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February 26, 2024

To watch and watch for: Week of Jan. 29

By HELENA GIFFORD | January 29, 2024



This week’s picks include espionage film Argylle, a new fantasy novel by Sarah J. Maas, the second album from indie folk artist Vera Sola and an opera at the Peabody Institute based on the story of Hansel and Gretel.

Welcome back to a new semester! I know that you guys are bored stiff of all the wonderful rest and relaxation you got over the past month and a half, but in case you’re still in denial about the end of winter break, we in the Arts & Entertainment section have got you covered with plenty of fresh picks and new releases.

For new movie releases, be sure to check out Argylle if you’re into movies about espionage but are interested in seeing what happens when an unconventional protagonist gets thrown into the mix. But if you want to take things a bit more slowly with a piece of historical fiction, be sure to check out Mads Mikkelsen in the new historical epic The Promised Land.

And for everyone out there who’s been dying for their next fix of Sarah J. Maas’ signature faerie smut, your long wait is over because the third novel in the Crescent City series is out on Tuesday of this week! There’s going to be a crossover with the characters in her extremely popular A Court of Thorns and Roses series, so I’m definitely excited to see how it all plays out.

For fresh music, there aren’t any big name artists dropping albums this week, which means that it’s a perfect time to check out some new and experimental indie artists to spice up your daily Spotify rotation. Listen to some indie folk in the album Peacemaker or try some contemporary jazz with Compassion.

And now, campus performing groups are starting to dust off their instruments and get back onto the stage for the semester, so be sure to check out the first performances of the spring. For a classical experience, try going to a Peabody Opera or Shriver Hall Concert Series performance. Or, support student theater by attending Witness Theater’s I-Show performance.

Here’s what we’re watching and watching for this weekend.

To watch…

Argylle, directed by Matthew Vaughn — Feb. 2

This action movie follows a shy writer of espionage novels who is suddenly drawn into a dangerous underground world when she finds out that everything she writes somehow becomes true.

The Promised Land, directed by Nikolaj Arcel — Feb. 2

This Danish film starring Mads Mikkelsen follows a poor yet prideful former war hero as he attempts to cultivate a barren area of land, drawing the attention of the merciless nobleman who owns the land as they engage in a bitter struggle over it.

To read…

House of Flame and Shadow, by Sarah J. Maas — Jan. 30

In this third installment of the massively popular Crescent City series, half-Fae Bryce Quinlan must find a way to return from the world of the Night Court back to her home in the fantasy-modern world of Midgard. Meanwhile, her lover, Hunt Athalar, must somehow endure another imprisonment by Midgard’s brutal rulers.

Come and Get It, by Kiley Reid — Jan. 30

This novel, set at the University of Arkansas, tells the story of a senior RA who gets into a messy situation with a visiting professor and a few strange new friends. This juicy and thrilling piece of literary fiction comes from the writer of previous New York Times bestseller Such a Fun Age.

To listen…

Peacemaker, by Vera Sola — Feb. 2

Indie folk artist Vera Sola has a sound that sits in that wonderful dark place somewhere between PJ Harvey and Nancy Sinatra. She will be releasing her second album, featuring songs like “The Line,” “Bad Idea” and “Bird House.”

Compassion, by Vijay Iyer, Linda May Han Oh and Tyshawn Sorey — Feb. 2

This strange and exciting jazz album is a collaboration between three artists: acclaimed contemporary jazz composer and pianist Vijay Iyer, Grammy award-winning bassist and composer Linda May Han Oh and acclaimed composer and multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey.

Live events…

Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel at Joe Byrd Hall — Feb. 2 at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The wonderful musicians and performers at the Peabody Institute will be performing a new adaptation of this opera based on the traditional German folk story, composed in the 19th century by classical composer Engelbert Humperdinck. Tickets are free.

Witness I-Show at the Arellano Theater— Feb. 2 at 8 p.m., Feb. 3 at 8 p.m., Feb. 4 at 3 p.m.

Witness Theater, the student-written, directed and produced theater group at Hopkins, will be performing three plays in the Arellano Theater. Tickets are $4 for students and $7 for general admission.

Garrick Ohlsson, piano at Shriver Hall Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m.

Watch renowned classical pianist Garrick Ohlsson perform a repertoire of Chopin, Beethoven and more as part of the Shriver Hall Concert Series. Tickets are free for Hopkins students.

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