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April 17, 2013 - Image 6

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6A - Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

6A - Wednesday, April 17, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

I

MT&D to present
'Crazy For You'

McFerrin to bring latest
complex vocals to UMS

Lighthearted
production to blend
plot and dance
By REBECCA GODWIN
Daily Arts Writer
Choices play an important part
in the School of Music, Theatre &
Dance's upcom-
ing production
of "Crazy for Cmy for
You," directed YOU
by Associate
Professor of Thursday at
Musical The- 7:30 p.m.,
atre Linda Friday and
Goodrich and Saturday at 8
opening on p.m., and Sun-
April18. day at 2 p.m.
"Ultimate-
ly, you have Power Center
a choice, in From $20
life," Goodrich
said. "You can
choose the positive and choose to
love and choose to dance, or you
can choose to complain and be
loveless."
This is the choice that main
character Bobby Child, a rich
playboy, must make when his
mother sends him to Deadrock,
Nev., to foreclose on the local the-

ater. But when he inadvertently
falls in love with the theater own-
er's daughter, Polly Baker, he's
forced to decide between the path
his family wants him to take and
the path his heart is telling him to
take.
"It's a little bit of aboy-meets-
girl show, but there are so many
twists and turns," Goodrich
explained. "So it's more he meets
her, he gets her, he loses her, he
gets her again in a disguise, he
loses her in the disguise, he finds
himself and then he gets her as
himself."
The musical, written by
George and Ira Gershwin, and
Ken Ludwig, has an incredibly
strong dance element. Originally
choreographed by Tony award-
winner Susan Stroman, Goodrich
wanted to keep as much of that
original choreography intact.
"We chose this show with the
intent of having the Stroman
choreography recreated so our
students would get the chance
to work in that vein," Goodrich
said. "There are two pieces that
another faculty member, Ron
DeJesus, choreographed ... then
all the tap choreography is Susan
Stroman's."
While Goodrich wasn't ini-
tially supposed to direct the

show, she has enjoyed the oppor-
tunity to work more with the
students.
"I think working with the stu-
dents and seeing them discover
the show for the first time and
seeing what they've been able to
accomplish has been my favor-
ite part," she said. "Comedy is
much harder than tragedy and
seeing them being able to find a
style and accomplish that and to
learn these very detailed dances
is really interesting."
As a professor, though, she
can't always prevent herself
from using the rehearsals as an
opportunity to teach.
"It's somewhat of a different
animal, but if there are points or
rehearsal etiquette or process-
ing things that I see are not hap-
pening, then I step into the role
of teacher a little bit," Goodrich
said.
According to Goodrich,
there's something for everyone
in the show, so even those who
don't like musicals will be able to
enjoy themselves.
"The book is very well writ-
ten, and the storytelling is
through dance," Goodrich
explained. "And I think it's a
universal story so everyone
relates to these characters."

By SHAMIK GANGULY
Daily Arts Writer
On Thursday, Bobby McFer-
rin comes to Hill Auditorium
to present his latest project,
"spirityouall."
McFerrin's new Bobby
endeavor seeks
to pay hom- McFerrin:
age to African spirityouoll
American spiri-
tuals and to his Thursday at
father, an oper- 7:30 p.m.
atic baritone Hill
who himself
was a dedicated From $10
performer of
these tradition-
al songs. McFerrin has made a
full exploration of his roots, and
his performance on this tour will
be freshly self-aware.
African American spiritu-
als are folk songs that form the
foundation of African Ameri-
can music. They form a highly
improvisatory, oral tradition
that's largely responsible for the
formation of countless genres,
including jazz and hip hop. Rob-
ert McFerrin Sr.'s commitment to
spirituals has been a formative
influence for son Bobby McFer-
rin throughout his career, and it
shows in his performance style.
Since spirituals were passed
along without notation and
without accompaniment, impro-
visation is a given.
"I'm sure Robert McFerris,
in his spirituals - and he sang
a lot of spirituals - really knew
how to improvise," said Profes-
sor Emeritus of Voice Willis
Patterson, a personal friend of
McFerrin Sr. and former presi-
dent of the National Association
of Negro Musicians. "So I'm sure
that ability, or that tendency,
to improvise is something that
Bobby took off of. Improvisation
is the name of his game."
McFerrin's vocal technique
can also be partly attributed to
his father's influence.
"Both his parents were active
singers ... He came about singing
the way a lot of kids come about
walking," Patterson said. "(His)
vocal ability is something I
think is a natural product of the

sONY

McFern's latest project pays homage to African American spirituals.

genes
... His
perfor
he cam
Witl
brings
his fat
that hi
able to
ect is
his fat
in his
H
hu
S
"(M(
at a tit
can me
a high
the M
terson
a lot o
idea of
ican m
have t
had."
McF
unique
ture h
ody, h

of his mother and father voice as accompaniment and
adaptation of his talent to his hand on his chest as the per-
mance is something that cussion. In other words, he's an
ne naturally by." unpredictable, virtuosic one-
h "spirityouall," McFerrin man ensemble.
the ideals and legacy of "The art of the spiritual is in
her to the public in a way itself a personification of the
is father himself was not whole idea of improvisation.
do. In this way, the proj- While it started off primarily
just as much a service to as an asset to aid in the work
her as it is a development and to aid in worship - and as
work. an aid to the relief from slav-
ery - it took all kinds of forms,"
Patterson said. "(McFerrin's)
is father is a going to find a way to replicate
the accompaniment to these
ge influence spirituals while he's singing
the vocal line and maybe mak-
behind ing it lead in a way into jazz as a
jazz ballad and coming back to
piritvouall, its originally conceived melody
and harmony."
One reason to be present for
McFerrin's concert is for his
cFerrin Sr.) came along pure virtuosity.
me when African Ameri- "(McFerrin) is a genius in
ales were not necessarily terms of how he uses his vocal
ly prized commodity for instrument ... He's just a freak of
etropolitan Opera," Pat- vocal facility," Patterson said.
said. "In fact, there was "There are not very many
f problem with even the people in a 100-year period who
having an African Amer- will be able to represent that
ale singing::: sohe didn't level of uniqueness to the extent
he impact he should have that Bobby McFerrin will, If
there's a compelling reason for
Ferrin is known for ... potential audience members
performances that fea- to come, it would be because
is yoice as the lead mel- they're never going to hear any-
is voice as the bass, his thing like it."

4

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