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February 17, 2000 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-17

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* S

4B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc. Magazine - Thursday, February 17, 2000
Second City celebrates without signs of midlfe crisis


Daily -weekend, etc. M

The Michigan

..... .. .Q _. -

By Jaimie Winkler
Daily Arts Writer
Turning 40 years old often means hun-
dreds of "over the hill" jokes, but not for
Chicago's Second City improv theater.
They celebrated with parties, reunions
and a tribunal run of two of their most
innovative shows.
The Detroit companywhich performs
downtown next to the Fox Theater,
opened nearly six years ago and import-
ed Chicago's acclaimed "Paradigm
Lost" in honor of the parent company's

special anniversary.
The show takes its name in part from
John Milton's poem "Paradise Lost,"
about Adam and Eve and their fall from
grace, and the popular phrase "paradigm
shift" which means an adjustment in
established thought patterns.
"The material is - I couldn't call it
timeless, but it holds up," said Second
City Detroit's Artistic Producer Joe
Janes. Second City is famous for doing
socially conscious shows, Janes said, and
Paradigm's material isn't out of step with
today's world.

"Paradigm" originally opened in
February 1997, receiving several of
Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Awards -
for the best of local theater - including
Best Production, Best Director, Best
Actor (Scott Adsit), Best Actress (Rachel
Dratch, who now performs on Saturday
Night Live) and appeared per invitation
at U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen,
During its original run the show pro-
vided a breakthrough in sketch comedy.
"The show's structured really beauti-
fully," Janes said. It was "one of the ones


to show there was a new way to approach
the form.
The groundbreaking show was one of
the first to get away from compiling dis-
connected sketches together," Janes said,
"and weave recurring characters together
in various ways
"We chose this show because we
thought it was the best thing to represent
where Second City Chicago is going
now," said Detroit cast member Keegan-
Michael Key.
The style uses what are called "long-
form" breaks with the traditional "revue"
style of a sketch-blackout-sketch format,
Key explained. Long form shows give
the actors more opportunity to create
characters in a more linear piece.
Second City Chicago Producer Kelly
Leonard attributed the new comedic
form to Chicago's show "Pinata Full of
Bees" in 1995, which was the real revo-
lution in sketch comedy. The Toronto
Second City company resurrected
"Pinata" for the 40th anniversary.
"We were worried about how that
would play out" because Canadians
audiences are more refined, Leonard
Key's theory about the evolution of
long-form in comedic theater stems from
the popularity of Quentin Tarantino's
"Pulp Fiction," which debuted just
before Second City began this format.

"Maybe that's what inspired them,'
Key said.
Each show since Chicago's "Pinata,"
Leonard said, has been revolutionary in
its own way.
In Detroit,,Key said, the shows tend to
be unique in their revolution around
characters rather than themes.
"Our titles don't usually have anything
to do with the show," Key said, adding
that characters drive Second City Detroit
more than themes.
Key noted the actual paradigm shifts
in "Paradigm Lost" include a professor
who changes his opinion every few sec-
onds - from "I think abortion is wrong"
to "Yeah, I like abortion, but it shouldn't
be mandatory."
'Paradigm' "really entertains the
mind, not the gut," Key said.
But most of all, Key said that
"Paradigm," like any long-form show,
requires the cast to use their acting skills.
"We are not a comedy club, we are a
comedy theater," Key said.
- In December: Chicago celebratetd
with the mainstage show "Second City
4.0" ancd, on the side ste, "Histoil,
Repaints Itse f" Several accomplished
Second City atoms, including Tim
Meadois, Horatio Sung, Joe F/annery
and Harold Ramnis, cane back for panel
discussions. vintage filn fstivals,
achiva/ clips and an improVljam.

etc Retro Recordings
Roses fade
too soon
but live on
By Andrew Eder
Daily Arts Writer
The Stone Roses' debut album
made them superstars in their native
England, yet they never had much
success in the U.S. That's a shame,
because "The Stone Roses" is a mas-
terpiece of perfectly crafted British
pop. By fusing
s>|.. '60s guitar hero-
The Stone ics with dance
Roses beats and rave
The Stone Roses culture, the
STvertone Records Stone Roses
Re ease:1989 helped turn the
'80s into the
'90s and inspired numerous other
bands like the Charlatans, Happy
Mondav, and even Oasis.
"The Stone Roses" is a seamless
album, thanks to the skills of the
band members and the production of
John Leckie. John Squire's guitar is
the driving force behind the songs,
and he combines pop sensibilities
with Jimmv Page-like riffs and solos.
lan Brown sings about religion,
drugs, lo e, revenge and even the
death of the Queen while sounding

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures
Robin Williams takes a manly, emotionless response to his Golden Raspberry nomination.
Some fight Oscar
instead of griping


Sen ors!
Watch for your coupon in the mail
fora Fbeverage
compliments of
Espresso Royale Caffe®
Valid February 23 only!

equally ndt :rent about all of them.
The rhythm section of bassist
Gary Mounfield and drummer Reni
shines as well, particularly on the
last two songs, for which the album
is best known. "I Am the
Resurrection" is a bouncy, jangly
number about hatred, deception and
forgiveness with an extended instru-
mental coda that showcases Squire's
majestic solos. The funky, ten-
minute "Fools Gold" was revolution-
ary at the time for combining a
looped drumbeat with a simple bass
line and Squire's wah-wah guitar.
While dance beats have become
commonplace in rock, "Fools Gold"
still sounds fresh and innovative.
"The past was yours but the
future's mine," Ian Brown sings on
"She Bangs the Drums." Although
his prophecy may not have been cor-
rect (the band released one more
poorly received album before break-
ing up), the infloence of "Tho Stone
Roses" is still evident in todav's
music. It's an album that draws from
music of the past and the present to
point the way to the future.

a It's time for Hollywood to cele-
brate the yearly appearance of that
shiny-headed, gold-skinned idol
known as Oscar. The nominations this
year were mostly predictable, but
there were a few surprises. Among
the most notable, "The Sixth Sense"
got nominated for Best Picture. This
would have made more sense if the
category had been "Best Surprise
Ending" or mavbe even "Best Use of
Donnie Wahlberg - Underwear
Also, it will be interesting to see
how, for the usual musical interludes.
the organizers of the awards ceremo-
nav will get aw av with performing
"Blame Canada" from the "South
Park" movie. Yes, it was nominated
for best song, and yes, it is a naughty
R-rated "South Park" song.
e On the opposite side of the spec-
trum, nominations for the 20th annu-
al "Golden Raspberry" awards were
also announced. Think of the Razzie
as the anti-Oscar. The usuals are big-
budget disappointments like "Wild
Wild West," "Bicentennial Man" and
"Phantom Menace." In a first, digital-
ly created actor Jar-Jar Binks got
nominated for both Worst Supporting
Actor and Worst New Star. Gee, it
seems all the non-stop bitching about
Star Wars finally paid off.
One special feature of this year's
Razzies was excitement over the
nominees for Worst Actor and Actress
of the Century. Contenders include
Sly Stallone, Kevin Constner and
William Shatner on the guys' bracket,
and Brooke Shields, Madonna and
Pia Zadora on the distaff side.
{ Hey, nice lady! One-note won-
der Jerry Lewis proved his idiocy
when he stated at the Aspen Comedy
Festival that he didn't like any female
comics and he felt women were mere-
ly "producing machines" for chil-
dren. Actually that is kind of funny, in
a Jerry Falwell "I'm never gonna stop
living in the 1950s 'cause that's when
I made all my monev" kind of way.
Master of ceremonies Martin
Short, who was onstage at the time.
valiantly attempted to minimize
Lewis' self-abuse by suggesting that

of course Lewis admired Lucille Ball.
"No," deadpanned the Chevalier of
France's Legion d'Honneur. Thus
commenced the dash for the exits.
0 That crazy Spielberg kid is up to
no good again. After recently getting
his kidney removed, Steve has lined
up several tasty movies to direct.
Aside from the Tom Cruise sci-fi
thriller "Minority Report," he also
has committed to a film adaptation of
the Harry Potter books, as well as
producing Ray Bradbury's "Martian
Chronicles." Just as he has done with
previous adaptations, Bradbury
insists on final script approval. Look
for Barry Sonnenfeld or Frank
"Shawshank' still means I'm a
genius, right?" Darabont to direct.
r Remember "The Tick?" That
was an awesome animated show. You
can only see it late nights on Comedy
Central, but it still rocks. Think
"Mystery Men" but with humor and
funny cartoon action. Well, soon, it
will go the ever-tempting path of live
action, because here comes a "Tick"
movie. To top it off will be none other
than Patrick Warburton (Puddy on
"Seinfeld," scourge of cute M&M's).
What a great pick. It'll be "The Night
of a Million Zillion Ninjas" all over
+ David Letterman has defied
doctors' predictions and will return
to work Monday only weeks after
open-heart surgery. He will start out
working only three days a week,
however. The first week back will
feature "The Late Show's" first ever
guest hosts, Regis Philbin (Tuesday)
and Bill Cosby (Thursday).
In baby-making news, David
Bowie gleefully announced he had
impregnated his wife and supermod-
el, Iman. Let's hope the baby grows
up and becomes a healthy, normal
adult. Just like his older brother
- Compiled bhi Dail' Art.s writer
David Victor. Mr. Showbiz
(avaa-wwr'showbiz.coil), Daily Radar
(u-wiaidaili radar corn,) and
Entertainment Week/v Online
(wwaiewonlincom) contributed to
the report.

Top 10 Pop Albu
(The nation's best-selling albums ft
1. D'Angelo, "Voodoo"
2. Carlos Santana, "Supe
3. Dr. Dre, "2001"
4. Celine Dion, "All the W
5. Christina Aguilera, "Ch
6. Eiffel 65, "Europop"
7. DMX, "... And Then The
8. Snoop Dogg Presents T
9. Various Artists, "Now 3
10. Kid Rock, "Devil With
Top 10 Books
(The week's best-selling hardcove
1. "The Brethren," John G
2. "Gap Creek," Robert N
3. "The Lion's Game." Ne
4. "Sick Puppy," Carl Hia
5. "False Memory," Dean
6. "Timeline," Michael Cr
7. "Atlantis Found," Clive
8. "A Walk to Remember,
9. "Secret Honor," W.E.B.
10. "The Attorney," Steve
Top 10 Movies
(Who released them and how m
1. "Scream 3," Miramax, $
2. "The Beach." Fox, $15.(
3. "Snow Day," Paramou
4. "The Tigger Movie," D
5. "The Hurricane," Univers
6. "The Green Mile," Warner
7. "Next Friday," New Lin
8. "Stuart Little," Columbia
9. "Galaxy Quest," DreamW
10. 'Eye of the Beholder,"r
. Oh, the wacky things
"I've asked (Ben) f
video games and w
-Casey Aileck
"George W Bush ar
finally be campalign
Hampshire in Febru
Hampshire, Bush sa
ground since he kn
-Conan O'Brie
"I'm the sexiest thi
-Roseanne Bar
"Did you know Tho
presidents at 6-foot-
child by his slave S
alive today, he coul
-Jay Leno, on'
"I don't like any wc
problem with it. I ti
that bring babies in
---Jerry Lewis.


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