8A - Wednesday, January 29, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
8A -Wednsday Janary 9, 214 he Mchign Dalymmchi.nd..y.o
A2CT to perform
'next to normal'
Tony Award- mal." It will be the 40th musical
he has directed. One of the most
winning musical interesting aspects of the musi-
cal, according to Baumanis, is its
comes to Ann Arbor contemporary setting.
"There's a risk in writing a
By GRACE PROSNIEWSKI musical that takes place in your
Daily Arts Writer neighbor's house ... or maybe
your own ... and not set on a
According to the U.S. Depart- tropical island, Oz, or the streets
ment of Health and Human of Yonkers with its horse-drawn
Services, one in five American carriages," Bamanis said.
adults will The music in the performance
experience next to also creates a contemporary
a mental vibe, with many different genres
health issue, normal filling out the production.
while one in Jan. 30 to Feb. 2 "The musical," Baumanis
20 Ameri- said, "is almost entirely sung-
cans lives Thursday to through, with very few 'spoken'
with a serious Saturdayat8 p.m. scenes, and the music is pop-
mental ill- Sundayat 2p.m. rock in style, ranging from coun-
ness such as Arthur Miller try pop ballads to straight-out
schizophre- Theatre rock. The musical is so brilliantly
nia, bipolar $13-$25 scored: guitars reflect character
disorder or mood, drums keep a 'heartbeat'
major depres- going throughout the show and
sion. Even while many people its the driving force that makes
come forward and receive treat- the entire drama work."
ment for their mental illnesses, The musical deals with some
many still try to hide their con- extremely heavy issues. While
ditions, silenced by stigmas and it certainly has something to say
misconceptions. on what defines "normal" and
Into this complex landscape the role of medicine in treating
steps Ann Arbor Civic Theatre mental illness, there are many
and its performance of "next issues raised that can only be
to normal," the Tony award- decided by the audience.
winning musical and winner of "'next to normal' leaves some
the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. of the questions unanswered for
The musical follows the lives of the audience to think about and
the Goodmans, a typical subur- discuss," Baumanis said. "And if
ban family trying to keep things there is one thing I can guaran-
together while the mother tee, people will be discussing the
struggles with worsening bipo- show on the way home. It touch-
lar disorder. The musical also es on so many common themes
deals with issues such as suicide, even for those people who aren't
grieving and the failures of mod- personally struggling with men-
ern psychiatry. tal illness or grief issues that it
Ron Baumanis, a neuropsy- provides lots of fodder for dis-
chologist by day, is directing the cussion, and even repeat view-
performance of "next to nor- ings."
The cast members invest-
ed large amounts of time and
effort in order to create realistic,
"We had one evening," Bau-
manis said, "where we discussed
specific character quirks, and
even had a speaker come talk to
the cast about his own Bipolar
Disorder and how he coped with
Following Sunday's matinee
performance, A2CT will con-
duct a discussion and Q&A with
researchers from the Heinz C.
Prechter Bipolar Research Fund
at the University's Depression
Center and volunteers from the
National Alliance on Mental Ill-
ness. The session will answer
questions regarding bipolar
disorder and mental illness,
the effects of mental illness on
families and different treatment
options. This event is free and
open to the public.
The musical and the after-
performance session will both
offer audience members a bet-
ter understanding of mental ill-
ness and the different effects of
grief on different people. And
for Baumanis, that understand-
ing is key.
"First, as an entertainer,"
Baumanis said, "I want the
audience to see a superbly sung
and performed award-winning
musical theater piece. Despite
the seriousness of much of the
show, it has a big heart, it has
plenty of laughs and it's a full-
out Broadway musical."
"Second," he continued, "I
want them to take away their
own notions of what relation-
ships mean, the forms that grief
can take on if left unexamined
and an improved understanding
of bipolar disorder in specific."
Who said longboarding wasn't cool?
Fans betrayed by leap
in 'Sherlock' return
By CHLOE GILKE
BBC's "Sherlock" ended its
second season with the ultimate
cliffhanger. After the title charac-
ter managed to survive jumping
from the roof
of a hospital, C+
fans had to
wait two ago- Sherlock
to find out Sundays at
how Sherlock 9 p.m.
pulled it off.
Series creator PBS
an exhilarating answer, only to be
revealed early in the first episode
of the third season.
Spoiler alert: There is no real
answer. Moffat and the writers
give three explanations, but all
are ridiculous outsider specula-
tion. As someone who had been
thinking up my own solutions to
Sherlock's survival, these fake-
outs were insulting. By including
diegetic London fanatics' theories
(and making them so outland-
ish and silly), Moffat is letting the
audience know that he is aware
his show has a passionate fandom.
And that he doesn't care to treat
them with respect.
A giant middle finger to the
show's passionate "shippers,"
Sherlock shares a romantic
moment with supporting charac-
ters in two of the flashbacks. But
again, it's a cruel twist on fan
tations. Sherlock and Mori- has only had nine episodesto date,
eaning in for a kiss makes he shows solid character devel-
kery of the exciting season opment. Martin Freeman ("The
nder. It's innocent fan ser- Hobbit") is excellent as always,
one sour. Between this and a little more fierce and resistant
st episode's case involving a to Sherlock than in seasons past.
ged Guy Fawkes fanatic, the Though both actors are becoming
hints at a troubling tendency more famous (and increasingly
k its own fans. toobusy to find time for TV work),
despite a rough begin- they give their Oscar-worthy tal-
the second installment of ent to "Sherlock".
ock" is enjoyable. This Despite the big names, stun-
le elaborates more on the ningcinematographyandprestige
introduced Mary Morstan that is associated with the BBC
nda Abbington, "Mr. Sel- network, "Sherlock" still falls flat.
.") She is a breath of fresh The third episode of the season
a show that often pushes could easily be mistaken for great
e characters aside for its television, but it is sloppily writ-
etective leads, and seeing ten and sometimes unintelligible.
as a foil to Sherlock gives Even after a second viewing, the
no detectives an interesting logic of the episode was hard to
ynamic. With Maryto com- follow. A revelation with Mary
aith, Sherlock must come to seemed to come from nowhere,
with his own feelings for and keeping track of who missed
His ice-cold detachment a bullet plays like a half-hearted
fades as he realizes that version of the old "Reichenbach
n is more than just a side- Falls" trick. Like last season's
he's Sherlock's first loyal finale, there is a surprisingturn of
1. events, but when an old character
is reintroduced in the episode's
final minutes, it seems like Mof-
Sarne old, fat is pulling another stunt on the
audience. Season three will likely
same old. beremembered only for its memo-
*rable exploits and plot twists, but
that's hardly enough to make for
an excellent show. If this season is
Sherlock, Benedict Cumber- any indication, we should expect
("Star Trek:Into Darkness") more of the same when the show
a strong performance. He is returns for a fourth season: plenty
vulnerable than in seasons of action and fun, buta disappoint-
and even though the series inglack of substance.
Leaving the'Frozen' bandwagon
By ANNA SADOVSKAYA
Daily Arts Writer
Jennifer Lawrence meets Miley Cyrus.
The gory glory of 'The Following'
By JULIAN AIDAN
Daily Arts Writer
As expected, writer Kevin Wil-
liamson's dark and violent serial,
"The Following," punched its way
into the sea-
doming out of
:he gate with The
the brutal con-
elusion to last Following
oeason's cliff- Mondays
k After Clare's at9 p.m.
ruthless death Fox
and a few-
bender, we rediscover our hero,
Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) a year
later in New York, far from the
horrors of last season, where Joe
Carroll (James Purefoy) and his
crew racked up a body count that
most "Call of Duty" players would
be jealous of.
Now five months sober and
teaching up-and-coming crimi-
ologists how to dissect and ana-
lyze crime scenes, Ryan seems to
have gotten it together in light of
she slew of tragic and horrifying
events he witnessed and endured.
Unfortunately, as the anniver-
hary of Carroll's death-by-mas-
sive-explosion approaches, a trio
of ne'er-do-wells boards a subway
train donning masks that are a
facsimile of the cult leader's face,
chanting about resurrection, Joe
being alive and Hardy's inability
to stop them. Images and news
of their killing spree paralyzes
the city, so Ryan and Agent Mike
Weston (Shawn Ashmore) are
dragged back into the world of
murder cults, sociopaths and so
much backstabbing, both literal
Emma (Valorie Curry), Joe's
protege, meanwhile, finds her-
self left out of this new round of
cult activity, having not heard
from him in nearly a year. With
edgy new lip rings and hair color,
Emma is back tobeing at the right
place at the right time, alerting
other followers she's hiding out
with that Ryan Hardy is back and
on the coattails of the new mur-
Elsewhere in the city, a blonde
falls prey to ahunky, pale stranger
who casually helps himself to her
refrigerator and iPod while she
lies lifeless on her bed. Dolled-up
and dressed to the nines post-
mortem, she is left in a park,
propped up and reading Joe Car-
roll's novel, destined to be found
by our hero.
The stranger is revealed to be
working with three others - a
former follower, a sadistic French
woman and his twin brother.
Rounding out the new club of
cultists, Mark and Luke (both
played by Sam Underwood) are a
dangerous pair with dichotomous
personalities: the latter explosive
and unpredictable, the former
more reserved and calculated.
Thankfully, even Luke manages
to find solace in hugging it out ...
and collapsing tracheas.
"The Following" 's fear factor
comes not from the actions of the
killers, but from the deliberate
and brilliant pacing with which
each big shot is presented. The
merciless, blood-drenched execu-
tion scenes are presented bluntly,
forcing viewers to accept them
as they come, while more subtle
moments surprise you with the
cold-blooded calculations of the
It's fast-paced and shocking,
everything "The Following" has
always delivered, and yet this sea-
son promises the distinct taste of
surprise left over from each epi-
sode - not from the big moments
or reveals, but the more delicate
and strangely terrifying stories
that creep up when you're least
Whenever something becomes
popular, and inevitably makes an
appearance on my Twitter feed, I
immediately reject it. Thank god I
discovered "Doctor Who" before
I learned of its fan-base, or I'd .,
still be completely disgusted with
the show. And, yet, despite my
vigilant hatred, I inevitably, a few
months after the hype dies down,
finally jump on the bandwagon Girl power.
and realize that I'm the idiot, and
that whatever it is I vehemently reckoned with. The soon-to-be-
spewed venom at earlier is actu- released sing-along version is
ally pretty sweet. Without fail, going to probably sell-out in the-
this happens with 98 percent of aters, and people everywhere will
pop culture in mylife. be humming "Do You Want to
Enter, "Frozen." Build a Snowman?"
I love Hans Christian Anders- And for the most part, it makes
en's "The Snow Queen." As one of sense that everyone loves it. Anna
the first stories I read on my own, (Kristen Bell, "Veronica Mars") is
I remember reading it and hop- real and cool, funny in ways out-
ing that snowflakes would turn side of the boring "awkward-but-
to snow bees - I'd look for bits cute" heroine stereotype. Olaf
and specks of glass (my poor, poor (Josh Gad, "Jobs") is hilarious and
mother) to crush, so the trolls' puppy-like in his never-ending
evil mirror wouldn't infect any- love for everyone he meets and
one else. I didn't want any of that Elsa (Idina Menzel, "Enchanted")
to be ruined in the "loose adap- is lost and confused, unlike most
tation" that was to be "Frozen." villains in today's films. There's
That, along with everyone's sud- music, there's true love, there's a
den love for Idina Menzel, whom lot of girl power and cute trolls!
I adored when I was 11 because What's not to love?
"Wicked" was my life, and I was The parents ... they die. Yes,
ready to never see "Frozen." that's unfortunate. And Hans
But, it was a monumental occa- (Santino Fontana) ends up being
sion - the first snow day at the a complete sociopath, going from
University since 1978, and it was sweet to psychotic in, like, a mil-
too cold to leave my bed. So, I lisecond, but that shouldn't really
casually looked up "Let it Go" on matter right? And who cares that
YouTube because someone post- we first see Kristoff (Jonathan
ed it for the fifth time on Face- Groff) as a child who cuts ice
book. And I knew, clicking play without parental supervision, or
after the stream buffered, I knew that atroll adopts him. It's part of
I was going to end up watching the magic; it's part of the fun.
the movie. And so, I prepared. For Actually... no. For the first time
the jumping on the bandwagon (... in forever), I didn't become a
and the loving it. raving "Frozen" fan after crack-
Surpassing "Finding Nemo" ing and seeing the film. It's
as the highest-grossing original beautifully animated, and won-
animated film of all time with a derfully voiced, but the amount of
$348-million domestic box-office crazy plot holes and unanswered
total, "Frozen" is a force to be questions was too high for me to
get into "the magic."
For one, who is Elsa? Who is
Anna? Why is one of them born
with a gift for ice? What did that
bishop from weasel town even
want? Why is everyone so white?
And why are the trolls so love-
Some, answers are "just
because." Some are "because this
is a European story" and race
can't be changed (as an aside from
someone who adores "The Snow
Queen," this movie has nothing
to do with "The Snow Queen").
And some are "this is a fairytale
so thingsjust happen."
I was ready
to never see
I want to love "Frozen," but
I don't even know who half the
characters are. I can only vividly
remember Olaf, but that's because
he's a one-dimensional laugh fac-
tor, and actually, really cute. It
was a snapshot into the lives of
the characters - not much back-
story, not much context - and it
didn't feel worthy of the charac-
ters' potentials. It felt not enough,
and for garnering so much atten-
tion, it most certainly should have