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Something old, something newundergrad theater preview

By Beck Holden

Section: Arts

January 20, 2006

This article is dedicated to those who think there is nothing to do at Brandeis because this semesters undergraduate theater scene offers so much varietyfrom light, amusing comedies to politically-charged dramas and from Renaissance classics to the freshest offerings of Broadway. This really is a season that offers something for every theatrical taste.

The UTC Season begins with the Brandeis Players, the group behind last semesters top-notch production of Fool for Love, performing Joseph Kesselrings classic comedy Arsenic and Old Lace, arguably the most outrageous play in the history of the universe, according to director Michael Glicksman 08. Witness the insanity as two elderly ladies gleefully murder their gentlemen visitors and bury them in the cellar. Bask in the divine glory of farce as their frantic nephew tries to keep their crimes hidden. Its more exhilarating than downhill ice skating and more delicious than chocolate pudding! This play will hit the Shapiro stage March 9-12.

Brandeis Ensemble Theater takes the Shapiro Theater the following weekend with the New England premiere of Wendy McLeods The Water Children, directed by Michael Carnow 07. This play deals with the highly sensitive topic of abortion and promises to be a very exciting offering;

Carnow notes that the show offers an impressive balance of viewpoint. It will also be the first UTC production of a play that was written by a woman in several years. Carnow states, I love the script, it moves with tremendous fluidly and powerful emotion. I hope the show will increase the dialogue about abortion and open up peoples minds. Water Children will run March 16-19.
Tympanium Euphorium will follow the first ever fully-staged English-language production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg with a recent Broadway smash: Urinetown, by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis. Urinetown is a musicals musical. It both satirizes and epitomizes them, using a conventional format yet borrowing from several other shows in a hilarious way, explains director Jacob Baron 06. The play is set in a fictional city where there is a water shortage, necessitating the institution of public pay toiletsin short, you have to pay to pee. This show is much more than a spoof, questioning both capitalism and communism as well as our society as a whole, Baron adds. This musical will run March 23-26 in the Shapiro Theater.

Hold Thy Peace, fresh off of a strong production of Twelfth Night, will offer a production of Shakespeares great tragedy Macbeth. Says director Josh Sheena 08, It is going to be in period;

that means no stylizations, updates, or modern twists. This is a great show filled with murder, conspiracy, betrayal, insanity, ghosts, witches, and war… All the aspects of a blockbuster movie. Keep an eye out for another strong performance of a Shakespearean classic in the Shapiro Theater between the dates of Mach 30 and April 2.

Samantha Saltzman 06, director of the Hillel Theater Groups production of Meredith Willsons The Music Man, states, There is a reason we still perform the classic musicals. They are an opportunity to return to a simpler time, a romanticized version of the past, and perhaps a vision of the way we think life should be. The Music Man is one of these shows;

shows that inspire and fill our hearts with messages of hope and love. This production will be open casting (if you audition, you will be offered a role), and all are welcomed. Look for this classic of the American musical theater to hit the Shapiro Theater April 5, 6, 8, and 9.

Boris Kitchen will wrap up the UTC season and celebrate its 19th year of performing sketch comedy with its Annual Big Spring Show. In the vein of last years hit Are You There God? Its Me, Boris, President Rachel Boyarsky 06 writes that this years show features not only our incredibly high-class sketch comedy skills, but also a news segment and rockin video sketches, adding, Rumor has it that a parade with floats might be seen heading around the peripheral road, but thats just a rumor.

Unfortunately, Boyarsky has classified any more specific information about the show as very hush hush, so anyone interested in classy sketch comedy will have to come to the Shapiro Theater April 28 and 29.

Last but not least, Teatro Revolucion, Brandeiss activist theater group, will also be looking to liven up the campus theater scene. President Amy Cotton 06 notes that Teatro aims to use theater as a tool to promote awareness and discussion of diversity and the many related systems of oppression that permeate our society both on and off campus. One planned project is the creation of a film (written by Seth Bernstein 06) that explores the ever-changing nature of sexual and religious identity through a narrative about a pair of freshman year roommates. This film is hiring for crew positions and will hold auditions at the end of January, with filming set to begin in March.

Of course, this all is just the tip of the iceberg. This semester also features a trio of top-notch productions by the Brandeis Theater Company, around half a dozen senior thesis projects, and a short run of David Mamets Edmond directed by yours truly in the Merrick Theater March 4 and 5. Overall this makes for one theater-packed semester with over a dozen different performances, sure to enliven any boring weekend with nothing to do.

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