here is this week's blog post - Bill
Wild Bill Ketelhut provides the "blog" to this anti-blog
He has a radio program on WXOU out of Oakland University
Wild At Heart
Last week I mentions that Ron Asheton of the Stooges passed away. This week, I want to announce that there will be a tribute for him on Sat, Jan 17th (my birthday) at 9PM and the Music Hall Center For The Performing Arts. There is free admission but attendees are encouraged to donate what they can to help cover the night’s expenses and Ron’s favorite charity, The Michigan Humane Society. Niagara, Asheton’s former Destroy All Monsters and Dark Carnival band mate and muse will host along with Colonel Galaxy. There will be a bunch of music and this will be a nice chance to meet other people who were inspired and moved by his music. More info for this tribute may be found on www.myspace.com/niagaradetroit and http://www.musichall.org/ (or call the Music Hall at 313 887-8500).
Starting this weeks blog are a duo a plays currently playing in the area. First is the play "Beyong The Rainbow". As a warning, this play has nothing to do with the 1922 Clara Bow silent film about a flapper girl though the film is about Judy Garland who was born in June of 1922. The play was commissioned by the History Theatre in Minneapolis who also did last year's Andrew Sisters production. This production sets itself up around the centerpiece performance, Judy's 1961 Carnegie Hall concert performance, which won her 5 Grammys including album of the year and best female vocal performance. The fact this album has never been out of print tells you about it's quality and it has often been referred to as the "greatest night in showbiz history". Rainbow, an obvious nod to the Wizard Of Oz, looks back on Judy's life through the song she sings. The songs here are powerfully sung by Kimberly Vanbiesbrouck (fresh from her Menopause stint) who portrays Judy at Carnegie Hall who seems to capture the quirkiness and power behind her performing. Around the Carnegie stage the rest of the cast, including the wonderful Andrea Mellos who portray Judy as younger versions, work to bring back the life of Frances Ethel Gumm in her transformation into the great Judy Garland. Here we see her early family life with her dominating mother and her vaudville father, MGM head Louis B Mayer, director/husband Vincente Minnelli (father of Liza) and manager Sid Luft among others who were influencial in her rise and also her problems with self-esteem, suicide and pills.
This is a deep look into an icon, both the good and the bad, that should not be missed. One watches the play and wonders what heights she could have reached if things were different, but one does remember all the good from her wonderful roles in Wizard Of Oz and A Star Is Born to all the wonderful songs. Take this trip down memory lane and you won't be
disappointed. For more information call (248) 377-3300 or www.mbtheatre.com . Grade: A-.
For the second play, we move to downtown Ferndale. A "deathtrap" is a literary and dramatic plot device in which a villain, who has captured the hero or another sympathetic character, attempts to use an elaborate and usually sadistic method of murdering him/her. It is also Ira Levin's best-known play which holds the record as the longest-running comedy-thriller on Broadway. In a nutshell, Sidney Bruhl is a once-successful playwright whose last several productions have been box office flops. He receives a script for a stage thriller entitled Deathtrap by a novice writer from one of his writing seminars named Clifford Anderson.
Bruhl tells his wife Myra that the script is brilliant and of how jealous he is of this writer. He then concocts a murder plot whereby he will pretend to offer Anderson help on rewriting the script, but will instead kill him and pass the play off as his own. Needless to say, the plan quickly spirals out of control. The play has many twists and turns I don't want to spoil it for those who have never seen it. I feel that Myra's character is played a little too over the top in this production and needs to calm down a bit but the rest of the cast does a good job, esp our resident psychic. This is a pretty unconventional choice for the Ringwald and they pull it off nicely. It seems odd to me that Ira Levin wrote some fascinating stories in the 70's which seem to tied so closely to the era (Rosemary's Baby, Boys From Brazil, Stepford Wives) that they are hard to update to modern times but seem timeless. Reservations may be made by phone at 248-545-5545 or online at www.whowantscaketheatre.com . Grade: B-.
Now for a couple of recent movies starting with "Not Easily Broken" starring Morris Chestnut. This film is a true couples film that also carries a spiritual message though without hitting you over the head with it. The film looks at what true happiness, success and love really are and how they are important to a relationship. Dave (Morris Chestnut) and Clarice (Taraji Henson) have finally reached a breaking point in their marriage. Clarice becomes the main bread winner in the household after Dave's professional sports career is over after a rookie injury. They are starting to drift apart when Clarice gets hurt in a car accident. This intensifies the problems in their marriage and when Clarice's mom moves in, Dave starts to feel himself pushed out of the relationship. Things get worse when Dave starts to develop a friendship with Julie (Clarice's physical therapist), and her teenage son Bryson. Helping out the son, as well as his work with a boys baseball team for underprivaledged children really stirs his desire for a real family. Temptation, fueled by a doting mother, threatens to pull Dave and Clarice further away.
The couple finally realizes that they must really look at their vows and see if their relationship is strong enough to survive. I am not sold on some of the hurdles with Dave's pseudo-affair with Julie and I wish they spent more time with the deadbeat dad of one of the kids on Dave's team. Overall, the film is more enjoyable than it should be and should appeal to the ladies. Grade: B-.
Next, is the unispiring horror movie, "The Unborn" by David S Goyer. Goyer (from Ann Arbor) is a decent film writer, having his name on numerous fun films like 'Dark City' and 'The Dark Knight' but tends to fall short when he directs them (Blade Trinity anyone). "The Unborn" is a supernatural film about a young girl named Casey (Odette Yustman) who starts to experience some odd nightmares and has a chilling episode with a neighbors kid while babysitting. Seeking medical help she is told that she is possibly a twin and later learns that she is being stalked by a dybbuk (from the Hebrew texts is a malicious possessing spirit believed to be the dislocated soul of a dead person) who seeks to use Casey's death as a gateway to physical existence. Her friends, along with Gary Oldman as a Jewish rabbai who performs an exorcism on her, seek to help Casey at their own risk.
The film has some nice special effects but the movie just annoyed me at times. Gary Oldman is only in the film about 10 minutes and really does nothing in this film (such a waste). The kids don't seem to have any parental support esp Casey whose dad just seems to be there to answer the question if she is a twin and then he disappears for the rest of the film. And the bringing up of Nazi experiemnts just seems like an add on that really doesn't seem to really explain the dybbuk's presence to my satisfaction. I say just go to the video store and rent "The Exorcist" or at least wait until the dollar theatre. Grade: D-.
If you get the chance, check out www.myspace.com/needfornewmoon for the newest song by Hana Pestle entitled "Need". The artist who appeared on my show this past summer is a big fan of the movie Twilight and the books and feels her new song would be perfect for the next movie, New Moon. She is trying to get it recognized by the powers that be at Summit Entertainment. So check it out and if you like it, leave a comment and show your support.
For the artists out there, Paxhau Entertainment, who puts on Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival, wants to democratize the creative direction of the festival. Paxahau recently announced their recent collaboration with 323East, an art & fashion boutique in Royal Oak, MI, to launch an interactive online contest aimed at discovering the 2009 Festival Brand Designer for the festival. The digital / visual artwork contest is seeking an artist, designer, or creative individual from the metro Detroit area to be the Brand Designer for Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival. The Brand Designer is responsible for the overall visual aesthetic of the event, including festival advertising, t-shirts, banners and the website. The winner will receive the Brand Designer title for 2009, $5,000, a VIP chalet for family and friends at the event, and a gift bag with festival gear. So get those creative juices flowing and if you read about it here in this blog, I want my 10%:)
For more information on artwork guidelines and deadlines
please visit www.paxahau.com
Submissions for the contest begin December 29th and end Sunday, February 15th at 11:59pm.
If you are looking for something to do Tuesday night, goes to the website for the Main Art Theatre and look for information on a free screening of the new Showtime series, The United States Of Tara. You must be 21 and drinks and snacks are provided. The show is about a woman (Toni Collette) with multiple personalities that tries to juggle family, career and her ever-altering personalities.
In the concert corner, I might suggest seeing Reel Big Fish and Streetlight Manifesto on Tues 13th at Royal Oak Music Theatre. On the 16th, Daid Allen Coe will be playing at Clutch Cargos. Maybe I'll see you at one of those shows. Until next week, take care and drive safely in this weather.