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July 31, 2000 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2000-07-31

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The Michigan Daily -- Monday, July 31, 2000 - 11
.Colorful nymphs bring Shakespeare back to life

By Jaimie Winkler
Daily Arts Writer

JACKSON - The laughter, so fre-
quent and svigorous, neirly drow ned
out the sound of airplanes flying over
the Michigan Shakespeare Festival's
@outdoor production of "A Midsummer
Night's Dream."
"Midsummer," one of William
Shakespeare's most performed come-
dies, begins with a leap into an
already fast tmoving and complicated
plotline.
As an Athenian Duke plans to
marry, the young Hermia's father
announces he will force her to marry
Demetrius, who loves her, rather than
Lysander, whom she loves. Helena
loves Demetrius, but Demetrius does
*ot return her favor. Hermia and
Lysander run away to the woods to
elope, with Helena and Demetrius
pursuing them.
The four become entangled with the
citizens of the wood's fairyland.
Oberon, the fairy king, and the fairy
queen, Titania, are fighting for cus-
tody of a orphaned Indian boy. Their
fighting results in the misuse of love
otions. When such mistakes occur in
hakespeare, the only result is come-
dy. Throw in a bunch of wandering,
amateur actors and a man in a don-
key's head, and the audience is rolling
on the floor with laughter.

Juimtping into such a plotne w.hich
sometimes lacks explanation, makes
the troupe's job more difficult - sort-
ing it out and presenting it under-
standably. The festival's talented cast
and crew, directed by University pro-
fessor John Neville-Andrews, do a
remarkable job.
The absolutely charming cast pre-
sents the two-and-a-half hour comedy
with grace. Despite the expectation
that the lovers' happy unions would be
the play's end, a dull moment never
finds its way on stage. Individual and
ensemble physical comedy draw laugh
after laugh.
Hermia, played by Wendy Katz
Hiller, and Helena, played by Heather
Landry, attempt to catfight while their
lovers use every conceivable block to
prevent it. Puck, played by University
junior Steve Best, constantly finds
new ways to tip toe around or show,
with his body language, what he real-
ly means.
And of course, there is the wander-
ing troupe of amateur actors.
Continuously involved in comedic
moments, the five artisans turned
thespians, are the quirkiest characters
in the play. Dan Kenney's Bottom is
the perfect wanna-be professional
actor. He puts the drama in drama.
Whether its overgesturing or overe-
nunciating, Bottom is truly the butt of
the joke. Quince, played by Leigh

Hermia (Wendy Katz Hiller), Demetrius (William Irwin) and Helena (Heather Landry) in "A

Woods, is something truly unique -
Shakespeare with a Midwestern twang.
A rich, colorful set composed of
three doors represents the forest in
which these unique spirits play. Being
on the outdoor stage makes massive set
shifts impossible and this design almost
necessary, but the doors would be wel-
comed on the most advanced indoor
stages. They add to the fast and farcical
nature of this production.
Characters are forever running in,

around and out of doors, just missing
the person they were looking to find or
the one the audience hopes they will
meet. Adding that the four lovestruck
youths spend most of the play in their
underwear, gives this production a dis-
tinctly "Noises Off" quality.
While the underwear is nice, the full-
dress costumes are also a sight to
behold. Amazingly practical in design,
the wardrobe's colors also distinguish
mortals from fairies. All that glitters
truly deserves a gold star for design.
The fairies are breathtaking - the
queen and king's costutes define lav-
ish. The foolish mortals are offset by

their beige costumes seeming to quote a
colorless version ofAlice's wonderland.
While mosquitoes keep the audience -
constantly swatting and the smell of
freshly popped popcorn in the festival's
food tent tempts hungry stomachs, its
hard to take one's eyes off this remark-
able production.
"A Midsumter Night's Dream" runs
in repertory with "Richard Ill" and "A
Toby Show " at the Michigan
Shakespeare Festival, associated with
the University of Michigan Theater
Department, at Ella Sharp Park in
Jackson. Tickets are $14, call 517-788-
5032for more information.

Shelter to host sweet 'Tasters flavor

By Gabe Fajuri _
Daily Arts Wrter
The Pietasters have nothin to do with Y ite.
apples and cherries baked into a sugary-s
sweet crust. This is a band that's all about
beer. Oh. and ska music too. Hailing from
Washington. D.C., the Pietasters have I
made a name for themselves in ska circles
overthe last several years by constant tour-
sty ansd sthree escellenst I hts. Tis Tuecsday
tight, the band will be appearing in Detroit
t the Shelter, which is another way to sav Courtesy of Heicat Records
the basement of St. Andrew's hall . The Pietasters will play at The Shelter this Tuesday. Why not go to the show baked?
"Awesome Mix 'tape '6," the band's lat- Of course, the fact is that the band, on stage both troublesome and enjoyable
est release, is a vibrant mix of soul-inflect- especially the horn players, are talented for his bandmates, the aforementioned
ed ska tunes. The record will undoubtedly musicians. Jeremy Roberts, trombone, Heiniken incident being one such exam-
be showcased live tomorrow night, alon- and Rob Steward, drums, stand out espe- ple.
side other 'tasters staples from their two cially on the musical side of things. Drawing from influences like Bob
loon Skaland 1997's "Willis"(H " 't'eao' , c'--1-" sr'on who doesn't . Marley, The Specials and Bad Manners,
MSic ands199s - dHellcaI . fall intothe typical ska singer mold wit ste 'tasters don't sound like any of the the
Since the hand's signing so Hellcat and his gruff ands often grating ringing style, ahove. And they promise sot to even try
release of"Willis" the heer-fusel d and is typically the instigator of te on-stage and come close when they mix up a batch
been tourint nearly nai-stop, incud- bhirsxs. Being the only one vith a free of their special blend of soul-infected
dates on recet incasations ofte pair of haids, Jackson, constantly mug- ska, set the oven on bake, and bring it to
rpcd TourIlTough the band's releases gisg for the assembled crowd, makes life downtown Detroit tomorrow night.
:mtainly worth repeated listens, te
I introduction to the band is tisrough a
show.
3o what makes a Pietasters show worth
hard-earned scratch, you may ask? D>
, essentially, you're going to hear great if you think you p egna ..
ic, performed by a seven-piece band
knows hots to sate a mighty fise timec
stage. Pass Detroit appearaces bave
ded mad rushes soteplatforitsby R
t~husiastic fasts, anch guitar plaiyersI
ched in fleshly opened IHenekests. If
sass is anty indicaitionisthess tomsosrusoytwe ny I 2 h us
5 as te Shselter should, astte very
he an interesting sexperiensce. Fully confidential
ServingStu dent slsnce WOS ...

The r
America
Art
Multiples of the Sixties
June 2-August 13, 2000
August 4
Capture Your 15 Minutes of SE a
Fame with Caricaturist Mike
Tippett
7-9 P.M., Libbey Court
Let Mr.Tippet sketch yourlikeness and
then put it on thewal Iof fame for, as
Andy Warhol saidveryone isentitled
to his or her 15 minutes of fame.
EAN Tuesday-Thursday 10 A.M.-4 P.M., Friday 10 A.M.-1s P.M.
THAT SUPPORSULCSaturday10A.M.-4 P.M.,Sunday11A.M.-5 Ps..,Closed Mondays
PROGRAMS IN THE ARTS 419-255-8osofor more information - www.toledomuseum.org

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