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March 11, 2011 - Image 5

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Friday, March 11, 2011- 5

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, March 11, 2011 - 5

'Pretty' in the Basement
The latest Basement Arts play
examines the meaning of beauty
By Lucy Perkins I Daily Arts Writer

Gallagher gets
into his 'Gear'

When people go to the the-
ater, they expect to hand their
tickets to an usher, shuffle down
an aisle and
apologetical- Reasons to
ly squeeze L
by others to
their seats. Tonightat7 and
They set- 11 p.m.,tomorrow
tle in, the at 7 p.m.
lights dim,
the curtain Walgreen Drama
rises and it Center, Studio One
begins. In Free
this week-
end's Basement Arts production
of "Reasons to Be Pretty," these
events will happen, but in a very
different order.
"The show starts with an
explosive fight and that sets
the stage for the rest," said Jon
Manganello, a sophomore in the
School of Music, Theatre & Dance
and one of the leads in the play.
"As the audience is walking in,
the play has already started. They
will be walking into the theater
and we'll be screaming back-
stage," he said.
Before the play begins, the
character Steph discovers that
her boyfriend Greg thinks she has
an average face. When she con-
fronts him about it, the opening
fight scene ensues. Throughout
the rest of the production, Greg
and Steph, along with another
couple, explore what it really

means to be attractive.
According to Manganello,
"Reasons to Be Pretty" addresses
issues that people usually ignore.
"It really delves into the ques-
tions we don't want to ask," Man-
ganello said. "Like, how much is
being pretty worth and why is
it so important to be attractive?
We're so quick to make comments
about how people look that we
don't always recognize the conse-
quences of those comments. But
this show does."
Manganello plays the charac-
ter Greg, opposite Steph, played
by MT&D freshman Emily Han-
"My character is the guy who is
trying to hold everybody together
while everybody's falling apart,"
Manganello said. "I definitely
relate to my role the most, but the
great thing about this play is that
each character is relatable."
Because the themes of "Rea-
sons to Be Pretty" are so univer-
sal, the actors have been able to
easily find connections between
themselves and their roles.
"There are parallels between
the actors and all the characters
- that's what makes this play
so human," Manganello noted.
"None of the characters are per-
feet and everyone's out there
screwing things up," he said.
According to Hanley, the
four-person production is very

"Rteasons ta be Pretty" starts with a tight betore the curtain eves rises.

"The parts ask for alot of range
in human emotion," Hanley said.
"My character, Steph, throws
a frying pan at Greg before the
show starts, so most people think
she's crazy. My goal is to get the
audience to see her side of the
story and believe her."
Manganello also went through
the obstacles the play has had.
"The dialogue is so collo-
quial and honest that it's a chal-
lenge for actors who are used to
plays that are written in ways
that aren't necessarily how we
speak," he said.
Challenges such as these have
brought this already small cast
even closer together.
"We're forced to be in these
high-stakes situations, so it's
almost impossible not to bond,"
he said.
One of the reasons the actors

have become so close offstage
is because of close interactions
onstage as well.
"There are scenes where the
characters are tumultuous and
violent, but others where they're
really loving," Hanley said. "Each
character has just been through
a lot, but despite everything,
they're really in love."
The transparency and honesty
in each character is what Man-
ganello hopes will hit home to
the audience.
"It's exciting when the audience
can walk out of the theater, inter-
nalize what they saw and make
it their own," Manganello said.
"Everybody can relate to this show,
whether they've had experiences
like this or not."
Jordan Rochelson, director
of "Reasons to be Pretty,"
has written for the Daily.

DailyArts Writer
Let's get one thing clear: even
with a nearly identical roster,
Beady Eye is not Oasis. With
the departure
of songwriter
Noel Gallagher
(brother of lead B4yE
singer Liam
Gallagher), the Different Gear,
music style Still Speeding
is similar but
by no means Beady Eye
the same. In
place of ambitious anthems and
lofty ballads, the leftover band
members deliver music that is
uncomplicated and fun. The char-
acteristic Beatles influence isstill
there, but think more "Revolu-
tion" than "Hey Jude." The result
is an album that is less of a direct
descendant from the British bill-
board commandeers and more of
an estranged relative with a new
Different Gear, Still Speeding
proves, if nothing else, that Liam
is gifted enough to survive with-
out the tumultuous relationship
that constituted the brothers'
bond (as the title clearly hints).
It's his own brand of prog rock -
the album never approaches the
blockbuster potential that was
unleashed with "Wonderwall"
- but the style is still unique and
engaging. The tempo is quick and
spirited, with a clearer Rolling
Stones rock'n'roll tinge that is
essentially summarized by track
"Beatles and Stones."
Opening track "Four Letter
Word" accentuates carefree play-
fulness through a din of cymbals
and guitars. (Hint: The titular
word is "love.") It fittingly sets
the tone for an ensuing array of
merriment. "The Roller," which
peaked high in European single
charts, contains traces of the
patented Oasis infectiousness
that once constantly hooked the
British Isles. Later on the record,
"The Beat Goes On" veers in a dif-
ferent direction - or perhaps in
a different gear - but shows that
Liam can still make a viable bal-
lad, and that he isn't forced into
a new genre by the absence of

his songwriter brother. Different
Gear doesn't slow down until this
peaceful but mournful track, giv-
ing it the feeling of a high-speed
car chase that's windipg down to
a serene and somber conclusion.
Though Beady Eye's debut
release doesn't run into any fatal
flaws, that's not to say that it
works top to bottom. For all his
success, Liam occasionally lacks
melodic variation - "Three Ring
Circus" sounds like "The Roller"
retooled - which may lead to the
conclusion that Noel did contrib-
ute to Liam's songwriting talent.
No Noel,
no problem.
Additionally,Different Gear never
gambles past its initial change in
style, which strips it of the oppor-
tunity to achieve the big hits the
band members had grown accus-
tomed to in previous years. But
these problems could be indica-
tive of the difficulty in starting
anew, so it might be best to chalk
them up to a few preliminary
bumps in the road.
Still, Different Gear shows a lot
of promise, and more than sug-
gests the band can make it past
the desertion of Noel Gallagher.
What the listener will ultimate-
ly take away from the album is
charm, and unlike Oasis, it never
takes itself too seriously. Instead
of the typical Beatles vs. Stones
argument, Beady Eye has taken
cues from both bands, crafting an
intricate amalgamation with the
roughness of the Stones and the
precision of the Beatles.

Raising 'Doubt'
at Arthur Miller
By ERIN STEELE duction spent a lot of time
DailyArts Writer exploring the idea of doubt and
what it meant to each of them
In the preface to his drama individually.
"Doubt," renowned American "Matt made an effort at the
playwright John Patrick Shan- beginning of the rehearsal ses-
ley writes, sions to bring out the passions,
"The hopes and doubts of the cast
beginning members," producer Brenda
of change Tonight and Casher said. "I was surprised to
is the tomorrow at 8 p.m., find such diverse beliefs among
moment Sundayat 2p.m. our cast, yet all willingto exam-
of DoubL. toe the beliefs or faith systems
It is that Arthur MillerTheatre that exist within this play (and)
crucial From $10 the questions it hopes to ask: Is
moment doubt useful even if you are a
when I renew my humanity or believer? Without facts, is your
become a lie." This weekend, certainty enough?"
the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre In addition to a large amount
will explore the tipping point of introspection, the cast also
between uncertainty and took time to closely analyze the
assuredness in its production of script in order to bring it to life
Shanley's play. onstage.

"I'm telling you, it's this big"
Farrelly bros. latest
'Pass' is a major fail

Deputy Magazine Editor
Ill-conceived and surprisingly
dull, the Farrelly brothers' "Hall
Pass" is the latest blemish on a
resume that
once affirmed
the duo as Hol-
lywood's de Hall Pass
facto deans of
successful slap- At Quality16
stick. and Rave
Owen Wil-
son ("Little NewLine
Fockers") and
Ed Helms doppelganger Jason
Sudeikis ("The Bounty Hunter")
headline as pals Rick and Fred,
respectively, a pair of suburban-
ites disenchanted with their mar-
riages to Maggie (Jenna Fischer,
TV's "The Office") and Grace
(Christina Applegate, "Going the
Distance"). Peeved by their bum-
bling and oversexed spouses, the
wives - in a topsy-turvy effort to
strengthen their relationships by
proving their husbands' sexual
ineptitude - grant Rick and Fred
a "hall pass," a no-consequences
one-week reprieve from mar-
From there it's a very silly
sprint to get laid, one that pain-
fully sputters through contrived
and sophomoric gags. Giving Wil-
son and Sudeikis carte blanche to
paint the proverbial town red, the
Farrelly brothers fail to deliver
the amusing ride that the prem-
ise promises. It's not that there's
a lack of bawdiness, but the over-
the-top element, offering nothing
refreshing - an unsavory pas-
tiche of marital, ball-and-chain
jokes and scatological humor -
simply flops.

And given the (faint) thematic
similarity, it's difficult not to
shop a comparison to a not-too-
distant flick that re-energized
the no-reigns buddy film, 2009's
much more entertaining "The
Hangover" (and with "Hall Pass"
featuring a portly, bearded coffee
barista as a dingbat supporting
character, the faux-Galifianakis
parallel is also inviting to draw).
Of course, the characters' disil-
lusionment - really, how wild
can one go in the 'burbs of Rhode
Island? - is the crux of the film's
humor. It's the men's misguided
attempts at picking up women at
an Applebees's, and not the film's
zanier moments - like eating pot
brownies on the golf course and
an awkward visit to a racy club -
that might best tickle audiences.
Who signed the
permission slip
for this movie?
What's made previous Farrelly
efforts tolerable are the arresting
oddballs: the cerebrally vacant but
perversely likable Jim Carrey and
Jeff Daniels in "Dumb and Dumb-
er," the stiff, lovesick Ben Stiller in
"There's Something About Mary"
or even the sheepish, lovable-loser
Jack Black in "Shallow Hal.""Hall
Pass" suffers from a lack of these
outliers - blas adults bemoan-
ing, well, adulthood - and fur-
ther seesaws with unbalanced
performances. Wilson especially
underwhelms - lie perhaps too
See HALL PASS, Page 6

The 2005 Tony winner for
Best Play tells the story of
Father Flynn, a priest at St.
Nicholas Church School in the
Bronx during the 1960s. He
comes under the suspicion of
principal Sister Aloysius when
rumors of sexual misconduct
arise between him and one of
the school's young students.
Throughout the play, Aloysius
and her colleague Sister James
grapple with the uncertainty of
their judgments about the situ-
For his first mainstage pro-
duction for Ann Arbor Civic,
director Matt Martello pro-
posed the idea of staging
"I really wanted to do
("Doubt") because I saw it
twice on Broadway, and each
time I had a different reaction
as to whether Father Flynn
was guilty or not guilty of the
crime," Martello said. "I think
it's one of the better written
plays of the past 20 years."
Because the play requires so
much thought on the audience's
part, Martello opted to use a
sparse backdrop to draw atten-
tion to the four-person cast and
their actions.
"Ourset is alot more simplis-
tic because I just wanted the
audience to focus on the play
and the words themselves," he
said. "I wanted it to be more of
a 'words show' rather than a big
Those involved in the pro-

'Doubt' won
the 2005 Tony
for Best Play.
"The whole rehearsal process
has been wonderful because
the cast and myself have been
analyzing the script as we go,"
Martello said. "There's a whole
lot of gray."
Martello is confident anyone
who comes to see "Doubt" will
be drawn in by the intellectual
challenges it poses, especiallyto
what he calls the "true theater
"Very rarely do you have
scripts where every word meant
something and nothing's wast-
ed," Martello said. "And I'm
not speaking in hyperbole at all
when I say that I really feel that
this is as tight a script as I've
ever experienced. I think people
should challenge themselves
and watch it for that reason."
Casher shares Martello's con-
viction that the play has some-
thing to offer every viewer.
"I hope that (those who
attend) find something in the
play that nudges them," she
said. "It seems as if the ques-
tions themselves are proof of
our humanity."

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