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April 18, 1996 - Image 19

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-18

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28B - The Michigan Daily - Wue ,c Uc. - Best of Ann Arbor - Thursday, April 18, 1996

Best (and Worst)
Department of Theater
and Drama production,
including Direction:
"Twelfth Night"
("Wuthering Heights'")
With a wave of his proverbial magic
wand, Philip Kerr transformed another
classic into a vibrant, invigorating mas-
tery of concept and form, breathing life
into Shakespeare's often-misunder-
stood late comedy. On the other hand,
the breath of"Wuthering Heights" di-
rectorJohn Neville-Andrews proved to
be quite foul, allowing the dead weight
of melodrama to torture audiences for
three hours.
Best (and Worst) Musi-
cal Theater or
MUSKET musical:
"Guys and Dolls" ("Oh,
Coward! ")
Under the direction of T. Adam
Hess, "Guys and Dolls" rocked the
house with its fusion of high-octane
comedy and high-quality talent.
Contrastingly, "Oh, Coward!" was
"Oh, boring!" due to an excess of
uninspired tidbits interrupting the
wistfulness of Noel Coward's scenes
and songs.
Better School of Music
Opera Theater produc-
tion:
"Gianni Schiechi/Il

Campanello"
Though guest director Keith Warner
achieved a certainamount of success
with his existential rendering of Ben-
jamin Britten's "A MidsummerNight's
Dream," Joshua Major accomplished a
greater feat in pairing Puccini's "Gianni
Schicchi" with Donizetti's "I1
Campanello": he brought opera to the
masses.
The Rising Star award:
Margaret Chmiel
With her standout performance as
the lesbian caterer in "Falsettoland"
and her showstopping turn as Miss
Adelaide in "Guys and Dolls," sopho-
more Margaret Chmiel has made her
mark in University musical theater. Go
on, girl!

The Rising Star Award
Part Two:
Jeffrey Bender
This Department of Theater and
Drama sophomore went from the
bumbling, fumbling Sir Andrew
Aguecheek in "Twelfth Night" to the
savage, paranoidrock'n'roll icon Hoss
in "The Tooth of Crime." First he sent
waves of laughter through the house,
then he sent chills. Who knows what
emotion he will dig into next.
Best (and Worst)
Basement Arts produc-
tion:
"Glengarry Glen Ross"
('American Buffalo")
Brandon Epland flexed his theatri-
cal muscles in corralling eight fantas-
tic actors to work the challenging
"Glengarry Glen Ross," showing Ann
Arbor how David Mamet's plays
should be done. Which brings us to
"American Buffalo," and how Mamet
should not be done. Bernardo De
Paulo's overdramatic interpretation
of the character Teach made this pro-
duction as enjoyable as a trip to the
dentist.
Best Set Design for a
University production:
Russell Metheny,
"Wuthering Heights"
Metheny's set was truly a great
achievement in design, providing the
perfect blend of open space to allow
for freedom of movement and dark-
ness to complement the themes. And
it was something interesting to dis-
tract us from the faltering produc-

"Glengarry Glen Ross" was this year's best Basement Arts production.

tion.
Best Costume Design for
a University production:
Erika Furey, "The Tooth
of Crime"
Just like Sam Shepard's drama, the
costumes were assaulting, psychedelic
reach-out-and-grab-you works of art.
Where can we get a pair of those leather
pants?
Best Lighting Design for
a University production:
Beth Anne Turomsha,
"Twelfth Night"
As she proved with last season's
"Sirens," Turomsha can transform al-
most any space into an enticing merger
of light and form. This time she had the
challenge of sending all sorts of ethe-

real lighting through holes in three
walls; the effect was nothing short of
dazzling.
The Keep-'Em-Comin'
award:
OyamO
This season saw two plays by nation-
ally renowned playwright, OyamO.
Both the department of theater and
drama's "I Am a Man" and Perfor-
mance Network's "Famous Orpheus"
demonstrated the immense talent within
our midst.
Best Ensemble Cast:
"Glengarry Glen
Ross"
Brandon Epland, Greg
Zola, Matt Schicker,
Adam Greenfield,
Jonathan Berry, Mark
Alhadeff, Matthew
Clifford and Ed Lewis.

Jeffrey Bender as Hoss in "The Tooth
of Crime."

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