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March 17, 2004 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-17

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ARTS-

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 9

GREEK TO ME
ARISTOPHANES CLASSIC BROUGHT
TO LIFE AT EAST QUAD

Cult favorite sci-fi
thriller lands on DVD

By Sarah Peterson
Fine Arts Editor

For anyone who took Great Books
191, chances are that the latest play
being produced by Factio (the Universi-
ty's Undergraduate Classics Club) will
conjure nostalgic feelings. This week-
end, the East Quad Auditorium will play

host to a swirl of
masks and a parade
of togas in "The
Acharnians" of
Aristophanes.
"The play (tells)
the story of a man
named Dicaeopolis,
who is a malcontent
Athenian citizen liv-
ing during the Pelo-
ponnesian Wars with
Sparta," producer All

The
Acharnians
of
Aristophanes
Thursday - Saturday
at8 p.m.
Free
At the East Quad
Auditorium
Duncan said. "He

the fact that there has always been war
and anti-war movements, and that today
isn't so different from 425 BCE."
This production tries to stay true to
the play's ancient Greek roots. The dress
consists of togas, the set has a minimal
feel and the characters are distinguished
from one other through the masks they
wear. Many classics (Shakespeare, for
example) are taken out of their original
time period in an effort to modernize the
play, so the staging of the work in its
original form will be, in the words of
Duncan, "at least novel and unique."
The script of the play, however, is a
modern translation, and this makes it
extremely easy to understand. The
comedy will not be lost to the audi-
ence. In fact, Duncan explained that the
audience "can expect a lot of laughs.
Not a minute goes by without a funny
line, and the lines are really what carry
the show."
"The Acharnians" is not only a come-
dy, but is actually the oldest theatrical
comedy that we have from Western tra-
dition. It is full of bawdiness and lewd
innuendo, everything a good comedy
needs. From a belligerent general to a
woman trying to sell her daughters off
as sows, this play promises to provide an
entertaining and lighthearted evening.
"We wanted to do a comedy because
people like comedy and because life
gets too down if everyone always does
tragedy," Duncan said.

By Katie Marie Cates
Daily Arts Writer
DVD REVIEW
Any question about whether or not
aliens landed in the desert outside
Roswell, N.M., in 1947 is answered
by the WB drama "Roswell." After a
short and shaky three-year run, the
first season of the sci-fi adventure,
which combines elements of "X-
Files" and "My So-Called Life," has
now come out on DVD.
Max (Jason Behr, "The Shipping
News"), Michael (Brendan Fehr,
"Final Destination") and Isabel
(Katherine Heigl, "My Father the

Hero") aren't
from around here.
They can walk
through people's
dreams and
manipulate
molecular struc-

Roswell: The
Complete
First Season
20th Century Fox

simply wants the liberties and happiness
that come with peace."
The anti-war and peace themes of the
play are a large reason it is being per-
formed. "One of the biggest challenges
is making the play palpable to the mod-
ern audience," Duncan admitted. With
the current political situation being as it
is, it was felt that the play would res-
onate with a modern audience. "I think
there is a lot of anti-war stuff going on
around this campus, and it speaks for

Courtesy of RC Players

tures and have a strange affinity for
Tabasco sauce. After years of hiding
their secret identities from the world,
a shooting in a local cafe prompts
Max to save the life of Liz Parker
(Shiri Appleby, "Swimfan"). With
their secret revealed, the gang spends
the first season running from the
FBI, searching for answers about
their past and exploring the intrica-
cies of alien-human relationships.
The DVD provides audio commen-
taries on five episodes. Appleby and
co-star Majandra Delfino are spirited
and interesting in their comments on
the episode titled "Sexual Healing,"
but their stories soon run out. Con-
versation on the pilot by writer Jason
Katims ("My So-Called Life") and
director David Nutter ("X-Files") is
worth watching and includes stories
about casting and the development of
the show.
A behind-the-scenes featurette
titled "Area 51" is an extensive 30-
minute look at everything from

casting to set design with inter-
views from producers, directors,
writers and actors. While most of
the segments with the cast are from
1999, a much older and extremely
talkative Colin Hanks receives far
more airtime than his more signifi-
cant counterparts.
Unlike its original TV format, the
DVD presents "Roswell" in wide
screen format and offers high quali-
ty 5.1 Surround Sound. Because of
problems involving the copyrights
to some songs, however, several
have been changed and can distract
from the original sentiment of cer-
tain scenes for the observant fan.
An issue that comes up over and
over again on this DVD is the dedi-
cation of the fans of the series. They
were drawn to the intensity of the
star-crossed love between Max and
Liz, the themes of alienation and the
exciting plot. Without these fans,
"Roswell" may not have made it to
DVD at all.

Stone cold.

Bravo's latest comedy in-'Significant'

By Kevin Hollifield
Daily Arts Writer
TV REVIEW
With the success of "Queer Eye for the Straight
Guy," cable networks have been trying out new
lines of programming, with varying degrees of
success. Bravo, the home of
the Fab Five, continues this
trend with "Significant Oth- SignifiCant
ers," a series of shock, spon- Others
taneity and sex that takes an Tuesdays at
over-the-top look at relation- 9:30 p.m.
ships that are full of mistakes. Bravo
The show centers around
the daily lives of three couples, married for as lit-
tle as three months or as much as 15 years. They
have their problems, none of which are new to
typical TV shows. In the first two episodes,

Eleanor (Faith Salie) discovers she is pregnant,
unwelcome news to her immature husband Ethan
(Herschel Bleefeld). Bill and Connie (Fred Gross,
Jane Edith Wilson) are a stereotypical middle-
aged couple who no longer show affection. To
complicate matters, Bill is unemployed and hav-
ing an affair with Connie's sister. James (Brian
Palermo) and Chelsea (Andrea Savage) are the
sole bright spot of the show, portraying the
straight-laced husband and free-spirited wife.
James causes a commotion at Chelsea's art show
when he finds out that she has slept with 200
men and learns she was previously married.
Viewers also see the couples at therapy ses-
sions, where the conflicts are usually revealed.
This is also where most of the attempts at humor
are made - with hit-or-miss results. Think of the
sessions from "Annie Hall," only unfunny.
"Significant Others" is touted as unscripted, as
scenes are improvised and the actors work with-

out a script, or for that mat-
ter, an interesting plot.
Words some would find
objectionable are used liber-
ally and are thrown in when
the dialogue begins to stall.
The cast of unknowns sin-
cerely seem to be trying to
make it work, but to little
avail.
"Significant Others"
seems to belong on HBO
due to content, not quality.
Most premises here have
been explored on other
shows in more amusing
ways. The viewing public
should choose to divorce
itself from these "Signifi-
cant Others."

Show: ***
Picture/Sound: ****
Special Features: ***i

Courtesy of Bravo

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