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July 09, 1985 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1985-07-09

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Page 8 Tuesday, July 9, 1985 The Michigan Daily
Multi-instrumental Ornette takes Detroit
Detroit Council of Arts, and the main evening hues of the Detroit River. in his arms, always has a sad bite, the volved in a motorcycle accident and
By arwulf arwulf donor, Stroh Brewery. The series, in Across the water, choppy with yacht long wails touch you in soft places. He banged up his head. We've been
fact, is the Stroh Signature Series. On waves, stood pristine white columns, blew the trumpet the way Donald missing him. Griot Galaxy sounded
0 0 KNOW love is to know comes a WJZZ personality, suave and and above them a massive neon sign Ayler did in the Village in '66...on- good but they sound better with
T love." - Ornette Coleman smiling. Are we having a good time? repeated HOME OF CANADIAN slaught of hard air forced dirty Faruq. Seeing him walk round the
I'm picking up where we left off last Yes this is just fine, thanks. Where's CLUB. Ornette wailed with Windsor through a clean brass stance. Violin stage front as Ornette cooked, I
time I wrote to you. The Buick. I've Ornette? First we hear from a Wayne- peering over his shoulder, whiskey emits sharp rafts of fiddlescrape, wished for the Stroh Signature Jazz
since acquired my very own used Shorter/Lee Morgan-type ensemble, sign glow and speedboats marauding shred high above the futuristic cable Series to hire the Griot Galaxy, and
Buick. The act of driving the Buick in- the Christopher James EMX. by. . steel arch. hopefully the next time they perform
to Detroit, stopping at a popular The emcee returns. Are we having a Ornette's Prime Time band is a con- This is one loud band. And many there'll be a familiar seven-foot black
Mexican restaurant and proceeding good time? Yeah. Where's Ornette? tinuation of his fascination with pairs. find it abrasive and bristly. We were giant with painted face, working out
through the deep inner-town grime of He's coming. But first we'd like to Two electric basses. Two lead guitars. wrapped in it, happy as could be. on tenor.
thank the principle source of funds for Two drummers. One of these, There's beauty in cacophony. It's the But would the JZZ/Free
the jazz festival, LET'S HEAR IT stationed behind electronically sound of the century. Funky con- Press/Stroh Fest feature a band like
FOR DETROIT'S OWN STROH'S altered drum kit, was Ornette's son, fusion, delicious as seven men in the that? Hard to say. Anybody who's
BREWERY! Denardo. Six of them grinding and great Waring blender of the moment. played Montreux Detroit deserves
I don't know exactly how many laid- gnashing away behind the man. Very Faruq Z. Bey appeared, walking his gigs in the city. And here was Ornette,
off brewery workers there were in that electric. lope with leather sleeves and the making a great deal of
audience, but they were not thrilled. I Ornette switched from alto sax to familiar dreadlocks, crochet hat, and unquestionably innovative sound.
was astounded that a person who lives trumpet to violin and back to alto, big friendly face I hadn't seen for a Hire Ornette, hire Faruq. It's a logical
and works in Detroit could be that in- never stopping his current. The alto, year. Last autumn Faruq was in- progression, one would think.
Cass to the water's edge at Chene sensitive to the issue. Ah well. Maybe
Park, this was the most American Stroh will step inswhen KOOL steps D re sh hi stride in UA C m s 1
moment of my life. out after this year's Men- i/a t rid7JACVM U Oi (J
As American as Ornette Coleman. treux/Detroit. God knows, Jazz needs
A Buick, my gal, two friends and the the money and publicity.
expressway. Ornette Coleman tapes It was getting dark when Ornette By Chris Lauer was fun to watch them do it. Katie Klipfel as Mary Flynn, the
pouring out of a blast unit on the walked out and picked up his alto. Devan Sipher as Charley Kringas, feminine vertice in the triangle of
dashboard, 1958 and 59's Ornette and People were sitting back and lighting REAMING MUST be a way the protagonist's best friend, demon- friends, played her character
Don Cherry, Bobby Bradford, Ed up. I removed my shoes and bought a Dof life for amateur producers of strated wonderfully fluid movements aggressively, making the chemistry
Blackwell, Billy Higgins, Charlie lemonade. The last time I saw Ornette musicals. Dreaming of making a and facial expressions. Sipher's between the three friends work, and
Haden. Drive with vintage free-bop. he was onstage at the Power Center, popular musical once again merrily sound vocal projection and vibrantly projected during the song
Chene Park is small and relaxed. wearing a dark grey suit with immen- roll across the stage. Dreaming of unrestrained enthusiasm, along with and dance numbers as well - a rare
Moist, newly-laid sod offered soak se white polka dots on it. kindling warmth in the hearts of his obviously natural talent for ex- combination in amateur productions.
seating. Lots of friendly, attentive Now he wore a vivid blue outfit, his multitudes. Dreaming of Broadway. pression and timing, made him the ef- Amy Lapin as Gussie, Shepard's
cops. This event was sponsored by strikingly simple, beautiful presence The problem with this dreaming is fervescence of the show. He was per- extramarital love interest, was funny
WJZZ, the Detroit Free Press, the all the more fascinating against the that it's dangerous. Merrily We Roll fectly cast in the most difficult, but could have been much funnier.
Imu ith hnt th t bl ol Lni t ftab uoh



Dance Theatre Studio

Along, the musical chosen by UA C for
its spring production, has already
proven its merit on Broadway - so it
was the cast and not the musical itself
that was on trial Saturday night, June
29th at the Lydia Mendelssohn
Theatre. I'm glad they took the risk.
It's not the show that was so over-
whelming; it dragged in parts. But
several individuals scintillated,
manifesting on stage what was so in-
portant to the characters in the
musical - youthful dreams and
energy focused in a brief but intense,
self-celebrating stage spectacular. It

tougn not ie mosc visioie, role.
Paul Winberg as Franklin
Shephard, the protagonist, seemed,
by contrast, like an actor in a high
school musical - very stiff, failing to
project, and obviously having fun, but
at the exclusion of the audience. Win-
berg did a fine job soloing in the quiet,
less extravagant moments, but when
the musical really got rolling and he
had to perform a song and dance
number with a stageful of people and
an auditoriumful of orchestra sound,
Winberg just didn't have it. The big,
complicated numbers lacked zest.

Classes in ballet,
modern, jazz, tap,
and ballroom.

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adpn Wasn IComolr1dC no UgI
with the character to deliver her lines
with their full cool, flaunting poten-
tial. '
Leo Babcock as Shepard's producer
couldn't have been better cast. Bab-
cock's physical appearance, costume,
and his whole demeanor made him
right on target as the thuggish
producer. I don't mean to say Bab-
cock looks like a thug, but the effect
he created on stage was very
Vickie VanBruggen as Beth, the
protagonist's wife, was just what she
had to be and nothing more. Van-
Braggen's performance was a subtle
standout - not showstopping but very
effective - playing up the
melodrama of the conflict between
her character and the protagonist.
Anthony Pick, as Shepard's attor-
ney and a talk show host, was the best
of those playing minor characters.
His stage presence made his roles
seem more major than they were.
Pick's voice sounds good with an or-
chestra; too bad he couldn't have had
a bigger role.
Pam McCann, in a minor role as a
newscaster, also showed some
promise. She seems to have natural
acting talent and could be good in a
non-musical production.
The orchestra had all the dramatic
punch and zestful spice that some of
the cast were lacking. The cueing was
magnificently flawless. Bravo for the
UAC's production of Merrily We
Roll Along celebrated itself - youth
and vigor - even if it didn't achieve
breathtaking Broadway glamour. It
was a fine reach for a dream.

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