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August 07, 2000 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2000-08-07

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Go funk yourself!
Red Hot Chili Peppers will be at Pine Knob
tonight with Stone Temple Pilots and
Fishbone. Call 248-377-0100 for more info.
michigandaily.com /Arts


AUGUST 7, 2000

Promising script of
'Friction' would be
,better suited elsewhere

By Jaimie Winkler
Dadiy Arts Writer
The storyline of "Science Friction,"
with a little help,.could be a real winner
- but not for the stage.
Its science fic-
tion - roin a aee
roots are better
suited for film or
Science television. This
Friction play treats alien
Performance abduction like a
Network natural disaster.
Through August 13 complete with a
gun-toting school
teacher who sheds
her shell to over-
dose on cussing.
But like natural
disasters, alien
stories provide
heoter material for the screen where spe-
cial effects allow audiences to see the
action rather than hear allusions to it.
The latest in the Ann Arbor-based
Performance Network's summer Tree
loss n Festival, which focuses on local
talent, "Friction" was written by Jioseph
Zettelmaier whose previous credits
include contributing writer oil the
Purple Rose Theater's Outreach Project
Tilk to Me."Zettelmaieroriginally cre-
ated this less than two hour, two act
stage play as the one act "Random Acts
of Love and Science Fiction, which
seas workshopped at Otterbcin College
in (Ihio.
In this story, a support group for alien

abductees gathers for their weekly meet-
ing. A strange, new member poses some
problems to the group's security and a
romance eventually rises from the ashes.
But is it science fiction (as the first
three-fourths of the play suggests) or a
love story (as it finally turns out to be)?
The script has potential, and at times
it is very finny and audience pleasing.
The remarkably creative and original
love store that emerges between Kim
(Annie Palmer) and Bob (David
Wolber), if brought to the forefront of
the script, could be wonderful.
Zettelmaier has devised an interesting
way for them to first meet and for Bob
to declare his undying devotion.
The action ia have fared better in a
movie because at times the dialogue
needs a break (enter film special
effects) That's not to say the stage gets
boring. Director Dana White has flass-
lessildirected the actors and created a
wonderful space, the classroom where
thee have meetins. But by the time the
love story emerges it seems like a device
to expand the play to full length rather
than the plai's crux.
The actors, who are believable until
thes stumble over their lines, present a
confusing message to the audiences.
Part of this is written into the script. The
characters are stereotyped: one takes
psychiatric medication, another reads
the "Weekly World News" (just for fun)
and they discuss which "Star Trek" spin-
off is the best.
Kim (Annie Palmer), Charlie (Nick
Barnes) and Bob (David Wolber) play

Co r'tesy of Performance Network
Patrick Moug (clockwise from top left), David Wolber, Nick Barnes and Annie
Palmer play alien-abduction support group members in 'Science Friction.'

tr- to-life characters. People who talk
and act like your friends and neighbors.
as opposed to the two-dimensional char-
acters in parodies or farces. This induces
audience sympathy and presents the
play as having a message about these
social castaways.
Ray (Patrick Moug) and Ms. Kane
(Zehra Berkman) play caricatures. They
are two-dimensional representations.
composite characters that trigger the
audience to see the play's purpose as
more entertaining and comedic. Ray is
the hard-talking paranoid who's alsvays
checking for hidden devices and has lit-
tle else on his mind. Ms. Kane is the
fotuth-grade teacher who can't separate

herseif som the classroom. Ln hien
there is real violent drama on stage.
she's still calling for a "tirne out.*
Once "Science Friction" figuies out
what it wants to be and finds its proper
medium, it could attract a cult following
as big as any other science fiction or
bizarre romance.
"Science ricti itils August 3-13
at the Perftimttce Nettwirk.
Ptr foirmicrs are Ttuslt thriough
Saturdlar at 8:00 p7./tmindSrndlar at
2:00 p.m. Tickets use 1 f gie e2rnerl
ac/iissiio lani 59 fot stu/ieits and
seniors. T/rusd/aus artie "piYt iat roti
cart. "l morei infotration cr to make
reserrtions. ca/ (734)663-06S/.

tour blase
to Detroil
By Adlin Rosi
Daily Arts Writer
Bay Area's Skinlab performed
generous health-related public t
vice act for its Detroit fans this:s
Wednesday. Th
band brought it
massive wall o
metal sound her
Skinlab to help loosen u
St. Andrew's Hall any and all of it
fans clogget
earwax as well a
encouraging bet
ter neck flex*i
ty through plent
*i of headbanging.
Skinlab ha
been relentlessl
tourig i sup
port of it;
"Disembody: The New Flesh" albun
ever since the disc *came out it
February of last year. Evident fron
Wednesday's performance, the ban
showed no signs of fatigue or slow
ing down. Highlights from Skin6
set include bruising renditions of
Far From The Truth" and "Whet
Pain Comes To Surface." Their deliv
ery was very tight and focuse
despite the numerous odd timi
changes found in Skinlab's music
The endless touring has no doub
helped in making the band the well-
oiled machine it was at this show.
Based on their song titles, you i
probably infer that the vibe a t
Andrew's Hall was just a little bit dif
ferent than that of a Lilith Fair con
cert. Then again, despite the over
abundasee of testosterone flowing it
the venue, things did not escalate tc
Woodstock '99 proportions either
The crowd did not partake in mucl
mshing, but as earlier mentioned
there was plenty of whiplash-induc
ing head banging.
The band's bassist/vocalist Stec
Esquivel is arguably one of the
charismatic metal frontmen to rav
come out of the underground meta
scene swithinthe last couple of year.
Sure, his dreadlocked hair and multi
ple piercings may bring to mind th
numerous trendy neo-metal fads o
there today, but there is an unmista
able sincerity in Esquivel's presenc
that shines through.
By the end of Skinlab's set, t
was no chance of anyone suffer
from clogged ears or athritic neck
The incessant ringing in the ears the
immediately came after the sho
howeve, is a whole different matte


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