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November 12, 2004 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-11-12

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 12, 2004 - 9

Mitch Hedberg brings one-liners to A2
By Punit Mattoo
Daily Arts Writer

"It's very dangerous to wave to people you don't
know, because what if they don't have hands?
They'll think you're cocky."
So goes one of the many jokes written by one of
the best names in comedy, Mitch Hedberg. Virtual-
ly unknown to the general public, Hedberg's legend
has spread through websites, away messages and
e-mails filled with his various one-liners, which
focus on the mundane things
in life. Now Hedberg brings
his unique brand of comedy to Mitch
campus tonight. Hedberg
The St. Paul, Minn, native Tomorrow at 8 p.m.
first started doing comedy sold out
as just another way to make
money - one job in a long list At the Michigan Theater
of meaningless jobs. "I had
been living in my family's home for four years and
I didn't have a lot going for me, as far as a career
goes," Hedberg explained in his trademark Cajun
drawl. "I was working and stuff, but I didn't have
any long-term things going. I always had a pretty
good sense of humor and my friend had an open
mic so I went down and thought it was pretty cool.
It was something I liked and could control and I
only had to believe in myself to do. So I said, 'Fuck
it, I'm gonna do it.' "
For a long time, his unique delivery and ston-
er comedy left many people unimpressed. But, a
performance in 1996 at the prestigious "Just For
Laughs Comedy Festival" in Montreal broke him
into stand-up's elite. Hedberg soon had studio exec-
utives throwing offers at him, including a $500,000
deal to develop a show with Fox. "I didn't get any-
thing on the air so I got money. Well, money and
a bruised ego. But the money was big enough to
cure the bruised ego," said Hedberg. The money
was used to produce "Los Enchiladas," a film he
wrote about a Mexican chain restaurant in Middle
America.
Although his film garnered some support, Hed-
berg is more recognized for his two comedy CDs.
Uncomfortable interaction with the audience cou-
pled with an endless stream of hilarious, thought-
provoking jokes make Hedberg's live sets unique
and his CDs incredibly popular.
Hedberg explained that he developed the style
out of necessity. "The jokes I was doing early on
were rambling sentences on a subject. I had no idea
how to tell jokes for a long time. The truth is, I've
also never been a very good storyteller. Anytime I
try to tell a story it always fizzles out." As a result,
Hedberg began writing short, clever observations
on the everyday things that surrounded him. "I sit
down and day-dream. Real simple shit. I'll be like,
'Hey that's a funny thing about train people,' and
then I'll write down 'train people' on a piece of
paper and hope I remember it the next day."
Hedberg is now taking his new jokes out on tour
with fellow comedian Stephen Lynch. They'll be

Courtesy of UProd
Pelyl Wang (Hansel) and Susan Ruggiero-Mezzadri find giant gumdrops.
'Hansel and Gretel'
opens at Power Center

By Sarah Peterson
Daily Fine Arts Editor
With a name like Engelbert Hum-
perdinck, any work that comes from
your hand is going to be creative
genius. The renowned singer's best-
known work, the opera "Hansel and
Gretel" closely follows the story of
the Grimm Brothers' famous fairy
tale, is being performed this week-
end on the Power Center stage. The
opera is a "very
straight-forward H
story-book pre- Hansel and
sentation," stated Gretel
the director of Today and
the opera, Josh tomorrow at
Major. 8p.m. and
The familiar Sunday at 2 p.m.
story of "Hansel Tickets: $15-$20,
and Gretel" tells $8 for students
the tale of two At the Power Center
children who get
lost in the woods and the adventure
they have. During their wanderings,
they happen upon a cottage made
of sweets. Much to the misfortune
of Hansel and Gretel, however, this
cottage belongs to a witch who has a
peculiar taste for children. She cap-
tures them and tries to fatten them
up in order to bake them into gin-
gerbread. In the end, the children
manage to outsmart the witch and
escape.
The opera draws a lot of its magi-
cal qualities from a fantastic score
and rich music, but the costumes and
scenery also add to its whimsical
feel. These are done in a style that

bring the story to life, making the
audience feel like it has been drawn
into the fairy tale.
Adding to the magic and humor
of the opera is the extra depth this
production includes in the character
of the witch. Instead of simply being
dead set on eating the children, this
production gives her vanity as anoth-
er vice.
The cast members of this produc-
tion are all students from the Univer-
sity, but instead of casting people to
fit parts, the auditions for this show
determined what opera would ;be
performed. "The students auditioned
last April," Major explained. "That
allowed us to hear the students and
then pick a show from the repertoire
of the students. They then spent the
summer learning their parts."
In getting the play ready for open-
ing night, Major explained that the
challenges were the same as are
always faced when doing any type
of production. The one exception,
however, was trying to work with
the 24 elementary school children in
the cast. "Trying to get 24 children,
ages 8 to 10, to do exactly what you
want them to, that's an obstacle,"
stated Major.
This opera is different in that it
is sung in English, making it a little
more accessible than standard operas
for the audience. As Major was quick
to point out though, any opera, when
done well, will be enjoyable an a
success. This production is no excep-
tion. Major said seeing this opera
will be "a great musical experience,
where you get to see fabulous young
singers and a great story."

Courtesy ofCear Channe,

"When an escalator breaks down; it's stairs. Alright."

stopping in Ann Arbor tonight, which excites Hed-
berg because, "College crowds are fucking amaz-
ing." As for his plans after the tour, Hedberg wants
to expand the number of outlets for his comedy. "I
might have a Comedy Central special coming out.
And I'm in a movie, "Lords of Dogtown." I play a
skateboarder who turns on skateboard manufactur-
ers to urethane wheels. I've got a scene with Heath

Ledger. I just bought an RV and I wanna tour that as
much as possible, and then I'm gonna adopt an Indo-
nesian kid in February." Upon further questioning,
he admitted that there won't actually be an Indo-
nesian addition to his family, but the RV tour is a
go and should provide Hedberg with enough future
material to keep filling the profiles and e-mail sig-
natures of college students throughout the country.

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