I like jazz, first of its sound. It has playful, jolly, yet emotional edges and curves in its tunes. Also, the harmony between the drum, saxophone, piano, and guitar just seems to be enough. They compliment each other so well. If I think one step down the musical appreciation, I love jazz because of its freedom. Its impromptu-ness makes the musicians take the risk and discover the sound that is only present on stage. It’s always a magical, thrilling ride to see how things could go in harmony.
If there are any more jazz lovers out there, you are in luck-a interesting, the reunited crew is coming to Hill auditorium, Ann Arbor this Thursday(April 21st, 7:30 pm). It will be starring:
Joshua Redman, tenor saxophone
Brad Mehldau, piano
Christian McBride, bass
Brian Blade, drums
This group that released its album, MoodSwing, back in 1994 is reuniting again after the change of the century. This will be a great goodbye to this semester!
J.K. Rowling’s magical world is hitting the screen again in the State theater. Since the beloved motive series of the boy who lived(Harry Potter) ended on 2011, the legacy of the wizarding world is being continued through another world lead by Eddie Redmane as Newt Scamander. This new series follow a young man who devotes himself to the care of magical animals who happens to find that more life than the animals he is taking care of, in fact, a big part of the wizarding world, might depend on him. While the story is not directly related to the Harry Potter series, it will also intrigue the original Harry Potter fans by unveiling the story of Albus Dumbledore, the wise and mysterious headmaster from the original series, when he didn’t have the long, dragging beard. The role is played by Jude Law in the new series-this gives some hints about the characteristics of the wise man in his young days!
This series kicked off with question mark hovering over the fans of the series as it had a big casting change on one of its main character and villain(?), Grindelwald – the character was starred by Johnny Depp untill the second motive of the series, but will be played by Mads Mikkelsen from this movie. How this change will affect the color of the series; we shall find out soon enough.
Musical ‘Hair’, the classic rock musical, is being presented by the School of Music, Theatre&Dance’s Department of Musical Theater until this Sunday! This musical has history: based on a novel by Gerome Ragni and James Rado, the original performance opened on Broadway in April 1968 after its off-broadway debut in 1967. It did a revival in 2009 and won the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for Best Revival of a Musical. The musical will take place in New York City as it follows the Bohemian lifestyle/politically active group. Several of its songs were used in the anti-Vietnam War peace movement.
As its history suggests, this musical will explore concepts of “identity, community, global responsibility, and peace”. I am really excited to find out how university students’ youthful energy will make synergy with this classic discussing the ideas that never got outdated. It’s also amazing that we can see a revival of the Tony Award-winning musical on campus. Don’t miss your chance to check this out!
+) Content warning – contains references to sexuality, war, racism, and drug use, may contain nudity. Recommended for Ages 17+
Festifools has established its place in Ann Arbor’s Art scene.
Even before the official starting time of the festival, the east side of UMMA was filled with Trucks, student artists, puppets, and fascinatingly dressed volunteers. There was a call for volunteers to gather 1 hour early before the start of the festival, and many had risen to the call. It looked almost like Halloween, but a more jolly version-I saw at least a handful of red queens, Alice, clowns, and people dressed in colorful gowns, sashes, and laces. People should definitely have more change to dress in those cool clothes. What a waste that they were stuck in the drawers throughout the whole year! I was also one of the people who volunteered to help carry the puppets. Student artists and Mark Tucker, the founder of the Festival and the instructor of the Michigan Learning Community(MLC) course at U of M where students create the puppets throughout the semester for this festival, were busy bringing the puppets to life with cable ties, bamboo poles, and iron bars. Student artists explained how they wanted the puppets to move, and some volunteers embraced themselves for the big march with drums in hand. Then the game was on!
The festival took place starting in front of State street in front of Angell Hall until the diag. The crowd was lined up on either side of the street. I was honestly surprised at how many people had shown up – there were triple lines of people on either side of the street from the starting point of the march to the end. Toddlers, children, adolescents, grown-ups, and elders all gathered to have fun, laugh at the jolly movements of puppets, and especially the youngsters had the privileges of occasional high-fives with the puppets. Although the puppets were certainly a grandeur, they were not the only thing to see at the Festival. Student organizations and local communities have come to join the fun! There were people marching while playing percussion(Groove-y!), an actual marching band, people dressed up as clowns that played tricks in the march, a cool belly-dance club dressed in red and black, and other amazing people. The march went on for about an hour. I and the person behind me who were helping the carry different parts of the puppet came to a consensus-it was a workout, but definitely a fun one.
I really enjoyed how the whole community, whether they took the role of the audience, artists from the university, or performers outside the university, came together to have a festive afternoon. The festival was truly a community event in the sense that it could not have been as festive without any of the groups. Also, I really appreciated the atmosphere of the day where a father and daughter can casually wear jocker hats, matching rainbow ties, and banana Hawaiian shirts together and take part in a festival in a local area. It’s not a scene that can be found everywhere, but something that a lot of people can benefit from having in their lives at some point. So thank you, Mark Tucker, for founding this lovely community event!
Somebody’s children will be on stage on April 9th and 10th at the Arthur Miller Theater. Written by U of M’s Assistant Professor José Casas, this play was already celebrated as an award winner of the 2009 Waldo M. and Grace C. Bonderman Playwriting Workshop and being featured in a rehearsed reading at the Indiana Repertory Theatre. The story will take place near Disneyland, in a run-down motel, shedding the light on people who live without permanent housing. The play will take the form of a series of spoken-word poetry vignettes.
I’ve heard much admiration from friends who have already seen the performance. Many appraisals were given to the stage design and the props, including the Disneyland sign, and there was also an appreciation for how different languages were realistically mixed in the lines. I’m really excited to check out this play, both for its focus on the social issue of homelessness and the many appreciative reviews about the beauty of this play. Don’t miss your chance to see this performance live on stage!
On the night that the Groove declared that they will rob the Louvre(!), the Michigan theater where the viewers would be the witness this exciting heist was filled up with the crowd. The performance was highly enjoyable because, fundamentally, the performances sounded so good! Groove is a student organization known to create amazing beats out of untraditional percussion instruments such as trash cans, plastic buckets, or anything they can beat! It was amazing how the Groove used different percussion that did not sound the same – each has a different pitch, so instead of the sounds crumbling altogether, they came together to create an exciting harmony.
Yeah, everyone knows that Groove sounds amazing, but I was wondering from my prior experience from watching their shows consisting of short performances focused solely on sounds about how they will link diverse percussion performances into a 2-hour show with theme and storyline. As always, Groove’s creativity was way ahead of me. The general storyline was that Groove had decided to rob the Louvre as a bonding activity, and each performance represented what happened during the planning of the heist, the incident they had on France, and how they finally went through all the challenges and stole Monariza. As for the story, short dialogues were inserted between shows while the stage settings were being changed. This was a smart, strategic choice not only because it prevented the audience from being bored during the pause but also because it overcame the percussion performance’s difficulty to convey the story due to the lack of lyrics in the music.
The show was well structured: as the story unfolded, the scope of their performance became wider as well. The performance started with purely percussion sounds – the ones we would expect from a typical groove performance(wait, groove performance is never typical!). Also, the performance offered interesting visual scenes while the percussion was being played – my personal favorite was where they were making music in a kitchen scene where the icebox was used as the main beat while other small kitchen utensils and cooking process, including the popping of the egg as the highlight, were added on top of it. Both visually humorous and sonically exciting, this scene was truly enjoyable. Then the wider range of performances joined on top of the beat, such as dancing or the display of talents of the members including receiving a jelly thrown across the stage by the mouth. Then, the range of instruments widened to include strings and horns, returning to percussion performance in the end. This not only showed how talented each individual of Groove is but also proved that Groove’s ability to coordinate music is not bounded to percussion.
Alas, I almost forgot to mention the incredible stage design! Stage made out of iron bars that had fake Monariza on it definitely highlighted the ‘Louvre’ part while going so well with the exciting, raw vibe of Groove’s music. In all, I really appreciated the pure creativity that Groove had enchanted us with during the two-hour show.