a While" that finally drew the reaction that the
band was looking for. All around the room, mouths
could be seen echoing McGee's heartfelt lyrics. By now,
some of the bar-hoppers had cleared out, making room
for a more intimate session with the fans. The band loos-
ened up accordingly, taking a stab at Billy Idol's "Eyes
Without a Face" and occasionally passing shots of
Crown Royal to McGee.
There wasn't time for a set break, but McGee and gui-
tarist Brian Fechino gave their bandmates a rest as they
played a warm duet that got the crowd clapping in
rhythm. There was even a little bit of extended improvi-
sation that could have surprised the most devout Phish
fan.
Pat McGee and his sextet couldn't quite rock the pig
in the usual way, probably due to the boatload of unfa-
miliar material and the unsettling stress of exam week.
Still, their solid brand of pop rock was an enjoyable way
to let off steam before the last midterms.

Futurists present their pop at the Pig

'Celebrity Spelling Bee' lays it on Thicke

By Abby Stotz
For the Daily

will face off for spelling bragging
rights while raising money for charity.
As it turns out, celebrities aren't
especially competent spellers. The
first four to spell got their words

Did you ever wonder if Norm from
"Cheers" (George Wendt) can spell?
How about Mr. Seaver (Alan Thicke,
"Growing Pains")? What about the
guy on "Designing Women"
(Meshach Taylor)? To discover the
spelling skills of these three and 13
other pseudo-celebrities, FOX has
released "The Great American
Celebrity Spelling Bee," smack dab
in the middle of February sweeps.
"The Great American Spelling
Bee" is a three-part special, complete
with a "Weakest Link" style set and
hosted by John O'Hurley, a frequent
"Seinfeld" guest star. Four teams of
four C-list celebrities started out and
by the end of the first episode, one
team was eliminated. In the second
episode, another team will be cut. For
the third episode, it's every man for
himself as the teams are disbanded
and the eight individual celebrities

right, but then a
dry spell set in as
nobody got a
word correct for
at least a half-
hour. Nobody can
spell, not Mr. Jef-
ferson (Sherman
Hemsley, "The
Jeffersons"), Bud

The Great
American
Celebrity
Spelling Bee
Fridays at 8 p.m.
FOX

word, pause with glassy eyes, then
shout, "Simir! I need you!" Magi-
cally, Simir appears on the screen,
spews a one-liner and proceeds to
spell the word right. "Silly celebri-
ties," the little boy said at one point.
"They should have called on me
sooner."
Watching "The Great American
Spelling Bee," you can't help but
agree with Simir. Seeing marginally
famous people look terrified at the
prospect of spelling 'cappuccino' is
entertaining, and watching them
plead to an 11-year-old boy for
assistance just adds to the fun.
So thank you famous people for
being dumb, Simir for being a
smart-ass and FOX for adding yet
another show of good, clean, low-
brow fun to the reality genre.

By Emily Liu
For the Daily
CONCERT REVIEW
Lately, Toronto has been churning
out talented musical acts, such as
pop-rockers Broken Social Scene and
electronic noodler Manitoba. The
Russian Futurists are yet another up-
and-coming Toron-
to band. The group
features Matthew The Russian
Adam Hart, a 25- Futurists
year-old who com- Tuesday, Feb.17
poses heartfelt pop At the Blind Pig
songs in his bed-
room with his keyboards and drum
machines. Hart's musical style is rem-
iniscent of early Magnetic Fields,
with a voice more akin to Wayne
Coyne's of the Flaming Lips. The
Russian Futurists envelop their sound
with lush cave-like echoes, which are
present on 2003's critically acclaimed
Let's Get Ready to Crumble.
The crowd at the Pig was sparse,
due to the show's lack of publicity and
the fact that it was a Tuesday night.
Most of the patrons were supporters of
the opening act, local band OttO Vec-
tor, who need to rehearse more before
unleashing their mediocre sound on
the suffering public.
The Russian Futurists played a short
but pleasant set, performing songs

This bench is awfully uncomfortable.
from their two albums as well as a few
new ones. Clad in endearingly nerdy
polo shirts and nodding to the beat,
Hart and his three bandmates appeared
to enjoy themselves, despite the dead
atmosphere. Hart jokingly introduced
"Precious Metals" as a rap song,
though it actually juxtaposed bouncy
instrumentation with sadly reflective
lyrics. A syncopated bass keyboard
line made "Let's Get Ready to Crum-
ble" an infectious song that would have
been danceable if there had been more
people in the audience. The Russian

Futurists closed their set with "You and
the Wine," a catchy pop song with
mechanized handclapping.
It's unfortunate that few people were
present at this show, as The Russian
Futurists' well-crafted pop songs trans-
late nicely to the stage. Ann Arbor was
the last stop on the band's brief U.S.
tour, before it embarks on a tour of
Spain in May. After that, Hart hopes to
release his new album this summer.
With any luck, more people will be lis-
tening to The Russian Futurists'
appealingly earnest pop songs by then.

Bundy (David Faustino, "Married
With Children") or even Alice Coop-
er. And that's funny.
There was a saving grace for the
celebs though. Kept backstage is a
little boy named Simir, who won the
Scripps-Howard National Spelling
Bee and seems to be smarter than
all of the celebrities combined.
When a celebrity is stuck, they can
use Simir as a cheat sheet. For the
last 20 minutes of the show, nearly
every celebrity would listen to the

By Special Arrangement with Matthew Sprizzo... Ania Marchwinska,
Pianist

The Incomparable Polish Contralto

S
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:F'.N1

Fill
, ;;' q ilsip"ll

elections by:
tanislaw Moniuszko
3ioacchino Rossini
arol Szymanowski
Jaquin Turina
Antonin Dvorak

EWA PODLES

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