Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on June 5, 1998 · Page 6
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 6

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Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Friday, June 5, 1998
Page:
Page 6
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A-6 —FRI., JUNE 5-SAT., JUNE 6, 199&- THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL Comedy reading at the Playhouse Stephen Kaplan is one of two winning playwrights chosen from 100 entries in UPT's New AmericanComedy Showcase. His play, "The Book of Daniel," takes a look at the dysfunctional extended family of a Bar Mitzvah celebrant. Michael Ducharme will direct a staged reading which features Terry Brown, R. Bobby Cohen, Lance DeMarce, Chris Dill, EvanGuas- tad, Robbie Gitlin, Carol Park, Joyce Paterson, Carrie Russell-Nelson, Marcia Sandier and Charlie Seltzer. Performances of the "Book of Daniel" will be at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Ukiah Playhouse, 1041 Low Gap Road. Tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for students and seniors and canbe purchased in advance at the Mendocino Book Company, Crow's Nest or the Playhouse box office at 462-9226. Tickets will also be available at the door beginning one hour before each performance. Stephen Kaplan Truman' Continued from Page A-3 allegedly moved with her family. Why did she leave so quickly? Perhaps because she was not a safe bet for Truman's world: The actress who played her (named Sylvia) developed real feeling and pity for Truman, and felt he should know the truth about his existence. Meryl, on the other hand, is a reliable pro (which raises the question, unanswered, of their sex life). Truman's world is controlled by a TV producer named Christof (Ed Harris), whose control room is high in the artificial dome that provides the sky and horizon of Seahaven. He discusses his programming on talk shows, and dismisses the protests of those (including Sylvia) who believe Truman is the victim of a cruel deception. Meanwhile, the whole world watches Truman's every move, and some viewers even leave the TV on all night as he sleeps. The trajectory of the screenplay is more or less inevitable: Truman must gradually realize trie truth of his environment and try to escape from it. It's clever the way he's kept on his island by implanted traumas about travel and water. As the story unfolds, however, we're not simply expected to follow it; we're invited to think about the implications. About a world in which modern communications make celebrity possible, and inhuman. Until fairly recently, the only way you could become really famous was to be royalty, or a writer, actor, preacher or politician - and even then, most people had knowledge of you only through words or printed pictures. Television, with its insatiable hunger for material, has made celebrities into "content," devouring their lives and secrets. If you think "The Truman Show" is an exaggeration, reflect that Princess Diana lived under similar conditions from the day she became engaged to Charles. Carrey is a surprisingly good choice to play Truman. We catch glimpses of his manic comic persona, just to make us comfortable with his presence in the character, but this is a well- planned performance; Carrey is on the right note as a guy raised to be liked and likable, who decides his life requires more risk and hardship. Like the angels in "City of Angels," he'd like to take his chances. Ed Harris finds the right notes as Christof, the TV svengali. He uses the technospeak by which we distance ourselves from the i real meanings of our words. (If TV producers ever spoke frankly about what they were really doing, they'd come across like Bulworth.) For Harris, the demands of the show take precedence over any other values, and if you think that's an exaggeration, tell it to the TV news people who broadcast that Los Angeles suicide. I enjoyed "The Truman Show" on its levels of comedy and drama; I LIKED Truman in the same way I liked Forrest Gump - because he was a good man, honest and easy to sympathize with. But the underlying ideas made the movie more than just an entertainment. Like "Gattaca," the previous film written by Niccol, it brings into focus the new values that technology is forcing on humanity. Because we can engineer genetics, because we can telecast real lives - of course we must, right? But are these good things to do? The irony is, the people who will finally answer that question will be the very ones produced by the process. Classified: PG (for thematic elements and mild language). Rating: Four stars. 100% Natural, California Grown Chicken Roaster Breast If you're looking for a truly fresh chicken, try our new Zacky Farms Roaster Breast. At Zacky, freshness is measured by the hour, not the day. These chickens are all California grown and 100% natural. And they're bred for less bone, which means more tender, juicy meat for you to enjoy. COUPON TURK CANS' Ught Brown Sugar COUPON ftalfafs COUPON (lift SAVE " p 28C • ^^•^MHH^^^^~^ i Sunny Select • Sugar ! 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