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September 19, 2003 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-19

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Friday
September 19, 2003
www.michigandaily.com
artseditor@jmichigandaily. com

Mgitdo SW

5

Take the stage with MUSKET

By Sarah Peterson
Daily Fine Arts Editor

Courtesy of UPN,
. where Burt
is laughing
atyou.
SA~MESTORT
OH UPN, WHY CAN'T YO
DO ANYTHING RIGHT?
By Douglas Wrnert
Daily Arts Writer
This past week, UPN debuted four new
sitcoms for the fall season in an attempt to
grab viewers before the other big network
premieres. With familiar faces and new con-
cepts, the network hoped to establish itself
as a reliable source for nighttime entertain-
ment. The end result, however, was standard
new-series fare, with one very notable, yet
despicable exception.
"Eve," featuring the female rapper of the
same name, made its well-received appear-
ance Monday night. Eve plays a woman
named, of course, Shelly, a fashion designer
looking for a man. With her two partners in
tow (Natalie Desselle and Ali Landry), she
meets and has a less-than-perfect first date
with leading man JT (Jason Winston
George). On-screen chemistry between the
two is missing, and unfortunately for Eve,
she lacks the "it" factor to make the audi-
ence care deeply about her character. In
addition, the supporting cast, aside from
Desselle's Janie serving as the voice of rea-
son, only exists to divide up the laughs.
The next offering, "All of Us," chronicles
Robert James (Duane Martin, "Above the
Rim"), a young, suave soon-to-be-divorced
man with a son. This is loosely based off the
real life story of Will Smith and Jada Pin-
kett, with the focus on the tension between
James' "baby mama" and current girlfriend.
The sweet little boy in the middle of all this
leads to some touching father-and-son
scenes, but the laughs among the adults are
too few and too far between.
The big disadvantage for the two preced-
ing shows is the fact they are on UPN, a net-
work already full of similarly hokey sitcoms
with paper-thin premises. Most viewers will
soonTealize if you've seen one crappy situa-
tional comedy, you've seen them all.
To counter this, Dan Cortese ("Veronica's

I
)U

Wow! Is there anything rappers can't do?

Closet") returns to television
with "Rock Me Baby," a show
about Jimmy, a "hip" disk jock-
ey getting used to having a
newborn in the house. Wife
Beth (Bianca Kajilch) is a typi-
cal first-time mom and quick-
witted Carl (Carl Anthony
Payne II) is a snide co-host,
leading to plenty of laughs and
good entertainment, but the
characters do need some devel-
opment beyond their original
roles. If Cortese can expand
beyond the party guy that's try-
ing to settle down, UPN may
have a welcome change of pace
on Tuesday nights.
For every step forward UPN takes, they
come up with a show like "The Mullets" to
send them two steps back. Dwayne and
Danny Mullet are two redneck roofers with
the outlandish mullet hairstyle, which seems
to be the redeeming quality of the show.
A wealthy, beer-drinking mom (Loni
Anderson, "WKRP in Cincinatti") and dim-
witted friends only add more foolishness to
the mix, making the viewer wonder if there
is a so-called "straight man" in all of this.
Dwayne and Danny's stepfather serves as
one, but it happens to be the actor who
played Mr. Peterman on "Seinfeld" (John
O'Hurley), losing all hope of taking that
character seriously. It is best to watch this
show with your brain turned off.
"The Mullets" notwithstanding (that show
being, in a word, awful), UPN has three sit-
coms that have a chance to survive, but each
is lacking something, whether it is com-
pelling stars, funnier writing or a better
story. The network tried, but still needs some
variety to grab a cut of the ratings from CBS
and NBC. And let's make one thing perfectly
clear: mullets, or any other hairstyle for that
matter, do not equal ratings.

The Ann Arbor News once called
Basement Arts (a University of Michi-
gan theater group) "the best kept secret
in Ann Arbor," but that theater troupe is
not the only fine arts secret crying to be
spotlighted. All over campus, students
are learning lines, building sets, sewing
costumes, practic-
ing music and pro- MUSKET
ducing and jwww.umich.eduj
directing plays, -uacmusket
among many other
fine and performing art activities.
At the same time, though, there are
also many students who are still search-
ing for an opportunity to get involved.
Ann Arbor's fine arts scene is as
bustling and busy as the Diag between
classes. So, in the coming weeks, the
secret is going to be revealed. The
groups on campus will have their
moment to shine as each week the spot-
light falls on someone new. This week,
MUSKET takes the stage.
As the existence of the Michigan
League shows us, the Michigan Union
used to only be open to men. This
meant that the Michigan Union Opera
Company, a troupe that rehearsed in the
Union, was also only open to men. By
1956 however, society as a whole had
become more accepting of women, so
the opera company broadened its hori-
zons and started accepting women into

its ranks. A change of name was
deemed necessary and thus, with the
additiqn of "Ko-Eds Too," MUSKET,
Michigan Union Shows Ko-Eds Too,
was born.
When the opera company became
MUSKET, the name was not the only
thing to be transformed. The group's
repertoire also changed from including
strictly plays by, about and for men, to
including strictly musicals. Now, the
troupe performs two musicals a year
(this year "Damn Yankees" and
"Cabaret") and, according to MUSKET
member Caitlyn Thomson, "has devel-
oped into one of the biggest student
groups on campus."
MUSKET is a group that operates on
student participation. While the Univer-
sity Activity Center does support the
group financially, in all facets of the
organization students take the lead.
This year, positions are open in every-
thing from cast, to crew, to pit and
everything in between for the fall pro-
duction of "Damn Yankees." Auditions
will be held Sept. 19 to 22.
"The main reason MUSKET is on
campus and is so popular is because
there are so many people in the School
of Music that want experience doing
shows, and this is the perfect place to
do that," Thomson said. "You start from
scratch and end with a finished product
- a Broadway musical." Thomson
made sure to stress though that the
group is not just for music majors.

The New
lie-up Qon
UPN
Eve
Mondays at
All of Us
Tuesd1ays at
Rack Me
Baby
Tuesdays at
The
Mullets
Tuesdys at~

Wholesome DVD worth

By Forest Casey
For the Daily
"Holes" tells the story of young
Stanley Yelnats (Shia LaBeouf, "Even
Stevens") wrongfully accused of steal-
ing a famous pair
of tennis shoes.
Stanley is sen- Holes
tenced to 18 Disney
months at Camp
Green Lake, a mysterious, dried-up
lake where the inmates are forced to
dig countless holes.
As Stanley adapts to camp life with
actual criminals, he begins to solve the
mystery of the holes and the true rea-
,son why he was sent to camp. It's an
intriguing concept for a story, and the
Disney production quality only aids it

with impressive sets, Disney-esque
characters and realistic costumes.
The acting is terrifically underplayed,
with veterans Sigourney Weaver and
Jon Voight (playing the camp's war-
dens) appearing in top form and
LaBeouf giving a much different (and
much more mature) performance from
his normal fare on The Disney Channel.
The picture and sound are exactly
what one would expect from a Disney
film. Even when viewed on a high-
resolution LCD monitor, the picture is
sharp and, aside from occasional
moments when the audio and video
are not in sync, the Dolby Digital
sound is crisp.
The special features also receive the
Disney treatment, with stylized menus,
a documentary, about the child actors in
the film that is not dull and deleted
scenes that are actually worth watching.

Couresy of MUSKET
Pippin finally got a gidi Or is that Merry?
Emphasizing that there are lots of roles
to be filled and anyone can fill them.
"Damn Yankees" will be performed
at the Power Center Nov. 21 - 23.
While watching from the audience is a
great way to experience a play, being a
part of it, whether up on stage or
behind the scenes, is a completely
unique experience. "It is a great place
to meet people and to learn the lingo of
theater," Thomson said. "The bonds
you form during the show are unique
and not something you are going to
find other places."
digging for
Where they are least impressive is in
the two audio-commentary tracks and
the music video. Both feature the boys
of the film (Yes, they are in a music
video and yes, it is horribly awful),
with the other commentary featuring
the screenwriter and the director of
"Holes" (Louis Sacher and Andrew
Davis, respectively). The two commen-
taries simply do not bridge the gap
between dull (the director and screen-
writer audio track) and immature and
childish (the child actors' track).
Overall, "Holes" is a fantastic,
wholesome film for a first date or a
viewing with the parents, and is even
enjoyable enough for roommates to
watch without the usual Disney stigma.
Film: ***
Picture/Sound: ****
Features: ***

I '

LAZARD

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<7 / 7>

rdially inv

ites Michigan University Juniors and Seniors
to a presentation and reception
On
'hursday, September 25th, 2003
Michigan Room
4:304PM

T

Career Analyst Interviews: Friday, October 17th2003
Summer Analyst Interviews: Tuesday, January 20 , 2004
Seniors interested in interviewing for Analyst positions
in our Investment Banking Group
should submit resumes and cover letters through MTRAK
by September 24th

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