Arts & Entertainment

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.

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

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

Childish Gambino ends on a high note

September 26, 2018

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.” 

Searching is a triumph for Asian representation

September 27, 2018

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.

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

iridescence displays Brockhampton’s vulnerability

September 27, 2018

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

September 27, 2018

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. 

Ottobar hosts heavy metal bands in an upbeat show

September 27, 2018

I never listen to metal — it’s a bit of a blind spot in the repertoire of music I know. That being said, I surprisingly ended up at the Ottobar on Sunday, Sept. 24 to see four hardcore/metal bands: Zao (the headliner), Atlas Moth, Yashira and Knife Spitter (the opener). The former three bands were all touring together, having already performed in Philadelphia; Hartford, Pa.; and Brooklyn, N.Y. earlier in the week. 

Jeon attended a night of metal shows at Baltimore’s Ottobar on Sunday.

Public Domain

Blake Lively stars in new film A Simple Favor alongside Anna Kendrick

A Simple Favor, though thrilling, struggles to find emotional balance

September 19, 2018

A Simple Favor can best be understood by looking at its central characters. On the one hand, you have Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), a dedicated and overachieving single mother who runs a parenting vlog and is easily flustered whenever she ends up in an unusual or stressful situation. On the other, there’s Emily (Blake Lively), the foul-mouthed and wealthy best friend whose mysterious demeanor hides a host of dangerous secrets just beneath the surface. 

Deviled Egg Pageant is a big success

September 19, 2018

The Seventh Annual Deviled Egg Pageant took place at the Single Carrot Theatre on Sunday, Sept. 16 to egg-cellent success. “Man, I’m all egged out;” “Take those nasty farts outside;” and “And the award for most Seussian goes to...” are just some quotes overheard from attendees of the unusual event.

Courtesy of Jesse Wu
Deviled eggs competed against each other for a variety of awards.

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. (23).png

Putin on Ice is a stunning but over-stimulating play

September 23, 2018

When I first heard about Putin On Ice (that isn’t the real title of the show), I was instantly intrigued. The self-described “fantastical new portrait of Vladimir Putin” — co-created by Single Carrot Theatre (SCT) and the Acme Corporation — promised to be “something entirely new and thrillingly strange.” Indeed it was, even before I stepped into the theater. At the door, someone wearing a black executioner mask ushered audience members one-by-one into a dark chamber. “You are free to leave at any time,” they said. 

JPEGMAFIA triumphs in his return to Baltimore

September 19, 2018

On Friday, Sept. 14 JPEGMAFIA had his first show in Baltimore since his move to California. On his “The Reverse Christopher Columbus Tour,” Peggy stopped at one of his classic venues, the Metro Gallery — with the small Philadelphia band Joy Again. 

Courtesy Nikita Shtarkman

Local artist JPEGMAFIA performed at The Metro Gallery on Friday, September 14.

Jungle returns with new album For Ever after four year hiatus

September 19, 2018

The British duo Jungle burst onto the music scene in 2014 with their hit song, “Busy Earnin’.” While that single remained in a league above the popularity of the other tracks it accompanied, Jungle’s self-titled freshman album was well-received by critics. Their unique neo-soul/pop-funk sound resonated with fans in both the U.K. and U.S. 

Andrew Martin discusses his new novel Early Work

September 19, 2018

Andrew Martin published his first novel, Early Work, this past July. After reading about it in The New Yorker, I picked it up. At 240 pages and chock full of wit, it was the perfect read to dive into as I lay on the beach in Cape Cod, in denial of summer’s impending end. 

Courtesy of Lulu Liu
Early Work is Martin’s first novel about a young writer and his life.

Nicolas Völcker / CC BY-SA 4.0
Mac Miller was an artist of many talents who’s legacy in the rap world will continue to inspire new music.

Mac Miller’s legacy: musical experimentation and lyrical honesty

September 15, 2018

It is devastatingly hard to lose someone close to you. In some cases, one can feel those same gut-wrenching feelings with the passing of someone they’ve never met. A lot of music fans were confronted with these dreadful emotions on Friday, Sept. 7 when rapper, artist and producer Mac Miller died at the tragically young age of 26. 

Hampdenfest celebrates local culture

September 12, 2018

On Sept. 9 the neighborhood of Hampden hosted Hampdenfest — an annual local celebration of food, music and art. Despite a tremendous downpour, the streets were filled with people eager to check out the Baltimore attraction. 

Philip Nelson/ CC BY-SA 2.0
Nicki Minaj and Cardi B took their dispute to new levels at NYFW.

Why can’t we have two successful female rappers?

September 12, 2018

A year ago, there were no strong contenders to challenge Nicki for the title of the self-proclaimed Queen of Rap. That all changed last summer when “Bodak Yellow” rocketed Cardi B to global domination and positioned her to challenge Nicki, who had been chilling as queen for almost a decade.