Last updateWed, 24 Feb 2021 1pm


Five Off-Broadway Shows That Are on the Money

Five Off BroadwayWhen living so close to New York City, it’s easy to take advantage of all the great theater at your disposal on the Great White Way.  That is unless you’re a struggling college student because then it’s a bit more difficult.  While “Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark” and “Book of Mormon” might be the toast of Broadway, tickets can come at a steep price.

Off-Broadway plays, on the other hand, are a little more affordable.  Shows here are generally no different in quality except they just perform in a smaller theater.  Every show likes to play to a packed house, and you can usually find discounts online or at the box office for these performances. 

Most often these venues have a very generous price reduction for students, so always make sure to bring your I.D. to the ticket window. 

With winter break approaching, some theatrical entertainment could be just the thing to enjoy, especially if you have a little extra holiday cash in your pocket.  In case you’ve never considered Off-Broadway theater before, The Outlook has your guide for five shows that are worth seeing.

  1. “Love, Loss, and What I Wore”

“Love Loss, and What I Wore” is the equivalent of the best kind of “chick flick” and was even written by Nora Ephron of When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle fame. 

The play features a rotating cast of actresses who speak in the voices of several women, and use observational humor to explore romance and hardship.  This often involves relating the incident to a particle piece of clothing or a fashion fad that has significance to a character. 

Read more ...

‘Season’s Greetings’ Rang Through Wilson Hall

Seasons GreetingsThe Music and Theatre Arts Department presented “Season’s Greetings,” their annual holiday concert, on December 8 on the decorated Grand Staircase in Wilson Hall.

“Season’s Greetings” was a collection of songs performed by students such as the Chamber Singers and Concert Chorus under the direction of David Tripold, chair, associate professor of Music and Theatre Arts, and the Chamber Orchestra directed by Michael Gillette, specialist professor of Music and Theatre Arts.

The night also featured The Harmonic Joules, the University’s Glee Club and The Exultation Ringers of the Colts Neck Reformed Church.

Tripold said the “concert is a special collaboration of music directors and students who assemble a program of seasonal music to be presented each year in the magnificent setting of Wilson Hall.”

Family members, friends and students filled the first floor of Wilson Hall with some onlookers peering down from the balcony.

The night started with bass soloist Brendan Moore graciously singing the J.S. Bach piece “Grosser Herr und starker Konig” from Christmas Oratorio with plenty of slurs to make a smooth legato.

Moore was followed by mezzo soprano Jasmine Walker taking center stage and tenor as well as piano accompanist Justin Sanford performing a slow R&B rendition of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” After Walker belted out the final note, the crowd was left roaring.

Read more ...

Foo Fighters Win Battle for Top 2011 Album

Foo FightersWell, 2011 has been quite the year from a musical standpoint. There have been numerous new bands that have broken into the mainstream, successful bands who have continued their success, and old bands that have made valiant returns.

Considering there are only a few weeks left in 2011, now would be a good time to list what I believe to be the top five albums of the year.

  1. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light.

Hands down the best album of the year and I do not believe any other album this year will be able to top it. Wasting Light was easily the bands best release since The Colour and Shape, which was released back in 1997.

The band went back to their old rock roots, releasing great hard rock songs like “Bridge’s Burning,” “Rope, Walk,” and “These Days.”  The Foo Fighters also had an old friend help contribute on the album with former Nirvana bassist Krist Novaselic collaborating with the group on “I Should Have Known.” It was nice to see him and Dave Grohl back together again.

It’s very hard to find a song that is not listenable on this record, which is why it is easily the number one album of 2011.

  1. Blink-182 – Neighborhoods.

After a six-year hiatus, Blink-182 finally returned to the music scene and released their highly anticipated album Neighborhoods this past September.

Read more ...

Fans Enjoyed “A Winter Night” with Martin Sexton’s Music

A Winter NightMusician Martin Sexton filled Pollak Theatre with his bluesy folk rock this past Friday night, December 9. His set, entitled “A Winter Night,” was a low-key affair that featured Sexton and his guitar.

The Boston native has been a recording artist for the better part of 20 years now with nine full-length albums and an EP due out in January.

Sexton greeted the audience when he first arrived with, “Good evening, brothers and sisters,” and right away the audience could feel his hippie vibe.

However, Sexton didn’t say much else. He’d just go from playing one song after another, often without stopping to say anything about these numbers.

Sexton usually didn’t even introduce his songs, and the closest thing to an introduction was before one song when he said, “I try hard not to suck, and it’s off a record that I think doesn’t suck.” The song did not suck, but it kind of sucks that I have no idea what song it was.

Anyone who wasn’t a Sexton fan might have felt a little out of place, which might explain the various concert goers who left at different points in the performance.

Though judging by the small audience (probably less than 10 rows filled), the audience was mostly Sexton fans. The uproar that was heard every time a song finished was shockingly loud, as was the screaming when Sexton would begin a new tune.

Read more ...

Midseason TV Shows to Stay ‘Awake’ For

Midseason TVFOX was first to start the midseason TV shows with the comedy “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” last week.

The show, revolving around single mothers, Annie and Nikki (Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran respectively) with bratty teen daughters, wasn’t great and the ratings were even worse, so the freshman show hasn’t even been given a timeslot in the new year.

The jokes fell flat and the plot was relatively boring. Luckily, here are other midseason TV shows that viewers might find much more watchable.

Like any musical television show, “Smash” on NBC has the potential to be a huge success or a massive flop. With names like Steven Spielberg, Anjelica Houston, Debra Messing, and “American Idol” alum Katharine McPhee attached, it’s fairly likely that “Smash” will in fact be a smash hit.

“Smash” is a drama about the making of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. McPhee sparkles in the trailer as Karen Cartwright, a struggling actress vying for the part of Marilyn. She is pitted against a more experienced actress (Megan Hilty) and the producers struggle over whether to go for the talent, McPhee, or the name recognition, Hilty.

The show will feature an original song every week, written by Tony and Grammy award winning composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. “Smash” won’t start until February 6 on NBC, but you can go to to see sneak peeks and even a music video of McPhee covering Christina Aguilera’s song “Beautiful.” 

Read more ...

Getting a Better Perspective on Muslim Culture

University Screens Mooz-lum and Holds Q & A with Director

Better PerspectiveThe University Center for the Arts along with the Student Activities Board (SAB) Diversity committee hosted a film screening of Mooz-lum followed by a Q&A with director and filmmaker Qasim “Q” Basir on November 30.

Mooz-lum is a film based on true events of Basir’s life about his upbringing as a devout African-American Muslim growing up in Michigan and his first year in college prior to the 9/11 attacks. Evan Ross seen on the new “90210,” plays the main character Tariq “T” Mahdi.

Basir says he was inspired to make this movie as he thought Muslims “got a raw deal” as they were “wrongfully portrayed by the media in the past decade.”

“[There’s] been a lot of misrepresentations and demonization of a people taking place...Being born and raised Muslim and seeing what Islam was really about which was complete opposite of all the violence and extremism they show consistently in shows and media,” Basir told the audience. “To show a story that represented Muslim people as human beings. I’ve never seen a film that accurately represented me or people like me.”

Megan McGowan, advisor for SAB, said the movie showing came from the National Association of Campus Activities board sending the SAB an advertisement for Mooz-lum.

“We thought it would be a different way to get students involved in diversity programming on campus,” McGowan said. “We hoped it would be more appealing because it was a theatrical and not a documentary and it has well known actors in it, so we were hoping we could grab students’ attention that way.”

Read more ...

All ‘Generations’ Will Race For New Sonic Game

New Sonic GameHappy 20th birthday Sonic! What better way to celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog’s big 2-0 than by releasing one of the best Sonic games not only in the past 10 years, but potentially of all time with Sonic Generations.

The story for Sonic Generations is pretty creative. It is actually Sonic’s birthday and all of his friends are there (minus Shadow and Silver the Hedgehog). However, Sonic’s party is ruined when an evil being known as the Time Eater appears and kidnaps all of Sonic’s friends.

This is too powerful a foe for Sonic to take on alone, so he finds help in himself. The past version of Sonic teams up with the present day Sonic to rescue his, or rather their friends.

However, Sonic’s friends aren’t the only thing being taken by force. Many of the stages from Sonic’s previous adventures fall into a white space and Sonic has to gather the seven chaos emeralds in order to defeat the Time Eater.

Sega clearly wanted to make a game filled with nostalgic references for the veteran Sonic players and also made a game that feels like the old Sega Genesis version. You can tell as soon as the title screen pops up that this is going to be a blast from the past, which is reflected in the game play.

There are two types of stages in Sonic Generations, classic and modern. Modern stages are played very much like Sonic Colors which was released last year. They’re a 3D blast of intense speed unlike anything seen in Sonic games before. I’m not exaggerating when I say this is potentially the fastest Sonic has ever been. The game play for modern stages is ridiculously fast paced and really challenges the reflexes.

Read more ...

Senior Art Show is a Picture Perfect Ending

Perfect EndingGraduating fine art, photography and graphic design students revealed their much-anticipated work at the Senior Art Show in the Ice House Gallery on Friday, December 2. 

The gallery doors opened to the public at 7:00 pm, where students, friends, family and passers-by admired the marvelous work of the graduating class.  Packed to what felt like capacity, hundreds of people walked in and out of the exhibition during the two-hour opening reception. There was an overwhelming sense of pride in the gallery from faculty and family as students displayed their works of art that have been the recent core of their college existence.

To onlookers, no brush stroke or a single shadow in any photo went unnoticed or unappreciated. The hours spent working long after class ended, the sleepless nights, and the crumbled drafts finally had a finished product for the artists. Their inspiring work brought contagious smiles and laughter, as well as a few tears shed from the astonishing artwork in the Ice House Gallery.

The grueling hours of hard work hung on the walls confidently with the help of faculty members such as Anne Massoni (Art and Design specialist professor), Vincent DiMattio (professor of Art and Design), and Mike Richison (Art and Design specialist professor) to name a few.

Senior photography students Francesca DeSena and Moira Gallagher displayed their work on the upper level of the gallery, attracting much attention from those in attendance.

DeSena, a graduating photography major from Marlboro, had been fine-tuning her series for quite some time. The series featured a brilliant recollection of her childhood, which took place on a horse farm where she grew up.

Read more ...

Does Breaking Dawn-Part 1 Shine With Audiences?

FAN REVIEW: Taking a Huge Bite of the Twilight Craze

Twilight CrazeI remember the first time I heard about Twilight. As a senior in high school, I listened to my two friends as they gossiped over Bella’s unconditional love for Edward, a century-old vampire, and her undying attraction for Jacob, a werewolf.

“Who in the world would ever read something like this, much less lose sleep over the film?” I asked them. Alas, I spoke way too soon.

Call me Team Edward, a Twi-hard, a wannabe vampire, etc. As an addictive fan of the books, I’ve grown to love the films, or saga, just as much with every anticipated theatrical release.

I think many will agree with me that the first movie, Twilight, was a painful adaptation of the first novel, but with the new release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn- Part 1, I found myself reliving every word on every page of that incredible bestseller.

Varying from The Outlook’s Entertainment Editor, I gave the newest segment of the saga a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. With a significant improvement in acting, the use of music and a suspenseful, emotional and thrilling storyline, Breaking Dawn- Part 1 shines through as one of this year’s most successful films.

Within the first few minutes, I was already caught off guard. Not a fan of the always awkward, on or off-camera Kristen Stewart, I was undoubtedly surprised by her acting in this film. She actually talks and shows emotion – look at that! Finally four movies later, Stewart embodies the Bella I read about and loved in Stephanie Meyer’s books.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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