Something Wicked This Way Comes: A Review of Peerless 

In June, the Supreme Court struck down decades of precedent by gutting affirmative action programs at colleges and universities throughout the country. With college admissions becoming increasingly competitive, the recent ruling only increases the anxiety thousands of students feel as they curate the perfect application to gain one of the few coveted spots at the college or university of their choice. This world of paranoia and scarcity where identity is carefully crafted and weaponized sets the stage for Jiehae Park’s Peerless. Adapted from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Peerless conveys the perils of Asian-American twins M and L’s unchecked ambition as they mercilessly manipulate and murder their classmates for the chance to attend “The College.” Although an overwhelmingly dark piece filled with toil and trouble, Angel Katthi’s ʼ24 senior thesis production of Peerless proved to be a poignant and surprisingly humorous rendition of this relevant play. 

Held in the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts’ Black Box Theatre on September 28, 29 and 30, Peerless featured an intimate cast of five phenomenal actors led by Noёlle Romero ʼ24 as the ambitious yet sympathetic M and Katherine Lynn-Rose ʼ25 as her conniving twin sister L. Even from the first moments of the show, the two actresses impressively tackled Park’s fast-paced, short staccato lines as they used the energetic language to enliven the obsessive and threatened world they inhabit. Throughout the production, Romero ʼ24 and Lynn- ʼ25 maintained the intensity of their performances, playing off of each other skillfully to create an interchangeable power dynamic in which the audience could never fully tell who was in control until the play’s shocking end. 

Juxtaposing M and L’s unrelenting nature, D, played by the hilarious Oscar Llodra ʼ25, captured the geeky charm of a classmate who uses his 1/16th Native American heritage to claim M’s spot at “The College.” While many actors default to playing D as a stereotypical, annoying nerd, Llodra ʼ25 breathed life into his character, leading M to feel guilty about killing him for his admissions spot and creating an opportunity for Llodra to convincingly transform into D’s Brother who seeks revenge later in the play.

Netflix’s New Crown Jewel: ‘Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story’

Through expanding the “Bridgerton” universe with the addition of serious topics such as race, grief and mental illness, “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” proves to be an impressive prequel that adeptly employs its predecessor’s characteristic visual milieu of opulent scenery and lush costumes and builds on its foundation of witty banter and steamy romance.

Locally Grown Dance Takes a Bold Leap

American modern dancer and choreographer Martha Graham once said that “great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” While watching the Performing and Media Arts Department’s recent production of Locally Grown Dance, I experienced the dancers’ visceral joy and passion for the work they were showcasing. 

Held in the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts’ Kiplinger Theater on March 9, 10 and 11, Locally Grown Dance featured a series of student dance performances choreographed and spatially organized by student, faculty and guest choreographers. These nine pieces were comprised of four longer performances, Ariadne’s Noose, Beautiful Monsters, Unraveling and CRICKET, that were interspersed with five shorter pieces or interludes. All of these works were supported by live and pre-recorded music, beautiful costumes, vivid lighting and scenic design. 

Although all of the performances were captivating to watch, some of the standouts of the night included Ariadne’s Noose, Beautiful Monsters, CRICKET and the interludes that introduced the audience to the atmosphere of the pieces following them. Starting off the production, Interlude No. 1 (Prelude) drew the audience into this bold world of dance.