Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on March 26, 1995 · Page 55
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 55

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Detroit, Michigan
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Sunday, March 26, 1995
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Page 55
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i;isiDE: Boo:ts A new biography gives the New Yorker's founder his due. See Page 8G. Sunday, March 26, 1995 SECIIOn G l PA' 'i 1 Ul 1 1 I J "I Marsha Miro, Page 4 Classics, Page 5 Movie Guide, Page 7 Call Entertainment: 1-313-222-6828 Detroit 4frce IJwss i-t 1 'i HI Baryshnikov speaks through his dance Wft - EDUARDO KOSMICWAP Wi rV i o W v' - Margaret Cho, above, and Wendy Liebman, left, were among the comics going for yucks at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colo. By Susan Hall-Balduf Free Press Dance Writer mikhail Baryshnikov does not like publicity. i f I "He's been very reluctant to 1 1 I ve mterviews" warns Melissa I If U Mengden, marketing director of Detroit's Music Hall, where Baryshnikov and the rest of the White Oak Dance Project will perform next weekend. "He really doesn't want to talk to media people." But the dance superstar, reached by phone at his suburban New York City home, is polite and good-humored. He just won't answer personal questions. Not the names of his children, though he gives their ages: 10 months, 2V4, 5Va and 14. Not the names of his dogs not the breed of dog he owns. He won't even tell what kind of car he drives. Reminded that this is the Motor City he's talking to, he replies genially, "Just say it is a good American car." Twenty-one years after he defected from the Soviet Union, Baryshnikov has learned a lot from his adopted country. He arrived speaking virtually no English; now his soft voice on the phone is only lightly accented. He has learned that the land of opportunity can give him chances to perform undreamed back at the Kirov Ballet: two singing-dancing TV specials, three movies and even a straight role in a Broadway play, an adaptation of Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis" (he played the cockroach). But eight years as artistic director of American Ballet Theatre also taught him that money to support those opportunities can be hard to come by. Even ABT, one of this country's pre-eminent ballet companies, has struggled to survive. And he has learned that American ingenuity knows no bounds when it comes to ferreting out details of famous people's private lives. So he politely and gently declines to give anything away.' His tone is light, flirtatious even. But only once does he drop his guard, when he speaks George Balanchine, the See BARYSHNIKOV, Page 4G White Oak Dance Project 8 p.m. March 31, April 1; 3 p.m. April 2 Music Hall, 350 Madison, Detroit Ticket $62.50 and $28.50. 1-313-963-2366, 10S weekdays or until 8 on show days,- noon to 7 or 8 Sundays. BY NEAL RUBIN Free Press Staff Writer SPEN, Colo. Sandra Bernhard is whining and Hunter Thompson is mumbling and Paul Rudnick, who wrote "Addams Family Values," isn't saying much of anything. Bill Maher thought he had a dream panel for an exhibition of "Politically Incorrect," his talk-show-with-fangs on Comedy Central. But things are slowing down on the stage at the Hotel Jerome, and even by his standards, he's getting On A ,71 aA Best lines heard at comedy fest acerbic. Thank goodness for . . . Arianna Huff-ington? "Rich neoDle have problems, too," IT hftPi I Y says the California socialite and New Age priestess whose husband just blew $28 million losing to Sen. Dianne Feinstein. "Like, landing fees have increased." I'm mtirh less rich." she ooints out. than laugh LINDA SMITH, on her dreams of a TV career" want my own show, 'Shut Up and Eat.' 'Hey, Tommy Lasorda, shut up! Hey, Susan Powter, shut up!' She's always screaming and crying. She's crying because she's hungry." MARGARET CHO, on flying into Aspen on a windy day.- "I thought we were going to crash and I was going to have to eat other comics to survive." Cedric The Entertainer, on a civil rights march " 'We shall overcome. We shall overcome.' We got all the way to Washington, D.C., and realized we ain't got no ride home." WENDY LIEBMAN, on her childhood: "My parents used to stuff me with candy. I . think they wanted a pinata. ... I hated that stick." . Greer Barnes, on "aiugan's island') "Seven white people on a little island . for seven years, and nobody's doing the nasty. You put seven black people on an island, and in three years, you'd have a . new nation." ' . Caroline Rhea, on showers: "Baby showers are so weird. Everybody buys gifts for someone who doesn't exist yet. So I'm having a husband shower. ... 'Sorry about the jeans. We thought you were going to be taller.' " when my husband started running for Senate." "OJ.," she says, "has two things every man wants a Heisman Trophy and a dead ex-wife." Ouch. A pro knows when to quit. But in Aspen, home of pristine mountains and the clean, fresh smell of money, everybody's a comedian. Either that, or they're looking for a comedian. Or they represent just the comedian for the job. Or they're an alternative to the whole tired thing. The U.S. Comedy Arts Festival strikes its tents today after four days of laughter and schmoozing. Sponsored by HBO, Comedy Central and assorted others and co-directed by an admittedly humorless TV executive named Stu Smiley, the inaugural festival set out to be comedy's version of the Sundance Film Festival. Robert Redford stayed home, but Albert Brooks went window-shopping with Garry Shan-dling. At the registration desk, a frantic flunky with a walkie-talkie explained urgently that "Spalding Gray is asking for some index cards!" A corps of stand-up comics who've made it medium relaxed on benches in the Rocky Mountain sun, exchanging compliments and not even trying to one-up each other. HBO's vice president for talent development got a nice, relaxing massage in the hospitality center, all the while clutching his cellular Dhone. See COMICS, Page 6G Everybody's a comedian at the Comedy Arts Festival Mikhail Baryshnikov is tight-lipped about his personal life but as expressive as ever on the stage. Kids' fun includes Power Ranger trip Cathy & Marcy ft; will do folk music ' for kids Saturday . " Meadow Brook , &'S 1 at Theatre. i monthly preview of some of the best a.: j i j. c 'i If 1 1 """4 w see ana a ajamuy. f(Jl Little Nick Wronski comes pre MARTY KOHN Family times pared. Hes got on his Power I Rancers underwear, his Pnwpr l . 1 ft , boom and audience participation consisting chiefly of . shouting "Go! Go! Power Rangers" often and loudly. Come prepared for a flashy, colorful show full of sound and fury (as Macbeth might put it), signifying nothing, much like the phenomenally popular kids' TV program that inspired it. Most of all, come prepared to buy a plastic, multicolored telescoping light-up Power Sword for 10 bucks. It's the most popular souvenir they sell, and no wonder. You can turn it on and off like a flashlight, then sticking out in front of it and you can wave it around like a sword. Everybody else has one. Your child will want one. Trust me. Count your blessings. At least it's not the $125 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers denim shirt, or the $175 jacket. This is on top of $9.50 to $25 per ticket. So, what will you get for your money? The full contingent of Power Rangers: White Ranger, Pink Ranger, Black, Yellow, Red and Blue. Each actor is covered from helmeted head tdixxrted toe in the garb of for a few cackles from the witch, Rita ; Repulsa. Don't know Rita? Don't worry. She pales in importance compared to . . . The Rangers' nemesis, Lord Zedd. We find him in his dungeonesque domain (Club Zedd?) plotting to send his monsters and minions to take over the planet. "I love the smell of destruction," quoth he. Fear not The Rangers are on the case and so is their mentor, The Fat Guy Without a Body Who Lives in a Bottle and ' Whose Lips Never Move When He Speaks. It's another one of those Z names . . . Zebulon, Zeppo, Zorro . . . Zordon! That's it Zordon is seen only on video screens. Meanwhile, back at Club Zedd, we discover Lord Zedd's secret weapon, Illu-mitor, a fire-breathing creature who looks Rangers shorts, his Power Rangers sweatshirt," explains Pete Prouty, who swears he didn't lose the coin toss; he's happy he got to drive 90 minutes in the fog and snow all the way from Grand Haven so his son, Ben, 5, and Ben's friends Nick and Jimmy Wronski, 5 and 7, can see the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Live, in Kalamazoo. Take a lesson from little Nick. If you're taking the kids to see the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Live, April 19-23 at the Palace of Auburn Hills, come prepared. t Come prepared for laser lights, fre-t quent puffs of smoke, the occasional ka- with a flick of the wrist you can transform thet fist-sized flashlight into a fist-sized his or her Ranger character, the better to disguise the fact that nobody is speaking. like an escapee from a Chinese New 1 flssnh'ght with three feet of plastic tubing Every line of dialogue is recorded, except See KOHN, Page 7G

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