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September 28, 1999 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-09-28

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Kenneth Kiesler conducts at Hill Auditorium. The University
Symphony Orchestra will perform Smetana's "The Moldau" and
Shostakovich's "Symphony No. 5." 8 p.m.

Ufbe idjia &tu

omorrow In Daily Arts:
U Check out a preview of Laurie Anderson's multi-media
performance, "Songs nd Stores From Moby Dick,"


September 28, 1999


joins cast
of 'SpAMin
C ity
By Greg Bibens
For the Daily
The catchy theme song and familiar
faces of the hit TV show "Spin City"
premiered for its third season last
Tuesday. But this season a different twist
took viewers by surprise as Heather
Locklear, of "Dynasty" and "Melrose
Place" fame, stole the show as the new
girl on the job.
After Major Randall Winston decides
he needs help, he orders Deputy Mayor
Michael Flaherty (Michael J. Fox) to aid
him in running the city, but first he must
hire someone to run the campaign.
M o could better fill Flaherty's shoes
than the corky, blond spitfire Caitlin
Moore (Heather Locklear). Even before
she establishes herself as campaign man-
ager, Caitlin wins over the mayor by her
ease at work, Stuart (Alan Ruck) by her
good looks and Flaherty by her suppos-
edly unqualified resume.
But she proves to be much more as
she later explains the misprint in her
resume - "University of
Massachusetts." "Oh, that's supposed to
read A University in Massachusetts,"'
she corrects Flaherty adding that she is a
graduate of Harvard.
Since debuting in September of '96,
the show has had many twists and turns.
With the release of Fox's love interest on
the show, Ashley (Carla Gugino), the
writers decided to focus more on the
office staff. And after losing Stacey
(Jennifer Esposito), one of the female
secretaries, at the end of last season, the
staff of Spin City decided to create
another female character.
When given a list of actors available to
work, a unanimous decision was made to
contact Locklear, who recently finished
her work on the long-lived series,
Melrose Place.


Film spews repugnant
independent 'Adventure'

By Aaron Rich
Daily Arts Writer
It must be clear from the beginning that the title, "The
Adventures of Sebastian Cole" is a misnomer - well, at
least there are no adventures in the film. It's entirely
understandable that the marketing and promotions peo-
ple would opt for that name, over a more honest one
(such as "Sebastian Cole: Boy Who Sits on Roof Tops")
- but, oh, well.
Titular character. Scbaslian
(Adrian Grenier) lives in rural New
York State in the early 1980s wit hiS
Adventures of mother, sister and stepfather. As
Sebastian Cole soon as Sis graduates from high
school, Step Dad, Haink (Clark
Gregg) announces that he is going to
At state start a hormone therapy process
before he undergoes a scx chang{e
Mom takes off for England and
directionless Sebastian ends up liv-
ing with Hank (who changes his
name to Henrietta -- no kidding).
For the next 75 minutes, we are
forced to watch Sebastian do nothing out of the ordinary
for a boy of his age.
There's something about the 1980s in the New York/New
Jersey area that is utterly unappealing - both in story and
aesthetic appearance. Another good example of this is Susan
Skoog's 1998 endeavor "Whatever," about a girl just as plain
as Sebastian who also has no direction (nor does she have
enough interesting issues about which to write a film).
In both that film and "Sebastian Cole," perhaps the
only positive comment could be that they get the ugliness
and striped polyester of the early '80s down so well that

the vomit sneaks to the top of our throats and we thank
goodness that short hair is back in style these days.
"Sebastian Cole" wreaks of the worst of independent
film. Everything smells of fishy, low-budget writing and
acting. The makeup looks pulled directly fr .
writer/director Tod Williams' refrigerator (that is the
movie, ketchup-like blood) and the wigs (long hair, man)
seem to be directly from the horse stalls.
So, we'd think that the story of a boy being raised by
his transgendered stepfather would be a big part of his
life story. Well, actually, it's not. Williams spends no time
dealing with the fact that this boy's only male "role-
model" is a woman. It's an interesting idea for a story -
but somehow. it did not make it into this flick.
And, once again, back to this idea of "adventure," we
wait for anything exciting to happen - even a mit
adventure would be greatly appreciated, Mr. Williams. At
one momet in the film, Sebastian alludes to his "sec-
ond" adx enture, which begs the question: When was the
"first advenure"? Oh, yeah, it was that really boring
New York City sequence that nearly put us to sleep.
It is not clear whether the second adventure was
planned to be about alcohol poisoning, or if Sebastian,
the never-tiring journeyman, just got really pissed one
I's not clear, but it seems as if his third (and, perhaps
last) adventure involves an Oldsmobile boat in a car acd
dent caused by Sebastian who gets some bad (and po
ly delivbered) news, The crash does lead to that wonder-
fully bad make-up, though.
We should not hold our breath waiting for
"Adventures, Part Two." But don't be surprised, as long
as there are talentless actors and filmmakers out there,
there will always be bad independent wrecks like
"Sebastian Cole."

Courtesy of ABC
Heather Locklear joins the "Spin City" cast for the show's third season.

Locklear seems to have been wel-
comed by both the public and the cast
and crew with open arms. As she burst
into Flaherty's office in the premiere
episode, she was greeted by the audi-
ence's chorus of cheers and round of
Spin City writer and producer Tim
Hobert expressed the feelings generated
by those behind the scenes in a recent
interview with the Daily "She fits in per-
feet. She doesn't act like a big star
Hobert commends, adding, "She just
wants to be part of the ensemble and
everyone loves her."
Executive producer, and star of the
show, Fox echoed these comments,
when he called into Larry King Live
recently. During Locklear's interview
with King, Fox called in to publicize his
praise of her. He stated that he and his
wife knew Locklear personally and he
knew it was important to hire someone
that would gel well with the other
actors. "Who would be able to fit into
the comfortable working telaionship?"
was the question - Locklear was the

With Locklear's contract signed for a
year, there is much in store for Caitlin's
character. Since she has been hired to
spearhead Mayor Winston's campaign,
she presents herself as an equal to
"I'm going to run this campaign, I'm
going to win it, and you can't stop me,'
she informed Flaherty in the premiere.
As Hobert relayed, he hopes the
mutual competition and tension
between Caitlin and Mike will create
some powerful scenes between them.
As the season ticks on, Hobert envi-
sions a bit of sexual interest mounting
between them as well.
This addition may prove to be a suc-
cess for "Spin City." Even with such
hard hitters as Fox and a premiere guest
appearance by acclaimed baseball player
Roger Clemens, Locklear holds her own,
commanding the screen with presence
and vivacity. In fact, the show left you
wanung more of the newcomer -a true
sin that a hard-hitting season is to

Barry reveals talent as novelist'

Crashers bring punk to Cargo's

By Meghan Kennedy
For the Daily
After nearly two hours of groping several hundred expectant
fans, Clutch Cargo's security opened the doors of the Mill
Street Entry on Sunday night. Abused patrons stood in line for
a healthy dose of up-beat ska-punk dished out by the Dance
Hall Crashers.
Limp was supposed to start the show, but around 9 p.m. No
Use: For a Name, the other band on the bill, hit the stage
instead, telling us that Limp was running late, so they were
going on first. No Use for a Name immediately started things
off full-force with "Justified Black Eye," one of their more
popular songs.
The band delivered their repertoire of driving punk rock
anthems, with styles ranging from Green Day-esque pop-punk
to the fast, heavy drums and power chords of hardcore. They
urged the kids in the front to dance and mosh throughout the
set. They covered "Redemption" by Bob Marley and "All I
Ever Wanted" by Depeche Mode, two interesting songs to hear
punk rock versions of.
To the cheers of a sufficiently warmed-up crowd, the
Dance Hall Crashers took the stage. Not many people know
of this band from Berkeley, Calif. They've been around as
long as God, and they've put out over a dozen CD's in the past
decade. The Crashers have inspired bands like No Doubt and
Save Ferris, but don't hold that against them - teachers are
always better than the students. The Crashers write songs
about everything - subject matter includes cat fights, guys
addicted to coffee, and lots of girlie love songs set to fast
paced ska. What else would you expect from a band fronted

by a pair of girlie-girl lead singers, Rogers and Karina
Denike. Decked out in big shoes, cute dresses and faces
painted on, the two of them mesmerized the crowd. Without
being beautiful at all. they still managed to be sexy and every-
one in the crowd knew it.
Denike is the drama queen of the dynamic duo. She could-
n't seem to stop moving around the stage, dancing, singing in
the faces of the audience and making googly eyes at Rogers. At
one point she even tried to kiss her. Antics aside, she never
missed a note, her voice sounding better than it does on CD.
Rogers seemed content to sit back and watch Denike go. She
danced around a little, but you could tell that she felt awkward
doing anything but singing. Throughout the set the two women
performed impeccably. They would stare into each other's eyes
as if it was in each others retinas that they found their harmo-
ny. Their two voices, when together sound as one, but every
note is sung in a very tight harmony, requiring nothing short of
telepathy to pull off.
Through most of the concert they ignored the rest of the
band, and played off of each other, demanding the crowd to
look at them.
The Crashers plowed through most of their "oldie but good-
ie" numbers, but played a lot of material off of their new record,
"Purr." They pulled off the mix of old and new material, and
the kids were just as excited about hearing the less familiar
material as they were about the old.
The few instrumental pieces were perfectly executed, the
singing flawless and the audience interaction was charming.
The next time this little, unknown band from Berkeley comes
to town, make sure they crash your party.

Dave Barry
Big Trouble
There will be some interest, rest
assured, in Dave Barry's new novel
"Big Trouble." Barry has already
assured that he will be staying off
food stamps for the foreseeable
future, thanks to his nationally syn-
dicated, Pulitzer Prize-winning
humor column for the Miami Herald.
Barry's long list of books also
includes a fistful of bestsellers. But
in this case, interest does not insure
purchase of Barry's debut as a novel-
The fact is, no matter how much
one may be amused by reading
Barry, he doesn't necessarily come
across in print as someone mentally
balanced enough to sustain a few
hours of civility in your living room
some evening, let alone the disci-
plined creative effort required to
oxygenate a fully formed, full-
fledged fictional landscape.
But judging from "Big Trouble," it
turns out Barry sometimes takes his
medication after all.
For a first-time effort, "Big
Trouble" is crafted and conceived
well enough to satisfy any architect,
if that architect was well enough
armored not to mind the literary
roller derby that is the mind of Barry.
Barry's fans need not have fear.
Just because the baby-boomer poster
boy for the lifelong midlife crisis has
focused on his task enough to keep
his plot interesting and coherent
doesn't mean he isn't still taking a
walk on the wild side.
The plot's tightness reinforces
rather than tones down its dizzying

dementia, which yet has a nagging
resemblance to life on our home
It helps that Barry sets his madcap
tale in a setting he has intimate
familiarity with, his home of Miami,
The novel's skeletal framework is
that of a caper-story crime novel
reminiscent of Elmore "Dutch"
Leonard or fellow Miami native Carl
Hiaasen. But whereas those authors
spike their gritty crime landscape
with humor, Barry has spiked his
hallucinations with crime.
And though reading Barry can
seem like madness, don't fool your-
self into thinking that there isn't a
method in it.
From the opening pages, which are
centered around a homeless man
named Puggy and the ludicrous (yet
logical, considering society's schizo-
phrenic disposition towards its
homeless) concerns that occupy his
day, Barry never gets nutty without
enclosing satirical bite inside the
Some recurring themes will be
familiar to Barry's readers: Dogs are
dumber than rocks; absolutely every-
one in Miami, including knder-
garteners, is probably armed; all
music recorded after 1977 is offen-
sive sacrilege.
Some new angles of the Barry
worldview emerge from the depic-
tion of protagonist Elliot Arnold, a
divorced dad who has quit his job
writing for the Miami Herald in
hilarious fashion.
Based on the acidity with which
the Herald is described, Elliot's
course of action is one that Barry no
doubt has fantasized duplicating.
Elliot finds himself a journalistic
pariah and struggles to stay solvent

running an independent ad agency
consisting of himself.
Most of Elliot's clients either have
little intention of paying for Elliot's
services or berate him for incorpo-
rating insufficient cleavage in their
Suffice to say that Elliot and
teenage son get mixed up with t
world's most satanic building con-
tractors, mob hitmen and the inde-
scribable Puggy, easily Barry's most
memorable character.
Barry's inexperience with the
novel form is not completely con-
cealed. He falls back once or twice
too often on his field-tested bag of
More disappointingly, he wasg
ink and kills trees with a lamely pre-
dictable romantic subplot that is as
beneath Barry's standards as Julia
Roberts was above Lyle Lovett's.
Barry does show a previously
unearthed knack for bantering dia-
logue, but he has a long way to go to
reach the lofty territory of Dutch
Every so often, he sinks into gim-
micks worthy of a quickly-cancelled
sitcom; for example: four peopl
standing in a room utter the same
banality except for the last, who yells
at the dog for sticking its nose in her
Barry would be a promising young
novelist if he were young. As it is, it
seems likely that his golden goose
over in the nonfiction shelves will
keep him from devoting himself to
realizing the potential as a cor
novelist he shows in "Big Trouble.
This book will deliver a fun couple
of hours, and sometimes it's wise to
quit while you're ahead.
-Jeff Druchniak


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