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October 14, 2010 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-10-14

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 3B

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, October14, 2010 - 3B

Le Dog is le
best at le soup

O ne of Ann Arbor's best
kept secrets, Le Dog,
would be easy to miss if it
weren't painted bright red. Bro-
ken lightbulbs
hang from
their sockets
its curved
awning. Its
corners ate "
damaged from
years of quiet LILA
vigilance. KALICK
Great white
globe lights
adorn the red spires of its sup-
ports; ironic, considering it's
never been and never will be
open at night. It's not apparent
where the entrance is. Like Willy
Wonka's factory, it seems that

civilized line against the curb. Le
Dog's humble but delish hotdogs
and mouthwatering sophisticat-
ed soups are the reason you nobly
choose to overlook its shortcom-
ings (as in No Cell Phones, No
Seating, No Soda and No Credit
In terms of its food, Le Dog
might as well be called Le Soup.
The hotdogs are good but not
worth writing home about. Ray's
Red Hots are better, but it takes
20 minutes to get one and that
place has lost all its swagger
since it switched owners and
stopped being the beloved Red
Hot Lovers of yore. But despite
Le Dog's median score on the
hotdog scale, the polish sausage
is excellent - a winner if you're
not into just a run-of-the-mill

The Witch of Stephen Sondheim's 'Into the Woods' departs from Broadway norms by busting out a rap.
Enering Sondheim's 'Woods'

ever co
Le D
erty (on
tions -
South A
Arbor i
sure it
sible th
Dog a
it open
that. L
tery by.
short h
a.m. to
use or
soda. E
Van Dy
tion for
you ma
that yo
only tw
five day
get a lit
Dog's a

ever goes in, and nobody dog.
imes out. Where the bark is worth its
og's stand on East Lib- bite at Le Dog, though, is the
ne of its two elusive loca- soup selection. The available
-the other being on 306 soups rotate daily. Try the cheesy
Main Street) is an Ann chicken tortilla, indubitably the
nstitution. Perhaps you bomb. Other favorites include
it it was closed or aban- broccoli cheese, peanut udon or
Maybe you were pretty the Moroccan stew, depending
was a drug front. It's pos- on the day. Every morning Mon-
at in all your time in Ann day through Friday, the staff-- a
you could've passed by Le two-man show made up of Van
million times and not seen Dyck-Dobos and one other dude
. Well, there's a reason for - post the day's soups. Hand-
e Dog maintains its mys- made signs highlight crowd-
keeping some seriously pleasers and let newcomers know
ours (weekdays from 11:30 what's up.
2 p.m.). Maybe its most popular
soup - so much so that it is
the only mainstay on Le Dog's
menu - is the lobster bisque.
he dogs are It's only available on Thursday
c the and Friday, so make sure you
cent, bUt t e check your planner. Made with
cream and sherry, there are
ster bisque is actually real substantial pieces
to die for. of lobster in the lobster bisque,
which is sadly a novel concept
these days. Six bucks will get
you 16oz.
't be dismayed by signs Beginning at 11:30 a.m. Mon-
ig against rude cell phone day through Friday, Le Dog's
insistence that there is window miraculously opens. A
oke, NO Pepsi, NO pop or line forms. People are walking
ver!!" The owner, Jules away with small styrofoam boxes
Eck-Dobos, has a reputa- and brown paper bags with the
r being somewhat of a cur- tops rolled over. At 2 p.m., the
on. But who cares? When window closes. Rain or shine,
ike a product so popular winter or summer. It's cash only
u can get by selling it for - so bring some dollars in your
ro-and-a-half hours a day, pocket.
ys a week, its hard not to Now you know. There's no
ttle diva. excuse not to go at least once in
Liberty provides Le all your years at Michigan, or
imbiance. There seems to those thereafter.

be an unwritten rule among its
patrons: Up-at-bat and on-deck
persons ordering stand under
the awning; all the rest form a
From Page 2B
to network television. In his
spare time, he also raps under the
name Childish Gambino and does
sketch videos with DERRICK
Comedy. But while Glover himself
has gathered an impressive fol-
lowing, the same can't yet be said
for "Community."
"It'd be nice to have more peo-
ple watch the show, just because
I feel like they'd enjoy it," Glover
Still, Glover is more than
pleased with the enthusiasm of
the fan base, comparing "Commu-
nity" to a large, enjoyable dessert.
"If you make a great cake ... a
special cake with crust and sprin-
From Page 2B
videos and movies like "Step Up"
- because dance is still recog-
nized, first and foremost, as an art.
I'm guessing it will be a long time
before dance loses its ambiguity
and is officially considered sport in
addition to art.

School of MT&D
takes on challenging
fairytale musical
Assistant Arts Editor
When the Department of Musi-
cal Theatre begins its run of "Into
the Woods" tonight, it will mark
the first time in five years that the
School of Music, Theatre & Dance
has taken on the work of famed
composer and lyricist Stephen
Sondheim - a peculiar fact given
Sondheim's enormous influence
on the scene. Numbering into the
teens, Sondheim's Broadway shows
run the gamut from the creepy
and cannibalistic "Sweeney Todd"
to the pun-filled Roman farce "A
Funny Thing Happened on the
Way to the Forum." He's one of
the darkest and most unconven-
tional personalities along the Great
White Way, and "Into the Woods"
is certainly out there.
For "Into the Woods" Director
Mark Madama, an associate pro-
fessor of music, this production
marks only his third staging of a
Sondheim show in more than 10
years directing musical theater at
the University.
"Sondheim musicals, except for
'Into The Woods,' are just not that
accessible," he explained in an
interview with the Daily.
But "Into the Woods," which ties
together some quite mature themes
a fairytale motif, manages to bridge
age gaps for a wider appeal. The
show premiered on Broadway in
1987 and soon became a favorite of
community theater companies and
youth drama programs.
"If you doit in a grammar school
or a high school, it just means that
the kids are just watching these
fairytales," he said. "If you do it
with a college-aged group in their
twenties, you're watching people
making decisions that are going to
affect their lives. And then if you
do it on a more adult level, you're
watching people who are living the
ramifications of the choices they
made when they were in college or
when they were in their early twen-
The plot of "Into the Woods" fol-
lows Cinderella, Little Red Riding
Hood, Rapunzel, and Jack of "Jack
and the Beanstalk" as they all tryto
make their wishes come true while
stumbling through a physical and
metaphorical forest. The charac-
ters' familiar storylines all cross
paths, but ultimately they're tied
minutes. (It may not sound long,
but trust me, it is.) Of course, this
intense athleticism is showcased
in costumes decorated with rhine-
stones, lace and velvet, specially
designed to show off muscular
legs and toned abs. Being a girly-
girl, that is one of the things I love
most about being a dancer: There's
no other time I'd get to sweat and
work out in full makeup and a
beautiful costume.

together by Sondheim's original
tale of a baker and his wife who, in
order to have a child, must reverse
a curse of infertility.
"I think that my favorite char-
acter is probably the baker's wife,
because she holds everything
together, and she's probably the
most human and has the most
human wants and flaws," Madama
said. "They all do, but Baker's Wife
is the most easily recognizable,
because she's not a character from
a story, from a fairytale - although
she seems like she would be."
"She deals with the problems
she's having with her marriage,
looking for more adventure, and
then the ramifications of finding
that adventure," he continued.
It's these problems that twist the
show from fantasy into a story of
true-to-life people stuck in a fan-
tasy world.
"When you get really familiar
with the script, you realize that it's
not just about the fairytales ... it is
about how sometimes wishes don't
come true, and life doesn't turn out
like you hope it does," said Music,
Theatre & Dance junior Sam Lips.
"I think it's a really profound mes-
sage that a lot of people can relate
and connect with."
Lips plays Rapunzel's Prince,
the younger of two royal brothers
whose spoiled-rotten lifestyle is
challenged when he's faced with a
girl he can't simply own.
"He can't get (Rapunzel) down
to be his wife, so it becomes that
one thing you can't have that you
want more than anything," Lips
said. "And I think because you
can't have it, you want it that much
"Into the Woods" also delves
into Rapunzel's storyline from
another, less explored perspective:
that of the witch who has impris-
oned her in the tower. The Witch
of "Into the Woods" is a complex
woman in many ways bound up
by her overprotective feelings and
love for Rapunzel.
"(To cast) the Witch, you try
to find somebody who is going to
allow themselves to be free and
allow themselves to find something
they love more than anything in the
world, which would be Rapunzel,"
Madama said, "even if that means
their dog, even if it means their par-
ents, even if it means anything, just
trying to find something they can
relate to."
At the end of July, all musical
theater students who wished to par-
ticipate in "Into the Woods" were
sent a casting breakdown and list of
requirements for auditions, which

included singing a song in the style
of a character from the show.
"If you're doing Sondheim,
Broadway style is the best - except
for the Witch, who can come in with
a rap song," Madama explained.
One of the Witch's early musical
numbers is a spoken-word piece
about - what else? - beans.
Rachel Bahler, the Music, The-
atre & Dance senior who won the
part, had the advantage of already
being familiar with her rap.
"I saw this show in community
theater when I was eight, and I
was obsessed with the Witch bean
rap, so ... I hearkened it back to my
memory," Bahler said. "And once
you've learned it, it really just rolls
off your tongue."
Though she was ready for
the rapping, Bahler found other
aspects of the score difficult - a
charge often levied at Sondheim.
"(Singing Sondheim) takes a lot
of work, and a lot of concentration,
because everything needs to be
very precise in order to get those
words out, and the tempos change
- it can be very tricky," Madama
"Into the Woods" has its fair
share of timing-dependent duets
and sudden musical changes.
Bahler pointed specifically to the
quick emotional turns in her songs
as being tough to master.
"In 'Stay With Me,' I start out
furious with Rapunzel and I have

to demonstrate that feeling," she
said. "Then I have this huge swell of
motherly tendency toward Rapun-
zel even though I was mad at her.
So you have to be really attuned
to those emotional changes. But
(Sondheim) is brilliant; once you
get it, then you're set."
Before the musical theater
department's production, Bahler
and Lips had never performed in
"Into the Woods," though both
were already fans. Madama is more
familiar with the show, having
directed several regional theater
productions in the'90s.
"I'm looking at it from that other
perspective of being an adult, as
opposed to when I was just starting
to direct shows, and I was more in
the mindset of somebody who's set-
ting out on a new life," he said.
Madama doesn't try to impose
his own views on his cast - a
16-person ensemble composed
entirely of musical theater majors.
Instead, he stresses the importance
of each actor relatingto the charac-
ters and the show from his or her
own standpoint.
"Really, what they need 'to all
do is become children, and play as
their age," he said.
And in portraying their charac-
ters from a college student's per-
spective, the cast members open up
means through which all audience
members can connect to this dark
and twisted fairytale.

Kalick is doing Ann Arbor Le
Dog style. If you want to join,
e-mail her at Ikalick@umich.edu.
kles and it's delicious, and only
two people eat it and they love it
- that's enough for me," he said.
The theme of "Community"
is one that anyone can relate to
- like a long airplane trip or an
hour in the doctor's office wait-
ing room, the show puts a bunch
of people in one room who might
never talk otherwise.
"The great thing about commu-
nity college and especially, spe-
cifically this group, is that none of
them were supposed to be there,"
Glover said.
The same could be said about
outer space in tonight's episode
- certainly, none of the charac-
ters are supposed to be there, but
the clever jokes, petty fights and
life lessons they'll take from each
other will make it worth their
Fueling the movement, national
college dance team competitions
televised on ESPN show the grow-
ing interest in dance as a college
sport. Watch some of the videos
on YouTube from last year's Uni-
versal Dance Association college
nationals and then tell me dance
isn't athletic. I attended for the
first time last year and saw groups
of girls furiously turn, jump, crawl,
leap and thrash for a solid two

This is the first time in five years the School of MT&D has done Sondheim.

E-mail jamblock@michigandaily.com
to nominate your professor.

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