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November 20, 2000 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-11-20

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Soul of 'Hamlet' gets lost in ambitious
interpretation by Rude Mechanicals


By Sarah Rubin
Daily Arts Writer

Arguably Shakespeare's greatest play, Hamlet
phenomenal potential to be developed in all aspe
If done right, it can captivate an audience. Argus
Shakespeare's hardest play, Hamlet has phenomei
potential for disaster. If done wrong, it can be t
ing and tedious.
Hamlet has more lines than any other Shakesp
ian character. Complex and fascinating, he can
dramatically interpreted as a madman, a geniu:
lover, a devoted son, a justice-seeker or a schmuc
Last weekend, The Rude Mechanicals chos
divide him into two people, personifying both m
personalities that he adopts. Director Heidi J. P<
ers explained, "With our new cutting of Hamlet,
explore the complexity of the title character.
splicing Hamlet into two voices, we place a focus
his conflicting desires: To act or not to act."
This idea is confusing, yet feasible. Hamlet
played by Molly Froenfelter, and Hamlet Y, pla
by Patrick Morgan, work together to displayt
enigma that is the "Prince of Denmark." Phys
interaction was a base component of their stratc
they were intimately touching most of the ti
Hamlet B was contemplative, and Hamlet Y
This twist aids the performance's audience-g
bing capacity. However, several other major exp
mental interpretations counteract the double-Han
effect. Polonius, humorously portrayed by L
Ehrlich, was a woman. This adds a completely r
dimension to the play. Although the change ma
sense in some ways, it hinders play coherenc
others. In the text, a lack of maternal influence
estrangement from Gertrude propel Ophelia's rm
ness. Without these proponents, Ophelia is left v
$ $$$ $
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Hamlet's capriciousness as her only source of distur-
bance. It's a weak argument for insanity.
Horatio is a woman. Rosencrantz is a woman.
The grave-digger is a woman. Many females could
have been either effective or malignant. The failure
here was that they were neither one.
Lines were cut to make Hamlet graspable. The
characters, as they were presented, lacked sufficient
development, though. Something else needed to be
done to enhance their unique qualities and situa-
Transitions between scenes relied completely on
the lighting, which incidentally was fantastic, appro-
priate, lovely. Costumes were simple black. Music
was in poor taste and random. The set consisted of
Neo-classical marble stairs and columns. Blocking
was routine and predictable.
Hamlet can completely stand upon the power of
its dialogue if a director does it justice. This direc-
tor's take required all of the missing facets, and they.
were not to be found.
There were flashes of brilliance. It should be
made known that Ophelia was magnificent. Byronie
Maros was effective and sharp, maximizing Ophc-
lia's fragility. The presentation was poignant and
shining, in contrast to less-commanding attempts.
Laertes (Ian Burkow) was also well-acted.
Rosencrantz (Sara Grady) and Guildenstern (Brian
Lobe) were cute. Hamlet, Sr's ghost was acted by
various cast members, reaching and moaning under
transparent chiffon - what a good idea; it fit.
Audiences respond to Hamlet's ability to evoke
compassion. This feat is accomplished because
viewers can relate to the frustration caused by char-
acter isolation. The characters' inability to under-
stand each other is pathetic and exasperating and
But to kill Shakespeare and then to fail to resur-

rect him is blatant. It's like taking apart a Rubix
cube and then not being able to put it back togeth-
er. It is obvious that this play's poor direction was
its tragic flaw. However, it is good to keep in mind
that the cast and crew members were students
attempting to create art. Ralph Waldo Emerson
said, "Every artist was first an amateur." And, pity,
'tis true, 'tis true.

The Rude Mechanicals performance of "Hamlet"
was directed by Heidi J. Powers.



Singer (and former drummer) Brad Arnold and the rest of the 3 Doors Down
crew put in a solid show at the State Theater on Thursday.
3 Doors Down gets it
up au-t State Theate
I y Joyce Lee all that was visible was a green
:xaily ArsWriter glow on stage. When the lights
turned on, guitarist Matt Roberts
DET RO V-- 3 Doors Down appeared with a green guitar and
came knocking on State Theater's green lights. He played literally
2oor last Thursday. Tl fcive-piece three chords, and the crowd instant-
,ock band from Escatawpa, Miss. ly knew it was Kryptonite," the
showed Detroit their Southern hos- hand's hit single. During the song,
pitality by giving a great perfor- there was dramatic, baseball-type
mance Their hour and ten-minute lighting that shined on the crowd
long set had all and encouraged them to sing even
the right Cee- louder. Then lead singer/former
./ ments for a drummer Brad Arnold then went
Doors kick-ass rock into a mini-jam session on the
3 show: High drums with current drummer
Down energy, great Richard Lyles.
State Theater songs and awe- Brad Arnold i not only a good
~ 12 some stage drummer but is also a dynamic
presence. frontman. He moved across the
The band entire length of the stage, head-
opened their set banging and jumping around. He
with the title interacted with the crowd, throwing
track of their hi-fives and drumsticks to his fans.
album "The He was able to bring a great
Better Life," a amount of energy and fun to the
fast - paced, show. During the song "So I Need
Aspirational song. Guitarist Chris You," a fan threw a plastic cup of
[icnderson said the song was about water at Brad and he ducked, the
"the five of us and our personal cup just missing him. But instead
goals for a better life. We come of being pissed off he just laughed
from a really small town. We had and smiled at the fans.
never really left the town to do any- The highlight of the show was
liing. Then when we got the record the song "Be Like That," a beauti-
eal, we went to New York City, ful, mellower song which, ender-
,nsaw that there was more out son said, "kind of sum~s up
there than Escatawpa." everybody in the world. Everybody
Not only are these guys percep- wants to be something, whether it
tive 'bout life, they know how to be an actress or a fireman, they
'rock the crowd. Their set consisted strive to be something. The song is
of many songs off their album just kind of taking it down that
including "Life of My Own" which same road." During the song, the
is going to be one of the three next lighters were out and for one
singles to be released. moment in time everyone was
Surprisingly, there was a lot of swaying together in unison. It was
*ardcore moshing and even slam- definitely a Hallmark moment.
(ancing right from the beginning. 3 Doors Down concluded their
People crashed violently against set with their current single,
each other and bodysurfers dropped "Loser" and the songs "Read Love"
ieft and right. The crowd's excite- and "By My Side." They left the
ment erupted towards the middle of audience satisfied with a good taste
:heir set. All the lights went out and of rock.

During the Students observing
Ramadan observance, Ramadan can sign up for an
University Housing offers4 D A alternative meal option at avr
alternative meal options Residence Hall Front Desk or
to students who have the Housing Information
Entree meal plans. Office by November 22, at Spi..
University Housingin cooperation with
the Muslim Students Association


Food for Thought
Women in Vietnam
According to VFW
Magazine (April 1977) of
the 7,494 military women
that served in Vietnam,
6,250 were nurses. For
a graphic account of the
nurse's story, read Home
Before Morning by Lynda
Van Devanter.
Gary Lillie & Assoc., Realtors

VOTEo 11f
H a class changed the way you look at the wor ?
H s a professor changed how you look at yourself
The GOLDEN APPLE AWARD* honors those teachers
who consistently teach each lecture as if
it were their last, and strive not only
o disseminate knowled e but to
inspir d engage stu nts in its pursuit.
*Winner will delive astlecture in January at Rackha.


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