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January 16, 2002 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-01-16

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Writing Redux ...
Handwriting analyst Liz Mills discusses
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n ichigandaily.com/arts

JANUARY 16, 2002


Misguided 'Glory'
fails to rekindle old
Williamson's spark

'Fireside' brings local talent,
original works to Ann Arbor

By Autumn Brown
Daily Arts Writer

Christian Smith
Diaily Arts Writer
Five years ago, Kevin Williamson was catapulted
into the spotlight with the massive success of the
modern cult-classic feature film
"Scream." He followed that with
the blockbuster "I Know What
You Did Last Summer" and his
Glory first foray into television, "Daw-
Days son's Creek." After that he had a
modest hit with the sci-fi thriller
The WE "The Faculty." Williamson's most
Premiers tonight at recent ventures have been the box-
9 p.m. office dud "Teaching Mrs. Tingle"
and the quickly canceled TV
series "Wasteland." If you haven't
noticed a pattern yet, then you
shouldn't be going to school here.
Now, if the first episode of his
newest endeavor "Glory Days" is
any indication, there is no reason to believe that the
trend won't continue.
There are too many things wrong with "Glory
Days" for it to be mistaken for a good show. From pre-
pubescent boys uttering lines like "Sam, this eternal
flirtation is beginning to thwart any possible romantic
future we have between us," to the interrogation of a
minor about
murdering his
father while his
mother waits
outside, there is
simply to much
too handle. The
show attempts
to present itself
as a "scary
murder mys-
tery," but it
comes off as
more of a
pathetic mishap
of "Picket
Fences" meets
"Murder She
Courtesy of Wire Image Wrote."
Writer Williamson. "Glory Days"

follows the life of.
wunderkind nov-
elist Mike Dolan,
who returns to his
hometown on a
whim after receiv- ,
ing a "mysteri-
ous" note Courtesy of Wire Image
regarding his Quite a bright smile for a dim show.
dead father. But after writing a thinly veiled fictional
novel about the inhabitants of Glory and the strange
events surrounding his father's supposedly accidental
death, no one is jumping to welcome him back with
open arms. With a disheveled'Jimmy Fallon style hair-
cut and extremely bright red lips, Eddie Cahill
("Friends," "Felicity") plays Dolan with all the subtle-
ty of a crying child.
While suspending disbelief for a moment to accept
the fact that a 21-year-old wrote a best-selling novel,
we learn that it is now four years later and Mike hasn't
written a word since. As he tries to play amateur
sleuth and unravel some of the mysteries of Glory
Island, he simultaneously tries to mend relationships
with those he inaccurately depicted in his book,
including his weirdo mother Mitzi (Frances Fisher),
his older sister Sara (Amy Stewart) and his childhood
friend Rudy (Jay R. Ferguson), who also happens to be
the town sheriff. By the way, do towns even have sher-
iffs anymore?
In the pilot episode, just as Mike is arriving on the
ferry, a man is pushed over the edge into the water and
killed, and conveniently (for the plot) Mike is the only
one who, sees this. Everyone else believes it was an
accident, despite all the eerie events of late. Mike,
with the help of good ol' sheriff Rudy and forensic
pathologist/town coroner/obvious love interest to
Mike, Ellie Sparks (Poppy Montgomery), somehow
manages to lead the investigation in order to say non-
sense lines like "Your father's death is going to haunt
you for the rest of your life. That's what dead dads do.
Believe me. I know" and completely misuse the phrase
"probable cause."
Listening to Pearl Jam songs play in the background
of multiple diner scenes and watching what has
become of Kevin Williamson's once-promising career,
there is only one mystery that comes to mind; why are
there so many attractive people walking around in a
small island town in the Pacific Northwest?

One of the most auspicious bene-
fits of having a professional theater
company in Ann Arbor is an event
such as the Fireside Festival of

Tomorrow through

New York. The
Fireside Festi-
val is an annual
gathering of
various profes-
sional theater
such as the
Jewish Ensem-
ble Theatre of
West Bloom-
field and the
Purple Rose
Theatre Com-
pany of
Chelsea to
exchange ideas
and scripts to

readings. and the original play,
"Cherchez Dave, Robicheaux" by
Nancy Wright, which is the crown-
ing glory of the occasion.
"Cherchez" is the story of a seem-
ingly ordinary woman from Indiana
who has recently been beleaguered
by a tragedy and finds solace in
fiction. Perhaps too much solace,
as she soon finds herself smitten
with the fictional character, Dave
Robicheaux and embarks on a mis-
sion to find him.
Braughton describes it as "nei-
ther a comedy, nor a drama," but
rather as "both." She maintains that
the Network is hoping to attract a
diverse audience, not necessarily
gung-ho theater enthusiasts, but
also those who are interested in
intellectual stimulus.
"We have a pretty broad market,
but it is not really defined by any
age. The same people who go to
see 'Austin Powers' may not want
to see this," Braughton said. "It's a
play about how to find
magic in our
everyday life and
embracing the
higher power of fic-
tion," she said.
"In typical perfor-
mances, the actors have
about 120-140 hours of
rehearsal," Braughton
said. "But we scaled
down the

present to the Midwestern commu-
"Our goal is to draw
theater enthusiasts k
from Chicago, Toledo
and other midwest-
ern cities," said
J o h a nn a ~
Braughton, direc-
tor and executive
director of the Perfor-
mance Network. "We
have even had a
busload of
kids from
Green," she
The Fire-
side Festi-
v a i
in cludes a r
marathon of
24 plays,
which includes
several stagedStacey Cole as Picke

rehearsal process considerably for
this performance." Unlike most
theatrical organizations, the Perfor-
mance Network does not have dif-
ferent scenes within a production.
Instead, one "universal set" is used
throughout a performance. "The
audience will be required to use
their imagination," she said.
A few of the works included in
the "Staged Readings of New
Plays" are Joanna Hastings' "Lean-
ing Tower of Babel" and Rachel
Urist's "Clowns on Ice." One of the
most intrepid endeavors braved by
the Festival has been the inclusion
of feedback from the audience. The
Festival wishes that by receiving
community input after the readings,
it will by the same token contribute
to the growth of the theater com-
munity by "fostering the growth
and development of original work."
The performances produced by
the Performance Network are
undoubtedly by the Ann Arbor
community and for the community.
This is most evident in the commit-
ment of all of the actors and
actresses employed by the company
who have made a definite commit-
ment to theatre as a lifelong voca-
"One of the things
that we as theatre
p r o fe s s i on a1s
really take to
heart, especially
after Sept. 11, is
the philosophy
F that theater at it's
heart is an a
examination, and
celebration of
the human
spirit as
well as a
together of
a communi-
ty," Braughton
rtesy o Performance Network said.

t Pie handcuffed to Robyn Heller as Nola.

Leary plays cool detective in 'The Job'

New Dashboard ep
sins against listener

By Christian Smith
Daily Arts Writer

The Job
Wednesdays at

Denis Leary has made a
career out of capitalizing on
other people's misfortunes, often
reducing them to tears with his
cutting-edge sarcasm and sharp-
witted sense of humor. With his
pop-punk, no-nonsense attitude,
Leary is at his best when making
other people feel their worst,
tearing them down by simply
spewing the brutal truth.
Appearing in such films as "The
Thomas Crown Affair," "Wag
the Dog" and most notably "The
Ref," Leary has garnered moder-
ate commercial success as well

tant r
is les


ods of one of its decorated detectives.
ary plays Detective Mike McNeil, an unorthodox
with a disdain for authority and a fondness for
ndulgence. He has a harder time dealing with his
personal life than he does fighting crime on the
ts of New York. Leary has a penchant for playing
acters who waver between quiet cynicism and bla-
mockery, and here he makes about as much of an
g stretch as Arnold Schwarzenegger in ... any-
. But one would be hard pressed to think of an
r more right for this role. Leary's pissed-off
oach to life comes in handy when playing McNeil,
se complicated existence gives him a pretext for
an asshole.
the second season's premiere, McNeil and his
ner Terrence "Pip" Phillips (Bill Nunn) are
ned to take the District Attorney's 12-year old
hter on a ride-along for her school paper. McNeil
ss than thrilled about the assignment, especially
they lose her in the city. ,
imilar in style to "Scrubs," whose connection to
has allowed it to gain opportunity as well as pop-
y, "The Job" can be seen as a companion piece to
PD Blue." Like "Scrubs," it utilizes a single-cam-
augh-track free technique, and shares a narrative
onship with "Blue." Besides the obvious resem-
ce as a cop show, "The Job" also uses exterior

shots of New York City, backed by a techno-flavored
two-step beat to introduce each scene. It is essentially
"NYPD Blue" played for laughs.
While "The Job" is nowhere near and probably will
never be as successful as "NYPD Blue," Leary
deserves a break after a difficult year. He lost numerous
firefighter friends in the September 11 attacks, and suf-
fered a tremendous loss this past weekend when his
best friend and longtime collaborator Ted Demme died
of an apparent heart attack. "The Job" is a good show,
though not a great one, but for Denis Leary's sake, let's
hope Aaron Sorkin suddenly develops a horrible case
of writer's block.

as critical acclaim for his trademark black comedy. when
In the ABC comedy series "The Job," which returns Sin
for its second season premiere tonight opposite "The "ER'
West Wing," Leary clearly uses this brand of humor to ularit
his advantage. Created by Leary and Emmy Award "NY
winning writer Peter Tolan ("The Larry Sanders era, 1
Show") and shot entirely on location, "The Job," focus- relati
es on a New York City precinct and the unconventional bland
'Goddess' anytii
Goddess in the Doorway, Mick Jagger; Virgin
By Matthew C. Borushko
For the Daily
For his fourth solo effort, one of rock's senior statesmen
assembled an illustrious cast of characters to help write,
play, produce and, ultimately, sell his album. Nobody talks
about Mick Jagger's first three non-Stones releases: She's
the Boss (1985), Primitive Cool (1987) or Wandering Spirit
(1993). To change that, Jagger sought the help of friends
old and new to put together Goddess in the Doorway.
Goddess is a mixed bag, to say the least, and the apparent
absence of cohesion probably stems from the use of five
different producers over the 12 song opus. The record fails
to leave any sort of impression; if Jagger's aim was to forge
a sound tangibly distinct from anything he's done as front-
man of The Rolling Stones, this effort falls short. Bet your
Voodoo Lounge t-shirt that Goddess ain't the Stones, just
don't bet that it will nab Mick a Grammy like recent releas-
es from other old men Bob Dylan and Santana.
The problems begin with the all-star cameos themselves.
"God Gave Me Everything," a heavily-distorted, guitar-
rocker played on and produced by Lenny Kravitz, is as for-
gettable as Kravitz himself. Jagger enlists Bono to
, collectively praise the Lord on the gospel-influenced "Joy,"

So Impossible, Dashboard
Confessional; Vagrant
By Keith N. Dusenberry
Daily Music Editor
Dashboard Confessional's latest
four-song EP could make an atheist
thank God that at least it's a short
record. Listening to So Impossible's
14 rambling minutes of acoustic
emo could make the devil beg for
mercy, wondering what he did to
deserve such cruel and unusual
punishment. It could also make
your moody girlfriend and half of
East Quad rush out to the record
Chris Carrabba is the sensitive
(whiny), passionate (annoying)
manchild behind Dashboard. The
"band" is known for its live shows,
where Dashboard disciples are
encouraged to sing along like a
choir backing the band's Christian-
when-convenient songs. It's like
summer camp from Heaven, if by
"Heaven" you mean Hell. And if
the tracks on Impossible had half
the structure of a church service it
would greatly lessen the induced
nausea of a seemingly endless,
shapeless stream of repetitive gui-
tar figures and shallow, emo-
shriek/sing vocals.
Dashboard's lyrics surpass even
Blink-182's in the trying-to-hold-
onto-high-school department. This
is because instead of constantly
remembering his adolescent days

Leary talks to Nunn about valvollne

ng but heaven ly WHE

like Blink-182 does, Carrabba actu-
ally writes like he is going to be
submitting the lyrics to a high
school literary 'zine. "For You To
Notice" wails about an imagined
future where, "You'd want to call
me. / And I would be there every
time you need me." While "Hands
Down" vies for a spot in the church
newsletter with its wholesome
story of a young couple in love and
alone in a bedroom, but resisting
full carnal temptation because,
"these hearts, they race, from self
control." Lest young believers miss
the message, the song later preach-
es that the oft-heard question,
"'Hey, did you get some?' Man,
that is so dumb." Whatever you say,
Reverend Lovejoy.
Unfortunately, if only the good
die young, Dashboard Confessional
may live forever.
Pray for mercy.
Grade: D

I r --------

The real gem on Goddess though, is "Don't Call Me Up,"
a ballad that features Jagger's best lyrics along with a taste-
ful mix of acoustic guitar and elegant piano. Jagger has
always been at his best when he cries through a song. Paul
McCartney cried like a girl, Rod Stewart cried like a


Attention Graduating Seniors!I
Thought there was no such thing
as a free lunch? Think again!
Your Alumni Association wants your thoughts, ideas and suggestions
ahnt how the Association should serve U-M seniors upon w I

. t ]
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