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September 25, 2000 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-09-25

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A RTS The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 25, 2000 -
Maiden's Prayer' retains intimacy of Performance Network

9A

By Rosemary Metz
Daily Arts trur
[he more things change, the
more they remain the same,' is an
dage that might be applied to the
erformance Network.
The theatre s recent move to the
Co urt ho a s e
Square Building
n downtown
Ann Arbor is a
he Maiden'S change in loca-
Prayer tion. Yet, the
Performance artrstic antimacy
Network Lor which this
Throughoct. 15 theatre is
renoved has
remained intact..
This intimacy
was clearly
demonstrated in
the firs, show of

the fall season, "The Maiden's
Prayer." Audience and players were
artistically and personally inter-
twined as the story opened and pro-
gressed.
A splashy new set by Monika
Essen creates the ambience for this
play by Nicky Silver. Very contem-
porary, the play centers on the lives
and interactions of a romantic quar-
tet.
Glass entry doors for a summer
garden mirrored, sometimes faintly,
the expressions and attitudes of the
members of this quadrangle. The set
assumed a life of its own in many
ways, reflecting back to the charac-
ters. Identity becomes blurred, as
each character presents a front to the
world while hiding their own unsure-
aess.
Libby (Carla Milarch), sister of
Cynthia (Sarab Kamoo), recites a

litany of all the wrongs wreaked on
her by her sister. Cynthia, the preg-
nant bride, on the other hand, is stri-
dent, often condescending to Libby.
Taylor (Scott Crownover), the bride-
groom, is the object of desire of
Libby, Cynthia, and his childhood
friend, Paul (David Wolber). The
dynamics for these four characters
are the basis for quick and tart repar-
tee.
Later in the play, Cynthia's baby
son is stillborn, plunging her and
Taylor into deep, relentless sadness.
Taylor becomes despondent when
Cynthia leaves him and considers
suicide. Meanwhile, Libby has
entered into a life of prostitution.
Twists in the plot re-unite Taylor
and Paul. A fifth character, Andrew
(Bart Philip Williams) becomes the
unwanted houseguest of Paul.
Andrew is a keen observer of these

activities while indulging (and vivid-
ly disclosing) his own love affairs.
Late 20th Century themes are
woven throughout this play such as
alienation, psychotherapy, support
groups, 12-step programs, loss, dis-
covery and relationships.
Although the new space provides
for more daring innovations at the
Performance Network, there is also
a sense of unfamiliarity. When the
sisters meet after the loss of Cyn-
thia's baby, a moment of sheer beau-
ty is lost in the acoustics. The grief
stricken sisters cry out their loss,
but their cries become ear-splitting
shrill shrieks. Or, when Taylor's off-
stage gunshot is heard, the reverber-
ation causes a tiny sound, instead of
the drama of a possible mortal
wound.
While the acting, on the whole, is
excellent, the play has serious

flaws.
When Libby reveals to Cynthia
that she has become a prostitute,
she says flatly, "I have become a
prostitute," with the impact of a
grocery shopping list. When Taylor
announces his suicidal intentions to
Paul, Paul replies, "but you have
more strength than you realize."
Yet, there are tender and very
touching moments that neutralize
these weaknesses. After the gunshot
is heard, Taylor returns to the spot-
light. He announces that he "did not
die." The crux of the play is
summed up in his words that, when
he looked into the mirror, he saw
"him," finally. Despising "him,"
Taylor drew the gun and shot into
the mirror. The hate and horror of
Taylor's inner self, finally reflected
back to him, is destroyed in that
instant, freeing him to pursue his

childhood sweetheart, Paul.
Reflections are found in many
places in this play. Costumes (Edith
Leavis Bookstein) reflect the
changes in the womens' lives. Libby
transitions from her sister's brides-
tiaid dress through to the multi-col-
ored leathers of her new career,for
example. Taylor's costume changes
reflect his change from the swao-
gering, overly confident newlywed,
to the broken, exhausted man
attempting to stitch together a new,
more truthful life. 2N
This play tackles tough questions.
While it does not provide easy
answers, the play provokes thoughts
challenging the audience.
"The Maidens Proer"runs through
October 15 at Perfbrmance Netiork
120 East Huion St. Curtain times oa 8
p.m. iieekdays. 2 p.m. Sndays. Cal
734-663-0681/or tmoreiiforiatioi

Code historian Singh to give rea g

4le Michigan Daily
Solving complex puzzles and
mathematical equations may not
e on most peoples primary agen-
da for subjects to read about, but
when Simon says solve, readers all
over the world will listen
S i iii 0 it
Singh, author
of "Feri at's
Simon Lnigma" and
"t he Code
Singh Book,' as well
as many free-
Bordeis ance articies
Tonight at 7 pm-, for pon i ent
newspapeIr s,
tas iiot oinly
wsritten about
his studies, but
worked on the
popular sci-
ence television
program "Tomorrow's World" and
directed the Emmy-nominated
documentary "Fermat's Last Theo-
rem." Thus, his style of writing
captivates the reader and creates
an aura of nystery and suspense to
topics such as science and cryp-
tography.
"For me, coming from television
where people will switch off if
y aren't engaged - you have to
tut in the characters and etetion
al dratia. So I write the wvay I
ttake TV programs," Singh said.
The Code Book delves into the
depths of the history of cryptogra-
phy, from as early as ancient

Egypt to the present day encryp-
tion being used in the federal gov-
ernment and Internet coimerce.
Singh, however, incorporates fas-
cinating accounts of characters in 'l tiltcf 054
history to depict thte progression tf d aO
of cryptography as well as its
effects on nations and i.dividuas.
Singh spins his tales of cryptog-
raphy beginning with the story of
Mary, Queen of Scots, whose plan .
to assassinate Queen Elizabeth
backfired when a cryptanalyst
deciphered the code with which MN 5G
she communicated to her Support-
ers about the forthcoming conspir-
acy. Singh emphasizes the ,
importance of secrecy and how itk
See SINGH, Page 10A Cotesyof o aleaay
Students with Crohn's Disease
Please join
Dr. Ellen Zimmermann
Assistant Professor of Gastroenterology, U of M
For an informal discussion of topics including:
*Nutrition
*New Therapies
*Latest Research
Next meeting will be: Tuesday, Septetmber t0, 000
3-406 Mason h all
Central Campus U of i'
hMonthly Meetings planned
(734)-763-7278

LECTURE NOTE BLOWOUT!!
Sept. 18 -29th

I-'.

Bio 324
Bio Anthro161
Bio Anthro 364
Econ 101
Econ 102
Econ 402
Geo Sci 100
Geo Sci104
Geo Sci105
Geo Sci107
Geo Sci110
Geo Sci111
Geo Sci 114

Geo Sci 115
Hist 160
Hist 218
Hist 389
Linguistics 210
Philosophy 232
Philosophy 356
Physics 125
Physics 140
Physics 240
Physics 242
Poli Sci140
Psych 111

Psych 330
Psych 340
Psych 350
Psych 360
Psych 370
Psych 380
Psych 390
Psych 436
Wom Studies 220
Wom Studies 240 _

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