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January 08, 2001 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-01-08

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8A -The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 8, 2001

ARTS

Not much 'Mysterious' about X-Files clone.

By Ryan Blay
Daily Staff Writer
"X-Files" fans rejoice. If you can't tolerate the
wait from Sunday to Sunday, at least one show
should temporarily quench your thirst for
spooky activities and miracles. "Mysterious
Ways" doesn't have Chris
Carter's name in the credits,
but it might as well with the
glaring similarities. This,
MysteriOUS however, is not necessarily
Ways all bad.
NBC "Mysterious Ways"
Mondays at 8 p.m. debuted in late July. Now it's
back, hopefully for good. In
' * the opening episode, we
meet the two main charac-
ters, believer Declan Dunn
(Adrian Pasdar, "Top Gun")
and skeptical psychiatrist
Peggy (Rae Dawn Chong,
"Melrose Place" and yes,
she is indeed the daughter of Tommy Chong!).
Declan is what Fox Mulder would look and act
like if he wore glasses and didn't shave for a
couple of days. Peggy is Scully on NBC. Profes-
sor Dunn is a believer, while Peggy is more ana-
lytic. Sound familiar yet?
On an archeological dig, in a scene that bor-
rows heavily from "Indiana Jones and the Last
Crusade," diggers discover the entombed body
of a man, dating back from 1630. In his hands,
he holds a cloth with unusual healing powers.
Carbon dating places it near the time of Christ,
and Declan suspects it is the Veil of Veronica,
supposedly the cloth used to wipe Christ's face
just prior to his crucifixion.
When it heals wounds and glaucoma and cures
a cancer patient, even the archeologist who dis-
covered it starts to believe. But the cloth contin-
ues to crumble whenever it is used, and nothing

Courtesy of NBC

Courtesy of UMS
Bare-assed Pilobolus members are shown here demonstrating one of the many
ways they can sit on each other.
Despie s value
Pilobolus dankce
tr~%:oupefails toexit

Adrian Pasdar and Rae Dawn Chong star in NBC's "Mysterious Ways."

can be done to preserve it.
Thus, when Declan's girlfriend falls ill, he
must decide whether to use the last remains on
her or try and wait for a preservative to be devel-
oped. In the end, he goes for the predictable
route and saves her. Wow, what groundbreaking
work.
On tonight's episode, a man learns he has the
ability to live days over again (dear God, a show
is copying "Groundhog Day." This IS a bad sea-
son for TV).
This idea was used on an X-Files episode sev-

eral weeks ago. It probably won't be improved
upon. The actors are decent, and the scripts
should be fine, but in order to earn viewer
respect get the ratings it needs to survive, "Mys-
terious Ways" needs to establish its own identity,
and not try and pay so much homage to science
fiction classics.
Still, compared with some of the other shows
on TV this season, this one stands out for dis-
playing some intelligence. It's decent TV for a
Monday night when football is unavailable.

By Charity Atchison
Daily Arts Wrinter

In a performance dominated by
violence, sex, nudity, physical
strength and endurance, Pilobolus
kept a packed Power Center on the
edge of their seats for two-and-a-
half hours last night. The six-mem-
ber troupe had audience members

Pilobolus
Power Center
Sunday at 4 p.m.
between dance and

holding their
breath as they
threw them-
selves through
the air and
manipulated
their centers of
gravity balanc-
ing on each
other. However,
their acrobatic
antics grew tire-
some by the
middle of the
show as they
blurred the line
a circus act.

dancer.
Having no theme, it was difficult
to stay focused on the performance,
as each acrobatic stunt blended with
the next. A number of the audience
members could be heard gasping for
air, because they held their breath
during many of the more gravity
defying feats, as when one dancer
balanced his rear end on another
dancer's bald head. Much of the
excitement came when two of the
dancers repeatedly flipped them-
selves from upside down to standing
through each other's legs. After a
while, these repeated feats became
boring as there was nothing holding
them together other than the per-
formers running across the stage.
The final piece of the evening
seemed as though it would never
come and never end. A confusing
cycle attempted to tell a story of the
Holocaust, a theme that bound the
dancing together. Lacking the acro-
batic flare of the other pieces, "A
Selection" made the movement of
everyday life into dance. I
The role of antagonist made a
confusing switch during the dance,
from the Nazi character to a member
of the group. It made a final dramat-
ic switch in the end, when two
dancers were stripped by the Nazi.
This moment was the horrific peak
only for a moment, as the Nazi fig-
ure abandoned his ragged outer gar-
ments and stood triumphantly center
stage, basking in the glory of the
dancers' violation.
The switch from themeless to the
Holocaust demonstrated Pilobolus'
range of choreographic influences;
it is only a shame that another range
of movement sequences could not
be found to give the works more
fluidity. They were not lacking in
their heart stopping, gravity defying
acrobatic feats or the ability to keep
the audience in their seats, and they
lived up to their namesake pilobo-
lus, a fungus found in barnyards
which can throw its spore up to 8
feet.

The opening piece, "Davenen,"
was dedicated to those who pray,
and carried spiritual tones. However,
it appeared more as a commentary
of how society treats the outcast.
There was same sex partnering,
inter-partner violence and jeering of
the outcast with a sado-masochistic
flare. Displaying her jumping abili-
ty, one dancer ran and threw herself
repeatedly onto another. Once she
attained her goal position, she
rocked back and forth on his shoul-
ders.
As part of their acrobatic feats
one dancer was lifted by his skin
and another rolled across the floor
folding himself backward through a
ring formed by his leg and arm. Two
dancers performed what could only
be called a mating dance.
"Tsu-Ku-Tsu" began with dancers
balanced on other dancers' backs as
they walked across the stage. The
dancers catapulted off of one anoth-
er balancing at the top of their posi-
tion before moving onto the next

By Jaimie Winkler
IDaily Arts Writer
DETROIT - No one knows the
bridal party, everyone's drunk, the
food leaves something to be desired
and the newlyweds produce enough
sexual energy to melt Ann Arbor's
snow blanket. That's the beauty of
"Tony n' Tina's Wedding"-it feels
like a real wedding.
The Detroit Actors Guild's pre-
sents this well-known evening of
interactive theater with family from
both sides of the bridal party, recep-
tion hall workers and some strategi-
cally placed guests. It's almost
impossible to figure out who's for
real. Downtown Detroit's Harmonie
Club doubles as chapel and reception
hall with dinner catered by Intermez-
zo.
The cast of more or less two-
dimensional characters headed
by Fred D'Agostino and
MaryJo Cuppone is utterly hys-
terical and believable. They
find a way to reach out to every
guest, some of which take on Y
their own personalities, and bring
everyone into the family. While
dancing or fighting, these actors,
representing two lower-class Italian
families, are completely in the
moment,. shedding all signs of hav-
ing done this before.
Chaos is the only way to describe
this evening, kind of like being in the
middle of a mine field of funny
moments. No matter how safe you
feel, someone will pull you out on
the dance floor or bring up "person-
al" facts at a table full of strangers.
Maybe this explains why "Tony n'
Tina's" feels so much like an actual
wedding.

Whispers of family scandal rip
through the cast and audience, which
in a sense become one, as the mar-
riage of Tony and Tina takes place.
There's virtually no premise for this
wedding, just take a seat and enjoy
the ride. if...;
you're not in
the mood for:
their hijinx, .'
don't worry,
they'll get you
in the mood.
T h e
night

Interactive 'Tony n' Tina's Wedding'
is a free-for-all of food, folks and fun

begins with a ceremony in Vinnie
Black's chapel, a cramped little room
which forces guests to get to know
their neighbors. The bridesmaids, one
who's a little slow, one who's a little
too fake, and one who's not so little
(she's pregnant) and groomsmen take
turns participating in the
ceremony. At every
turn there's some-
thing unexpected.
Following ,the
ceremony, the,
Black family
herds guests into
the dining hall for
dinner - lettuce
' smothered in Ital-
ian dressing,
mostac-
cioli,
and

a bread roll (don't worry, the cast can
be bribed for seconds). At the recep-0
tion, the family leads several tradi-
tional and not-so-traditional dances,
taking every opportunity to integrate
the guests and make them uncomfort-
able. As the night wears thin, the
bride and groom appear less and less
sober and more and more fiesty.
While you should plan for fun,
here are some easy tips for surviving
the night and maximizing the poten-
tial for a good time:
1. Eat a bit beforehand - The
meal, good by the standards of wed-
ding food, may not be enough to keep
a full stomach or combat the fully
stocked bar and endless hours of
calorie-burning dance.
2. Prepare to be picked on -
Don't go if you can't handle being
embarrassed. It's their job to make
you feel completely ,incomfortable,
so enjoy it! Spend sometime practic-
ing your wise-cracking comebacks
before arriving because there's noth-
ing worse than the guest who's not
funny.
3. Find the hottie - Choose your
favorite character to focus on, even
create a little one-night crush, it
makes the chicken dance a little more
interesting.
4. Get into your character -
Everyone has a character, so decide
whether to be from the bride's family 0:
or the groom's, make up stories
about your past and get into it. As an
audience member you are part of the
show - pretend to be someone else
for the night.
"Tony t' Tina's Wedding " runs
through the end ©f February at the
Harmonie Club in Detroit. Tickets
are $55, $60, call (313) 961-5211for
more information.

989 fails to recreate college experience
in disappointing Playstation 2 sports tides

By Matt Grandstaff
Daily Arts Writer
With the release of the Sega Dreamcast and
more recently the Sony Playstation 2, gamers
have jumped to the next level of video game
excitement. Left behind on older systems, howev-
er, have been fans of college sports video games
until now.
College sports games have finally reached next
generation video game consoles with 989 Sports'
new games "NCAA Gamebreaker 2001" and
"NCAA Final, Four 2001" for Playstation 2. This

brings good news for gamers, who can now pick
their favorite university team and try to avoid
fumbling away BCS dreams and even try to resur-
rect a falling basketball program.
Unfortunately with this good news comes real-

ly bad news. Both
Grade: D+
NCAA
Gamebreaker
2801
For Playstation 2
989 Sports

Gamebreaker and Final Four
2001 are weak titles. Other
than the stadium and arena
models which are very realis-
tic, both games feature graph-
ics that are barely better then
their original Playstation
counterparts.
Player animations in both
games are unrealistic as the
cyber athletes seem to float
rather than run. In Game-
breaker 2001, instead of hur-

dling over opponents, players perform drop kicks.
Put 'em in a body bag, A-Train!

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