Courtesy of Kitchen Theatre Company

Kitchen Theatre Company’s Girlfriend Is Thin on Plot But High on Feeling

Based on Matthew Sweet’s 1991 alternative-rock album of the same name, Kitchen Theatre’s first production of the 2018-19 season, Girlfriend, has everything you’d expect from a classic summer rom-com — the meet cute, the mutual pining, the awkward yet exhilarating first date, the inevitable challenges and their resolution. What makes Girlfriend different from the start, however, is that instead of boy-meets-girl, it’s boy-meets-boy, in a small, conservative, midwestern town. It’s the summer of 1993 in Alliance, Nebraska, and Will (Jonathan Melo) is still celebrating graduating high school and his new-found freedom when he receives a mixtape out of the blue from a classmate, Mike (Woody White). Unlike Will, a musical theater nerd constantly bullied at school for his sexuality, Mike is the golden boy of the football team with a (rather absent) girlfriend and a full ride to college, and it had seemed unlikely for their paths to ever cross. What they share, however, is a passion for music.

SS041618_9341

Love and Lust in a Burning Forest

“There was a cabaret and there was a master of ceremonies and there was a city called Berlin in a country called Germany. It was the end of the world…” So writes Cliff Bradshaw, the starry-eyed American novelist whose search for love and adventure in 1930s Germany frames John Kander and Fred Ebbs’s Cabaret. In the haze of the Kit Kat Klub, a haven for stockings, lipstick, and high-heeled performers, Berlin is in full-view, beautiful in its celebration of self and doomed by the rising political waves that would ultimately engulf Europe. Ithaca College’s production of Cabaret was an astounding success, executed with masterful design, orchestration, choreography and particularly amazing talent. Designed to bring the audience into the nightclub, with red “Ausgang” signs, dim lights and the orchestra dressed as a cabaret band, Clark Theatre brought the tantalizing Kit Kat Girls and Gals as close to the audience as possible.

Artwork from the Estudios de Tension exhibit in the John Hartell Gallery.

Cartographies in Suspension

Before entering the space, it is as if the exhibit still has yet to be curated. A space that is normally bursting with artwork appears startlingly bare to the passing gaze from the exhibit’s periphery. Yet examination is almost always a generative process of exposure and uncovering — in terms of both the viewer as well as the viewed. The exhibit in question, Estudios de Tensión, meaning “studies of tension,” is a study of the relational and symbolic interactions that shape and constitute the world. A product of the artist Nicolás Robbio, the works can be found in the John Hartell Gallery in Sibley Hall until April 19.

RISE image

YANG | This One’s for the Theater Kids

When the trailer for NBC’s new series, Rise, popped up on my news feed a few weeks ago, I cursed Facebook’s advertising algorithm and made a mental note about the pilot airing date simultaneously. I mean, a show about a high school theater troupe putting on Spring Awakening, starring Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) and Auli’i Cravalho (Moana) and produced by Jeffrey Seller (Hamilton)? It practically has my name written all over it. So naturally I had high expectations going in, but I also worried that Rise might fall into the dangerous trap of clichés. And I believe I was right to a certain degree.

Max Buettner '21 acts in last week's Odysseus Wounded.

Odysseus Wounded: A Modern Take on a Greek Epic

At the end of The Odyssey, Odysseus finally journeys back from the fallen city of Troy to Ithaca, where he once reigned as king. Disguised, Odysseus finds his kingdom infested with once-loyal suitors competing for Odysseus’ wife’s, Penelope, hand in marriage. After skillfully shooting an arrow through twelve axes to prove his identity in a now iconic scene, Odysseus, along with his son Telemachus, in rage, proceeds to slay every single one of the suitors in barbarous fashion. The epic poem, attributed to Homer, was composed in oral tradition by a rhapsode, a classical Greek performer of epic poetry. Appropriately, the play Odysseus Wounded, by Nathan Chazan ’19, former Sun arts columnist, and Alexander Lugo ’19 was performed as a live reading.

26788792568_e771924998_z

Love in Free Fall: A Review of Bright Half Life

“Falling in love” is a fascinating expression. In my native language, Chinese, the two most-used equivalents of the phrase compare love to things one could physically fall into, such as a river or a net, but English expression might just be superior because of its ambiguity. Do we fall into love, or are we falling when we’re in love? The Kitchen Theater’s Bright Half Life seems to say it’s both. Written by Tanya Barfield and directed by Sara Lampert Hoover, Bright Half Life is a two-women play that follows the story of Vicky (Shannon Tyo) and Erica (Jennifer Bareilles) through the decades.

1440x690 WEBSITE_PHOTO

Night Light: Beauty in Methodologies

Taught by Professor Jean Locey in the fall of 2017, ART 3604: Alternative Processes offers a stunning collection of works in Night Light, an exhibition held in Tjaden Hall. The class was an exploration of non-lens based photographic processes, centering around the creation of imagery through the painting of  photosensitive emulsion on paper followed by a subsequent exposure to light. Kylie Corwin ’18, one of the five featured artists,  remarks that, “this class challenges our contemporary perception of photography as a medium by teaching analog techniques that are not only historic but also labor intensive, thus enriching our appreciation for the physicality and vastness of the photographic medium.”

Originally used for the reproduction of diagrams and notes, the cyanotype is a photographic printing process that results in products with varying intensities of the titular cyan shade — hence the term, blueprint. However, the technique has since been extensively utilized by artists for a multitude of intentions. Jérai Wilson ’20 features this method in Recycled.

1ed843c8f26b0b6b15b10725c9eee369e3eb5c74-1

Doug Hall’s In Silence — A Wondrous Architecture

The acclaimed artist Doug Hall has worked in a variety of media and his work is currently being exhibited through his photography. Located in the Bibliowicz Family Gallery in Milstein Hall, In Silence brings together some of Hall’s most celebrated photographs which feature stunning scenes of archives and examinations of the human relationship with knowledge. In “Remembrance of Things Past” (Marcel Proust), the title of the photo alludes to the central figure dominating the entirety of the piece, the Proustian work of the same name. The luscious prose which sprawls across the page is hypnotic and is one of the initial pulls of the work. The book in the photograph radiates the appearance of being effortlessly unplanned yet at the same time astonishing.

Courtesy of Cornell University

Escaping the Exclusive Preserve — A discussion of William Lim: The Architect and his collection

Once an architecture student at Cornell, William Lim has since had a transformative effect on the artistic landscape. His style is concise yet evocative, and his works represent a compelling intersection between art and architecture — a sublime pursuit of elegance removed from the exclusive preserve of the museum. In addition to his role as a prolific creator he has maintained an impressive art collection, exercising a particular emphasis on representing the artists of his native Hong Kong. Located in the John Hartell Gallery in the Sibley Dome until March 15, William Lim: The Architect and His Collection exhibits a stunning selection from the artist’s collection and from his own works. One of the particularly moving pieces of the exhibition is Pastoral Music by Samson Young.