6A - Wednesday, February 23,2411
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com I
6A - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Preschool, murder in Basement
'Bright Ideas' takes
themes to class
By VERONICA MENALDI
Years of planning and prepar-
ing, countless hours of filling
out applications, hundreds and
of dollars I
patient Tomorrow and Friday
waiting at7 and11p.m.
accep- Waigreen Drama Center,
tance let- Studia One
ter and Free
of doing whatever it takes. What
sounds like college applications
is actually the application pro-
cess for a preschool in the play
Basement Arts production of
Eric Coble's play is a dark com-
edy that students can relate to
and appreciate at different levels.
It describes a couple's relation-
ship and struggle to get their
toddler son into one of the most
prestigious preschools around.
The parents, Josh and Gen
Bradley, played by MT&D sopho-
more Nick Skardarasy and Zoe
Kanters, an LSA sophomore who
is also an MT&D freshman, take
extreme measures to ensure their
son Mac enters intothe preschool
- no matter the cost.
"(The play is) about the lengths
they're willing to go to get their
son into a great school and the
aftermath of that decision with
all the craziness it involves," play
director and MT&D sophomore
Emily Lyon said.
In the first act, Gen is speak-
ing with her wealthy co-worker,
who, after purchasing an aquat-
ics room for Bright Ideas Early
Childhood Development Acade-
my, has guaranteed her son a spot
in the school.
Since Gen and Josh aren't as
rich, they freak out. In a frenzy,
the pair decides to invite Gen's
co-worker over to dinner and pro-
ceed to murder her with poisoned
pesto, since Mac is next in line on
the waitlist for the preschool.
The rest of the play is a conse-
quence of this decision and ends
with a bang at Mac's fourth birth-
Though there is a strong
emphasis on the children, the
audience never actually sees any
of them on stage. In addition, all
actors, aside from Gen and Josh,
serve as multiple characters,
wearing different outfits - add-
ing a new layer of humor to the
Lyon described Gen as a typi-
cal mother who succumbs to the
pressures of perfection for both
herself and her son and becomes
consumed with the new power
and paranoia she found by elimi-
Josh balances her out as the
dweeb who reads Oprah Maga-
zine, does yoga and develops a
drinking problem as the play pro-
gresses. Skardarasy described
his character as a strange and
intriguing guy who progressively
breaks out of his mold.
"It's fun to play a character
who has all these different ele-
ments," Skardarasy said. "He has
sadistic elements, but he's also
fun, kind of goofy and at the same
time very human."
The whole play also echoes
Shakespeare's "Macbeth" in
terms of minute details like Gen
and Josh referring to themselves
as "partners in greatness" - just
as Lady Macbeth and Macbeth
do in Shakespeare's work. The
Like naked gold men?
So do we.
Follow the Filter for
daily Oscar blogs
leading up to the
big (naked) night.
. Worst dressed jewels
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The characters in "Bright Ideas" will go far for a spot ina competitive preschool.
play also includes hallucinations, while still highlighting similar
cauldron references and murder- aspects in everyday life, like the
ous plots in order to get some- stress of applying to prestigious
thing desired. Even their son's institutions and the drive to do
name, Mac, is a play on Macbeth. whatever it takes to get what is
The integration of Shake- desired.
speare, Skardarasy said, adds to "It's going to be slapstick and
the allure of the play and further sweet," Lyon said. "It's going to
proves the Bard's influence. be kind of creepy, kind of ridicu-
The goal of "Bright Ideas" is to lous, very funny, sort of eerie and
present a twisted murder comedy hopefully it'll make you think."
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RELEASE DATE- Wednesday, February 23, 2011
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