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March 21, 1997 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

8 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 21, 1997

Three one-act plays have common themes that bri

By Evelyn Miska
For the Daily
After a brutally short 2 1/2 week rehearsal process, direc-
tors James Steortz and Heather Guglielmetti will bring three
onQ-act plays to the Arena Theater. They
are all based on one main theme: "All the
characters are emotionally unstable and P
share a common hope for something At
more in life than what they presentlyA
have' Steortz said. ''
"Talk to Me Like the Rain and let me
Listen ..." was written by Tennessee
Williams and centers around a married

ight 1

The second play was written by Christopher Durang and is
titled "Naomi in the Living Room." Similar to the piece by
Williams, the theme of emotional problems is quite prevalent
in this play. Focusing on a woman who believes her dead hus-
band is still alive and living with her, the
audience gets a glimpse of the deteriora-
E V I E W tion of her family. As the mother's psy-
ome With,.. chological state continues to decline, so
does that of her son, possibly as a result
through Sunday,at7 of the death of his five children in a car
Arena Theater
Free accident.
The third play, "Dreamers$' was writ-
ten by Shel Silverstein. Unlike the other
two plays, "Dreamers" doesn't center so much around psy-
chological problems. Instead, we are given a look into the
lives of two plumbers, one of whom is trying to cope with an
unsettling dream. "It's a very male play" explained Steortz.
Of the three plays, Steortz feels Williams' piece is the most
poetic, whereas "Dreamers" is more of a straight drama with

some humor in it as well. Durang's play is the most comedic
of all three. In addition to having similar themes, the three
one-acts take place in the same New York City apartment and
are set in the 1970's.
With the short rehearsal schedule, the production of "At
Home With ... " might be described as anything but smooth.
"It's hard when you're meeting at odd hours. I don't think any
rehearsal process is very smooth. There's always some sort of
thing that comes up here or there that takes you off guard,"
Steortz said. Regardless of this setback, Steortz feels the
actors have helped move the process along as well as could be
"We have a pretty strong cast. I'm grateful that I can work
with a great bunch," Steortz said. Directing one-act plays isn't
as easy a process as directing full-length plays, either. "It's
harder. Things don't flow as well. With a straight play you fin-
ish one scene and the next one comes and builds on it. One-
acts lack the dramatic structure - the climax just comes and
then its over," Steortz said.

ng them 'Homq'.
The concept for three interrelated plays was takenTrm a
similar production done in New York City called "The Home
Series." "Naomi in the Living Room" was also part of the
series. Steortz is proud of the very concept of the show and
how the plays can be linked together.
Due to casting difficulties, Steortz will be perforning in
"Naomi in the Living Room," and his co-director Heaher
Guglielmetti has taken over the direction of this .piece.
Oddly enough, Steortz doesn't like acting. "I don't real
have the ability to show my vulnerabilities on stage'h
Always having had positive experiences with Ann Arbor as
a theater venue, Steortz hopes "At Home With ... "will be
received well. "I hope the audience members appreciate it
because a lot of the actors and the directors have sacrificed
their time, and a lot of planning goes into it in a short amount
of time" Steortz said. With three such similar, yet individual,
one-act plays, "At Home With ... "is likely to be an intrigu-
ing and poignant evening.

couple living in a very consuming situation. The two are
drawn to each other in a codependent way and dream of
something better.
"I like the Tennessee Williams piece a lot. I call it a mood
piece. Everything is very slow and enchanting. It gives me a
good feeling to watch it," Steortz said.

No lyin' - you'll laugh your
pants off at Carrey in 'Liar Liar'

By Julia Shih
Daily Arts Writer
Jim Carrey is about to prove that he
can make the world laugh without talk-
ing through his ass. Honest.
In his new film, "Liar Liar," Mr.
Elastic contorts his face and body
beyond imagination in his trademark
style while telling nothing but the truth,
for a hilarious and entertaining romp
through the life of a liar ... er, a lawyer.
Carrey plays Fletcher Reede, who is
not only an unscrupulous lawyer but a
negligent father as well. When he misses
his son's fifth birthday, the disappointed
boy (Justin Cooper) secretly wishes that
his father could tell nothing but the truth
for 24 hours.
It first begins with Reede blurting out,

"I've had better" after a sexual encounter whether audiences will still find
with his aggressive and cunning boss Carrey's physical humor amusing. But
Miranda (Amanda Donohoe). Soon, his not to worry - Carrey is back with a
compulsion toward the truth wreaks passion and just as funny as ever.

havoc on his life. He
arguments in trial,
tells the moronic
head of the firm
exactly what he
thinks of him and
gets his car
impounded when he
admits to a cop of
his countless traffic

objects his own

He has bounced back from the depths

Liar Liar
At Briarwood and Showcase

of "The Cable
Guy" with a strong
performance that is
reminiscent of his
work in "Ace
Ventura: Pet
Detective." His
unique brand of
comedy makes this

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violations. Reede soon realizes just how
rough life is without his greatest weapon
- his proficiency at lying.
Yet, Reede also realizes that telling
the truth has its benefits (probably
something most normal people learn in
preschool). Reede's attempts at discov-
ering how to become a better father give
"Liar Liar" much more depth and emo-
tion than many of Carrey's other antics-
based comedies.
Admittedly, "Liar Liar" is not a film
that is riding on plot. It is simple and
predictable with basically one joke, but
this might have been done intentionally
so that a storyline would not detract
from Carrey's performance.
The film rides completely on

a laugh-'til-you-cry type of movie that
audiences of all ages will be able to
enjoy. The funniest scenes in the movie
come when Reede is fighting himself to
tell a lie. Whether it is struggling to call
a blue pen red or trying to spit out a
schpiel about his adulterating client's
bogus defense, Carrey's violently schiz-
ophrenic antics are ever-present and
always a joy to watch.
Maura Tierney (TV's "NewsRadio" )
complements Carrey well in her role as
Reede's ex-wife Audrey. Tierney is like
the eye of the storm, counteracting
Carrey's effervescence with a mellow
and likable demeanor.
In a surprising performance, Cary
Elwes plays Audrey's current boyfriend

Jim Carrey plays a lawyer who can't lie.
Jerry, who wants her and her son to
move with him to Boston. Reede acg
rately describes Jerry as "Magoo" inthe
film, because of the man's eccentric
behavior and sometimes childlike qual-
itics. Elwes, who has been previously
seen in hits such as "Twister" and "The
Crush," is a little out of place but never-
theless funny in this comedic rJe,,
Also, following suit with a trend
revered by Jackie Chan films, "Liar
Liar"provides some bloopers clips.from
the filming. This segment is not-
hilarious to watch, but it also further
proves what a funny man Jim Carrey is.
"Liar Liar" is not a movie that
requires a lot of thought or intelligence,
but it is not a film that is completely flat
and devoid of reality. It serves as a
showcase for Carrey's talent, much like
"Dumb and Dumber" and "Ace
Ventura," while also exploring the
realm of ethics and estranged relation-
This movie is one that was made
please. Kids will love it. Adults will
love it. Fans of Jim Carrey will love it.
Everyone who likes to laugh until their
ribs hurt and they've lost bladder con-
trol will love it. So, for a good time, go
out and watch "Liar Liar." I'm not lying
when I say that it's one of the funniest
movies this year.

lll ,

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