Thu06202019

Last updateMon, 29 Apr 2019 1pm

Entertainment

No Need to Pardon

“Crimes of the Heart” Didn’t Rob Audiences of Drama


Crimes of the HeartI’m usually not one who goes to see plays, or other styles of theatrical performance. Despite this, I still enjoy a good play, and “Crimes of the Heart” delivered. I was also happy that this wasn’t a musical. Seriously, so many TV programs nowadays are about singing and dancing that it sort of produced a stereotype that all shows were happy-go-lucky musicals (at least for me). Thankfully “Crimes of the Heart” broke this self-induced mold for me and showed me a serious, yet darkly humorous dilemma.

It was easy to see that the crew wanted to put on a play that would entertain as many as possible. The stage set alone was enough to give this impression. The amount of detail set designer Ferdinando DelGuercio put into it is impressive to say the least. It legitimately looked like a house in the late 1970s, with an old refrigerator, matches instead of lighters, and one of those phones with the extremely long cord.

Not much was done lighting wise, save for cuing up the next scene. The only time a different technique was used was with the ending, which I’ll cover later.

The acting itself was phenomenal. Keep in mind that these are students just like you and me, and they had to put up with class before this. Some also had to act in another play right before this one as well. As such, you have to admire them for remembering their cues, lines, and even keeping their Southern accents. Since I’m a lifelong resident of New Jersey, I can’t say whether the accents were accurate or not, but the actors convinced me that these were characters from the South.

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New M83 Album Gets Fans to ‘Hurry Up’ and Listen Again and Again

M83 AlbumM83’s highly anticipated sixth studio album, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, was released October 18 gracing fans with a double album featuring 22 tracks.

For those unfamiliar with M83, the French band can be described best as synth-heavy indie-pop with heavy influences from classical music composition.

Having toured with bands such as Kings of Leon and The Killers, it would be a stretch to describe them as similar artists in terms of sounds, where in fact M83’s is easily one of the most unique bands in today’s indie-music scene alongside similar artists like The Knife, Animal Collective, and Empire of the Sun.

With prior albums such as Dead Cities, Red Seas, Lost Ghosts, and Before the Dawn Heals Us, conveying a very dark and almost orchestra-like sound, the 2008 album Saturdays=Youth had more an 80’s style tone to it, with a general theme of the loss of innocence we experience in our teenage years.

Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is “mainly about dreams, how every one is different, how you dream differently when you’re a kid, a teenager, or an adult. I’m really proud of it. If you’re doing a very long album, all the songs need to be different and I think I’ve done that with this one,” M83 front man Anthony Gonzalez said in a recent interview for SPIN Magazine.

The first thing fans will appreciate with this new album is its general length. Where many artists are releasing shorter length albums, M83 makes fans feel that theirs is worth every penny, or worth every second of illegal download time.

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Hunter S. Thompson Fans Will Breeze Through The Rum Diary

Hunter S. ThompsonJohnny Depp stars as Paul Kemp, a rum-slinging journalist resembling the young and undeveloped Hunter S. Thompson in the new film, The Rum Diary. Depp was a close friend of Thompson and played his character in the 1998 film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas with a disturbingly accurate portrayal.

Based on Thompson’s original novel, “The Rum Diary,” written in the early 1960’s, his story remained unpublished until 1998 when he had achieved phenomenal success as a writer and American icon.

Many who are familiar with his work may feel that the film from writer and director Bruce Robinson, based on Thompson’s novel, does not do the book complete justice. Regardless, it is a must see for any fan of Thompson’s work.

The film is set during the 1950’s in San Juan, Puerto Rico where Paul has just taken a job as a journalist at a depressed newspaper. The paper is staffed by eccentric and maniacal characters. While Depp has an ability and knack for playing odd roles, Paul is surprisingly the most normal character in the movie.

Despite his unquenchable thirst for rum shooters and experimentation with mysterious hallucinogens, Paul is out-shadowed at times by the bizarre people that surround around him in Puerto Rico. In a sea of self-destructing journalists with an abundance of free time and booze, the film is full of laughs and raw entertainment.

The trailers are somewhat misleading and portray The Rum Diary as a wild substance-abusing ride similar to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Paul says, “Puerto Rico. I came down here looking for a story, but I found the strangest paradise on Earth. It’s where your secrets come to dance and the voodoo works it’s magic. And if the drinking doesn’t get you into trouble, the women definitely will. All of this may sound like some crazed hallucination, but it’s all true - I think.”

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The ‘Infinite’ Possibilities of Multimedia and Dance

Infinite PossibilitiesThe Hawk TV studio hosted a unique light show when Infinite Light held a presentation on November 7 for students and faculty.  This show combined the multimedia capabilities of Brenton-C Bainbridge with the soulful choreography of Brooke Broussard.

The event was the first ARTS NOW: Performance, Art, & Technology Visiting Arts Series for the year.

Michael Richison, specialist professor of Arts and Design, welcomed all and thanked the audience for coming.  “It’s truly a pleasure to introduce Brenton C-Bainbridge, his collaboration, and Brooke Broussard,” he said.  He also thanked Staton Green, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences for this programming and students Dan Villanova, Kate Novorski, and Kate Purez for helping out.

Richison explained that Bainbridge and Broussard have worked together for two years with their biggest project being Infinite Light in spring 2011, which began with a Kickstarter fund that brought the show to New York City.

Brooke has done choreography in New York City and danced in X’ian, China while Bainbridge used his multimedia talents as video director for two Beastie Boys Tours and brought his visuals to over five continents. 

The first video presented was a new one, which Bainbridge and Broussard completed the previous day in Asbury Park.  Bright shapes and lines illuminated off the screen and popped out.  It was as if these colorful designs were moving back and forth like someone was adjusting the radio’s volume.  Unique images started to work in unison with background music to make images feel reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey with today’s technology.

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Audiences Learn the Real Deal on Miss Representation

Miss RepresentationAn engaged crowd gathered in Wilson Auditorium to gain insight on how the media affects female’s perceptions of themselves when the documentary, Miss Representation was screened and its writer/director/producer, Jennifer Siebel Newsom spoke November 5.

The movie and Q & A was split up with Miss Representation screening at 10:00 am and Newsom speaking at 1:00 pm.

The Miss Representation screening began with Heather Brown, a board member for Gender Studies at the University, thanking Katherine Parkin, associate professor, Robin Mamma, Dean of the School for Social Work, and acknowledging departments like the School of Social Work.  Before the movie started, she simply said, “The film speaks for itself.”

Miss Representation examined how the media has taken a hold on society and presented unnecessary arch types for women and even men. 

While Newsom uses figures to show media consumption and psychological effects, the film’s spark is with its interview subjects.  They offered strong insight on how people see, think, or view media afflicting females.  Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, and Diane Feinstein demonstrated females that are driven and strong when it comes to politics and how they are treated. 

Newsom also included entertainers like Geena Davis, Margaret Cho, and Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke to sound off on this problem.  Cho talked about getting on a TV show only to be told she wasn’t skinny enough, and developed an eating disorder.

Newsom added balance at times in Miss Representation with a male perspective as people like Newark Mayor Cory Booker and California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom ignore media definitions on women and work to rectify this issue.

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Michael Waters Gets Poetic in Visiting Writer’s Series

Michael WatersMichael Waters was the last writer to speak at the University as part of this semester’s Visiting Writers Series last Tuesday. However, this poet isn’t a stranger to campus since Waters is not only an award winning poet but also an English professor here.

After being introduced by Two River Theater company founder Dr. Robert M. Rechnitzas as “one of the greatest living American poets,” Waters read various poems from his upcoming book, “Gospel Night” in Wilson Auditorium.

This will be his 15th collection of poetry published in addition to various other contributions that have been published in journals.

Waters has won numerous awards for his poetry including three Individual Artists Awards and four Pushcart Prizes, as well as fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Ocean Township resident read many selections from his latest assortment of poetry as well as some from previously published collections. Waters said, “Writing poems, I guess, is a way to get to know oneself as well as the world.” 

Exotic locales seem to inspire Waters, who received his MFA from the University of Iowa and his PhD from Ohio University. He first read “White Stork,” a poem set in Costa Rica.  “The Bells” was set in Malta, and “Beloved” was set in Romania.

“Beloved” was one of the most interesting poems he read. It is a love poem about his wife who grew up in Romania. The poem is set there in 1979 and tells of how she would journey into an abandoned library with her own light bulb (as all of the ones in the library had gone out) searching for American books like “Ethan Frome.”

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Joel McHale Humored MU ‘Community’ at the MAC

Joel McHaleJoel McHale, host of E!’s “The Soup” and star of NBC’s “Community,” served up some hot comedy when he performed his stand-up routine at the MAC on Saturday, November 5.

Trading in his “Soup” suits for a sweater and jeans, McHale stepped in the spotlight to joke around with the audience about the latest in reality TV, celebrities, his family life, and the University itself.

The event was sponsored by AEG Live and Concerts East.

Before the show, a small crowd congregated around the MAC for the doors to open.  Freshman Sean Ireland, who was waiting, said, “I’m not looking for anything particular.  I’m just looking to have a good time,” when asked about what he expected from the show.

Molly Mantell, a music industry major and “Soup” fan, was also waiting outside and said, “It’s been a stressful year so far.  I just need something to brighten the mood.”

Josh Rabinowitz opened up for McHale and riffed about college, prank phone calls, finding women, his height, having a hairy chest, and smoking.

When he spoke about college, he mentioned one time a mugger was going after women, and said, “I wasn’t afraid of being mugged.  I was terrified of being the only guy mugged.”

He continued to imagine if he was mugged, news reports would say, “Despite this, police still think he’s targeting women.”  He also talked about his “awkward” orientation when his leader had students sit in a circle and say what they would do if they went back in time. 

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Bruce Springsteen Exhibit Permanently Housed on Campus

Springsteen Collection Sounds Good on Campus


Bruce SpringsteenThe University recently became home to the Bruce Springsteen Special Collection with over 15,000 items donated from fans around the world. The Collection is being held at the University’s Archive Collections Building right next to the Woods Theatre.

President Paul Gaffney said in a press statement released to the public that “the University is the perfect location for this outstanding collection…students and faculty...especially our music industry students, will benefit greatly from having access to these documents.”

The Collection was formerly kept at the Asbury Park Public Library, but as it has expanded over the years with a plethora of more documents from various fans and countries, the Collection needed a new home. After four years of trying to find where to store the memorabilia, the University was selected as the best option to offer a public viewing of Springsteen’s history.

The Collection is kept in archival boxes that have been neatly organized in four different rooms. The boxes are categorized by type of material, with each item being placed in its own labeled envelope. There are boxes with various magazine articles written about Springsteen like his first appearance in Rolling Stone or articles in a Netherland magazine called Veronica. Other boxes hold fanzines, bumper stickers and old concert tickets.

Eileen Chapman, Assistant Director of Performing Arts at the University, said the Collection is kept this way as it “helps preserve the pieces...some of the pieces, like key documents are rare.”

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Dealing With Personal Tragedy in Jericho

Personal TragedyWalking into the NJ Repertory Company in Long Branch, I cannot say that I knew what to expect or how I would feel about their latest production, “Jericho,” by Jack Canfora.

The theater is small, quaint, and certainly “homey.” With just six rows of seats, you could practically touch the stage and see the actors’ mouths clearly speak such powerful and eloquent words.

“Jericho” is about a group of people desperately trying to find their way in the world, and meaning to their lives.

One woman named Beth (Corey Tazmania) is battling the confusion and depression of loosing her husband in 9/11. The morning of the attacks she asked for a divorce, not knowing those would be her last words to the man Beth once loved.

She is now popping an abundance of pills, seeing a therapist regularly who she confuses for her late husband, and trying to date again.  However, all she is able to think and speak about is her husband. Beth holds an immensely large amount of guilt and cannot seem to move on with her life in all complexities of living.

Ethan (Andrew Rein) is Beth’s new lover, although not much love or passion has been given to him. He is bombarded with the psychological confusions of Beth, and longs to pursue a meaningful relationship with this mysterious woman who has captivated him.

For Jessica (Carol Todd) and Josh (Jim Shankman), a Jewish couple, their life is far more complicated than it seems. Josh is a survivor of the 9/11 attacks and has become a strict practicing Jewish man who has turned the lives of his loved ones upside down. He believes the Jewish community including his wife, his brother Ethan, and mother Rachel (Kathleen Goldpaugh) are slacking in their religious duties. 

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In Time is Off a Couple of Minutes

Time is OffGrowing up, I was never a big fan of Justin Timberlake and N*Sync (although I couldn’t avoid the songs).  However, I have started to appreciate Timberlake’s acting talent after his incredible portrayal of Napster founder, Sean Parker, in The Social Network and strong comedic acting in Friends with Benefits. 

In the new sci-fi film, In Time (originally titled Im.mortal), Timberlake attempts to broaden his acting abilities further in a more dramatic and action-packed venue.  While Timberlake works with what he has, he is unable to resolve a rather dull story about a world where time is literally money and people don’t age past 25 as long as they can afford it. 

In Time follows Will Salas (Timberlake), who lives in the poor part of the city with his mother, Rachel (Olivia Wilde), and works at a factory to earn money/time making cartridges that store time. 

One night at a bar, Will meets Henry Hamilton (Matt Bommer), who has a century’s worth of time and saves Henry from getting killed by local thugs for his chronocurrency.  While hiding out, Will shares a conversation with Henry about life and the cost of living.  When Henry asks Will what he would do with Henry’s years, Will says he wouldn’t waste them.

The next morning, Will discovers Henry has given him his time and left a message that reads, “Don’t waste my time” before Henry dies.  With all this time, Will can finally help his mother and himself get the life they deserve.  When tragedy strikes Will, he travels to New Greenwich, where the rich lives and meets Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried), daughter of wealthy businessman, Philippe Weis (a dastardly Vincent Kartheiser).

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Global Understanding Through Percussion and Song

Global UnderstandingPollak Theatre hosted its first Caravanserai event October 27, featuring qawwali music performed by Qawal Najmuddin Saifuddin and Brothers and percussion compositions performed by the Tari Khan Ensemble.

The Caravanserai is described as “a place where cultures meet” and “celebrate global diversity, building bridges to a better tomorrow.” The event was sponsored by the University Center of Distinction for the Arts and supervised by Dean Stanton Green.

“We are one of five venues and the only university in the U.S. selected for Caravanserai,” Green said. “The program features Islamic art and culture. This programming is the fifth in the School’s annual Cultural Understanding programming where the aim is to bridge cultures through the arts.”

The night started with tour road manager Lindajoy Fenley welcoming guests to the event and commenting on the group’s “wonderful week” at the University where she and the musicians felt “welcomed” and “so at home.” Fenley described Caravanserai as “a beautiful word, and a really beautiful experience.”

Ustad Tari Khan, a renowned world-class percussionist, was the first to perform on his hand drums known as Tablas. Similar to bongos, Tari Khan used two different hand drums that varied in size, creating various sounds and pitches. The larger of the two drums was deeper in tone, and the pitch was able to be altered through applying pressure.

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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