Last updateThu, 14 Mar 2019 12pm


The Drowsy Chaperone Roars through Woods Theatre

The Drowsy Chaperone 1A whirling kaleidoscope of vintage comedy, big band tunes, and twenties glamour: Monmouth University’s Departments of Music and Theatre transformed Woods Theater into the world of The Drowsy Chaperone; a campy 1998 musical written by Bob Martin and Don McKellar, with music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison.

The production ran from Nov. 9 to 11 and 14 to 18, and left every witness to the spectacle carrying a happy little tune with them.

With direction from Sheri Anderson, choreography by Bob Boross, and musical direction from Michael Gilch, the immensely gifted cast and crew delighted patrons young and old.

A show-within-a-show, The Drowsy Chaperone follows a snarky, agoraphobic theater fanatic by the name of The Man in Chair, played by Nicholas Sewell, who whisks the audience’s imagination into the world of his favorite 1928 musical, Gable and Stein’s The Drowsy Chaperone.

Accompanied solely by his trusty record player and his original Drowsy cast recording, The Man in Chair sets the tone with vivid, quip-laden storytelling.

A romp in the 1920’s materializes on-stage, as the audience is tossed into hasty preparations for the wedding of renowned starlet Janet Van de Graaf, played by Samantha Ventola, and famed heir-to-an-oil-tycoon Robert Martin, played by Joseph Marano.

With a cast of bold characters complicating the wedding plans, including Janet’s confidant, The Drowsy Chaperone, played by Erin Clemente, hilarity, confusion, and plenty of songs ensue.

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Blue Hawk Records Debuts Superstition at the Doherty House

Debuts Superstition Doherty HouseUniversity President Grey Dimenna, Esq., welcomed students and alumni into the Doherty House Monday, Nov. 26, to celebrate the launch of Blue Hawk Records’ 13th album Superstition.

The reception was a wonderful way to welcome the six acts before their compilation album Superstition is officially released on all streaming services Dec. 5.

Joe Rapolla, Chair of the Music & Theater Arts Department and founder of Blue Hawk Records, established the student-run record label in 2013 after some time with his own successful music industry career.

Ever since, the label has released a student and alumni compilation album every semester, showcasing the impressive talent our students have to offer in the competitive industry.

Rapolla began the evening by telling Dimenna, “We can’t say thank you enough in regards to all the support you give all the students at the university, in all their endeavors. Not just here with Blue Hawk Records.”

“Thanks for having us here for this great event, and let’s listen to some music,” Rapolla finished before introducing the first musical artist featured on Superstition, Max Adolf.

Max, a freshman student who was born in Maryland but mostly grew up in Hawaii, recently returned home to the east coast to study music and the music industry.

Inspired chiefly by finger style guitarists like Sungha Jung and Tommy Emmanuel, Max’s intimate form and style on his original composition “Miles” shows the way he turned the dining room of the Doherty House into his own stage; a reaction he will draw out from every person lucky enough to listen to his song.

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Let’s Go Catch ‘Em All!

Lets Go Catch Em AllLet’s GO back to where it all started. The Kanto region is the place where the Pokémon series began back in 1996 with Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue on the Gameboy.

However, I first caught onto the phenomena back in 2004 when I played Pokémon Firered and Pokémon Leafgreen on the Gameboy Advance.

Now, in 2018, Nintendo has brought the original journey we all loved back to the Nintendo Switch and it’s definitely something worth catching.

The release of Pokémon Let’s GO Pikachu and Pokémon Let’s GO Eevee finally brings the series to the Nintendo Switch and is a soft remake.

It has all the spots experienced players remember like Pallet Town, Pewter City, Cerulean City, Saffron City, and others.

Nintendo even brought back the original 150 Pokémon along with their Gym Leaders.

On the Switch, the Kanto area of the map looks gorgeous because you can see every strand of grass in the ground and ray beaming from the sun in the sky.

In this latest version of Pokémon, you notice every little detail because this is the first one to be released on a home console in high definition.

Another great feature is the battle sequences. There are new actions the Pokémon can take against each other, and being able to see wild Pokémon coming instead of the game getting interrupted when you don’t expect it is a great adjustment.

Getting Pokémon you can use to fight like Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle, was the original difficult choice to make in the older versions, but it’s one of the most exciting parts of this title.

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Swiftly Moving On

Swiftly Moving OnTaylor Swift announced on social media the shocking news that she has not renewed her contract with Big Machine Records on Nov. 19 and is now with Republic Records under Universal Music Group.

2006 was the start of Swift’s contract with Scott Borchetta’s music label, Big Machine Label Group. Borchetta found Swift performing in The Blue Bird Café in Nashville, Tennessee and was the first artist to be signed to Big Machine.

After six chart topping albums and countless awards, 2018 marked Swift’s 12th and last year with Big Machine. After her major transition from country to pop, Swift became the first pop artist on the country label.

Taylor’s most recent album, Reputation, was her last under contract with the label. By Nov., Swift had the option to stay with Borchetta and Big Machine along with renewing her deal or to seek out a new contract with a different label.

Big Machine, a label that has artists such as Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts, and Thomas Rhett, heavily negotiated earlier this year with Swift in an attempt to have her stay.

Swift’s leave will definitely take a toll on Big Machine as a company. So far in 2018, Swift’s year-to-date sales and streaming come out to be 34.6 percent of Big Machine’s market share. Due to her major contributions to the company and the brand she has created, Swift had major leverage in this negotiation.

Swift made the game changing decision and announced her statement on social media along with pictures of herself with UMG Chairman/CEO Sir Lucian Grainge and Republic Records CEO/Co-Founder Monte Lipman. With her new contract, Swift now owns all of her master recordings, which lacked in her previous contract and future negotiations with Big Machine.

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Springsteen on Broadway: The Final Curtain Call

Springsteen BroadwayBruce Springsteen’s one man show “Springsteen on Broadway” at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York City will conclude on Dec. 15 after a little over a year run.

This concert residency by Springsteen is another testament to the Jersey Shore rock star’s high energy and commitment. Springsteen performed five shows a week, Tues. through Sat.

From Oct. 3, 2017 to Dec. 15, 2018, The Boss played a total of 236 performances.

When the curtain closes, Springsteen will have raked in around $74.3 million for essentially playing a solo gig five days a week.

On Sept. 19, 2017, Springsteen performed an invitation only rehearsal show at the University before beginning his time on Broadway.

At the University, The Boss had an opportunity to see if his show would be well received, and it has been.

On June 18, Springsteen was awarded a special Tony Award for his compelling production.

His Tony Award for “Springsteen on Broadway” is another triumph for The Boss to add to his long list of awards.

Along with his Tony, Springsteen has sold more than 135 million records worldwide, and has been the recipient of 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, and an Academy Award.

But the true achievement Springsteen captures in “Springsteen on Broadway” is the bridge he so successfully builds between the concert scene and the traditional theatre scene.

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Cry Me a River: The Art of an Actor’s Tears

Cry Me RiverActors go to great lengths for their roles. From chopping off all of their hair to gaining or losing severe amounts of weight, actors are dedicated to their craft.

While you may watch the entirety of a film and simply continue on with your life, many films can leave an impact that is everlasting.

I know for myself, the ending scenes of A Walk to Remember, A Star is Born, and The Bodyguard provoke such strong emotions that I end up in tears regardless of it being the first or 20th viewing.

One thing they all have in common? A tremendously impactful scene where one of the characters displays raw emotion and true vulnerability. It may seem like something that should be in the actor’s blood, but not every actor is capable of such an astounding performance.

While the actor is the vessel that carries the script or depiction of a novel gone cinematic, the director gives cues that can either make or break a scene. For example, Yasujirō Ozu, a famous Japanese director from the 20th century, used camera shots that would center on the actor and have them bury their face in their hands.

Some of Ozu’s work was silent films given the era, so the dramatization of the performer’s actions was imperative for an intense emotional scene.

Christopher Tuttle, a senior english major who has performed in musicals on campus such as Anything Goes and Spring Awakening, described his idea of a good emotional scene.

“You know you have done the scene right when you get some sort of reaction from the audience; it makes you realize that what you did was believeable and that it stuck with who you are trying to portray it to,” said Tuttle.

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AMC Snubs the A-List Stubs Price

AMC Snubs PriceGot an extra four bucks?

Last week on Nov. 5, AMC Theaters announced an increase for its movie subscription service, Stubs A-List, in 16 states.

The price will be raised from $19.95 per month to $21.95 in ten states and $23.95 in five states, including New Jersey.

The price hike is effective as of Jan. 9, 2019.

Those who sign up for the service before the deadline (like me) will not be affected by the price boost.

A-List lets subscribers see three movies a week per month on any format (standard, 3D, Dolby, or IMAX) at a price of $19.95 per month.

Subscribers are also allowed to order tickets in advance online without an additional fee and can use all three movies in a single day if they please.

Considering a ticket for a prime showing at AMC costs $13.33 around here, it’s a great deal.

However, finance professor Andreas Christofi, Ph.D., sees the increase as a bad deal for investors.

“It’s a sign of weakness in a competitive field. Their margins are getting squeezed because revenues can’t get up,” Christofi stated.

“Wall Street doesn’t like when companies raise their prices,” he continued. “Considering AMC has pricing power with a strong amount of subscribers, they hope to hold onto most of them through this increase.”

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FilmStruck Struck Dead

Film Struck DeadTurner Classic Movies announced that their FilmStruck streaming service will be terminated on Nov. 29.

Founded in 2016, FilmStruck was not just a place to view classic and Indie films, but a service that provided invaluable knowledge of film culture.

Cinephiles, film students, and casual viewers alike could view a vast library of selections including, but not limited to, Warner Classic movies and films in special editions from the renowned Criterion Collection.

FilmStruck will be remembered as a celebration of film as a true art form.

The end of the service is the loss of an anomaly in the realm of streaming.

Popular platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube Red, and Amazon Prime consistently and aggressively lead the production of new and marketable content.

At a price of $6.99 a month and $99 a year, FilmStruck focused on the preservation and promotion of more unique works. They also offered a plan, which included access to the complete Criterion Collection at $10.99 a month.                  The Criterion Collection is known for distributing “important classic and contemporary films,” and their DVDs usually sell upwards of $20 for a single copy. These films are representative of different iconic eras in film, perspectives on life, and artistic stylings, regardless of status.

Many are unhappy with FilmStruck’s impending revocation because they feel it was a resource that challenged widespread dissatisfaction in a world with ‘uninspired’ mainstream content.

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Does Farewell Really Mean Goodbye? The Curious Case of the Farewell Tour

Curious Case Farewell TourSaying goodbye to the things we love is one of the hardest things we do.

We so desperately want to hang onto the things or people that made us happy throughout our lives. We never want to leave those precious moments in the past.

Musicians make songs that can create moments and memories that transpire through generations, making it even more painful to relinquish those who we’ve listened to over the years.

The farewell tour presents the audience an opportunity to see their favorite artists perform their final swan song before hanging it up for good— the problem is; it’s hardly ever the final performance that was advertised.

A frequent trend in the music industry, specifically for older acts that have charmed the world with a bevy of hit tunes, is the idea of having a farewell tour: to give the world one last run of performances before retirement from live shows.

It certainly has an appeal, being a member of an audience that gets to watch a legend do their thing one last time sounds pretty enticing.

However, by taking a step back to look at the history of farewell tours, it tends to be nothing more than a clever advertisement.

In this year alone, musical titans such as Paul Simon, Joan Baez, Ozzy Osbourne, and Elton John have announced, finished, or just started their so-called farewell tours.

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Get Happy Together with Harry Styles

default article imageThe brand-new CBS sitcom, Happy Together produced by Ben Winston and Harry Styles premiered Oct. 1.

The show is inspired by a part pop singer Harry Styles’ life.

Like any other One Direction fan, I was ecstatic to find out that Styles was getting involved in television.

After taking a break, the five guys of One Direction decided to try solo work and different career paths.

Styles was between ending a sold-out international tour with his best friends and beginning an acting career in which he portrayed a British soldier in the 2017 Christopher Nolan war thriller, Dunkirk.

During this time, Styles ended up living in the attic of where The Late Late Show with James Corden is taped, which was co-executive producer, Ben Winston and his wife, Meredith’s house.

Winston also produced the 2013 documentary One Direction: This Is Us, where he met the boy-bander.

The new sitcom stars Damon Wayans Jr., Amber Stevens West, and a new face to the screen, Australian actor, Felix Mallard.

Wayans plays the Ben Winston inspired character, Jake Davis, a goofy accountant in the entertainment industry.

Stevens portrays the character inspired by Winston’s wife, Claire Davis, who is a restaurant and bar designer who shares the same humor and interests as her husband.

Last but not least, Felix Mallard, plays the up and coming international pop star, Cooper James, inspired by Harry Styles.

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CRJ’s “Party for One”

CRJ Party for OneEven though pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen is hosting a “Party for One,” you’re still invited.

Last Thursday, Nov. 1, the Queen of Pop released her latest single “Party for One.”

It’s the first single since last year’s “Cut to the Feeling,” and the first hint at a new album since 2015’s Emotion.

The artist’s last album was a triumphant achievement, which emulated the 80’s pop sound with a sense of authenticity.

Also, CRJ’s single from last year was an energetic and joyful rush that literally “Cut to the Feeling,” because it wasted no time in getting to the point.

In the case of “Party for One,” Jepsen still has that touch of authenticity, but she doesn’t emulate that 80’s sound we loved from her latest work.

Instead, the Queen’s single gravitates toward a mainstream tone.

Like other songs “When I Needed You” and “Boy Problems,” this is another anthem of self-empowerment.

Jepsen doesn’t need no man to be pleased, so she sings in the chorus, “Party for one/If you don’t care about me/I’ll just dance for myself/Back on my beat/I’ll be the one/If you don’t care about me/Making love to myself/Back on my beat.”

The chorus is catchy, but the buildup to it is okay.

At one point, the song gears up for a big bass drop, but it falls a little flat.

The overall sound of “Party for One” feels like something that could be heard on the radio, compared to the uniqueness of her past work.

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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