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March 24, 2000 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-03-24

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 24, 2000 - 9

Theater group takes its revenge
with Shue comedy 'The Nerd'

By Rosemary Metz
Baily Arts NNriter

There are no really clear definitions for the
word "nerd." The word has
Snegativeand positive con-
a notations, depending on in
reference to whom, when
T Nerd or how it is used.
Yet another connotation
will be spun from the word
Mendelssohn Theatre when the curtain rises on
March24-25at8p.m. the Larry Shue comedy,
March 26 at 2 p.m. "The Nerd," this weekend
at the Mendelsohn The-
atre. Rude Mechanicals, a
student-run theatrical
group, is staging this con-
temporary work, which
mirrors those nerd-y quali-
ties that affect daily life, but can remain so

Terre Haute, Ind., a rustic, homey little town
south of the Michigan border is the locale for
the sudden arrival of "The Nerd," Rick. Rick
arrives for a visit with his old Army buddy,
Willem, an architect who is determined to
move up the corporate ladder. Willem leads a
very quiet existence, enjoying his fox trot
recordings. Politically conservative, Willem
reflects the Reagan years, since the play is of
1982 vintage.
Rick's descent into the life and times of
Willem, with the chaos that ensues, forms the
center of the story and laughter that follows.
Music Theatre junior and "Nerd" director Aral
Gribble describes Rick as the "most annoying
person the world," and that Rick turns the
quiet town of Terre Haute "upside down."
To further complicate the plot, Willem's
boss and his boss' wife are invited to a
swanky dinner party at his apartment. The
invitation was issued before Rick's arrival, so
all rules are broken at this event. LSA junior

and producer Gabe Burnstein describes the
actor portraying Rick, L. Blake Lynch, as pos-
sessing a "Jim Carrey-style of acting."
Gribble wanted to direct the show due to its
humor. He admits to "loving comedy." "The
Nerd" features sight gags as well as verbal
jokes, as the sudden lifestyle-sharing turns
into mass confusion.
Gribble said it takes the complete self-disci-
pline of the actors to restrain themselves from
laughing during these raucous scenes. "We
enter their world, but they cannot enter ours,"
he said.
Rude Mechanicals derives its name from the
group of bumbling actors in Shakespeare's
"Midsummer Night's Dream," since the group
performs one of Shakespeare's shows every
year. The name is both a challenge and an act
of defiance for this group. The polished,
comedic performance of "The Nerd" will give
The Bard of Avon plenty of new ideas regard-
ing Rude Mechanicals.

Major label signee Taproot makes a hardcore homecoming to the Blind Pig.
Locl hardcore
$and returns home

By Adlin Rosli
Daily Arts Writer
Ann Arbor's Taproot has been play-
ing everywhere it possibly can since
its formation about three years ago.
Our very own Blind Pig, Ypsilanti's
Cross Street Station, St. Andrew's
Wall - why, the band has even played
a show at Harpo's of Detroit. Howev-
er, band will be playing the mother of
all local venues soon. Taproot's lead
singer, Steve Richards explained, "We
will be playing Pine Knob for this
year's Ozzfest Michigan stop on the
show's second stage."
If you can't wait to see Taproot in
Pine Knob later this summer, perhaps
*a better option is to check out the
band play what it
dubs as it's
"home coming"
show at the
Taproot Blind Pig this
Saturday night.
Blind Pig A "home com-
Tomorrow at 10 p.m. ing" show as the
band has not had
a chance to play

other major glossy magazines publica-
tions on the way. Why even early self
released Taproot albums have been
surfacing on ebay.
Most of Taproot's press appear-
ances have focused around the band's
former relationship with Limp Bizkit's
mainman, Fred Durst, and how
Durst's wrath was incurred when Tap-
root decided to shop around with
other interested record labels as
opposed to immediately signing the
record deal Durst offered. Conse-
quently, Taproot appears to be quickly
growing under the tag of "the band
that pissed off Fred Durst."
Richards clarifies that this is a
situation he and the band do not
really intend to be in for long. "Our
album isn't out yet so it's okay with
me if this goes on right now. When
'Gift' comes out though, I think we
should be able to leave all this
behind. I want to make it clear that I
don't have any grievances with Fred
for anything. If nothing else, all he
did was help us early on in our
band's career and anything he may
have said about us seems to only be
hurting him anyway. I have no hard
feelings for him or from this situa-
tion," Richards said.
Although most people would see
the long stretch of touring dates in
Taproot's immediate future as an
arduous task awaiting to be taken,
the band sees it as a great opportu-
nity for itself. "This is what we have
been wanting to do. I am actually
looking forward to touring actually
since we have made so many friends
across the country through our
music. I think this is a great chance
to meet these people in person,"
Richards said.
The group has even done some
preparation to deal with the touring
ahead. "Well, right now all we have
done is practice in a tiny room in my
house. The sound system sucks but that
doesn't matter. Were ready to go out
there and play!" Richards said.

Continued from Page 8
patronizing and infuriating in all the
worst ways.
In addition to these petty-yet-
important complaints, "Waking The
Dead" has a larger problem in that
by focusing so sharply and lovingly
on Fielding and Sarah's relation-
ship, it ignores the supporting char-
acters. They take on the idiotic
one-dimensionality that Gordon
imagines in his audience. It's not
such an awful thing for Gordon to
mistake us for dimwits - after all,
we're still people, flesh and blood.
Gordon's characters, on the other
hand, are not.
Isaac Green (Hal Holbrook),
Fielding's political mentor pops in
and out to give the boy a push in the
right direction. Fielding's brother
Danny (Paul Hipp) is the worst
offender, a caricature of a hippie
who has what has to be an early
contender for worst subplot of the

year, a love affair with a Korean
prostitute (Sandra Oh, whose pres-
ence here is an utter mystery to any-
body who has seen her work
elsewhere) that is unsure whether to
be played for laughs or tears. It's
nothing but pain every time he's on
the screen; at least Janet McTeer
does a passable job in a nothing role
as sister Caroline.
"Waking The Dead" suffers from
nearly every dead lover cliche Hol-
lywood has thrown at us over the
years. It's to its credit that the rela-
tionship between Fielding and Sarah
remains not just passable but
extremely credible. Fielding's rise
and fall are credible as well (Sarah
pins him down with perfection
when she points out that even
though he comes from a working
class family, his parents gave him
an upper crusty moniker) - but just
as God is in the details, so is enter-
tainment. Perhaps Crudup and Con-
nelly will work together a third time
and finally get it right.



I ::>m


a local gig in
months thanks to
the fact that the
band got signed
to major label,
Atlantic Records

do you say

"I Love You

and have been busy out in Los Ange-
les recording its debut release.
Richards said that "the album is
called 'Gift' and we have recorded
about 14 songs for it. It looks like
there is going to be 12 songs or so on
the album and we are probably going
to use the other songs for soundtracks
or something like that." Gift is slated
for a June release.
Although June is still a couple of
months away, the buzz surrounding
Taproot has been absolutely deafen-
ing. The group has already made an
appearance in this month's CMJ mag-
azine, MTV's "News 1515" show as
well as appearances in a number of

for the first time, thirty years late?
11 S 'lichot
A new play by Kim Yaged about the ties
that bind when a family falls apart.
Mar. 23 -25, Mar. 30 -Apr.1 at 8pm
Mar.26 & Apr. 2 at 2pm
Trueblood Theatre
Tickets are $14 & Students $7 with ID
League Ticket Office 734-764-0450
UM School of Music Department ofTheatre and Drama

Courtesy of USA"Films
Fielding (Billy Crudup) gets a wake-up call in Keith Gordan's "Waking the Dead."
THEATRE DEPARTMENT: S'lichot by Kim Ya ed
Thursday-Sunday, March 23-26 (Thu-Sat 8:OOPNI; Sun. 2:00P)
Trueblood Theatre, Frieze Building
How do our parents' expectations of us affect our own? What do we expect of our
parents? The Levy family attempts to come to terms with the terminal illness of their
matriarch. For tickets call 764-0450.
GUEST WORKSHOP: Karl Berger, piano and vibes
Friday, March 24, 12:30pm
Stearns Cady Room
Don Greene, sports psychologist
Saturday, March 25,1:00 PM
Britton Recital Hall
An Olympic Sports Psychologist and author of "Audition Success". His techniques
are a revolutionary approach to the audition process.
Saturday, March 25, 4:00PM (lecture) 6:00 PM (recital)
Stearns Cady Rm 202

Cho ir hosts Jam,
spirited voices

Saturday, March 25, 8:00 PM.
Hill Auditorium

Sandra Snow, conductor.
Kenny Endo, Japanese percus>
Sat uday, March 25,10:30 AM
Rehearsal Hall
A workshop on the traditional style of Japanese festiva ercussion music.
RECITAL SERIES: The Coniplete ch Organ Works

By Jee Chang
)yail Arts Wnter
GoodNews, a local Christian a cap-
pella choir, is hosting the annual event
Gospel Jam this Saturday.
The night's theme will be "Testify to
Love," with songs and skits based
around this central theme. The perfor-
mance features groups from Northwest-
ern, Indiana University,
Carnegi-Mellon and Princeton, in addi-
' ion to the University.
Gospel Jam, a ten-year-old confer-
ence for Christian a cappella groups,

has been put into the show, and the
groups performing are expected to be
GoodNews alone has been growing
in terms of popularity over the years.
This five-year-old group that started
with a small group of students has
established a reputation here in Ann
Arbor. Dunlap said he aims for the
performance to be informational and
enlightening, but most of all a lot of
There are no instruments involved,
so the auditorium will be filled simply
with a collaboration of voices. Gospel
Jam will surely give the audience a
chance to appreciate vocal music at
its purest, something we rarely get to
hear these days.

James Kibbie, organ
Sunday, March 26, 4:00 PM
Blanche Anderson Moore Hall
Seventh of Eighteen Recitals. Concerto AM b BWV 593; Individually
Transmitted Chorales; Fantasie in CWV 1121; Chorales from the
Neumeister Collection; Fantasia ad |Fugue [rncomplete] in C Minor, BWV 562;
Chorales for Passiontide; Prelud &Fgue m E, BWV 566.
Sunday, March 26, 4 PM
McIntosh Theatre


will consist of a full
Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.

weekend of sem-
inars and discus-
sions to learn
different aspects
of being in an a
cappella group.
This includes
arranging music,
p e r fo r m a n c e
issues and group
building activi-
ties. The entire
day will be
devoted to time

Sunday, March 26, 8:00 PM
Hill Auditorium
Sandra Snow & Jerry Blackstfre, conduct s
Monday, March 27, 7:00 PM
Hill Auditorium
Band: J. Eric Wilson, condttt W ks by: Mennin, Reed, & Ticheli.
Orchestra: James Tapia, cndu ta*Firebird Suite (1919), Stravinsky;
Polonaise from Eugene Ongi, haikovsy.
Tuesday, March 28, 8:00 PM
Hill Auditorium
Kenneth Kiesler, conductor. Violoncello Concerto, op.104, Dvorak, Thomas
Landschoot, soloist; Symphony No.7, Beethoven.

with speciai guest ZEN TRICKSTERS


Apply now at
the Law Library
~~ I =U=


Thursday, March 30, 8:00 PM
Britton Recital Hall
Sechs Bagatellen, Ligeit; Trois pices breves, Ibert; Quintet # 3, Cambin; Kleine
KammArmusik. Hindemith.





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