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Wild At Heart - Saturday Night special

Wild At Heart

Hello everyone, I'm just getting a head start on my weekly column since I saw the new opera today and wanted to post my review before the last show, so here it is with the rest of my column coming out on Monday sometime.

Like I said, I just came from the late showing of Stephen Sondheim's 'A Little Night Music'. They show originally appeared in 1973 and the number "Send In The Clowns" became a popular song after Judy Collins recorded it in 1975 (the only one of 800 songs written by Sondheim to become a popular hit). The show is in two acts, the first of which sets up the relationships and at times is a bit awkward. The main character, middle aged Fredrik Egerman, a successful lawyer has recently married an 18-year-old trophy wife named Anne, who while in love with him is also reluctant to consumate the marriage. He takes her to a play where he runs across an ex-lover, the prominent actress Desiree Armfeldt who Fredrik goes to visit after being turned down by Anne and they have a romp which is interrupted by the Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm, Desiree's lover. We also meet his wife and Fredrik's son who is studying to be a priest but seems full of lust and other sins. So basically we come up with a three couple relationship comedy which is settled in the second and much better second act. This might seem like a like an overly simple summary, which it is, but one doesn't want to give away too much. Alex Gray, who plays Mr Lindquist (part of Desiree's troupe and part of the greek chorus) mentioned in my interview last week that this is a very atypical opera in which it does have speaking parts as well as the songs which are part-musical standard and part-operatic making it the perfect entry point for those who want to experience opera without the subtitles. Despite some of the business which can be distracting, I love the way the second part really gets focused as the relationships get resolved and the beauty of the songs, esp "Send In The Clowns" which really starts to make sense. My grade is a B-. Their is one last show Sunday afternoon which should get your attention if looking for something to do. Take a chance and experience the Detroit Opera House, one of the nicest venues in the city.

Crush is a soft drink brand which was invented by JM Thompson of Chicago in 1906 but it wasn't until Clayton J Powel and Neil C Ward got together in 1916 that Ward's Orange Crush got developed. Ward was a beverage and extract chemist who perfected the process of blending ingredients to create an exclusive formula that yielded the zesty, all-natural orange flavor of Orange Crush. It was this flavor that became one of my favorite sofft drinks as a kid and later years saw me picking up such flavors as Grape and my personal favorite, Strawberry. Pepsi bought Crush last year and I found out this past week while eating dinner at a recent restaurant that they are no longer going to be making Crush in bottles. At this moment I can't imagine drinking Crush in anything but a bottle but I guess it was a matter of time, esp glass in vending machines is probably a recipe for disaster.

While Crush had flavors as varied as Chocolate and Pear, they never had a Cranberry flavored which is a segue to let those know that the Cranberries have cancelled their Detroit date. I was really looking forward to this show and wonder if it was due to slow ticket sales that this happened. Whatever it was, I hope they make plans to come around again. For those that need a fix, they are still doing their Nov 25th date in Chicago.

Also speaking of good things coming to an end, British actor Edward Woodward passed away last week. He is probably best known in the states for his role as the British ex-secret agent and vigilante Robert McCall in the American television series 'The Equalizer' which I loved as a kid. Also, from the MTV TV series 'Remote Control' which I loved watching in college as my friend tried to guess at the videos being played before the contestants did, host Ken Ober also passed away.

Lastly, Chris Brown has a new album, 'Graffiti', and a new tour which is coming to the Royal Oak Music Theatre. If you would like to be present at the show, send me an email at and I'll hook you up with a pair. The rap duo New Boyz will open the show on the heels of their recent top 40 hit "You're a Jerk".