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.
When I first heard about Spring Awakening, I thought of benign, sunny meadows full of blossoming flowers with some schoolchildren skipping through. Little did I know that the play is about schoolchildren’s sexual blossoming rather than their cavorting in a blooming field of flowers. I might have been far off, but the surprise made seeing the Risley Theatre production of Spring Awakening even more enjoyable. The rock musical is based on a book by Steven Sater, who also wrote the lyrics to accompany the play’s music. Set in Germany in 1891, Spring Awakening’s story is that of a group of teenagers in the midst of puberty.
At five o’clock sharp on the evening of April 13, the doors to the Klarman Auditorium opened, and the crowd that had amassed just outside funneled into the dimly lit seats. The first few rows filled in seconds. The stage was warmly lit, bare except for a piano and eight chairs. The crowd buzzed with hushed, excited conversation, eagerly awaiting the concert reading of the most recent play from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Cornell alum Paula Vogel, directed by Meghan Brodie, Ph.D. ’10. Vogel first came to Cornell as a graduate student in 1974; throughout her years at Cornell, she wrote plays and taught classes in drama and playwriting, earning her Master of Arts in 1976 and working toward a doctorate degree.
When I went home for winter break and saw The Prince Who Turns Into A Frog broadcasting on television for the twentieth time since its first airing in 2005, I still felt the nostalgia that only certain dramas can evoke in me. The plot is quite cliché and unrealistic at times, but it is one of those classic dramas that unknowingly makes you accept the impossible for the hour that it broadcasts just so you can immerse yourself in the romantic fantasy of the drama. As expected, The Prince Who Turns Into A Frog revolves around the love story between a poor girl and a rich man – you know the gist. But their relationship is actually much more complicated than you think, with Shan Jun Hao, the CEO of a hotel chain, constantly getting into accidents and losing his memory and Ye Tian Yu, an ambitious gold digger, falling in love with the contrived identity she gave Jun Hao when he first loses his memory. Not to mention, Jun Hao was already engaged with his childhood friend Fan Yun Xi when he falls in love with Tian Yu after Tian Yu takes care of him while he remains clueless about his own past.
The only thing more divisive than religion and politics is opposing Oscars predictions. The Arts section has weighed in on their favorites; where do yours stack up? Best Picture
Will Win: The Revenant
As much as we would like to see something smart like Spotlight or funny like The Big Short take home the coveted award of Best Picture, we will probably see Alejandro Iñárritu walk out with a little golden man for the second year in a row. The story of a frontiersman (Leonardo DiCaprio) out to seek vengeance on the man who left him for dead (Tom Hardy) is a simple yet intense storyline. It is beautifully shot — thanks to Emmanuel Lubezki — with vast shots of nature and landscapes.
It’s hard to be 17. To be full of angst, uncertainty and covered in acne; to be stuck with some childlike tendencies; to desperately crave attention while simultaneously needing to be left alone. Although teenage years are exhausting, however, they can be a fun age too — full of excitement and possibilities. Unfortunately, as it would turn out, it’s really just tiring to watch. At least this was the case in Lauren Gunderson’s one-act I and You, opening this Thursday at the Kitchen Theatre.
Running on little to no sleep is unfortunately a general fact of life at Cornell, but not one that students embrace happily. A notable exception to this is a group of 15 dedicated students who took part in the 24 Hour Playfest, performed in Schwartz’s Black Box Theater on Saturday. The playfest has become a Schwartz Center tradition conducted every semester, starting in the spring of last year.
Water or sex: which is more important? In Veit Helmer’s Absurdistan, the women are on one side of the barbed-wire fence while the men are on the other. It doesn’t take a star-reading babushka to figure out who chooses what.