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Entertainment

The Vagina Monologues Continued to Raise Awareness For V-Day

03.21.12 Page 13 Image 0002The University held its eighth annual performance of The Vagina Monologues in Pollak Theatre on March 6. The play was written to raise awareness of violent and sexual crimes committed against women.

The Vagina Monologues has come to support the V-Day movement by raising money, and garnering support for the issue of sexual violence. The “V” in V-Day stands for “all sorts of V words, like victory, but especially vagina,” said one of the performers. The proceeds of this movement go to local charities and shelters.

This particular performance of the play was to benefit the local charity, 180: Turning Lives Around. Sara Billings, a member of this charity, ran an information booth in the lobby. “Our mission is to end domestic violence in the community. The proceeds are going to our agency, so we really appreciate the support and assistance in raising awareness.”

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Say Anything Has a New Attitude With Anarchy, My Dear

anarachyIt’s been almost three years since Max Bemis has released any material from his alternative pop punk band Say Anything after endless touring, splitting from major record label RCA and getting married to Eisley vocalist, Sherri DuPree. Now they are backed by highly respected indie label Equal Vision Records and reteaming with producer Tim O’Heir who helped create Say Anything’s masterpiece album …Is a Real Boy.

Bemis is aiming to take back the crown as modern punk’s most creative, sarcastic and craziest singer/ songwriter with Say Anything’s new album Anarchy, My Dear. But does it have the potential to live up to their breakthrough album, or is it just more material to add to the pile?

“Burn a Miracle,” the first single released, sets the tone for the album with bright intricate melodies mixed with a rough edgy pulse as Bemis loudly proclaims, “I need a song meant to rally the devils.”

It sounds like any other Say Anything song with the middle taking an immediate turn into a darker tone as Bemis screams into the microphone, “Burn a miracle, burn America.”

This is followed by the second single, “Say Anything,” which sounds like a less distorted version of their older song “It’s A Metaphor Fool” off their EP …Was A Real Boy. It’s just as catchy but all too familiar.

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The Power of Forgiveness is Explored in Fambul Tok

03.21.12_Page_12_Image_0002Could you forgive someone who committed atrocities to you, your family and your community? That was the question posed in the documentary, Fambul Tok, which was screened in Pollak Theatre on March 5 as part of On Screen In Person (a film series where directors present their films and partake in Q&A’s).

On Screen In Person was sponsored by the Department of Communication and Center for the Arts and funded by the National Endowment of the Arts’ Regional Touring Program.

Andrew Demirjian, specialist professor of communication, welcomed everyone and introduced director Sara Terry. He said Terry has won a number of awards and is founder of the Aftermath Project, a non-profit organization that allows photographers to capture images in post-war countries. Demirjian said, “I am excited to watch this with you and have a great discussion.”

Terry thanked the audience and said the film was “a very specific post-conflict story” and asked, “What does it mean to be human?” Terry added, “I think the film is best experienced the way it was edited.”

Fambul Tok focused on villages in Sierra Leone, Africa, where fambul tok, or family talk, is used to forgive people for actions committed during its civil war (1991- 2002). Performed around a bon fire at night, victims and attackers face each other in the hopes of amending relations. Individuals are also recorded talking about their past experiences before their fambul tok ceremony. The film also featured John Caulker, founder of Fambul Tok, as he traveled around the country and tried to help bring peace to these communities. (He’s presented as a strong worker and inspiration for fixing his country through this “old tradition.”)

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Comedy of Errors Has Audiences Laughing Across the World

William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, starring British comedian Lenny Henry, was performed at Royal National Theatre in London, England last Thursday with National Theatre Live broadcasting the performance across the world at 700 cinemas in 22 countires, including Pollak Theatre.

Alyssa Caporaso, a sophomore and an employee at Pollak Theatre, was attending the event for a theatre appreciation class and helping to collect sign-in sheets for the classes. She had high hopes for tonight’s production as she heard it was “very funny.”

“The shows are very cool,” said Caporaso. “[At] these kinds of events you will see a lot of people come out because obviously they’re all students. And Monmouth offers a lot of great programs.”

The play begins with Egeon (Joseph Mydell), a merchant of Syracuse imprisoned by Solinus (Ian Burfield), the Duke of Ephesus, for being in the city illegally and is to be executed unless he comes up with a thousand marks. Egeon begs for mercy as he tells a tragic tale of his wife giving birth to twins and buys a set of twins to “attend” to his sons. The family then set sail back home but the ship was destroyed, splitting the family apart.

Now Egeon’s son, Antipholus of Syracuse (Lenny Henry), is all grown up and goes out in search for his twin brother and mother along with his servant Dromio (Lucian Msamati). Egeon is worried he’ll lose his whole family, embarking on his own quest until he is captured. Duke sympathizes with Egeon, granting him one more day to find his son and come up with the fine or be killed.

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Don’t Fall Asleep While Traveling Between Parallel Universes

The pilot for NBC’s new drama “Awake” is phenomenal. The show does what most pilot episodes are incapable of: Giving you much more than what is in the trailer. Most new shows spend their pilot giving you an extended version of their trailer, but “Awake” goes through most of that footage in the first 10 minutes.

We see Michael Britten (Jason Issacs) get into a car accident with his wife and son, and it’s revealed that he is living in two realities. In one his son died, while in the other, his wife was the victim. Michael doesn’t know which is real and has no desire for either reality to disappear, but that was just the first 10 minutes.

Michael is also a homicide detective. In each world he has a different partner and a different case. Details from each case seem to slip into the other. The address 611 Waverly Place is important in the killing of a taxi driver while the parking spot 611 in Waverly Parking Garage is important in his kidnapping case.

Details like that go back and forth, which should indicate which reality is a dream, but don’t.

One detail will appear in the reality with his son and then appear in the reality with his wife. Meanwhile, another detail will appear in his wife’s reality and then slip into his son’s reality. Viewers don’t know which reality is real and neither does Michael.

If your head is spinning already, don’t worry too much. The show makes it really easy to identify which reality Michael is in, and understanding the premise is much easier to watch than read. The show flows really well so that it is fast paced but is still easy for viewers to grasp.

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There’s More Than One Reason to Stay Out of This House

Editor’s Note: Recently, The Outlook attended the Associated Collegiate Press College Journalism Convention in Seattle, WA. While there, they had the oppurtunity to see an advance screening of the suspense-thriller, Silent House, opening on March 9.

“Remember what we went through?” asks Sophia (Julia Taylor Ross), the eerie-eyed childhood playmate of Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen), when she unexpectedly shows up at Sarah’s doorstep after a number of years apart.

Unfortunately, Sophia, Silent House is as forgettable as the mothballs, wicker furniture and broken folding chairs that sit untouched in corners throughout its dusty chambers.

Sarah is a blatantly bland and awkward college dropout who visits her family’s run-down lake house with her father John (Adam Trese) and Uncle Peter (Eric Sheffer Stevens), two brothers who maintain their childlike and idiotic bickering left over from their younger years. John is a seemingly tender and vulnerable dad who banters effortlessly with his daughter, while Uncle Peter is slightly more reckless and juvenile, easily falling into bouts of temper tantrums with his brother.

When Uncle Peter gets in yet another stint with John and storms off into the night, he leaves Sarah and John with the daunting duty of sorting through the family keepsakes that are scattered in heaps of plastic and piles. When Sarah hears a suspicious sound, she asks that John investigate, and when he doesn’t return, Sarah sets off through the house to try and find him. Like an episode of “Hoarders” gone wrong, this sends the characters in a scramble about the house that’s filled with moldy men, suspicious photographs, and wandering children.

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Mario Kart 7 Hits a Few Bumps in the Road on the 3DS

And they’re off… whether you like it or not in 3D. Like 3D, your opinion for Mario Kart 7 will most likely be that you love it for staying true to the formula of Mario Kart racers or you’ll hate it for not changing a thing since Mario Kart 64. I’m more on the latter track in this case.

To be fair, there is some, and I do mean some, innovation for Mario Kart 7. As far as game play goes, you’ll find that there is the new hang glider on all of the karts. Fortunately it isn’t an item you pick up but something that will always be implemented on the course and you’ll have to get acquainted with it.

One of the better things about the Mario Kart games is their easiness to pick up and play. You drive forward, you use an item, that’s all you need to know to pick the game up and play it. There are a few levels of depth, mostly in mastering drift boosting, and now in making the use out of gliding in the air. Mario Kart 7 is no exception, which isn’t a bad thing.

As far as graphics go, the game looks pretty. It’s vibrant and colorful, each track has a unique look to it and the colors match the theme the track represents. Since it’s on the 3DS I’m obligated to bring up that elephant in the room and answer the question: Is the 3D any good?

I won’t lie, the 3D actually looks decent. The racers actually appear like they’re jumping out as they turn the track. However, the rest of the track is blurred and it’s difficult to tell where the items and obstacles are. It really messed with my hand eye coordination, so I just turned the 3D off and never turned it back on.

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The Music and Voice of Whitney Houston Remembered

Pop icon, R&B soul singer and actress Whitney Houston passed away February 11, a day before the 54th Grammy Awards, in Beverly Hills, California, at 48 years old.

Clive Davis, the music mogul that originally signed Houston to a recording contract, still held his annual pre-Grammy show on the day of her death, telling audience members, “Whitney was a beautiful person and a talent beyond compare. She graced this stage with her regal presence and gave so many memorable performances here over the years,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Houston’s memorial service took place this past Saturday at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey where her singing abilities first began to shine as a soloist of the junior gospel choir.

The funeral was invitation only, but was attended by celebrities like Davis, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and her Bodyguard co-star, Kevin Costner.

Houston leaves behind a legacy as a recording artist, being the only singer to have seven consecutive number one hits and the only female singer to have two albums reach multi-platinum in the same year, according to Recording Industry Association of America.

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Recalling the Best “Simpsons” Stories: The Most Memorable Episodes Out of 500

Whether you like “The Simpsons” or not, this show has definitely left a footprint on our pop culture. I n certain ways, we can recall the most memorable jokes, stories, and overall hilarity featuring Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and all the residents of Springfield even if one has only seen a few episodes.

With “The Simpsons” having reached their 500th episode, it seems like a good time for this mega-fan to review the series. Although I could go on and on about my favorite episodes, I’ve chose to narrow down my list by focusing on each family member, original stories, Halloween specials, and Springfield itself along with honorable (or d’ohonorable) mentions.

Favorite Homer Episode:

“Mr. Plow”

Among all the Homer episodes, the ones that stand out to me are when Homer leaves the Springfield Nuclear Plant to get a new job, and his career as a snow plow driver tops the l ist. N ot o nly d oes t his s tory highlight Homer’s idiocy (buying a snow plow at a car show when he was supposed to get something for Marge), but it demonstrates his spontaneity to just do whatever he wants regardless of consequences.

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Exposing Issues in Hip-Hop Beyond Beats and Rhymes

The documentary Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes was screened on February 16 in Bey Hall’s H.R. Young Theater.

The event was hosted by Claude Taylor of the Communication Department and welcomed all University students and faculty to view the documentary and participate in a discussion.

The film screening was part of the University’s celebration of Black History Month, which continues to host events until the end of the month.

Directed by Bryon Hurt, the film thoroughly presented the deeper social issues that are apparent in hip-hop music, but often ignored. Within the opening moments of the documentary, film director and anti-violence activist Hurt identifies himself as a life-long hip-hop fan that is conflicted by the issues with the music he loves.

“The more I grew and the more I learned about sexism and violence and homophobia, the more those lyrics became unacceptable to me,” Hurt said in his introduction to the film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006.

Through interviews with hip-hop fans, rap artists, industry executives, and hip-hop culture experts, Hurt successfully exposes issues of masculinity, violence, representation of women, and homophobia within hip-hop music and the effect it has on society and, more specifically young black men.

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Music and Theatre Arts Department is Working on Spring Musical

Typically when you try to contact anyone famous, they ignore you. If you’re Nicole Ricciardi, assistant professor of Music and Theatre Arts, they might get back to you immediately. At least that’s what happened when Ricciardi contacted Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz about doing the revised version of Working at the University this spring.

The original musical was written in 1978, making it a bit dated. It’s about how jobs affect and shape everyone’s lives, so the concept is still very much relevant. However, there were references and jobs that really don’t exist anymore. Ricciardi said, “I read it and I didn’t like it that much. I did some research and heard through the grapevine that Stephen Schwartz revised it, and that it had actually been produced last year in Chicago. […] On a whim I wrote to Stephen Schwartz and said this is the situation: I’ve committed to directing your show, I love the show, but I’d love to work on the newer version of the show.”

Schwartz’s office almost immediately contacted Ricciardi with much enthusiasm. They were completely on board with the idea of the revised version being performed at the University, but the revision wasn’t quite complete.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
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and Instructional Technology (CCIT) Room 260, 2nd floor

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