Dance Club Spring Showcase
by Brigid Walshe ’19 A&E Staff
This past weekend, Providence College’s Dance Club put on its spring show, which gave the PC community a chance to see some of their friends and peers do an activity they love.
PC’s Dance Club is a student-run, student-choreographed dance club on campus. Members sign up for dances at the beginning of the semester and practice each dance once a week until the show at the end of the semester. Members also participate in Sunday classes, which are open to the entire campus and perform at various school-sponsored events, like Late Night Madness.
The show was about two hours long and featured dances of all different styles. From lyrical to tap to musical-theatre, the show had it all. Members performed a tap number to “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” a lyrical number to “Shallow” from A Star is Born, and a high-energy dance to Hairspray’s “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” choreographed by PC Dance Club’s president, Jacqueline Michels ’19. The show ended with an emotional senior dance, which featured all senior members of Dance Club. For many, it was their last time dancing on a stage.
One of the best, and most unique, aspects of Dance Club is that it is open to students of all skill levels, whether you have been dancing since you could walk or have never danced a day in your life. It is a great way to meet new people and bring different people together through their love of dance.
Morgan Starkey ’20 said her favorite thing about Dance Club is how welcoming, patient, and kind everyone is on the club. Starkey had never personally danced before joining Dance Club, and choreographers have gone out of their way to make everyone feel comfortable and confident doing their dances. Starkey was a member of the “Fresh Prince” tap dance, choreographed by Bailey Zimmitti ’20, and she was one of the three girls who had never tapped before. Zimmitti took the time to really turn them into “tippity tapping queens.” The club has introduced Starkey to so many new people who she might not have met otherwise.
Performance weekend is exciting for members, who all get to come back together, and Starkey says that she loves seeing and hearing her friends and family shouting from the audience during shows. The cheers always put a smile on her face. The student-run club successfully produced another exciting performance for their Spring Dance Showcase.
Where Are They Now?
The Cowl Interviews Musician Oliver Penn ’17
by Brigid Walshe ’19 A&E Staff
Oliver Penn ’17 is making his way back to Providence College to perform at McPhail’s on April 12 at 9 p.m., and he has had quite the journey since leaving in 2017.
After graduating with a marketing degree, he worked for a non-profit in Houston while playing gigs after work and on the weekends. After a year, he decided to go all-in with his music, and he has been playing shows all over Texas, and beyond, since.
Still based in Texas, Penn says that the state has a lot of interesting musicians, venues, and arts communities that have welcomed him and allowed him to do what he loves. He has had many incredible opportunities, including the chance to open for Shinyribs to a sold-out crowd at the historic Gruene Hall, a venue that has welcomed artists from Willie Nelson to Garth Brooks to B.B. King. Music has led to amazing relationships for Penn as well, and seeing familiar faces at his shows has made his music that much more rewarding.
Now on the road with his most recent tour, Penn’s day-to-day life can be pretty hectic. His group spends a lot of time driving from one city to another. On the day of a show, they get together at their hotel, head to the venue for load-in and sound check a few hours before the show, have dinner, perform, pack up their van, and then do it all over again. Penn likes to play some of his favorite classics (“Pride and Joy” by Stevie Ray Vaughan) and original music (“Coupe DeVille” and “Hideaway”) during his show.
Penn is busy working on his new album. He has already finished his track list and is focusing on recording and finishing up the songs. He says his style is blues, and others call it rock ‘n’ roll, but his style reflects his biggest musical influences including Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jack White. His parents are to thank for his interest in music, as they signed him up for piano lessons when he was young. Soon after, his interest turned to the guitar and drums.
Penn is looking forward continuing to play his shows all over the country, recording new music, and building even more relationships through music. He is hoping to do more collaborations in the future—his dream collaboration would be with Kacey Musgraves, a fellow Texan.
As for coming back to campus, Penn loves getting to show his team around, including taking them to some of his favorite spots, like The Abbey and Papa Paulie’s, and catching up with old friends and former professors. Music was very much a part of his life when he was at PC, but once he returned to Texas, he had a clearer idea of where he wanted to take his music. Now, he is doing what he has always dreamed of and is enjoying every second of it.
The Creative Capital
Providence Hosts Mumford & Sons at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center
by Brigid Walshe ’19 A&E Staff
Providence is known as the Creative Capital because of its commitment to the arts, which includes music. As the years have passed, more and more artists have added Providence to their tour schedule, which makes it even easier (and even cheaper) to see your favorite acts. Just this past week, both Mumford & Sons and James Taylor performed at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, where PC students are more used to seeing Coach Cooley and his team than Grammy-winning artists.
Mumford & Sons came to the Dunk as their first stop on the second half of their North American tour with Cat Power, an indie-rock singer from Atlanta, opening. The crowd was filled with people of all ages, who were singing along from start to finish. Mumford & Sons played a mix of old and new songs, pulling from their latest album, Delta, which the group released last November.
The stage was set up in the middle of the floor, and the group had two general admission sections, one on each side of the stage. During the concert, the group switched from side to side. Mumford & Sons also ventured into the crowd multiple times, and they even performed an A cappella version of their song, “Timshel,” from their album, Sigh No More, with all four members standing around the microphone in section 232. It was a completely different concert experience than the group’s previous tours, and the crowd loved it.
The Dunk has hosted a variety of other artists this past year, including Panic! at the Disco and Thomas Rhett. Many more artists are coming in 2019, such as John Mayer, Michael Bublé, Migos & 21 Savage, and Josh Groban.
Another popular, more intimate concert venue in Providence is The Strand, located downtown on Washington Street. The Strand, previously known as Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel, has welcomed artists like Bastille, Young the Giant, and Walk The Moon over the past couple of years. The Strand is a great venue for up-and-coming artists, too.
There is something special about seeing your favorite artists play in the same building where all of your school’s home games are played, and even on the same floor that you may have stormed after a certain PC-Villanova game last year. Keep your eye out for upcoming concerts in Providence, because there will be plenty coming in the future, and you do not want to miss out.
Six Gents’ Valentine’s Day Show
Love (and Laughs) in the Air
by Brigid Walshe ’19 A&E Staff
On a cold, wintry Tuesday night at 11 p.m., many students ventured down to the Smith Center for the Arts for a good late night laugh, and that is exactly what they got with Six Gents’ Valentine’s Day show. For those who may not be familiar with Six Gents, they are Providence College’s only premier sketch comedy group on campus, and they put on multiple shows per semester. Even though the group is called Six Gents, there are actually 12 members in the group, including five new members who joined last fall.
William Oser ’19 says that his favorite thing about Six Gents is that it is probably the biggest creative outlet he has on campus here at PC. The comedy group is not as structured as other clubs on campus, and members have the freedom to create whatever they would like in comedy. Oser says that it is empowering to be able to collaborate and create original ideas and then execute them by putting them on their feet and performing them live for peers and fans.
The group usually writes their sketches in pairs and takes an idea based on what is happening on campus, in society, or even “a random idea that might’ve came to us in a dream,” according to Oser. They then meet as a group to get opinions and decide what to do with the sketch.
The sketch group made it clear that the annual Valentine’s Day show was open to everyone, regardless of their relationship status. The group performed their original sketches for an hour, which included skits about a mock dating show, a sitcom spoof, and a girl who finds unexpected love at a book shop. One of the biggest crowd-pleasers of the night was the final sketch: a Toy Story spoof where all of Andy’s toys come to college with him and get a glimpse of one of Andy’s new friends. Oser said that this was his favorite sketch, written by Rita Murphy ’19. The group performed their own original interludes in between sketches, including a very romantic love poem about serial killer, Ted Bundy.
The group’s popularity and presence on campus has grown over the years, having larger and larger crowds at each show, and now performing in the Angell Blackfriars Theatre in Smith, with a crowd that fills up almost 3/4 of the theater. The group used to perform in the black box theatre, but their shows became so highly attended that the group moved into a larger venue.
This was the group’s first show of 2019, and if they keep the laughs coming, it will be a very successful year for PC’s top comedians. Keep an eye out for more shows coming later in the semester, and do not miss a chance for some free laughs.
Writer vs. Writer: Best Valentine’s Day Movie
by Catherine Goldberg ’20 A&E Staff
What is the most romantic movie ever made? Perhaps one of the most popular opinions among females at Providence College would be The Notebook. The 2004 film based on the Nicholas Sparks novel features a young Ryan Gosling playing Noah Calhoun, and Rachel McAdams playing Allie Hamilton.
The epic love story cuts between the couple at two stages in their lives. The film takes place in 1940s South Carolina, where mill worker Noah Calhoun resides, and debutante Allie spends her summers with her family. The two meet at a county fair and eventually fall desperately in love, but Allie’s parents do not approve.
When the two separate as Allie goes off to college and Noah fights in World War II, they carry their love with them for seven years, but eventually, Allie gets engaged to another man. However, fate brings them back together.
When Allie sees a photo Noah in the newspaper with a house he built, based on the one they had dreamed of having together when they were young and in love, she rushes to see him. They come to realize that the spark and their love is still very much there. Allie ends up leaving her fiancé to marry Noah.
We see the couple in another phase of life in a series of flashbacks throughout the movie. The elderly couple live together in a nursing home, and Allie suffers from a severe case of Alzheimer’s disease. The Notebook focuses on the roots of a marriage for life, not the heartbreaking effects of such an awful disease. Noah tries to remind Allie of their epic love story by reading Allie’s old notebook out loud to her in the nursing home.
A definite tear-jerker, yet perfect display of true love, The Notebook is definitely in the running for best Valentine’s Day movie.
SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE
by Brigid Walshe ’19 A&E Staff
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, it is time to start thinking about what quintessential, classic love stories you will want to watch with a box of chocolates, curled up on the couch. One of those has to be Sleepless in Seattle.
The plot follows Sam, who is still mourning the loss of his wife, Maggie. His son Jonah calls into a radio show and gets Sam to talk about how he is still hurt and missing Maggie. He becomes an overnight sensation, gaining the nickname “Sleepless in Seattle” from the radio show. Annie Reed, a Baltimore journalist, happens to hear his story on the radio, and it touches her so much that she starts to question her own life, including her engagement to her fiancé, Walter. Conflicted, she goes out on a mission to find Sam in person.
Sleepless in Seattle features two of the biggest film stars of the 1990s: Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Both portray their characters in a normal and loveable way, exuding a convincing chemistry. What makes this movie so great is that it shows how fate and destiny were on their side in the end. The movie is filled with coincidences, grief, miracles, and love, demonstrating how in a world bigger than ever, we still end up where we need to be. It also shows that we can find love again, even when we are not expecting it.
It has been more than 25 years since the film was released, but it is a film that is both romantic and real, even in 2019.
Trophy Season: The Screen Actors Guild Awards
by Brigid Walshe ’19 A&E Staff
Now that the Super Bowl is over, it is time to look forward to the next big televised event: the Academy Awards, or the Oscars. As the biggest event of awards season in Hollywood, the best performances in film will be acknowledged at the ceremony on Feb. 27. Early frontrunners for the Oscars have started to emerge after the Golden Globes and more recently, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, which took place on Jan. 27.
The SAG Awards are awards given out by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, a labor union that represents more than one hundred thousand actors, journalists, recording artists, and other media professionals, to the best performances by actors in both film and television. The SAG Awards have been an essential part of the awards season since its debut in 1995. This year marked the 25th SAG Awards, a major milestone for the organization and the show. There were some predicted and surprise winners in a very successful year for both film and television.
Now that both the Golden Globes and SAG Awards have passed, it is easy to identify some early Oscar favorites. To start, Rami Malek and Glenn Close won the SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor/Female Actor in a Leading Role for their work in Bohemian Rhapsody and The Wife, respectively. The two actors also won Golden Globes for their performances in these films, and they have emerged as potential favorites for the Academy Awards this month. Mahershala Ali also won a SAG award for his performance in Green Book, a film directed by PC alumnus, Peter Farrelly ’79.
There were also some surprises. Emily Blunt won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role for her performance in A Quiet Place, a thriller that was directed by her husband, John Krasinski. Blunt was not nominated for an Academy Award for this role, but she was recognized by the SAG.
The cast of Black Panther also picked up the award for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture, which is a huge win for the film since they did not win any awards at the Golden Globes. This may be a good omen for Black Panther as the Academy Awards draw near.
Turning to television, many performances highlighted at the Golden Globes received recognition at the SAG Awards. Sandra Oh, who was both a host and a winner at the Golden Globes, was recognized again for her work in Killing Eve, a British drama/thriller series that follows Oh’s character, Eve, as she tracks down the psychopathic assassin, Villanelle.
Darren Criss won Best Male Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie for his portrayal of Gionni Versace’s killer, Andrew Cunanan, in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, while Patricia Arquette won for Escape at Dannemora, a limited series that follows the 2015 Clinton Correctional Escape. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel also picked up multiple awards, and This is Us won for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble, Drama Series.
It will be interesting to see who comes out on top at the Oscars, and if there will be any more surprises in the coming weeks.
Haute Couture: Paris Fashion Week Showcases Seasonal Collections
Designers Debut Interesting “Wordy” Clothing
by Brigid Walshe ’19 A&E Staff
It may be cold and dreary here in Providence, but Paris was filled with life and haute couture this past week, as Paris Fashion Week brought the biggest celebrities, models, and designers back to the City of Lights. Famous designers were showing off their men’s and haute couture collections for the Spring/Summer 2019 season.
French brands like Chanel and Dior went all out for their haute couture shows. Chanel’s collection was influenced by fashion from the 18th century, under the direction of legendary creative director and fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld. He received inspiration from a collection at the Musée Cognacq-Jay in Paris, which focuses on merchants who supplied Parisians with all things needed for haute couture in the 18th century.
Chanel had many looks that were both elegant and chic, but the end of the show was what everyone remembered. Chanel ended its show like most other haute couture shows, with a bridal look. But this year, the brand took a completely new approach to the final bridal. Chanel decided to have a model walk out in a sequined “bridal” bathing suit complete with a headpiece and veil.
For the show itself, Chanel reconstructed an Italianesque villa in the Grand Palais, while snow was falling outside in Paris. Dior’s haute couture show took place at the Musée Rodin, and the runway featured a circus. The show, which was an all-female show, featured acrobats and models navigating the runway in the middle of their acrobatic tricks.
One designer that has gained notoriety is the Dutch designer label Viktor & Rolf. Their Spring 2019 couture looks were big, extravagant, and exactly what one would expect from a haute couture designer. The brand has always tried to close the gap between fashion and art, believing them to be one and the same. Their Spring/Summer 2019 collection was titled “Fashion Statements.” The collection was filled with lots of tulle, bright colors, and, what caught the most attention, words printed on the front of the dresses. Dresses had messages like “I’m not shy I just don’t like you,” “I’m not mean,” “Sorry I’m late I didn’t want to come,” and a simple “No.”
Of course, these dresses were all over the Internet, and even though we may never get the chance to wear one of these haute couture looks, we cannot help but reflect on fashion’s newest innovations.
Flying Into the Bird Box Buzz
How Meme Culture Propagated the Netflix Original’s Success
by: Brigid Walshe ’19 A&E Staff
Winter break is the perfect opportunity for many of us to sit at home and binge-watch our favorite shows or movies, and it seems like this winter break there was one Netflix original movie that everyone was talking about: Bird Box. Released on December 13, 2018, Bird Box was a Christmas treat, and since its release, everyone has been talking about it. Whether it is the new viral Bird Box challenge or memes found all over the Internet, this movie is everywhere. If you have not seen it yet, it may be time for you to sit down and see what all the buzz is about.
According to Netflix, over 45 million different accounts watched the film during its opening week. This broke the record for most views during a film’s first week on their site. The movie is rather dark and is based on the 2014 post-apocalyptic novel of the same name, written by Josh Malerman.
The story follows protagonist Malorie—portrayed by Academy Award winner Sandra Bullock—as she tries to find her way to safety in the midst of a global emergency, where people commit suicide after seeing an invisible monster that “decimates the world’s population,” according to Netflix. Malorie encounters many people in her journey to safety, and also has the responsibility of protecting her unborn child.
The movie has received average reviews, but it has gone viral thanks to the Bird Box challenge and memes of various characters in blindfolds throughout the movie. Characters in the film wore blindfolds when they were in public because they knew that if they saw the “monsters,” they would immediately be possessed, and would be shown their worst fear, leading them to commit suicide. So, naturally, fans of the film wanted to see how doable everyday tasks would be when blindfolded like characters in the film, thus creating the Bird Box challenge. It started out harmless, but soon, people were driving cars blindfolded—which happened in the film—and caused accidents which led Netflix to issue a warning on Twitter, saying that “Boy and Girl have just one wish…that you not end up in the hospital due to memes.”
The movie also left many viewers wanting more and wanting answers to their questions. Fans were left wondering what the monsters physically looked like, what exactly the monsters show you that make you suicidal, and what happens to certain characters that disappear and reappear in the film. While there has been no announcement regarding a sequel, fans are still looking for more answers.
Even though Netflix announced this past week that they will be increasing their subscription price, there are still plenty of original, new Netflix programs to watch, and Bird Box should be the first.
Looking Back: The 1975’s A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
by: Brigid Walshe ’19 A&E Staff
After months and months of anticipation (including a 30-day countdown on their Instagram page), British alternative/indie rock group The 1975 finally released their highly anticipated new album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, in November, 2018. The band is known for their hits, “Chocolate,” “Girls,” “Somebody Else,” and “The Sound,” from their first two albums. A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships will be their first album since 2016, when they released their number one album I like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it.
This new era for the band, which the band is now calling Music for Cars, is inspired by frontman Matty Healy’s teenage years, which he spent mostly in cars, listening to music. Therefore, the new album offers an “unfiltered, genre-crossing look at cultural consumption,” according to Entertainment Weekly. This album focuses on how easy it is to lose oneself in an online world that slowly merges with reality. The band released their first single off the album, “Give Yourself a Try,” on May 31, 2018, and since that date, has released four more singles from the album, “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME,” “Love It If We Made It,” and “Sincerity is Scary,” and “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)” at later dates. The album contains 15 songs in total, including the five singles released prior.
One thing that fans love about The 1975 is how original their music and art is, and that has definitely not changed with this album. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Healy said that he is not worried about outdoing the band’s past success, but rather focused on the band’s authenticity. The band makes art not for the profit, but for the sake of making art. They are not worried about what anyone else says about their music except themselves.
Healy described his songwriting method as, “deconstructed, anthological, and postmodern” in a recent interview with Pitchfork. Healy has drawn inspiration from all sorts of genres, from John Hughes movies to jazz artist John Coltrane, for this upcoming album, as well as from his experiences from his childhood up to his release from rehab before the new album was released.
The album was released on November 30, 2018, and for fans already wanting more music, the band is planning for a follow-up album, called Notes on a Conditional Form, to be released at some point in May 2019. They are also touring all over the world with the release of A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, with the closest stop being Agganis Arena at Boston University on May 30. If the rest of The 1975’s projects are this impressive, the era of Music for Cars will hold a lot of surprises for fans.
A Christmas Carol: Providence’s Favorite Holiday Tradition
by: Brigid Walshe ’19 A&E Staff
One of the most beloved Christmas traditions in Providence is Trinity Repertory Company’s annual production of Charles Dickens’ classic tale, A Christmas Carol. For the past 41 years, Trinity Repertory Company (Trinity Rep) has produced A Christmas Carol, usually putting their own unique, modern twist on the timeless classic. This year, the theater did a more traditional production of the story set in 19th century London.
Stephen Torne, who has been with Trinity Rep for 19 seasons, portrayed the main character, Ebenezer Scrooge. He co-directed the production last season, as well as portrayed roles in both Othello and Ragtime.
The production also featured many actors who are currently enrolled in the Brown University/Trinity Rep M.F.A. program, where participating students in the program will receive a M.F.A. in Acting or Directing. There are also two different ensembles in the production that switch on-and-off with every show to portray the various children in the story, the most famous being Tiny Tim.
The coolest thing about this year’s performance is that it features a different local choir for their 56 performances during the season. Originally, the artistic team reached out to over 85 different choirs in communities in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. The choirs that are performing in the production this season are a mix of school, church, community, and college choirs.
The choirs are made up of a gamut of different individuals from all different types of backgrounds. Groups such as the Providence Gay Men’s Chorus to RPM Voices represent a local organization who teach and participate in the African American choral traditions.
For the performance on Nov. 30, an A capella group from the Gordon School, a private school in East Providence, performed wonderfully. The artistic team for A Christmas Carol actually had to modify the music in order to account for their adolescent voices. While the choir played a minimal role in the play itself, they had the chance to do their own “solo” during curtain call, which was a great addition.
For the past 12 years, the theater has always ended their performances with Scrooge coming before the audience and asking them to donate to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. This idea came about back in 2006, when someone suggested that the production should bring to life Scrooge’s newfound sense of charity and kindness. This has been a major success for both the theater and organization, which has received more than $400,000 in contributions from theatergoers over the past decade.
Trinity Rep, which is located in downtown Providence, will be offering performances of A Christmas Carol until Dec. 30. Those interested can buy tickets on their website www.trinityrep.com or call their box office at (401)-351-4242.