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October 14, 1999 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-14

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Shian Diy - Thursday, October 14, 1999 - 11A

ove and
oney
~tells old
ye story
Lindsey Alpert
ly Arts Writer
oy meets girl. Boy falls for girl
rl is rich, boy is not. Sound famil-
?
e and Money," a quirky new
tic comedy, retells the age-old
bidden love story with a posh
w York City apartment building
its backdrop.
amon Roach, played by the cute
ian Van Hole, works as the build-
's superintendent after an injury
ds his professional sports career.
falls for rich heiress Allison
nklin (Paget Brewster) who he's
since childhood.
course, her billionaire parents
not exactly thrilled. Her father,
yed by David Ogden Stiers, is a
ughty businessman. Her cham-
pagne drinking,
snobbish moth-
er, is brought to
life by an excel-
Love and lent Swoosie
Money Kurtz.
In the season
ca premiere,
cd s Allison is about
days at 8:30m. to marry a rich
guy that she
doesn't love.
o She decides to
lock herself in
the bathroom so
the family calls
ndyman Roach to come up and fix
Q;.
renters the bathroom through a
ndow, where he and Allison have a
amy moment.
Her wedding plans are cancelled,
d by the end of the episode Eamon
d Alison are together.
Now what? The plot is so thin so
at mttore is there to do? Hopefully
° writers of the show, who to this
nt have been very clever, will fig-
Qai something.
week's episode, entitled
hel WASPs Collide," focuses on
problem the parents have about
relationship.
The plot looks like it will turn in
direction of "Dharma and Greg,"
t without the flower child aspect.
e acting has much to be desired,
tl uckily the dialogue is able to
ke up for it. The veteran actors
t- t the younger ones.
toching the comely Allison and
mon interact resembles a high
hool play in terms of acting. Kurtz
terrific in the roll of the drunken
ther and gets many of the best
e-liners. Stiers fits the stereotypi-
I billionaire perfectly.
In the funniest scene of the
isode, Stiers walks along the win-
w ledge to see what was taking so
g in the bathroom.
n he sees his daughter and the
n man engaged in some erotic
havior, he falls backwards right
f the ledge.
This is a warning to male viewers
t there. For the most part, this is a
iick flick.
Females, you will feel warm and

zzy after watching this cute show
at would have made a much better
ovie.
es, you will feel physically ill
ter watching this show, so unless
>'re trying to impress a girlfriend,
ah't bother with it.
Overall, the series is entertaining,
spite bad acting.
It seems doubtful that this show
ill reach its second season, but the
ever writers might figure out a way
make it happen.
On a plan-less Friday night, you
o have to waste your money to
is love.
London...........$472
Paris...........$496
New York.......$270
Amsterdam.... $583
(734) 666-8550
1103S. University, Suite I
(734) 769-2335
Michigan Union, Ground Floor
AI ares are round ng. Tax not included
Some restctions apply,
'TRAVEL
evBenThere.
-ww - "

ameBroadi
By Christopher Tkaczyk
Daily Arts Writer
Famed theater director and actor Mark Lamos is visiting the
School of Music through Saturday to provide students with an
expert's knowledge of theater. Lamos, a visiting professor, has
been working in-residence since Oct. 4, lecturing on
Shakespeare, attending studio classes and seasoning student
actors with tidbits of advice and criticism.
"His expertise covers such a wide range," said theater Prof.
Phillip Kerr, who filled in the gaps for the modest Lamos dur-
ing a recent interview. "He's been helpful in so many areas."
Lamos' Broadway directorial debut in 1988 of "Our
Country's Good" was nominated for a Tony Award for best
director. He has directed operas for some of the world's best
opera companies, including Glimmerglass Opera, the Sante Fe
Opera, the San Francisco Opera, Sweden's Stora Theatern and
the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Fresh from his position as artistic director of the Hartford
Stage Company, Lamos joined the University's staff in 1998 as
a visiting adjunct professor of theater in directing, and fulfills
his commitment to the position by collaborating with profes-
sors and working with students three weeks out of every year.
Lamos, who will be busy staging new opera productions in the
next few months, is expecting to return for one final week
sometime in February, with dates still to be determined.
His past two weeks have brimmed with attention to student
performances, offering different approaches and helpful criti-
cism.
Assisting design students of Prof. Jessica Hahn and the
opera students of Prof. Joshua Major have been a few high-
lights, Lamos said, proving to him that the next generation of
theatrical artists is shining bright with drive and possibility.
Lamos' current trip to Ann Arbor has reunited him with
Prof. Phillip Kerr, a longtime friend and co-worker. The two
mechanicals met in the mid-'80s while collaborating on a
Shakespeare production at the Hartford Stage. Since then, the
pair have worked together on four Shakespeare plays, includ-
ing "The Tempest."
Together again, Lamos has been helping Kerr with the early
stages of planning for University Productions' December run
of "The Tempest."
Kerr is touting his "Tempest" as being like no other and
with "millennium sensibilities." The production will feature
performances by students and faculty of all School of Music
departments, Kerr said, including dance, vocal arts, opera,
musical theater and theater and drama.
"Mark has been extremely helpful as a consulting director"
Kerr said. Ideas for set and costumes designs were bounced
off of Lamos, who also helped in casting considerations.
"He's a director who tastefully covers all areas of produc-
tion concepts," Kerr said.
"The first time you direct 'The Tempest,' you approach it
from the bottom of a mountain," Lamos said. "It has themes of
art, politics, youth, age, responsibilities. It looks like such a
huge, grand piece of work. But when you actually do it, it
seems one of the simplest plays imaginable."
"With "The Tempest," you don't bear the great deal of revi-
sionist interpretation. You just can't do that with it," Lamos
said. "Sometimes directors will want to set Shakespeare in
modern times, modern places. 'The Tempest' is set on an
island, so you can't mess with it.
"But you have to know j;before you can play with it. It's
like being harnessed into a chariot. You've got to go where it's
taking you."

W\ s oi kit is s resident artist is the Giuthrie Theater in
r ~[ -i 3tI nis ppird w inpoduct~iis ol cl~sssicplays
bslsiShwss, and Sb. kespeare.
S ed ihi work. A lo, about me is ai autodidact, In
' i w oui do suas go so the sipera or go to the theater.
S'earnin about tleser and theatrical peitods," Lamos
e ssdK"oAl 'f hat appealed to me It's what turied Te on the
msos

s
S

N._

Mark Lamos has been working in-residence since Oct. 4.
Kerr and Lamos hope the production will seve is s 1each-
ing tools for the young actors who wil tackle the laimous
Shakespearean text.
"The undergraduate students at the Univcrsity ov M ihigia
are quite exceptional," said Lamos, who has gues lectnred st
Juillard and the Yale School of Drama, bot c whih le iure
some of the best graduate theater progrirns i she N mied
States. "You usually don't see this level of wsork ii an utdci
graduate department."
It is the department's attention to the craft, Kerr admon-
ished, that produces quality actors.
"This is a world class university," Kerr said. "You hase to
get over hurdles to be accepted at Michigan."
Those hurdles often trip students who come looking for
fame and fortune as an actor. Only the truly serious ictor wii
survive in the competitive environment of Ann Arboi thseater.
"They have not only a focus on where they're heiig"
Lamos said, "but they know of their ssreigshs and limitatiois.
They're focused about the realities of the profession
Lamos, who is visiting the University after directiig a sercs
of operas, is enjoying a return to the traditional theater, his
first love.
"It's vivifying to be around actors again." Lamos said.
Lamos, too, was once a student actor. After he moed to
New York, he was offered a one and half yc:sr contract for a
soap opera, and considered the job as proftiablc cmploytnent,
not to mention fame and screen exposure.
"But then a friend said: 'Is this what you wsai Ito dCo with
your life? The dialogue is stupid. What about th theite'? It's
what you've always wanted to do.' So I dropped she soap and
went to the Guthrie (Theater)," Lamos said.

His first taste of directing came following a triumphant turn
as lailet .t the Old Globe Theater its atSn Francisco.
Onit oshe blue, a call came,' Lansis said, "I was asked,
llcsc you ever thoight about direcitig' So, I started direct-
in' and I Ic'svcr stopped.' Lamos saiid.
Wh «n Lamoos titss sat in the director's seat, the regional the-
atti scene was busting at the seams with opportunity.
A 1'77 production of Shaw's "Dear liar" found then-first-
Silo director Lamos at the helm, His successes added up and
he oon directed Peter Shaffer's "Equus" for the Arizona
[heaclei Compasny.
Lcmos' cites his beginnings as an actor to have helped him
b 'ccouse ihe director he is; he is better able to understand
ac'ts sltile directing.
"I have less patience with them," Lamos joked. "I'm not in
aswe Cof them.
famns likens his job as a director to that of a glorified edi-
101 or tralis controller. It is a consciously changing art form,
hi fcsre, during, and after rehearsals, that can take on a new
dir'eicoln at any moment.
"You're working towards closure" Lamos said. "Like in
'The Tmpest.' there are so many tensions released in the
room,. ,sery time is a once in a lifetime experience. Three
weeks into the process, that thing you've began to create takes
on a life of its own, and you have to stand back because it
needs to eat and it needs to breathe. You do what you can."
11 1The real talents (of a director) are listening and watching
while it's evolving," Lamos said.
After Lanos departs Ann Arbor this Saturday, he will return to
dilrecling opera for a New York staging of the new American opera
"Centlal Park," which he also directed for Glimmerglass Opera
this summer.
While Kerr will be watching the curtain rise on "The Tempest"
at the Power Center in December, Lamos will be five weeks into
rehearsal for the world premiere of John Harbison's operatic ver-
sion of "The Great Gatsby" for the Metropolitan Opera in Lincoln
Center. A special eight weeks of.rehearsals have been scheduled
for the new work, whose score Lamos describes as "gorgeous.
"larbison is a jazz lover. There are tons of references to '20s
pop musical numbers. The gestures are brilliantly woven,' Lamos
said.
"The Great Gatsby" will join an abundance of new operatic
works by American composers, including William Bolcom's "A
View from the Bridge" and Andre Previn's "Streetcar Named
Desire."
Both operas are based upon great American works of literature
and were instantly judged upon the grounds of tampering with
ready-made masterpieces. The necessity of Gatsby's operatic ver-
sion has already been questioned.
"Ninety-nine percent of the libretto is Fitzgerald's words,
Liamos said. Nick Carraway doesn't function as a narrator, and
most of the novel's thought processes have been turned into arias.
"In opera, characters speaks a truth. In novels, they never speak
truths, but their feelings are revealed through the text," Lamos
said. "More of the characters (in the opera) are truly emphat-
ic. It's a brilliant libretto."

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I

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www.levyartfairs.com
e-mail: audree@levyartfairs.com
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