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October 26, 1999 - Image 20

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-26

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Innocent Criminals ffidgan iai1 Tonorrow in Daily Arts: 1
U Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals come to Hill Auditorium. U Looing to get out of town? Weekend, etc. Magazine
Harper will perform music from his latest release, "Burn to exames the possibilities of studying abroad.
Shne. 7:30 p.m
Wednesday :T
October 27, 1999
Au or remembers 'Lucy' at Borders

By Jean Lee
For the Daily
"I Love Lucy" fans will have a
chance to see lost scenes from the
landmark sitcom and get a first-hand
yicw of the making of the show as
Gregg Oppenheimer stops by Ann
Arbor to sign new paperback edi-
tions of his 1996 book, "Laughs,
Luck .. and Lucv: How I Came to
Create the Most Popular Sitcom of
All Time."
Son of the "I Love Lucy" head
writer and producer Jess
Oppen he itmer
G r e g g
took on the task
Gregg of editing and
Oppenheimer completing his
father's memoirs
Borders after his death in
Tonight at 7:30 1988.
His rese'arch
y has culminated
into a 312-page
hook fwith a
free audio CD of
lost "I Love
Lucy" scenes),
which traces the beginnings of
American broadcasting history as
his father humorously recollects the
days of creating the unforgettable
characters of Lucy and Ricky
The book, which wvtt the "Best
Pop Culture Audiobook of 1998" by
Publisher's Weekly for its audio cas-
sette edition, recounts Jess
Oppenheimer's first encounters with
Lucille Ball in directing the 1948
radio show "My Favorite Husband"
before launching "I Love Lucy," as
well as his experiences growing up
with double-vision, which served as
a source for the sense of humor
essential to creating the foundation
of American television sitcoms.
"I-Love Lucy" was a hit as soon as
it hit the air in October of 1951, the
same year Gregg Oppenheimer was
It was the first TV show to use
three moving cameras before a live
audience (a system still used today),
as well as the first show to use the
"in the lens" teleprompter, an inven-
tion by Jess Oppenheimer.
The show has never been off the
air since its original six-y-ar run.
The 179 episodes have been translat-
ed into II languages, making mil-
lions laugh not only in this country
with Nick at Nite reruns, but around
the world.

courtesy of Syracuse University Pre
Jess Oppenheimer's memories of his life with Lucille Ball are compiled in a new book.

"The things that were said on the
show were the same kind of remarks
you heard around the house," said
Oppenheimer, noting that the show's
sense of humor came directly from
his father and watching the show is
"like watching home videos" for
He also mentioned that Desi
Arnaz's character of Ricky Ricardo
reminded him very much of the late
Jess Oppenheimer in his struggle for
a normal life while working in
"My father had a reputation of
being the nicest guy in Hollywood.
ie never went to any big Hollywood
parties - he wanted to be with his
family," Oppenheimer said.
He also mentioned that his father
was a great storyteller and his fami-
ly urged him to start writing his
memoirs so that he could share his
stories with everyone.
"We wanted to have something for
the family," Oppenheimer said of his
impetus in editing and publishing
"Laughs, Luck ... and Lucy"
"There is a lot of inaccuracy about
the show in the media,"
Oppenheimer said, also mentioning
that his father's name often gets
"chopped off" in all the abundant
"Hopefully, people can rely on

impact of "I Love Lucy."
Oppenheimer brought the veterans
of the "I Love Lucy" cast together
this summer for "Lucy's First
Sitcom: A 50th Anniversary
Reunion," where he produced and
directed a live on-stage recreation of
"My Favorite Husband"
The show's single performance
raised close to 550,000 for the
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS
"I just like hanging out with these
people," Oppenheimer said of the
veterans of the show.
"They're such amazing profes-
sionals." He also mentioned that the
show is something that everyone
Oppenheimer also created the
Web site (wvsw.ucyibrarv.com)
dedicated to "I Love Lucy" at the
end of last year at the request of the
"Desilu" duo's daughter, Lucie
The site features various informa-
titon relevant to the show', from video
archives, a shopping corner featur-
ing the new Lucy stamps and Mattel
Lucy Dolls, to information regard-
ing the whereabouts of veteran
members of the show.
Having recently given up at 20-
year practice in law to write for tele-
vision and continue his father's
Lucy-legacy with his own sense of
humor, Oppenheimer is working on
a book of original Lucy scripts for
the show's 50th anniversary in 2001.
"We watched a lot of TV together.
He loved to watch me laugh and I
loved to see him laugh:"
Oppenheimer said, adding that his
father would have liked many of the
sitcoms today, including the Lucy-
like "Everybody Loves Raymond"
and "Dharma and Greg."
He also mentioned that the
"Golden Girls" was one of his
father's favorite television shows in
the 1980s.
"I was very close to him. His death
was a huge blow" Oppenheimer said
of his father, recounting a poignant
moment when he edited the first
pages of his father's memoirs while
he was still alive.
"You're one hell of an editor," his
father had said to him.
Visiting the University as part of
his national book tour, Oppenheimer
will be showing never before seen
episodes from "I Love Lucy" and
speaking to a Film and Video
Studies class this morning, as well
as at Border's in the evening.

'Dino Crisis' provides
new hor chdeng

Courtesy of Syracuse University Press
Gregg Oppenheimer speaks tonight at
Borders Books & Music.
this," he said.
"Looking back, you realize you
take a lot of stuff for granted,"
Oppenheimer said when asked about
his experience in tracing his father's
life through the multitude of manu-
scripts he went through for this pro-
"It was just incredible what they
accomplished. It was a landmark
show. Everybody knows a special
thing - they just didn't know it
would last this long," he said of the

Dino Crisis
Dino Crisis comes from the cre-
ator of the Resident Evil games,
comes with a playable demo of the
next new Resident Evil game and
generally lives in the shadow of its
living dead brethren.
That's not an entirely deserved
position. Dino Crisis is the same
type of game as the Resident Evil
series, but the differences are stun-
ningly substantial. The enemies are
big and quick moving dinosaurs,
usually by themselves which offers a
significantly different type of play
from shooting a collection of zom-
bies. Players married to the old type
of gameplay may be hostile towards
this, but that's their problem.
You are special task force agent
Regina, and you're running around a
secret research base trying to kidnap
energy scientist Dr. Kirk who didn't
want to work for the government any-
more. Unfortunately you soon discov-
er there are viscous dinosaurs running
around who've killed most of the staff.
Well, at least you don't have to kill the
other humans like you probably were
planning on in order to obtain your
McGuffin scientist. It's hard to imag-
ine what it would be like to be sur-
prised by this; the game title and
known genre remove the sting of dis-
covery to a great extent.
There aren't all that many
dinosaurs around; that's good
because they require a lot of ammo
to take down. A lot of your arma-
fl vnt w kn* *Ef n

menis are actually tranquilizers:, you
will put dinosaurs into an uneasy
(for you) sleep, and you can -walk
past their sleeping hulks several
'imes until they wake up again' and
equire attention. The dinosaurs alse
ave a nasty habit of getting up'aff6'
bing shot into unconsciousnest e
et you. There should be some Wit
o' decapitating function where Vot
cL1 finish off an unconscious ani
m3. Oh well.
'he game is full of pants moisten-
ing moments, partially becausel'ti
pauity of enemies makes you expect
oneit any moment while the tetitor
Bu there are probably not as many
inherently big shocks as in similal
gamesYou are encouraged to alis
sneak around, fruitlessly trying. tc
avoid ny encounters of the Bfets
tearing kind. That wears at times
though, and sometimes you'llte
hoping here's something big' and
extinct ,round the next corner c
break up he tedium of trying to fig'
ure out wat you didn't do yet thats
required ti move the game forward
The puzzltsolving on the disc isn
too hard to'igure out, it's just a t.
ter of exanining the right place at
the right tire.
Dino Criss probably isn't quite at
good as the esident Evil games, bu
it's still a fine addition to a game
Combined vith the preview demr
of Resident Elil 3, the disc shoulk
be well worth tie time of horror sur
vivalists. Now if only there was
zombie dinosau game.
- Ted M:

First impressions are deceiving in 'Skin Deep'

Skin Deep
Kathleen Cross
Avon Books
Sex, love, conflicts and skin color comprise the
new book "Skin Deep" by Kathleen Cross.
First impressions are often deceiving, and this
theme prevails throughout "Skin Deep."
Kathleen Cross has discussed many aspects of
skin color and race on "Opera," "Donahue," and
"The Montel Williams Show."
She has also been in "Ebony," with a featured
story about looking white while being black and
all of the social problems that come along with
Nina Moore, the main character in "Skin Deep,"
is a black woman who is devoted to the Black

Student Union group, yet many people perceive
her as a white woman.
Nina has many problems throughout the book.
She finds her boyfriend in bed with another
woman, for example, and every night she has a ter-
rible nightmare that frightens her so much that she
can't get to sleep.
Ahmad, another main character, also has strug-
gles, but of a very different nature.
Right after he is released from prison, he dis-
covers that his wife has passed away, and now he
is forced to take care of his little girl, Ebony, while
trying to get his life back in order.
Cross writes with much detail about the charac-
ters' feelings and actions.
There is racial tension that builds up throughout
the book, but the characters' voices are heard
clearly, making them identifiable for the reader.

People are described with much imagery. And,
this being a book about peoples' lives and their
skin color, that is a very important aspect. Hair,
eyes, skin, even freckles are described to a sci-
ence, so the reader can easily create a picture of
the characters in your head.
People aren't always what they seem. This
theme prevails throughout the story, as more and
more of the characters have an unexpected quality,
or don't act as one might expect.
"Skin Deep" may at first seem as if it is just a
typical romance novel, but if you keep reading
you'll find much more, deep inside the book.
It, too, is not what it seems, and if you look
beyond the skin, you'll discover the true meaning
to "Skin Deep"
-Shannon O'Sullivan

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