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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 13, 1993)
Bloodthirsty Dracula turns to dance
comes to Lied
By Paula Lavigne
Don’t “bat” an eye. He may fly
From the pages of Bram Stok
er’s “Dracula,” the infamous mas
ter of the undead will come alive as
a Ballet Omaha production comes
to the Lied Center for Performing
The villainous vampire ballet,
choreographed by Jill Bahr of the
Charlston Ballet, is a direct revival
of Stoker’s haunting novel.
“The story had such a tremen
dous amount of passion to be easily
created into a theatrical produc
tion,” Bahr said.
“Bram Stoker wrote an exccl
- lent novel. The character ofDracula
painted such a vivid picture.”
Bahr’s Dracula is played by
Ballet Omaha member Reed Scott,
who said he was enjoying his role
as the bloodthirsty vampire.
“Dracula is definitely evil,”
Scott said. “I think of the blood as
adrug. He’s like a drug addict, only
his addiction is to blood.”
Scott said Dracula’s relation
ship with Lucy, played by Ballet
Omaha dancer Susan Chowi ng, test
ed Dracula’s addiction.
“He has a strong passion for
people and life,” Scott said. “He
has a passion and love for Lucy, but
in the end he does resort to his
desire for her blood.”
Scott said he enjoyed the story
behind the ballet because it dif
fered from his previous roles.
“Dracula” is unusual as a ballet
because it differs from classical
ballets such as the “Nutcracker”
and “Swan Lake,” Bahr said.
She incorporated some of the
same steps and techniques as the
early 1900 ballets, she said, but
added more variations.
“My ballet isn’t what you’d call
a classical ballet,” she said. “It’s
very of the ’90s age.”
Bahr said she was bringing to
the theater the interests of theatrics
similar to those on MTV and magi
cian David Copperfield’s magic
“These theatrical advantages
give a more modern approach to
ballet,” she said.
Comedian rumblin’, bumblin’, tumblin into Lied
He’s a nut, he’s a gas, he’s the clown su
remc. Jerry Lewis is coming to Lincoln’s Lied
'enter for Performing Arts. He will sing, dance,
lime and narrate his multimedia autobiogra
hy Friday at 8 p.m.
Lewis is the American comedian, period. He
:gan performing at the age of 5, and has since
ipeared in more than 50 movies, grossing
lore than $800 million at the box office.
Like A1 Jolson and the Marx Brothers, he
azed the path with his career for Jewish
mcrican comedians like Woody Allen and
illy Crystal. He toured the burlesque theaters
id clubs of the ’40s. In 1946, he joined Dean
artin on stage, and the two created a routine
at carried them from stage to screen.
Lewis’ style has transformed humor films
3m a series of one-liners to true cinematic
medy. In the ’50s and ’60s, he blended
lorful film characters and strong film plots
masterfully. Like Kafka with a laugh track,
Lewis created a view of modern man that
audiences were able to laugh at. Today, come
dians like Steve Martin gratefully admit their
debt to “the king of comedy.”
Like the story-line of “Cinderfella” or “The
Errand Boy,” the New Jersey boy’s fame has
risen to hilarious, unheard of proportions. The
Nutty Professor has been made a member of the
French Foreign Legion, was praised in an offi
cial resolution by Congress, and is the only
entertainer ever to be nominated for the Nobel
Peace Prize. He has become a director, produc
er, film-writer, author, telethon host and pro
fessor at the University of Southern Cal ifomia.
In foreign countries Lewis’s work is regard
ed as cinematic genius, perhaps because the
films exaggerate and lampoon the American
myth so accurately.
The Lewis character is a sweet, optimistic
buffoon who bumbles through life with an
indestructible faith in life’s mercies. He tum
bles through careers, stumbles through romance,
veers and careers through society with a strange
mix of brave insecurity and blind bravado.
See LEWIS on10
Performer Jerry Lewis will appear at the Lied Center for Performing Arts
on Friday. - ----———-—~
• Courtesy of Ballet Omaha
Reed Scott plays Dracula and Susan Chowning plays Lucy in the Ballet Omaha
production of Dracula. The ballet will be performed tonight at the Lied Center for
The ballet has another added
twist — through the use of dia
“Dracula expresses his thoughts
io the audience," Scott said. "It
helps tell the story ”
Scott’s physical movements dif
fer from the typical assortment of
pirouettes and arabesques, Bahr
Scott said the ballet was a mix
ture of various styles of dance.
“It’s almost a combination tccl
of jazz, modern, and classical bal
let,” he said. “It is very sharp and
‘undead’ because it has a very bro
See DRACULA on 10
Some bands have attitudes, but
few have the talent to back it up. The
Rank Strangers have both.
The Minneapolis-based band will
visit Duffy’s Tavern tonight with per
haps the best live show Lincoln has
seen in quite a while — maybe since
the last time they were here.
The band’s brand of alternative
rock and roll evokes memories of the
Replacements—if not in sound, then
in performance. The Strangers have
plenty of heart, and anyone who has
seen vocalist Mike Wisti sing knows
he means it.
’ In short, these guys are good. And
they re getting better.
The band has shown steady im
provement in the last year as lead
guitarist Jacques Wait has evolved
into a talented musiciaft.
The band was born five years ago
in Lansing, Mich., but the members
have known each other for longer
than that. Bassist L. Wisti is Mike
Wisti’s brother and drummer Doug
Durbin has known the siblings since
grade school. The three met Wait in
In 1991, the band moved from
Lansing to Minneapolis.
“There weren’t a lot of places to
play in Lansing,” Mike Wisti said.
“Any band from there that wants to
tour or make a record will find it kind
of tough to do.”
Since relocating, the Rank Strang
ers have regularly toured the Mid
The band plays Lincoln often —
tonight will be their third visit to
Duffy’s in the past year-’—and not just
because it’s on the Midwest circuit,
The Rank Strangers’ first full
length record, “Far Cry from Here,”
was released early this year on Crack
pot Records. The first pressing sold
“Everyone I talked to at Crackpot
was pleasantly surprised,” Wisti said.
The band is now in the process of
recording its second album, which
has yet to be named. Wisti said the
band hoped to be done recording by
November and have the record out by
Although Wisti said he was enjoy
ing the band’s recent success, he!s
really just having a good time.
But he conceded that it probably
couldn’t last forever.
“If we all thought we were getting
worse, or if things weren’t moving
along for us — say, we were making
even less money or getting even less
shows and people whose opinions we
care about liked us even less—well,
then we’d feel it’s time to pack it in.”
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