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October 29, 2004 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-29

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Thursday

ARTS

arts. michigandaily.com
artspage@michigandaily.com

8

puSWEPT
2 T ' .r, R:8
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courtesy of u

World-renowned dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Baryshniov performs
in Power Center play

By Lynn Hasselbarth
Daily Arts Writer
UMS hosts the opening of Rezo Gabri-
adze's visually
compelling drama,
"The Forbidden
Christmas or The The
Doctor and the Forbidden
Patient" this week- Christmas
end. During its five- Today and tomor-
day run at the Power row at 8 p.m.
Center, Gabriadze and Sat. Oct.
unveils the strength 30- Sun. Oct.
of the human spirit 31 at 2 p.m.
amid the repressive $20-65 Adults
politics of Stalinist $10 StudenteRush
Russia and the pain Power Center
of lost love.
The play focuses on the lives of a bro-
ken-hearted sailor named Chito, played
by world-renowned dancer Mikhail
Baryshnikov, and a wise and heroic
doctor, played by Broadway actor Jon
DeVries. The paths of these two men
intersect on a bleak Christmas Eve, as
they journey to find a cure for Chito's ail-
ing daughter. Repressive politics forbid
the celebration of Christmas, leaving the
two men to cultivate an alternative form
of spiritual life.
A stunning component of the play
is Baryshnikov's depiction of Chito as
he deals with the painful betrayal of his
adulterous wife. In order to cope with
this debilitating reality, Chito trans-
forms himself, trading conventional body
movement for the jarred convulsions of a
car. Much like a contemporary Charlie
Chaplin, Baryshnikov is able to portray
the revving engine, mimicking the jolts
and acceleration of an automobile, while
maintaining a delicate attentiveness to
human emotion.
When asked about Baryshnikov's
depiction of madness in the play, DeVries

notes that Chito represents the "human
instinct for self-preservation and survival.
He is able to escape into a world of odd-
ness and strangeness in order to maintain
a sense of inner life." In order to resist the
depths of hopelessness, DeVries notes,
"We all strive to keep our souls and spir-
its alive by recreating ourselves."
While the play's characters seem frag-
ile and dreamlike, they are in fact based
on vivid memories of individuals from
Gabriadze's childhood in Soviet Georgia,
including a local physician and man who
indeed thought he was a car. Gabraidze
recalls that amidst the restrictiveness of
Soviet socialism, madness seemed to pro-
vide a rare opportunity to achieve self-
expression.
With regard to his own character,
DeVries noted, "I find I can portray the
Doctor with more confidence as the
character has actual historical shape
... I have a visceral feeling about him."
Commenting on the mysticism of the
Doctor, DeVries said, "The Doctor car-
ries a sense of weight and gravity ... his
knowledge over the physical world and
his role in the protection life both present
a certain magical authority."
Considering Gabriadze's rather ambig-
uous plot, it is difficult to draw concrete
themes from the play's script. Instead,
audiences are invited to extract more
nuanced meanings from the dreamlike
scenery and lighting, as well as from
the striking on-stage movement, choreo-
graphed by former Joffrey Ballet dancer
Luis Perez.
The incredible range of artistry in this
play comes from Gabriadze's versatility
as a filmmaker, painter and sculptor, as
well as an internationally acclaimed pup-
peteer. Gabriadze's beautifully painted
landscapes and trinket-like stage props
provide an ethereal experience, much
like an implausible folktale passed down
through generations.

NOVEMBER TV FILLED
WITH REALITY TRASH
It's that time of year again. Four months a
year, the television networks pull out all the
stops in an attempt to garner higher ratings,
and this year is no different. Along with sea-
son premieres of such hits as "The Simpsons,"
"Arrested Development" and "The Amazing
Race," new shows will debut and special events
like a "Seinfeld" reunion will take center stage.
The Daily TV staff takes a look at what to expect
from these offerings:
NEW SHOWS
Nanny 911
Nov. 3 , FOX
In a show that could only be on FOX, incom-
petent American parents call in a team of four
British nannies to get their unruly children
under control. With expertise in everything from
teaching manners to stopping tantrums, the nan-
nies set out to whip children across America
into shape. Just be glad it's not Fran Drescher.
My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss
Nov. 7, FOX
In FOX's newest reality TV spoof, Ivy League
students are forced to deal with the ridiculous
demands of a fake boss, all in pursuit of a chance
to join IOCOR, a fake, billion-dollar corporation.
Can they withstand the rigorous challenges? Is it
possible for FOX to sink any lower? The answer
to both questions is no.
The Rebel Billionaire: Branson's Quest for
the Best
Nov. 9, FOX
"The Rebel Billionaire" is FOX's very own
rich-man reality show. Their billionaire is Vir-
gin mega-mogul Richard Branson. He'll take 16
contestants around the world and, according to
FOX's website, "leave one on the tarmac each
week." The final prize is $1 million and a job as
president of Virgin. Take that, Donald Trump.
I Hate My Job
Nov. 9, Spike TV
Spike TV's newest reality show, "I Hate My
Job," gives eight normal guys the chance to pur-
sue their dream job. How will they do it? They'll
use inspirational words from perennial presi-
dential failure Reverend Al Sharpton, of course!
Seriously, Sharpton, tell the truth: Is this just a
ploy to gain publicity for 2008?
House
Nov. 16, FOX

"House" is the story of one man's struggle
against infectious disease. Yes, that's right, con-
trary to the expectations of every sane person
this side of Mike Tyson, House is the main char-
acter's last name in FOX's new medical drama.
Bolstered by a team of young physicians, House
will combat a variety of dangerous diseases in an
attempt to save those patients no one else could.
Come on, "House." You're risking a network's
life!
The Real Gilligan's Island
Nov. 30, TBS
From the producer of "The Bachelor" and the
creator of the original "Gilligan's Island," real-
life versions of a skipper, a millionaire, a movie
star and the rest will have to cope with bizarre
circumstances in order to work their way off an
island. The idea behind this ill-conceived reality
show is even worse than taking a three-hour tour
aboard the S.S. Minnow.
Project Runway
Dec. 1, Bravo
Bravo's latest entry into the reality genre is
"Project Runway." The show centers on the fash-
ion world as it puts 12 amateur designers through
carefully tailored design challenges, cutting a
contestant each week. The winner gets a fash-
ion magazine spread and a chance to have their
clothes sold in stores. Heidi Klum will head the
panel of judges, but so what - Tyra could kick
her ass any day.
SPECIAL EVENTS
Dallas Reunion: Return to Southfork
Nov. 7, CBS
Those Ewing yee-haws are back again. The
stars of the hit '80s soap-opera "Dallas," includ-
ing Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy, reunite for
one night to talk about the old days, eat some
Texas cooking and figure out, once and for all,
who shot J.R.

Courtesy of NBC
Where have you gone Jerry Seinfeld? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you ...

$25 Million Dollar Hoax
Begins Nov. 8, NBC
A young woman tries to convince her fam-
ily that she has won $25 million dollars in the
lottery and that the money has turned her into
a self-absorbed shopaholic in NBC's latest real-
ity stunt. Ed McMahon is featured as one of the
people trying to help this poor family believe
that they now have a big fat obnoxious daughter.
Hopefully, he'll bring lots of big paper Publish-
er's Clearing House checks.
Category 6: Day of Destruction
Begins Nov. 14, CBS
In a throwback to '70s disaster movies, "Cat-
egory 6" is virtually a who's who of out-of-work
actors as Brian Dennehy, Thomas Gibson, Diane
Weist and Randy Quaid star in this CBS mini-
series. The two biggest storms ever hit America at
the same time, causing damage across cities with
well-known skylines. It's like "The Day After
Tomorrow," only longer. Root for the storm.
American Idol Christmas Special
Nov. 24, FOX
Just in time for the holidays, this FOX special
showcases the winners from the first three sea-
sons of "American Idol." Kelly Clarkson, Ruben
Studdard and Fantasia Barrino each take a break
from obscurity to promote their new albums and
sing a few Christmas songs. It may be worth
watching if Simon Cowell sings "I Saw Mommy
Kissing Santa Claus."
The Seinfeld Story
Nov. 25, NBC
The stars of that great show about nothing,
"Seinfeld," come back on Thanksgiving night.
This one-hour special looks back at the series's
early history and has interviews with Jason
Alexander, Michael Richards and Julia Louis-
Dreyfus. See if the cast is still the masters of its
domain.
--Compiled by the Daily TV Staff

0

Peterson explores U.S. economic issues in 'Running on Empty'

By Sarah Zarowny
Daily Arts Writer

"Is your future better off now
than it was four years ago?" With

this twist on
Ronald Reagan's
1980 campaign
slogan, Peter G.
Peterson enters a
frank discussion
about the state
of our nation's
finances. In his

Running
on Empty
By Peter G.
Peterson
Farrar, Strauss
and Giroux

How the Democratic and Repub-
lican Parties are Bankrupting Our
Future and What We Can Do About
It," The chairman of the Council on
Foreign Relations and former Sec-
retary of Commerce paints a stark
portrait of a nation without fiscal
responsibility.
This criticism is leveled particu-
larly at Social Security and Medi-
care, which will soon start to pay
out more in benefits than either pro-
gram can expect to receive in tax
revenue, as the baby boom genera-
tion begins to retire. The trend will
only increase over time or the chang-
ing demographics of our nation.

Peterson also highlights the dangers
posed by America's current-account
deficit, and that the amount of for-
eign capital invested in our markets,
which is at a historic high.
If the nations that are currently
invested in the United States for
some reason have less savings -
which, Peterson argues, is likely to
occur because of their own aging
populations - or experience a loss
of confidence in the strength of the
dollar, this flow of capital could
quickly dry up. Such a loss of for-
eign capital could be compounded
by the fact that U.S. household sav-
ings have reached historic lows;
therefore, there is less and less
domestic capital available to stimu-
late business growth.
When discussing the forces
behind these issues, Peterson does
not vilify one particular law, admin-
istration or political party; rather, he

cites historic trends, contemporary
mindsets and generational differ-
ences that have conspired to cre-
ate this mess. In a clear, coherent
style, he explains the complexities
of the current-account issue and the
history of Social Security - how
spending on benefits got out of con-
trol in the '50s and '60s, and how
the problem got worse with the tax
cuts of the '80s and of the current
Bush administration.
Peterson casts these deficits in a
moral light, arguing that it is unfair
for members of his generation to
provide more expansive benefits
for themselves by creating debt
- essentially sending the bill to
their kids. Politicians are aware that
spending levels are unsustainable,
but they see no advantage in lead-
ing a reform movement for some-
thing that is not a problem yet and
could cost them the next election.

1-1f~ D ~~VU~I
" '
U N N I N
Ev M A P'Ti Y'

ers are more controversial, such as
re-evaluating the cost-effectiveness
of medical care.
Peterson also advocates de-
polarizing the nation by adopting
structural changes in the way that
political parties and elections are
organized, and urging Congress to
set priorities for spending and cre-
ate a budget process that is more
transparent.
Clear and concise writing help
move the reader through this fact-
laden book. Peterson gives enough
detail to explain how deficits were
formed and why they matter without
losing the bigger picture. Sprinkled
here and there with witty remarks,
Peterson tells it like it is, but the
tone of the book is not overly pes-
simistic.
"Running on Empty" is a call
to arms, an effort to shock Ameri-
cans out of apathy and urge them
to demand that their government
represent their true interests. This
book is especially relevant for our
generation, and for the children of
today, who, unless decisive action is
taken soon, will have to pay for the
sins of their fathers.

latest book, "Running on Empty:

This is a paid advertisement.
Every Vote is Sacred
At least that is what the Democratic Party has been
preaching since the 2000 presidential election when its
leadership played the race card to claim that voters were "
"disenfranchised" in Florida. Those allegations could just
as easily be leveled at the Dems, with greater credibility,
thanks to the Democratic Party's attempts to block the vote
of members of the active duty military, which historically
casts 7 out of 8 votes for the Republican Party. In fact,
an earlier Democratic administration in Florida was forced
to sign a consent judgment with the Justice Department

However, reform they must, and
the sooner the better. Peterson offers
several concrete solutions that he
believes will halt deficits and help
put the nation back on track to a
balanced budget. Some of his sug-
gestions appear reasonable, like
indexing Social Security benefits to
inflation rather than to wages. Oth-

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