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December 10, 1999 - Image 8

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-12-10

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First-Run Films
The University Film & Video department screens student films.
Come see some future Speilbergs and Kubricks debut their films
of this past semester. 7 p.m., East Hall Auditorium, Free

ftj £tcIbgmx &iffg

Monday in Daily Arts:
Check out our last issue of the semester with reviews of holt
day films such as "Man On the Moon" and "Anna and the King.

8

Friday
December 10, 1999

____________________ * I

Young triom
learn from
'Tempest'
professors
By ciistophr Thcaczykc
D~ail Arts Writer
"Bang! Crash! The lightning flashed!"
While that's another story, it is utterly and supremely
"The Tempest," the last play by William Shakespeare.
Show business biographer John McCabe, having
earned his doctorate from the Shakespeare Institute in
Stratford-upon-Avon, insists Shakespeare to be the best-
ever poet, dramatist and writer. A combination of these
qualities, he says, will never repeat itself - in this or
other millennia.
So such a dusk as tonight's is the best-ever to present,
at the end of the millennium, Shakespeare's last play.
Shakespeare's cultural influence isn't merely limited
to musical theater, his verse having inspired poets since
his words were first put to the page. Even "The
Tempest" reappears in many modern works, including
those of T.S. Eliot, who painted poetic canvases with
Ariel's tongue, ushering her Act Il.i words to Ferdinand:
"Come unto these yellow sands.
And then take hands:
Curtsied when you have, and kissd,
The wild waves whist:'
Eliot's allusions to Shakespeare run as rampant as the
as, fathering yet another star to shine in the mod-
erist's eye. From Shakespeare's "The Tempest" comes
Eliot's "Wasteland," and thereabouts returns.
So it comes with a dose of trepidation for three
University students selected to perform in the School of
Music's millennium-end production of "The Tempest."
Surviving the swells of the language requires bravery
and skill, not to mention the talent so carefully attrib-
uted to them by director and Prof. Philip Kerr.
Amid a cast of seasoned actors and professors, three
Music students: junior Maclain Looper, senior Julia
Siple and sophomore Margaret Smith are the talented
craftsmen of the stage who portray the youngest char-
acters in Kerr's "The Tempest." Siple and Smith are stu-
dents in the department of theater and drama, while
Looper studies in the department of musical theater.
Sharing the stage with more than a handful of profes-

'Tempest'

cedes

r

millennium with
storm of effects

41

8y Jenni Glenn
Daily Fine & Performing Arts Editor
University Productions made cer-
tain to let the millennium go out
with a bang, in the form of a thun-
derclap. The organization's stormy
production of Shakespeare's "The
Tempest" brews a potent combina-
tion of spectacular effects and mar-
velous acting.
The production unites local
artists and faculty members with
students in a fantastic tribute to the

Courtesy of University Productions

Maclain Looper, Philip Kerr and Julia Siple make magic in "The Tempest."

sors is not merely a challenge, but also a fear, Smith said
yesterday, the morning before opening night.
"It's a confusing kind of play. There's so much being
told in the language. Most of (the professors) have prob-
ably done this show. I felt kind of dumb and blind in the
beginning, before rehearsals started."
Siple admits to having shared with Smith's pre-
rehearsal jitters, but was calmed as consulting director
and assoc. adjunct Prof. Mark Lamos guided the cast
through its first read-throughs of the play in early
October.
Lamos "was so clever and awesome with the lan-
guage," Siple said. "He explained the poetry and the
language of the play, making it come alive as wonderful
and fascinating."
Their fellow rude mechanicals, including Profs. Erik
Fredricksen, Kerr, John Neville-Andrews, Beverly
Pooley, George Shirley, Malcolm Tulip and Leigh
Woods, each offered insight through their different
approaches to acting.
"Almost all of them were off-book by the first
rehearsal," Looper said.
Memorization of Shakespeare's text was an obstacle
in preparing for the production. Body memory, the
process of associating the dialogue with Kerr's block-
ing, was a woodshed for the students, especially Siple.
"Once you're on your feet, you're good to go.
Everything kind of cements itself"Siple said.

Kerr's direction gave further light to the drama. Also
playing Prospero, Kerr was able to demonstrate his urg-
ings, Looper said, helping to define his intentions for
the production and how the students should physicalize
his direction.
"It's been amazing for him to teach you and then
watch him step onstage and see it in action," Siple said.
After two months of rehearsals, the trio are ready for
this, the opening weekend.
"I'm so excited for tonight," Smith said ofyesterday's
opening night. "I'm really ready for it. We've built this
beautiful experience. Now I want to give it away."
Having mastered Shakespeare's "Tempest" as a final
endeavor before the dawn of the millennium, the actors
find themselves wishing to returnto Shakespeare, quite
soon. Siple is hoping to direct a show next semester in
Basement Arts, and Smith will be searching for anoth-
er job. Looper, on the other hand, is expected to set
across the sea for London, where he'll study theater for
a semester. Naturally, he expects to encounter
Shakespeare there.
But the storm's not over yet. Whether daring to ven-
ture into Sondheim's woods, or tempting to set sail on a
wide Sargasso sea, rest assured: Shakespeare's afoot.
This is theffinal article in a sefies about "The
Tempest." Perfornnances continue tonight and
tomorow at 8p.m. and Sunday at 2p.m.
Call (734) 764-0450for more information.

The
Tempest
Power Center
Dec. 9.1999

end of the mil-
lennium. Each
actor's perfor-
mance reflect-
ed that profes-
sional standard
of excellence,
from the gasp-
ing exertions of
Law Prof.
E m e r i t u s
Beverley J.
Pooley's char-
acter Gonzalo
after a hike to
the minor
movements of

enough for even those with little
exposure to understand. He made
Prospero's pregnant glances at his
daughter and brother full of mean-
ing, adding to the character's aura of
mystical power.
Audience attention focused on
Prof. John Neville-Andrews and
Prof. Malcolm Tulip in their
comedic roles as the butler
Stephano and Trinculo, the jester.
The two cavorted about the stage in
mismatched clothes, dancing drunk-
enly and performing somersaults.
The younger actors lived up to the
level of talent surrounding them.
Senior Julia Siple, as Prospero's
daughter Miranda, focused on all of
the awkwardness inherent in a
young lady who cannot remember
what it is like to live in civilized
society. Tramping around in galosh-
es, Siple's Miranda frequently twist-
ed her hands in a true display of
shyness. Alongside Siple, junior
Maclain Looper portrayed
Ferdinand, the prince of Naples,
delivering fire in his passionate
speeches and a singlemindedness to
his character.
Kerr showcases this talented cast
with a unique twist on the setting.
As the audience members took their
seats, the cast was already on stage,
reenacting a rehearsal, complete
with actors portraying the crew
members and the actors drinking
and talking on cell phones.
The shock came when this
rehearsal turned into the play.
Sitting around a table reading
through the first scene, the actors
began to emulate sailors. Tulip
added to the effect by spraying the
See TEMPEST, Page 9

Ol

r

dancer Peter Sparling's fingers as he
danced the part of Prospero's spirit.
Director Philip Kerr's attention to
detail shined through in every
scene.
"The Tempest" provides a unique
opportunity for students to witness
the talents of the faculty, many of
whom have extensive professional
firsthand experience. Kerr por-
trayed the lead Prospero in addition
to directing the show. His past expe-
rience served him well, especially in
his capacity to articulate the
Shakespearean language well

f

0

Darabont, Duncan go the extra 'Mile' .

By Ed Sholinsky
Daily Film Editor
Frank Darabont is a man in a precari-
ous position. Like directors Quentin
Tarantino after "Pulp Fiction" and David
Lynch after "Elephant Man," Darabont
has to live up to the expectations of the
wildly popular, well-received film - in
this case "The Shawshank Redemption"
-- that shot his career through the roof.
While Tarantino followed up with the
underrated and largely ignored "Jackie
Brown" and Lynch with the awful
"Dune," Darabont looks to buck the trend
with "The Green Mile."
In "The Green Mile," Darabont - his
second feature and his second big-screen

Stephen King adaptation - goes back to
prison, this time setting it in Depression-
era Louisiana. At the heart of the story is
Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks), the head of
Cold Mountain Prison's death row, or as
they refer to it, the green mile.
As the main story opens (after a pre-
sent time sequence) Edgecomb is suffer-
ing from the worst bladder infection of
his life, dealing with Percy Wetmore
(Doug Hutchinson), the asshole nephew
of the governor's wife who's been
assigned to the mile, and new inmate
John Coffey (a sure Oscar nominee,
Michael Clarke Duncan). Edgecomb is
used to keeping the mile under control,
but Coffey disrupts his normal way of

life, challenging his notion of what a vio-
lent killer is.
A gentle giant, Coffey was found cov-
ered in blood with two dead little girls.
Edgecomb has trouble accepting his guilt,

The Green
Mile
At Briarwood, Quality 16
& Showcase

however, as there
is something about
a man who is
afraid of the dark
and cries at sad
music that marks
him as anything
but a killer.
"The Green
Mile" speeds
along - even
with a three-hour
plus running time
- and incorpo-
rates a slew of

subplots, most notably the death row
appearance of William "Wild Bill"
Wharton (Sam Rockwell) and a special
mouse named Mr. Jingles.
Wharton tries to shift the balance of
power on the mile, attacking the guards
when he comes in and causing a general
ruckus. In an important turn, he kicks the
ailing Edgecomb in the balls before he is
subdued, which leads Coffey to show just
how different he is. Coffey, in a strange
turn, lays his hand on Edgecomb's boys
and takes the bladder infection out of him.
Nothing is the same after that as Coffey
displays his healing powers a few more
times and convinces all of the death row
guards that he is a miracle. And this is one
of the flaws of the film - it's impossible
to believe from the get-go that Coffey
See Mile, Page 9

F

The University of Michigan
SCHOOL OF Music
DANCE DEPARTMENT
Thursday-Saturday, December 9-11, 8:00pm
Betty Pease Studio Theater
Twenty musicians, dancers, visual and multi-media artists.
THEATRE DEPARTMENT: The Tempest
Thursday-Saturday, December 9-11, 8:00pm
Sunday, December 12, 2:00pm
Power Center
Tickets are $18, $14 and $7 for students with I.D. For informa-
tion and tickets call (734) 764-0450
SYMPHONY BAND & CONCERT BAND
Friday, December 10, 8:00pm
Hill Auditorium
CONTEMPORARY DIRECTIONS ENSEMBLE
Saturday, December 11, 8:00pm
Rackham Auditorium
UNIVERSITY PHILHARMONIA ORHESTRA

i

I

I

-As print. Sprint PCS' presents

Courtesy of Castle Rock Filmy
Tam Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan pause in the lengthy film "The Green Mile."

GE35TH ANNUAL
GREAT LAKES INVITATIONAL

a I

r

I

I

WEDNESDAY. DECEMBER 29
U of M vs. LSSU * 4:00pm
MSU vs. MICHIGAN TECH " 7:30pm
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 30
THIRD PLACE GAME " 4:00pm
V CHAMPIONSHIP GAME " 7:30pm

Sunday, December 12, 4:00pm
Hill Auditorium
Respighi's Fountains of Rome, Stravinsky's Le Chant du
Rossignol
UNIVERSITY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

UNW

.Y1oe T onis Arena

L 1 IM.

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