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March 21, 2012 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-03-21

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cam

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 7A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 7A

Devilish seduction
1n 'Progress'

Memoir of medical life

ing u
this fi
and at
a tale
to th
ing a
sity O
are cc
this 1

ravinsky adapts The opera revolves around
three characters: the betrothed
paintings into Anne Trulove and Tom Rakewell,
and the devilish figure of Nick
moral opera Shadow, who draws Tom to the
city of London to embark on a life
By LAURA KAYE of debauchery and knavery. Tom
Daily Arts Writer distances himself from Anne,
captivated by Shadow's lures, yet
ristopher Marlowe's "Dr. pleasure never finds him. Will
us," the play "Damn Yan- Tom simply fall victim to a life
and even the song "Sym- devoted to Shadow or will an
for the inner strength persuade him to
" have think otherwise?
ed us The Rake's Stravinsky is an acclaimed
gh the Progress composer whose works include
with dif- the very percussive and dramatic
depic- Tomorrow section of the Disney film "Fan-
of the at7:30 p.m., tasia." In "The Rake's Progress,"
bewitch- Friday and which was his largest operatic
s through Saturday at work, Stravinsky experimented
power of 8 p.m. and with the neoclassical opera form
ation. We Sunday at of the 18th century. Associate
certainly 2 p.m. Music Prof. and director Rob-
ued by Lydia Mendelssohn ert Swedberg explained that
gure, w Theatre Stravinsky's opera closely resem-
dies evil bles Mozart in the shape, length
seduction, From $10 and construction of its arias and
repulses ensembles.
tracts us all at once. "It will sound in some ways
are again confronted with like a Mozart-style opera, but it
of desire and the conse- has the 20th-century flavor and
es of a man who succumbs character of Stravinsky. It's an
e devil in the opera "The interesting combination," Swed-
s Progress," which is open- berg said.
t the Lydia Mendelssohn The 18th-century painter
re tomorrow. The Univer- William Hogarth created eight
pera Theatre and the Uni- paintings called "The Rake's
y Philharmonic Orchestra Progress." These works became
ollaborating in presenting the basis for the narrative of the
951 opera composed by Igor opera.
nsky. Swedberg mentioned that

the graphics designer Lisa Buck
studied these original Hogarth
paintings and then incorporated
fragments of these etchings into
her own designs for the settings
of the scenes. Her interpretations
have deep, rich colors reminiscent
of a German expressionist style.
Three projection screens will
project these images throughout
the show, providing a multimedia
elementto the performance.
Even though the costumes
are reflective of traditional 18th-
century dress, Swedberg said the
attire will have a 20th-century
flair as well. Rather than dressing
each character in multiple col-
ors, each individual will appear
wearing a solid color. The hues
and textures connect with con-
temporary times, but the form of
each costume piece harkens back
to this specific period.
A central aspect of the opera
is the exploration of a man's
response to greed and how that
greed affects him.
"The moral of the piece is that
'for idle hands and hearts and
minds, the devil finds a work
to do,' " Swedberg said. "One
should be perfectly happy with
what one has already, but being
offered (what is) a step above
or beyond or maybe just out of
reach (leads to) disaster, which
is what happens to Tom. We see
contemporary parallels to what
happens in this 18th-century
setting, and it's very interesting
in that way."

Daily Arts Writer
"What a pair. Double D's. Pok-
ing up at me like twin peaks. Pam
Anderson, eat your heart out. Too
bad they're attached to a four-
teen-year-old boy."
So begins Anthony Youn's "In
Stitches," a refreshingly hon-
est and humorous memoir about
the life of a surgeon in the mak-
ing. For pre-med students curi-
ous about what it actually takes
to become a doctor, "In Stitches"
offers a one-of-a-kind look into
the transformation from college
kid to working physician.
Youn, an Asian American
who grew up in the small, pre-
dominately Caucasian town of
Greenville, Mich., said the book
chronicles his evolution from a
shy, "wallflower-type" kid to a
successful plastic surgeon who
makes appearances on shows
such as "Dr. 90210," "The Rachael
Ray Show" and "The O'ReillyFac-
"The first third of the book is
about growing up in Michigan
feeling kind of like an outsider,
kind of like an ugly duckling,"
Youn said. "And then itprogresses
through college where I went four
years without a date ... the last
two-thirds of the book are about
medical school and the process of
becoming a doctor."
With stories including a
recounting of his date with a
fire-eating carnival worker and
a description of his small-town
roots, "In Stitches" differs enor-
mously from the medical memoirs
that typically occupy bookstore
"I've read a lot of medical mem-
oirs by physicians, and to me, they
all came across as being overly
serious," Youn said. "In a lot of
ways, the books focused on keep-
ing the doctor as the hero of the
story. And what I wanted to write
was a book about becoming a doc-
tor (and) the process of medical
school in particular."
"These books were typically
written by 50-something-year-
old men who wrote stories about
how they change patients' lives.
And my book is exactly the oppo-
site of that."
Youn said he wanted to write
a book of equal parts truthful
and funny that would appeal to a
broad range of audiences.


"In Stitches" was named a 2012 Michigan Notable Book of the Year.

ican, ev
are still
that th
can't fi
pain at
But t
the lig
ing ho
ing her
there a:
in the b
said. "I
are par

n if you're not Asian Amer- Michigan Notable Book of the
'en if you're not technically Year and has received praise from
o be a doctor, a lot of people USA Today, Publisher's Weekly
1 finding parts of the book and "The Rachael Ray Show,"
ey can really empathize among others - was initially
he said. "Whether it's rejected by 30 different agents
izing with someone who before it was picked up.
nd a date, to feeling the "I don't even know how many
nd the difficulty of going times I heard that medical books
h medical school, to even don't sell, people aren't inter-
things ... like university ested in learning about medical
g." school and being a doctor," he
said. "I think that with the book,
it's something that hopefully I've
umor is the provenwrong." s
Youn said that with such a posi-
st medicine. tive response to the book, espe-
cially among college students, a
second book is potentially in the
*he book doesn't just depict "This book literally ends with
hter side of the medical- the end of medical school," he
experience. After describ- said. "But there is also that transi-
w he watched his first tion of going from medical school
die seconds after meet- to being a real, practicing doctor,
,Youn acknowledged that and that would be the idea behind
re sad, more serious stories the second book."
ook as well. With stories that include unre-
kind of like real life," he quited love and medical disasters,
n real life, there are parts wide critical acclaim, celebrity
you're laughing, and there endorsements and a major liter-
ts where there's a lot of ary award, it would seem Youn's
." "In Stitches" has indeed broken
said that the book - the mold of the traditional medi-
was designated the 2012 cal memoir.

'Model' is revolutionary bore
Daily Arts Writer

"I got a bad feeling about this."
Lovable, charming 'Jeff'

For the Daily
Filmmakers Jay and Mark
Duplass have delved into the
all-too-common discord of fam-
ily life before.
In "Cyrus,"
the indie duo
explored neu- Jeff, Who
rotic, vulner-
able characters LIVeS at
whose eccen- Home
tricities are
validated by all- At the State
encompassing parameunt
truths of famil-
iar ties. "Jeff, Vantage
Who Lives at
Home" turns out to be exactly
what its title suggests, but only on
its surface. A day in the life of Jeff
reveals the constant fear of fate
when at odds with your family's
Jeff (Jason Segel, "The Mup-
pets") is a pothead living in his
mother Sharon's (Susan Saran-
don, "Thelma and Louise") base-
ment. He wanders mindlessly and
ignores his mother's order to pick
up wood glue to repair the win-
dow blinders. His obsession with
the film "Signs" epitomizes his
role: a cosmically charged bum
who thinks everything happens
for a reason. His bizarre behav-
ior leaves his mother ashamed
and his married brother Pat (Ed
Helms, "The Hangover Part II")
At first, it seems that the film
will consist of everyone tear-
ing into the innocuous, unem-
ployed Jeff - until he, ironically,

appears to be the most grounded saying she "hates" her kids now.
of them all. The audience begins to despise
Sharon has a miserable cubicle the negligent Sharon as she
job that gets twisted when a secret vainly preoccupies herself with
admirer supplies her with fresh ambiguous messages from some-
confidence. Pat fosters a dysfunc- one in her office.
tional marriage that involves not Candy trucks, basketball jer-
listening to his wife, courtesy of seys and soaring birds are few of
an inflated ego. And then there's many "signs" that Jeff detects,
Jeff, a stoner with a destiny - or hoping they'll guide him toward
so he thinks. Mommy and brother his destiny. He looks and sounds
won't admit it, but they need Jeff zany, but persistence is his best
more than ever, despite their out- asset. The Duplass brothers
ward disregard. ensure Jeff is simplistic in every
way, which is why he's such a
powerful character.
High living at Segel deftly embodies the
benevolence and drive of such
mom's house. an unlikely pursuer. Helms finds
long-lost sensitivity despite his
asshole portrayal. Sarandon
proves, once again, her moth-
Alas, we have seen this story erly genius. A perfect storm of
foundation recycled ad nauseam. catastrophic measures integrates
The loser stay-at-home son was the three in a way so emotive, it
seen in "Step Brothers" and the might be the magic to restore
newfound bromance genre spear- latent love. Jeff sets out to honest-
headed by Judd Apatow. It's not ly bring forth a feeling everyone
entirely fresh material, but that's yearns for: completeness. Wheth-
OK. The Duplass brothers man- er that means boning supermodel
age to infuse enough eccentric after supermodel or incessantly
elements to string together a solid hitting the bong in your mom's
film. basement, the concept is relative.
Throughout the course of this The Duplass brothers show
one day, the camera lens takes that destiny may take some
a very up-close-and-personal searching for, but it must be
approach. This is complemented sought out, devoid of overana-
by timely mini-zooms that accen- lyzing and over-living. Unneces-
tuate every word spoken, hugely sary complication is the root of
elevating the power of the script. our demise. The film's title is an
A series of unfortunate events, oxymoron, because Jeff seems to
including Pat's wife's poten- be the single figure that ventures
tial infidelity, brings the two from his conventional, homey
estranged brothers closer, while bubble - and that's why we love
their mixed-up mother is caught him.

"Wait, these girls are from the
U.K.? They're not American. Is
this a joke right now?" wonders
Texan con-
testant Kyle
Gober. As view-
ers tune in to Ameicans
another mani-
cured cycle of Next Top
"America's Next Model
Top Model"
(cycle 18, to be Season18
begrudgingly premiere
exact), they Wednesdays
may be in for a at 9 p.m.
culture shock. CW
Deeming it a
"British Inva-
sion," host and producer Tyra
Banks incites a gratingly patriotic
competition of countries as she
introduces seven ironically un-
American models from across the
Announcing, "May the best
Brit or the best Yank win!" Banks
then reveals a twist: Seven of the
fourteen contestants previously
contended for "Britain's Next Top
Model." At this point, you may
be reaching for the stray Ameri-
can flag proudly hanging from
your pocket, wiping the wax (and
treachery!) from your ears like the
Q-tip of freedom.
Aside from its fresh delivery
of posh charm, "Top Model"
remains tediously formulaic,
trudging through an hour of
inane challenges and stone-faced
judges' deliberations in its six-
inch Jimmy Choos. Its structure
is as predictable as the melodra-
matic models' behavior. Mascara-
soaked tears stream down their
cheeks amid a lackluster photo-
shoot, reappearing without pause
post-makeover. When famous
Kardashian mom Kris Jenner

"Bitch, please. I'm fabulous."

to the.
for a re
at leas
tic thri
fort the


into the second episode, American/British rivalry; liter-
s shed a few tears of their ally parades, as the contestants
thrust their fists into the air,
'ever, when introduced chanting "USA!" atop a string of
culture clash intended to floats.
i a stalled "Top Model" "Top Model" puts the Ameri-
ise, viewers may plead can stereotype on display, juxta-
eturn to "normal" - hey, posing the starred-and-striped
t the judges' weekly cri- models' garishness and vulgar-
offer the same voyeuris- ity (one contestant refers to her
ll of scrolling through an British opponent as a "trick" - a
friend's or ex-girlfriend's prostitute - in front of a runway
ok photos. There's com- audience) with their modest and
ere, right? Right? reserved adversaries. "Those
Brits better watch their damn
backs because we're gonna come
;ometimes for them," threatens American
Laura LaFrate. God bless Amur-
rying new rica.
The British contestants are
ings is a bad exponentially more likeable as
the obnoxious battle rages on,
dea, Tyra. presenting a quiet confidence
that the American models lack.
Humbled by her opponents'
home advantage, Brit Sophie
he competition unfolds, Sumner gazes over the railing of
odels march on, draped the U.K.'s parade float, meekly
r homeland's banners - (and humorously) calling, "Tea
own to their flag-inspired and scones!" Maybe she'd have
s, flag-inspired hair a bit more success chanting a
and flag-inspired frosted phrase warmly embraced by
o longer a modeling com- American culture - "Expecto
n, the show parades as an Patronum," perhaps?

As t
the ma
in thei
right d
lips. Na

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