The Play Ground

The Play Ground

Ok, if you don't already know about the tragic Mimi how can I summarize La Boheme in a few sentences? I can't. But, describing Act I gives a good entre into this classic opera.
Paris, Christmas Eve, c. 1830. In their Latin Quarter garret, two starving artists try to keep warm by burning pages from Rodolfo's latest drama. They are joined by their comrades bring food, fuel and funds. Meanwhile, the landlord arrives to collect the rent. There is another knock: a neighbor, Mimì, says her candle has gone out on the drafty stairs. Offering her wine when she feels faint, Rodolfo relights her candle and helps her to the door. Mimì realizes she has dropped her key, and as the two search for it, both candles are blown out. In the moonlight the poet takes the girl's shivering hand, telling her his dreams. She then recounts her solitary life, embroidering flowers and waiting for spring. Drawn to each other, Mimì and Rodolfo leave for the café. Sigh.
La Boheme by Guiacomo Puccini, Arbor Opera Theater, June 15-18, Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre

Oasis Definitely, Maybe Beats the Beatles

In a recent poll, 40,000 music fans voted the debut album by British rock band Oasis, "Definitely, Maybe," as the best album of all time. It topped the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band and Revolver and several others in the top 10, including Nevermind by Nirvana and OK Computer, by Radiohead. Naturally, there's plenty of controversy over the rankings. So, what do you think?

History Repeats Itself

Starred reviews all around for Saving the World, Julia Alvarez’s fifth novel that tells the story of a present-day Latina writer retelling the story of a real-life woman of uncommon courage, Dona Isabel Sendales y Gomez. Dona Isabel served as guardian to nineteen orphan boys with smallpox who were used by Dr. Francisco Balmis to inoculate the citizens of New Spain against the dreaded disease. When the writer’s husband, a humanitarian activist, is taken hostage in the Dominican Republic, the story of Dona Isabel prov

No dancing

Elvis Costello is returning to Ann Arbor! The Summer Festival, which technically starts on June 16th, is bringing him to Hill Auditorium on June 13th. Costello will be acompanied by his band The Imposters and the New Orleans stylings of Allen Toussaint. "No dancing," by the way, is a track from his first album, My Aim is True.

Mission Impossible, By Order of the Queen

Some books are just better with Robert Ian Mackenzie turning pages for you. This marvelous narrator coaxes, spellbinds, and occasionally sings his way through this unbelievably merry, wildly imaginative and totally entertaining 22-discs Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin.

A series of screwball adventures followed a conspiratorial media debacle aimed at Freddy, the bookish, stiff-upper-lip Prince of Wales and his glamorous and ditsy wife. In order to safeguard the British monarchy, they were sent on a quest to re-conquer a barbarous land – The United States.

Clueless and dressed only in furry bikinis, they hopped freight trains, cleaned toilets, and became enmeshed in the madness of a presidential campaign, all the while gained the dignity and humility required for the future heads of state.

Perfect for long car trips. Do remember to pull over while laughing. We want you safe.

AgathaFest

She’s the first name in mystery; the last word in cozies and some of Agatha Christie’s best have been reissued in book on cd. Five titles recently added to our audio collection are Murder in Mesopotamia, The Man in the Brown Suit, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Cards on the Table and Death on the Nile.

New Courses from the Teaching Company

Jesus

Fans of the Teaching Company’s books on cd lecture courses will be happy to note the arrival of some timely and topical titles. Biblical scholar Bart D. Ehrman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill delivers our latest group: The Historical Jesus, From Jesus to Constantine, The New Testament, After the New Testament and The History of the Bible.

New CDs to move to!

Looking for some new music to get you ready for the summer? Check out these artists’ albums that have recently been added to the AADL’s collection.

Rihanna’s album A Girl Like Me has been topping the charts for weeks. Her music is upbeat and easy to dance to, which will definitely get you in the summer mood. Her single ‘SOS’ is currently #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.

Gnarls Barkley, a recently formed collaboration between Danger Mouse (a very prominent artist/producer in music these days) and rapper Cee-Lo, has just released their highly anticipated album St. Elsewhere. Their first single ‘Crazy’ has gotten rave reviews.

Leonard Cohen--I'm Your Man

This summer, movie audiences can look forward to major Hollywood films such as Miami Vice, directed by Michael Mann, Superman Returns, directed by Bryan Singer, and Lady in the Water, directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

For those looking for an alternative to the summer blockbusters, Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man might be just right. Long-time fans of singer and writer Leonard Cohen will especially enjoy seeing Cohen himself reflect on his life's work.

For those new to Cohen, the library has many of Cohen's albums and writings, including
The Essential Leonard Cohen, Cohen Live, The Best of, and I'm Your Man.

Ten New Songs, released after Cohen spent several years in seclusion as a Buddhist monk, is also available in the library's collection.

Erasure, Unplugged?!?!

If you're like me and you spent your awkward high school years listening to music from the likes of Erasure, Depeche Mode, and New Order, you'll be surprised to hear that Union Street, Erasure's most recent album, is entirely acoustic. Vince Clarke, one-half of the British duo, describes the making of the album on the official Erasure website by saying, "We just felt there were songs on our albums that had been missed as songs.... It was great going back through those songs, some of which I hadn't listened to properly since we made them - suddenly you heard some of the naivety that was in there in the first place."

Other Erasure albums in the library's collection include Cowboy andNightbird. If you're new to Erasure, start with Pop! The First 20 Hits.

So, Erasure fans (surely you're out there somewhere), what do you think of Erasure unplugged?

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