Last updateWed, 14 Oct 2020 1pm


Student Spotlight: Guy Battaglia and 99 Regrets

entertainment-99-regretsFreshman Guy Battaglia has spent a lot of time on stage this semester. He played antagonistic redneck Owen Musser in “The Foreigner” at Woods Theatre, and he will take the stage in Anacon Hall on Friday night as the lead singer and guitarist of the band 99 Regrets.

The Park Ridge native has been playing music for nearly half of his life. Battaglia said that he grew up with many musicians in his family, so it wasn’t surprising when he developed an interest in music. “I began playing alto saxophone when I was in fifth grade, but then realized that I could not play the music that I enjoyed listening to on it. So, when I was 11 years old, I picked up the electric guitar and took lessons from my uncle,” Battaglia said.

 The type of music Battaglia enjoyed listening to was rock, and 99 Regrets is an alternative rock band. When asked to describe their sound, Battaglia said, “99 Regrets has the alternative sound similar to that of Green Day, Weezer, Foo Fighters, and even blink-182. To this sound, we have powerful guitar solos that make the songs unique in the genre.”

99 Regrets was formed two years ago while Battaglia was still attending Park Ridge High School. “Going through various lineups since my freshman year of high school, I finally discovered Samir Tawalare (drums) at the beginning of my sophomore year of high school.  Then junior year I asked fellow theatre/marching band friends Kevin Leone (bass) and Bryan Zeug (guitar) to join.” The band has been going strong ever since.

The four boys have played at many different local venues including The Stone Pony. Battaglia is particularly fond of that experience. “Playing The Stone Pony for the final round of the Break Contest (to play the Bamboozle Festival) was like a dream come true.  The sound system was incredible and it was definitely a performance we will never forget,” said Battaglia.

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Holiday Concert Brings Joy to All

The University’s Department of Music & Theatre presented its 14th annual salute to the holiday season with this year’s production of “Holiday Joy,” a performance of seasonal favorites featuring student, faculty, and special solo talents on Thursday, December 6 at 7:30 pm. In the splendor of Wilson Hall, family, friends, and students gathered to enjoy the holiday music.

Wilson Hall was lit up in holiday spirit with numerous beautifully decorated Christmas trees, garland wrapped up the rails on the main staircase, and twinkling lights hung throughout. Performers were dressed to impress, from evening gowns for the opera singers to simple black dresses for the glee club.

Attendees paid $15 to sit on the first level and watch members of the University perform. President Paul Gaffney was also in attendance. Student admission was free as the concert sold out and had standing room only. Students stood on the second and third level, watching below and waiting for the show to begin.

Megan Roberts, freshman English and theater major said, “I’m here to see my friends. I’m excited because I love holiday music and I know my friends will be great.”

Among the performers were the University Chamber Singers and Concert Chorus, under the direction of Professor David Tripold, performing the classic “In the Bleak Midwinter” and “A Hanukkah Remembrance.”

The Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Professor Michael Gillette, assisted by Professor Bryan Jenner, performed “Christmas Festival” and Ralph Vaugn Williams’ “English Folk Song Suite.” Returning from last year’s debut is the “Harmonic Joules,” the glee club, under the direction of senior Jasmine Walker, performing “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on An Open Fire)” and “This Christmas.”

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Hubbell Makes it Easy to Understand Dyslexia

entertainment-albert-einsteinThis past Monday, December 3, I saw a very exciting and involving documentary called Dyslexia: The Movie, directed by Harvey Hubbell V.

This was part of this year’s On Screen, In Person film series, once again moderated by University specialist professor Andrew Demirjian, who chose this film, along with a committee of people, “Because I think it operates on lots of different levels, it’s really smart, it’s really funny, and it has an important message and it really makes you reconsider how you view other people and how you think about disabilities.” Did I think it operated on different levels, was smart, was really funny and carried an important message? Read on and find out.

In this film, Hubbell, a dyslexic himself, seeks to inform and educate the audience through his own life experiences as well as by discussing the topic with people who are researching dyslexia.

It also involved other dyslexic individuals who came forward about their lives and how they deal with the condition. Many of them were celebrities such as Billy Bob Thornton, Sarah Joy Brown, and Steven J. Cannell, the creator of television shows such as 21 Jump Street.

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Full Ice House for Senior Art Majors

Dozens of students, faculty and supportive loved ones gathered at the Ice House Gallery for the December Senior Show reception on November 30. This event celebrates the work done by those majoring in art with a concentration in photography. It lasted from 7 pm to 9 pm. Refreshments were served.

Walking in the door, viewers were greeted by three different photography series. Samantha Suchavski shot the “Amplified Tendrils” series, Nicole Armitt was behind the “Longing” collection and Rebecca Lennon took the “Torsi” sequence. All are art majors with concentrations in photography.

Suchavski’s work showed nature at its most raw level; by photographing a variety of branches, she was able to use contrasting colors- or the lack thereof- and different degrees of depth to engross the audience.

“It’s about entanglement, about getting down to our roots,” Suchavski noted. “It’s simple, yet at the same time, so complex.”

Armitt’s photos featured old radios, which most might not look twice at, sitting in fields or other wild settings. The shock of seeing that one item sitting alone in the middle of nowhere was great at evoking the feeling for which the images were named: longing. Headphones rested below most frames, allowing the viewer to put them on and listen to a broken tune that would likely be playing from such a discarded device.

“Longing is about broken relationships and the symbolism involved,” Armitt commented, adding that the songs playing could be seen like a couple’s song after the couple broke up- sad, even mournful, with no one left to listen.

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Wii U Launch Fails to Reach New Heights

Nintendo and I have been going to counseling lately. I want to see new people because Nintendo just isn’t delivering what they promised me. I told them that the Wii U was their last chance to win me back. Did they succeed? Uh… let’s just say I filed for separation.

The Wii U is supposed to be our first glimpse at the next generation of gaming. As far as first impressions go, this was a very lackluster experience.

Let’s start by taking a look at the Wii U hardware. We’ve got a new controller that has a touch screen and, in some cases, shows the game on the screen as well as the TV, kind of like the Nintendo DS. This is actually a really cool controller; props to Nintendo for their creativity here.

It’s a neat idea, it works pretty well and it’d probably be a great new controller for the Wii- wait, this isn’t a new controller, it’s a new console that costs 300 bucks. That’s ok, I just happened to have 300 dollars that I was going to flush down a toilet.

Well, if a DS controller isn’t your cup of tea, you can use the Pro Gamepad. What is this? It’s an Xbox 360 controller. Yes, it’s literally an Xbox 360 controller with Nintendo’s logo slapped on it.

I know this is the default controller most gamers use and it’s perfectly fine to use, but this is Nintendo- they pioneer in developing new and unusual things, then making them work. I wanted Nintendo to try something new and take risks like it usually does.

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Student Spotlight: Bryan Haring and Seasons

Bryan Haring is quite the entertainer. The junior dazzled audiences with his best cockney British accent as Staff Sergeant Froggy LeSeur in the fall play, “The Foreigner”. While Haring seemed pretty comfortable on the Lauren K. Woods Theatre’s stage, he is a bit more at home playing with his band Seasons.

Seasons is an electronic hard rock band in which Haring sings and plays synthesizer. Haring describes his band’s music as “a mix between Muse and Panic! at the Disco.”

Seasons didn’t come together in the easiest way. Haring and guitarist Dylan Sorkin had to really search for band members who would play together well after multiple bands they were in separated.

Haring said, “After [the last band] dissolved, I sought out Ryan Kroon (drums), a classmate of mine from high school. After he agreed to join, we held auditions to find another guitarist. We also auditioned candidates for lead vocals (I had planned to play bass and sing backing vocals) and bass. Kyle Rinfret (vocals, guitar) really wowed Dylan and I at the audition, so we welcomed him aboard on the spot. After I decided to remain on lead vocals, we looked into a bassist. I phoned another classmate, Joe Vena (bass), since we had been in a band years earlier. He accepted, and the line-up was completed.”

Those who have heard Haring’s voice might find it surprising that he had not originally intended to be Seasons’ lead vocalist. Haring has only been singing for four years and playing piano for three. Haring’s interest in music started with the saxophone when he was ten. Haring said, “I joined the school band on alto saxophone when I was ten. I was hooked after that.”

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The Return of Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino fans will have plenty to talk about this week as two of his iconic films are being shown once again in theaters. In commemoration of Reservoir Dogs’ 20 year anniversary, the film was re-released in theaters on December 4 and Pulp Fiction is set to follow on December 6. According to Derek Feit, the General Manager of the AMC Lowes Theatre in the Monmouth Mall, the re-releases are shown only once at 7 pm on the days scheduled.

Reservoir Dogs is Tarantino’s first motion picture that he both wrote and directed. The plot revolves around six men hired to participate in a jewel heist and are given code names to protect their identity. The film premiered at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival and gave Tarantino recognition among the movie industry. Actors Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, and more star in the film along with Tarantino himself. The movie is just under two hours and is jam packed with witty dialogue and gruesome scenes that make Reservoir Dogs hard to forget.

The violent comedy Pulp Fiction was the second movie both written and directed by Tarantino. Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta play two mob hit men who find themselves in some messy situations that intertwine with the lives of other characters. Uma Thurman and Bruce Willis star in the film, which is just under three hours long. Pulp Fiction won Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen at the 1995 Academy Awards.

Professor John Morano, author of “Don’t Tell Me The Ending!”, a book for aspiring film critics, describes Tarantino as “Auterish”, meaning that audiences can expect certain traits in the film before they even enter the theatre. “For me, he’s unique among directors because he has films that I love like Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs and at the same time he has films that I loathe like Kill Bill and others,” said Morano.

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Potentially Exciting Television

By now you’ve probably heard that “Boy Meets World” is coming back. Well, it might be coming back. The spin off series, titled “Girl Meets World”, could be on Disney channel next year if the series gets picked up. Right now it is considered ‘in development,’ the same place that Joss Whedon’s The Avengers spin off is along with what could be the new “Downton Abbey”. Networks are developing pilot episodes before to determine if these would be successful series. These are just a few of the series that television fans are keeping their fingers crossed to see on their screens next year.

“Girl Meets World” centers on 13 year-old Riley, Cory (Ben Savage) and Topanga’s (Danielle Fishel) daughter, according to Savage and Fishel have officially signed on to do the show, should it be given the green light for a season. There might not be too many original cast members hanging around.

Rider Strong, who portrayed Shawn, announced that he would not be joining the cast right now. Don’t count him out completely. On his website, Strong wrote, “There might be a chance to see some of the BMW cast in a guest spot, and I think it would be nice to find out where our characters have been all these years. But Girl Meets World will be, and I think it should be, [its] own show. It will be about Cory and Topanga, their daughter, and a new set of characters.”

 Don’t expect the new show to be all about Cory and Topanga because this is being developed for Disney channel. The channel is aiming to attract kids today, kids who didn’t necessarily grow up with life lessons from Mr. Feeny. The show is about Riley, her older brother Elliot, and her best friend Maya, an edgy girl who might not be as dark as she seems (who sounds like the Shawn to Riley’s Cory). They will probably be learning their lessons from their history teacher, Cory Matthews.

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A Side-Splitting Comedy by MU Students

The Foreigner, Monmouth University’s play for the fall semester, opened on Friday, November 16. With a book by the deceased Larry Shue and direction by theatre department chair Dr. John Burke, The Foreigner is a side-splitting show that anybody,  can find a lot of laughs in.

“It was fantastic,” said Kevin Long, a junior and music industry major. “Just fantastic.”

The Foreigner takes place at a fishing lodge in Tilghman County, Georgia, in “the recent past” (the time period the set and costumes put in my mind was the mid 1980s). In it, Charlie Baker (Henry O. Siebecker) is a simple science fiction proofreader visiting his British friend, Staff Sargent “Froggy” LeSueur (Bryan Haring). Charlie is upset that his unfaithful wife may be dying in the hospital and tells Froggy that he wishes to speak to nobody because of an anxiety problem. As a result, Froggy decides to tell the owner of the lodge, Betty Meeks (Taylor Bogan), that Charlie is a foreigner from a distant country. Betty, who has never travelled, is eager to have the exotic Charlie, who does not speak a word of English, in her home.

 As a result of his assumed obliviousness, the lodge patrons and their friends discuss all sorts of personal matters in front of Charlie, allowing him to be, for the first act at least, a silent window through which the audience learns the subplots and setting of the play.

We learn that the other people living in the lodge are Catherine Simms (Zoe Bulitt), a wealthy but bored Southern debutante, her younger sister Ellie May Simms (Jamee Shea), who is assumed to be slow, and the shady Reverend David Marshall Lee (Brandon Wiener), who is engaged to Catherine. Often visiting is David’s friend from town, the equally shady Owen Musser (Guy Battaglia), who reveals himself as one of the primary antagonists of the show.

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Racism is the Real Battle in Camp de Thiaroye

This past Monday I had the pleasure of seeing the film Camp de Thiaroye, the first film in this year’s Provost Film Series. It was hosted by Dr. Thomas S. Pearson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

“I believe these films will give us a much deeper appreciation of not only the configuration of Africa and the different states and the different factions, but also we will come to appreciate the traditions and the communal practices and emphases of various African cultures,” said Pearson.

This year’s film series, titled African Journeys: Haunting Legacies, Fragile Futures, is about the tribulations faced by African peoples from Algeria to Rwanda. “We’re doing a lot of initiatives with diversity… as an area, many Americans need to know more [about Africa]. Many people have little exposure to films by Africans about life events there,” said Pearson. He also noted that this series is part of the cultural series of events occurring across campus, including lectures and performing arts series installments centered on African culture.

This is indeed a deep film. This semi-autobiographic film focused on a squad of West African soldiers who fought for the French during World War II. They come back from their tour of duty as heroes but, while waiting to be shipped home, they are first held at a French prison camp. They came out of an international war only to fight a personal one.

Director Ousmane Sembene starts the film off with a celebration, and for pretty much the rest of the film, that’s the happiest the audience will see the soldiers. It is a study in the prejudice black soldiers face even when they risk their lives to save others. The camp is located in the desert. It’s a very barren, dry, and lonely looking place. They have no one to turn to except each other.

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“So You Think You Can Dance” Comes to the MAC

entertainment-SYTYCD-webThe top 12 finalists of FOX’s reality show “So You Think You Can Dance” performed at the MAC on Saturday night, one of the last few stops on a 30-city tour. The tour gave fans a chance to see their favorite dancers perform dance routines from the competition as well as entirely new routines.

“So You Think You Can Dance” is a FOX reality dance competition. The Emmy award-winning show was started in 2005 by Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe, two of the minds behind “American Idol.” In his pre-recorded introduction of the show, Lythgoe called the program “America’s favorite summer series.”

The audience was mostly female. The few men there looked to be bored dads with their seven year olds. The pre-show included commercials for sponsors such as Libman Mops and Just Dance 4. It’s safe to say that this was their expected demographic. Of course, not only little girls went with their parents. Danielle Febus of Hackettstown is 27 and attended the show with her mother. She said she was attracted to the show because she used to dance.  

Many attendees had dance experience. Sue Suozzo of Ocean Township has been following the television series since the beginning. She used to coach gymnastics and cheerleading in addition to choreographing school plays. Suozzo said that she loves the show because, “It gives a great opportunity to young people to share their talent.”

One of those young people is finalist Amelia Lowe, a native of Butler, New Jersey. The 18-year-old has been dancing since she was three. In an interview with, she described the rehearsal process as being very intense. “Not only are you doing dances that you’ve done on the show, but you’re doing new ones,” she said.

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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