September 14, 2005
arts. michigandaily. com
Ut~ bEIIIrigan ]Bad
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Too far from NY, NY
Courtesy of the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre
Members of the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre in "West Side Story."
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A PLACE FOR 'WEST SIDE'
CLASSICAL MUSICAL CELEBRATED BY THE ANN ARBOR CIVIC THEATRE
h Peterson scope. "The show is challenging artistically and
Writer vocally and because there are so many scene The Ann; Arbor Civic Theatr
changes and complex choreography," Sielaff
____REV___EW_ said. "I wanted to keep it true to its original A true civic organization, the Ann A
form, with the dancing wonderful and the sing- Theatre (A2CT) is a troupe dedicated to
, DOO, didido." Perhaps one of the ing pure." nityFounded in 1929, A2CT has been
vn opening lines of any musical, it's a "There are no updates, no change in content," an outlet for actors for over 75 years.
of one of the great- Sielaff said in regards to costumes and scen- Every show performed by A2CT
tories ever told. ery. She then added that as a director her vision through open audition, which mea
peare brought the West Side for this show was to keep it as true to form as anyone has the chance to audition f
tragic romance to Story possible. "I want to keep both the passion and on stage. All actors, crews and direc
with "Romeo and violence real," she said. "The audience comes volunteers, so every show contains the
ut centuries later, Sept. 15-17 in with certain expectations and I don't want to enthusiasm of people coming togethei
Bernstein and Ste at 8 p.m. disappoint." ticipate in an activity they all love.
dheim put it to song Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. At the same time, however, Sielaff emphasized This season, A2CT will be presentin
Side Story," one of $15 Thursday that "this is a real gritty show. We are dealing Side Story," "All My Sans," "Guys anc
est musicals ever $21 Students with the murder of three people, and there is a "A Thousand Clowns," "The Nerd" a
d. Set in New York Atthedrape scene." Sielaff explained that in the scene Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." /
updated version of Mendelssohn Theatre where Anita goes to find Tony, she is not just will be performed at Washtenaw Con
are's classic follows teased, as is how many directors stage it, but the College's contemporary Towsley Aud
of Maria and Tony, character is actually raped. "Many people gloss children's shows at WCC's College'
rossed lovers divided by both geogra- over that," Sielaff said. and all musicals find a home at the Ly
rejudice. To create an atmosphere where the hate and delssohn Theatre.
eekend, at the Lydia Mendelssohn The- danger seem real, Sielaff brought in the Ann With "third-off Thursdays," where
Ann Arbor Civic Theatre will cross Arbor group Ring of Steel to choreograph all of eral admission ticket prices are redut
ic boundaries in its own way to per- the fight scenes. third and group discounts for as few'
st Side Story." "Every single move I choreographed," Sielaff people, A2CT is an organization foe
he woman playing Maria, who had to said. "Everyone knows exactly where to be, so bringing theatre to everyone in Ann A
om Grosse Pointe several times a week no one walks into a punch, and no one gets hurt." theatre for the people, It's mission st
st three-and-a-half months, to the four Months have been spent perfecting the detailed says it all: "We exist to provide oppoi
bers from Livonia, to cast and crew scenes. Sielaff added, "The fight scenes are the for the members of the community t0
rom places such as Hamburg, Pinck- ones that the boys really enjoyed." pate in theatre."
armington Hills, this performance has Dance scenes have also been repeated time The Ann Arbor Civic Theatre box
ogether talented actors from all over and time again. "People expect the Jets to jump, located at 322 W. Ann St. and is open
tan Detroit. In the words of director leap, snap - we have all that," Sielaff said. a.m. to 2 p m. on weekdays. The box ol
elaff, "This show has drawn a lot of "West Side Story" is a play known for its be reached at 734-971-A2CT (2228), o
large dance numbers and beautifully passionate information can be obtained from the
Sielaff, who has been directing for 20 music, and the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre produc- www.a2ct.org. Tickets can be purl
plained how performing a classic such tion with it's elaborate dance scenes and chore- advance or 45 minutes before each sh
Side Story" is difficult because of its ography intends to please.
br a part
wr to par-
)r fu rther
Last Friday I did one of the
loopier things in my college
career. I took out an emer-
gency loan for $400 and jetted off
to the Big Apple with a boy I'd only
known for a few weeks. I met him at
a party, and we ran off to New York
for the weekend. I took
being young by the balls
and sort of flew with it. In
doing this, I missed two
days of school as well as
a day of work. Reckless?
Yeah. Something I regret? m
No. Anyway, it was my
first opportunity to see a
Broadway play - a little R
ditty called "Jewtopia."
"Jewtopia" is a play Vi
about a Catholic named ED
Chis O'Connell (played
by Bryan Fogel) who decides that he
no longer wants to make any deci-
sions for himself, and therefore wants
to marry a Jewish woman (under the
presumption that a Jewish woman
will make the rest of his decisions for
him). O'Connell pairs with his friend,
a Jew named Adam Lipschitz (played
by Sam Wolfson), to accomplish this
goal. The two forge what seems to be
a mutually beneficial relationship, with
O'Connell helping Lipschitz find a
Jewish girl on the Internet in exchange
for Lipschitz letting him into the "Jew-
The acting was excellent, and even
with a non-practicing but culturally
Jewish mother, I feel like I got most
of the jokes. It was definitely the best
play I've ever been to, and through
comedy, it delved into a sticky web of
issues including Jewish intermarriage,
religious relativism and Jewish history.
I laughed out loud when the Jewish
mother demands that her son just "kill
her" and hands him the butter knife.
This overdramatization, which I per-
sonally find is common among Jewish
moms (my mom has asked me the
same question multiple times) hit the
nail on the head for me.
In addition to the relevant cultural
observations, the comparisons that
Lipschitz and his Mongolian fiance
find between Buddhism and Judaism
There is a great deal of controversy
associated with this play, too. Lip-
schitz marries a non-Jew, meaning his
children will not be Jewish. This is a
huge slap to the Jewish culture, and
intermarriage in general is something
my mom got disowned for 22 years
ago. Nevertheless, it is a play that
makes you think.
Simultaneously, it makes you
analyze while entertaining you. And
unfortunately for those of us in Ann
Arbor, it is yet another Broadway play
that will never come here.
If University students want to see a
play off Broadway, they have to travel
all the way to Detroit to go to either
the Fisher Theater or Masonic Temple.
Both places are, in student speak any-
way, pretty far away. If you don't have
a car it's almost impossible. And for
the most part, the school does not offer
transportation to these cultural venues.
I'm not going to bore you by telling
you about Michigan's lack of public
transportation in general (anywhere
outside of Ann Arbor is pretty much a
black hole for those without cars). And
I'm pretty sure we have
the Big Three thanks for
that one - holla.
But seriously, as an
Arts editor who probably
sees more than the aver-
age student in the way of
school theater produc-
tions, don't get me wrong,
I definitely appreciate
them. The School of
rORIA Music seriously rocked
LARDS out "Romeo and Juliet"
for me, and I adore Base-
ment Arts productions.
But still, there is something to be
said for professional venues. And I feel
that our lack of off-Broadway plays is
something that should be remedied.
With a strong population of more
than 24,000 undergraduate students,
there is no reason why we can't either
offer mass transportation to Detroit to
see these plays or bring them to Ann
Arbor. This city is the cultural mecca
of Michigan; however, it needs to one-
up itself to give students the theatrical
experiences they deserve.
Now I understand we're never going
to be New York. "Victoria," you're
probably thinking, "if this is such an
issue for you, why not transfer to New
York University. Stop your bitching
and call it a day."
All right, point taken. Main Street
is no 42nd Street and will never be.
But still, there is no reason why Ann
Arbor cannot attract more off-Broad-
way plays or more professional theater
groups in general.
Ann Arbor is a supposedly cul-
tural town, but there seems to be an
unbalanced emphasis on professional
music rather than theatre here. Our
music is world-renowned, but our
theater is only locally renowned. If
the city could attract even one or two
off-Broadway plays a year, it would be
really beneficial to the students at this
How many students do you know
who are from some bumblefuck town
in Michigan? Somewhere that you can
'ell, those students deserve as
much as anyone else to see real theater.
Who knows. This may be the only
opportunity some people have to expe-
rience real culture.
And hell, if Ann Arbor can't do it,
let the University offer some type of
transportation so that students, espe-
cially those previously mentioned, can
experience excellence in professional
theater, so that each and every student
who wants to be enriched through the
theater can do so.
- Victoria loves plays. Tell her how
much you love Broadway musicals at
Fox crime drama
'Bones' wallows in
By Bernie Nguyen
Daily Books Editor
"Bones," Fox's latest attempt to join
the already overflowing bandwagon
of forensic crime dramas, follows the
basic recipe already overdone by the
Courtesy of Lava
We're the Spice Girls - Boho-style.
A ntigone Rising
sinks with new album
nist, a cool-head-
Tuesday at 8 p.m.
several quirky forensics scientists, the
requisite ambitious and overly forceful
boss and of course, a necessary touch of
political intrigue to add some realistic
In an attempt to set itself apart,
"Bones" plays too many of its cards
too soon. Dr. Brennan's personal life
is quickly and abruptly exposed in a
series of awkwardly played and script-
ed moments of vulnerability. A blatant
attempt to imply some sort of sexual
tension between Dr. Brennan and Agent
Booth is burdened by a clumsy narrative
frame and an implausible situation.
The pilot's plot, though initially
compelling, unravels lin an unbeliev-
ably neat and suddenly uninterest-
ing way. Unfortunately, the series'
slightly novel premise will probably
be undermined by a storyline that
attempts to cram too much into a sin-
gle hour. Characterization is unwise-
ly bulked up at the expense of weak
plot. With an eye toward developing
the relationships between Dr. Bren-
nan and her colleagues, especially
Agent Booth, it will be difficult for
"Bones" to keep up with its own
By Jerry Gordinier
Daily Arts Writer
a lesson in scales then a profound state-
ment and gets buried even further in
lukewarm lyrics such as "Hello, hello,
it's good to see you my friends / Hello,
hello, it's good to see you again."
This unhurried, "Take-It-Easy"
Eagles mentality ends up coming off
as sluggish and dim. The interplay
between instrumentation never works.
ed tough guy hiding a soft spot for
his victims and a widely varied cast
of off-beat supporting characters. In
spite of, or perhaps because of this,
"Bones" is unremarkable, and breaks
no new ground in the ever-increasing
network attempt to dig out the perfect
Based on the real life of forensic
anthropologist and mystery novel-
ist Kathy Reichs, "Bones" revolves
around Dr. Temperance Brennan
(Emily Deschanel, "Boogeyman")
Courtesy of Fox
"Professor Plum, In the library, with the wrench."
In the spirit of
Starbucks and its
tune of Howie Day's "Collide" basi-
cally sums it all up: Dr. Brennan takes
herself too seriously. Boreanaz, fresh
from his role as another brooding,
In the end, "Bones" falls prey to
its own predictability. Bare touches
of humor do nothing to improve the