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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 25, 1999)
Frantic ‘Light’ wears audience out
to hold attention
Senior staff writer
Not even cotton candy has this
“Light Up the Sky,” a play running
at the Lincoln Community Playhouse,
romps through the eccentric circus of
theater with puckish delight. But
though the high-strung antics melt in
the mouth, the audience leaves still hun
The actors maintain a breakneck
pace with then theatrical hijinks, swear
ing oaths of loyalty and hatred in practi
cally the same breath. But all that bipo
larity can wear an audience out.
Moss Hart, the play’s author, did not
begin with the most original premise.
His “Light Up The Sky” is a play about
putting on a play.
The show begins in the Ritz
Carlton Hotel Suite of a big-time
Broadway actress, Irene Livmgston. It’s
the opening night of her play’s Boston
preview, and everyone, from the direc
tor to the producer to the playwright, is
flying high with the belief that they will
But what begins as enthusiastic
optimism develops into lowly depres
sion when the Boston audience fails to
Please see LIGHT on 11
class on gallery
By Christopher Heine
Art History instructor Dan Siedell
intends to give his students a lot more of
it this semester by emphasizing the
Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery as “part
of our classroom.”
Siedell said the curriculum for his
class, Special Topics: New York
School, will be built around the
gallery’s nationally reputable collection
of such New York School artists as
Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock.
The arrangement makes a lot of
sense because Siedell also serves as
curator of the gallery.
“The class is going to be able to bet
ter understand the complications and
difficulties of certain pieces and artists
of the movement.” he said.
“It's almost impossible to get the
same understanding from just slides.”
The New York School consists of
1940s and 50s artists that helped define
art movements known as abstract
expressionism and avant-garde.
Siedell has reinstalled Sheldon
owned works from the period to fill two
rooms at the gallery. The exhibit will
“interact” with the curriculum for his
special topics class, he said.
Students in the past have been
encouraged to expand their knowledge
of art movements and works at the
gallery, Siedell said. However, he said
this is an “opportunity to focus in-depth
by studying one of the strengths of the
gallery' - early modernism.”
It's all about actually seeing the art.
“The class will be able to break
down the period on much higher lev
els.” Siedell said. “Students will be able
Hopefully; /7ns /s the
start of many other
classes using the
gallery in a similar
art history professor
to see the differences between the more
intellectual cubists and the gestural sur
realists like Robert Motherwell."
For art students such as Jason
Merritt, using the Sheldon as an
instructional tool was a big opportunity.
Merritt said observing "actual
works of the actual artists we're study
ing" will be beneficial.
A fine arts major, Merritt said each
student in the special topics course
should be able to apply his or her own
interest. The class plans to visit the
Sheldon together for the first time
today, Memtt said.
“I'm really interested in the period
in a historical sense,” Merritt said “It'll
be interesting to study Mark Rothko
and Jackson Pollock in relationship to
what they were doing during World
War II and the advent of the atom
"It's great that we get to look at a lot
of this stuff”
Art History Professor Christin
Mamiya said a class like Siedell's is
rare because he is curator of a gallery
Please see SHELDON on 11
ECCENTRIC DIRECTOR CARLTON FITZGERALD (Scott Glen), pleads with Frances Black (Mindy Fuelberth), in “Light Up the Sky,” produced by the Lincoln
Community Playhouse. Nan Cowell (Deirdre Barney) back left, and Peter Sloan (Mark Giesler) look on from the bar.
Kilmer discovers vision in ‘Sight’
By Cliff Hicks
When two stars just can’t make
their performances click, it can
single-handedly hold back a film.
Such is the case with “At First
The film, which is based on a
true story, stars Val Kilmer as
Virgil, a massage therapist blind
almost since birth.
Enter Amy Benic, played by
Mira Sorvino, an architect who
visits the spa where Virgil works
and ends up falling in love with
Virgil and his magic hands.
But this is only the beginning.
After consulting with a doctor, it’s
learned that with surgery, Virgil
will probably be able to see again.
Despite a bit of reluctance to the
idea. Virgil agrees.
Kilmer, who.hasn't had any
solid acting parts lately, really has
a chance to shine here, and comes
through in spades.
As a person who is abruptly
thrust from complete darkness into
blinding light, Kilmer reflects with
adept skill the sudden and unfore
seen changes such a person has to
go through. It’s a part that reminds
us why we liked Kilmer in the first
Part of this is due to the solid
script, which is based on a story by
Dr. Oliver Sacks, who also wrote
Virgil even meets Sacks,
played delightfully by Nathan
Lane, who tries to help him adapt
to the new world around him. to
understand what his brain has
Please see SIGHT on 11
VAL KILMER stars as charming, blind masseur Virgil Adamson and Mira
Sorvino stars as New York City architect Amy Benic, who convinces him
to undergo experimental surgery that will restore his sight in the new
film “At First Sight.”
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