Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 16, 2024

To watch and watch for: Week of March 11

By HELENA GIFFORD | March 10, 2024



This week’s picks include a posthumously released novel by Gabriel García Márquez and an opera performance at the Peabody Institute.

It’s the last stretch before spring break! Are you as tired as I am? I am definitely looking forward to going home and relaxing (or at least, pretending to relax while inwardly stressing about how quickly the semester is going by). 

There’s a bit of a lull this week in new movie and TV show releases, but be sure to check out the lesser-known film The American Society of Magical Negroes in theaters. This satirical film makes fun of the trope in which a mystical Black person magically swoops in to solve the problems of white protagonists in films or books, and it promises lots of laughs and social commentary in equal measure.

This week brings a renewal in the long-held debate about whether or not unfinished works should be published after an author’s death. An unfinished novel by Gabriel García Márquez will be posthumously published against his wishes. This novel was written during his long struggle with dementia, and before his death, he requested that the book be destroyed. However, his sons have decided to publish the book anyway, and it will be making its way onto shelves on Tuesday, for better or for worse.

If you want to experience literature from writers who are alive and well (or maybe if you just have a reading response due for IFP or another Writing Seminars class), be sure to check out some of the amazing readings happening this week on and around campus. Jonathan Escoffery, famous for writing the 2023 Booker Prize finalist If I Survive You, will be giving a reading on Wednesday night. Furthermore, author Adelle Waldman will be giving a reading at Bird in Hand.

In music, pop singer Justin Timberlake and country singer Kacey Musgraves will be releasing new albums this Friday. But if you want to experience live music, definitely make the trip to the Peabody Institute to see a piano concert in the breathtaking George Peabody Library, or to watch a comedic opera filled with hijinks and misunderstandings in the Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall.

Here's what to watch and watch for this week! 

To watch...

The American Society of Magical Negroes, directed by Kobi Libii — March 15

This satirical comedy stars Justice Smith as Aren, a young man who joins a secret society of Black people who use magic to prevent white people from feeling uncomfortable. However, on his first assignment, things get difficult as he falls for the same woman as his designated white person. 

Arthur the King, directed by Simon Cellan Jones — March 15

This movie starring Mark Wahlberg is based on a true story of an adventure racer who befriends a street dog, who then stunningly follows him on a 435-mile race in the Dominican Republic. 

Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 premiere, created by Shonda Rhimes — March 14

The hit medical drama series that follows doctors and interns at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital will premiere its 20th season on ABC Network. 

To read...

Until August, by Gabriel García Márquez — March 12

Ten years after his death, the final unfinished work of Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez will be published. The novel follows a married woman who goes to the island where her mother is buried every August to take a lover for a single evening.

Great Expectations, by Vinson Cunningham — March 12

In this coming-of-age novel, a young Black man’s life is changed when he sees a senator from Illinois give a speech. He then goes to work for the senator for 18 months as he runs for president. 

The Manicurist’s Daughter, by Susan Lieu — March 12

This memoir tells the story of a Vietnamese American woman whose mother dies suddenly during a plastic surgery procedure. It explores concepts of beauty, immigration, loss and the American Dream.

To listen...

Everything I Thought It Was, by Justin Timberlake — March 15

This new album from pop icon Justin Timberlake will feature tracks like “Memphis,” “No Angels” and “Technicolor.” It will also include previously released tracks “Selfish” and “Drown.”

Deeper Well, by Kacey Musgraves — March 15

Country music singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves will be releasing her sixth studio album. It will include 14 tracks, including songs like “Cardinal,” “Heart of the Woods” and “Lonely Millionaire.”

Live events...

Adelle Waldman: Help Wanted with Emma Snyder at Bird in Hand — March 11 at 6 p.m.

Best-selling author Adelle Waldman will read from her upcoming novel Help Wanted in this event at Bird in Hand Coffee & Books. Help Wanted has been described as a funny, eye-opening tale of work in contemporary America. She will be in conversation with Emma Snyder, the owner of Bird in Hand and the Ivy Bookshop.

Jonathan Escoffery: Chaffee Visiting Writer in Gilman Hall — March 13 at 6 p.m.

Best-selling author Jonathan Escoffery was nominated for the Booker Prize last year for his short story collection If I Survive You. He will read from his upcoming novel Play Stone Kill Bird in this Writing Seminars Reading Series event, which will take place in Gilman 50. 

In the Stacks: Vicky Chow plays Philip Glass in George Peabody Library — March 14 at 6:30 p.m.

Set in the stunning George Peabody Library, pianist Vicky Chow will perform selections from the piano etudes of Philip Glass, the famous experimental composer who was born and raised in Baltimore. The performance will also include readings from Glass’ memoir performed by baritone Rahzé Cheatham.

Johann Strauss: Die Fledermaus at the Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall — March 14–17

Watch Peabody Opera Theatre and the Peabody Symphony Orchestra perform this comedic opera, which translates to “The Bat” and originally premiered in 1874. Tickets are free and the performance will be live-streamed.  

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