Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 21, 2024

Arts & Entertainment



STEVEN SIMPSON / PHOTO EDITOR
Rick Ross and COIN’s performance for this year’s Hoptoberfest was thrilling even for those unaware of the artists’ separate discographies. 

Rick Ross and COIN were a surprisingly fun Hoptoberfest combo

Rap artist Rick Ross and pop rock band COIN performed in this year’s Hoptoberfest concert on Oct. 14. To be honest, ahead of this concert, I had never heard of either Rick Ross or COIN. Their most well-known tracks, “Talk Too Much” by COIN and “Hustlin’” by Rick Ross, were vaguely familiar to me, but not to the extent that I could sing along or shout the lyrics at a concert. However, I figured that a free concert was a free concert, so I went.



COURTESY OF VANESSA BLANCAS-ARAMBURO
¡Baila! is a wonderful community made up of Latino students at JHU, who teach and perform social dancing in styles like salsa, bachata, reggaeton and cha-cha. 

JHU ¡Baila! is a celebration of Latin dance and culture

Juggling classes and exams in college while also maintaining a social life and good mental health can be challenging (I’m honestly exhausted thinking and writing about it). Because of this, JHU ¡Baila!, the University’s only Latin dance team, really stands out for how it embraces the importance of this balance. They offer a welcoming space for Hopkins students to feel connected to each other, their Latin roots and the world of Latin dance.



 ARANTZA GARCIA / DESIGN & LAYOUT EDITOR 
This week’s picks include singer-songwriter Sampha’s new album Lahai; internet personality Ziwe’s literary debut with Black Friend: Essays; Flashback, directed by Jed Shepherd and Everyman Theatre’s first performance of The Chinese Lady.

To watch and watch for: Week of Oct. 15

This weeks picks include singer-songwriter Sampha’s new album Lahai; internet personality Ziwe’s literary debut with Black Friend: Essays; Flashback, directed by Jed Shepherd and Everyman Theatre’s first performance of The Chinese Lady. 


THE COME UP SHOW / CC BY-ND 2.0 DEED
Drake continues to follow his own formula with his newest album For All the Dogs, which was released this past Friday, Oct. 6. Lacking creativity and cohesion, Drake once again fails to deliver a true classic album.

Drake's For All the Dogs scares the dogs away

Drake continues to follow his own formula with his newest album For All the Dogs, which was released this past Friday, Oct. 6. Lacking creativity and cohesion, Drake once again fails to deliver a true classic album.



COURTESY OF HELENA GIFFORD
A bird teaches a father to be supportive of his transgender daughter in Gemma Watson’s play The Whip-Poor-Will.

Witness Theater's Fall Showcase reveals the concerns of Hopkins students

There’s something special about the excitement of a theater minutes before the lights go down. People are flipping through the programs or chatting with their friends, and theater group members are doing their last checks and preparations before showtime. You can never know for sure exactly what kind of show you’re going to be in for. 


ALBERTO BUSCATO VAZQUEZ /  CC BY-SA 4.0
It Lives Inside is a horror movie which draws on Indian mythology.

The skeleton of potential in It Lives Inside

In a cinema landscape where almost every horror film is a metaphor, it becomes slightly disappointing when a film doesn’t execute its messages well, or when it fails to land on any message at all. Regardless of its muddy themes, Bishal Dutta’s feature film directorial debut, It Lives Inside, puts a twist on the possession horror film archetype by following an Indian-American teenage girl’s experience with an evil spirit from Hindu mythology.


ARANTZA GARCIA / DESIGN & LAYOUT EDITOR 
This week's picks include The Fall of the House of Usher, a new horror series based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe, and the Peabody Dance Family Weekend performance at Joe Byrd Hall.

To watch and watch for: Week of Oct. 8

This week's picks include The Fall of the House of Usher, a new horror series based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe, and the Peabody Dance Family Weekend performance at Joe Byrd Hall.



ARANTZA GARCIA / DESIGN & LAYOUT EDITOR  
This week's picks include Javelin, the tenth studio album by Sufjan Stevens, fantasy thriller novel Beholder by Ryan La Sala, The Exorcist: Believer and the International Poe Festival at the Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum.

To watch and watch for: Week of Oct. 1

This week's picks include Javelin, the tenth studio album by Sufjan Stevens, fantasy thriller novel Beholder by Ryan La Sala, The Exorcist: Believer and the International Poe Festival at the Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum. 


COURTESY OF HOMEWOOD PHOTOGRAPHY
Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Artistic Director of Ensembles Joseph Young conducts the Peabody Symphony Orchestra in a previous performance.

The Peabody Symphony Orchestra September concert: a euphony of highs and lows

On Sept. 23 the Peabody Symphony Orchestra (PSO) held its first concert of the academic year. Though held with free admission at the Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall, I had the pleasure of being able to watch it online through a live broadcast. Included in the program were the following pieces: “Pulse” by Brian Nabors, “Totenfeier” by Gustav Mahler and “Symphony No. 2” by Louise Farrenc. The pieces were all conducted by Joseph Young.



HINNK /  CC BY-SA 3.0
Celine Song's latest film, Past Lives, explores the delicate line between the platonic and the romantic.

Past Lives: A towering love story that sculpts the mundane into the mystical

What makes us fall in love? In Past Lives, the quietly stunning debut from Korean-Canadian filmmaker Celine Song, the response is a deceptive one. There is in-yun, a Korean concept of fate intimating that thousands of years of past life interactions bring two people together. But there are also the childhood memories shared, the books coincidentally read and the glances that linger too long. Are these so different? Or are they precisely the same?


ERIK DROST / CC BY 2.0
In Bottoms, two lesbian high schoolers start a fight club to woo their cheerleader crushes.

Bottoms is a fresh take on coming-of-age queer cinema

Bottoms, directed by Emma Seligman, is the most memorable comedy I’ve seen all year. On top of being genuinely funny, it subverts the usual stereotypes of queer media about teenagers. There’s no coming-out subplot present anywhere, but the film is still full of unapologetically lesbian characters and gay jokes that had the entire theater laughing.



COURTESY OF ANNE FLEMMING
You can see Ketzev at showcases and at their end-of-semester performance.

Ketzev is a community-oriented a cappella group rooted in Jewish culture

If there’s one thing that Hopkins has no shortage of, it’s fantastic a cappella groups. But with so many groups on campus, it can be difficult to really highlight the unique strengths and interests of each one. This week I was able to sit down with senior Matt Rodgers, the president of Ketzev at JHU, to find out what makes Ketzev and a cappella at Hopkins so special.


COLLIDERVIDEO / CC BY-SA 3.0
Love at First Sight is an easy-to-watch romantic comedy that recently came out on Netflix.

Is Love at First Sight a love at first viewing?

Out of the 38 Netflix Original releases so far this month, nine of which are movies, the new Netflix romantic comedy Love At First Sight sits at the top of the pedestal as No. 1 in the top 10 movies in the U.S. The new addition to Netflix’s repertoire is an adaptation of the novel The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight, written by Jennifer E. Smith.