The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Friday, March 23, 2012- 5
RC to explore abuse
in August Guilt'
Hilarity served in season
premiere of 'Burgers'
Premiere of "The main point of 'August
Guilt' is actually really in the
student-written- title," Stroud said. "The juxtapo-
sition of 'August' and 'guilt' and
and-directed show the differences between being
a good person and being a good
By JONATHAN ODDEN character. What I mean is that
DailyArts Writer there is a private side and a side
you project, which are often very
There are great people and different."
there are terrible people. Often, Stroud explained that the
however, there are great people title word "August" refers to the
who are also word's meaning of something
terrible, and August Guilt closer to venerable or noble.
the task of sort- "What this play is doing is
ing people into Tonight, making the audience think about
neat slots is tomorrow the best person they know - a
only made pos- and Sunday, brother, mother, whatever - and
sible with the at 7 p.m. then think of the worst person
crutch of some they know," Stroud said. "But
serious double- Keene Theater then the plays asks you to imag-
think. Just how Free ine (if) those two personas were
this occurs and the same person. It's difficult."
whether it is a valid way of deal- The conflicts split open when
ing with these complexities are the son refuses to read his father's
themes central to "August Guilt," eulogy, an act that defies the
a new play by Residential Col- veneer of the Guilts and threat-
lege freshman Jacob Levi Stroud ens to tarnish the public image
that is being premiered by the RC of his father. As the layers quietly
Players under the direction of unravel among the family, more
School of Music, Theatre & Dance and more is laid bare as the fam-
sophomore Amanda Cohen. ily members each wrestle with
The play follows the events the aftermath of tragedy.
and internal struggle of a South- "The idea of remnants is very
ern family, the Guilts, as they vital to the play," Stroud said.
deal with the death of the head "The August Guilt on stage is not
of their patriarchy, August Guilt, the deceased man, but the living
whose social respect as a minis- imprint left by the abuse suf-
ter and politician is at odds with fered by each member of the fam-
the familial strife that begins to ily. Things linger with abuse and
boil up in his wake. they are distorted and carried by
To tell the story, Stroud uses
a less conventional format, that
blends elements of the real and
the surreal. Its format uses a
minimalistic set and heavy dia-
logue, but the directing choices
of Amanda Cohen are tight, cohe-
sive and enriching to the play
experience, Stroud explained.
"Some of my biggest inspira-
tions would be Tony Kushner
and Allen Ball, because they both
mesh realism with surrealism to
create something more true than
a realist set," Stoud said. "It lets
you get behind the characters
more and really tease out the
essence of them; you can come to
terms and understand them bet-
As the audience comes to
understand the characters, so too
the characters begin to under-
stand each other in relation to
August Guilt. It is about admit-
ting abuse and moving beyond it,
Stroud explained, and only once
they move beyond Guilt - both as
a character and a representation
for their shame - do they heal.
"It's a powerful play of ret-
ribution and reconciliation, of
abuse's damage and the hope of
recovery," Stroud said. "And at
its core, it is an experience and
experiment that brings the audi-
ence together with the actors to
question some of the most impor-
tant facets of public and private
By SAM CENZHANG
"Bob's Burgers" isn't particu-
larly innovative, nor is it often
surprising. Picture a Fox ani-
mated sitcom in
the year 2012: A ****
bit of "Archer"
here, some Bob's
in a pinch of Season 2
"South Park" premiere
and blend. Sundays at
That's pretty 8:30 p.m.
"Bob's Burg- FOX
ers" is (literal-
ly; the eponymous hero isvoiced
by H. Jon Benjamin, otherwise
known as Sterling Archer).
These are - or were, as the case
may be - great shows, and while
"Bob's Burgers" isn't quite up
to the level of those luminaries,
it's a well-executed, surprisingly
heartfelt and consistently hilari-
ous offering that deserves your
"Bob's Burgers" returns
strongly with the season two
premiere. The episode show-
cases the ensemble cast well,
allowing the kids Tina (Dan
Mintz), Louise (Kristen Schaal)
and Gene (Eugene Mirman)
to bounce off each other. They
go on a Goonies-inspired trea-
sure hunt in a taffy factory on
a butt-shaped peninsula with
weird ginger twins Andy and
Ollie (Sarah and Laura Silver-
man) and jock-types Jimmy Jr.
(Jay Johnston) and Zeke (Bobby
Tisdale). It's a nice bit of world-
building for the show, and much
more ambitious than anything
in the first season.
Meanwhile, Bob and his wife
Linda (John Roberts) are spurred
by a restaurant regular to spice
up their sex life, so Linda gets
some sex dice. It's a hackneyed
plot to be sure, but the on-point
characterization makes it work
anyway. Linda (whose voice is
basically a Marge Simpson via
"Jersey Shore") is gung-ho and
"Please don't eat that. I pooped in it."
over-earnest as always, and Bob absurd setting, there's nothing
is no Sterling Archer in the bed- to do but wait for the fireworks.
room. The dice seem to always The ever-awkward and hormonal
come up showing "hug in chair," Tina spends the entire episode
where Bob promptly crushes lusting after Jimmy Jr. Louise
Linda as she croaks "get off." gets trapped in a pit with a giant
taffy man whom she befriends,
and its "judgmental hollow eye-
It may not be holes" help her self-reflect. Gene,
who's somehow the weirdest of
original, but it's the three, doesn't have any huge
moments, but at least he gets to
fulfilling, lick the old taffy machines and
taste every flavor from the last
sixty years. And after all the
spelunking shenanigans, we get
The show quickly mashes a "Modern Family" type fam-
B-plot together with A-plot ily learning moment, except not
though, as the parents realize lame.
the kids haven't made any noise, There are no huge set-pieces
read Tina's journal and go to here to rival the traintop scene
the taffy factory to find them. from "Archer," or any other big
The sequence features one of confrontation from that show
the best gags in the episode: The you can name. But "Bob's Burg-
kids all make dummies in their ers" is a very funny show that's
beds. Louise's bed is stuffed with finding its footing and trying
clothes and her trademark rabbit- small but effective twists on
eared hat. Gene's is a garbage bag, existing conventions and forms.
which he was supposed to take The scatological and crude
out. And Tina's? A post-it that humor isn't for everybody. But if
says "Tina." you want a table at Bob's Burgers
When there are so many before it gets too crowded, you
ridiculous characters in such an better get in now.
Pops to present pep, 'Peril'
in upcoming performance
"Why aren't you sparkly?"
Hungry for teen drama
By ARIELLE ACKERMAN
I have a confession to make:
In a moment of extreme bore-
dom over spring break, I will-
ingly chose to purchase and
watch "Breaking Dawn: Part 1."
I sat there for the entire 117 min-
utes, unable to tear my eyes away
from the awful spectacle that is
the second to last movie in the
"Twilight" saga. Why, you ask?
It's simple: curiosity.
Of course I knew it was going
to be a terrible movie, but I
couldn't help myself. Call it a
guilty pleasure or whatever
you'd like, but I have watched
every single one of those damn
"Twilight" films - only the first
in theaters, though; thankfully,
I'm not that desperate.
Hollywood has been cranking
out franchise films for as long as
I can remember, typically based
on comic books or action figures.
But why the giant shift to fran-
chises based off of young-adult
novels? Well, everybody knows
that the youth run the world.
It's a genius idea really, one that
has been used time and again
by everyone in the entertain-
ment industry. Kids, teens and
newfound adults bring in the big
bucks. Since Hollywood realized
that animated children's flicks
and series like "Harry Potter"
are some of the highest gross-
ing films, they've been working
nonstop to get their hands on the
next big phenomenon.
I think we can all agree that the
"Twilight" books are not the most
well-written and the films won't
be regarded as the best of our gen- the same classic narrative, case
eration. However, all four nov- in point: the Hollywood classic
ies together have made over $2.4 "Casablanca." It follows a sto-
billion worldwide, and there's ryline that mingles romance and
still one left. The "Harry Potter" action perfectly, with a love tri-
series - which is infinitely better angle at its core that drives the
than "Twilight" - has made over whole film.
$7 billion worldwide, making it Now, take a look at the YA fran-
the highest grossing film series of chises of today: There's a love tri-
all time. angle between two male leads and
one female lead. There's also a
nice mix of romance and action to
W hy does young keep our ever-shortening atten-
y tion spans captivated. The only
adult sell? added trait to these teen-based
narratives is the inclusion of fan-
tasy elements, such as wizards
or a made-up, post-apocalyptic
Today, the latest franchise world.
film aimed at teens, "The Hun- YA franchises work despite,
ger Games," comes out. And and probably because, they fol-
obviously, I have already bought low the same formulaic plot.
my midnight-premiere tickets. That, and they somehow man-
The film is expected to make age to captivate the current
$70 million its opening week- generation of teens and young
end. It looks like a better film adults through all the artificial
than "Twilight," but even if it's hype they generate. If you're one
not, it's still likely to make a of those people who hopes that
truckload of money because the these teen-based franchises will
phenomenon surrounding YA shortly come to an end, you're
franchises will keep drawing sorely mistaken. Screen Gems
viewers in, regardless of their has already started production
quality. The franchise follows' on the "Mortal Instruments"
the now-classic Hollywood for- series by Cassandra Clare.
mula for making money: Get the There's a love triangle in that
rights to a YA series, cast a bunch one, too.
of hot, young actors and appeal So while I, and many others,
desperately to the masses. may protest against this insult to
While I take it as kind of an our intelligence, I'm still going
insult that Hollywood thinks to wait in line for two hours on
they can get away with mak- Thursday night to see yet anoth-
ing the same fixed film over and er version of the same film. And
over again, I ultimately have to whether out of curiosity or actu-
admit that they're right. Even al interest, I will probably see
before YA franchise films came every other YA-based franchise
along, movies have always had film after that.
By JONATHAN ODDEN
After the triumphant recep-
tion of its fall concert "Once
Upon A Time," Michigan Pops
aimed to make o
its spring con-
cert the most Sunday at
exciting and 7 pm
ambitious per- Michigan Theater
Pops came to From $5
the 'U' more
than fifteen years ago. The com-
pletely student-run orchestra
will present "Pops in Peril," a
concert hoping to bring a vibrant
and expansive repertoire to
stage with skill, energy and a
little bit of their signature "Pops
Pops Love - the orchestra's
tagline - represents the energy
and cohesion of the orchestra,
explained LSA sophomore Liz
Cvercko, co-publicity director
of Pops. For those new to Pops,
the atmosphere of Pops Love is
"Energy and fun are always
facets of our concert experi-
ence," said LSA junior Jen Wei,
Pops co-publicity director. "And
from the title, it's clear that
there is something a little sin-
ister, a little dark in the excite-
ment of this show."
The show kicks off its first
half with the fourth movement
from Shostakovich's 5th Sym-
phony. Shostakovich, living
under the pressures of Stalin's
Russia and the constraints of
Social Realism, crafted his 5th
Symphony as an outlet for the
strife, triumph and confusion of
his era. The fourth movement
itself is a blend of marching
music and Shostakovich's own
more abstract forms, which will
a bombastic and explo- make up the first half of "Pops in
ale. Peril," the orchestra moves into
e movement is exciting, a more eclectic mood and plays
also tinged with a sense of everything from Broadway hits
nd forlorn," Cvercko said. such as "The King and I" and
akovich didn't have the "On the Town" to a modern TV
m he wanted, and even in classic - Danny Elfman's theme
ting as triumphant as the from "The Simpsons."
the symphony, there is a "These are extremely fun
if something darker skim- pieces for the orchestra to just
ust beneath the surface." let loose and give the audience
r this selection, Pops will the authentic stage experience
ying the world premiere with quick, memorable melodies
ns Zimmer's score from iconic to many," Wei said.
10 motion picture "Incep- But it's not all TV and musicals
- Pops is also tackling the clas-
s is a big deal, period," sics of the silver screen inthe sec-
id. "The theme from the and half of the show with their
has never been performed envisioning of the suite from
ere. We literally called up "Star Wars." In its rendition, the
r Bros., and after some group combines the heralding
ted advocating by mem- theme of John Williams with
f Pops, we were able to cinematography reminiscent of
the rights to the sheet George Lucas's 1977 film.
" "We made a little homage to
'Star Wars,' which stars the Pops
in their own intergalactic adven-
te 'U' to host lure,"Weisaid."Likealloutvid-
eos, we bring together the Pops
rld premiere community to really have fun
with the music and share the
)f the score Pops Love."
Besides the nods to classics
M 'Inception.' from pop culture both past and
present, Pops is also performing
Georges Bizet's "L'Arldsienna
Suite No. 2," which, in its origi-
s has taken the brooding nal form, was written to accom-
'ctronic sounds of "Incep- pany Alphonse Daudet's play
o a new level by combining of the same name. The French
me with the group's own composer's set of pieces, only
panying video and effects. posthumously arranged into
ring the performance, orchestral suites, is a blend of
nt to engage the audience wind and string melodies with
ully and really create the flute and harp solos.
of a nightmare," Cvercko "Our Music Directors Mat-
The orchestra has puta lot thew Dell and Anthony Kim
k into both the music and have chosen an outstanding
ompanying video - going set for this concert," Wei said.
as to storyboard out and "It has great music, great skits,
heir work." great videos and a surprise
r these two pieces, which encore that's fantastic."