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October 16, 1998 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-16

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 16, 1998 - 9

UGroup plays Bard with a twist

By Jenny Curren
Daily Arts Writer
What perfectly compliments a pizza
topped with fingers and eyeballs?
0 Why, a pack of Mentos of course, at least
according to the screwball logic of "The
Compleat Works of WLLM SHKSPR
(abridged)," a wild and wacky comedy per-
formed by the Shadow Theater Company.
The performance will
stampede the Ann Arbor
Civic Theatre stage this

The Compleat
Works of WLLM
SHKSPR (abridged)
Ann Arbor
Civic Theater
Through Sunday

weekend.
The play, which
attempts the masochistic
feat of squeezing all 37
of the Bard's master-
pieces into a two-hour
performance, consisting
of various sketches
loosely based on
Shakespearean plots and
characters, but with a
definite '90s twist.
"There are references

said. Co-producer Laurie Allison summed
up the show: "you have to see it to believe
it."
This weekend marks the third run of this
production by the Shadow Theatre Company
after stints at the Performance Network and
the Seventh House in Pontiac earlier this
year.
Originally written by three Californians
- Jess Winfield, Daniel Singer, and Adam
Long - the play calls for three main male
roles, acted by School of Music senior Gabe
Goldman, EMU alumnus Jeff Stringer, and
EMU senior Dennis Brunzell.
The script also calls for a "dresser girl on
roller skates," which initially was nothing
more than a bit part.
But according to Blixt, after seeing EMU
grad Nina Tapininen, who was "just too
funny not to cast," he expanded her role
slightly to showcase her talent. Although her
lines are minimal, "her physical comedy is
amazing," Blixt he said.
The success of the production seems to
revolve around the enthusiasm and mutual
admiration of the members.
Blixt, who taught acting in the Ann Arbor
schools until he "got tired of dealing with
political correctness," founded the company
more than a year ago to give actors a more
liberal space to work. Allison has worked
with him for nine months, at first doing pub-
licity, then working as co-producer for this
production.

"He lets his actors 'do their own thing,"'
remarked Goldman. Continuing, he com-
mented, "if David likes it, he says 'keep it.'
If he doesn't, he throws a pencil at us. That's
what I like about David - he's very open."
This kind of experimentation in rehearsal
enhances the improvisational feel the show
embodies. Because audience participation is
pivotal to the action, the actors are always
prepared to throw in a new twist.
That's how the pack of Mentos got there,
and who knows what else?
"I must have spent over $1,000 at Fantasy
Attic for the props," Blixt said. "It takes the
tech staff literally and hour to organize
everything backstage," echoed Goldman.
"But the cast refused to reveal all their
secrets, claiming that "surprise is a key ele-
ment."
With a mind-boggling assortment of hilar-
ious actors, weird props, and improvisation
such as this, it's difficult to imagine how
"The Compleat Works of WLLM SHKSPR
(abridged)" won't deliver a wet-your-pants
funny performance this weekend.
Just be careful not to bite into any eye-
balls.
The Compleat Works of WLLM SHKSPR
(abridged) through Sunday. Peiformances
tonight and tomorrow are at 8 p.m..
Sunday's shows are at 2 and 7 p.m.
The Ann Arbor Civic Theatre is located at
2275 Platt Rd.
Tickets are $9.

to everything from 'Star Wars' to 'Sesame
Street' to 'Psycho,"' producer/director
Wavid Blixt said. With segments such as
"the Othello Rap" and "the Titis Adronicus
Cooking Show," the show promises anything
but scholarly interpretation, but it makes up
in humor what it lacks in erudition.
"It is raucous. My cast is astonishingly
funny and they keep getting better," Blixt

Courtesy of the Shadow Theater Company
Gabe Goldman, Dennis Brunzell and Jeff Stringer deliver "The Compleat Works of WLLM SHKSPR
(abridged) at the Ann Arbor Civic Theater.

Clancy changes genres with 'Six'

Tom Clancy's
Rainbox Six
Red Storm.Entertainment
Windows 95

Simply put, most games that
oast the words "strategy" and
action" on the same box are sel-
dom much of either. "Rainbow Six"
clearly breaks this boundary, and in
doing so, breaks ground for what
could possibly become a whole new
genre of video games. In fact, one
might go as far as to call
"Rainbow" revolutionary ... if only
it worked right.
Tom Clancy, CEO of Red Storm
Entertainment, and author of such
old-war novels as "The Hunt for
Red October," "Patriot Games" and
"Clear and Present Danger" (all of
which have made it to the big
screen), had direct creative influ-
ence on "Rainbow Six." The
videogame was released in conjunc-
tion with his new book by the same
name.
Clancy, an author known for his
credible attention to detail, care-
lly crafted an intricate story line
around the game, and many of the
TRINITY
Continued from Page 8
Fences" make good use of music
played over the show's action. Here,
however, the music creates a maudlin
ffect (very much an overall problem
ith "Trinity"), instead of letting the
music and movements describe a
character.
Additionally, the dialogue falls
flat. The characters are often being
overly emotional, bringing the show
to a screeching halt by forcing feel-
ings onto the audience. "Trinity"'s
actors, however, have displayed a
great deal of talent so far by convey-
g emotions with gestures and vocal
inflections rather than ham-handed
words.
Given "Trinity"'s allegorical
nature, it's only a matter of time

game characters are reoccurring
characters from Clancy's books.
The game focuses on an interna-
tional counter-terrorist assault team
known as Rainbow. The player is in
charge of planning missions rang-
ing from rescuing hostages to dif-
fusing bombs. After planning a
mission,
which is
oddly fun
for just. . ......, ,
staring at
maps and
choosing
weapons,
the game
into a
combat
simula-
tion from
the eyes of
several team
Many of the
beloved qualities of "Goldeneye"
are present in "Rainbow," but with
the added precautions of stealth and
multiple team members. Instead of
facing 12 extremely intelligent ter-
rorists at a time all by your lone-
some, which is what most
videogames have you do, "Rainbow
before situations created in the first
two episodes come to a head. For
instance, plots such as Fiona ending
her relationship with her boss or
Bobby obsessively seeking Liam's
boss while ignoring his wife can end
nowhere but disaster.
Film director Michael Canton-
Jones ("The Jackal") gives the pilot
episode a remarkable look. Even
when the story falters, the show
looks beautiful. "In a Yellow Wood"
has a bumpy start, but turns out
superbly by episode's end. Where it
leaves off gives the show remarkable
potential to grow into "the next great
American drama."
Hopefully "Trinity" will take
advantage of the great story lines it
has given itself as a springboard.
Otherwise, the show's flaws will
eventually overtake it.

Six" puts you in control of a team patch to the game that fixc
of Al soldiers. of these problems. The patc
The learning curve is surprising- ever, neglected to fix somei
ly easy, and the game control is a nate problems with the a
snap to pick up after a short train- intelligence.

es many
ch, how-
unfortu-
artificial

Don't forget
about
Weekend, etc
next week
when it takes
a look at
Detroit's
Second City
comedy club.

ing course. About halt of the play-
ing time is spent figuring how to
storm the various locales,
and the other half is
dedicated to putting
holes and shrapnel
in terrorist groups
ranging from neo-
Marxists
to envi-
JIIA ronmen-
t a 1
extrem-
ists. It is a
very easy
o game to
g e t
wrapped
up in.
,. Until it
crashes.
As unpre-
dictable and annoying
as when one unexpectantly
finds Richard Simmons on TV
while channel surfing, "Rainbow"
would just lock up. Sometimes it
crashed straight to Windows.
Fortunately, Red Storm provided a

For being a team of supposed
crack-commandos, these computer-
controlled teammates seemed to
have a hard time getting through
unlocked doors. I watched for about
five minutes as an Al teammate
tried to walk through a closed door.
I finally shot him myself just to end
his pitiful existence and move on
with the game. Also, a computer-
controlled team member once too
often threw a live grenade at a wall
just to have it ricochet and land at
the team's feet. And these knuckle-
heads are who we send to fight the
Osama Bin Ladens of our world?
Despite it's few faults, "Rainbow
Six" is perfect for the videogame
player who can only take so much
of the "I'm going to run around by
myself and kill aliens with big
guns" mentality. Clancy's attention
to detail and the perfect balance of
"action" and "strategy" create a
captivating game play environ-
ment.
A demo of the game is available
at http://wwwrainbow6.com.
- Clancy Childs

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