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Denebola » Arts and Entertainment http://www.denebolaonline.net The Award-Winning, Official School Newspaper of Newton South High School, Newton, MA Fri, 17 Jun 2011 02:00:19 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.2 South alum organizes Japan benefit concerts http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/04/15/school-spirit-suddenly-surfaces/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/04/15/school-spirit-suddenly-surfaces/#comments Fri, 15 Apr 2011 07:50:08 +0000 Rutul Patel http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5774

Yoko Fukumura

On Friday, March 11, 2011, the great Eastern Japan Earthquake hit Japan. A tsunami that followed caused untold destruction and misery leaving homes and families torn apart. Even now the recovery effort is still in its infancy.
Along with the American Red Cross, charities and celebrities are raising money for the relief effort. On a much smaller scale, Newton South High School alum Taichi Fukumura (Class of 2010) has organized seven benefit concerts, the proceeds of which will go solely to helping the Japanese people.
An undergrad at Boston University studying violin, and a conductor of the Boston Accompanietta Orchestra, Taichi Fukumura saw no better way to help ease the suffering than to use his gift of music.
“When I was watching the videos on the news I decided that we, that everyone, need to do something to help,” Fukumura said. “Fortunately all my family was ok, but I do know some people whose relatives didn’t make it.”
Taichi, along with several other musicians and orchestra groups, used their collective background in classical music to help the people of Japan. He also enlisted the help of his younger sister and junior at South, Yoko Fukumura, and his friend and senior at South, Daniel Zhang.
Yoko Fukumura, a pianist since a young age, did a benefit concert a few years ago for an earthquake in China. “I am Japanese myself, so I feel more connected. And since my brother is organizing it, [that] further deepens my connection with this cause. I am not directly affected, but I hear stories from other people about their families and the conditions and I get scared,” Yoko said.
Zhang, a senior at South is the conductor of an orchestra group called the Boston Acompanietta and plays the violin “masterfully”.

Daniel Zhang

Taichi and Zhang created the orchestra in 2008 after the former head of the Music Department, Dr. Rossini, retired. Zhang is also in South’s official student orchestra called the Newton South Sinfonietta (NSS).
The Acompanietta is completely student run and directed, and does not play at the official school orchestra’s programs. Usually, the NSS plays a few times a day, despite having to perform in contests and shows. On the week of April 25, it will perform Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals as well as the three concerto competition winners’ pieces.
Zhang has realized the difficulties of maintaining the NSS and conducting for the Acompanietta, but during the benefit concerts he will not be conducting, but rather performing while Taichi conducts.

“[The concerts] are a wonderful cause,” Zhang said. “I think it’s really brave that a lot of different groups are willing to perform for this cause.
Six days after the earthquake struck, Taichi began planning the concerts. Originally planning to have only a couple concerts with some solo performance, Taichi’s plans reached newer heights when he got in touch with other musicians.

Taichi Fukumura

“The organization was mostly my own. I got into contact with many administrative people in BU for help. Most of the people that I found were music major students studying to become professional performers,” Taichi said.
From then on his passion project picked up speed as he began turning his small time charity event into seven full-fledged benefit concerts. Out of the seven concerts, three are held in BU, three in the Eliot Church in Newton, and one at the New England Conservatory (NEC), a concert hall in Boston.
The concerts in Newton are on Saturday, April 16 at 8 PM. and Saturday, April 30 at 5 PM. and 8 PM.
Taichi has a policy of not performing in concerts that he organizes.
“[I usually don’t like to play] when I run the concerts. There is too much managing to do and performing would take a toll on me, both physically and in terms of the quality of performance. It wouldn’t keep me in the right mindset,” Taichi said.
He, however, chose to go against his principle of not performing and managing because this charity is close to his heart and will be conducting the last concert in Newton.
All three concerts are free of charge and funding for this charity is strictly on a donations basis.
“Any donations for Japan at the events will be greatly appreciated,” Taichi said.

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The King of Limbs, but nobody’s dancing http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/04/15/the-king-of-limbs-but-nobody%e2%80%99s-dancing/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/04/15/the-king-of-limbs-but-nobody%e2%80%99s-dancing/#comments Fri, 15 Apr 2011 05:41:18 +0000 Hattie Gawande http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5827
Radiohead is the band that every teenage alternative and/or indie rock fan theoretically adores.
Specializing in electronic, guitar-driven songs, raw, wailing vocals and abstract lyrics, they are the definition of alternative.
Unfortunately, what nobody really wants to admit is that no one can take them in anything but small doses.
After a certain point, the lead singer, Thom Yorke, who may be considered a genius lyricist, is just profoundly creepy.
Take “Climbing up the Walls”, a song off of their platinum selling record Ok Computer, in which Yorke howls “Fifteen blows to the back of your head/ Fifteen blows to your mind/ So lock up the kids safe tonight.”
And this was before his bout of depression.
Furthermore, after about twenty minutes, Yorke’s excessively wailing goes from expressive and haunting to so much inarticulate wailing.
By the fourth or fifth song, all the tortured moaning sounds the same.
Radiohead is also one of those bands that prefers experimentation over melody.
Most songs do have some semblance of a tune, but it consists of Yorke’s howling rather than distinct chord progressions.
It’s certainly not the sort of thing that you can sing along to. However, Radiohead has surprised us before. From time to time they put out an record that keeps being interesting.
Their incredible second album, The Bends, a revolutionary piece of music (it’s considered to have opened the door for such contemporary English bands and musicians as Coldplay, Keane, and James Blunt), was one such record.
Their wonderful seventh album, In Rainbows, released in 2007, was another. Unfortunately, their latest, The Kin of Limbs, is not.
The eight songs on the 37-minute album are mostly typical Radiohead fare–the usual pulsing keyboards weave in and out of repetitive guitars and bass, all underpinned by delicate yet hyperactive drums.
Too many electronic riffs compete with Thom Yorke’s characteristic falsetto, giving the songs a crowded feel. At the same time, however, the album feels unfinished.
Of course, none of the songs are danceable or singable, but this is normal for Radiohead.
What’s strange is the lack of any melody at all, just repeated electronic noise and a bass.
Take Radiohead’s first track of the album, “Bloom,” which begins with a very pretty piano riff. This lasts no longer than eight seconds before high-pitched beeps are added, the piano cutting out only to be replaced by pulsing electronic noise.
Another six seconds go by and a stilted, clattering drum beat is layered on top. Forty-five seconds pass before the bass is added, and so on.
Yorke begins singing over the chaos after about a minute, only adding to the clutter.
Listening to the song stresses me out–every time I hear something I like it fades away, and then a minute later it reappears only to cut out again.
The tracks following “Bloom” follow essentially the same pattern.
I don’t mean to entirely pan The King of Limbs, though. In “Lotus Flower,” the sheer craziness seemed to add to the song rather than take away from it.
The vocals are much more interesting, and there’s a little more balance between Yorke’s insane voice and the background noise.
“Lotus Flower’s” strangely enthralling and immensely enjoyable music video, featuring an insanely dancing Yorke gyrating convulsively to the beat, may have slightly skewed my perception of the song, however: I had no idea anybody could contort their body that way.
There was one other song that was genuinely likeable. “Codex” is a piano-fueled ballad that is powerful in it’s simplicity.
Yorke’s voice and haunting lyrics are the main attraction here, paired with the piano and light strings with a simple trumpet part. “Jump off the end/ The water’s clear/ And innocent,” Yorke warbles.
It’s the most minimalist song on the album, and it’s quite also the best.
I find that the Radiohead songs I actually tend to enjoy are the ones where words and phrases are actually discernable.
But The King of Limbs is not unenjoyable, it’s just not what fans were hoping for after Radiohead’s previous album, the masterpiece In Rainbows, the culmination of over two years of work.
With every record, Radiohead improved and expanded their experimental sound, but this eighth attempt seems to be a regression.
It’s unexciting and, after all the hype, disappointing.

By Hattie GawandeRadiohead is the band that every teenage alternative and/or indie rock fan theoretically adores.Specializing in electronic, guitar-driven songs, raw, wailing vocals and abstract lyrics, they are the definition of alternative.Unfortunately, what nobody really wants to admit is that no one can take them in anything but small doses. After a certain point, the lead singer, Thom Yorke, who may be considered a genius lyricist, is just profoundly creepy. Take “Climbing up the Walls”, a song off of their platinum selling record Ok Computer, in which Yorke howls “Fifteen blows to the back of your head/ Fifteen blows to your mind/ So lock up the kids safe tonight.”And this was before his bout of depression.Furthermore, after about twenty minutes, Yorke’s excessively wailing goes from expressive and haunting to so much inarticulate wailing.By the fourth or fifth song, all the tortured moaning sounds the same.Radiohead is also one of those bands that prefers experimentation over melody.Most songs do have some semblance of a tune, but it consists of Yorke’s howling rather than distinct chord progressions.It’s certainly not the sort of thing that you can sing along to. However, Radiohead has surprised us before. From time to time they put out an record that keeps being interesting.Their incredible second album, The Bends, a revolutionary piece of music (it’s considered to have opened the door for such contemporary English bands and musicians as Coldplay, Keane, and James Blunt), was one such record. Their wonderful seventh album, In Rainbows, released in 2007, was another. Unfortunately, their latest, The Kin of Limbs, is not.The eight songs on the 37-minute album are mostly typical Radiohead fare–the usual pulsing keyboards weave in and out of repetitive guitars and bass, all underpinned by delicate yet hyperactive drums.Too many electronic riffs compete with Thom Yorke’s characteristic falsetto, giving the songs a crowded feel. At the same time, however, the album feels unfinished.Of course, none of the songs are danceable or singable, but this is normal for Radiohead. What’s strange is the lack of any melody at all, just repeated electronic noise and a bass.Take Radiohead’s first track of the album, “Bloom,” which begins with a very pretty piano riff. This lasts no longer than eight seconds before high-pitched beeps are added, the piano cutting out only to be replaced by pulsing electronic noise.Another six seconds go by and a stilted, clattering drum beat is layered on top. Forty-five seconds pass before the bass is added, and so on.Yorke begins singing over the chaos after about a minute, only adding to the clutter. Listening to the song stresses me out–every time I hear something I like it fades away, and then a minute later it reappears only to cut out again.The tracks following “Bloom” follow essentially the same pattern. I don’t mean to entirely pan The King of Limbs, though. In “Lotus Flower,” the sheer craziness seemed to add to the song rather than take away from it.The vocals are much more interesting, and there’s a little more balance between Yorke’s insane voice and the background noise. “Lotus Flower’s” strangely enthralling and immensely enjoyable music video, featuring an insanely dancing Yorke gyrating convulsively to the beat, may have slightly skewed my perception of the song, however: I had no idea anybody could contort their body that way.There was one other song that was genuinely likeable. “Codex” is a piano-fueled ballad that is powerful in it’s simplicity.Yorke’s voice and haunting lyrics are the main attraction here, paired with the piano and light strings with a simple trumpet part. “Jump off the end/ The water’s clear/ And innocent,” Yorke warbles.It’s the most minimalist song on the album, and it’s quite also the best.I find that the Radiohead songs I actually tend to enjoy are the ones where words and phrases are actually discernable. But The King of Limbs is not unenjoyable, it’s just not what fans were hoping for after Radiohead’s previous album, the masterpiece In Rainbows, the culmination of over two years of work.With every record, Radiohead improved and expanded their experimental sound, but this eighth attempt seems to be a regression. It’s unexciting and, after all the hype, disappointing.

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The Fashion Files http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/04/15/the-fashion-files/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/04/15/the-fashion-files/#comments Fri, 15 Apr 2011 05:40:15 +0000 Helen Holmes http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5825 Rarely within the confines of the shiny, commercial, and deceptively safe bubble that surrounds the fashion industry does any sort of real controversy present itself.
Sure, you can compare two identically clad, rail-thin starlets and squabble over who wore it better, but such arguments aren’t exactly 60 Minutes material, and also generally make me want to die a swift and painful death.
As a result, whenever there’s any sort of real confrontation sharp enough to puncture that superficial bubble, heaven knows I’m going to pounce on it like the last warm M&M cookie at Panera.
As evidenced by the wildly different outfits that flounce down the runway every season year in and year out, inspiration can come from anywhere, and can mean something completely original to every creative mind committed to designing clothes.
Unfortunately, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the women behind Rodarte, were unable to comprehend that some ideas are best left on the cutting board.
In 2009, the sisters embarked on a “road trip” from El Paso to Marfa, searching for something to spark ideas for their next collection.
Though they were probably anticipating nothing more than cute desert critters and some scenic  tumbleweed, what they found was Ciudad Juarez.
For those unaware, Juarez is a Mexican border city located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.
It is also the location of more than 400 female homicides since 1993, and that’s only the police force’s guess – the locals estimate that the carnage includes over 5,000 deaths of women mostly between the ages of 12 and 22.
Women aren’t the exclusive victims: what CNN calls “the most dangerous city in Mexico” racked up another 39 murders between this past Friday and Monday, mostly as a result of drug trafficking.
While any sane person would perceive this horrific community as a tragic hellhole for men and women alike, all Kate and Laura could see was dollar signs.  In late 2010, Rodarte launched a collaboration collection with makeup giant MAC, and there can be no mistaking the source of their inspiration.
A deathly pale lip product is entitled “Ghost Town.” Eye shadows tinged with bloody splashes of red boast names such as “Bordertown” and “Sleepwalker.” There’s even a jar of a product called “Lip Erase,” whose purpose is presumably to make the wearer appear as pale and emaciated as possible.
Promotional photos of the makeup show a bone-thin woman with eyes ringed by bruise-like eye shadow, staring bleakly into the camera. She looked dead, which was clearly the intention.
Needless to say, I was furious. In absolutely no context is it ever acceptable to market a death-themed product if the product is inspired by a place where death is all too real.
Not only this, but Rodarte and MAC had chosen to romanticize and commercialize the exploitation and murder of women, which to me bypasses offensive and closes in on disgusting.
Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one angered by the lack of propriety and blatantly ignorant nature of this collection.
Bloggers took to the Internet with a vengeance, forcing the partners to set up a fund to raise money for the women of Juarez to pacify the critics. This small positive measure, however, proved to be too late.
After several more subsequent promises from the embarrassed partners, the collection was canceled altogether.
What is important to take away from the carelessness of the Rodarte-MAC collaboration is that fashion, if left unchecked, can easily be both ignorant and downright stupid.
That is not to say that intelligent people cannot appreciate the aesthetic appeal of fashion.
However, stupidity is the existence of Lauren Conrad’s abysmal debut collection, and the reason why Mondo Guerra didn’t win season eight of Project Runway.
Ignorance is everywhere – in politics, in classrooms, and in industry.
Ultimately, fashion is as much a product of individual integrity and opinion as it is a result of factories and magazines.
Whether or not you choose to spend money on a product based on the demeaning and degradation of women, is up to you.

Rarely within the confines of the shiny, commercial, and deceptively safe bubble that surrounds the fashion industry does any sort of real controversy present itself. Sure, you can compare two identically clad, rail-thin starlets and squabble over who wore it better, but such arguments aren’t exactly 60 Minutes material, and also generally make me want to die a swift and painful death. As a result, whenever there’s any sort of real confrontation sharp enough to puncture that superficial bubble, heaven knows I’m going to pounce on it like the last warm M&M cookie at Panera. As evidenced by the wildly different outfits that flounce down the runway every season year in and year out, inspiration can come from anywhere, and can mean something completely original to every creative mind committed to designing clothes. Unfortunately, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the women behind Rodarte, were unable to comprehend that some ideas are best left on the cutting board. In 2009, the sisters embarked on a “road trip” from El Paso to Marfa, searching for something to spark ideas for their next collection. Though they were probably anticipating nothing more than cute desert critters and some scenic  tumbleweed, what they found was Ciudad Juarez. For those unaware, Juarez is a Mexican border city located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas. It is also the location of more than 400 female homicides since 1993, and that’s only the police force’s guess – the locals estimate that the carnage includes over 5,000 deaths of women mostly between the ages of 12 and 22. Women aren’t the exclusive victims: what CNN calls “the most dangerous city in Mexico” racked up another 39 murders between this past Friday and Monday, mostly as a result of drug trafficking. While any sane person would perceive this horrific community as a tragic hellhole for men and women alike, all Kate and Laura could see was dollar signs.  In late 2010, Rodarte launched a collaboration collection with makeup giant MAC, and there can be no mistaking the source of their inspiration. A deathly pale lip product is entitled “Ghost Town.” Eye shadows tinged with bloody splashes of red boast names such as “Bordertown” and “Sleepwalker.” There’s even a jar of a product called “Lip Erase,” whose purpose is presumably to make the wearer appear as pale and emaciated as possible. Promotional photos of the makeup show a bone-thin woman with eyes ringed by bruise-like eye shadow, staring bleakly into the camera. She looked dead, which was clearly the intention. Needless to say, I was furious. In absolutely no context is it ever acceptable to market a death-themed product if the product is inspired by a place where death is all too real. Not only this, but Rodarte and MAC had chosen to romanticize and commercialize the exploitation and murder of women, which to me bypasses offensive and closes in on disgusting. Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one angered by the lack of propriety and blatantly ignorant nature of this collection. Bloggers took to the Internet with a vengeance, forcing the partners to set up a fund to raise money for the women of Juarez to pacify the critics. This small positive measure, however, proved to be too late. After several more subsequent promises from the embarrassed partners, the collection was canceled altogether. What is important to take away from the carelessness of the Rodarte-MAC collaboration is that fashion, if left unchecked, can easily be both ignorant and downright stupid. That is not to say that intelligent people cannot appreciate the aesthetic appeal of fashion. However, stupidity is the existence of Lauren Conrad’s abysmal debut collection, and the reason why Mondo Guerra didn’t win season eight of Project Runway. Ignorance is everywhere – in politics, in classrooms, and in industry. Ultimately, fashion is as much a product of individual integrity and opinion as it is a result of factories and magazines. Whether or not you choose to spend money on a product based on the demeaning and degradation of women, is up to you.

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Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark­­­—a tangled web http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/04/15/spider-man-turn-off-the-dark%c2%ad%c2%ad%c2%ad%e2%80%94a-tangled-web/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/04/15/spider-man-turn-off-the-dark%c2%ad%c2%ad%c2%ad%e2%80%94a-tangled-web/#comments Fri, 15 Apr 2011 05:37:18 +0000 Sophie Scharlin-Pettee http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5822 The legend of Spider-Man has dazzled the minds of people of all ages since the idea was first imagined in 1962, by Marvel writers Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
Spider-Man was created in the age when teenage characters were almost always sidekicks, and Spider-Man broke the norm by featuring Peter Parker.
Peter Parker is a high school student with typical worries such as rejection, inadequacy, and loneliness, allowing him to be a relatable character to young readers everywhere.
Evan Kelly, Newton South’s Tech Director and self-proclaimed comic book geek, believes “that what has made Spider-Man a lasting character is his human foibles.”
Since then, the legend of Spider-Man has enraptured audiences of all ages with numerous films starring acclaimed actors such as Tobey Maguire, and has consequently developed into a comic empire.
Recently, Spider-man has caught the attention of not only high-caliber film producers, but ambitious Broadway executives
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was originally the newest production of director Julie Taymor, who has produced international successes such as The Lion King and directed the hit Beatles-centric film Across the Universe.
The music was composed by U2’s Bono and the band The Edge, with it’s script written by director Julie Taymor and Glen Berger.
Taymor’s most recent musical about the web-swinging, spandex-wearing hero has already cost her sixty-five million dollars, especially with the demands of a 1,928-seat Foxwoods theatre on 42nd street, tailored to fit the many specific challenges the show has presents.
“She’s a brilliant director and has done wonderful work with challenging material,” Kelly said.
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is only one example of how commenplace heroes and comics have become in our society.
With recent Box-office hits like Superman, X-Men, and The Dark Knight, America is embracing the once-nerdy heroes of society’s previously voiceless individuals.
Comic books, once scoffed at for their demographic, are now regarded affectionately.
People have certainly been flocking to see the spectacle, with a record-breaking statistic of more than one hundred preview performances for Taymor’s creation.
As opposed to norm for most shows, the preview performances have not been out of a desire for building anticipation, but out of necessity.
The musical adaptation of Spider-Man involves actors web-swinging over the audience, cables and wires being the only life-line the actors have.
With at least four actors injured, the show has already become infamous for its breathtaking but dangerous stunts.
“I have heard it is a technical disaster.  They are trying to create a circus-like environment in a traditional set up.
There are a lot of flying effects and if they were constrained to the stage area they’d be much more manageable,” said Kelly.
The original Arachne (Spider-Man’s spider nemesis), Natalie Mendoza, has already quit due to concussion and been recast with 29-year-old T.V. Carpio.
Actor Christopher Tierney fell almost thirty feet into the pit orchestra, resulting in a fractured skull, a broken scapula, a broken elbow, four broken ribs, a bruised lung, and three fractured vertebrae.
A stunt man even fell during a rehearsal and was impaled on the Empire State Buiding’s spire.
The only leading-role cast member that remains from the original casting is Reeve Carney, the actor portraying Spider-Man.  “Whenever anyone gets hurt it is a warning sign to stop,” said Kelly.
The show’s opening night has already been delayed numerous times, and is currently set for Tuesday, June 14th, 2011.  It’s original air date was Tuesday, December 21st, 2010.
Many people have found the show to be aesthetically dazzling but otherwise lacking in its dialogue and music, gaining negative reviews from sources such as The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times.
It has been quoted by Ben Brantley of The New York Times as being “not only the most expensive musical to ever hit Broadway; it may also rank among the worst.”
Kelly feels that “the production is focusing more on the spectacular notion of comic books, not the telling of an engaging story.”
Jeff Knoedler, Newton South’s Arts Department head, had heard of the disaster-prone show, saying, “I also think that the notoriety of the musical has taken on a life of its own, and people seem to be attacking it without really knowing much about it.”
Within the past month, Julie Taymor was actually fired as the director for “commitment conflicts,” which has only added to the fervor and infamy of the web-swinging musical.
“All this is really surprising to me because of the artists leading the project.  Julie Taymor is one of the most exciting theater artists working today.  Bono and the Edge are excellent musicians.
I was excited to hear they were teaming up to create a musical and am shocked that it seems to have turned out so badly,” said Knoedler.
Kelly said, “The problem with the show is the spectacle came before the story.”
Despite its dangerous stunts and not-quite-heralded quality, ticket sales continue to rise, grossing more than 1.3 million dollars in a single February week.
It seems that in spite of the negative attention and unenthusiastic press, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is persevering and will be the first and likely last Broadway musical to ever feature actors waging fierce battles in tights and masks over the audience.
Says Knoedler, “I’d like to see it for myself.”

The legend of Spider-Man has dazzled the minds of people of all ages since the idea was first imagined in 1962, by Marvel writers Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.Spider-Man was created in the age when teenage characters were almost always sidekicks, and Spider-Man broke the norm by featuring Peter Parker.Peter Parker is a high school student with typical worries such as rejection, inadequacy, and loneliness, allowing him to be a relatable character to young readers everywhere.Evan Kelly, Newton South’s Tech Director and self-proclaimed comic book geek, believes “that what has made Spider-Man a lasting character is his human foibles.”Since then, the legend of Spider-Man has enraptured audiences of all ages with numerous films starring acclaimed actors such as Tobey Maguire, and has consequently developed into a comic empire. Recently, Spider-man has caught the attention of not only high-caliber film producers, but ambitious Broadway executivesSpider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was originally the newest production of director Julie Taymor, who has produced international successes such as The Lion King and directed the hit Beatles-centric film Across the Universe.The music was composed by U2’s Bono and the band The Edge, with it’s script written by director Julie Taymor and Glen Berger.Taymor’s most recent musical about the web-swinging, spandex-wearing hero has already cost her sixty-five million dollars, especially with the demands of a 1,928-seat Foxwoods theatre on 42nd street, tailored to fit the many specific challenges the show has presents.“She’s a brilliant director and has done wonderful work with challenging material,” Kelly said.Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is only one example of how commenplace heroes and comics have become in our society. With recent Box-office hits like Superman, X-Men, and The Dark Knight, America is embracing the once-nerdy heroes of society’s previously voiceless individuals.Comic books, once scoffed at for their demographic, are now regarded affectionately.People have certainly been flocking to see the spectacle, with a record-breaking statistic of more than one hundred preview performances for Taymor’s creation.As opposed to norm for most shows, the preview performances have not been out of a desire for building anticipation, but out of necessity.The musical adaptation of Spider-Man involves actors web-swinging over the audience, cables and wires being the only life-line the actors have.  With at least four actors injured, the show has already become infamous for its breathtaking but dangerous stunts.  “I have heard it is a technical disaster.  They are trying to create a circus-like environment in a traditional set up. There are a lot of flying effects and if they were constrained to the stage area they’d be much more manageable,” said Kelly.The original Arachne (Spider-Man’s spider nemesis), Natalie Mendoza, has already quit due to concussion and been recast with 29-year-old T.V. Carpio. Actor Christopher Tierney fell almost thirty feet into the pit orchestra, resulting in a fractured skull, a broken scapula, a broken elbow, four broken ribs, a bruised lung, and three fractured vertebrae.A stunt man even fell during a rehearsal and was impaled on the Empire State Buiding’s spire.The only leading-role cast member that remains from the original casting is Reeve Carney, the actor portraying Spider-Man.  “Whenever anyone gets hurt it is a warning sign to stop,” said Kelly.The show’s opening night has already been delayed numerous times, and is currently set for Tuesday, June 14th, 2011.  It’s original air date was Tuesday, December 21st, 2010.Many people have found the show to be aesthetically dazzling but otherwise lacking in its dialogue and music, gaining negative reviews from sources such as The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times.It has been quoted by Ben Brantley of The New York Times as being “not only the most expensive musical to ever hit Broadway; it may also rank among the worst.” Kelly feels that “the production is focusing more on the spectacular notion of comic books, not the telling of an engaging story.” Jeff Knoedler, Newton South’s Arts Department head, had heard of the disaster-prone show, saying, “I also think that the notoriety of the musical has taken on a life of its own, and people seem to be attacking it without really knowing much about it.”   Within the past month, Julie Taymor was actually fired as the director for “commitment conflicts,” which has only added to the fervor and infamy of the web-swinging musical.  “All this is really surprising to me because of the artists leading the project.  Julie Taymor is one of the most exciting theater artists working today.  Bono and the Edge are excellent musicians.I was excited to hear they were teaming up to create a musical and am shocked that it seems to have turned out so badly,” said Knoedler.Kelly said, “The problem with the show is the spectacle came before the story.”Despite its dangerous stunts and not-quite-heralded quality, ticket sales continue to rise, grossing more than 1.3 million dollars in a single February week.It seems that in spite of the negative attention and unenthusiastic press, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is persevering and will be the first and likely last Broadway musical to ever feature actors waging fierce battles in tights and masks over the audience.  Says Knoedler, “I’d like to see it for myself.”

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Prometheus Bound holds South’s student audience captive http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/04/14/prometheus-bound-holds-south%e2%80%99s-student-audience-captive/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/04/14/prometheus-bound-holds-south%e2%80%99s-student-audience-captive/#comments Fri, 15 Apr 2011 03:56:47 +0000 Sarah Wanger http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5837 Prometheus Bound is a rock musical based off the Greek tragedy written by Aeschylus carrying the same name.
The plot follows the story of Prometheus, the Titan condemned to torture after he disobeys Zeus and gives humans fire.
Many gods come to see him, to tell him of his fate and his eternity, but Prometheus stands strong and takes the pain, knowing that his suffering will end when the time is right.
The Oberon, the theater producing the show, is owned by the American Repertory Theater, and when you enter the theater, it is known right off that this is not a typical play.
There are no seats (unless you want to spend an extra $20-$30), and no defined stage.
The actors, in full costume, walk into the room from backstage and converse with the crowd. As the crowd  hums “Break a leg!” and “Enjoy the show!” the lights fade as silence sweeps over the crowd.
The lights open up on the actors, now in a line in front of the band.
A call from the lead actor, the actors spin into view, revealing that they are blindfolded. With nooses tied around their necks and drums puncturing the silent crowd, the show begins.
Many people have asked me why I have spent so much money to see this show multiple times.
Honestly, it’s the energy that the actors bring to the stage, this electric pulse that is felt by every pore in my body.
The set is atypical, as “groupies” gently, but firmly push you out of the way of the moving platforms and ladders, constantly spinning to follow the action. There is never a dull moment: wherever you look, actors are completely immersed in the world of Prometheus Bound.
The title role of Prometheus is played by none other than a two time-Tony nominated Best Actor, Gavin Creel.
The tortured, strong-willed Prometheus is already a tough part to pull off, especially while switching from ballads to rock tunes in five minutes.  And on top of that, when I spoke to him at the end of the show, he said he wasn’t feeling well.
Personally, I don’t think many could have sounded as good as him when they were fully healthy, let alone with a cough and a cold.
Lo, a women who sparks Zeus’ lust by her beauty, is played by Uzo Aduba.
She has the first solo of the night, and her passion and grace set the mood for the rest of the show.
Her pain and suffering at the hands of Zeus is almost palpable, especially as she recounts the tale of being chased out of her home to please the gods, and sleeping with the most powerful god of all.
Force, played by Lea Delaria, is a demi-god, who assists in Zeus’ torture of Prometheus. Zeus does not appear in this play, so Force takes the reins as the person to carry out Zeus’ dreadful orders. Her voice is a powerhouse of awesome force, making her character’s name an appropriate one, and her evil laugh sends chills.
Michael Cunio plays the role of Oceanos, another Titan, but one who does not disobey Zeus. He tries to get Prometheus to stop speaking out against Zeus in return for his freedom, but to no avail.
Cunio’s rock-star voice leads one to believe he belongs singing his heart out in a rock band, which is exactly what he does when he’s not performing in theater. His band, Reckless Place, has an album out on iTunes.
The funniest character in the show, judging by the audience’s reaction, is the role of Hermes, played by Gabe Ebert.
His Hermes is exactly like Hermes should be: a young god trying to gloat over his power, when in fact, he is just too young to understand anyone other than those above him.
He plays up the jokes at appropriate times, and brings intensified energy to the potentially boring ending – after all, an audience that’s been standing for an hour and a half  is looking for excitement.
An unconventional fact about Prometheus Bound is that it is partnered with Amnesty International,  an organization that gives voice to people who cannot give voices to themselves, and tries to help unjust imprisonment and death penalties.
Each week, the cast dedicates their show to a different person who had been “bound” for speaking out.
Directly after the show, walks into the audience to pass out postcards urging audience members to sign them and put them in a box for Amnesty International to send to the government in question. There could be no better show to work towards such a goal as freeing those bound than this one.
By 11:30pm on Saturday, April 2nd, I will have seen this show four times. Every cent spent was worth it. Rumors are spreading about the show going to New York, and I could not be more thrilled.
Never before, have I seen a show where you are so emerged in the action, and where actors feed off of the audience.
I cannot wait to see this cast up on the Tony stage singing with all of the heart and soul they have on stage every other night that I have seen them. I hope the Tony; they deserve it.

By Sarah WangerPrometheus Bound is a rock musical based off the Greek tragedy written by Aeschylus carrying the same name. The plot follows the story of Prometheus, the Titan condemned to torture after he disobeys Zeus and gives humans fire.Many gods come to see him, to tell him of his fate and his eternity, but Prometheus stands strong and takes the pain, knowing that his suffering will end when the time is right.The Oberon, the theater producing the show, is owned by the American Repertory Theater, and when you enter the theater, it is known right off that this is not a typical play.There are no seats (unless you want to spend an extra $20-$30), and no defined stage.  The actors, in full costume, walk into the room from backstage and converse with the crowd. As the crowd  hums “Break a leg!” and “Enjoy the show!” the lights fade as silence sweeps over the crowd.The lights open up on the actors, now in a line in front of the band. A call from the lead actor, the actors spin into view, revealing that they are blindfolded. With nooses tied around their necks and drums puncturing the silent crowd, the show begins. Many people have asked me why I have spent so much money to see this show multiple times. Honestly, it’s the energy that the actors bring to the stage, this electric pulse that is felt by every pore in my body.The set is atypical, as “groupies” gently, but firmly push you out of the way of the moving platforms and ladders, constantly spinning to follow the action. There is never a dull moment: wherever you look, actors are completely immersed in the world of Prometheus Bound. The title role of Prometheus is played by none other than a two time-Tony nominated Best Actor, Gavin Creel.The tortured, strong-willed Prometheus is already a tough part to pull off, especially while switching from ballads to rock tunes in five minutes.  And on top of that, when I spoke to him at the end of the show, he said he wasn’t feeling well.Personally, I don’t think many could have sounded as good as him when they were fully healthy, let alone with a cough and a cold. Lo, a women who sparks Zeus’ lust by her beauty, is played by Uzo Aduba. She has the first solo of the night, and her passion and grace set the mood for the rest of the show.Her pain and suffering at the hands of Zeus is almost palpable, especially as she recounts the tale of being chased out of her home to please the gods, and sleeping with the most powerful god of all. Force, played by Lea Delaria, is a demi-god, who assists in Zeus’ torture of Prometheus. Zeus does not appear in this play, so Force takes the reins as the person to carry out Zeus’ dreadful orders. Her voice is a powerhouse of awesome force, making her character’s name an appropriate one, and her evil laugh sends chills. Michael Cunio plays the role of Oceanos, another Titan, but one who does not disobey Zeus. He tries to get Prometheus to stop speaking out against Zeus in return for his freedom, but to no avail.Cunio’s rock-star voice leads one to believe he belongs singing his heart out in a rock band, which is exactly what he does when he’s not performing in theater. His band, Reckless Place, has an album out on iTunes.The funniest character in the show, judging by the audience’s reaction, is the role of Hermes, played by Gabe Ebert.His Hermes is exactly like Hermes should be: a young god trying to gloat over his power, when in fact, he is just too young to understand anyone other than those above him.He plays up the jokes at appropriate times, and brings intensified energy to the potentially boring ending – after all, an audience that’s been standing for an hour and a half  is looking for excitement.An unconventional fact about Prometheus Bound is that it is partnered with Amnesty International,  an organization that gives voice to people who cannot give voices to themselves, and tries to help unjust imprisonment and death penalties.Each week, the cast dedicates their show to a different person who had been “bound” for speaking out.Directly after the show, walks into the audience to pass out postcards urging audience members to sign them and put them in a box for Amnesty International to send to the government in question. There could be no better show to work towards such a goal as freeing those bound than this one.By 11:30pm on Saturday, April 2nd, I will have seen this show four times. Every cent spent was worth it. Rumors are spreading about the show going to New York, and I could not be more thrilled.Never before, have I seen a show where you are so emerged in the action, and where actors feed off of the audience.I cannot wait to see this cast up on the Tony stage singing with all of the heart and soul they have on stage every other night that I have seen them. I hope the Tony; they deserve it.

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Art Focus: Jeffrey Alkins http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/04/14/art-focus-jeffrey-alkins/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/04/14/art-focus-jeffrey-alkins/#comments Fri, 15 Apr 2011 03:52:43 +0000 Sophie Scharlin-Pettee http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5838 “I love to dance.  It allows me to paint a picture through movement for all watching to see.”
Senior Jeffrey Alkins has been dancing his whole life.“I was always a dancer at social gatherings…but it wasn’t until I joined my first art studio and professional youth company at twelve that my dance career was truly born.”
Alkins has been a part of the Origination Cultural Arts Center ever since, and it is where he has received his technical training.
He has also danced in numerous productions of the professional youth company, Nia Dance Company, where he is currently a senior troupe member.
The Nia Dance Company is presently planning on defending their title at the Prelude New England Urban Dance Competition on April 9th.
Alkins takes as many as twelve to fourteen hours of dance classes a week, ranging regularly from Hip Hop to African to Ballet.
As well as taking many dance classes, he is a star student, taking two AP’s and one honors course, while also being an active member of Harambee, Newton South’s gospel choir.
Within his dance companies and troupes, Alkins performs locally and throughout the country while also touring internationally.
The summer does not take away from his impressive focus; Alkins has once performed five shows in a three day period.
He also tours colleges and universities during the summer, performing at places like Yale and UConn.
“This summer I plan on taking several Master Classes with guest professional choreographers. I’m also planning a trip to California for two weeks to take as many open classes at different studios as possible.
New choreographers are a great way to grow as a dancer and artist.”
Alkins sees his dance as also spiritual, as “(he) thinks art is beautiful, and anyone who does a successful job of displaying his or her artwork adds to the world.”
He finds that dancers must “grow and reach deep inside themselves to produce something raw, beautiful, and so real.”
For Alkins, dance is a way of opening up to other people and sharing an experience, as “by watching, the viewer is joining me in the journey.”
Along with dancing, Alkins has a newly-discovered love of the performing arts: he was recently cast as one of the male leads in Hairspray, Seaweed.
Alkins relished the part, saying “I love to act and perform.” While also enjoying theater and acting, Alkins takes two chorus classes at South, the first being Madrigals, the junior-senior choir, and the aforementioned Harambee.
Recently, he performed in Tertulia, Newton South’s student talent show.
Simultaneously as a dancer and performer, Alkins is being recruited by colleges for football and track, as he is an enthusiastic participant of both Newton South teams. He also loves to swim, this being his favorite sport.
Though he works hard and is a vital member of both his dance troupes and sports teams, he has never felt the pressure to choose between one or the other.
In fact, his passion transcends both climates, saying “the feeling of being on stage is only matched by that of the field or whatever the competitive athletic venue may be.”
As for the future, Alkins has many dreams and is keeping his options open.
“As of now I am still undecided as to where I’ll be spending the next four years.
However, regardless of where I go I know dance will always be a part of my future.”
“Whether I have to join my school’s company/group, minor in dance, or double major with dance as one of them…I will continue to expand as a dancer. It has become an important part of my identity.”
When considering his life beyond college, Alkins has no single idea he has chosen to pursue.
“I really have a soft spot for policy change and social activism.  So don’t be surprised if you hear my name in politics someday.
Or I could just go into sports medicine and massage/physical therapy. Then again, I do love to write.”
For Alkins, “The world is my oyster. Why limit myself, you know? I want to learn as much as possible, see as much as possible, and do as much as possible.
“I have big plans.”

“I love to dance.  It allows me to paint a picture through movement for all watching to see.”Senior Jeffrey Alkins has been dancing his whole life.“I was always a dancer at social gatherings…but it wasn’t until I joined my first art studio and professional youth company at twelve that my dance career was truly born.”Alkins has been a part of the Origination Cultural Arts Center ever since, and it is where he has received his technical training.He has also danced in numerous productions of the professional youth company, Nia Dance Company, where he is currently a senior troupe member.The Nia Dance Company is presently planning on defending their title at the Prelude New England Urban Dance Competition on April 9th.Alkins takes as many as twelve to fourteen hours of dance classes a week, ranging regularly from Hip Hop to African to Ballet.As well as taking many dance classes, he is a star student, taking two AP’s and one honors course, while also being an active member of Harambee, Newton South’s gospel choir.Within his dance companies and troupes, Alkins performs locally and throughout the country while also touring internationally.The summer does not take away from his impressive focus; Alkins has once performed five shows in a three day period.He also tours colleges and universities during the summer, performing at places like Yale and UConn.“This summer I plan on taking several Master Classes with guest professional choreographers. I’m also planning a trip to California for two weeks to take as many open classes at different studios as possible.New choreographers are a great way to grow as a dancer and artist.”Alkins sees his dance as also spiritual, as “(he) thinks art is beautiful, and anyone who does a successful job of displaying his or her artwork adds to the world.” He finds that dancers must “grow and reach deep inside themselves to produce something raw, beautiful, and so real.” For Alkins, dance is a way of opening up to other people and sharing an experience, as “by watching, the viewer is joining me in the journey.”Along with dancing, Alkins has a newly-discovered love of the performing arts: he was recently cast as one of the male leads in Hairspray, Seaweed.Alkins relished the part, saying “I love to act and perform.” While also enjoying theater and acting, Alkins takes two chorus classes at South, the first being Madrigals, the junior-senior choir, and the aforementioned Harambee.Recently, he performed in Tertulia, Newton South’s student talent show.Simultaneously as a dancer and performer, Alkins is being recruited by colleges for football and track, as he is an enthusiastic participant of both Newton South teams. He also loves to swim, this being his favorite sport.Though he works hard and is a vital member of both his dance troupes and sports teams, he has never felt the pressure to choose between one or the other.In fact, his passion transcends both climates, saying “the feeling of being on stage is only matched by that of the field or whatever the competitive athletic venue may be.”As for the future, Alkins has many dreams and is keeping his options open.“As of now I am still undecided as to where I’ll be spending the next four years.However, regardless of where I go I know dance will always be a part of my future.”“Whether I have to join my school’s company/group, minor in dance, or double major with dance as one of them…I will continue to expand as a dancer. It has become an important part of my identity.”When considering his life beyond college, Alkins has no single idea he has chosen to pursue.“I really have a soft spot for policy change and social activism.  So don’t be surprised if you hear my name in politics someday.Or I could just go into sports medicine and massage/physical therapy. Then again, I do love to write.” For Alkins, “The world is my oyster. Why limit myself, you know? I want to learn as much as possible, see as much as possible, and do as much as possible.“I have big plans.”

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“The King’s Speech”: A fine way to spend a couple of hours http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/03/23/%e2%80%9cthe-king%e2%80%99s-speech%e2%80%9d-a-fine-way-to-spend-a-couple-of-hours/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/03/23/%e2%80%9cthe-king%e2%80%99s-speech%e2%80%9d-a-fine-way-to-spend-a-couple-of-hours/#comments Wed, 23 Mar 2011 04:35:04 +0000 Rose Taylor http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5707 The 83rd Annual Academy Award’s show was broadcasted on Sunday, February 27, drawing some 38 million viewers.
Although the Academy’s production was obviously orchestrated to cater to a younger audience, especially with its hosts, it was tradition and history that won the statuettes, with The King’s Speech taking home Best Picture, Best Director for Tom Hooper, and Best Actor for Colin Firth.
The King’s Speech, which is based on a true story, stars Colin Firth, whose character is preparing to be crowned King George VI of England. However, there is one stumbling block on his way to the throne: his stammer.
Bogus speech therapists have him gargle marbles for his diction and smoke cigarettes, but the real help finally arrives in the form of Geoffrey Rush as charming, clever, dare-I-say-bromance-worthy Lionel Logue. Logue enters the not-yet-king’s life with a bang, insisting on calling him “Bertie” to maintain equality during the speech lessons, prescribing a beautifully scored montage of speech exercises.
These include furiously shouting consonants (you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a red-faced Colin Firth pop into frame and spit out “MUH!”), swearing (Bertie doesn’t ever stammer when he’s angry) and breathing deeply as his wife (the delightful Helena Bonham Carter, taking a break from her Bellatrix Lestrange wig) sits on his stomach “to strengthen his diaphragm.”
Director Tom Hooper focuses on the relationship between Lionel and Bertie throughout the film.
Rush and Firth balance the precarious king-subject and friend-friend relationship with just the right amount of tension and sentiment that occasionally it is hard to tell whether Rush, nominated for Best Supporting Actor, is being deliberately impertinent or merely trying to get Bertie to loosen his collar.
Bonham Carter as Elizabeth, mother of the current Queen Elizabeth II, is superb, not getting in the way of the Lionel-Bertie relationship but quietly and wisely encouraging it from the sidelines.
Less interesting and effective are the various political and royal subplots of the film, which include Bertie’s older brother’s abdication (annoying man who’s completely wrong for the throne wants to marry annoying, recently divorced woman, yet parents like him better than Bertie); his father’s fearsomeness (King George V was mean and scary to Bertie about his stammer, wouldn’t let him build model airplanes); and the overall palace disapproval of Logue (all the posh officials except Bertie and Elizabeth don’t trust his methods). These subplots were all either given too little space to develop or simply unnecessary, as Firth and Rush had it all covered without additional conflicts.
Despite these little blips, The King’s Speech was an exceptionally British good time and a fine way to spend a couple of hours.
Run, don’t walk if you enjoy intelligent cinema with charm, humor, deep feeling, and nostalgia

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Resident South style guru gives his take on the Red Carpet http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/03/23/resident-south-style-guru-gives-his-take-on-the-red-carpet/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/03/23/resident-south-style-guru-gives-his-take-on-the-red-carpet/#comments Wed, 23 Mar 2011 04:33:44 +0000 hneff http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5703 Style.com entitled its Oscar fashion slideshow “Safety First”—cue the oft-used sigh of exasperation. Gone indeed are the days of shock, awe, glamour, and grandeur on the red carpet (Björk’s swan dress, anyone? J.Lo’s glistening torso?); in the new decade we are left with a parade of blink-and-you’d-miss-’em couture prom dresses. This past award season, it’s been easy to look good, but quite a feat to look fabulous (of course, the vicious Joan Rivers will have thanked you, too, for looking like a steaming mess). Come wind, come rain, come yards of boring taffeta—I present to you my Oscar night red-carpet report card.

A
Somebody give Cate Blanchett a free steak dinner or a print campaign; the woman deserves accolades for her stunning turn in Givenchy Haute Couture.
She paired an embroidered lavender chiffon gown with the structured, Samurai-shouldered bodice with which it was shown on the runway.
From the front, the opulent monochrome beading looked prim, lovely, and ladylike…that is, until you caught sight of its jubilant lime green variation on the shoulders and X-strapped back.
Blanchett struck the night’s deftest balance between conventional prettiness and fearless edge with a dress that was cooler than anything else worn that night.
Jennifer Lawrence, on the other hand, spoke to the red-blooded patriot in me, embodying classic American beauty in a sleek scarlet tank dress by Calvin Klein Collection.
The material gently hugged her curves in a way that most certinly wasn’t vulgar. I always admire a woman who can pull off Francisco Costa’s minimal designs for Calvin Klein; they call attention to the beauty of the wearer, and not solely to the dresses themselves.

PASS
I won’t deny that the following leading ladies looked great…it’s just not very difficult to do so when you’re wearing dresses with the easy elegance of Marchesa or Elie Saab.
Mila Kunis smoldered in the latter, Hailee Steinfeld charmed in the former (a dress she co-designed,) but these women paled in comparison (literally) to the brilliancy of a clean red dress.
Marchesa’s Georgina Chapman and Elie Saab themselves design for the red carpet; chiffon-and-tulle confections vary little.
A Marchesa or Elie Saab gown is always lavish, pretty, flattering…but it’s an easy way out for an actress—a surefire way to keep up appearances and nab a column in the People magazine centerfold.
Mila and Hailee looked beautiful, but Cate and Jennifer’s daring choices (and stunning confidence therein) mark the small margin of difference between a PASS and an A this time around.

F
There are few things which could distract me from a warm slice of pre-show eggplant pizza…but congratulations, Jennifer Hudson—your traffic-cone orange satin Versace cleavage steamroller trainwreck nightmare supreme just joined the ranks of roadkill, a fire alarm, and the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
J-Hud seemed to think that losing 40 pounds (good for her, though…I really mean that!) entitles one to swathe her torso in ruched neon fabric and bear 40 percent of her womanly gifts for the world to ogle.
I understand that she was probably going for exuberance here (still no excuse for that caked-on android makeup).
But it ended up looking like last call for clearance at David’s Bridal (or something from the periphery of a Newton South prom pic circa 1992.)
As you might have guessed, Miss Diva gets an F, though I loved her in Dreamgirls.

Bonus
Though Helena Bonham Carter looked like a watered-down version of her usual kooky self in a black velvet corset and full-length skirt (I was really counting on her for this much-need dose of delicious irony), I loved that Bonham Carter wore an unique concoction that could only be dreamed up by costume designer Colleen Atwood, instead of a gown from a prestigious luxury brand.
Atwood won a gleaming Golden Globe statue that evening for her marvelous work in Alice and Wonderland, and Bonham Carter was quoted on the red carpet as saying that her outlandish, yet unassuming dress choice was meant to “celebrate film over fashion.” By which she must have meant The King’s Speech had real content.
I presume to suspect that a certain popular Newton South High School film studies teacher is gently nodding his head over a steaming hot mug of coffee while reading this.
After all, it’s important to remember why everyone is getting dressed up in the first place.

Overall
These are my grades that I personally attribute to these lovely ladies; accept them for what they truly are or take the override test.
I’m surprisingly happy to say there were more hits than misses this Oscar night, but unfortunately only a few bull’s eyes to speak of.
I want to see these criticismshy actresses move away from convention and style-worry towards drama and singularity.
Celebrity red carpet fashion is simply no fun if you can so easily purchase the sateen knock-off version of each dress on LightInTheBox.com the very next day.
I’d so much rather remember an Oscar night red carpet look for the rest of my life than find it relatively pretty as it glides wanly across my television screen, never to be heard from again.
At least J-Hud’s dress made me turn my head. So at the end, only one question remains:
When are they gonna start inviting Björk to the Oscars again?

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Tartan times for trendy types http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/12/06/tartan-times-for-trendy-types/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/12/06/tartan-times-for-trendy-types/#comments Mon, 06 Dec 2010 09:10:34 +0000 Helen Holmes http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5134 Last week, I was struck with a bolt of inspiration that only an extra-adorable outfit can inspire.
Devoid, as I was, of any clean pants or a t-shirt, I decided to be literal to the point of excess and dress like a schoolgirl.
This look required a button-down shirt fastened all the way to the collar (check), an old reject tie from my dad’s closet (check), a kilt I found in a local church sale (check), and a pair of heels.
Unfortunately, the heels were nowhere to be found, so I had to improvise and wear my old, black combat boots with a broken zipper.
I walked around feeling like a cross between a punk and a Hogwarts student.
Humorously enough, the schoolgirl look is sweeping the nation. The Spring 2011 collections of Alexander Wang, Philip Lim, and Erdem are chock-full of fresh faces and prim, peter-pan collars.
Alexa Chung, host of the popular MTV show It’s On with Alexa Chung, is the authority on tastefully mixing rock n’ roll and English schoolboy aesthetics. Vogue has even named her as one of the ten best-dressed women of the year in its latest edition.
Personally, I’m nothing short of thrilled that demureness is making comebacks in an industry that so often turns to exposed skin and miniscule hems.
In an age when impressionable young girls are exposed to an unending onslaught of sexualized media, innocence is a welcome relief.
Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure that a complete revolution in the fashion industry is impossible.
I’ll still see girls walking down the hallways in low-cut tank tops and itty-bitty denim miniskirts because the problem with teenagers is that they often have no idea how to strike a balance between being sexual and sensual.
Overt sexuality, if done incorrectly, can often be vulgar rather than appealing. (Case in point: Taylor Momsen’s nipple tape. Ew.)
Another school-clothes “don’t is heavy makeup. No one wants to see you walking around at nine in the morning looking like an underfed raccoon, so ditch the black eye shadow.
Experimentation with color is always an option when one is young and in high school. My personal favorite is green-winged eyeliner: understated, flattering, and not overly sexy.
Sensuality, however, comes in many forms, many of them school-appropriate!
Instead of those super-low-rise jeans that you fit into two years ago, why not try a cropped (but not TOO cropped!) t-shirt and a pair of high-waisted pants?
Trust me, these will not make you look like a middle aged mother if you get the proportions right.
If you’re still watching Jersey Shore, ditch the guidettes and TiVo Mad Men instead – the impeccable, early sixties outfits are the perfect inspiration for a modern woman’s wardrobe.
To be clear, Mad Men is not a source to directly copy – if you wear pearls and kitten heels every day, you might be mistaken for a state senator. Youth is something to be embraced, not rejected, so give your mom’s pencil skirt back and put on some jeans. It won’t kill you.
Of course, your best bet for the quintessential age-appropriate, cheekily demure outfit is that of the schoolgirl.
With a little cash for thrift store bargains and a lot of panache, this look is as easy as sleeping late on a Sunday.
I could almost feel my IQ rising a few points when I put on my tartan skirt and father’s tie.

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Latin students raise their voices for the holidays http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/12/06/latin-students-raise-their-voices-for-the-holidays/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/12/06/latin-students-raise-their-voices-for-the-holidays/#comments Mon, 06 Dec 2010 09:05:36 +0000 James Palmer http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5136 Only one word could describe the Latin trip to the 63rd annual Brown University Latin Carol celebration: divine. 
On December 6, 28 Latin scholars (both current and past students) set out from South at 6:30 PM for the First Baptist Church in Providence, Rhode Island, en route to a night of jubilant celebration of the holiday season and of the simple joy of the Classics.
Accompanied by our faithful magistra Alice Lanckton, as well as the World Language Department Head Susan DeRobert, the History Department Head Robert Parlin, and history teacher Pilar Quezzaire, we climbed on the bus just as a few flurries began to fall (a sign that the Roman augurs would consider auspicious).
After about an hour bus ride, filled with a joyful rendition of Gaudeamus Igitur (a song that any serious Latin student will have memorized by the end of his or her first term in the class), we arrived at the church.
When we walked inside the front doors I was stunned to see the sanctuary filled with so many gorgeous people. Of course I shouldn’t have been so surprised because as we all know, students who take Latin are not only the most studious and cleverest but also are the best looking.
On that note, when we walked in we were all disappointed not to see Emma Watson in the crowd. With all the subjects Hermione takes you’d think she would at least be in Latin II.
Our large group moved forward through the crowd, found seats along the left side of the chapel, and awaited the beginning of the non-denominational service.
At eight o’clock the sing-along started with a Salutatio (welcome), given by Jeri Debrohun, the Associate Professor of Classics at Brown University.
Starting with the first carol of the night, “Adeste Fideles (“O come all ye Faithful), the entire crowd burst into song at the familiar tune, even if the words were a bit tricky.
The night continued with other traditional carols sung by the entire audience in Latin including “O Urbs pusilla Bethlehem (“O Little Town of Bethlehem), “Ecce Chorus Angelorum (“Hark the Herald Angels Sing), and “Ornate Ramosis Aulas (“Angels We Have Heard on High).
As much fun as it was singing in Latin, I will not deny that I did butcher my share of lyrics.
Interspersed between the songs were readings in Latin and Greek both from the bible and Greco-Roman mythology.
Additionally, there were performances by different choral groups of other familiar carols like “Duo Dies Natales (“The Twelve days of Christmas).
The service continued for a little more than an hour. After the final tune, we applauded and headed outside.
While waiting for our beloved instructor, we gave the crowd milling outside the church a heart-filled rendition of “Gaudeamus Igitur (“Therefore let us rejoice) and headed back to the bus where Mrs. Lanckton handed out a batch of chocolate chip cookies for the ride home.
The entire night could really be summed up by Latin IV Honors senior graduate Zoe Newberg: “It was awesome! 
From the bus ride to the carols to the man who held up the plaudite (applause) sign, the night was fun, edifying, and downright hilarious. 
For me, as someone who took Latin for three years at South but did not have a chance to continue this year, the trip was exactly what I needed.
I think I can safely speak for all of us Latin graduates that this trip really did help to ease the pain of not being in the class anymore.
Going through the day without the same class that I have been with since we were freshmen in Latin II Honors has not been easy, and there has been a definite void in my life left by the lack of Ovid.
The trip to the sing-along in Providence did to some extent alleviate that pain. But, even though my hankering for some bread and jam, Catullus poems, and marching may have been eased a little, I really think I could use another tutorial from our beloved Latin teacher on how to use Google Images.

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