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March 19, 2002 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-03-19

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Ben Schrank Reads ...
Writer Schrank reads from
his book "Consent" tonight
at Shaman Drum. 8 p.m.


MARCH 19, 2002


own TV
By Christian Smith
Daily Arts Writer

Andy Richter made
himself as Conan
O'Brien's screwy side-
kick for seven years on
"Late Night with Conan
O'Brien," contributing
precious comedy bits as
the show's comedic cor-
respondent off the set.
After seven years,
Richter left to pursue a
career of his own, and
after a few small film

a name for


Tuesdays at

Also making use of the increasingly
trendy laugh-track free approach, the
pilot episode is remarkably unimpres-
sive. It begins with a
rather annoying
"Groundhog Day" style
* scenario, pondering the
possible ways that
ICHTER Andy's day could begin.
)LS THE But while it struggles at
ERSE first, the groundwork is
set, and early on the
8:30 p.m. show already displays
tX signs of improvement.
If that doesn't sound
promising enough, it's worth checking
out for the amusingly well-rounded
supporting cast. Besides Richter, the
show also stars Paget Brewster, best
known for her performance on
"Friends" as Kathy, Joey's girlfriend
with whom Chandler was in love.
Here she plays Jessica, Andy's laid-
back boss and good friend. Other
familiar faces include Jonathan Slavin
as the company's odd new illustrator
who Andy is forced to share an office
with, James Patrick Stuart as Andy's
good-looking friend and Irene Malloy
as receptionist Wendy, the object of
Andy's affection.
Creator/Executive Producer Victor
Fresco ("Mad About You") and Andy
Ackerman ("Seinfeld"), realism is
obviously not a primary concern here.
Only a few episodes in, Andy has

'White Rose' tackles important
moral issues in Nazi Germany

roles, he decided to go back to televi-
sion. The result is this half-hour
imaginative comedy. As Andy nar-
rates the story of his life, he constant-
ly thinks about every possibility,
showing the audience the real, the
desired and the surreal version of
Witty and eccentric, "Andy Richter
Controls the Universe" focuses on a
struggling short story writer (Richter)
who makes a living writing technical
manuals for an enormous and apathet-
ic company in Chicago. While the
show is unique and innovative, it does
bare a strong similarity to that zany
NBC comedy "Scrubs." However,
here the fantasy gags come off as
much less effective. Thankfully, these
sequences become gradually scarcer
as the show goes on.

Courtesy of FOX
Andy, what the hell are you doing?
already had three different incredible
women, none of whom are in the day-
dream segments. First, we see a past
attempt to date Jessica, then, he has a
moral dilemma in a sex-only relation-
ship with an old high-school friend.
And by the third episode, he has
already wooed his crush Wendy, away
from one of his ladies man co-work-
ers. Sure he's a nice guy and all, but
come on, he's still Andy Richter!
The bottom line is that "Andy
Richter" could go either way. The
show was pushed back from the fall
season, which is never a good sign,
and prime time audiences might not
be ready for Richter's
quirky humor that
developed such a
following with
Conan. But it does
show promise and
the post-"That '70s
Show" timeslot gives
it a great opportuni-
ty. So we'll just
have to see if
Andy Richter -
can control the
remote control Courtesy of FOX
as well. Brewster, lookin' fine.

By Jenni Glenn
Daily Arts Writer
With its emotional look at a
group of student dissidents, Perfor-
mance Network triumphantly tack-
les the issue of when to speak out
against atrocities in its new produc-
tion, "The White Rose."
Inspired by the true story of five
students who resisted the Nazis in
World War II-era Germany, play-

wright Lillian Groag's
"The White Rose" fol-
lows siblings Hans and
Sophie Scholl through
a series of police inter-
rogations after they are
caught distributing
anti-Hitler leaflets at
their university.
The audience views
the Scholls and their
friends Alexander
Schmorell, Willit

At Performance
Through April 7
$20 -$25
Performance Network
Graf and ity. Tulip's

plays Anton Mahler, a
representative of the
Nazi party working
with Mohr in the
police department. In
Tulip's hands, Mahler
becomes more fright-
ening because he often
appears innocuous. In
his speeches, however,
Tulip endows Mahler
with an insidious qual-
acting makes the char-

his agreement with Sophie's insis-
tence on speaking out against the
oppressive government and his
need to keep himself and his family
safe from the Nazis. His perform-
ance helps the audience members
identify with Mohr and wonder
what they would do if.caught in his
Rademacher's scenes with Uni-
versity Prof. Malcolm Tulip clarify
the nature of Mohr's struggle. Tulip

design highlights the intense rela-
tionships between the characters.
He knows when to narrow the light
on one actor to emphasize hos or
her lines. Walker also displays
some of the dissidents' slogans on
the walls in red lights periodically
to show when the plot is jumping
around in time and space.
In addition, Monika Essen's set
design heightens the drama by
adding levels to the small stage.
Twin staircases surround the main
performing floor and vary the ways
in which the actors utilize the
"The White Rose" prevails in
creating real interactions between
its actors that draw the audience
into the story. Director David Wol-
ber creates an atmosphere that
allows viewers to laugh out loud at
the students' jokes even while they
grapple with the issues of free
speech at stake. The production
entertains its audience members but
also presents ideas that they will
ponder long after the house lights
come up.

The Tallis Scholars bring sacred
medieval music to Ann Arbor

Christoph Probst as they progress
from a social circle with sharing
political views to an organized
resistance group through a series of
flashbacks. In the Performance Net-
work's intimate theater, the audi-
ence becomes a part of this lively
crew, sharing in their cultured jokes
about Beethoven and Goethe. These
scenes allow Scott Crownover to
skillfully present Hans' somewhat
naive awe in the power of ideas,
while Robyn Heller, who portrays
Sophie, develops her character's
devotion to her beliefs.
Whilethese moments provide
important insight into the formerly
carefree existence of the Scholls,
far more compelling are the pro-
duction's interrogation scenes. Here
Heller truly shines, demonstrating
true chemistry when paired with
Mark Rademacher, who plays
Robert Mohr, the police official in
charge of the treason case against
the students. Heller lends the char-
acter of Sophie the quality of seren-
ity, even when she is faced with
Mohr's threatening temper.
Rademacher successfully fills the
key role of the production. He con-
veys a true sense of power under
tight rein in his portrayal of Mohr.
Rademacher vividly brings to life
Mohr's internal struggle between

acter of Mahler a perfect foil for
Rademacher's tormented perform-
ance as Mohr.
Daniel C. Walker's lighting

By Jamie Freedman
For the Daily

"We have ourselves, the music and our inspirations. Is
there really anything else?" This is how Peter Phillips,
director of the Tallis Scholars describes his relationship
with music that was written 500 years ago. Phillips
describes the Renaissance, the rich and glori-
fied era of Michaelangelo, DaVinci and
Machiavelli, as "the only period which can be
said to have been dedicated to choral music." THEI
Through the Tallis Scholars, Phillips has suc- SCH(
cessfully interpreted this music for the 21st
century. At St. F
This pioneering choral ensemble has creat- AssisiC
ed a standard of excellence and beauty for Ch
Renaissance sacred music that has basically Tonight
been untouched since its inception. They have$3
been recognized around the world for their University M
depth and variety of repertoire and their puri-
ty and clarity of sound.
Tonight, Phillips and the 2002 Grammy-nominated
Scholars will return to the Saint Francis of Assisi Church in
Ann Arbor for their third performance after their sold-out
concert in 1999. The 10-person ensemble will be joined by
30 members of the University Musical Society Choral
Union. Together, the ensembles will begin and end the con-
cert with composer Thomas Tallis' masterpiece for 40
parts, "Spem in alium."
Because of the Scholars' tour schedule, the two groups
will only be rehearsing together for 45 minutes this after-


noon. Choral Union director Thomas Sheets was given a
few basic guidelines about style, but everything else will be
left to the short rehearsal and to spontaneity of the actual
The Scholars will alone perform other pieces by Byrd,
White, Taverner, Sheppard, Fayrfax and Parsons. "What I
chose in this program" said Phillips, "is both known and
unknown. We have recorded quite a few of
these pieces, and I hope to spread their fame,
but I suspect very few of these pieces have
'ALLIS been performed by more than a handful of
LARS groups."
The Scholars most recently received a
ancis of "Best Small Ensemble Performance" nomina-
atholic tion for their recording of Cristobals de
rch Morales' remarkable six-part "Missa Si bina
t 8 p.m. susceptimus" for this year's Grammys. The
$40 ensemble has also been the recipient of many
sical society honors throughout the world. In 1994, the
Scholars performed in the Sistine Chapel to
mark the complete restoration of the Michaelangelo frescos.
Other notable accomplishments and performances
include a 1998 performance in Italy at the invitation of
Claudio Abbado and the premiering a John Tavener work
written for the group and narrated by Sting, with guest
speaker David Attenborugh. In 2000 they gave a perform-
ance with Sir Paul McCartney.
Phillips founded The Tallis Scholars in 1973 after falling
in love with this music at Oxford University. The Scholars
perform over 80 concerts every year, including tours of
Europe, the United States and the Far East.

-,_ .
Courtesy of Performance Network
Rademacher and Heller make terrible music together. Terrible Nazi music, that isi


'The Commish' stars in mature
new police drama 'The Shield'

' .
, F .



the new michigandaily.com
alkS "


By Melissa Golob
Daily Arts Writer
Cable television has ch
quality of programming w
like the Emmy-winning "T
nos" and "Sex and the
continues this trend with
police drama, "The Shi
gritty mature cop show
week as the highest ra
drama premiere in history.
"The Shield" stars Mic
lis as Vic Mackey, a hard-
ferent kind of cop who
deals with the undesir-
able of society to keep
the streets safe. He
knows most of the
drug dealers and pros-
titutes in town and
they either offer up
information on com-
mand or are hauled off
the jail. While he tries t
city safe for its citizens, n
David Aceveda (Benito
"Outbreak") goes behind
and plots to remove him

begins to beat him with a telephone
book until the shot goes blank
because Captain Aceveda turned off
anged the the television set so the rest of the
with shows squad could not witness the rest.
The Sopra- Meanwhile, Captain Aceveda con-
City." FX tinues to plot against Mackey and to
h the new take him off the streets. He recruits
eld." This an informant to sabotage the
aired last approaching drug bust. Mackey
ted cable allows the informant inside the
operation but at the end realizes that
hael Chik- the informant is not part of his team
nosed dif- and takes care of the problem.
"The Shield" is rem-
q giniscent of the way
"NYPD Blue" used to
AAN be in its glory days.
THE SHIELD The nudity and rough
language only add to
Tuesdays at 10 p.m. theemotion andreality
FX of the show. The pre-
miere touched on sev-
eral storylines that will
o keep the intertwine personal relationships

Mackey throughout the episode.
One minute he gives a prostitute
money to feed herself and her chil-
dren and the next he beats informa-
tion out of a kidnapping child
molester. His heart is in the right
place in most of his behaviors but
the methods he uses varies, mirror-
ing real-life dilemmas.



ew captain
d his back
from the

with the job. Like "Blue," their
problems are from real-life which
make it all the more harder to
watch. Mackey seems to be prone.to
infidelity when he pronositions a

. In r_ ~- l . .. t ... _js. 1 . .. - - -.F .. . ~

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