The Minnesota Daily

All content by Matt Graham

Pile-driving, gut-busting, back-breaking theater

April 26, 2007

Professional wrestling has long been the black sheep of the entertainment world. Patrons of the fine arts critique it for its over-the-top melodrama, while fans of "real" sports rag on wrestling for being...

Return of the space cowboy

April 19, 2007

Scene: A dorm room. A BLUE-haired freshman sits listening to the countrified emo blaring from his computer speakers. Enter an upperclassman, his tight-fitting RED T-Shirt emblazoned with a witty saying...

Faith to move mountains

April 12, 2007

It wasn't that long ago in our species' history that the fight with the elements was a day-to-day battle, where there was no guarantee in the morning of seeing the sun set. Now, for lack of any preternatural...

Leave the game, take the cannoli

April 5, 2007

It's gettin' friggin' tough to be a gangster. Back in the old days, we ran things - shipping, unions, gambling, you name it. We even told the cops and the judges what to do. As long as everybody was gettin'...

Cowabunga Bogusness

March 29, 2007

Like most children of the 1980s, my toy box was filled with He-Men and Transformers, Ghostbusters and Ninja Turtles. Their faces were also plastered across my cereal boxes, T-shirts and unmentionables,...

Nightmare on every street

March 22, 2007

Horror movies have been just a little bit too serious of late. With "Saw," "The Ring," "The Grudge," and "Hostel" all in a gruesome competition to see who can make the most whacked out, demented and gore-filled...

The tragic song of Don Juan

March 8, 2007

Near the end of the Jeune Lune's production of "Don Juan Giovanni," the tragic hedonist Don Juan (Dominique Serrand) explains his embrace of sin to his witless companion Sgaranelle (Steven Epp) by saying...

911 is just a joke

March 1, 2007

It's risky business, turning a TV show into a film. Oftentimes, humor that works well in half hour blocks falls flat when stretched out to 90 minutes or more. Sure there have been successes: "South Park,"...

Theater with no refunds

February 22, 2007

When the University's funding committee cut Crisis Point Theatre's support two years ago from $24,000 annually to zero, it came as a major shock to its members. While the group was able to secure $2,000...

Words to love by

February 15, 2007

."Music and Lyrics," - Hugh Grant's latest stab at playing Hugh Grant in a romantic comedy - opens with a music video that looks like it's out of the vaults of Duran Duran or A Flock of Seagulls, with...

Homesick Blues

February 8, 2007

In his 1889 book "Twilight of the Idols," German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche proclaimed, "The actor, the mime, the dancer, the musician, and the lyric poet are basically related in their instincts...

The realer world

February 1, 2007

Watching the Twin Cities Theater Company laugh and chat its way through a rehearsal of "The Shape of Things," Neil LaBute's 2001 play, it's hard to tell when the four person cast is reading their lines...

When Laguna Beachers and NASCAR fans mate

January 25, 2007

Dystopian tales tend to come in one of two flavors, the Orwellian, "1984" variety (Big Brother entity watches and regulates your every move), or the Huxleyan "Brave New World" variety (narcotized public...

Smells like murder!

January 18, 2007

What determines the morality of an action? Is a bad act simply a bad act, or is evil only evil if it is committed with actual malice? This is the primary question behind "Perfume," Tom Tykwer's ("Run Lola...

The Ghost of Christmas Humor

November 30, 2006

I Inspecting Carol WHEN: Now through Dec. 17 WHERE: The University Centennial Showboat, Harriet Island, St. Paul TICKETS: $27 ($22 for groups of 15 or more), (612) 624-2345, http://theatre.umn.edu/events t's...

Different face, same drink

November 22, 2006

It's doubtful Ian Fleming knew what he was starting when he wrote his 1953 novel, "Casino Royale," about a British super-spy named James Bond. The book - about the agent's attempt at bankrupting Russian...

We’re all just part of the machine

November 16, 2006

Bodies dressed in black tumble in slow-motion across the dimly-lit black stage, one scribbles on the wall and another does backwards summersaults while characters spout elliptical lines like "Cement in...

What’s the beef?

November 16, 2006

Anybody who has ever seen a film by Richard Linklater, director of "Dazed and Confused," "Before Sunset" and "Waking Life," knows his style is to let his characters do a lot of talking. His dialogue-based...

Thesaurus-required theater

November 9, 2006

Whether or not you like "The Rivals," Richard Brinsley Sheridan's 1775 comedy of manners, will depend largely on your sense of humor. And your vocabulary. If you want clear-cut, modern dialogue, stay away....

War prophets and profits

November 2, 2006

There is a point during the first act of "Mother Courage and Her Children," Bertolt Brecht's 1939 musical set during the 30 Years' War, when the Chaplain (Grant Richey) says "To die in this war is a blessing,...

Behind the cape, inside the top hat

October 26, 2006

Are you watching closely? All great magic acts demand close attention. The problem is, you never know if you're watching for the right thing or if the performer is using an imperceptible sleight of hand...

Toto, we’re still in Kansas

October 19, 2006

Truman Capote was ahead of his time. The originator of the nonfiction novel would've fit right in during this era of reality TV, bestselling memoirs and countless "based on a true story" films. Still,...

Cops as robbers

October 12, 2006

It's a well known story: The best director of his generation, arguably the top crime filmmaker of all time, gets repeatedly nominated for an Oscar only to lose to the likes of Ö Kevin Costner and Robert...

Stalin for more time

October 5, 2006

.The University's department of theatre arts and dance, along with the help of the always-inventive Theatre de la Jeune Lune, seems to have a little of both hidden up its sleeve with its bewildering -...

The unfortunate fortune

September 28, 2006

Theater, maybe more than any other art form, is a team effort. For a production to work, it takes the combined efforts of the director, cast, costumer, stage designer and the sound and light crew. Even...

I’ll be Franken with you

September 21, 2006

If P.T. Barnum were still around, even he would have to concede: politics is the greatest show on earth. Political personalities have long been known as showmen; President Teddy Roosevelt is remembered...

The sense in all the nonsense

September 14, 2006

Up close, it's hard not to be impressed by the virtuosity of the paintings. The textured layers of oil paint and deceptively simple but minute details reveal the skill of a master artist at the peak of...

McKnight in shining armor

September 7, 2006

The farmhouse rests on a barren, snow-covered field, surrounded by trees, sitting under a big, swirling gray-blue sky. "Road to Rochester" looks like some bleak, yet soothing, watercolor re-creation of...

Finding humanity in the rubble

August 16, 2006

In the week following Sept. 11, 2001, author Edward Galeano made the perceptive statement, "In the struggle of good versus evil, it's always the people who get killed." It's a truth that often seems to...

Beat Street

August 9, 2006

Downtown Minneapolis is a bustling scene on a summer's Friday night, with crowds of people walking the streets, moving in and out of clubs to the rhythm of digitized beats blaring out of subwoofers. But...

No more Times Square, it’s all about Big Ben

August 2, 2006

London has been good to Woody Allen. London and Scarlett Johansson. After last year's solid effort "Match Point," Johansson and Allen are back together for the screwball murder mystery "Scoop." Johansson...

A book of poems with bite

August 2, 2006

Most people don't have to deal with their body's betrayal until well into old age. But for Alex Lemon, a creative writing instructor at Macalester College and a University Master of Fine Arts grad, old...

Off with the cap, Silent Bob speaks

July 26, 2006

It's always surprising to see Kevin Smith when he's not in character. After years of watching his alter ego Silent Bob on the screen, it's easy to forget that the real Kevin Smith is a shorthaired dude...

Can I still take your order?

July 26, 2006

In 1994 convenience store clerk Kevin Smith used his workplace as the location for a movie he filmed on a shoestring budget. The aptly titled "Clerks" followed a day in the work life of two smartass slackers....

Keanu, once again, gets confused

July 19, 2006

Maybe it's better late then never. Science fiction writer Philip K. Dick never really found fame in his life. The writer's body of dystopian novels and short stories gained him a devoted cult following...

Odyssey down the Mississippi

July 12, 2006

It's hard to believe, but Kevin Kling wrote "Old Four Eyes" before Hurricane Katrina. The Mississippi River forms the backbone of the play, specifically its wild nature and the audacity of shortsighted...

Beyond the high school bleachers

July 12, 2006

I hate talk radio. This was the thought I had when, toward the end of the documentary "Heart of the Game," a series of listeners call into a local sports talk station to berate high school basketball player...

I wanna take you higher

July 5, 2006

The first thing Stuart Davis did when I walked in for our interview was give me a hug. This could seem like a bit of a put-on at first, an attempt by a struggling artist to get some good publicity by sucking...

Prof gets props with award

June 28, 2006

You don't have to talk to Lou Bellamy long before you realize the founder and artistic director of the Penumbra Theatre - the nation's foremost black community theater - to realize he cares far more about...

For Superman, it really is lonely at the top

June 28, 2006

It's lonely being a superhero. You'd think superpowers would make impressing the ladies easy, but if there's anything the recent slew of comic book movies has shown, it's that with great power comes great...

Rock is dead; so are the musicians

June 21, 2006

Chuck Klosterman is soaking wet from the downpour outside, his jeans and white T-shirt (which has "Fictional Character" emblazoned across the chest in blue letters) stick to his skin. The 34-year-old author...

Vaudeville gets a life preserver

June 21, 2006

Although he doesn't show up very often anymore, he's a character we all know. "Step this way, right this way!" he barks in a sleazy sales pitch. "You oughtta be in pictures, kid! I'm gonna make you a star!" But...

Music to free the spirit

June 14, 2006

The pandit sits up front, fingers flying across his instrument, with all eyes in the auditorium locked on him. Some audience members make periodic sounds of approval while others sit in stunned silence,...

Finding treasure and a dead body in the wasteland

June 7, 2006

My friend said to me the other day, "TV is a vast wasteland." While I pointed out to him that's the same argument FCC chairman Newton Minow made in 1961, he defended himself, declaring, "Well, it's true." I...

Blazing saddles and splitting side

June 7, 2006

There's good guys and there's bad guys." Such is the favorite saying of Rob Bob, the rodeo rider/romantic lead in "Flaming Guns of the Purple Sage." But while the John Wayne fanatic makes this known several...

X-plosions and thoughts on X-istence

May 31, 2006

You don't expect sequels to big-budget action movies to be this good, let alone the sequel's sequel. But the third installment of the "X-Men" series might well be the best. Without the responsibility of...

Jack White’s super group sounds super old but super cool

May 24, 2006

The Raconteurs' "Broken Boy Soldiers" is the best classic rock album to come out this year, a fact that is its blessing and its curse. The band consists of Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler - the rhythm...

Invasion of the body snatcher

May 24, 2006

People young and old circle the displays, heads tilted, with contorted faces that don't seem to quite comprehend what they're seeing. Is this the Science Museum or the Walker? The traveling exhibit "Body...

U medical building will boost research

October 27, 2005

If you want to be a top-three research institution, you must invest in research. With this in mind, University officials have crafted a relatively large 2006 capital budget request to bring to the state...

University banks on brand identification to bolster school image

October 26, 2005

Branding. It's a buzzword in corporate culture, where companies and focus groups devote time and money to planting their brand firmly in the minds of consumers. And like so many other corporate trends,...