Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 20, 2020

Arts & Entertainment

Courtesy of Sarah Linton
Hopkins students and alums acted alongside Baltimore actors in new play

Charm City Fringe Festival premieres production of Black Dog

At first, the theatre in which Black Dog takes place, at the Charm City Fringe Theatre Festival in downtown Baltimore, doesn’t look like much. It’s more of an art gallery than a theatre, and the only furniture on the stage, if you can even call the area marked off by black curtains a stage, is a collection of IKEA patio furniture. But any thoughts I had about how minimal and bare the stage looked were all forgotten as soon as the actors took to the stage, in a play that was so viscerally, devastatingly real that the audience sat stunned in their chairs for minutes after the actors had left the stage. 

Even with Nazi zombies, Overlord fails to stand out

World War II has an entire gallery of movies at this point. With countless films like Saving Private Ryan, Inglourious Basterds, Dunkirk, Fury and others all diving neck-deep into the grime and filth of one of the worst man-made disasters in history, how do you make a new story out of that?

Courtesy of Katy Oh
Baltimore Youth Film Arts Program hosts its third annual film festival.

Film festival spotlights Baltimore’s creative youth

Any doubts that I had about whether Hopkins does enough to integrate with the wider Baltimore community were completely challenged when I went to the Baltimore Youth Film Arts Fall Festival. Since 2016, the Baltimore Youth Film Arts Program has built a strong community of young creators who represent their stories through various artistic mediums, including photography, screenwriting, film production and animation.

Courtesy of Cate Turner
Travis Scott performs the first stop of his tour at Royal Farms Arena.

Travis Scott hits first stop of his tour in Baltimore

Travis Scott, one of the most famous names in music right now, began his widely anticipated Astroworld tour last Thursday, Nov. 8 at Baltimore’s Royal Farms Arena. Students on campus, and most likely every campus in Baltimore, have been buzzing since the tour was announced this summer. 

Courtesy of Cole Douglass
Witness Theater put together an impressive show in just 24 hours.

Witness Theater’s 24-Hour Show features a range of student talent

The most impressive aspect of Witness Theater’s 24-Hour Show was, unsurprisingly, the time limit. The act of writing and producing a show is incredibly daunting on its own, so the addition of such a short deadline almost seems like a cruel joke. Despite the time constraint, Witness’ most recent production — held on Saturday, Nov. 10, in Arellano Theater — had all the hallmarks of an excellent production. The jokes were funny, the acting was tight and the entire performance was a testament to the group’s creative talent.

Courtesy of Kanak Gupta 
“Runways” is currently on display on M-Level in MSE Library.

Runaways MSE exhibit prompts tough discussion

When was the last time you paid attention to the art in the library? The last time I did, perhaps one of the only few times, was when it was pointed out to me by an enraged security guard. This was a piece called Runaways by Glenn Ligon.

Indian Summer garners praise for two-week run

Indian Summer, Gregory S. Moss’ play, opens on a beach setting to soft sounds of birds and the ocean in the background. The mid-July Rhode Island beach is slowly populated. The first person there is Daniel (played by junior Sebastian Durfee), a teen dropped at his grandparents’ house by his wayward mother for the summer. Bored and nervous about his mother’s delayed return, his summer takes a turn when he meets Izzy (played by senior Rachel Underweiser), a brash, Rhode-Island accented local. The pair’s feisty first encounters develop into an unlikely relationship that softens into something the audience can’t help but root for.

Courtesy of Throat Culture
Members of Throat Culture, pictured above, showcased their comedic talent in their latest show

Throat Culture performs the comedy show “Existential Crisis”

One look at the title of Throat Culture’s most recent show on Saturday, Nov. 3, “A Not-Quite Halloween, Not-Quite Thanksgiving, Not-Quite Christmas Existential Crisis,” explains basically everything that you need to know about the performance. The comedy was as eclectic as usual, and it was never absolutely clear what the group would bring to the stage next. 

Doug Kerr/CC BY-SA 2.0
Kathleen Hellen’s poem “Tunnel” was inspired by her trips through the Liberty Tunnels.

Kathleen Hellen reads from her newest poetry collection

I returned to the Ivy Bookshop this past Saturday, Nov. 5 to see Kathleen Hellen read from her new poetry collection, The Only Country Was the Color of My Skin. Born in Tokyo, Kathleen Hellen is the half-Japanese author of the award-winning collection Umberto’s Night and two chapbooks, The Girl Who Loved Mothra and Pentimento. Her poems have won the Thomas Merton and James Still poetry prizes, as well as prizes from the H.O.W. Journal and Washington Square Review. 

TV adaptation of “Angel of Death” flops

With the recent trend in films and TV shows to have as dark a plot as possible (in order to appeal to the group of angsty teens that gush whenever blood or death comes on screen), it’s no surprise that Satsuriku no Tenshi, an anime literally called the Angel of Death, has been released.

Courtesy of Katy Oh 
Tom Misch performed at Ram’s Head Live! on his North American tour.

London artist Tom Misch tours his newest album

I first discovered Tom Misch in my junior year of high school while perusing through Soundcloud on a Saturday afternoon.  I remember it like it was yesterday — there I was in my newly purchased Keith Haring shirt from Uniqlo, sitting on my bed as I nonchalantly clicked on one of his tracks. After a few seconds into his classic bass guitar beat drop, I stood up, closed my room door and proceeded to dance, a memory that still makes me cringe on the inside. 

Jeremy Perez Photos/CC BY-SA 2.0
Action Bronson’s newest release White Bronco may be his best yet.

Three new hip-hop albums drop unique sounds

This week has been a fruitful one for hip-hop. There were a ton of big releases and great projects that dropped in a quick span. One of the best projects of this week, and possibly the year, is the collaboration between super producer The Alchemist, gangster rapper Freddie Gibbs and Bay Area legend Curren$y, with their new project, Fetti.

Alumna Rena Rossner shares new novel

I always feel a sense of escape and freedom when I read fantasies. Curious to discover the underlying secret of a book covered in embellished golden details of forests, fruits, villages, a swan and a bear, I attended the book reading event of The Sisters of the Winter Wood, held by the author Rena Rossner at Barnes & Noble on Thursday, Nov. 1.

Courtesy of Jason Eisner
Hopkins professor Jason Eisner will be starring as Professor Henry Higgins.

Professor Jason Eisner discusses his role in My Fair Lady

In an interesting case of art mimicking life, Jason Eisner, a professor in the Computer Science Department and the Language and Speech Processing Center, will costar as the linguistics Professor Henry Higgins in Third Wall’s production of My Fair Lady. The play debuts on Friday, Nov. 9. 

Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2.0
Rami Malek plays Freddie Mercury in the newly released Queen biopic.

Bohemian Rhapsody highlights the genius of Queen

I went to the Senator Theatre in Baltimore’s Belvedere Square on Friday, Nov. 2 to watch Bohemian Rhapsody, the recent musical biopic of the epically famous rock band Queen. The film, as expected, focused on the most well-known aspect of the band: the incredible, exuberant and creative life and mind of the lead singer, Freddie Mercury. Rami Malek, most famous for his lead role in the TV show Mr. Robot, portrayed Mercury to well-deserved critical praise. Malek gave an absolutely compelling performance as Mercury, whose complicated life intersected inevitably with his musical genius in Queen. 

The installations showcased a range of art from Indigenous cultures.

Walters exhibit showcases Native American art

The Walters Art Museum in Mount Vernon opened their newest exhibition, Transformation: Art of the Americas, on Sunday, Oct. 27. As described on the installation’s webpage, Transformation spotlights roughly 20 objects from indigenous American cultures that display the metamorphosis of body and spirit. Name a more wholesome Halloweekend activity than attending a gallery on its first day, I dare you.

Catholic nuns reconcile their faith and identities

I attended a reading at the Ivy Bookshop Saturday, Oct. 27 led by current and former Catholic nuns. They and their editors were promoting a new book called Unruly Catholic Nuns, a collection of poetry, autobiography and short fiction.

Courtesy of Cole Douglass
Little Shop of Horrors was a hit at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center.

The Kennedy Center wows audiences with Little Shop of Horrors

In order to understand Little Shop of Horrors, you really only have to look at its main villain: a sentient, bloodthirsty plant named Audrey II. Despite its desire to eat as much human flesh as it can possibly get its hands on, Audrey II is also the show’s campiest character, just as likely to petulantly throw a tantrum as it is swallow a person whole. It never stops cracking jokes, even as it threatens to consume the entire human race. 

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