2B - Thursday, November 11, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cor
Judging A Book
By Its Cover
Why read a single page when the cover
tells the whole story?
This week, "Glee" bounced back
from its "Rocky Horror" tribute
with an episode exploring sexual-
ity and returning
to the good old ***
days of boys vs.
girls mash-ups. Glee
In true season NeverBeen
one style, Kurt
(Chris Colfer) Kissed
doesn't pass up FOX
the chance to spy
on a rival glee club from an all-
boys academy, but stumbles upon
a friend, mentor and potential
boyfriend in the club's lead singer,
Blaine ('U' alum Darren Criss).
Criss's performance was the
highlight of the episode, with an
RTESY OFFOX all-male a cappella rendition of
Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream"
that will remain stuck in heads for
a while, along with his courageous
advice for Kurt.
"Never Been Kissed" stands
out in a truthfully rocky season.
Still, the episode contained only
four musical numbers, which is
too few for a show that people
watch mostly for song and dance.
It made these four numbers count
with a memorable hair band mash-
up from the glee club girls and a
tuxedo-clad girl-power mix from
the boys, and the a cappella num-
ber was a refreshing treat that the
show should take more advantage
of. More Darren Criss would be
Does Zack Snyder live in a green
screen? The dude best known for
injecting pure testosterone into
the movies with
"300" gets his
estrogen on in the
new trailer for his Sucker
but one wonders
if he's ever really Warner Bros.
of his own movie studio. Hey Zack,
the freshair'sgood foryou,ya know.
"Sucker Punch" promises to be
a pastiche of every "imagination is
the only escape" movie ever made,
only with 50 percent more find-
this-thing quests and fire-breathing
dragons. Emily Browning (remem-
her her from "The Uninvited"?
No?) goes crazy and gets thrown
in some sort of maximum-security
lady asylum, where she leads a cast
of attractive lasses in a rip-roaring
fantasy adventure that may or may
not exist entirely in their minds as
a means of coping with their own
soul-crushing realities. Snyder and
co-writer Steve Shibuya are grap-
pling with some pretty dark stuff
here. Well, directing "Watchmen"
will do thatto you.
It's unclear at this point how
exactly the film's computerized
color palette of oranges and browns
will distinguish itself from the
crowd, but at the very least "Sucker
Punch" should inspire some kinky
cosplay at nextyear's Comic-Con.
Just when you thought it was
safe to join the boy scouts again,
along comes Jane Leslie Conly
with her psychological thriller
What started as a harmless
campout becomes a struggle
for survival when Loretta Von
Kidnapsalot sneaks up on Troop
666. Our protagonist Jimmy
Littlekid doesn't stand a chance,
it seems. But with a little help
from his Converse sneakers and
some flying flowers, he manages
to make a fight of it.
Conly's mastery of suspense
is most evident in this narra-
tive. The way Kidnapsalot's
stalk is portrayed truly evokes
the image of a dementor with a
fixation for gaudy hats and cos-
tume jewelry. And just when the
stakes get high, Conly provides
some comic relief to lighten the
mood in the form of Littlekid's
conveniently inconvenient flat-
ulence. No wonder he always
looks so embarrassed.
But the true pinnacle of the
story comes in a final battle.
Without giving too much away,
suffice it to say that you'll tip
your hat to that final battle
scene. Wait, no, you'll say, "Hats
off to that!" Wait, no, you'll put
on your thinking cap at the drop
of a hat to try to figure out this
clever tease at what the final
battle entails. ... ... They fight
with their hats. It's pretty epic.
Sorry, I couldn't resist giving
it away. But at least I didn't tell
you who wins.
The latest episode of "The Walk-
ing Dead" leaves us with more
questions than answers - and not
kind of ques-
tions. Instead, The Walking
we're left won-D
dering what a
violent, unstable Guts
and unintention- AMC
ally funny white
doing on a dangerous scavenging
mission that demands levelhead-
edness. Or how, in just a day, our
hero manages to go from bedrestto
shooting waves of zombies neatly
in the head while running.
That's not to say the episode is
atrocious. It's action-packed and
mildly suspenseful. The over-
cooked racism is often hilarious,
and the survivors'gruesomely cre-
ative plans to escape the hordes of
ravenous corpses are fun to follow.
But after the pilot - a masterful,
- this latest offering falls flat, espe-
cially when the writers try to inject
ethical dilemmas like the moral-
ity of looting in post-Apocalyptic
hellhole-ville. With a love triangle
festering in the corner and a fore-
shadowed reunion between our
hero and his family, all signs point
to even more forced drama in the
weeks to come. This show hasn't
turned yet, but it's getting there.
'Elixir of Love' first premiered in 1832.
'Elixir of Love' places
Italian opera in the'50s
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ADULTSWJMP ESENT .C6
at the bottom of a
magic wine bottle
By JOEY CADAGIN
A magic potion that makes a
guy irresistible to women - it's the
dream of many an awkward suitor.
Like a lot of typi-
cal bachelors, the
leading man of The Elixir
Gaetano Doni- of Love
opera "The Elixir Tomorrow
of Love" finds at 7:30 p.m.,
his own "liquid Friday and
courage" in a Satudayat 8
cheap bottle of p.m., Sunday
red wine that at 2 p.m.
he's convinced Power Center
contains magic Tickets from $10
powers. The Uni-
Theatre will present a double-
casted production of this vivacious
work starting Thursday.
First premiered in 1832, "The
Elixir of Love" takes place in a
small town in rural Italy. The
main character, Nemorino, is a
kind yet naive country bumpkin
who falls in love with the beau-
tiful Adina. When Adina rejects
Nemoino's romantic advances,
he visits the traveling salesman
Dr. Dulcnamara and purchases
what he believes is an elixir of
love. In reality, the potion is a
cheap bottle of Bordeaux, and
Nemorino makes a drunken fool
of himself. After a series of lucky
coincidences and chance events,
however, Nemorino finally wins
"It's an absolutely charming and
spirited work, and that's what I
love about it," said director Joshua
Major, a clinical assistant profes-
sor of opera in the School of Music,
Theatre & Dance.
For this production, Major has
chosen to set the action in the
1950s, a change he hopes will bring
a fresh perspective to the work.
"I think the '50s capture the
spirit of the work, and it keeps
the work fresh," Major said. "it
enhances it and makes it fun.
There's an innocence that we proj-
ect on the period that works well
with this piece."
He went on to say that the
change in era does not interfere
with the opera's plot and that it
even allows for some exciting new
elements, such as an onstage pick-
Major also has high praise for
the young and fresh-faced student
musicians with whom he has been
working as director.
"They're open, they're eager,
they have energy," he said. "They're
experiencing the joys of the work
process for the first time. I love
working with college students."
One of these young singers is
soprano Amy Petrongelli, a sec-
ond-year master's student in the
School of MT&D, who will portray
Adina at Thursday's and Satur-
day's performances. Last spring,
Petrongelli sang University Opera
Theatre's production of "Armide,"
but Adina is the soprano's first lead
role in Ann Arbor.
"She's a very headstrong
woman," Petrongelli said of her
character. "She knows exactly
what she wants, and she knows
how to get it, too.... And I appreci-
ate that in her. So many times (in
opera) you get lead women charac-
ters who aren't ready to stand their
In the tenor role of Nemorino on
Friday's and Sunday's performanc-
es is School of MT&D second-year
master's student Kyle Tomlin.
Tomlin, who has been preparing
for the opera since the summer,
said that it was daunting at first to
take on such an enormous role, but
he has now slipped comfortably
into his character.
"He's really genuine, and it's
really easy to relate to this guy,"
Tomlin said. "It's everything you
could ask for in a character: You
end up getting the girl and you get
to sing all the arias. ... You really
want to do this role, because it's
something that will come back for
sure throughout my career. So it
really pays to learn it now."
See ELIXIR, Page 3B