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Volume 83 (Fall 2011 - Spring 2012)

Cherish the Ladies Brought the Sounds of Ireland to Campus

Ireland to CampusPollak Theatre hosted An Irish Homecoming last Friday night showcasing the many talents of all-woman Irish jig band, Cherish The Ladies, featuring Grammy-nominated vocalist Maura O’Connell.

The lobby was filled with people before the doors were open, families and friends sharing kisses and laughter, couples drinking coffee while conversing about their day as everybody waited anxiously for the doors to open.

There were a select few wearing green, sticking out like five leaf clovers. One elderly woman chose her Kelly green knit dress for the evening, everybody seemed overly excited for the concert.

Sam Tobias, of Matawan, is a jazz musician and had seen Cherish the Ladies perform at Pollak Theatre before, and fell in love with Irish music that night. He has since tried incorporating Irish music into his jazz playing.

“I’m very excited to see them again,” said Tobias. “I went through a phase where I started wearing an Irish cap and I spoke an Irish accent for a while. I probably will tonight after seeing them.”

After the doors were open and the auditorium was filled, Cherish the Ladies took the Kelly green stage and bandleader and flutist, Joanie Madden asked the crowd, “You ready for some Irish music?” The band leaps into their first song off their latest album Country Crossroads as Madden played a tin whistle, shaking her head in joy and stomping her feet, just as excited as everyone else for what the evening held. Within less than minute the audience couldn’t help but feel compelled to clap along.

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In The Mood Was a Toe-Tapping Trip to the Past

Toe Tapping TripI hadn’t even left the parking lot when I was knocking into elderly ladies in mink coats trying to hurry out of the cold and into the Pollak Theater Sunday, February 12 for In the Mood, a 1940’s musical revue.

Without the use of a time machine, the performances somehow managed to bring the audience back to an era of gramophones, black and white films, and music, music, music.

In the Mood was more than just a celebration of music and “crafting harmonies from heaven.” It paid homage to 1940’s America and acknowledged the memories of all the men and women of that period in history buried within all the silly and sentimental tunes performed in one evening.

The String of Pearls Orchestra, featured the talents of Bud Forrest, Tom Bupin and, Eric Harper in rhythm, Gene Thorne, Brian Hicks, Greg Armstrong and, Hal Fryer on saxophone, Dan Smith, Bob Garrett and, Bill Moore on trumpet, and Brad Bobcik, Art Swanson and Brandon Moodi on trombone.

The Orchestra, without missing a beat, performed a selection of arrangements made famous by bandleaders such as Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman.

In turn, the singers and dancers included ladies Jennifer Andrews, Elizabeth Baumgartner and Cori Cable Kidder, who also doubled as the Andrews Sisters for a few performances, and gentlemen Mark Brignone, AJ Converse and Tim Quartier, who served as soldiers.

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New FOX Series Can Be a Little Out of ‘Touch’

New FOXKiefer Sutherland (Jack Bauer on “24”) is making a surprisingly quick return to television. Most actors who finish an eight season television series might take a break or at least try to act in movies.

Yet, Sutherland will be returning to your screen March 19 on FOX after deciding the sci-fi drama “Touch” was just too good to let someone else have. Why was it so appealing to him? After watching the pilot, your guess is as good as mine.

The show revolves around a single man, Martin (Sutherland), and his 11-year-old son, Jake (David Mazouz). His wife was killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11, leaving him to raise his son alone.

Jake has been diagnosed as autistic as well as mute and does not interact with anyone. Jake will not let anyone touch him, not even his own father. He spends his time writing numbers in books and playing with cell phones that Martin brings home from the lost and found at his job. Jake often escapes from his care providers and climbs up cell towers.

After one too many adventures up the cell tower, child services is called to check up on Martin and Jake, and decide if Jake should be institutionalized. Martin doesn’t think his son is crazy. He finds a website from an institute that claims that humans with advanced intelligence are often mistaken as being autistic.

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University Alumni Rocks With Karmic Juggernaut

Karmic JuggernautLocal psychedelic progressive rock band Karmic Juggernaut tore up The Press Room in Asbury Park during their show last Friday night. The three-man band rocked so hard that the audience was left slack-jawed and mind-blown.

Karmic Juggernaut (K-Juggs for short) is a heavy rock group whose music mixes forms of funk, blues, metal, and classic rock to form an exceptional band. This sound would be comparable if you had Rush, Umphrey’s McGee, and Primus morphed into one fantastic super group. Their style is truly original and refreshing.

As the band took the stage, the bar had an overwhelming smell of beer and urine. People began to crowd the band with the first squeal of the guitar. Without hesitation, the band unleashed a dark, technical, groovy jam.

Hours before the show the guys sat in their studio called “The Hangar,” and discussed the history and future of Karmic Juggernaut. The band is made up of Kevin Grossman (drums), Randy Preston (guitar/bass/vocals), and University alumni, James McCaffrey (guitar/bass/vocals).

All three members attended Wall High School, and in 2004, they formed the band to try out for a battle of the bands. The first time they played together during the audition, “We just went into the audition and jammed…it was cool,” Grossman said.

After winning the battle of the bands, K-juggs created their first demo. “We made a sick demo and sold it to everyone in the high school,” Grossman said. That recording ended up getting the band their first gig at the Stone Pony.

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Three Friends Chronicle One Super Adventure

Super AdventureWith the rise in popularity of found footage and superhero movies, it was only a matter of time before they both united. Well, it seems the wait is over with lost camera footage revealing the trials and tribulations of super-powered humans in Chronicle.

Although found footage films can vary from one to the other, Chronicle is as strong as Cloverfield and the Paranormal Activity series. These movies are about bringing reality to fiction and it’s cool to see this done with superpowers.  Being confined to what’s on screen, we can also feel the same thrills and chills characters show with each new skill. This makes things seem more exciting and intriguing. As one character says of his camera, “It serves a purpose.”

Chronicle could have been done in a regular fashion, but instead, the camera adds mystic to certain situations and keeps one eager to see what will happen next as superpowers enter reality.

Chronicle is about a loner named Andrew Detmer (Dan DeHann), who lives with his dying mother and abusive father. As she gets worse, he decides to record life on camera from home to school. Andrew shows viewers his lack of friends except for his cousin, Matt Garetty (Alex Russell). He also has to deal with bullies, and generally stands alone, eating lunch by himself on the bleachers.

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Scheherazade: Tell Me a Story Engages Viewers With a Powerful and Moving Tale

ScheherazadeThe Provost Film Series kicked off last Monday in Pollak Theatre, entering its fifth year at the University, with a screening of the Egyptian movie Scheherazade: Tell Me a Story.

Provost Dr. Thomas Pearson acted as host for the event, welcoming guests to the theatre, and introducing “a great film.” He said this year’s theme, “A Journey into Muslim Culture with a Special Focus on Women,” was inspired by the events that led to the Arab Spring.

“How was it in these ancient capitals of the world that we saw such political volatility?” said Pearson. “Everybody was talking about the role of the social media in bringing about various upheavals; we were thinking it’d be very interesting to use film to get some sense of the political, social, economic and cultural origins of those upheavals against the patriarchal regimes.”

There was an open discussion afterwards with guest panelist Dr. Maysa Hayward, Dean of E-Learning at Ocean County College, who was born and raised in Egypt.

She said the title Scheherazade is based off the popular Middle Eastern story “One Thousand and One Nights” where a Scheherazade is a woman trickster that tells stories to a king to avoid having her head cut off. In the movie, Scheherazade is a woman “exposer of real life, in your face situations.”

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Broadway Shines on Primetime with “Smash”

Broadway Shines“Smash” is the perfect show for any musical theater lover. The NBC drama premieres February 6 at 10:00 pm and revolves around the making of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. (The first episode is currently available to watch online at

The show follows Karen Cartwright (Katharine McPhee), a struggling actress vying for the part of Marilyn. She has yet to make her big break and makes money waitressing. Karen is an Iowa native whose parents continually urge her to give up her dreams and aim for a more realistic job.

While auditioning for the role, Karen is pitted against a more experienced actress, Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty), and the producers struggle over whether to go for the talent, Karen, or the name recognition, Ivy.

First, though, the show needs to be written. The show is being rushed due to the first song demo being released. The great buzz generated is forcing the show to go through and be quickly finished. The idea originally was just something that writers Julia (Debra Messing) and Tom (Christian Borle) were just toying with.

Meanwhile, Julia had plans to adopt a child with her husband, something that would require her to slow down her career. She had promised her husband that she would not take on another job, but she just couldn’t drop the idea, causing plenty of tension within her family.

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Daughtry Will Get the MAC Rocking in April

Daughtry WillAs part of their Break the Spell tour, the alternative/grunge rock band, Daughtry, will hold a concert in the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC) on Friday, April 20 at 7:30 pm. Special guests include the American pop/rock band, Safetysuit, and rhythm/blues artist, Mike Sanchez.

The concert will be produced by Concerts East, Inc. and AEG Live.

Daughtry is an American rock band from North Carolina, created and fronted by “American Idol” Season Five finalist, Chris Daughtry.

 Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student and Community Services at the university, helped arrange Daughtry to perform at the MAC. “The University works with a concert promoter, Concerts East Inc. and AEG Live to get shows in the MAC,” Nagy said. “We were contacted some time ago by them to see if we were interested in Daughtry and obviously we were.”

According to, Daughtry declined an offer by Fuel to be the rock band’s lead singer, and “on July 10, 2006, it was announced that he had signed with 19 Entertainment and RCA Records” to form his self-titled band.

The original band consisted of Jeremy Brady (guitarist), Josh Steely (lead guitarist), Josh Paul (bassist), and Joey Barnes (drummer).

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Batman: Arkham City Offers More Insanity Than Arkham Asylum

BatmanBatman: Arkham City was easily one of the best presents I got for the holidays. There’s a very good reason that everyone is calling this game the best Batman game ever. Only the Batman game on the original Nintendo Entertainment System comes close to this one in terms of good game play and overall fun.

When Batman: Arkham Asylum came out two years ago I thought it was a good game, but it just lacked the replay value. It didn’t really pull me back into the game once I beat it. Arkham City not only has more to do to keep you coming back, it almost challenges you to come back and try to complete it.

I would love to talk about the story, but I really shouldn’t. The story in this game is very good and chockfull of classic characters, friend and foe alike. To even list anyone would be a potential spoiler.

All I can really say is if you want a good, dark, and compelling Batman story, Arkham City won’t disappoint you. Also, if you wanted to see your favorite villain make an appearance, chances are they probably will.

Arkham City uses the same graphics engine that Arkham Asylum used. It looks amazing to say the least. I would strongly recommend playing this game on an HD TV if you have one. You don’t have to, but I will say that it can definitely make a difference, especially if you’re trying to scope out an area in the game.

Both the voice acting and in-game music are amazing. It sounds very much like the 1990’s cartoon, “Batman: The Animated Series,” which should be a plus for any fan of the animated series.

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Art Faculty Exhibition Brings Professors’ Talents Out of the Classroom

Art Faculty 1The Rotary Ice House Gallery hosted an opening reception for the Art Faculty Exhibition on Friday night that was attended by fellow faculty, students, friends, and family members.

The Gallery was filled with paintings, sculptures, photography and interactive art created by professors of the Art and Design Department. Each professor’s art was elegantly displayed, set up neatly to show their collection in one area along with materials used and date created.

Michael Thomas, Assistant Dean of the McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, was in attendance and thought the exhibit helped him understand who the professors are and a new level of respect. “As a colleague it’s the opportunity where I get to really see what’s really going on creatively with professors and colleagues…seeing them other than teaching, advising or other array of duties,” said Thomas. “I get to know them better, like seeing Vincent DiMattio’s art and then understanding that intense, concentration and process that he has.”

DiMattio, professor of art and design, has some great art drawn on various napkin materials, showing guests that all one needs to create art is a pen, some kind of paper and an imagination.

Over a period of a week, DiMattio, who jokingly called his art “excessive” to fellow colleagues, created various pieces of art that have been collaborated into one wall of greatness.

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The Games Against the Social System

A Look at the Individual Versus the System in the Hunger Games Trilogy

Games Against Social SystemWarning: May Contain Spoilers.

In The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Katniss Everdeen and her family live in an impoverished dystopia; one of 12 districts under control of the Capitol, their totalitarian government system. The Capitol randomly selects two children from each district annually to enter the Hunger Games, which is a fight to the death. The last survivor wins, according to the rules, until Katniss and her fellow District 12 contestant Peeta Mellark defy them and both make it out alive.

Since the first novel, Katniss and her family, friends, enemies and other district residents have fought against the Capitol and in most cases, defeated them. However, like in any war, there were losses. Family and friends of the main character were killed; players in the Games have been mentally scarred. So who ultimately won? We approach the sociological question of individuals versus social systems.

As to which side is more influential, Dr. Killian Searles, sociology professor, said, “To me, this is sort of like this question:  which is more a fruit an apple or an orange? ‘Society’ as a social system has a life of its own. One cannot chop down half of the trees and declare that the forest doesn’t exist anymore.”

From one perspective, the Capitol has controlled the District and forced individuals to fight against each other to the death in the Hunger Games for years. Clearly, at this point, the government had control. And by pitting the individuals against one another, the society was unable to change the system themselves. Only when Katniss became a contestant did anyone try to rebel against the capitol.

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Contact Information

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

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

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151