Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
August 14, 2020

Arts & Entertainment

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.

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

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. 

John Waters opens a shocking BMA exhibit

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.” 

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

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

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. 

Wind Ensemble shines in concert at Peabody

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.

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

A preview of what’s coming to Netflix this month

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. 

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

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.

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

Book Festival highlights the local literary scene

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. 

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

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.

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.

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

Author Colson Whitehead speaks at Reading Series

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.

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

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

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.

Courtesy Ewatson92/ CC By 2.0
Childish Gambino has been revolutionizing music since his start in 2008

Childish Gambino ends on a high note

On Wednesday, Sept. 19, Donald Glover stepped onto the Capital One Arena stage in Washington D.C. for the last time as his musical alter ego, Childish Gambino. “This is not a concert,” he said to the roaring crowd. “This is church.” 

Charlie Nguyen/ CC BY 2.0
Actor John Cho plays the lead role in the new thriller film Searching.

Searching is a triumph for Asian representation

As summer came to a close, film critics and moviegoers alike were proudly dubbing the month of August #AsianAugust. The wildly popular Crazy Rich Asians, starring an all-Asian cast, became the most successful studio rom-com in nine years. Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before with its lovable Korean-American heroine Lara Jean became a raved-about sensation among teens and college students alike. So when I heard that the thriller film Searching starring John Cho was playing at the Towson Cinemark this September, I knew I had to get tickets.

iridescence displays Brockhampton’s vulnerability

Brockhampton’s fourth studio album, iridescence, was released as the band’s first label-produced album on Friday, Sept. 21. A self-proclaimed American boy band, Brockhampton is a collective of rappers, producers, designers and creators who have put out four studio albums and one mixtape in less than two years (three of which — the Saturation trilogy — came out in 2017).

The Laramie Project impresses audiences

The Iron Crow Theatre in Baltimore put on an amazing and gut-wrenching performance of The Laramie Project to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death. Shepard, a gay man who was brutally robbed, beaten and tortured to death in Laramie, Wyo., would have been 42 this year. 

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