Daily News from New York, New York on November 26, 1992 · 320
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Daily News from New York, New York · 320

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New York, New York
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Thursday, November 26, 1992
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320
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54 DAILY NEWS t?1-4 (4-4(I L..4I-JLA . - - Thursday, November 26, 1992 rassaasa E X T RA ENT ERTA.I NM E N TE LTD ?g)(tL 'Gypsy Passion' a thrilling dance By JOAN ACOCELLA if HEN FLAMENCO DANC- U in the world like it In "Gypsy Passion." a show that, after two weeks at Town Hall last spring, has now reopened at the Plymouth Theater, the flamenco is always good, and sometimes splendid. As with so many Broadway dance shows, the producers, worried that dance :x won t be enough, REVIEW have cooked up a corny little "plot" So we see the gypsies now in the forest, now in the marketplace, now falling in love, or whatever. But forget that Basically, the show is 17 Andalusian gypsies singing, playing the guitar, and dancing their thrilling gypsy dances: the wrenching solea, the happy ale-grias. the smoky, introspective martinetes. accompanied only by . hammer blows. Since flamenco is something you can still do when you're over 40, "Gypsy Passion" has a nice age range. For ripeness and authority, you have the singer Juana la del Pipa. coming forward without self-consciousness and telling us, it seems, everything we need to know about life and pausing now and then to look out at us and see if we understand. Then, from the young adults, you get the technical fireworks. But this show also has a contingent of four little girls, all of them 11 or 12 years old. Unlike most children, these girls can really dance, not just hop around in a cute wav. And to see flamenco's , , . . . , . is Ww r INFORMAL GRANDEUR: Sara Baras (I.), Antonio el Pipa in "Gypsy Passion" spiraling line and rhythmic know-how on these skinny, happy little bodies is to see one more layer of texture on this unique style. Not that it needs more texture. The glory of flamenco, and of "Gypsy Passion," is its combination of grandeur and informality, its show of physical and spiritual heroism amid the chugging along of ordinary life. All around the stage stand these people, young and old, hooting and clapping and pulling their hair away from their faces. In their midst stands the beautiful Hheiuie By BERT WECHSLER IHETIIER IT WAS A case of wanting to be dif ferent or attempting to be artistic, or a stab at being artistically different, John Fiore conducted the Metropolitan Opera's first seasonal "La Boheme" on Monday very slowly. It was as if he had con-REVIEW fused Puccini with perhaps Debussy in a vain quest for feeling. What he did was hang up the singers, who outdid themselves trying to give an ardent performance of the drama. He did not intensify their efforts, only sapped them. Czech soprano Gabriela Benackova sang her first Mimi 'in the House, and she was magnificent She had a naturalness of declamation and ease of voice that lit up the stage from her first entrance. Known here for tortured dramatic roles, she sang in perfect style for this one, and she was touching. The Rodolfo, tenor Luis Lima, was clear and impassioned, but had his troubles with the tempos. He slid off his first high C and did hot attempt the .second,, where. Benackova slid off hers. However,,- s-J, Sara Baras, her eyes lowered, paying no attention to them. She lays down a beat, then travels a little, then lays down the beat again, concentrating hard "now. Then she pauses, clears her throat clears her body, maybe and launches into a triumphant barrage of taps, its rhythm building and building, while her arms curl upward like snakes out of a basket Then the freeze, the head thrown back. And the audience, thinking the dance is over, begins clapping like mad. But already Baras has forgotten us and is at work again. Essentially, flamenco is a private matter. We are the witnesses. Acocella writes frequently on dance.) CAINE FROM COVER PERFECT STYLE: Luis Lima (I.), Gabriela Benackova in "La Boheme" they created magic together, not now often experienced in opera. Nancy Gustafson's Musetta was everyone's dream lady, singing wonderfully. Her Marcello was given a welcome rich voice by Dwayne Croft John Cheek made the most of Colline, and his Coat Song. Mark Oswald's Schaunard was a character equal to the others, and John Hanriot danced, through a Parpignol who is directed to sing his only lines offstage but Act Two is the game of Spot the Singer anyway. I enjoyed, but would have enjoyed more if Fiore had only allowed the singers to do "Boheme." Forget Art: Give us a kept us together. She said, 'Lust' " Despite his success, Caine still feels the sting of class distinction. Some middle-class Brits, he says, "who consider themselves socially above a cockney oaf," resent press reports about his lifestyle. t And in his own real-life drama last year, the actor was shocked to discover "my mother's legacy" an epileptic, illegitimate half-brother in a wheelchair, named David, who could speak only in grunts a brother whom his mother had visited in an insane asylum every Monday for 62 years. Michael and his younger brother, Stanley, promptly went to David. "We said we were his family. He nodded and he started to cry." David died before Michael could move him into his own supervised apartment These days, Caine who now plans to write a thriller is back to acting. As Scrooge in the upcoming "The Muppet Christmas Carol," he plays with "50 of the kindest, gentlest 'people' and the funniest" A delight But dealing with special effects, he adds, "required the concentration of a laser." .... So what's it all about, Michael? n4'HApe,'asay Caine promptly. FROM HOLLYWOOD MARILYN BECK & STACY JENEL SMITH nOrjrjAACGLAIiwED YEEECHGFT1IEYEAR n APPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU ALL. In! And a sPecial tnanks to readers who par- U ticipated in the recent voting for this column's annual Tacky Taste Awards. And here you have them the personalities who earned the dubious distinction of being named The Tackiest of 1992: It wasn't much of a race for the No. 1 spot. Madonna won by a landslide. "A truly gauche individual" (S. Harris, Las Vegas). "The winner by far for the tackiest star . . . spend my money on 'Sex'? I don't want'a" (J. Cain, Tacoma, Wash.). "Frankly, is -there any category that Madonna can't win, hands down?" (C. Poynor, San Anto- nin ' "MaHnnna ic Madonna more tiess than Roseanne because Madonna does it deliberately and poor Roseanne like Fergie doesn't seem to know any better" (P. Mooney, San Francisco). "Madonna's pure sleaze" (J. Arduino, Cedar Grove, N.J.). And finally: "Madonna's 15 minutes are about up" (F. Bunda, Long Island). A strong second was Sinead O'Connor, who tore up a picture of the Pope on "Saturday Night Live" while saying, "Fight the real enemy." D. Chavez of Santa Ana, Calif., called the incident "an outrage," while A.R. of Brooklyn joked, "Sinead should fight the REAL enemy her hairdresser." In a late rush, Woody Allen ran a Tackiest third for his affair with Mia Farrow's adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn. R. Wade of Norwalk, Conn., calls him "an ugly dirty old man." And B.B. Richmond of Westfield, N.J., writes that Allen is "the Moral Midget of Manhattan." Farrow received no votes. And then there were the readers who considered tackiest of all the Emmy Awards Show comment by "Murphy Brown" producer Diane English, who ended her acceptance speech by remarking, "As Murphy herself said, 'I couldn't possibly do a worse job of raising my kid alone than the Reagans did with theirs.' " And there were other tacky Emmy Awards. D. Gross of Van Nuys, Calif., was among those who knocked Roseanne's "red leather and lace dress. . . . When she sat down, the shoulder pads rode up around her neck, providing great pillows in case she or Tom Arnold nodded off during the proceedings." Michael Jackson was once again a run-nerup in Tacky votes. "He seems to have a real problem keeping his hands off his private parts," wrote N. Harris of Louisville, Ky. And a Las Vegas reader suggested, "Mr. Jackson should go back to basic black, and I do mean the color he was born with! The way he looked during his 'Thriller' days was much more attractive. His music wasn't half bad then, either." Shock jock Howard Stern received notice for his MTV Awards show appearance in a bare-bottom superhero costume. Others took more serious offense. "Stem should get that his jokes about blacks, gays, Hispanics and other groups are not funny. They incite bigotry," wrote J. Wolf of Manhattan. "His 'prayer to Jesus' for his enemies at the FCC to get cancer and die terrible deaths was the ugliest thing I've ever heard on the air," adds D. Rice of Los Angeles. Sharon Stone took reader hits "for putting her private parts on public display" (as one Brooklyn reader put it) in the film "Basic Instinct." A Carson, Calif., reader called the movie "one long grunt."

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