Last updateWed, 24 Feb 2021 1pm


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.”

The play, originally slated to commence at 7:30 pm, had to be held until 7:45 pm because of the throngs of people making their way into the Pollak Theatre. A cast of 14 women performed to a nearly-full house.

The performance was dynamic, engaging and, above all, fun. The actresses performed well and kept their composure during portions that would’ve made most others burst into laughter. One line that really left the audience in stitches was, “I don’t want my p***y to smell like rain!” Even the most conservative audience members began to loosen up as the performers got the crowd to let out orgasm moans and chant the “C” word.

All of the members of the audience, from men and women to old and young, could relate to the characters in this play.

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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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Comedy of Errors Has Audiences Laughing Across the World

Comedy of ErrorsWilliam 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.

After this sad but hopeful story, the errors and comedy begin immediately as Antipholus and Dromio arrive in Ephesus. Dromio is sent off to deposit some money as Antipholus considers how to spend his time, just as Dromio walks on stage sooner than expected. Yet, it’s not Dromio of Syracuse but his long lost twin brother, Dromio of Ephesus (Daniel Poyser) who works for Antipholus’s twin brother, wanting who he thinks is his master to return home to his suspicious wife.

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Don’t Fall Asleep While Traveling Between Parallel Universes

Don't Sleep Parallel UniversesThe 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

More Reasons Stay HouseEditor’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

Mario Kart 7And 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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Liliana Ursa Captures Life Experiences Through Poetry

Liliana Experience PoetryRomanian poet Liliana Ursa shared some of her work last Thursday at Samuel Magill Commons as part of the Visiting Writers Series, which is connected to the University’s Center for the Arts.

On the University’s Visiting Writers Series webpage, Michael Thomas, Director of the program and Assistant Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, said in a video recording, “What we’re doing is following an ancient tradition of the oral performance of literature, and whether we know it or not, we have a real hunger for that kind of live oral performance of literature. And I love the way that the Visiting Writers brings people together like that.”

The reading began with an introduction by Thomas, who acknowledged the fact that Ursa wasn’t originally considered to be part of this year’s engagement, since she lived in Romania, until it was known she’d be touring the United States. “When we had an opportunity, we took advantage of it,” Thomas said.

After Ursa was introduced, the eager audience gave a generous applause. She took to the podium, grateful for the response, and thanked Thomas for his introduction. Ursa started with a story about a friend pleading her to come to America, since the friend suggested, “America is your writing desk.” She finally took the journey from Romania, and was immediately moved by the weather in New Jersey. “And of course,” Ursa said, “I started writing a poem. And then a second arrived.”

Ursa also explained that some foreign language poets didn’t hold the same values of translating their work to other languages like she did, or liked “covering a rose with a blanket” and attempting to smell it through the blanket. Ursa said she tries to cover the rose with “a thin veil” so the poem doesn’t lose its original meaning.

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Documentary Offers a Deeper Insight at Life in Pakistan

Documentary Deeper InsightAccording to Newsweek, Pakistan is one of the most dangerous nations in the world. Many people are, understandably, offended by this remark, such as Ayesha Khan, executive producer of Made in Pakistan. 

The documentary, which was screened for audiences on February 21 in Pollak Theatre, was the second feature in this year’s Provost Film series and part of the Caravanserai cultural program.  This year’s films share the theme of Muslim culture, with an emphasis on women.

For Khan, a driving force and motivation in making the documentary was showing the world that Pakistan is not a dangerous place to live in, and in many ways, is much like the United States of America.

Dr. Thomas Pearson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, thought that the film “shattered our perception of there being a Pakistani culture.”

Made in Pakistan shows the lives of four working class citizens in the city of Lahore. These four people aren’t very different from Americans in regard to living a good life and doing things such as paying bills.

Tara Mahood is a public relations worker in the fashion business. Rabia Aamir is an editor for the Fourth Article, a magazine that is trying to both entertain and inform. Mohsin Wartaich is an aspiring politician. His father is running for the presidency in Pakistan and wants to implement changes that will actually benefit the Pakistani people.

Yet, the person who really drew my attention was Waleed Khalid. He is a conservative and religious lawyer partaking in the boycott following Pervez Musharraf declaring a state of emergency in 2007 (this led to the suspension of the country’s constitution).

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Cowboy Junkies Didn’t Carry the Same Tune For All

Cowboy Same TuneIf you were depressed and brooding on Friday night, Pollak Theatre would’ve been the perfect place for you. The event was called “An Evening with Cowboy Junkies,” but probably should’ve been renamed “Three Hours of Depressing Songs and Awkward Swaying.”

Cowboy Junkies, despite their name, are not actually a country band with a penchant for drugs. They play a mix of rock, folk and blues. It culminates in them sounding a lot like 90’s alternative music like The Cranberries or Alanis Morissette.

Singer Margo Timmins acknowledged their love for depressing songs. They sang a song that is apparently famous in China, but had to translate it first. Timmins laughed, “We found the song, translated it and found that [the Chinese singer/songwriter] likes depressing songs too.”

The Canadian band, which was formed in 1985, divided the set into two parts. The first part consisted of all of their new songs, without much reaction from the audience. Timmins acknowledged that the audience probably didn’t come to hear songs they didn’t know. “Grin and bear it,” Timmins said to the crowd, “Maybe you’ll like some of them.”

The new songs were from four albums, collectively known as The Nomad Series, which were written and recorded over 18 months. Why record four different albums in 18 months? They just wanted a challenge. Timmins said that each album can be listened to on its own, as there isn’t much linking the four together. I’d have to disagree and say that based on the sampling they gave the audience, all four albums sounded exactly the same.

Listening to Cowboy Junkies is a lot like listening to a Nickelback album. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with the music. It’s actually pretty good for the first few songs, but after three hours everything sounds exactly the same.

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Ghost Rider Fails to Seek Vengeance For a Sequel

Ghost Rider Sequel“It doesn’t matter how far you run. There are some demons you just can’t escape,” says Johnny Blaze, played by Nicolas Cage.

After sitting in the theater for about 45 minutes, I felt like I needed to escape this new demon after going through a disappointing experience watching Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (3D) directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank). I had high hopes for this sequel, but with the mediocre acting and some cheesy effects, my burning passion for a positive review was put out.

The story began with Johnny/Ghost Rider hiding out in Eastern Europe in an attempt to escape his struggle with the spirit of the Ghost Rider. As explained by Blaze at the start of the film, he was a stunt motorcycle rider who performed shows with his father.

After his father was stricken with cancer, the Devil offered to save his father for Johnny’s soul. The Devil held up his end of the bargain by curing Blaze’s father. However, he got killed in a motorcycle accident at his next show.

With Johnny having signed a contract for his soul, the Devil made him the Ghost Rider, a demon capable of numerous supernatural abilities.

While Johnny has been staying at an isolated area in Europe, a French monk named Moreau (Idris Elba) finds Johnny to ask for his help in locating Danny (Fergus Riordan) and Nadya (Violante Placido), a mother and son who are being hunted by a group of mercenaries led by

Ray Carrigan (Johnny Whitworth from Limitless). In return, Moreau and his fellowship of monks can help free Johnny from the Ghost Rider curse.

As the Ghost Rider, Johnny can sense Danny’s whereabouts just as the boy has been captured by Carrigan, who is following orders from his boss Roarke (Ciarán Hinds), the Devil.

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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.

While it was performed in Chicago, that wasn’t necessarily the finished product. What Ricciardi was sent was sort of a mess. “[Schwartz’s office] warned me that they were going to send me a mess. I was so excited that I didn’t care. […] They literally photocopied the prompt book from the Chicago production and sent it to us without any explanation as to what a lot of things are. It’s like a puzzle: they took it apart, put it in a box, shook it up and sent it to us.”

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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