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January 22, 2002 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-01-22

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 22, 2002

ARTS

Lively cast bolsters atmospheric 'Dancing'

By Charity Atchison
Daily Arts Writer

Set in 1930s Donegal, Ireland,
"Dancing at Lughnasa" is Brian Friel's

Dancing at
Lughnasa
Arena Theater
Thurs. thru Sat.

play about five
unmarried sisters
and the return of
their brother,
Father Jack, from
Africa. The play,
set in the summer
at the time of the
festival of Lugh,
which celebrates
the god of light,
is told through
the eyes of
Michael, the son
born out of wed-

lock to the youngest sister, Chris. The
lives of the Munday sisters center
around Michael. Complicating the pic-
ture is the return of his father, Gerry, for
a brief stint.
When Kate, the eldest sister, returns
from town one afternoon, the discus-
sion turns to the Harvest dance. The sis-
ters decide that they should attend as
they did when they were younger. Their
characters capture a vivaciousness of
spirit despite the rough conditions of
their Balleybeg farm. Kate, a school
teacher, serves as a grounding point for
her sisters, who include the simple
minded Rose, Agnes, who is Rose's
companion, Christine, the youngest sis-
ter and the light-hearted Maggie.
The process of creating tho right
atmosphere for the play was aided by

the cast learning about Irish culture.
Sandra Abrevaya, the play's director,
bought a tape of Irish dialects for the
cast to practice with. The cast also
learned a few Irish dance steps as part
of their work for the play. Each perfor-
mance of "Dancing at Lughnasa" will
also feature local musicians as a back-
drop.
Benjamin Klein, as Michael, serves
as the play's narrator and the young son.
He said that in portraying his character,
he was "torn between story telling for
the audience and remembering for
myself." The role of Michael was a
challenging one, because of the charac-
ter's nature to be a player and an
observer in the play. Klein also com-
mented that the play can be likened to a
bar story, due to the manner in which it

is told.
The return of their brother Jack, a
priest who has been to Africa, serves as
our entry into the story of the Munday
family. Jack's arrival in Donegal serves
as the catylst for the play. His sisters see
him as a different man than the man
who left Ireland years before.
Bryonie Maros, who plays Maggie,
says she is just like her character, who
breaks out into songs and jokes. Maros
has three scenes with Michael, which
were initially practiced without
Michael. At first the scenes were chal-
lenging when Michael was brought in.
The cast had a liveliness in rehearsals
that will boil over into their stage pro-
duction. Of working on "Dancing at
Lughnasa," Maros said, "I leave in a
good mood."

Maros as Maggle, Ben Klein as Michael.

r

Fire walks
with DVD~
'Peaks'set
By Andy TayloNFabe
Daily Film Editor
Get out a fresh piece of cherry pie
and a mug of piping hot coffee, and
get ready for one of television's
strangest and most watched phenom-
ena, because Artisan has released
the first season of David Lynch'
campy but irre-
sistible series
"Twin Peaks" on
.Pk DVD. Full of
Twin Peaks: bizarre features
Season One and excellent
DVD picture and
sound, the set is
Artisan Entertainment worth getting
even if yo
weren't among
the millions glued to your TVs every
week during the original run in
1990.
The seven episode set concerns
the events following the murder of
Laura Palmer, a popular high school
student and all around "good girl."
Agent Dale Cooper (played by Kyle
McLachlan, who redefines deadpan)
is called to Twin Peaks after another
girl is found injured (and possibly
attacked by the same person that
killed Laura).
Both Cooper and the local sheriff,
Harry S Truman, soon realize that
the case goes deeper than they could
have imagined, but when Cooper has
a bizarre dream, he begins to sort
through the maze of secret relation-
ships and hidden motives that exist
in the town. Like a soap opera on
acid, "Twin Peaks" has some of the
strangest characters to grace the
idiot box.
The set has one major flaw: The
pilot episode, which is currently tied
up in litigation, is not included with
episode one through seven.
Although there is a detailed descrip-
tion of the events of the pilot
episode, if you want to truly enjoy
the experience, your only option is
to scour e-bay for the Chinese boot-
leg, since it is currently out of print.
Despite this rather sizable omis-
sion, the four disc set is excellent.
The interactive menu is one of the
most innovative of any recent DVD,
with eerie music and the cracking of
electricity filling your ears.
The episodes themselves look and
sound perfect, with the high defini-
tion transfer and the DTS digital
surround sound taking the episode
light years beyond the previously -a
grainy and dark pictures and muf-
fled sound. On the DVD, every
gloomy and unnatural scene and
every note on the deliberately sac-
charin synthesizer soundtrack is
crystal clear.
Each episode has optional features
that can be turned on, including
introductions by the Log Lady (if
you don't know what that is, there's
no way to explain it).
The episodes also feature directoi
commentary, which ranges from
insightful observations to somewhat
boring technical details. There is

also an optional feature that allows
you, during an episode, to jump to a
screen where an explanation of
deleted material is given, but take
heed, because occasionally, secrets
from the second season are given
away.
The extras, listed under the head-4
ing of "Tibet," are plentiful, but
some of them are just plain boring,
and it becomes clear that David
Lynch had little to do with the pro-
duction of these features, most like-
ly since he has been tied up getting
www.davidlynch.com up and run-
ning.
Interviews with everyone from the
woman who owns the so-called
"Double R Diner" to a painfully
long phone call with series co-cre-4
ator Mark Frost burden the largely
uninteresting special features.
The "Introduction to David
Lynch" section is laughable, because
Lynch doesn't appear once in the
entire set of interviews.
The most bizarre and hilarious fea-
ture is "Learning to Speak in the Red
Room," in which the "man from another
place" tries to teachyou how to (withoutg
giving anything away) speak the way
that he does inaCooper's infamous
dream, which seems like a good idea
until you realize that he really isn't mak-
ing any sense. Overall, the features suf-
fer from a distinct lack of Lynch.

It used to be the end of a great night.
It could soon be the start of a great day.

FORTUNE
100 BEST --
TO WORK FOR c°i

At Ernst & Young, we believe that when you
wake up in the morning; you should be excited
about the day ahead. The challenges of the
workplace should keep you stimulated, your

capabilities should be stretched, and your horizons continually
broadened. Because only when our people grow, both professionally
and personally, do we grow as a company. Oh happy day!

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