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February 04, 2011 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2011-02-04

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Friday, February 4, 2011 - 5

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

A 'Folly' good time

Congress gets hoppin'

Ross MBA students
get wild for the
B-School Follies
DailyArts Writer
"On a frosty, blustery day on
the south end of central cam-
pus ... a murder occurs," intoned
Business graduate student Matt
the ideal S AWO7
start to a Funny in
preview Fol
about his
show. Tonight and
Harms is tomorrow at $ p.m.
one of the
zany writ- Michigan Theater
ers for the Tickets from$20
School Follies. And if his antics
are any indication, the show is
going to be a hoot. However,
the comedy show is currently
on Quadruple Secret Lockdown
- Follies shorthand for, if you
want to find out what the show is
all about, you're going to have to
see it yourself. .
"Follies" refers to a once-a-
year comedy show written, pro-
duced and performed by the very
Ross MBA candidates who in a
few short years will be dictating
our economy. Until then, they're
happy just to make audiences
laugh. This year's comedy show,
titled "It's Always Funny in Fol-
lydelphia," will be performed
tonight and tomorrow at the
Michigan Theater and will fea-
ture live skits, singing and danc-
ing, mixed in with some video
clips. Since the humor is Ross-
oriented, it could be said that the
show is one big inside joke.
"The skits make fun of profes-
sors who have certain quirks,
and just the MBA style of life,
how we all still act like under-
graduates," said assistant direc-
tor and Business graduate
studen "Kiistin Girouard.-"We
make fun of how the guys love
Sundergrads, we just make fun of
the daily things in life that we
talk about when we're hanging
out in the Winter Garden."
Although the jokes may be
geared toward Ross students,
the writers don't want to dis-
courage undergraduates or other
members of the campus commu-
nity from coming to the show. In
fact, the writing staff has a per-
sonal request: that undergradu-
ates attend.
Harms and Business graduate
student Reid Tatoris, the head
writer, went on to explain how
luring unsuspecting undergradu-
ate girls to the show would bene-

ManagingArts Editor
There's no modern musical
genre with the same socially
divisive power as hip hop. Par-
ents bemoan
Lil' Wayne 7th Annual
and Chris
Brown for an Midwest Hip
inappropri- Hop Congress
ate message Sunmit
or behavior
and teenagers Tonight and
rebel in turn tomorrow
and buy their
albums. Col- The Michigan
lege-aged par- Union and League
tiers bounce Free
to the Black
Eyed Peas as their hipster coun-
terparts smirk. But organizers
of the 7th Annual Midwest Hip
Hop Congress Summit, which
will take place this weekend at
the Michigan Union and League,
seek to counteract the negative
and contradictory associations
so common to hip-hop music and
"The Hip Hop Summit is
designed to promote a diverse,
inclusive space on campus," said
Amer Ahmed, associate director
of the Office of Multi-Ethnic Stu-
dent Affairs (MESA) in an inter-
view with the Daily. "We know
that there's all sorts of problemat-
ic representations and distortions
of hip-hop culture in our media.
So how do we use people's inter-
ests in hip hop as a way to channel
them into spaces ... more instruc-
tive and more educational?"
The solution found by the
summit organizers is to provide
seminars and concerts by artists
who focus on the positive aspects
of hip hop, using the medium as
a vehicle for social justice and

activism. Headlining this year's
summit is Freeway, a Philadel-
phia-based rapper who left the
drug-dealing world for a career
with Jay-Z's Roc-a-Fella label in
the early'00s.
"(Freeway is) a well known
artist, and we feel like he's a
name that attracts a lot of people
without any significant negative
stereotypes associated," Ahmed
said. "At the same time, we real-
ly do try to focus on a lot of the
other artists, beyond just the
Other artists who will per-
form this weekend include the
ReMINDers - a husband-and-
wife hip-hop and soul duo -
Detroit rapper Invincible and
Magestik Legend - a local artist
who has played alongside rap leg-
ends from De La Soul to Ludacris.
The seminars held during the
summit are attended by the art-
ists in addition to community
activists and any member of the
public who's interested. Ahmed
said it's not just students who
"It's mixed ... I would say more
than half the attendees are stu-
dents from the University, but we
also have young people," Ahmed
One of Ahmed's goals in orga-
nizing this year's summit - a
goal that's shared by collaborat-
ing youth groups like the Neutral
Zone and the GEAR UP program
- is to involve high school stu-
dents, giving them a constructive
outlet for their musical interests
and the simple opportunity to
engage with their college peers.
"It's good for them to be
around college students, and it's
good for college students to be
around high school students,
because a lot of times college stu-

dents ... get disconnected from
that reality," Ahmed said. "They
don't necessarily realize how
great of mentors they can be just
by being college students on a col-
lege campus."
The summit's seminars, which
include workshops on each of the
four pillars of hip hop - DJ-ing,
MC-ing, graffiti and breakdance
- delve into a culture whose pop-
ular perception is often reduced
to drug references and violent
undertones. Ahmed emphasized
that hip-hop expression is more
vibrant than most realize - par-
ticularly in Ann Arbor.
about hip hop.
"(Our perception of hip hop
is) probably more diverse than it
is in other places because of the
diversity of our community and
the different kinds of experienc-
es and backgrounds people come
from," Ahmed said. "There's a
student organization called Hip
Hop Academy that teaches the
different elements of hip hop; a
lot of those students are Korean-
American ... (so) they brought
Korean breakdancers out in
Though the University's out-
lets for the hip hop-inclined
are both various and varied, it
remains a misunderstood move-
ment by a large part of the popu-
lation. By showing an alternate,
more constructive side to the cul-
ture, the Hip Hop Summit hopes
to change minds.

In this economy, even Ross MBA students need a diverse skill set.

fit the Daily and campus at large.
It's easy to see where the Fol-
lies cull their material from.
Although undergraduates
aren't part of the show, more
than half of both MBA classes
are involved in some aspect of
the Follies. This bonds the rela-
tively small MBA community
together even more, drawing
in more Follie wannabes every
"We're a relatively small com-
munity on a really big college
campus ... everyone is support-
ive and they cheer each other
on," said director and Business
school graduate student Paul
Bockwoldt. "A lot of the faculty
members get involved with the
show; this year we have about
twelve staff members. Anyone
who wants to be part of the show
can be part of the show."
Although some may be
surprised that. these but-
toned-up "Yodng Urban rofes-
sionals" would have the time or
the pizazz to put on a comedy
show, many MBA students use it
as a creative outlet and as a way
to poke fun at what Bockwoldt
called "the daily monotony of
Business school."
"It's a lot different from doing
spreadsheets and reading the
Wall Street Journal," he added.
Although producer and Busi-
ness School graduate student
Laura Stancik says that "no one
should quit their day jobs" in the
show's cast because very few
members actually come from
a theatrical background, it's
apparent that all it takes to make
the comedy show enjoyable is a

lot of dedication.
"You just have to be able to
make a fool out of yourself," Gir-
ouad said.
"A lot of singers have a back-
ground, but a lot of Business
School kids don't come from a
theatrical background ... weird,.
right?" Girouard said. "Some
people come in during auditions,
and you'll ask them if they can
sing and they'll say, 'Yeah, badly.'
So if you see the skits, people just
go crazy with it, and it's hilari-
ous because the lack of talent is
part of why it makes it so funny.
People use the show as a way to
break out of their shells."
Some of the participants
agree that the arts and business
aren't all that mutually exclusive
after all.
"You think that business is
straight-laced, and this is more
arts- and creative-based, but I
think increasingly in business,
there is that level ofs creativity
that people know they need to
have," Girouard said. "And this
is a way to sort of get at that cre-
ativity and bring it out."
Although they only have a
month and a half to rehearse and
pull the show together, everyone
is in jovial spirits. And the pro-
cess has had it's fair share of -
ahem - follies.
"The end of the third night
... we were exhausted after all
of the auditions," Stancik said.
"We didn't realize the camera
was still rolling and we started
dancing and singing ourselves,
but then we saw the red light
was still on. It was a great Follies

"You have beautiful eyes."
Dusk settles on'Narnia'

Unzipping the hood on Allen

DailyArts Writer
"I hope to be annoyingly in-
your-face all year," said Hoodie
Allen, a young Long Island-based
hip hop new-
comer, in a
recent inter- HoodieAllen
view with the Tonight at
Daily. 9p
Big things
are happen- Club Vintage
ing in 2011 for Ticket from $15
Hoodie Allen
(not to be confused or associ-
ated with the silver screen legend
Woody), who started off with his
highly acclaimed mixtape debut,
The Pep Rally, in late 2010. The
new year is a busy one for Hood-
ie, with a new music video and
album planned to come out, in
addition to his first tour - which
includes a stop tonight at Ann
Arbor's Vintage.
"There's no room for chilling
out," Allen said. "I try to keep
myself very busy. Every day I'm
wiriting, every day I'm mixing
new stuff; every day I'm meeting
new people, collaborating and
producing new videos and music.
2011 should be very fun and very
Allen has been producing and
writing his own music for the
past 10 years. He cites his biggest
influences as BlackStar, OutKast,

De La
hop act
into hi:
ing it.
just the
I'm kic
the mu
them it
Rally, a
like th
based i

Soul and other '90s hip- Only Management, a University
ts, which he incorporates student-founded management
s own style. and production company.
music that I like is what "I'm just excited to meet all of
s me," Allen said. "I may the people who helped make the
y put it into my music, concert happen, to meet fans, to
r by sampling or referenc- make new fans by performing,"
So a lot of the influences, Allen said.
er it be Marina and the Ann Arbor is the perfect stop
nds or Yeasayer, these are for Allen because most of his
e artists that I enjoy when audience is in the college-aged
king back and listening to bracket.
isic. So I've incorporated "I've been getting a lot of great
nto what I do." reactions from the college scene,"
pling is a big part of Pep he said. "And obviously the atten-
nd Allen plans to test the tion is on blogs, which college
out on tour. Most of his kids read, so it's a natural fit."
are at college campuses, Though Hoodie is not signed
e University, but he's also on to a major record label and is
in major cities like Los currently managed by a smaller
s. team, he is grateful for the power
of the internet and feels that
blogs and social media are an
Ilad hsmu essential part of the promotion of
ong .~la.c1LI his music.
per Hoodie Hoodiedis at the cusp of his
career and is already being rec-
'ears up for ognized by a growing group of
fans all around - his music fills
ntage show. college dorm halls and teens'
cars. But he is still humbled by
the fact that people even know
his lyrics.
die will be joined onstage "I think every time I see some-
by ZAK!, a New York one in the crowd just mouthing
p artist, and Ann Arbor- back word-to-word every single
ndie-pop group The Hop. song, to me (it) is always going
and the other acts were to make me feel like it's a special
t to Ann Arbor by Invite experience," Allen said.

Daily Arts Writer
What do you do when your
mildly interesting book-series-to-
film adaptation jumps the shark
after the first
movie, and
you still have
six more The Chronicles
books to go?
Certainly of Nania:
that was the Voyage of the
faced by Dawn Treader
the produc- At Quaity16
ers of "The
Chronicles 20th Century Fox
of Narnia"
films, and you have to admire
their determination. Even though
Walt Disney Pictures, the origi-
nal production studio, bowed out
after the second film, 20th Cen-
tury Fox jumped aboard, and the
series has pressed on. One miscal-
culated production after another,
they have poured in hundreds of
millions of dollars to create fan-
tastic worlds for films that are so
cartoonish and laughable thatyou
almost forget they're based on one
of the most celebrated works of
children's literature ever written.
Admittedly, the allegory
underlying C.S. Lewis's "Narnia"
novels is unsubtle and corny, but
there is a certain majestic charm
in the characters he created espe-
cially for younger readers. None
of that translates to film any lon-
ger: The latest film in the series,

"The V
er" is a
ally sta
with "T
story s
in the
by Li
Lucy (G
in the
their s
pose. T
a not-s
from a
sent ba
next st
And n
It is

oyage of the Dawn Tread- was very opposed to his stories
an almost vulgarly incom- ever being translated to live-
production - a thud of action cinema. He was on to
r for a franchise that actu- something: There's only so much
arted out reasonably well you can do to make half-human
The Lion the Witch and the fawns, talking rats and bison or a
obe"'in 2005. Jesus-lion work in a conventional
of the Pevensie children, Hollywood blockbuster. And yet,
id and Lucy, return in a that's no excuse for the absolute
et on the decks of a ship atrocity that is "Dawn Treader":
fantasy world of Narnia. This material can be handled
usly anointed rulers of more competently on film, as well
by the great Aslan (voiced we know from the first movie in
am Neeson, "Taken"), the series.
id (Skandar Keynes) and Helmed by Andrew Adamson,
Georgie Henley) are joined "Wardrobe" worked as a fasci-
ir return to Narnia by nating period piece - if one felt
illy cousin Eustace (Will inclined to give it some thought
), a bitchy British boy of - rich with the air and attitude of
nct intention and pur- wartime England. Given that the
Together, they once again first film put the silly fawns and
ter magical people and talking badgers in their proper
animals before learning roles in this children's fairytale
o-subtly Christian lesson - maintaining a hint of the real
* booming lion and being world into which the story was
ack home to wait for the born - it worked on several lev-
ory. els and didn't need to be defend-
ed with defeatist arguments
like, "Calm down, it's just a kid's
n't drop your moThere is no such introspec-
tion or effort in "Dawn Treader."
am iltons on There's just a ship, random spec-
'his m ovie ters of white mythology ("Lord
Such-and-such-ian" - always an
old white man with a ridiculous
beard), annoying animals and
ness as usual in Narnia. idiotic caricatures of anything
ot a speck of cinematic that may actually exist in the real
or daring to be found any- world.
And we still have four more
said that Lewis himself films to go! Excited yet?

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