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January 06, 1994 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-06

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 6, 1994 - 3
:Classic 'A Christmas Carol' warms holiday hearts in Chicago

CHICAGO - The Windy City lived up
to its name as bitter cold gusts blew across the
dark lakefront and people of all ages crowded
into the small festively decorated Goodman
Theatre Dec. 21 to warm themselves by the
Wharles Dickens classic, "A Christmas Carol."
In 1993, the 150th anniversary year of the
tale's writing, the production presented a
musically and visually exciting version of
the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the magical
Christmas Eve night that transforms

Scrooge's life from one of miserly misery to
spirited generosity.
A colorfully lit stage complemented the
bright and intricate costumes that made the
performance seem cheerful despite its gloomy
storyline. The tale follows rich old accountant
Scrooge, who doesn't believe in the spirit of
the holidays or the associated celebrations.
One Christmas Eve, he is confronted by
the ghost of his dead business partner Jacob
Marley, who informs him he will be visited by
three spirits who will tell him of the error of
his rigid and uncaring ways. The night's ad-

ventures inspire Scrooge to open his heart and
wallet to the less fortunate.
An upbeat and catchy dialogue included
statements like, "May you arrive in Heaven
half an hour before the devil knows you're
dead." The characters played off one another,
and kept the pace of the performance running
The performance was executed with an
array of special effects, with incredible at-
tention to detail in visual production. The
first ghost, the Ghost of Christmas Past,
literally flew onto the stage dressed in a

pale organza jumpsuit lit with small white
lights. Some of the more exciting special
effects included the use of smoke machines,
trap doors and wires to lift characters off the
ground in flight.
The casting of an eclectic mix of African
Americans, Asian Americans, and Euro-
pean Americans of all ages highlighted in-
dividual characters while melding the cast
into a cohesive group of talented actors.
"The nontraditional casting at first caught
me by surprise, but it makes it more univer-
sal," said Glenn Arena, a Chicago resident.

The audience of close to 800 people,
dressed in everything from blue jeans to
black velvet, packed the theater. A large
majority of the audience consisted of young
children who had come to see the spectacu-
lar age-old story.
"I liked the part where Jacob Marley
jumped up," said Arena's son Scott, 7.
The ghost flew up through a trap door at
his entrance in a whirl of smoke and a
crescendo of sound.
"It was scary," added his 10-year-old
brother, Tim.

eprepare for
in Detroit
Passion. That's what figure skaters at
the internationally renowned
Broadmoor World Arena say drives
them to perfect their sport all year
Three hours a day, six days a week.
On this ice, Peggy Fleming trained to
chieveher 1968Olymnicgoldmedal.
Many of the skaters are hopeful,
and desire to see their work recog-
nized worldwide. Damon Allen and
Denise Long are two of these hope-
fuls in senior-level amateur competi-
Preparing for this week's U.S.
Nationals competition being held at
Detroit's Joe Louis Arena and Cobo
Arena by the United States Figure
*tkating Association (USFA), Allen
and Long said last Thursday they are
ready for action, but wary of the at-
tention they will receive.
For 20-year-old Long, it will be
her first national competition at the
senior level. The thought of 18,000
spectators cheering her as she deftly
performs a triple toe, the move she
finds most difficult, brought a ner-
vous smile to her face.
0 Long, who won a bronze medal in
regional competition and placed
fqurth in sectionals during 1993, ad-
mitted nationals would be a fresh ex-
perience with new intense pressures.
"I'll be really excited," she said.
"The thing that scares me is that I will
have to skate against people that I saw
on TV all the time.-
Long added, however, that she
il1 maintain a sense of self-esteem
because she enjoys skating and com-
petition should not ruin her love for
the sport."My main goal is to just
skate clean for myself," Long said,
adding that being ranked in the middle
of the approximately 26 women's
singles competitors would satisfy her.
At the Broadmoor World Arena,
1993 U.S. Men's Singles National
hihampion Scott Davis perfected his
mps, stumbling at times, butquickly
recovering and returning to his rou-
tine, a "West Side Story" medley.
.avis will be the most likely mem-
ber from the Broadmoor Figure Skat-
ing Club to snatch the spotlight in
Detroit, his peer and seventh-seeded
skater Damon Allen said.
The men's singles competition

Schools try to
curb increasing
student violence

sniffing dogs, metal detectors and
locker searches are becoming more
common in American schools as edu-
cators try to curb "an epidemic of
violence," the National School Boards
Association said.
Eighty-two percent of 729 school
districts responding to an association
survey said violence in the schools
has increased in the past five years.
"Clearly, violence is not confined to
urban schools, but is increasing in
rural and suburban schools as well," a
report on the survey said yesterday.
Though only 5 percent of the
nation's school districts participated
in the survey, report author Lynne
Glassman called the findings "very
representative" of America.
A study released last month by
Metropolitan Life said more than 10
percent of teachers and nearly one-
quarter of their students had been
victims of violence in or near their
public schools.
Glassman said school districts
have developed a "plethora of ways"
to deal with violence.
At the same time they are sus-
pending, expelling or disciplining
offenders, they are also adopting pro-
grams designed to thwart violence,
the survey showed.
Twenty-four percent of the dis-
tricts send dogs into the schools to
search for drugs, most in cooperation
with local police departments.
In Kelloggsville, Mich., school of-
ficials work with the local police de-
partment to bring drug-detecting dogs
to the schools at least twice a year.
Use of the dogs is slightly more
common in urban and rural districts
than suburban districts.
In another case, four gun-drug dog
teams are sent daily to two or three
New Orleans secondary schools se-
lected on a random basis. The pro-
gram is voluntary, but only one of the
37 principals decided against partici-
pating, said A.C. Boyd, the director
of security. The district says reported
gun incidents dropped nearly 50 per-
cent during the 1992-93 school year.
Fifteen percent of the districts re-
sponding to the survey said they use
metal detectors to screen for weapons
- 39 percent of the districts in urban
areas, 10 percent suburban and 6 per-
cent rural.
The District of Columbia reported

Florida canine
drug program
hailed success
While many schools across the
country are beginning to address
the violence in their hallways,
one Florida school touts its ca-
nine drug program.
The program in Lee County,
Fla., has been a success not in the
amount of drugs recovered but
"in making young people aware
that we wanted drug-free
schools," said Elizabeth Harmon,
district administrator for compre-
hensive health.
In thatprogram, begun during
the 1992-93 school year, dogs are
used in the district's 10 high
schools before and after school to
sniff for drugs in lockers, class-
rooms and other common areas.
There are also canine searches of
hallways while students are in
Harmon said the dogs are in
the schools at least once a semes-
ter, and surprise visits also are
made, with only the principal be-
ing informed.
She said the dogs also are be-
ing used in middle schools as part
of the comprehensive health edu-
cation program.
"We have not reached the
place that many districts have in
the drug problem and that's why
we want to be in the prevention
mode," she said.
that with the aid of metal detectors,
the number of gun incidents at the
city's schools dropped to 19 - less
than half the total of a year earlier.
Secondary students in Oklahoma
City are scanned with metal detectors
before entering school in the morn-
ing, the survey said. Tacoma, Wash.,
school officials purchased two hand-
held metal detectors to conduct ran-
dom searches of students during the
school day. Everyone attending
evening events is subject to a search.
Half the school districts said stu-
dent lockers are searched.

Renee Roca and Gorsha Sur, who train at the Broadmoor World Arena, placed second in the USFA Ice Dance event.

began yesterday, and Davis's spins
caught the eyes of spectators, who
speculated that the reigning cham-
pion will capture the remaining spot
for competition in the Olympics in
Lillehammer, Norway next month.
Allen, who at age 21 has been
skating for 15 years, shrugged at the
possibility of capturing a medal at
nationals this year and said he is com-
peting to gain experience. With the
rise of Davis and the reinstatement of
1988 Olympic champion Brian
Boitano to amateur status for compe-
tition, Allen faces fierce rivals.
"This is not my year," Allen said.
But Allen, who won a bronze at

the U.S. Olympic Festival in San
Antonio last year with a tango-esque
program, may just be a top contender.
He dreams of following the fancy
footsteps of champions past and
present, but said he is taking his dream
one step at a time to savor it.
"That's what this kind of skating
is all about. It's just moving up the
ladder," he said.
Like many athletes their age, Long
and Allen will also have school on
their minds while in Detroit but will
have to temporarily block it out. "I
can't study when I'm at a competi-
tion," Long said.
During finals last semester, Allen

had a competition in Japan and had to
plead with professors to make exam
exceptions. But they were understand-
ing, Allen said.
Both feel fond of Colorado Springs
and have found refuge in its year-
round beauty. They said they have a
great love for the history of the ice
they whirl on.
The Broadmoor World Arena will
be torn down in March and the skate
club will be relocating to another rink
in Colorado Springs. Sadly, they said
they will visit the site after the bull-
dozers have come and gone. The
memories ofjumps and turns will live



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