Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 22, 2024

Arts & Entertainment



ARUSA MALIK / DESIGN AND LAYOUT EDITOR
This week’s picks include Avatar: The Last Airbender (live-action TV series),  A Tempest of Tea by Hafsah Faizal, Loss of Life by MGMT and “In The Stacks,” a live performance by Opera Baltimore at George Peabody Library.

To watch and watch for: Week of Feb. 18

This week’s picks include Avatar: The Last Airbender (live-action TV series),  A Tempest of Tea by Hafsah Faizal, Loss of Life by MGMT and “In The Stacks,” a live performance by Opera Baltimore at George Peabody Library.


PATRICK AKA HERJOLF / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
In With a Little Luck, a high schooler finds a 20-sided die which magically grants him extra luck, letting him achieve all the things he thought he wanted.

The novel With a Little Luck is a lighthearted take on love and luck

Can you ever be too lucky? Is there such a thing as having too much luck? Before reading the novel With a Little Luck by Marissa Meyer, I probably would have answered “no.” Why wouldn’t you want to wake up on the right side of the bed every morning? Why wouldn’t you want to avoid stepping in a mound of dog poop on the sidewalk or splattering tomato sauce on a white shirt? Why wouldn’t you want to always be lucky?


PETER HUTCHINS / CC BY 2.0 
Following rapper-producer Ye’s year-long public fallout due to his spewing of antisemitic rhetoric, music critics are attacking his recent collaboration album VULTURES 1 with singer-producer Ty Dolla $ign while forgetting the importance of unbiased musical analysis.

Ye and Ty Dolla $ign's VULTURES 1 sparks a critical diatribe

Critics are talking about Kanye West (Ye) irresponsibly. After multiple listening parties, the announcement of two extra volumes, release dates that came and went, Ye and Ty Dolla $ign finally released their collaboration album VULTURES 1 on Feb. 9. The critical response, at least so far, has been singularly negative.



 ARUSA MALIK / DESIGN AND LAYOUT EDITOR 
This week's picks include the newest season of popular reality dating show Love is Blind, as well as the release of the newly translated Korean novel, Welcome to the Hyunam-Dong Bookshop.

To watch and watch for: Week of Feb. 11

Love is in the air this week as we roll into Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re spending the evening with your partner, or just enjoying a Galentine’s Day with your best friends, be sure to check out this week’s recommendations for date night ideas.



HELENA GIFFORD / ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
In the first performance of Witness Theater’s 2024 I-Show, a pair of space pirates try to board a spaceship, only to realize that they never really liked being pirates in the first place.

Pirates, hijinks and murder abound in Witness Theater’s I-Show Performance

There’s one thing that makes everything cooler. Space. Why have a story about pirates when you could have a story about space pirates? Why watch a play about a normal old divorce attorney when you could watch a play about an intergalactic divorce attorney? And sure, stories about people going insane are cool and interesting, but what about people going insane on a spaceship?



COURTESY OF BEN JOHNSON
Peabody Opera Theatre adapts the classic 19th-century opera Hansel & Gretel with jazz instrumentation and Baltimore set pieces.

Peabody Opera Theatre’s adaptation of Hansel and Gretel takes on a Baltimore aesthetic

The Peabody Opera Theatre and Peabody Symphony Orchestra’s adaptation of Engelbert Humperdincku’s Hansel and Gretel, which was performed last Friday, Feb. 2, sets the original fairy tale in Baltimore. At times the setting feels half-baked and unfitting for the 19th-century romantic themes, but there are small moments of resonance between the fairy tale’s messaging and the current problems facing Baltimore. 



ARUSA MALIK / DESIGN AND LAYOUT EDITOR
This week's picks include the highly anticipated collaboration album between Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign Vultures as well as two new episodes of th Genius series, covering the lives of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X.

To watch and watch for: Week of Feb. 4

Here’s the Arts & Entertainment’s selections for this week’s “To watch and watch for.” If you feel anxious about classes, take time to unwind and maybe watch, read or listen to our suggestions!




GAGE SKIDMORE / CC BY-SA 2.0
Tina Fey wrote the screenplay for the original 2004 Mean Girls film as well as the 2017 musical of the same name. However, the new musical film that she wrote fails to live up to the high standards set by the original 20 years ago.

Mean Girls: No, it’s not better than the original

On Wednesdays, we go to the movie theater. I mean, at least I do. You should too. Regardless, the latest buzz is that the classic high school comedy Mean Girls is making its way back to the theater. No, no, not the original movie. It’s a remake. No, not just a remake of the original. It’s a movie adaptation of the Broadway musical that was a remake of the original movie that was based on a book. Got it? Yeah, me neither.


ARUSA MALIK / DESIGN AND LAYOUT EDITOR
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.

To watch and watch for: Week of Jan. 29

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.


ALUMNOCONSERVATORIOFALLA / CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED
Maestro is a biopic from Bradley Cooper which is centered around the marriage of acclaimed real-life conductor Leonard Bernstein to actress Felicia Montealegre.

Maestro presents a complicated marriage through music and memory

How do you encapsulate the entirety of an extraordinary life in 2 hours and 11 minutes of film? You do it in the way any person does when they are old and alone at the end of their lives. By sitting back and letting memories, both treasured and painful, flit before your eyes in a frenetic montage of important moments.


COOLBEANSPIE / CC BY-ND 3.0 DEED
21 Savage releases his third solo studio album with a familiar theme under a slightly different context.

21 Savage's American Dream is the same blood-soaked nightmare

21 Savage released his third studio album American Dream on Jan. 12, 2024, alongside a fake biopic trailer which tricked rap fans and critics alike. Though there are a few songs which feel fresh, with expertly constructed flows, the lyrics never live up to the album’s call for personal expression and vulnerability.



DAVID LEE / CC BY 2.0
Baltimore-native Indie Artist Snail Mail gives fans a look into her songwriting process through the release of Valentine (Demos).

Valentine (Demos) by Snail Mail and the sanctity of indie songwriting

The creative process for any artist is sacred — this incredibly vulnerable and personal affair is unique to so many artists, and yet local legend Snail Mail (the moniker for solo indie artist Lindsey Jordan) has let fans into her own creative journey with the release of her new extended play (EP), Valentine (Demos).