Posts Tagged “Reviews”
Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano begins with a Mr. and Mrs. Smith sitting in their comfortably decorated London home, a couple that appears as plain and unassuming as their living room decor. They are your typical middle-aged couple that invites their typical middle-aged friends, the Martins, over for dinner. Everything appears normal except for the slightly jilted dialogue; the Smiths are speaking a little too loudly, their pauses are a little too long, and their logic is more than a little unsound. Although slightly unsettled, the audience can take these irregularities in stride until the Martins arrive onstage and everyone is hurled headlong into the Theater of the Absurd.
Recounting the empty exchange between the couples here would be as pointless as it was to sit through in the theater; the characters’ movements are as restless as their speech. The four actors are constantly agitated, switching between the two chairs and sofa arranged on stage. Eventually, the fire chief arrives at the house unannounced and regales his audience with fables from which, as you can guess, there is no message or moral to be derived. Upon leaving, he declares at random, “the bald soprano!” at which point dialogue rapidly deteriorates into a string of non-sequitors and the entirety of the production collapses into a manic confusion of unrelated words and behavior.
The play is, in a word, absurd. In two words, obstinately pointless. When asked about its ultimate purpose, Director Robert Duffley (COL’ 13) replied, “Meaning in The Bald Soprano is like black ice—it tends to slip away from you.” The Romanian playwright Eugene Ionesco had apparently drawn inspiration from the simple language manuals he used to learn English. Through his exercises of memorization and repetition, the canned English phrases and stiff dialogue struck Ionesco as increasingly absurd. One can speculate, therefore, that the play serves as a commentary on the cheapness of contemporary conversation.
Producer Natalie Gallagher (COL’ 13) believes that the play ultimately communicates the “futility of language.” In a literal interpretation of the banality of banter, Ionesco has written a script in which words are exchanged and yet nothing is said. This posed a particular challenge to the actors tasked with the memorization of meaningless lines spoken at random. Arianne Price (SFS’ 15), who played Mrs. Smith, said that improvisation was crucial to the process.
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As artists like Nicki Minaj and Wiz Khalifa solidify their specific style to carve out a spot on the top 40 chart, they contribute their own unique qualities to the average pop song we may expect to hear on the radio. With such diversity, performers may fail to discover a niche that allows them to stand out. On his fourth studio album Wild Ones, however, Flo Rida demonstrates the height of his chosen technique—perfecting the average top 40 hit song.
“Good Feeling” and “Wild Ones,” which at this point in their popularity require no mention, epitomize this hip-hop-gone-pop formula. “Whistle,” the newest single from the LP serving as a rather explicit guideline for oral sex, has gathered considerable momentum on the charts, as well. Since Wild Ones barely runs for 30 minutes and contains only 9 songs, 3 singles nearing the top of the charts is an impressive statistic.
Flo Rida’s formula clearly fulfills its purpose. Nearly each track features a guest artist who contributes to the chorus while Flo Rida fills the gaps with rapid-fire rap lyrics, occasionally retreating to an R&B style. “Run,” for instance, has Redfoo delivering LMFAO’s signature quirky beats and lyrics repurposed from “Party Rock Anthem” that function well juxtaposed with Flo Rida’s unrelenting vocals.
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One of France’s oldest bakeries has just opened its newest location right here in Georgetown. With over 120 years of service and 453 shops worldwide, authentic Parisian bakery PAUL has clearly done a thing or two right over the years. Settled on the corner of Wisconsin and M Street right behind Banana Republic, PAUL fits in perfectly with the cutesy Georgetown atmosphere. What’s more, it’s snug location used to house the kitchen of the historic City Tavern, a place frequented by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson back in the day.
So would our man George look fondly upon what’s become of one of his favorite 19th century hangouts? Vox unequivocally says yes. From the cinnamon pear tart to the gooey strawberry macaroon to the buttery chocolate croissant to the tender apple danish, PAUL offers a delicious variety that is sure to satisfy the sweet tooth of every customer. And if you’re more in the mood for savory flavors, that’s no problem.
PAUL also offers a selection of salads, quiches, and sandwiches that will make your mouth water. All of the items that Vox and our companions munched on during our dinner at PAUL were pretty solid—you can’t really go wrong with anything you try. However, what stood out most among the group were the chocolate croissant, the spinach-salmon tart, and a quiche filled with broccoli, turkey, bacon, and Swiss cheese.
The classic bakery set-up makes it easy to grab a quick yet delicious bite when time is scarce. But don’t get the wrong idea—this bakery is not just a spot to grab and go. It also features an upstairs café that offers classic French dishes for a sit-down breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The café is small and cozy, with the capacity to seat just around 30 customers. However, it’s this intimacy that makes the place so charming. This cozy ambiance is further enhanced by traditional French artwork and a collection of vintage baking items used for decoration.
Of the 30 customers the bakery can hold, a lucky four will have the pleasure of dining next to the grand floor-to-ceiling window that overlooks the quaint streets of Georgetown. Can you think of a better way to start your day than to relax with coffee and a crepe in the upper window of PAUL? Didn’t think so.
Photos: Alex Rice
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Remember when the first Lord of the Rings came out, and the end made you wonder why Peter Jackson would be so cruel as to make you wait a whole freaking year before you could see The Two Towers? I know we’ve all been sharing in that achy, anticipating feeling for the past two months, but now we can finally rejoice.GUTV has finally released Darnall: The Sitcom, episode 2!
I guess because of the lengthy delay between the two episodes, Episode 2 opens with a “previously on Darnall!” montage. But its scenes of awkward freshmen sharing uninteresting small-talk (and then getting stuck in a basement without a single functioning GoCard to swipe the door open), made me super duper excited to spend the next fourteen minutes of my life watching some awkward freshmen live their boring, day-to-day lives.
This week’s episode finds the gang doing—wait, what was the gang doing? Looking back on the episode, all I remember are short, inconsequential conversations (which I can hear a lot better now. Thanks for listening, GUTV!) about which boy is cuter and the toils of eating Grab n’ Go salads. Where’s the plot? The adventure? The romance? Did I really need to watch three minutes of “Previously on Darnall!” to understand that freshmen have incredibly uninteresting lives, which get even less interesting when you try and get people to watch them on television?
The gang eventually wound up at an awkward Henle party with about as many people in attendance as you can fit inside a Darnall closet, complete with a soundtrack of thirty-second-or-so clips of standard party songs, blended together as well as any drunk kid who grabs the iPod off the speakers would do. The party’s host passes out, and Beatrice (one of the Darnall-ers) gets rejected by Christian, who says that he doesn’t have enough time for her because he’s a basketball player. To top the heart-wrenching scene off, “Such Great Heights” by the Postal Service provides the aural backdrop.
I haven’t cried that hard since middle school.
But the best part of this month’s installation of Darnall? Awkward sexual innuendos. When two guys shoot some hoops together at the beginning of the episode, a girl comes up to them and asks if they’re “scared of a little two-on-one.” One of the dudes chuckles, and she gets confused. Now that’s high comedy.
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Despite its 2 a.m. closing time, if you’re looking for another late-night hotspot for drunken food binges and shouted conversations, the recently-opened Morso Express isn’t it. Nestled in a sliver of real estate along on M St. near Rhino Bar and Dean and Deluca, this place is classy.
Gawk at the mod-style lamps! And the awkwardly shaped bar stool-chair hybrids! But the decor—and the trendy vibe Morso seems to be after with its Facebook page and Twitter feed—is ultimately at odds with the restaurant’s authentic Turkish offerings.
Anybody unfamiliar with Turkish cuisine may feel a bit overwhelmed by Morso’s menu, replete with kabobs, mezes, and pide. Luckily, the employees seem eager to help. (And if you’re stubborn enough to order on your own, like I am, the recommended meat, topping, and sauce combinations printed onto a sheet of paper at the register are helpful guides.)
I tried two of the wraps yesterday when I visited: the lamb and pistachio kabob wrap, filled with ground lamb and topped with tangy sumac onions, grilled tomatoes, and tahini yogurt, and the grilled chicken wrap, topped with grilled onions, hummus, and a mayonnaise sauce.
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“Well, at least we don’t live in Darnall.” It’s the mantra of every Harbin resident with a leaky ceiling, every New South-er with a filthy public shower, and every Village C kid with a toilet-hating gunman on the loose.
But talk to anyone who actually lives in that hellhole, and they’ll tell you the sense of camaraderie among floormates makes it the best thing that’s ever happened to them. And now, thanks to GUTV, it’s a sitcom! That makes it campy-cool, right?
Well, if you were one of the tens of viewers who tuned into the premiere of Darnall: The Sitcom on GUTV last night, you saw that kids in this infamous residence hall live a life shockingly similar to that of any other Georgetown freshman. It’s filled with awkward floor-cestuous flirtation, irritating RAs, and slow-moving elevators. Aren’t you on crippled with laughter just thinking about it?
The premise of the show is a Friends-style living arrangement with Gilligan’s Island’s isolation. The cast is your standard, not-so-special freshmen, along with two freshman basketball players and an RA who won’t let the kids play by themselves. The episode’s climax involves a broken elevator door that leaves the gang trapped, feeble and Facebook-less in the dorm’s basement.
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