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April 15, 2011 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2011-04-15

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T naFriday, April 15, 2011 -

I& The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Highland romance

"Please, don't let Denard get injured at the spring game-"
Showtime for'Borgias'

Daily Film Editor
Suppose you run a major pay-
cable network. Many of your sub-
scribers pay to watch a medieval
costume drama,
which features
violence, das-
tardly plots and Th Borgias
lurid sexual
imagery. Then, Pilot
all of a sudden, Sundays at10 p.m.
it ends. What do '
you do? Showlime
If you think
like Showtime does, you'll give
your subscribers what they want
and reload with another medi-
eval costume drama, nominally
based on real life historical fig-
ures. So less than a year after
the series finale of "The Tudors,"
Showtime is bringing its custom-
ers back to the blood-soaked,
deceitful Renaissance era with
the premiere of "The Borgias."
While "The Tudors" focused
on England, "The Borgias" shifts
to Rome, plunged into chaosfol-
lowing the death of Pop(Inno-
cence VIII. Cardinal Rodrigo
Borgia (Oscar-winner Jeremy
Irons, "Reversal of Fortune")
exploits the- confusion, snatch-
ingthe papacy through a series of
spectacular backroom deals and
to become Pope Alexander VII.
Through strategic nepotism, he
. hopes to cement the Borgia leg-
acy for an eternity. But his chil-
dren can only take him so far. His

eldest s
aud, "I
er son
brat. A
is a w
with h
is still y
- "The
and cy
on the
grab b
some re
the cas
deep in
the hat
the de
takes a
der's ne

on Cesare (Frangois Arn- Feore plays his role with quiet
Killed My Mother") is a pragmatism, smiling to Alex-
ioned idealist. His young- ander's face while whispering
Juan (David Oakes, "The conspiracies behind his back.
of the Earth") is a head- Arnaud's performance is delight-
whorehouse-frequenting fully layered, hinting at a tor-
nd his daughter Lucrezia tured soul with plenty of room to
ay Grainger, "Jane Eyre") develop as the series continues.
voefully immature child. The choices of family and set-
is opponents, most notably ting also help. The Borgias of
al Giuliano Della Rovere historical lore are more famously
Feore, "24"), desperate to controversial than the Tudors,
te him while his regime carrying, by default, connotations
young, Alexander must act of corruption and sleaze, while
-to evade assassination. the hallowed, secretive nature
of the church lends itself to the
era's myriad political webs. The
innabe pope plans that seemed overblown in
England seem perfectly normal
erns to cope. discussed from the confines of a
confessional booth. The lengthy
sex scenes that seemed gratu-
itous in "The Tudors" are simply
e of this intrigue is new Alexander and his sons living up
Tudors" thrived on it - to their name in "The Borgias."
nics will be quick to jump But despite this advantage,
series as a blatant cash Oscar-winningseries creator and
y network suits. But for executive producer Neil Jordan
eason, what we saw (and ("The Crying Game"), directs the
d, in spite of ourselves) in pilot with a measured, deliber-
d is far more effective in ate style. Good pilots must tread
This stems partially from the line between story develop-
st. Irons sinks his teeth ment and action, and Jordan does
ito the role of the Borgia so excellently, giving viewers
ch, alternating between enough blood and lechery to stay
ughty air of the elite and hooked while leaving mystery in
termined, accept-no-mis- the air - mystery that demands
ttitude of a true schemer. a return trip to the Vatican. And
performance as Alexan- if the pilot is any indication, the
emesis and Arnaud's per- first season's remaining seven
ce as the tortured son are episodes will be trips well worth
but similarly excellent. making.

MT&D 'Brigadoon'
production brings
Scotland to Power
Daily Arts Writer
Before modern musicals like
"Avenue Q" and "Spamalot," a
show's success depended less on
its tendency to
combine the Brigadoon
latest pop cul-
ture references Tonight and
and more on its tomorrow at8
ability to pres- p.m., tomorrow
ent timeless and Sunday
and touching at2-p.m.
stories. This
weekend, the Power Center
Department of From $10
Musical The-
atre will draw its audiences back
to this idyllic age of theatrical
history with Lerner and Loewe's
"Brigadoon," a love story that
transcends time for its charac-
ters and its viewers.
"Brigadoon" tells the tale of a
legendary town of the same name
nestled in the hills of Scotland.
Thanks to a heaven-sent miracle
meant to shieldthe villagers from
the evils of the outside world,
Brigadoon only appears for a sin-
gle day every 100 years.
When two wayward Ameri-
can travelers stumble upon this
anachronistic village, they are
warmly welcomed by the curi-
ous townsfolk. But when one of
the travelers falls head-over-
heels for the village sweetheart,
he finds himself faced with the
ultimate choice: Stay with the
people of Brigadoon and leave
behind his old life, or let the
miraculous town, along with
his true love, fade away into the
mist for another century.
"Brigadoon" opened in 1947, at
the height of the "golden age" of
musicals. Though the popularity
of the show in subsequent years
was eclipsed somewhat by the
1960s film adaptations of other
Lerner and Loewe musicals, like
"Camelot" and "My Fair Lady,"
"Brigadoon" remains a stunning
example of golden age musical
theater, making it an enticing

In "Brigadoon," two Americans find their way to a Scottish village lost in time.

choice for the University's musi-
cal theater department.
"We try to introduce our stu-
dents to classic as well as con-
temporary shows, and it was
time for a classic show," said
Linda Goodrich, the show's
director and an associate profes-
sor in the School of Music, The-
atre & Dance. "We haven't done
one of the golden era shows in
awhile, and these represent an
incredibly important period of
music to study."
"Brigadoon" is often noted
for its complicated vocal work
and intricate dance routines, in
addition to the acting it requires.
The rigorous nature of the musi-
cal demands not only a full cast
of triple-threat performers,
but also a strenuous rehearsal
schedule that splits and later
recombines the show's different-
performance elements.
"We start by working on dance
teams, on musical staging, on
songs," Goodrich said. "Then once
all of the pieces are developed, we
come back together and start to
combine them into one work,"

Though "Brigadoon" is not
one of Lerner and Loewe's most
well-known shows, Goodrich
said quality and diversity, and
not simply commercial famil
iarity, are the keys to a produc-
tion that's truly meaningful for
its student performers and the
"We're not necessarily look-
ing for a blockbuster," Goodrich
said. "We're looking for some
thing that's good for our stu-
dents to do. And it's also our job
to bring all different kinds of
theater to the public. You have to
educate your audience on all dif-
ferent aspects of theater."
Goodrich found that watch-
ing her performers connect with
"Brigadoon" has been her favor:
ite part of developing the musi-
cal itself.
" '"4'e really enjoyed see-
ing these young people fall in
love with it," Goodrich said.
"Even though it's an old musis
cal, it becomes fresh because it's
young people experiencing it for
the first time and then bringing
their own life to it."

* New AMC series The Killing' is murderously good

Daily TV/New Media Editor
"The Killing" is not an easy
show to watch. It's unpleasant,
uncomfortable and downright
painful - but
it is undeniably
riveting. AMC's*
newest drama TheKilling
explores the
mysterious cir- Pilot
cumstances S
surrounding Sundaysat0p.m.
the murder
of 17-year-old
Rosie Larsen and does so with the
narrative expertise that now char-
acterizes this network.
The show unfolds in three dis-
tinct but inextricably linked plot-
lines: first, the police investigation
by Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos,
"Big Love") and Stephen Holder
(Swedish newcomer Joel Kin-
naman). Linden is perpetually
vexed and doesn't show much
emotion, even for her fiancee and
son. It's hard not to be reminded
of Anna Torv on "Fringe," if only
to immediately realize that Tory
commands a presence and Enos
does not. Add in Holder, a former
undercover from County whose
voice is so deep that it strains the
human ear, and we have a clas-
sically unconventional crime-
fighting duo. They hardly have
the chemistry of Bones and
Booth - in fact, they have no
chemistry at all.
Larsen's body is found in a car
belonging to the campaign of
morally gray city mayoral candi-
date Darren Richmond, played
to appropriate ambiguity by Bill
Campbell ("The 4400"). When
he acts suspiciously, it fuels the
murder mystery, but when he
acts ethically, viewers suspect
ulterior motives.
It's no surprise that the

homicide investigation is the
most compelling part of the first
two episodes, so it's hard to care
about the characters' baggage.
Still, it works well in small doses,
which is exactly how it's deliv-
ered. Just when there's too much
political blah-blah, we're back
with Linden and Holder finding
a bloodstained wig in a dump-
ster. Similarly, when those two
get annoying, Richmond returns
with more corrupt secrets to fan
the flames of disbelief.
The third storyline is that of
Rosie Larsen's parents, Mitch
(Michelle Forbes, "True Blood")
and Stanley Larsen (Brent Sexton,
"Flightplan"), and to be honest,
the pilot belongs to them. Noth-
ing is so harrowing in the first
hour as Stan Larsen's anguished
cries when he realizes his daugh-

ter has been killed. es it methodically, managing to
If it weren't for the telltale title, remain cold and distant even
it would be easy to forget during when the girl's father shows up
the pilot that Rosie Larsen will at the site of the recovery. The
inevitably be found dead. The parents don't get too worried too
police inquiry is so gripping that soon, but first fixate on punish-
viewers wonder if she'll turn up ing an unruly teenager who ran
or remain missing, adding to the amok on one weekend without her
clandestine nature of the show. parents. They feel betrayed by her
absence because, "It's not like we
left some little kid behind." As the
I t's'Killing' police examine Rosie's hidden life,
*** E they find all evidence to the con-
this shit. trary of the "little kid" image.
Even the Richmond cam-
paign's professional distance
from the horrific events transpir-
And though it is in the nature ing in Seattle shows that politi-
of crime dramas to overrepresent cians often put their ambitions
violent crime in society, "The Kill- first, no matter what the cost.
ing" brings a new level of realism "It's not up to you," his advisor
to the characters caught up in says to the police when discuss-
Rosie's death. Linden approach- ing a potential press release of the

"Uhh . delivery from Jimmy John's?"
murder. "We're in the middle of a On a network with no shortage
campaign here." All due respect, ofgood drama,"The Killing"man
miss, but they're in the middle of ages to hold its own and promises
a murder investigation. a chillingsummer season.


mich student

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