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February 07, 1997 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-02-07

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 7, 1997 - 9

By Jack Schillaci
Daily Arts Writer
Comedy Central's foray into the
world of television journalism sheds a
humorous light on many of today's
important issues. Ranging from the
berating of Libby Dole to Boris Yelstin
at a ho-down, "The Daily Show" always
leaves the viewer laughing - not only
because of the humorous statements but
:o because of the way in which they
are presented.
The show's basic premise is taking
contemporary news events and adding
humorous interpretations or twists to
them. The hilarious, if not occasionally
harsh delivery of information, is what
gives the show its energy and appeal -
revealing double meanings, while keep-
ing a straight face.
Truth is stranger than fiction -
'ecially when it runs through the
spin that "The Daily Show" puts on
In an episode first broadcast on
Tuesday, a portion of the show was
devoted to spotlighting a small New
England town whose city council had
recently resigned. The town was pre-
sented as being in a state of anarchy.
The situation became more and more
amusing because of the drama and
*lor the correspondent put into his
Some of the show's segments include
"God Stuff," a weekly mockery of TV
evangelism playing highlights of the
week's Christian TV. Jon Bloom leads
this segment, speaking with all the con-
viction and drama of a televangelist -
Bloom, however, has a higher purpose
in mind.
"M i c h a e 1
9eiden's Video
Review" has the Th
r e s i d e n t
look for subliminal Mon
messages hidden in
contemporary music videos. Among
Bleiden's more recent revelations is that
Toni Braxton was really dating a mer-
man in the video for "Unbreak My
,.The centerpiece of the show's humor
charismatic host Craig Kilborn
whose muscular 6-foot-4 leading-man-
esoue presence gives the show its voice
and power. He has an aura of excite-
ment and energy that permeates
through everything he says and does -
a shtick that serves his performance

Plays explore univeral issues
One-acts celebrate Black History Month'

By Evelyn Miska
For the Daily
To celebrate Black History Month,
Performance Network will be present-
ing two one-act plays by prominent
Ann Arbor playwrights.
"River Dreams,' written by Elise
Bryant and directed
by Johanna
Broughton, execu- 7= I
tive director of
Performance era
Network, deals Februa
with the struggles ets: $9 for


two slaves must I
face in their search for freedom.
Set in 1833, "River Dreams" follows
the lives of two black slaves who want
to marry and build a life of their own.
They run north to Detroit, and they are
able to remain there safely for two
The play was commissioned by the
Michigan Bar Association to illus-
trate different cases that changed law
in this area. In a recent interview
with The Michigan Daily, Broughton
discussed the importance of this
"It's an awful story, but it needs to be
told, especially since it's hard for any of
us to comprehend what these people
went through," Broughton said.
"The play is over a huge chunk of
time and one act isn't long enough to
meet all the people along the way," she
The performance combines tradition-
al gospel music with the dialogue to
create even more emotion in a piece
already full of it. "It makes me cry now,
and I've seen it a hundred times,"
Broughton said.

Elise Bryant, the playwright and the
artistic director of the Common Ground
Theatre Ensemble, has won a number
of lifetime achievement awards. Bryant
is also the author of "Zoo Zoo
Chronicles" and "Workin' for a Livin."
The other play being presented with
"River Dreams" is
"Mary Goldstein
and the Author"
ver Dreams written by OyamO.
This work deals
7-9.,13-16, 20-23, 27 wih wom en's
Performance Network with women's
udents. Call 663-0681 inner need to satis-
fy their creative
Directed by Kate Mendelof, this one-
woman play isn't new to her. "Mary
Goldstein" was a piece assigned to
Mendelof as a graduate student. But
even though she's directed the piece
before, Mendelof has approached this
production in a different way.
"It was fun going back to this piece
after 17 years, and it's always interest-
ing to see how
things in your life
affect your direct- oth plaj
ing and under-
standing of the universal
Mendelof messagfe
"p M a r y still relei
Goldstein" is pri-
marily about a
black woman and her struggles, but the
woman in the play has been given a
more Jewish name to emphasize the
universality of the issues at hand.
"There's so much I can relate to.
You don't have to be black, you don't
have to be working class. These are

universal issues for women,"
Mendelof said.
The greatest challenge for
Mendelof, after having worked on this
piece before, was letting the. actress
present her own fresh ideas on"Mary
Goldstein." As well as having a new
actress, this production is also differ-
ent because of Ken Thomas'musical
The playwright, OyamO,-Who is
nationally recognized for his -work, is
also a member of the University of
Michigan faculty. OyamO's most recent
works include "Famous Orpheus" and
"I am a Man."
"Mary Goldstein" itself is one part of
a larger trilogy titled, "Trilogy for the
Black Family," which looks at Mary
Goldstein's conflict from her husband's
point of view.
While each of these one-act plays
takes place in a different time ("Mary
Goldstein" is set in the '70s and "River

Dreams" in 1833 ),
Ys carry
.s that are
vant today

both plays carry
universal mes-
sages that are still
relevant today.
examining the
difficulty of
being a woman in
a man's world or
tracing the ways
in which people
risk their lives for

"Hottle" Craig Kilbom hosts "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central.


Kilborn was known before "The
Daily Show" for his work on ESPN's
SportsCenter - which he had to record
at 2 a.m. In a telephone interview with
The Michigan Daily earlier this week,
Kilborn said he got his new job because
"the man who runs Comedy Central
watched me on ESPN and finds me
His new status as a "hottie" eventual-
ly led to his new
"Not Necessarily
V I E W the News"-esque
Daily Show comedic news
anchor position.
omedy Central Kilborn said he
y-Thursday at 11 p.m. enjoys the new
opportunities he
has now that he lives in Manhattan.
"Now I have more of a life. It's not
the seclusion up in Bristol, Connecticut
with a bunch of men. There's a nice bal-
ance here' he said.
Kilborn's unique style of presenta-
tion certainly adds flavor to "The
Daily Show"'s style. Viewers can cut
through the superficial yet believable
aura he gives off with a knife. Thanks
to Kilborn's presentation, audiences
undoubtedly believe that ridiculous
happenings - like the Model

Olympics - are important news
But Kilborn is more than just a pret-
ty face - he is a writer.
"I write what we call the 'big
laughs.' We have a group of writers
that do what we call the 'medium
laughs' and the rest of the stuff is
written by a guy named Ray," Kilborn
One of the segments Kilborn writes
and for which he is most famous is
"Craig's Five Questions." Every
episode, the guest must answer ques-
tions that are a mix of obscure fact
and subjective opinion. There is only
one right answer, and it is a rare guest
who manages all five.
"The Daily Show" also has educa-
tional value. Near the end of every
show, Ginny and Wilbur Winstead (par-
ents of head writer Lizz Winstead) call
in a Jeopardy-type trivia question -
making the Daily Show more than just
"The Daily Show" is meant for peo-
ple who like to laugh at themselves and
the absurdity of the human condition.
While the show's comments can occa-
sionally get a bit harsh and racy, it
always manages to force a smile onto
viewers' faces.

freedom, each of these plays has an
important message.
It will be interesting to see how
"River Dreams" and "Mary Goldstein
and the Author" reflect on thsitua-
tions and, at the same time, brate
Black History Month.

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