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6A - Friday, November 5, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cam

6A - Friday, November 5, 2010 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Throw the flag
for VH1 'Wives'

Basement Arts comes in peace -

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By ALEX RUSS to-do women feels like finding
Daily Arts Writer the new "Real Housewives of
Football." While the serious and
many Americans, Sundays potentially deep discussion of
of one thing and one thing their husbands' vulnerability to
football. severe injury on the football field
atching a did come up at one point, it was
about the 9 immediately dismissed and lost
if football into the abyss that was the rest of
probably Football the show.
omething Wives When we think of football, we
.y football think of big names like Peyton
agendas Sundaysat Manning or Tom Brady. If you're
for good 10:30 p.m. hoping to somehow catch more
VH1's VH1 than a glimpse of them on the
re of show, you're out of luck. Aside
all Wives" from Deion Sanders, the only
nday was an insult to the players we get to see are in semi-
vithout a single aspect to pro leagues throughout the coun-
it. try or are NFL special-teams
tball Wives," as its name players. No offense to the kickers
follows the lives of the and punters out there, but those
f football players as they are among the least interesting
together. The premiere positions on a football team ... so
d around scenes of the what could possibly make watch-
eating out and going to ing their wives any more inter-
esting?
This is quite possibly the phoni-
est group of women to have ever
Too much appeared on television. Not only is
every on-screen moment painful
ining and not to watch, but they love throwing
the one thing they always fall back
)ugh drama. on in the audience's face: money.
Watching this show brings back
memories of "My Super Sweet 16."
udy. If you're looking for There are few things more aggra-
ubstance than that, you're vating for a viewer than watch-
ng the wrong channel. The ing celebrities flaunt how much
30 minutes only involved money they have and how special
cing the women and the they think it makes them.
ives they think they lead, Simply put, there is no reason
rith some borderline cat- for this show tobe on TV. It com-
'ver someone leaving bible bines some of the worst aspects of
arly. other shows into a wasteful and
would think that a group painful 30 minutes. If you want to
uent women married to watch something football-related
1 players would have a on your Sunday evenings, stick
ore drama that. Watching with the original programming:
oup of squabbling, well- actual "Sunday Night Football."

Jane Wagner makes
aliens out of the
audience
By BRAD SANDERS
Daily Arts Writer
Sometimes, there is nothing
more uncomfortably comedic
than when

people with
one-too-few
marbles talk
to them-
selves in
public.
"The
Search for
Signs of
Intelligent
Life in the
Universe,"
written by
Jane Wag-

The Search for
Signs of
Intelligent Life
in the Universe
Friday at 7and 11
p.m., Saturday
at 7 p.m.
Walgreen Drama
Center, Studio One
Free

ner, features a bag lady named
Trudy - played by Renee Gross, a
sophomore in the School of Music,
Theatre & Dance - who introduc-
es the human species to a group
of aliens. The audience meets an
eccentric series of people who may
or may not exist outside of Trudy's
perception of the universe.
Keleki Gottschalk, director
and junior in the School of Music,
Theatre & Dance, described how
disoriented Trudy is in her efforts
to communicate anything to the
aliens.
"She asked them specifically to
meet her on the corner of 'Walk,
N.E.R.D.
From Page 5A
pipes and infused with whispered
lyrics. In the same vein is the slow
jam "Life As A Fish," which pulls
in oceanic sound effects of wave-

Don't Walk' around lunch time,
but then she realizes they don't
know what lunch time is. ... And
why did she say 'around?' She
should have been more specific,"
Gottschalk said.
Because of these lapses, Trudy
gets stood up.
"The aliens never show up.
We're just there in ... place of the
aliens look(ing) at ourselves," she
said.
The play's title refers to the
search for intelligent life in other
parts of the universe - a search
in which we assume humans
already fit this criterion. This con-
cept comes from one of the many
Post-it notes attached to Trudy's
jacket that she reads sporadically
throughout the production.
"One of (the Post-its) is ... 'They
found intelligent life in the uni-
verse that plays to play; we seem
to be the only species that play
to win, and that explains why
we're the only ones that have our
fair share of losers,' " Gottschalk
explained. "Just little things like
that, that make you think for a sec-
ond, laugh and then move on."
The play examines concepts
many see as trivial, and presents
them in a similarly intriguing and
comedic way.
"She's talking about how her
alien friends can't tell the differ-
ence between a can of Campbell's
soup and a picture of Andy War-
hol's can of Campbell soup, and
she always has to remind them 'No
this is soup, and this is art,'" Gott-
schalk said. "And then they look at
like swishes.
Hard raps that take over at
rapid speed are not piled onto
Nothing. Instead, cool blasts of
vocals mixed in with thundering
trumpets take over the album.
These sounds are sampled liberal-
ly on the tracks "God Bless Us All"
and "Perfect Defect." On "God

a box of cream of wheat that has a
picture of a guy holding up a box of
cream of wheat ... and they say'Oh
my God, Trudy! This is a picture of
infinity!"'
Gottschalk discovered Wag-
ner's play in high school, when she
was performing a monologue from
it. Originally written as a solo act
for Wagner's lover Lily Tomlin,
Gottschalk put her own unique
twist on it for Basement Arts.
"The more I read it, the more
I grew to love it," Gottschalk
explained. "When Lily (Tomlin)
did it as a one-woman show, it was
her, a stage and a couple chairs. ...
She had very, very few props and
just one costume, and I thought it
would be interesting to flesh it out
a little and produce it a little bit
more."
The props for the play, which all

come from the contents of Trudy's
grocery cart of items she has col-
lected over the years, may play a
bigger role in the invention of the
characters.
"I think it should be let a little
bit open to interpretation, but the
basic premise I'm working with is
she's collecting all these things,
and she's really into what she's
collected and she's making these
stories based on her junk heap,"
Gottschalk explained. "I think
what's happening is Trudy kind
of invents these people to pass the
time ... and she makes up the sto-
ries of this item and who it is."
"These characters are trying to
find a balance," Gottschalk added.
"Jane Wagner takes these interest-
ing concepts and, by making a joke
out of them, comes to really inter-
esting conclusions."

"The Search for Signs" was originally written for Lily Tomlin.

Bless Us All," the sounds cap-
ture an essence of jazzy smooth-
ness and barbershop harmonies.
Meanwhile, disco rhythms start
"Perfect Defect" off as it trails
into a whirlwind of brisk dance
beats.
Though the record could use
a bit of fine-tuning so it doesn't

get sent into oblivion, it conveys
a new kind of sound from a band
that has always been pushing
the limits. N.E.R.D's creativity
shines through on Nothing. This
album proves that nothing can
keep the band locked down - in
the confines of any particular
genre, that is.

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RELEASE DATE- Friday, November 5, 2010
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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