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March 17, 2006 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-03-17

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Friday
March 17, 2006
arts. michigandaily.com
artspage@michigandaily.com

RTeSMirbigan Bailg

5

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The luck of the Irish
Daily Arts presents five suggestions for a festive St. Patrick's Day
Not that you'll remember it

Today is a time not just to pump
your body with green food-
coloring and piss beer, eventu-
ally spilling half-digested dining-hall
corned beef and cabbage across South
University Avenue.
Today is the anniversary of when
some Irish-American fenians (a politi-
cal group striving to free Ireland from
British empire) decided that if people
in America got excited about the feast
of Ireland's patron saint, then maybe
they could get the public and the super
rich to donate to their cause.
New York had the first St. Patrick's
Day in 1737. As Boston staged their
first one in 1756 and Philadelphia in
1780, the holiday became more famous
for the parades and displays of Irish cul-
ture (then conceived as mirth, song and
alcoholism) than its Catholic roots.
So there's a lot more history behind
it, but for now you're hopefully already
three beers in, somewhere in a groggy-
feeling lecture hall, attempting to scrib-
ble notes while green drool hangs from
your mouth.
At moments like this, the true Irish
spirit, perseverance, flair and heart
shines through.
And so I leave you with five ways to
keep the cheer high on St. Patrick's Day.
- Evan McGarvey
Associate Arts Editor

1 "Leprechaun"
The first movie is legitimately
funny, but if you can make it all the
way through the sequels - up to and
including "Leprechaun in the Hood"
- consider yourself an honorary Irish-
man. Or someone with appalling taste
in cinema. Besides, the film marks
the feature film debut of all-American
sweetheart Jennifer Aniston, sharing
screentime with a vicious holiday icon
who trades lines like "You only got
away because me powers are weak! I
NEED ME GOLD!"
2 Drinking
Yeah, you knew it was coming. Get
over it. Start with whiskey, feel the fire
of the Irish. Then switch to car bombs
and have breakfast, You can only eat
potatoes. Baked or boiled are your two
choices. Continue drinking Guinness
until lunch. At lunch, switch to green
beer. Open pocket-sized book of W.
B. Yeats and begin reading "Sailing
to Byzantium" to the bar patrons. If
someone doesn't know the author of
the poem, proceed to start a fight for
the motherland.
3 Not Drinking
OK, OK, I'm not just being cute.
Seriously, think about how much work
you could do. Friday usually sucks for
parties anyway. Hit up a Grad read-

ing room chair, open books, learn. For
lunch go to the University of Michigan
Museum of Art, and look at this wild
painting of a British Colonial house
in the Irish countryside. If it doesn't
make you mildly angry, start drink-
ing. Proceed to bar.
4 Irish Rock?
"What's the difference between
God and Bono?
God doesn't go through the town
thinking he's Bono."
Yeah, U2 is over the hill; everyone
knows it. The Pogues are wild, but you
have to put up with the soggy dirge songs.
Goddamned emotional Irish. Don't lis-
ten to Irish girl or guy groups; it's mostly
bleached pseudo-soul and gross pop.
Irish rap? James Joyce is the closest
you're getting.
5 J.F.K.
Celebrate the life of the illest Irish-
American in history, our boy, John
F. Kennedy. He was all of the Irish
tropes: charming, hardworking, son
of a bootlegger, family boy, and, let's
face it, the biggest pimp this side of
Bill Clinton. He was going to give us
the moon, Russia on a platter, kids in
college and touch football in Hyan-
nisport! Yeah so maybe the Cold War
wasn't so awesome, my bad. Sorry,
kiss me, I'm Irish.

Courtesy of Jim Gaffigan

Jim Gaffigan will perform tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Michigan Theater.

STANDUP GUY
JIM GAFFIGAN BRINGS ROUTINE TO THE MICHIGAN

By Punit Mattoo
TV/New Media Editor

When thousands of University students on Myspace.com
received a message from Jim Gaffigan about his forthcom-
ing show along with a friend request likely had one of two
responses: "Thank God" or "Who?"
For those among the latter,- Gaf-_______________
figan's roles on television, film and
standup specials have made him one Jim Gaffigan
of the most visible yet unknown men Tonight at
in comedy. 7:30 p.m.
Originally from a small town in $27.50
Indiana, Gaffigan explained that his At the Michigan
initial venture into showbiz actually Theater
came from a dare his friend made
after he moved to New York City. His popular shows
New York's alternative hipster haven, Lower East Side
Manhattan, ultimately led to his current career highlight:
performing on "The Late Show with David Lteran.
"For every standup, you want to get on the late-night
shows," Gaffigan said. "You can tell people you're a come-
dian, but the first question out of their mouth is 'Have you
been on 'Letterman?'
Aside from the opportunity to cement himself as one
of comedy's rising stars, Gaffigan's 11 appearances on
the show allowed him to interact with Letterman, a
fellow Hoosier who has had a significant influence on
him. "I think we have a similar sensibility," Gaffigan
explained. "He definitely influenced me when I was
starting out."
Gaffigan's humor, often bordering on the absurd, relies
on everyday topics not usually tackled by other comedians.
Rather than dealing with sexual humor or political issues,

he focuses on more pressing issues, like Hot Pockets. Or
manatees.
His riff on the ever-expanding line of the Hot Pocket
brand and their creepy commercials built up a cult fol-
lowing, with fans even asking him to sign Hot Pockets for
them. Equally memorable are Gaffigan's musings on the
manatee and the ridicule it faces as an aquatic creature.
Gaffigan explained that these topics often come up through
writing sessions with his wife.
"We'll think of a topic that hasn't been beaten to death
and we think is kind of funny, whether it be revolving doors
(or,) you know, something inane."
His success hasn't been limited to standup, with roles
on series like "Ed," "The Ellen Show" and the requisite
standup comedian job, "Law & Order."
"It's kind of a rite of passage in New York to get on
'Law & Order,' " he said jokingly. He will also appear
in writer/director M. Night Shyamalan's ("The Vil-
lage") upcoming thriller, "Lady in the Water," on which
he said he enjoyed the signature secrecy enveloping the
filmmaker's sets.
Gaffigan said hehhas no plan to choose one career path
to follow. Instead, he sidestepped the question, saying, "I
feel if I did just standup, I'd go crazy, and if I didn't do any
standup, I'd go crazy." The immediacy and control keep
bringing him back to the stage, while the opportunity to
play different characters draws him into the film and televi-
sion roles he's filled during the years. One thing he is cer-
tain of, though, is his disdain for the auditioning process,
which he described as "begging for a job."
For now, Gaffigan is happy touring the country to
promote his recently released comedy CD, Beyond the
Pale, and expects an enthusiastic crowd in Ann Arbor.
"I think college crowds are great in a lot of ways ... and
it's St. Patrick's Day. I expect everyone to be drunk. And
I'll probably have to join in."

We The People Foundation Presents A Liberty Event
T H E AWARD WINNING PRODUCER
OF " TRADING PLACES" AND " THE ROSE'
Aaron Russo's
The Compelling Documentary About
The Fight For Liberty Inside America
*FR EE* Aditne The Battle For
___Our Constitution
They Don't Want
Preview: www.GiveMeLiberty.org You to Know About
Duality 16 - Goodrich Duality Theaters Sunday 3/19
____3686 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor 12 PM to 4 PM

. Basement sends up Shakespeare

By Daniel Nutters
For the Daily

Don't mistake playwright Eugene
Ionesco's "Macbett" for classic
Elizabethan the-
ater. The play,
which opened Macbett
last night and Friday at 7 p.m.
will run through and 11 p.m.
Saturday at the Saturday at 7 p.m.
Arena Theater in Free
the Frieze build- At the Arena Theater
ing, is a satiri-
cal rendition of
Shakespeare's "Macbeth" that uses
comedic exaggeration and situation-
al implausibility to illuminate the
timeless themes of ambition, loy-
alty, war and violence. "Macbett,"
written and first performed in 1972,
is a classic example of "Theater of
the Absurd," an avant-garde genre
that traditionally ignores common
practices in theater and creatively
imagines fantasy worlds full of
impracticality.
In "Macbett," Ionesco uses tra-
ditional elements found in Shake-
speare's tragedies and comedies to
show the absurdity in modern society
as well as in classic Shakespeare.
For example, in a typical Shake-
spearean tragedy, the prominent
characters die, often arbitrarily,
at the finale. In comedies, Shake-
speare tends more toward marriage
and mistaken identity.
These predictable endings also
manifest themselves in "Macbett,"
giving Ionesco an opportunity to
poke fun at the conventions of
Shakespeare's writing by pushing

self to manipulate the characters of
Macbett and Bancho.
Director and Music junior Seth
Anderson's production of "Macbett"
presents an entertaining and unique
opportunity for theatergoers. The
actors - playful at times - strive
to echo the mood of each individual
scene and allow the complexity of
the script to dictate their perfor-
mances, rather than letting the pro-
duction degenerate into the flighty
and silly nature its absurd premises
might make such a production sub-
ject to. But the play's cast still enter-
tains. Using the humorous story as a

starting point, the cast of "Macbett"
crafts a playful and involving rendi-
tion of classic tropes.
Anderson felt the play touched
on a number of universal themes.
"It is an interesting way of looking
at Shakespeare. The play explores
Shakespearian plot development and
questions our devotion to a higher
power," Anderson said.
Building on the foundation of the
absurdist tradition, the show prom-
ises to be an engaging, entertaining
and refreshingly irreverent look at
one of Shakespeare's most somber
tragedies.

m

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