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October 23, 2000 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-10-23

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 23, 2000

ARTS

Gozzi and Serban's
'Stag' a surreal delight

By Sarah Rubin
For The Daily

Brilliantly interpreted by the Ameri-
can Repertory Theatre, Carl Gozzi's play
"The'King Stag" is the embodiment of
true surrealistic art.

The King
Stag
Power Center
October 21.22, 2000
is that the theatre's

Combining
colorful cos-
tumes, a sensitive
musical score,
lively choreogra-
phy, expressive
lighting and phe-
nomenal charac-
terization, this
play excels in
every possible
aspect. Director
Andrei Serban
believes that
"What Gozzi
wanted to affirm
truth exists only

reality; and that naturalism is a perver-
sion of art." Serban holds to this attitude,
keeping the tone balanced with an effec-
tive combination of wit and melodrama.
"The King Stag" takes place in the
Oriental Kingdom of Serendippo. King
Deramo (Jay Boyer) is in search of the
perfect queen. He has auditioned 2,748
princesses but thus far, the search has
proven futile. Deramo is not picky; he
just possesses a magical statue that can
detect bad intentions. Scheming to attain
the throne, the evil Prime Minister
Tartaglia (Dmetrius Conley-Williams)
advises the king to choose a local girl.
Tartaglia then plots to place his daughter
Clarice (Kristine Goto) in the newly-
open position, but all goes awry when
Deramo's statue senses Clarice's love for
another man. Enraged, Tartaglia
embarks upon a heinous endeavor to
depose the king and replace him.
People die, love, laugh, mourn and are
reborn within one act replete with what
Serban refers to as "healthy laughter."
Japanese "bunraku," Indonesian shad-

Courts IgSf UMS
Julie Taymor designed the costumes, masks and puppetry for "The King Stag."

FORWARD
Continued from Page 5A
her leads ample time to develop
their characters before having them
interact with each other. The very
recognizable cast (even the usually
brash Jay Mohr) brings such nuance
to their characters that they disap-
pear inside them for the run of the
film.
Spacey, who has twice won
Oscars for playing empty, soulless
men, is here so full of torment and
pain that he is about to come apart.
Spacey's Eugene Simonet is the
intrinsic opposite of his cynical
Lester Berman from "American
Beauty." While Lester cared about
nothing, Eugene attempts to save
the whole world through his stu-
dents. While Lester slouched in the
back of his mini van, Eugene forces
his students to use language to gain
a better grasp of life. Yet, at the
same time, Eugene admits that emo-
tionally, language is all he has. At
one point, Hunt's character admits
how much she cares for Simonet,
and Simonet shudders. The shudder
conveyed fear, elation and years of
pent up aggression. If Spacey can
do this with a simple shake, imag-
ine what he can do with an entire

movie.
Hunt is a hard working single
mom and she looks it. Her sitcom
persona has vanished here. Her
pretty face is haggard and her over-
used eye shadow hardly covers the
bags under her eyes. She could easi-
ly have let this role slip into the
stereotypical poor-but-determined
mothers we've seen a thousand
times before, but she brings a sense
of true pain and fear to the role. Her
work here is far superior to that of
her Oscar winning performance in
"As Good As It Gets."
Osment not only holds his own in
the scenes he shares with his sea-
soned co-stars, but also uses his
face as expertly as Spacey. He
proves here that "The Sixth Sense"
was no fluke, and that he is'one of
the most gifted new actors in Holly-
wood. When Leder focuses the
camera on his young eyes, you can
watch his entire character unfold.
Like Spacey and Hunt, he takes a
stock character (that of a young boy
smarter than the adults around him)'
and makes him live and breathe.
Overall, the film is excellent. It
just angers me that Hollywood
refuses to entertain new story ideas,
and continues to recycle even the
most tried and true movie cliches.

ow-puppetry, Balinese temple-dancing
and Renaissance street-theatre are
delightfully intertwined to diversify the
play.
All aspects of the production are
exaggerated: Movements are delicately
conspicuous, voices are laden with
heavy inflection and costumes are flashy.
This flamboyancy can be attributed to
Julie Taymor, the phenomenal creator of
ever-popular Broadway version of "The
Lion King."
The cast and crew are as seasoned as
they come. Mainly comprised of Har-
vard grads, they bubble with vigor and

electricity. Members have graced televi-
sion screens on PBS, MTV and Nick- 1
elodeon and have appeared in "Law and
Order," "Sex in The City" and "Third1
Watch." The choreographer/costume 1
designer has a Tony under her belt. The
play's translator is a Guggenheim fellow.;
The amazing percussionist has per- a
formed with such artists as "The Violent
Femmes," NPR's Garrison Keilor and 1
Itzhak Perlman.
"The King Stag" is a guaranteed win-s
ner. Its appeal is evident on every level;1
audiences of all ages can appreciate the
magnetism exuded by each facet.i
Atmospheri(

within the theatre; that the theatre's func-
tion is not a copy or mimic of any sort of

Skate or die with wicked
'Tony Hawk' sequel

c new

Basement Arts

show nothing short of 'Freak'-ish

By Jeff Dickerson
For the Daily

Until last year, skateboarding games
never garnered much attention from
video gamers. Sure, everyone loved
"Skate or Die" for Nintendo, but that

Grade: A-
Tony Hawk's
Pro Skater 2
For Playstation
Neversoft
Entertainment

was over a
decade ago. In
1999, "Tony
Hawk's Pro
Skater" was
released for
Playstation with
little advertising.
Word of mouth
praise for the

the new levels more engaging than
before. The controls are a carbon copy
of the original; if you've mastered the
first "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater," you're
halfway done with the second.
Little has been done to improve the
graphics of the first game, but then who
cares? The graphics are not the focal
point of the game. After a few hours
you'll be so stressed on hitting the right
combination of buttons that you won't
notice the polygonal skaters. If having
breathtaking visuals is what you need,
wait until next month's Dreamcast ver-
sion. If there was one complaint put on
the inaugural "Tony Hawk" game, it
was the lack of variety on the sound-
track. If the loud punk sounds of artists
like Goldfinger and Primus were not
your cup of java, you were out of luck.
From Rage Against the Machine to
Naughty by Nature, the developers have
broadened the scope of musical interest
in the latest "Tony Hawk." Sadly, e\ven
these new tracks become tiresome after
a few hours. Turn off the volume on
your TV and crank up your favorite
Dan Fogelberg cd as you nosegrind the
rails of Venice and New York.

By Sarah Rubin
For The Daily
"Fucking tea time."
Did that get your attention? Good. It was supposed to. In
the one-act play "Control Freaks," writer Beth Henley
relies on lines like this to captivate viewers. This show was
adopted for performance by the Basement Arts board and
directed by Becky Hibbs.
Incestuous tendencies and deceit are the basis for this
dark comedy. Four characters interact. Two of them are
related. Two of them are married. Two have a pseudo-
engagement. Four of them are having an affair. One is a
schizophrenic and has three personalities.
And the plot is even weirder than the math.
Sister, the protagonist, is lovably crazy. Brilliantly por-
trayed by Megan Maczko, Sister is vulnerable, lacking
ambition and delightfully oblivious to her surroundings.
Sister expresses all of the basic human emotions that
humans are basically unable to express. She is jealous of
her new sister-in-law. She lusts after her brother. She
represses her childhood.
Maczko's sensitive performance is consummated by her
presentation of Sister's other sides: Pinky is the sweet
Southern belle, Spaghetti is the sultry vixen and Sister is
the happy combination of the two. Mazko does a laudable
job of defining each persona.
The supporting characters are a dazzling array of
strange. As Sister's brother Carl, Dan Granke puts a bit too

breakthrough title made the game a sur-
prise hit. The infinite combinations of
tricks made for a game that never got
old.'Neversoft has just released a follow
up that die-hard fans will salivate for
and newbies will flock to get their
hands on.
Don't expect to coast through the
game-as smoothly as you did in the
first. The level objectives are more tax-
ing and have doubled in number.
Expanded levels and hidden areas make

Simply put, "Tony Hawk 2" is one of
the finest games made for the Playsta-
tion. Every minor detail was done cor-
rectly in making the sequel true to the
game play of the original while adding
a copious load of new features. "Tony
Hawk's Pro Skater 2" is the ideal
benchmark in Playstation's triumphant
life of exceptional titles. If you loved
the first game, the sequel will more
than satisfy you. For those who haven't,
buy it anyway.

much pep into the performance, causing his unrealistic role
to verge on asinine. However, he has to do something to
explain Henley's vague allusions to a flirtation with his sis-
ter and a disturbing need for power.
Betty (Anna Reby) is Carl's wife. This former prostitute
has an obsessive-compulsive need for order within the
chaos. She sedately mops while deliberating upon how to
kill her husband. Her apathy is matched only by her absur-
dity. Reby's body language is superb; it gives the audience
a glimpse into the personality that her lines lack. The final
wacko thrown into the bedlam of Carl's household is Paul-
the-boss, played by Paul Greer. He pursues Sister for her
money and Betty for her whorishness in a performance that
is overwhelmingly passionate, and yet sterile in all the
wrong places. Greer pulls it off, though. Hibbs felt that
"whatever (character) interpretation I did was in my cast-
ing." She interpreted well.
The costumes scream for ... something. A silver wig,
checkered tights and a maroon can-can are among the
flashy pieces. The set is fine, but predictable.
The lighting is the most solid component of the play.It
alternates between red and mysterious and green and fore-
boding. Overall, "Control Freaks" has a great atmosphere;
it teems with discomfort and uncertainty.
Misuse of absurd perversity and flagrant irony is a trite
way to win an audience. However, armed with three weeks
and S100, Hibbs and Co. have a great thing going. This is a
worthwhile play, not because of its inherent structural flaws
but because of its blatant honesty in exploiting them.
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