The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 20, 1995, Page 9, Image 9

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    Arts ^Entertainment
Monday, February 20,1995 Page 9
Play gets burned
by smoking cast
I’ve attended more than a few uni
versity theater productions since I ar
rived on this campus almost four years
ago. Thursday’s production of “Mad
Forest” was one of the more entertain
ing events.
Entertaining, but not enjoyable.
■ My enjoyment was stifled by the
cast’s constant smoking. Someone
smoked — and often almost everyone
smoked — in almost every scene.
I understood why everyone was
smoking. I assumed that cigarettes were
very much a part of Romanian life in
the 1980s and the playwright and the
director wanted the play to be realistic.
That’s fine for movies and televi
sion, out tneater is something else en
tirely. Theater is kind of like inviting
someone into you living room and
making them pay for it. Well, it’s not
quite like that. But in both cases, you
need to be considerate of the people
sitting just a few feet away.
By the intermission, smoke hung
over Howell Theatre. It was especially
hazy in the first few rows. My nose was
running. My eyes were burning. I tried
to hold my coughs for scene changes.
Smoking is recognized in our soci
ety as a very real health hazard. It is
unfair to subject people to two hours of
smoke without even warning them. A
- note on the program, or at the box
office, anything would have helped.
Knowing that smoke would be roll
ing off the stage would certainly affect
many people’s seating decisions. Most
especially if they have asthma or are
sensitive to smoke.
Or the cast could just put out their
cigarettes. Sure, you sacrifice a little
realism if you’re carrying and puffing
unlit cigarettes. But it’s theater. If you
can make the audience believe you’re
in Romania, that you’re a vampire or a
dog, you can make them believe your
cigarette is lit.
And they won’t be too busy cough
ing to enjoy it.
Rowell is a senior news-editorial major,
advertising and the Daily Nebraskan Arts &
Entertainment Editor.
Phone tales from the Markside
Patrick Hambrecht
Senior Editor
“Velma's heart was a secret furnace of
desire for the beautiful but insipid Daphne.
Of course, everyone knew she was sleeping
with Fred. They made the Mystery Mobile
rock and rock. Trapped as they were in the
traditional triangle, it’s no wonder no one
noticed Shaggy’s gradual decline into drug
addiction. He began with marijuana, but
ended with heroin. Only Scooby paid any
attention, and he would lick Shaggy’s track
stained arms. Lick and lick, trying to smooth
the scars. Storyline. ”
Every weekday, a new short story —
maybe bizarre, maybe filthy — and a 45
second trip to the strange and surprising
mind of Mark Baldridge is just a phone call
Baldridge is the man behind Storyline,
He began Storyline two years ago after
hearing the band They Might Be Giants’
Dial-A-Song Service. Baldridge, a former
University ofNebraska-Lincoln student, said
he was inspired by the idea of producing a
different piece of oral art every day.
After he learned that a voice-mailbox
could be had for a measly $6 dollars a
month, he began the project last August.
Storyline is just a mailbox. Baldridge’s
own phone doesn’t ring, but he checks the
service two or three times a day to see if
anyone has called.
The stories must be 45 seconds or less, he
said, which makes writing tough.
“A 45-second story is hard to write, one
that’s interesting, anyway,” Baldridge said.
“The trick is to just share a snapshot of life
that’s somehow grossly changed from real
But, he said, it’s better that the stories are
short, because people are more likely to
listen to them.
“I can 7 do drugs anymore, I said. They
turn me invisible. Who said that, you said.
Storyline. ”
As people hang up after listening to his
stories, Baldridge said, he can often hear
them talking.
“What I hear them say most,” he said, “Is
‘I don’t get it.’”
But it doesn’t matter if they understand
or even like his stories, Baldridge said. He
writes the stories for himself.
“It’s good practice,” he said. “It keeps me
in form, writing form.”
When you decide to write a new story
every day, Baldridge said, many of them are
going to be bad, very bad. But others, he
said, have been quite beautiful.
“I am glad to know some of the stories
that I made up for the Storyline,” he said.
Baldridge is involved with several
projects in Lincoln besides Storyline.
Budada, his performance-art platoon, has
appeared at the Lincoln Community Play
house and local parties; they also have a
public-access show in the works.
Jeff Haller/DN
Although calling Mark Baldridge at 441-9715 will get you a new story
every day, he uses a $6-a-month voice mailbox, not a telephone booth
to tell his stories.
He also helps edit an e-mail magazine
called Backlash, which features on-line
photos, art and music.
Sometimes Baldridge will spend hours
making sculptures out of sticks and as
semble them on a playground “to get knocked
down by the first dog that comes around.”
“I kind of like temporary art, one-of-a
kind things,” Baldridge said. “I’ve done
print-making with a wooden block, and I’ll
spend hours carving letters, and then I’ll
just make nine prints.”
Storyline tales appeal to him for the same
reason, Baldridge said.
“Ifyou don’t call that day, you’ve missed
it,” he said. “If you’ve missed it, and I don’t
save and type my story that day, it’s gone
"When I came to in the hospital, the
wings were gone. The nurse showed me with
a mirror — bandaged stumps between my
shoulder blades. And I knew that I would
never fly again. Storyline. ”
Show creates mystical realm
ay Kristin Armstrong
Theater Critic
There certainly wasn’t a better
spot for happily-ever-aftering this
weekend than the Lied Center for
” Performing Arts.
“Camelot,” the enchanting,
mystical musical, descended on the
Lied for a two-night stint. Despite
a few quirks, the small but talented
cast drew the audience into a whirl
wind of medieval fantasy, frolic
and romance.
The play started off slowly, with
the characters of King Arthur
(James Warwick) and Merlyn (Pe
ter Griffin) barely noticeable on
stage. Warwick seemed to move
stiffly, and his lines seemed forced.
However, he shaped up for the
rest of the night, no doubt drawing
upon his many years as a film and
stage actor.
In the opening scene, Arthur is
plaguing Merlyn, his mentor, with
questions about his bride-to-be,
“Will I love her?” Arthur asked.
“Love and marriage aren’t the
same thing,” Merlyn answered.
“Don’t scramble them all up like
After Arthur spied on Guenevere
warbling in the woods, falling out
of a tree as he does so, he fell
hopelessly in love. To convince
Guenevere to stay in Camelot,
Arthur ticked off the good points of
the mystical land: It never rains ‘til
after sundown, by 8 a.m. the fog
must disappear, by order summer
lingers ‘til September ... in
Five years later, Arthur finally
had an idea, and established the
Knights of the Round Table. Sir
Lancelot du Lac of France answered
the call and came to join Arthur
and to be his right-hand man.
He entered with the hilarious
“C’est Moi,” but this Lancelot,
played by Daniel Narducci, failed
to capture the pure arrogance and
conceit that this role deserved.
The funniest actor for this show
was Chad Borden, in the role of
Mordred. He played Arthur’s evil
illegitimate son with ease, singing
“The Seven Deadly Virtues” in his
squeaky tenor, often thrusting his
hip at the audience.
But the best scenes by far were
the crowd seenes, such as “The
Lusty Month of May” and “The
Jousts.” The crowd seemed to make
up for a droop in the main charac
Indian Center Gallery
features Old West art
From Staff Reports
“Artists of the American
West” will be at the Indian Cen
ter Gallery, 1100 Military Road,
until Tuesday.
The exhibit features a collec
tion of 48 hand-colored litho
graphs and wood engravings.
The prints feature art of the
American Old West from more
than a hundred years ago.
The exhibit includes “Fort
Pierre” by Karl Bodmer, “The
Bear Dance” by George Catlin,
“A Halt in the Yosemite Val
ley” by Albert Bierstadt and John
J. Audubon’s “American Bea
The exhibit was brought to
the Indian Center by Mid
America Arts Alliance, a Kan
sas City-based alliance that puts
together national tours of trav
eling art exhibitions.
Mid-America Arts spokes
man Loretta Evans said the In
dian Center was showing the
exhibit because it was a part of
history dealing with the Old
“It ’ s related to Native Ameri -
cans and the military situation
of that period,” Evans said.
Touring since 1990, the ex
hibit has visited Wisconsin,
Oklahoma and, most recently,