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September 21, 1999 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-09-21

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Summer of Sam
Spike Lee's latest screens at the Michigan Theater for two
days. Look for some of the year's best filmmaking in this
"Summer"'s most mediocre film.

a1je Ediw n &adu

Tomorrow in Daily Arts:
Check out a yummy review of the new film, "Better Than
Chocolate," playing at the Michigan Theater.

8

Tuesday
September 21, 1999

Empty
'Hill'
tries to
sho ck
By Anika Kohon
Daily Arts Writer
Cartoons, often considered chil-
dren's fare, are getting fresh. That is
not to say they are necessarily get-
ting new and original - simply, they
are getting fresh. Should this really
come as a surprise, though?
From cartoons' inception, creators
have employed guns, dynamite,
anvils and rabbit stews, to bring
laughs. Cartoons then, have always
appealed to the baser human
instincts. In light of this, shows like
"South Park" and the WB's new per-
verse cartoon, "Mission Hill" (from

Irish Riverdance soars .
with its many high leaps

C~~f

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;
V

By Evelyn Miska
For the D~aily
If there was any doubt whether Irish
dancing has moved to into the arena of
popular art forms, Riverdance has dis-
pelled them all. Playing to a sold-out
house in Detroit's Masonic Temple, the
Riverdance Irish Dance troupe amazed
the audience with fancy footwork and
outstanding music.
Riverdance's origins are rather hum-
ble and reach back hundreds upon hun-
dreds of years into Irish history. Not
only is Irish dance an art form, it has
often been a political statement for the

Riverdance
Masonic Temple
sept. 16-19

people of Ireland.
Throughout his-
tory, civil and
religious authori-
ties have tried to
control the Irish
people by legis-
lating music and
dancing. In
1930s, such danc-

a rather definite sauciness which fit the
mood and show perfectly.
The show was an amazing assault on
one's senses. The dancing was stunning,
and the music was both haunting and
beautiful. The performance alternated
between dance sequences and musical
intervals, with solos by a number of
extraordinarily talented musicians and
singers. Liz Knowles, fiddle player for
the Riverdance orchestra, was fabulous
and proved to the audience that the fid-
dle can rock just as much as any other
instrument. Brian O'Brien gave a beau-
tiful performance on the Uilleann pipes
and the audience could just about see
the green fields of Ireland.
The Riverdance Singers were out-
standing as well, and soloist Kate
McMahon's voice was truly amazing.
Hitting impossibly high notes without
any hesitation or problem, McMahon
added an entirely additional dimension
to an already fabulous show. The
singers performed in both Irish and
English and helped the audience recov-
er their sense of calm between the excit-
ing dance sequences.
Last, but by no means, least, the
Riverdance Irish Dance troupe. This
group of 37 dancers plus lead dancers
Eileen Martin and Pat Roddy, com-
pletely stunned and amazed the audi-
ence. The agility and quickness of the
dancers' feet was just about blinding,
and the intricate formations made by
the dancers were extremely interesting.
Besides the many traditional Irish
dance sequences, dancers from other
areas of the world were included as
well. Arantxa Jurado provided the show
with two beautiful and sensual
Flamenco sequences that actually went
startlingly well with the traditional
dance of Ireland.

The second act included a danc
sequence entitled "Trading Taps
which brought tap dancing into ti
show. Toby Harris, Rolandas Hendrjcl
and Karen Callaway Williams g
fabulous and soulful performance
well as demonstrating the similaritii
between the jazzy tradition of tap dan
ing and Irish traditional danc
"Trading Taps" even had the audienc
laughing out loud as the three to
dancers confronted three Irish datce
and the two groups had a mini danc
competition right there on stage. Th
segment of the show truly showed
astonishing similarities between
seemingly different kinds of dance
The international flavor of the sho
continued with a guest appearance t
the Moscow Folk Ballet Compan
Perhaps one of the only flaws in ti
show, it was extremely difficult if n
almost impossible to tell which danc
sequence was performed by th
Moscow Folk Ballet.
The Folk Ballet's number blende
right in with the Irish Dance nurq
and at the end of the show one felt a li
tle let down. Perhaps if their dan
number was made as distinctive as ti
Flamenco and tap dancing number
the audience would have had an easic
time.
Overall, the show was fabulous. Lea
dancers Martin and Roddy proved the
greatness to the audience with lightnir
quick footwork and huge jumps. TI
physical prowess of Roddy was
anced beautifully with the grace ar
elegance that Martin brought to th
stage. There is little doubt that th
group of dancers works incredibly har
and they deserve all the praise they ge
for Riverdance is truly a show not to b
missed.

the producers of
Mission
Hill
The WB
Tuesdays at 9 p.m.
alcoholic dog

"The Simpsons"),
should come as
no surprise.
" M i s s i o n
Hill" offers a
cornucopia of
alcohol and sex-
related images
mixed with a
cacophony to
compliment it.
From Gus and
Wally, the tem-
pestuous gay
couple feuding
over who pur-
chased "cheap
condoms," to an
named Stogie,

I

Courtesy of The WB
"Oh my gosh!" Will the "Mission" even survive through two weeks of airing?

artist, is as fatally flawed as the hero
of any Greek comedy or tragedy, and
he has the low self-esteem only
Woody Allen might understand. One
cannot help noticing Andy's self-
reflexive, self-deprecating
announcement that he is "sick off all
the animated shows on TV." A thin
narrative ploy, this will hardly make
for a season of original laughs.
It is hard to imagine this show
scraping enough trite material out of
the dumpster of humanity to fill an
entire season. Granted, there are
some semi-funny moments. Andy
French's nerdy 1460 SAT-scoring
brother, Kevin, lets loose with his
battle cry, "It's time I start taking
advantage of all this freedom, do
things I could never do with mom
and dad around. Now let's get home
so I can start masturbating!"
At least this show does not suffer
from delusions of self-importance or
stupidly pious morality. Andy

encourages under-aged drinking,
applauds his brother for calling his
AP chemistry teacher a douchebag
and congratulates him for burning
out his "inner light" all in one night.
With help from Jim, the stoner
roommate, Posey, the hippie-chick
relic, Kevin, the Ivy-bound brother, a
sexually aggressive co-worker, a
pompous boss and two gay neigh-
bors, Andy French will try to make
"his cartoon" rise above the ordinary,
formulaic, and predictable nature of
its narrative.
The show's intended demographic
is far too intelligent for this ridicu-
lous display of banal fodder,
"Mission Hill" tries too hard to be
risque, but it will never usurp "South
Park" or "The Simpsons" positions
as original and morally dubious car-
toons. "Mission Hill" leaves the
viewer with a very empty,"been-
there-done-that" feeling, a sort of
queasy deja vu.

ing was even out-
0awed, but this did
not stop the Irish
from dancing.
The traditional
style of dancing
has survived, in part due to Riverdance
and the Trinity Irish Dance troupe of
Chicago, and many people who had
been unfamiliar with such dance are
now great fans.
To some, the unique style of Irish
dance, which insists that the torso and
arms be kept completely stiff, is seen as
a way of suppressing sensuality. Even
though the Riverdance Irish Dance
troupe adhered to this traditional style,
there was nothing dull or unexciting
about the show. The dancers, although
one would not describe as sensual, had

"Mission Hill" is comedy of the low-
est common denominator. Instead of
employing violence, though, the
show employs hyperbolized characa-
tures, sexual rhetoric and foul lan-
guage in an attempt to relate to its
audience.
Andy, the protagonist, a waterbed
salesman, and a frustrated cartoon

TV season brings changvAk

I

PRESENTS A
SPECIAL ADVANCE SCREENING

Newsday
Most of prime-time's veteran
series return to the air this week and
next. Among the big changes: new
cast members on "Chicago Hope"
and "ER"; Heather Locklear joins
"Spin City" and Jesse L. Martin
joins "Law & Order" Here's a look at
what's new on several series:
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer":
Buffy's (Sarah Michelle Gellar) off
to college, while Angel (David
Boreanaz) and Cordelia (Charisma
Carpenter) are off to the spinoff,
"Angel."
"Chicago Hope": Creator David E.
Kelley takes a more active role in
shaping his 6-year-old series. Gone
are Peter Berg, Jayne Brook, Stacy
Edwards, Christine Lahti, Eric Stoltz
and Vondie Curtis-Hall. Mandy
Patinkin (Dr. Jeffrey Geiger) will
return for about half the episodes,
while Carla Gugino, Lauren Holly
and Barbara Hershey join as sur-
geons.
"Dawson's Creek": Creator Kevin
Williamson has left to launch ABC's
"Wasteland." Look for new charac-
ters: Brittany Daniel as the resident
wild girl and Mighael Pitt as a shy
freshman football player.
"Dharma & Greg": Attorney Greg

(Thomas Gibson) becomes more like
Dharma when he quits his job to
seek inner truth.
"The Drew Carey Show": Mimi
(Kathy Kinney) marries Drew's
brother Steve (new cast member
John Carroll Lynch).
"ER": With George Clooney gone,
and Julianna Margulies and Gloria
Reuben on the way out, look for new
faces at County General, including
Michael Michele ("Homicide") as a
new resident, Maura Tierney
("NewsRadio") as a nurse, and
Goran Visnjic as a Croatian doctor.
Alan Alda (as an attending physi-
cian) and Rebecca DeMornay (as Dr.
Carter's patient) will also make fre-
quent guest appearances.
"Felicity": We'll learn whether
Felicity chose Ben or Noel.
"Friends": Following their season-
ending drunken Vegas wedding, Ross
(David Schwimmer) and Rachel
(Jennifer Aniston) must figure out
what to do.
"Jesse": Jesse (Christina
Applegate) quits the bar and heads
for nursing school. Gone: Her dad
(George Dzundza) and brothers
(John Lehr, David DeLuise).
"Law & Order": With Benjamin
Bratt gone, Jesse L. Martin ("Ally

I

i

Courtesy o"ne
Felicity questions a lot this season.
McBeal") joins the cast as Detectiv
Ed Green.
"NYPD Blue": Look for possibl
romances for both widower Sipowic
(Dennis Franz) and his pa
Sorenson (Rick Schroder). Mare
(Nick Turturro) leaves after si
episodes.
"Party of Five": Sarah (Jenmifi
Love Hewitt) moves into her ow
spinoff, "Time of Your Life," ar
Charlie (Matthew Fox) and Kirste
(Paula Devicq) get married. Ky
Secor ("Homicide") plays a boc
editor with eyes for Julia (Nev
Campbell).
"Profiler": Ally Walker I*e
after the season's second episod
replaced by Jamie Luner ("Melrot
Place").
"Spin City": Heather Locklea
("Melrose Place") plays the mayor
(Barry Bostwick) senatorial campa:
manager - and Mike's (Michael
Fox) new rival.
"Suddenly Susan": Judd Nelson-
gone as The Gate's publie
replaced by "Monty Python's'r
Idle, who turns the, magazine into
racy men's publication. He als
brings along a new assistant (She
Shepherd), photographer (Rob Est
of "Melrose Place") and sportswrit
(Currie Graham).

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