Last updateFri, 22 Jun 2018 4am


Scheherazade: Tell Me a Story Engages Viewers With a Powerful and Moving Tale

ScheherazadeThe Provost Film Series kicked off last Monday in Pollak Theatre, entering its fifth year at the University, with a screening of the Egyptian movie Scheherazade: Tell Me a Story.

Provost Dr. Thomas Pearson acted as host for the event, welcoming guests to the theatre, and introducing “a great film.” He said this year’s theme, “A Journey into Muslim Culture with a Special Focus on Women,” was inspired by the events that led to the Arab Spring.

“How was it in these ancient capitals of the world that we saw such political volatility?” said Pearson. “Everybody was talking about the role of the social media in bringing about various upheavals; we were thinking it’d be very interesting to use film to get some sense of the political, social, economic and cultural origins of those upheavals against the patriarchal regimes.”

There was an open discussion afterwards with guest panelist Dr. Maysa Hayward, Dean of E-Learning at Ocean County College, who was born and raised in Egypt.

She said the title Scheherazade is based off the popular Middle Eastern story “One Thousand and One Nights” where a Scheherazade is a woman trickster that tells stories to a king to avoid having her head cut off. In the movie, Scheherazade is a woman “exposer of real life, in your face situations.”

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Broadway Shines on Primetime with “Smash”

Broadway Shines“Smash” is the perfect show for any musical theater lover. The NBC drama premieres February 6 at 10:00 pm and revolves around the making of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. (The first episode is currently available to watch online at nbc.com.)

The show follows Karen Cartwright (Katharine McPhee), a struggling actress vying for the part of Marilyn. She has yet to make her big break and makes money waitressing. Karen is an Iowa native whose parents continually urge her to give up her dreams and aim for a more realistic job.

While auditioning for the role, Karen is pitted against a more experienced actress, Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty), and the producers struggle over whether to go for the talent, Karen, or the name recognition, Ivy.

First, though, the show needs to be written. The show is being rushed due to the first song demo being released. The great buzz generated is forcing the show to go through and be quickly finished. The idea originally was just something that writers Julia (Debra Messing) and Tom (Christian Borle) were just toying with.

Meanwhile, Julia had plans to adopt a child with her husband, something that would require her to slow down her career. She had promised her husband that she would not take on another job, but she just couldn’t drop the idea, causing plenty of tension within her family.

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Daughtry Will Get the MAC Rocking in April

Daughtry WillAs part of their Break the Spell tour, the alternative/grunge rock band, Daughtry, will hold a concert in the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC) on Friday, April 20 at 7:30 pm. Special guests include the American pop/rock band, Safetysuit, and rhythm/blues artist, Mike Sanchez.

The concert will be produced by Concerts East, Inc. and AEG Live.

Daughtry is an American rock band from North Carolina, created and fronted by “American Idol” Season Five finalist, Chris Daughtry.

 Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student and Community Services at the university, helped arrange Daughtry to perform at the MAC. “The University works with a concert promoter, Concerts East Inc. and AEG Live to get shows in the MAC,” Nagy said. “We were contacted some time ago by them to see if we were interested in Daughtry and obviously we were.”

According to musicstop.org, Daughtry declined an offer by Fuel to be the rock band’s lead singer, and “on July 10, 2006, it was announced that he had signed with 19 Entertainment and RCA Records” to form his self-titled band.

The original band consisted of Jeremy Brady (guitarist), Josh Steely (lead guitarist), Josh Paul (bassist), and Joey Barnes (drummer).

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Batman: Arkham City Offers More Insanity Than Arkham Asylum

BatmanBatman: Arkham City was easily one of the best presents I got for the holidays. There’s a very good reason that everyone is calling this game the best Batman game ever. Only the Batman game on the original Nintendo Entertainment System comes close to this one in terms of good game play and overall fun.

When Batman: Arkham Asylum came out two years ago I thought it was a good game, but it just lacked the replay value. It didn’t really pull me back into the game once I beat it. Arkham City not only has more to do to keep you coming back, it almost challenges you to come back and try to complete it.

I would love to talk about the story, but I really shouldn’t. The story in this game is very good and chockfull of classic characters, friend and foe alike. To even list anyone would be a potential spoiler.

All I can really say is if you want a good, dark, and compelling Batman story, Arkham City won’t disappoint you. Also, if you wanted to see your favorite villain make an appearance, chances are they probably will.

Arkham City uses the same graphics engine that Arkham Asylum used. It looks amazing to say the least. I would strongly recommend playing this game on an HD TV if you have one. You don’t have to, but I will say that it can definitely make a difference, especially if you’re trying to scope out an area in the game.

Both the voice acting and in-game music are amazing. It sounds very much like the 1990’s cartoon, “Batman: The Animated Series,” which should be a plus for any fan of the animated series.

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Art Faculty Exhibition Brings Professors’ Talents Out of the Classroom

Art Faculty 1The Rotary Ice House Gallery hosted an opening reception for the Art Faculty Exhibition on Friday night that was attended by fellow faculty, students, friends, and family members.

The Gallery was filled with paintings, sculptures, photography and interactive art created by professors of the Art and Design Department. Each professor’s art was elegantly displayed, set up neatly to show their collection in one area along with materials used and date created.

Michael Thomas, Assistant Dean of the McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, was in attendance and thought the exhibit helped him understand who the professors are and a new level of respect. “As a colleague it’s the opportunity where I get to really see what’s really going on creatively with professors and colleagues…seeing them other than teaching, advising or other array of duties,” said Thomas. “I get to know them better, like seeing Vincent DiMattio’s art and then understanding that intense, concentration and process that he has.”

DiMattio, professor of art and design, has some great art drawn on various napkin materials, showing guests that all one needs to create art is a pen, some kind of paper and an imagination.

Over a period of a week, DiMattio, who jokingly called his art “excessive” to fellow colleagues, created various pieces of art that have been collaborated into one wall of greatness.

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Modern Warfare 3 Finishes the Trilogy on Target

Modern Warfare 3After Call of Duty: Black Ops was released in November 2010, I was excited for Infinity Ward and Activision to release another Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (MW) title. With the game being released the same month in 2011, I was worried that IW would rush to get it done and just sell the games with the idea that people would buy them because of the title. I hate it when I’m right about these kinds of predictions, but this time I was wrong. Despite small flaws, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is an enjoyable game that gives my Call of Duty fix a boost.

I can admit, I’m a Call of Duty fan boy (calm down Battlefield fans, I like those games too). I loved the WW2 era Call of Duty games, Modern Warfare 1 and 2, and even Black Ops. These games got me excited for the release of Modern Warfare 3. Modern Warfare 2 was fun, but it needed some improvements, so I was excited to see how Modern Warfare 3 was. After I got my game at Gamestop, I drove back to my apartment and put the disc in my Playstation 3, eagerly waiting for the game to load. After playing the game for a couple of hours, I was not disappointed with it at all.

Let me start off with the single-player campaign of the game. It picks right up from the ending of Modern Warfare 2. Like MW 1 and 2 (and other Call of Duty games), you switch back and forth between the missions to play as different characters. The United States at war with Russia and an elite team of soldiers led by Captain John Price is on the hunt for Vladimir Makarov. With Makarov playing a small role in MW 2, he is now the primary bad guy for MW 3. Somehow, he became responsible for tricking Russia into attacking the United States, which I still don’t understand how the Russian army managed to bring together a gigantic army to attack Washington D.C. in MW 2.

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Reunions and Annual Events Top 2012 Concert Season

With the dawning of a new year, questions and rumors arise of what to expect from the 2012 concert scene as music lovers buzz with excitement of what is to come. Based on the successes of last year’s music scene and the newest artists’ announcements, I present the top 10 most anticipated musical events of 2012.

10.) Van Halen

Formed in the 70’s, Van Halen was praised for their signature shrieks of Eddie Van Halen’s electric guitar and the unmistakable energy of front man David Lee Roth. After great success with number one hits like “Jump,” tension between the band members led to replacing their main vocalist.

Van Halen continued to play together without Roth, but did not achieve their original success. Just before all hope had been lost of the band reuniting, Van Halen played a surprise show at a café in New York City with Roth as their lead on January 6.

The band has announced the release of their new album, A Different Kind of Truth, for February 7 and their plans to go on tour. Local shows include two at Madison Square Garden February 28 and March 1, or at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia March 5. This epic opportunity is not inexpensive however (cheapest tickets at MSG run about $60).

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The Artist Silences Audiences With Nostaglia

Artist Silences AudiencesWhile movies have been innovated over the years by how people see them, from eye-popping 3D to awe inspiring IMAX, there is very little reason to regress to old filming techniques. Especially when one goes back to the way movies were originally shown to audiences with no color, completely silent besides a musical score, and a story simply told through action and written dialogue.

As creativity seems to be diminishing from Hollywood, Michel Hazanavicius’s film The Artist shows audiences that out with the old and in with the new is not always true, even if that’s what the movie is all about.

The Artist dives right into the successful life of silent movie star George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) at the height of his career. His latest movie, “A Russian Affair,” is having its premiere and the audiences love it. George hogs the spotlight with his dog Jack while movie head Al Zimmer (John Goodman) basks in the applause backstage.

As they exit the theater, the streets are packed with reporters and the women that love George, like Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), a beautiful unknown dancer. She’s pushed front and center as George stares at her in bewilderment at her natural beauty. He then bursts into laughter as she charismatically smiles and poses for pictures, the start to her bright career.

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Provost Film Series Puts A Perspective on Muslim Women

Provost FilmThe University will be hosting the Provost’s Film Series featuring movies on Muslim cultures with a focus on women.

The four films being presented at Pollak Theatre were organized by Provost Thomas Pearson, his office and the Office of Global Initiatives and will be shown throughout the spring semester.

The movies this year are Scheherazade: Tell Me A Story (January 30), Made in Pakistan (February 21), Rachida (March 21), and Under the Bombs (April 5).

Each film comes from a different country, each with its own unique story of women in Muslim culture. Three of the films were produced and made in the Middle East, shot in locations such as Egypt, Lebanon and Algeria.

For example, Made in Pakistan is a documentary filmed in Pakistan following four citizens, including two women entrepreneurs.

Pearson says this year’s theme was inspired by the Arab Spring and thought “it would be great to have a film series that deals with one of the most ancient places in the world which was now becoming politically dynamic.”

Saliba Sarsar, Associate Vice President of Global Initiatives at the University, is part of the committee in selecting films, saying this year’s theme is also important “because we are tying it to the Caravanserai initiative which focuses on the Muslim culture.”

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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. 

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‘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.

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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
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu