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March 27, 2002 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-03-27

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Wendy Wasserstein
Famous Jewish author
lectures at the Michigan
Theater tonight at 7:30. Free.

ARTS

michigandaily.com

WEDNESDAY
MARCH 27, 2002

5

CONTROVERSY SURROUNDS NEW SHOW
Racy Balcony' lits Trueblood for two-week run

By Rachel Lewis
Daily Arts Writer

Throw together a little bit of poli-
tics, a touch of war and whole lot of
sex, and what do you get? Contro-
versy. The Trueblood Theatre is
bracing itself for just that this com-
ing weekend as the Department of
Theatre and Drama premieres its
latest main stage show, "The Bal-
cony," a bizarre portrait of power
and intimacy by French playwright
Jean Genet.
First staged at a private club in
London in 1956because it was con-
sidered too scandalous for Paris
audiences. "The Balcony" is set in
the Grand Balcony, a brothel in a
contemporary European city aflame
with revolution. The Grand
Balcony is a place of illu-
sions where men come to
indulge in their secret fan-
tasies.
Inside, prostitutes
assist patrons in
play- acting a vari-
ety of roles: a
judge inflicting
punishment on
a beautiful
thief, a bishop dealing with a
penitent sinner and a gener-
al meditating
on his rela-
tionship with
his horse
(played by a
bridled prosti--.
tute).
Fantasy and reality become
clouded, however, when the
rebels in the street overthrow
the Royal Place and the audi-
ence is left to distinguish
between what is real and what
is not.
Ignoring traditional plot and c
psychology, the play relies heav- Courtesy
ily on ritual, transformation, illusion
and interchangeable identities. Genet
believed that virtually anyone could
bear a name or a title and wrote all of
his plays in order to expose and reveal
how fraudulent liturgical, legal and
royal titles can be.
Theatre department faculty mem-

ber and director of "The Balcony,"
Mbala Nkanga, believes that in a
modern day setting, the show's sig-
nificance stretchesV
to even wider '
boundaries. "I want
the audience to THE BA
come and see how
Jean Genet was able At the Tr
to deal with the Theat
issues of illusion Frieze B
and fantasy mixed
with mirrors. All of Tomorro-Sat
us live in a world of p.m., Sunday
illusions," he said. April 4-6 a
This very shaky April7 at
border between fan- Tickets $1
tasy and reality studei
made the script a 764-2
difficult one to
interpret for many Department of
of the actorsD
E involved. BFA

m
LC
sue
tr
ui
ur
ya
it E
2
5,
nt
53
T6

always on the French script," said
Josh Lefkowitz, a junior BFA stu-
dent and actor.
Nkanga believes that
a student audience will
benefit greatly from
CONY coming to see "The Bal-
cony," even though most
blood will not have heard of it
e, . beforehand. "I want
iding them to be interested in
non-English theater.
day at 8 They have to realize that
t 2 p.m. there are other plays not
8 p.m., written in English that
p.m. are very interesting to
$7 for look at," he said.
S The average Ann
38 Arbor resident may find
it hard to believe that a
heatre and racy political drama set
in a European brothel
could be remotely inter-
esting or relatable.
But, a closer look at "The Bal-
cony" will reveal much more uni-

versal themes and a subject matter
that BFA sophomore JoAnna
Spanos said, "actually hits very
close to home." Still, "The Bal-
cony" is not a morality play. It's
"not about good versus evil or right
vs. wrong" said Nkanga. "It's about
human action and making choices."
The hard working cast and crew of
the show hope that the audience will
leave the theater deep in conversa-
tion. For those looking for a bit of
guidance to their dialogues, there
will be post-performance discussions
on March 29 and 31 and April 5.
The discussions will be led by
Nkanga or by U-M French and Com-
parative Literature Prof. Frieda Ekot-
to, a renowned expert on Genet. After
a play as daring and rich in thought as
The Balcony," those discussions are
sure to be filled with raised hands and
even more raised eyebrows. "It's a
thinking play. It's a challenge for the
audience and that can oftentimes be a
very good thing," said Luskey.

Courtey of1 Electrnic A[t
Hey, nice man boobs.
Iains' rocks the Xbox

By Matt Grandstaff
Weekend Magazine Editor

also rivals g
"Virtua Fig
Alive 3."

senior Sandra Abrevaya, who
plays Madame Irma in the play,
said, "It's confusing. We really
had to sit down and pick apart
the play. It was challenging but
it was exciting." Brian Luskey,
a BFA junior and actor por-
traying the police chief, also
found the difficulty and sub-
tlety of the script to be a
welcome obstacle. "The
play is a big puzzle
and we put the puzzle
together," he said.
Another unique
aspect of "The Bal-
cony" that made its
production quite a
feat for the cast and
crew was the lan-
guage barrier. "This
is a play that was
originally written in
French. Most of the
plays that are pro-
fUvsy duced here are in
University Productions English, so for the
students and for me it was a very
interesting and enriching experi-
ence," said Nkanga.
The English translation has made
this production possible, but all
those involved wanted to ensure a
faithful connection to the original
script. "We had an assistant director

In the past few months, EA Sports' In additio
reputation has taken a few shots. the game's
Recent titles such as "March Madness refreshing c
2002," "NBA Live 2002" and "Triple more intere.
Play 2002" have made some wonder if are modifie
EA's slogan should be, "If it's in the power mete
game, it's not in the EA game." But round or an
despite recent flops, EA is still the distract fron
biggest software company in the world, garners wi
and it will not give up that title without counts -b
a fight. In its latest box-
ing simulation, "Knock-
out Kings 2002," EA*
Sports proves it can still
deliver a knockout blow KNOCKOUT
to the competition. KINGS 2002
In its fourth incarna-
tion, the "Knockout For Xbox
Kings" game engine EA Sports
has been completely
revamped. Delayed
punches and poor collision detection own (so lon
have been replaced with fluid anima- following a
tion that makes you feel like you are Lennox Lew
in the ring. The enhanced gameplay ery, garners<
can be attributed to the power of the from the ac
Xbox system ("Kings" plays slightly fingers pres
better on Xbox than Playstation 2), buttons of th
as the game provides breathtaking "Knockou
visuals running at a consistent frame great select
rate. play modes

great fighting games like
ghter 4" and "Dead or
in to improved gameplay,
default settings offer
changes that make fights
sting. Unless the settings
d, the game does not show
rs, time remaining in the
ny thing else that would
m the action. As a result,
ll focus only on what
eating the crap out of their
opponent.
Another nice feature is
the default setting
regarding knockdowns.
With the automatic
recovery setting, gainers
no longer have to worry
about mashing buttons
and spinning control
sticks to get up, as the
boxer will get up on his
g as he is not in la la land
tenacious uppercut from
iis). With automatic recov-
can get a much-needed rest
tion instead of killing their
ssing the hard candy-like
he Xbox.
ut Kings 2002" provides a
ion of fighters and game-
s. For fighters, the game
all-time greats including
d Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard
r Holyfield. And for those
their favorite boxer, the
es a decent create-a-fighter
re gamers can create their
Tyson or simply create a
k.
her an existing boxer or a
er, gainers can fight in exhi-
r or tournament mode. And
mode offers a slight change
ying against a human oppo-
ely is more fun.

On a down note, however, the game
is almost completely lacking in the
defense department. For blocking, the
left trigger button is used, but it is ulti-
mately useless. Because the left trigger
button has a great deal of resistance, it
becomes awkward to press it repeated-
ly. For this reason, it is nearly impossi-
ble to block constant attacks from an
opponent. While this is a letdown for
simulation fans, the gameplay is still
fun because of the fast and furious
action, which is not only better than
every boxing game on the market, but

offers some
Muhammad
and Evandei
not finding
game feature
mode, wher
own Mike'
boxing freak
Using eit
created boxe
bition, caree
while eachn
of pace, play
nent ultimate

Courtesy of University Productions
The Judge (Jason Smith) sentences Thief (Maureen Sebastian) to 20 lashes.

Puppets and people
cohabitate with new
* FOX sitcom 'Bunny'

I

Don't Miss
This Great Opportunity
To Learn About
Outstanding Careers
In Pharmacy

What:

Pharmacists from diverse

By Melissa Gollob
For the Daily
Imagine a world not not too far
removed from "Sesame Street"
where puppets and humans lived
together in perfect harmony.
Tonight, Fox presents "Greg the
Bunny," a glimpse into the lives of
humans living and working side by
side with puppets.
Greg (Dan Milano)
lives as a fabricated S
American with his
friend Jimmy Bender *
(Seth Green, "Buffy
the Vampire Slayer," GRE
"Austin Powers,") who BU
works as a pool man. Premiere
Greg is unemployed so 9:3
4 he asks his roommate
to put in a good word F
for him with his kid
show directing dad Gil Bender
(Eugene Levy, "American Pie").
The show, named "Sweetknuckle
Junction," employs Rochester the
Bunny as the lead puppet with
human Junction Jack (Bob Gunton,
"61") and fellow puppet Count
Blah (Dan Massey, "Muppets from
Space"). There is tension on the set
and the network executives put
pressure on Bender to
put out a
fresh show.
The drug
and alcohol- -
addicted
becomes too
much on the set ..
and manage-

Greg goes to the studio in search of
Jimmy's father for a clerk job and
ends up earning theastarring role in
the kiddie show.
The puppets are created by Dan
Milano, Spencer Chinoy and Sean
Baker. They are knock-offs from
Jim Henson's Muppets and look as
such. Count Blah plays off of
Sesame Street's Count and even
Greg is an imitation of a Henson
bunny, down to the
same colored fur.
They even manufac-
ture a clone that looks
like Kermit the Frog,
THE except this one eats
INY crayons. At times the
tonight at duplicate puppets
poim, t make fun of them-
selves but the jokes
)X get old rather quickly.
The b arallels

practices discuss the many
interesting, high-paying
career options open to
pharmacy school graduates
Current students discuss th'eir
choice of pharmacy and their
own experiences in one of the
top-ranked pharmacy schools
in the U.S.
When: 6-8 p.m., Thursday,
March 28, 2002
Where: Room 1544, C.C. Little
Building on North University
between Church and Fletcher
Streets, across from the
Exhibit Museum of Natural
History

:G
JN
EO

between network executives and
child actors give the show an edge
that makes it suitable for its later
timeslot. Management calls for
Rochester's firing because they are
losing their demographics with his
thinning fur. This is a clever com-
mentary about how the networks
place pressure on their stars to look
a certain way, even on a pre-school
program. The use of puppets is a
good way for the show to hide its
messages in the comedy and ridicu-
lous world they constructed.
"Greg the Bunny" is very
' funny overall. The scenes
move fast and the dialogue
is quick. From a hostile
washed-upabunny to Seth
Green acting as his

Why:

To share information and

answer questions about
pharmacy careers
Pizza and soda will be served
For more information, contact:
Assistant Dean Valener L. Perry

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