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April 06, 1998 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-04-06

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ocal poets will read their work tonight in celebration of National
oetry Month. Lorna Goodison, Ray McDaniel and Community
High School student Laura Fardig will give their prose life tonight
at the Ann Arbor District Library. Admission is free, and the read-
ings begin at 7:30 p.m. The District Library is located at 343 S.
Fifth Ave.

gk~ l{tdjtgan Dag

Tomorrow Daily Arts:
N Don't miss Breaking records as it returns to its regular
location tomorrow, with reviews of the latest CDs from
Goodie Mob and Detroit's own the Suicide Machines.
April 6, 1998

By Valerie Lapinski
Daily Arts Writer
Sophocles never imagined the funeral of
Antigone could be quite like this. African women
sing and shake drums, and British soldiers in linen
suits give sileni salute. This is Greek tragedy? This
past weekend, University Productions and the
department of theatre and drama breathed
nchanting new life into "Antigone,' setting the
lay in 1930s Kenya.
With ancient Thebes transformed into a British-
occupied African colony, the tragedy combined
themes of courage, loyalty
* and the clash of two differ-
ent worlds. Keeping the
Antigone original Greek names yet
adding modern twists, the
Trueblood Theatre play was complex and dar-
April 2, 1998 until ing.
Sunday, April 12 Antigone (Sophina
Brown) and Ismene
*. ;(Cortney Wright) are
Kenyan sisters whose
father, King Oedipus, has
died, leaving them under
the care of Creon (Jeffrey
Bender). Both of
Antigone's brothers have died in battle - Eteocles
defending the British throne, and Polynices
defending the Kenyan people.
d Creon orders that Polynices may not be buried

rises from the dead

or honored in his death on the grounds of diloy-
alty. Antigone, in order to preserve her familytra-
ditions, buries him despite Creon's decree. Her
defiance causes an uproar among both her Keiyan
supporters and British oppressors.
Antigone's character has been modifie( by
director Glenda Dickerson to closely imitatethat
of Princess Diana. On the play's program cozr is
a photograph of Brown posing with pearls aid a
tiara, nearly identical to a photograph of Prirtess
Di. Throughout the play, there was a photograher
and a journalist monitoring every movement othe
"'royal" family.
This modernized depiction challenged the
audience to assess "Antigone" by new standards.
Dickerson made the issues of the ancient traedy
become issues of present-day life, especially
emphasizing the heroine's power and influene as
a woman.
Brown carried all of the suggested modenity
with great poise, and all of her actions wee in
character with -the courageous and chariable
princess. But most endearing was the scrct
sparkle in her eyes when she exchanged glmces
with her admirers - something the press ould
not capture.
Bender was excellent as the authoritative Cron,
insolently defending his values against those(f the
people he ruled. Accompanying him was a gggle
of flirtatious women and starched soldiers. Tiese
characters as well as the surrounding Keiyan

natives provided the varied voices for the Chorus.
The drama began with Antigone's funeral, and
as the funeral conductor (Jenny Burleson) spoke
of her life, the action came in flashbacks while the
coffin remained on the stage.
Awash in blue and golden lighting and with
African harmonies and rhythms playing in the
background, the play had a colorful and exotic fla-
vor. There were musical sequences of both African
and European origins, hauntingly blending the tra-
ditions of both worlds.
The actors all brought unique touches to their
roles. The British characters kept up impressive
accents and a kind of weariness as they perspired in
the African heat. Especially charming was Patrick
Moltane, the sentry who reveals Antigone's crime.
His bumbling mannerisms and impeccable accent
brought the audience to laughter.
The Africans in the story exuded a positive
force, singing and dancing through their anger as
they watched their heroine be unjustly punished.
Consisting of vibrantly costumed women and
Thuku, the Spirit of Kenya (Markitwia Jackson),
the Kenyans were depicted as spiritually strong to
match the willfulness of Antigone.
Performed in-the-round on a stage with the
audience sitting on opposing sides, the play
allowed for freedom of movement and direction.
The acting often looked like dancing, with sweep-
ing gestures and varied angles at which the action
took place.

Courtesy of Uni'ersity Productions
Cortney Wright and Sophina Brown are sisters Ismene and Antigone in "Antigone."

"Antigone" boasted impressive acting, an
unforgettable story and an intoxicating backdrop.
The common threads of the themes existing in
both ancient and recent times held the new adap-
tation together tightly.
As three African women said in the opening

scene, "The simple fact is that the whole world
loved Antigone." Be it Greece or Africa, classical
times or present day, her story remains the same.
"Antigone" will be presented again this
Thursday-Saturday at 8p.m. and Sunday at 2
p.m. Tickets are $7for students. 764-0450

Funny 'Space' gets lost in cich6

'Push' pulls out disappointing debut

By Matthew Barrett
Daily Arts Writer
"Danger, Will Robinson."Yes, the crew from the
Jupiter 2 is back in space in a jazzed-up and special
effects-laden remake of the popular '60's television pr
gram. Although it boasts a fabulous cast and an uneven
but funny script, "Lost In Space" is unable to take full
advantage of its potential.
The movie deals with the struggles of the Robinson
family who, in an attempt to save the people of Earth,
take off in Jupiter 2 (their spaceship) for Alpha Prime (
distant planet) and end up lost in space. The root of the
Robinsons' problems is the dastardly Dr. Smith, a terro
ist who sabotages their ship and then ends up stuck oni
William Hurt stars as John Robinson, the patriarcho
the Robinson family. Hurt gives his usual convincing
performance with a character that has become distant
from his family because of his fixation with the trip to
Alpha One. Mimi Rogers plays Maureen Robinson,
John's wife and the character who tries to keep the fam
ly together as their departure from Earth draws near. T
part doesn't give Rogers much to do other than hug he
children whenever things get scary and toss an occasio
al one-liner in her husband's direction.
Dr. Smith, the archenemy of the Robinsons, is playe

Lost in
At Briarwod
and Showcase

by Gary Oldman. The character
enters the film in an exceptional
shot of Smith standing in the mi
dIe of a vast desert, his face hid-
den in the shadows. While Smit
is evil and cunning in his doings
on the ship, the role doesn't give
Oldman the chance to show how
bad he can be. Having recently
been ferocious as a villain in bo
"The Fifth Element" and "Air
Force One," the subtle Dr. Smit
is too weak and sneaky to evoke
any true fear or intimidation fro
the audience.

'of -
r courtesy of New Line Cinema
n-"Don't ever disrespect my spasesuit!" Heather Graham
rolls into her role as Judy Rob'son In "Lost In Space."
d Relative newcomer Jack Johison turns in a humorous
and memorable performance ai the brilliant but troubled
Will Robinson, Fascinated by omputers and robots,
d- Will has a very hard time getti~g along with his family
- yet often ends up being the owe saving the day.,
h The movie storyline is prettl simple to start with, but
it gets tangled up when Jupitei2 lands on a foreign
eplanet. There is a fair amount if time spent getting the
ship into space after which it (oesn't take long for the
Robinsons to get lost.
th Later on, the ship crashes oi a planet and doesn't
have the capability to launch vithout getting some more
h power. The only source that cmtains the necessary
amounts of power is inside a tine warp on the planet. It
m is at this point that the movie bses any momentum that
it had built. The plot gets into verlapping characters
from different periods of timeand requires a tremendous
suspension of the commen sense of the viewer.
During this time perio, the already strained rela-
tionship between Willmad his father is drawn
out to unbelievable ani unnecessary extremes.
Those behind the moxie are trying to incorpo-
rate a story of father md son learning to love,
but frankly, it doesn'iwork. This one area of
the film is so unbeanble to watch that it soils
the entire moviegoing axperience.
"Lost In Space" his some funny lines, spec-
tacular sp~cial effects shots, and
intereting sets, but not much
else. Despite these enjoyable
moments the film is
unable to overcome
the horrendous
time warp situ-
N '.

Mondays at 8 p.m.

Yates (Adam
Trese), the new
gymnastics coach
who would much
rather be perform-
ing on the rings
than coaching.
But an injury at
the Olympic
Games in Atlanta
dashed his hopes
of ever obtaining

By Jie Un
Daily Arts Writer
America's fascination with Olympic
athletes has reached an all-time high,
especially with the recent Olympic win-
ter games and a certain pint-sized skater
named Tara Lipinski. Contributing to
the media hype is the new series
"Push," which debuts tonight on ABC
and follows six athletes aspiring to be
the next Mary Lou Retton or Carl
Lewis. But these athletes have more on
their minds than the usual dream of
having their faces plastered on
Wheaties boxes some day.
In the premiere episode cleverly
titled "Push," we get a glimpse into the
life of these athletes in training. In addi-
tion to attending classes at Cal Southern
University and training sessions that
begin at 6 a.m. is a healthy dose of sex,
drugs (lots of drugs) and betrayal.
We are first introduced to Victor

ligent women would be fighting over a
cocky coach still hung up on his past.
We don't get much emotion or substance
out of Victor's character except for a cou-
ple of flashbacks to his injury at Atlanta.
But it's not all Trese's fault; the writers
deserve some of the blame for coming
up with this contrived storyline.
The lamest part of the show has to
be Dempsey Easton (Jason Behr), the
once-great runner whose obsession
with winning again leads him to pop
pills guaranteed to make him "fly." We
later find out his sob story - his need
to win stems from his troubles with his
alcoholic father.
Just when "Push" seems to go
nowhere and starts to look like an after-
school special with "Melrose Place"
influences, the character Scott Trysten
(Eddie Mills) draws you in. A talented
swimmer with a bronze medal at the
Olympics, his life is sent into a tailspin
when he discovers he may have con-
tracted HIV from a brief fling at orien-
tation. His world is further complicated
as he starts to fall for fellow swimmer
Erin Galway (Maureen Flannigan).
The two grow closer, especially when

Adam Trese
and Laurie
Fortier star as
Victor Yates
and Cara
Bradford in
"Push," a
soapy drama
of sex, drugs
and gymnas-
tics premier-
ing tonight at
8 on ABC.
Courtesy of ABC,

Scott helps Erin through a personal
tragedy. But knowing the ramifications
if he is tested positive, he has no choice
but to push her away. A potential love
triangle develops as Scott must back
down, leaving the field open for his
roommate Tyler (Scott Gurney) to make
a play for Erin. The relationship
between the three develops more in the
second episode, and it will be interest-
ing to see where it's headed.
"Push" features a crop of new faces,
and none of them are particularly mem-
orable - except for newcomer Eddie
Mills. Some of you may remember
Maureen Flannigan as the half-alien
girl on "Out of This World." She virtu-
ally disappeared since that show ended
and now she is trying to make a come-
back and shed her goody-goody image
"Push" is not exactly going to take her
career to the moon, but a person's got to
start somewhere.
The first episode is a disappointment
but if you are willing to give it another
chance, the second episode gets better.
One can only hope that the show will
get better with each episode. What it
needs is a push in the right direction.


The most interesting relationship of the film is
between Jupiter 2 pilot Don West (Matt
LeBlanc) and Judy Robinson (Heather
Graham). Graham is glorious at playing
hard to get and fends off the relentless
pursuit of West with a witty array of sharp
dialogue. The clashes between the free-
spirited West and the uptight Judy are
quite funny and provide some of the
movie's higher points. The roles represent
large steps forward for both actors. Having
been involved in several prominent indepen-
dent films, including "Boogie Nights"
and "Swingers," Graham shows
that she can hold her own in a
big-budget Hollywood
action movie. And for
LeBlanc, well, it's a
much-needed step
away from "Ed."

His assistant
coach is the ever-
so-persistent Nikki Lang (Jamie
Presley). It's a small world when Nikki
and Victor meet up again. The two were
quite the item before Atlanta and before
Victor's fall. Now she wants a second
chance, claiming the hype of the
Olympics got to her. Since then, she
has changed and matured. She will pull
out all the stops to scheme and connive
her way back into Victor's life -but
she better be ready to do some battle.
Standing in Nikki's way is her friend
and competition for Victor's attention,
Cara Bradford (Laurie Fortier) who
gives new meaning to the term dedicat-
ed student. Victor seems to think Cara
has what it takes to make it to the
Goodwill Games if only she can get her
act together. The night before her meet,
she ends up doing marijuana and much
more with her English professor, and
her bad girl act doesn't stop there.
A cat fight is brewing over Victor, but
it's hard to see why two reasonably intel-

C-I C. nC C JC~lilil IG{U 2I CnG .CG JC f SJ C CP GL L JC .
li _ l

Courtesy of New Line Cinema
Now Matt LeBlanc can play his own butt double in a "Lost in Space" fantasy sequence on "Frhnds"

H o u s e




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