Arts & Entertainment

A spotlight on Witness producer Charlie Linton

April 11, 2019

I’ve covered the past three Witness Theater showcases for The News-Letter, and I’m honestly not sure why. I never feel like I’m doing their astonishingly complex plays justice, yet I keep volunteering to review them. 

Courtesy of Charlie Linton
Senior Charlie Linton discussed the positive impact of theater at Hopkins.

Freshmen impressed with their acting chops in a series of short plays.

Freshman One Acts show off new student talent in short plays

October 11, 2018

Over the course of this weekend, the Barnstormers, the oldest and largest student-run theatre-group on campus, presented the Freshman One Acts, a series of short plays that showcase a group of freshmen and their acting abilities. This year’s program featured five shows, including Lost Satellites, The Secret of Jarlsberg, One Tennis Shoe, Insight and The Role of Della. 

Plain White T’s throw it back with nostalgic songs

October 11, 2018

To my knowledge, several students were disappointed that Hoptoberfest had selected the Plain White T’s to perform at its concert on Oct. 5. Yeah, we love “Hey There Delilah,” “1234” and “Rhythm of Love,” some said. But what songs have they done since? Are they even famous anymore?

The Plain White T’s ended Hoptoberfest with a surprisingly good concert.

Courtesy of Scott Patterson
Afro Punk Ballet was performed by local arts group Afro House.

Afro Punk Ballet shows impressive talent

October 10, 2018

There’s a strange combination of otherworldliness and intimacy that pervades Afro Punk Ballet. On one hand, the plot and staging is decidedly futuristic. The characters wear beautiful black spacesuit helmets as they interact with spirits under the light of two suns. On the other, for all of its science-fiction elements, the plot centers on a family struggling to come to terms with the actions and legacy of its patriarch.

Made in Baltimore spotlights local filmmakers

October 10, 2018

This past Saturday, Oct. 6, I drove down to Canton to attend Creative Alliance’s Made in Baltimore Short Film Festival. The evening featured a showing of short films made in the Greater Baltimore Area that were selected for the event.

Courtesy of Katy Oh
Emily Whitney spoke at Doors Open Baltimore about her blog.

McMansion Hell creator explores city architecture

October 10, 2018

Peabody alumna Kate Wagner spoke at Maryland Institute College of Art’s (MICA) Brown Center to kick off Doors Open Baltimore, a free citywide celebration of Baltimore’s architecture and neighborhoods. The event took place on Thursday, Oct. 4.

A Star is Born focuses on female success in the midst of male power

October 10, 2018

In the wake of the horrible news cycle and Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation on Saturday, the evening seemed like the perfect time to go see A Star Is Born in search of even a glimmer of light. This might sound a bit ironic given the film’s rather dark tone, which knocks the wind out of you even more so than the three previous versions of the movie. Still, the power and beauty contained in Lady Gaga’s performance as Ally (which many have deemed Oscar-worthy) made my night, if not my entire week. 

Ronald Woan/CC BY-SA 2.0
Lady Gaga is astonishing in A Star is Born, her first leap from the stage to the silver screen.

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. (43).png

John Waters opens a shocking BMA exhibit

October 15, 2018

John Waters’ exhibit Indecent Exposure opened on Oct. 7 at the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA). The BMA dubs it “the first major retrospective of John Waters’ visual arts career in his hometown of Baltimore.” 

Doctor Who’s first female lead dazzles in season 11 premiere

October 10, 2018

For the first time in its 55 year history, Doctor Who’s latest season, which premiered on Sunday, features a woman as the titular character. Spoiler alert: Jodie Whittaker (Broadchurch, Black Mirror) nails the role. She is brilliant, funny and warm. She is the Doctor. 

Gage Skidmore/ Cc By-Sa 3.0
After 12 men, Jodie Whittaker stars as Doctor Who’s first female Doctor.

Wind Ensemble shines in concert at Peabody

October 3, 2018

When I hear the words “ensemble” or “symphony,” I always think of the classic setting of a suspended and acoustically engineered concert hall with Byzantine decorations on the wall. Musicians on stage would play attentively and solemnly to create a harmonic yet distant atmosphere. However, attending the concert at the Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall at Peabody on Saturday, Sept. 29 reshaped my image of wind ensemble.

A preview of what’s coming to Netflix this month

October 3, 2018

With midterm season in full swing, Hopkins students are back on the grind. But despite our best efforts to be productive, we always end up back on that beautiful but deadly black hole of time: Netflix. Here are three soon-to-be-released Netflix originals to keep an eye out for over the next month. 

Dominick D/CC BY-SA 2.0
Kiernan Shipka stars in Netflix original The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Public Domain
Lil Wayne's Tha Carter 5 doesn't live up to the standards he's set for himself.

Lil Wayne releases fifth album in acclaimed series

October 3, 2018

No one expected this moment to come. Tha Carter V was one of those legendary unreleased albums, on the same level as Jay Electronica’s debut project and Dr. Dre’s Detox. After years of waiting, the historic moment finally came. This past Friday, Wayne released the fifth entry in the Carter series.

Book Festival highlights the local literary scene

October 3, 2018

This past weekend I headed down to the Inner Harbor for the 2018 Baltimore Book Festival. The Baltimore Book Festival is a three-day event with multiple booths, panels and events for adults and children. Music performances and food and refreshment vendors are also scattered throughout the venue. 

The Book Festival attracts authors and readers alike. Above, the 2017 Festival.

Courtesy of Katy Oh
Speakers on stage at MICA discussed their films and those of others.

MICA celebrates Japanese culture at Baltimore Japan Art Festival

October 3, 2018

On Sept. 28 and 29 the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) hosted the annual Baltimore Japan Art Festival, which provided an extensive schedule of events celebrating Japanese culture through art, food, music and film. The highlights of this year’s Festival not only included the celebration of renowned illustrator Yusuke Nakamura and her work, but it also showcased a selection of films from the 2018 New York Japan CineFest. 

Media label highlights Asian talent in the U.S.

October 8, 2018

88rising, the hybrid record label/all around media company dedicated to launching Asian artists, began its first company venture into North America with its 88 Degrees & Rising Tour. The tour kicked off on Sept. 22 at the Los Angeles State Historic Park with the Head in the Clouds Festival, a large-scale affair which showed off 88rising’s diverse and rapidly growing roster of artists. Headliners included Rich Brian, Joji and Higher Brothers.

Author Colson Whitehead speaks at Reading Series

October 3, 2018

At the first President’s Reading Series talk of the year, Assistant Professor in the Writing Seminars Danielle Evans acquainted the audience with Colson Whitehead’s accolades: Pulitzer Prize winner, National Book Award winner, MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellow, author of eight books of fiction and non-fiction. Reaching the podium, Whitehead introduced himself differently.

Courtesy of Homewood Photography
Pulitzer-winning author Colson Whitehead at the reading series.

Sam Cox and Becky Shade in the first play of the showcase, “First Date?”

Witness Theater’s fall show boasts a range of student talent

October 3, 2018

Witness Theater presented their Fall Showcase in the Mattin Center’s Swirnow Theater this weekend. The show, produced by senior Sarah Linton and stage managed by sophomore Dominique Dickey, exhibited an evocative collection of four one-act plays written and directed by students. 

Elizabeth Taylor starred in a film version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1958.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opens at Baltimore Center Stage

September 27, 2018

Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof name drops its own title rather early on in the first act when a wife describes the pain of living with a husband who doesn’t love her back. In a way, all of the characters of Baltimore Center Stage’s most recent production are on their own tin roof. Some are lonely; some are unloved; but none of them know how to get down safely. Their attempts to find peace are clumsy and often almost painful to watch, but the show’s immense empathy for its characters makes it difficult to tear one’s eyes away from the stage.