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Entertainment

An Inside Look at The Merry Wives of Windsor

If any avid theatergoers are curious about the process of making a stage play, I recommend going to see an open rehearsal at Two River Theater in Red Bank. Having free open rehearsals for upcoming productions has been a way to welcome the Monmouth County community. This is an event that Two River Theater has opened to the public in the past and this tradition continues.

Last week on Monday, I had the opportunity to see the director, cast and crew rehearse for The Merry Wives of Windsor play followed by a Q&A with the audience. The most rewarding thing that I learned from watching this rehearsal is that it takes a lot of time, patience and effort to put on a performance. It is incredible to see the kind of work ethic and dedication that actors, directors and crew members have because they do what they do non-stop. They live and breathe art and it shows through their passion for it.

The creative process of The Merry Wives of Windsor is interesting when you realize that only three actors, Nicole Lewis, Jason O’Connell, and Zuzanna Szadkowski, will be headlining the show. They will be playing several characters and switching between characters during scenes. The concept sounds pretty wacky, but the director Eric Tucker put the audience at ease by comparing his version of the classic play to a Coen Brothers film or a Quentin Tarantino film. In his words, “It takes place in a dingy, seedy motel room.”

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Tyler Robinson Gets Signed To Blue Hawk Records

Tyler Robinson Signed BHRTyler Robinson, also known as Teddy, is the first rap artist to be signed to Monmouth University’s Student-Run record label, Blue Hawk Records. In the past four years that Blue Hawk Records has been operating, it has had a few rap artists represented on the various compilation albums. These artists included J Piff (James Porricelli, senior music industry student), Jax the Geenius (Jamier Gee, music industry recent graduate), and Trevon Bailey (sophomore biology student).

Blue Hawk Records has primarily been a label for indie rock bands and singer/song-writers based on the artists who have been on the past nine compilation albums. Robinson auditioned to be on the applied music industry class’ tenth compilation album a few weeks ago, and although the class did not see a place for him on the album, the e-board of the record label saw a great artist in the making.

“We are really excited to sign and work with someone who has already worked hard to make a name for himself as an artist,” said Dave DePaola, a senior music industry student and president of the record label. “We’re looking forward to advancing his career and marketing such a talented musician.”

Robinson is a sophomore music industry student and was a member of the MU basketball team last season; he was a big part of the iconic “Bench Mob” that became known nationwide. Robinson has played various events on campus since he began to focus on his career as a musician.

During his freshman year, Robinson was studying criminal justice and just recently changed his major to music industry. This new course of action was actually inspired by his inability to continue playing basketball because of his injuries. Music has always been a part of Robinson’s life. He said, “I’ve been writing forever and I grew up around music. When I told people  I wanted to be involved in music, they thought I was kidding.”

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Joey Affatato Shares New Music on The Ramparts Rebel

Joey Affatato The Ramparts RebelJoey Affatato, senior music industry student and vice president of Blue Hawk Records, has been a part of the Monmouth University music scene since the beginning of his freshman year in the fall of 2013. Now he has some amazing music to share with us on his latest album. Affatato’s first band in college was The Ramparts Rebel, which included himself and his uncle’s band, Crypt Keeper Five.

This album is self-titled The Ramparts Rebel, and if you have ever had a chance to see Affatato play live, you will be blown away about how some of your favorite hits are re-created on this album. As a frequent goer of Affatato’s shows, I was honestly surprised and super pumped by the artistic magic that I heard in the songs that I often hear live at his shows.

While he explained how he composes his music, Affatato said, “When writing an album, I usually start off by writing songs stripped down on my acoustic then eventually, I’ll come up with a cool hook or catchy melody and I’ll go off that. Then, I’ll demo the songs out until they sound good enough to bring to the studio to record.” This album definitely sounds like it was carefully put together and well practiced.

The opening track begins with a Green Day-esque bass riff that brings you back to 2005 and makes you feel so angsty in the best way possible. This whole track is just angry and honest, which is very refreshing compared to the many happy, go-lucky, love songs that some people may be used to now a days.

The second track on the album is “Faults,” which is a go to song for Affatato when he plays out. The perfect example of a hooky, fun, but still angsty song. Sometimes you can’t help but scream the chorus at the top of your lungs and pronounce it, “ MY FAAA-AA-WALT!”

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Six Top Vocal Groups Perform Acapella at MU

Six Top Vocal Group AcapellaThe Center for the Arts at Monmouth University has announced that tickets are on sale for “Doo Wop Explosion II,” a March 4 concert event that showcases several generations of top vocal talent from Philadelphia, New Jersey, and NYC’s boroughs inside our flagship performance space, the Pollak Theatre.

A sequel to the first successful Doo Wop Explosion event in 2016, the Saturday evening serenade transforms the enhanced Pollak Theatre — a room that boasts nearly 700 new seats, improved sight lines, and a newly enlarged stage area — into a street corner from the old neighborhood. It’s that magical musical laboratory where the harmony-based vocal traditions of the urban African American communities coalesced into an exciting new sound in the postwar era; one that would soon come to be embraced by young audiences and performers of many different ethnic backgrounds.

More than anything else, the music known as “Doo Wop” draws its passionate power from the awesome glory of human voices working in perfect harmony. It is delivered acapella-style without benefit of instrumental accompaniment, and graces everything from the most heartbreaking love ballads and soaring songs of devotion, to the crazy rhythms of the wildest early rock and roll. More than mere artifacts from an oldies jukebox, the sounds of the great vocal soul groups continue to inform and inspire many of today’s top pop acts.

Headlining the powerhouse program of six premier groups will be Pookie Hudson’s Spaniels, inheritors of a legacy that began with their late colleague, Spaniels lead singer Pookie Hudson, and the signature swooner that defined the entire doo wop era, the 1956 million-seller “Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight.” Originating on the streets of Brooklyn, Vito & the Salutations scored regional hits in the early 1960’s with their recordings of “Gloria,” “Unchained Melody” and “Your Way.” Rick Anthony has been handling most of the group’s leads for the past 15 years, as the original Vito is no longer with them. The group also contains long time member, Shelly Buchansky, who sang on “Unchained Melody” and many of their other hits.

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MU’s Record Club Reviews Parallel Lines

MU Record Review Parallel Lines“If you don’t like something on this album, chances are you don’t like music,” said an audience member at the Feb. 7 Record Club review of Blondie’s Parallel Lines.

If you were to have wondered into Lauren K. Woods Theatre on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m., you would have found about 30 people gathered to discuss music. Monmouth’s Record Club invited the community to meet and discuss Blondie’s hit album, Parallel Lines. There were three panelists that lead the discussion that Tuesday night: Kenneth Womack, Ph.D., and Dean of the School of Humanities And Social Sciences; Michael Thomas, M.F.A., and Associate Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; and Nick Messina, Communication Instructor.

Blondie formed in 1974, but went rather unnoticed in the United States until Parallel Lines was released in 1978, according to Messina, who noted that this album was one of the most overlooked albums of the 70s.

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The CW’s new series Riverdale is a Game Changer

New Series RiverdaleThe tone of Riverdale, the new series from The CW based on the old-school Archie comics that premiered on Jan. 26, can be easily summarized in one quote from the first episode: “Game changer: Archie got hot!”

This breathless declaration perfectly encapsulates how this is not your childhood’s Archie Andrews, for better or worse. For fans of the original characters, or those just mildly familiar with the comics like myself, fair warning: this is not a faithful adaptation of the original works, but a CW-fied version of Archie and his pals. While these changes have some fun, inventive bright spots, the overall product in the first two episodes struggles to cohesively come together despite having some potential.

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Farewell, SURFING Magazine: A Questionable Future for Print

Farewell Surfing MagazineAfter more than 50 years of publication, SURFING magazine has been put to rest.

According to the Ocean County Business Journal, on Jan. 23 of this year, The Enthusiast Network (TEN) announced it would be disbanding SURFING Magazine. TEN plans to reallocate the deceased magazine’s resources into the network’s sole surf publication, SURFER magazine.

“I was actually pretty bummed when SURFING mag shut down. I’ve been getting that magazine in the mail every month for ten years so it’s a little surreal,” said junior English student John Waldron.

In an article on Surfline.com, the author underscores SURFING’s importance for surf culture. “They [SURFING] were a voice for the youth, the punks, the innovators. The place to go for a fix of no-bullshit surf clips, an outlet for the ‘core’ surfer.”

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A Recap of the 2017 Grammy Award Show

Recap Grammy Awards 2017There were so many things about this year’s 2017 Grammy Awards that made it interesting for both positive and negative reasons. We went through a roller coaster of emotions from artist to artist; it was certainly a sight to see.

The Grammy’s took place this year on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. There were several highlights of the evening, but the most notable was possible Adele’s acceptance speech after winning the category, Album of the Year. The other artists that were up for nomination in this category were Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Drake, and Sturgill Simpson. Adele won for her newest album 25. Once she got on stage, she immediately started crying. She told the audience about the last time she was there it was five years ago and she was pregnant, and she has had some struggles since then but has now pushed through them and created 25.

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The Merry Wives of Windsor Visits Red Bank

Red Bank Merry Wives of WindsorShakespeare’s farcical comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor will be coming to Two River Theater in Red Bank, and what better way to introduce this production than with free play readings? On Feb. 13 at 7 p.m., the cast of The Merry Wives of Windsor will be doing an open rehearsal for the upcoming play. Along with that, there will be a play reading group led by Two River Theater’s artistic director, John Dias, on the nights of Feb. 27 and March 6 at 7 p.m. If you attend, you will receive a sneak peek of what is happening behind the scenes of this delightful comedy; scheduled performances this season begin Feb. 25. These free events that will usher in The Merry Wives of Windsor production would be beneficial to high school or college students, adults and children alike, and here is why:

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Girl Power At It’s Finest: SweetSexySavage

Girl Power Sweet Sexy SavageOn Jan. 27, Kehlani Parrish dropped her first full length studio album. For fans that have been following her since her appearance on America’s Got Talent in 2011 with girl group, PopLyfe, they know that this has been a long time coming. A lot has been accomplished since then and Kehlani was even nominated for a Grammy for her mixtape “You Should Be Here,” despite the fact that it was a free mixtape on SoundCloud. She was also featured on the Emmy- nominated Suicide Squad soundtrack with her song, “Gangsta.” So it’s incredible to see how much she accomplished before she even had an album out.

If this album isn’t beautifully feminine, honest, nostalgic, empowering, old school and real R&B, then I don’t know what is. As a female listening to these songs, they make me unapologetically proud to be a woman. “Intro” is a poem read by Reyna Biddy and she refers to herself as a “superwoman,” “angry woman” and “crazy woman.” Perfectly describing the several layers that comes with being a woman which is what this record is all about.

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Lady Gaga Steals the Halftime Show

Lady Gaga Halftime ShowOn Sunday, Feb. 5, something epic happened, and I’m not talking about the close game between the Patriots and Falcons. Lady Gaga had one of the best halftime shows in a while. Jeffrey from the 102.7 Morning Show said on Monday morning, “The best moment in history happened for 13 minutes at the halftime show last night!” Lady Gaga is the first solo act to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show since Paul McCartney in 2005.

Lady Gaga began her performance on top of NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, with a patriotic medley that consisted of “God Bless America” and Woody Gunthrie’s popular protest song, “This Land is Your Land.” Then, Gaga uttered the words, “…and justice for all” from our pledge of allegiance with such genuineness and grace.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication 
and Instructional Technology (CCIT) Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey 07764

Phone:(732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu