Weekend Arts Roundup: Parents’ Weekend Edition!

308459_10150865597375503_810590502_21378055_906888115_nIt’s that time of year again: let the 2015er parents descend upon the Bubble!  Whether you’re looking for quality bonding time or a way to hide your killer hangover behind quality distractions, there are some great events slated for the weekend. Here’s a handful of good bets–plus some great ones that you might want to go to sans adults.

  • Halloween comes early with the Chapel Choir’s annual silent movie-fest, where they perform alongside a scary movie with organ accompaniment. This year it’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame; it’s perfect for all ages (especially if you’ve got younger siblings coming). Friday 14 October at 9pm, adults $10 and student $2. University Chapel.
  • PSAT (The Princeton South Asian Theatrics Company) is always a blast; their newest show, Birds, Bees, and Biodata, is sure to be a great one. 8pm Friday and Saturday, Frist Campus Center Theatre; Students $7, general admission $10; Student Events Eligible.
  • On Saturday night, the University Concert Jazz Ensemble will present “In Case You Haven’t Heard,” their first concert of the year, which features pianist Jonny King (Princeton class of ’87!) with bassist Ed Howard and drummer Victor Lewis.  A great chance to show your parents beautiful Richardson Auditorium–while keeping them a safe distance from Prospect Street.  Saturday 15 October at 8pm, adults $15; student events eligible (so you can get in for free).
  • For sheer hilarious insanity, don’t miss Theatre Intime’s 24-Hour Play Festival, where students race against the clock to write, direct, and star in new plays over the course of a single day.  Heckling is encouraged, and it’s always a blast: one night only, Saturday 15 October at 8pm in Theatre Intime. Free (but definitely not the type of thing you should go to with your parents…unless they’re into raunchy college humor).
  • If it’s Sunday and the fam still hasn’t peaced out, The Richardson Chamber Players’ Art and Memory, featuring music by Ravel, Chausson and Messiae, is a terrific bet–not to mention a great-sounding chamber music performance. Sunday 16 October at 3pm in Richardson Auditorium, adults $15; student events eligible.

Spotted: Forest Whitaker, Stanhope-Bound

[caption id="attachment_11395" align="alignright" width="515" caption="Whitaker with Eddie Glaude, Department Chair for the Program in African American Studies, walking by Prospect House this afternoon. (Thanks to DJ Judd and Sarah Paton for the tipoff!)"]IMG00067[/caption]

We’re used to our fare share of celebrities here in the Bubble, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still get starstruck: Forest Whitaker, the Academy-Award-winning American actor of Last King of Scotland fame, was on campus today for a meeting at the Center for African American Studies. Sophomore Uchechi Kalu was lucky enough to be on the scene: “I was working at Stanhope Hall, and everyone was wearing business casual, so I knew something was up–and then this ray of sunshine walked into the office and shook my hand!  He’s just as kind and well-dressed as you’d imagine. Thank God I decided against sweatpants this morning!”  Definitely a memorable way to end the week.

Weekend Arts Roundup: Intime, Improv, and More

monkeys-hdr_lrgTwo weeks in (doesn’t it feel longer?) and campus arts events are up and running! As the semester goes into full swing, this batch of events is the perfect antidote to daunting workloads and overtired brains:

  • Theatre Intime, Princeton’s oldest entirely student-run theater company, starts its 2011-2012 season with Neil Simon’s Lost In Yonkers, directed by sophomore Eric Traub.  Part comic coming-of-age story and part family drama, this Pulitzer-Prize-winning play is one of Simon’s best, and features an all-star student cast. Thursday-Saturday at 8pm in Theatre Intime: tickets $8, Student Events Eligible.
  • The Department of Music’s Making Tunes concert series, which features a range of international musicians who blend traditional and improvisatory folk music traditions, continues its second week with Appalachian fiddle player Bruce Molsky.  The Tunes series’ first concert was completely sold out, so buying ahead is a smart move: tickets are available at Frist or via phone at 609-258-9220, and the event is Student Events Eligible.  Thursday at 8pm in Taplin Auditorium at Fine Hall.
  • 319614_2211111437472_1238070354_32620346_719421329_nIf you’re hoping to glimpse the next Amy Poehler or Ed Helms, don’t miss The UCB Touring Company’s one-night improv comedy show at McCarter Theatre, sponsored by Quipfire! improv troupe.  Friday at 11pm; free admission, but get there early to get a good seat! It’s sure to fill up fast.
  • Princeton’s Program in Theater opens its season with The Monkeys Are Coming!, a Russian avant-garde drama directed by senior Gabe Crouse as part of his senior thesis.  First published in 1923, the play appears here in a brand-new translation by several professors in Princeton’s Slavic Department.  It’s a genre-bending (and brain-bending) performance–and its 50-minute length makes it perfect for a pre-Street study break.  Friday and Saturday at 8pm in Matthews Acting Studio at the Lewis Center for the Arts (185 Nassau Street); student tickets $10, Student Events Eligible.
  • Speaking of theses, seniors Eddie Skolnick and Jeff Hodes will present an All-Mozart Senior Thesis Recital for the Music Department’s Performance Program on Saturday at 8pm in Taplin Auditorium.  Skolnick will play and conduct Mozart’s Adagio in E for Violin and Orchestra and his Violin Concerto No. 3; Hodes will perform and conduct Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto; and both musicians will be backed by a fifteen-person student chamber orchestra.  Free admission, with a reception to follow.

Weekend Arts Roundup: Sondheim, Shakespeare, Song Cycles, and More

Stephen-Sondheim-HI-RES-Photo-by-Jerry-JacksonWelcome back to The Ink‘s Weekend Arts Roundup! For ’15ers (and newbies to The Ink), the Arts Roundup is an insiders’ guide to all arts events that happen in Princeton (both on and off campus) each weekend.  We’ll give you locations, times, helpful links, ticket prices, event descriptions and hype…everything you need to get out there and take advantage of all the great arts opportunities that Princeton has to offer!

Since the semester’s still in its early stages, we’ve got a number of off-campus options to tempt you with this week.  Stay tuned for later weeks when a cappella, theater, dance, music groups, and more will take the campus by storm!

  • If you think that string music’s just for old-timey Princetonians in smoking jackets, Alasdair Frasier will give you a run for your money: he’s a virtuosic fiddler who takes Scottish traditional and folk music to a wholly new level of musicality.  He’s also super-legit, as his multiple NPR visits highlight. Thursday at 8pm in Taplin Hall; admission is free with TigerTickets ($15 for general admission).  You can call or order them online at 609-258-9220 or www.princeton.edu/utickets.
  • [caption id="attachment_11267" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Alasdair Fraser, fiddle & Natalie Haas, cello, will perform in Taplin Auditorium on Thursday, Sept. 22."]Alasdair Fraser, fiddle & Natalie Haas, cello, will perform in Taplin Auditorium on Thursday, Sept. 22.[/caption]

  • Experience the Bard’s best in one fell swoop, complete with snarktastic commentary and a Titus-Andronicus-themed cooking show, at the Princeton Shakespeare Company’s one-night-only production of Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), which they perform to packed audiences each May at Reunions. Saturday at 8p and midnight, Whitman Theater; tickets are free at the door, but bound to sell out!
  • Princeton’s improbably playing host to one of the season’s hottest theater tickets: John Doyle’s Ten Cents a Dance, a dark song cycle with a wholly new take on the classic music of Rogers and Hart. Doyle, director of the critically-acclaimed recent Broadway revivals of Sweeney Todd and Company, is one of his generation’s great visionaries; the production, co-produced with Williamstown Theatre Festival, is not to be missed.  Tues-Thurs at 7:30pm, Saturday at 8p; Berlind Theater, McCarter Theatre Center.  Tickets free with a TigerTicket (preloaded on your Prox).
  • Though it’s technically already sold out (the first-come first-serve free tickets were all gone as of Tuesday night), former New York Times theater critic Frank Rich’s public interview with composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim here at McCarter Theater is bound to be a once-in-a-lifetime event for arts lovers.  Monday, September 26, at 8pm in Matthews Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center; they’ll be giving will call tickets at the door, so it’s definitely worth stopping by!

Residential College Review: Wilson Edition

Wilcox Dining Hall

Wilcox Dining Hall

While most argue that Wilson is pretty much the bottom of the barrel in terms of residential colleges—prepare yourself now for snide jokes from those bums who live in the castles upcampus—there are a lot of factors that contribute to Wilsonites’ steadfast pride.  An unbeatable location, lots of singles, great party-ready suites, and computer clusters that actually work help make Wilson well worth it.  Plus, you get the automatic street cred of hailing from the “too-cool-for-kumbaya” residential college, ideal for long-suffering eye rolls to impress fellow froshies.

The résumé:

Laundry: There are two laundry rooms, located on the ground floors of Feinberg Hall and Dodge-Osborn Hall.  Since Wilson’s only a two-year college, there often isn’t a line for laundry, but be warned: Upperclassmen tend to mooch off of the Feinberg laundry room during peak hours on weekends, so plan ahead!

Kitchens: One mythical kitchen in Dodge-Osborn, which I have yet to hear of anyone using.  You need a special passkey to get in, which you can get from your RCA—a bit of a pain, but the fact that it’s locked also means that it’s probably much cleaner than the typical kitchens in Rocky or Mathey.  Who knows, it might be a treasure trove of culinary wonders!

Computers: There are two clusters, including one right above Wilcox Dining Hall that only works once or twice a year.  While most froshies suffer through the Wilcox cluster (its printer was my mortal enemy for my entire freshman year), you’ll be much better off if you use the cluster on the ground floor of 1937, which has two functioning printers, eight computers (both Macs and PCs), and is rarely ever full.  If you live in 1937, Feinberg, Walker, or 1939, don’t even bother bringing a printer—the 1937 cluster will do the trick.

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Week In Review: The Kitchen Sink Edition (July 4-July 10)

[caption id="attachment_10862" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Maddox in action (via Princeton Athletic Communications)"]Maddox in action (via Princeton Athletic Communications)[/caption]

It’s been a pretty quiet week in terms of Orange Bubble activity–with a few notable exceptions, which came from all over the high/lowbrow Princetonia spectrum.

First up, Princeton’s basketball star Kareem Maddox ’11, who made waves with his stellar post-season performances against Harvard and Kentucky in March, has signed a one-year contract with Dutch team Landstede Basketbal, where Princeton’s assistant coach Craig Moore played in 2009-2010.  Maddox, who was named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year for the 2010-2011 season, talked with the Princeton Packet about his unlikely path from the Ivy League to the European courts:

“I didn’t start thinking about it until junior year…Myself and Dan (Mavraides) thought we could go play overseas. We worked toward that effort. I didn’t realize it would happen like this. The year we had at Princeton got us exposure. Coaches were reaching out to us to play.  There’s no draft overseas; you’re reaching out to teams, and you have to give them game tapes and show them how your team did and your individual statistics…Having a good year where we meshed well and doing as well as we did helped us a lot with exposure.”

In other news, Princeton’s Annual Giving skyrocketed this year, with over $50 million in alumni contributions and a record-breaking participation rate of 61% from over 36,000 alums.  The Star-Ledger reported last weekend that the newly blazer-clad Class of 1986, which celebrated its 25th reunion in May, contributed over $9 million, the all-time record for any Princeton class.  Looks like Reunions works its magic yet again!

Last, but certainly not least, a new blog called The Ivy Leaker went Code-Orange viral this week, hitting eating club listservs, Facebook, and Twitter alike (and warranting a post over at The Prox late last week).  The blog, which tells the dramatic tale of a sophomore girl facing bicker at “the Cottage,” is written by an anonymous blogger who lists Gossip Girl as one of her major influences, and her posts don’t disappoint: they’re full of midnight meetings at Firestone, secret club handshakes at dawn, and perfectly-shaken cocktails made by guys with “lightly touseled dark hair” named Alejandro.  Sure, it’s not quite This Side of Paradise, but let’s face it: when summer cubicle life gets tedious, desperate times call for desperate measures, and this blog delivers unintentional comedy in spades.

Weekend Arts Roundup: Lils, Laughs, Libretti–and Lawnparties!

cv11mainhedT-minus 24 hours until blessed freedom is upon us!  Or at least until we get to take a brief breather, enjoy some relatively normal springtime weather (knock on wood!), and savor all the Lawnparties revelry before buckling down for the final push come Monday.  We’ll have a more extensive Lawnparties breakdown soon (stay tuned!), but until then there are a ton of exciting ways to kick back with the arts this weekend.  You’ve earned it!

  • An oldie but a goodie–Communiversity, Princeton’s annual town-gown spring festival, strikes again on Saturday, and the picture-perfect weather forecast means it’s bound to be a happening scene. With five stages’ worth of music and performance groups, from a cappella to jazz to flamenco dancing, there’s something for everyone.  Come mingle with the townies, eat great food, and savor some time outside the bubble!  Noon to 5pm on Saturday in downtown Princeton (click here for more detailed descriptions of some of the weekend’s events).
  • ppf11-logo340If it’s a cappella you’re craving, look no further than the Lils’s 40th anniversary Jam at 8pm tonight at Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, featuring a guest performance from the Nassoons.  Tickets $8 for students. The Jam will also focus on the legacy of women here at Princeton to kick off the weekend’s She Roars festival (which is hosting the likes of Sheryl WuDunn ’88 and Sonia Sotomayor ’76!).  You can read the full lecture schedule here: it’s a star-studded list of events, and many allow walk-in guests!
  • The University’s also hosting its second annual Princeton Poetry Festival this weekend.  Organized by New Yorker poetry editor (and Lewis Center director) Paul Muldoon, the Festival has a killer lineup of readers.  There’s nothing more soothing or exhilarating than having someone read to you–especially when that someone happens to be a poetry legend like Sharon Olds or Mark Doty. Drop in as you wish at Richardson Auditorium, even for a brief while: don’t miss it!  Click here for the full schedule.
  • If pure laughs are more your thing, nothing goes better with the craziness of houseparties than the killer wit of Quipfire!, which will be doing 10pm shows Thursday-Saturday in Theatre Intime. Tickets are $6, and they’re bound to sell out (be ready for some serious drunken revelry!), so buy yours ahead of time in Frist.
  • The newly-formed Princeton Opera Company is presenting Love, Laughter and Libretto, a free concert of opera scenes from Mozart to Bernstein, at 2pm on Saturday in the Rocky Common Room–a perfect break from Communiversity or a compliment to a late brunch.

Weekend Arts Roundup: Dance, Drama (and T-minus 1 week!)

219558_1834564104024_1238070354_32179149_806629_oOnly one week to go, guys! Most of this weekend’s events (even the theater performances!) clock in at under 2 hours, so they’re perfect for a mid-evening study break to get you through the final push.  Keep calm, carry on–and enjoy!
  • First up, the New Play Festival–which runs this weekend and into next week–features two full-length original plays by Princeton seniors Mara Nelson-Greenberg and M. Cristina Luzarraga. The first play, Nelson-Greenberg’s Make Belief, is directed by Princeton alum Suzy Agins and plays April 21, 23, 26 and 28; the second, Luzarraga’s Due Unto Others, is directed by senior Sarah Pease-Kerr and plays April 22, 24, 27 and 29.  All performances are at 8pm in Matthews Acting Studio at the Lewis Center for the Arts (185 Nassau).  A $10 gives you admittance to subsequent nights of both shows (a steal!); student events eligible.  The plays clock in at around 90 minutes.
  • If high hilarity’s more your thing, you can’t get better than Clayton Raithel’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, produced by the University Players in Whitman Theatre.  Hysterical songs (teaser: “My Unfortunate Erection” is a highlight), an all-star cast and a great pit orchestra make this an unmissable show. Thursday-Saturday at 8pm, Friday at midnight, Saturday at 2 pm; Tuesday and Wednesday (April 26 and 27) at 10 pm. Student events eligible, tickets $8.
  • 206681_10150266460989688_521089687_9278846_4077228_nDiSiac’s spring show, Blueprints, is sure to be an excellent way to relax and burn off steam in the final push to Lawnparties…and is also sure to sell out, so buy tickets in Frist ahead of time!  Thursday at 8pm; Friday and Saturday at 6.30 and 9pm.  Frist Film and Performance Theater (third floor of Frist), tickets $7 for students.
  • Cara Tucker’s production of The Elephant Man at Theatre Intime has been getting rave reviews–only one weekend left, so get it while it lasts! Thursday-Saturday at 8pm, with a midnight show on Friday. Theatre Intime (across from the Chapel), tickets $8. Student events eligible.
  • Feeling Biblical…or at least up for some beautiful liturgical music? The Glee Club’s spring concert of Bach’s St John Passion on Good Friday is bound to be beautiful, regardless of your religion.  Friday at 8pm, Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall; student tickets $5, events eligible.

Weekend Arts Roundup: Festivals, preFrosh, and the Fiery Furnaces

Hemingway visits Tigertown: Elevator Repair Service's "The Sun Also Rises," this weekend at McCarter.

Hemingway visits Tigertown: Elevator Repair Service's "The Sun Also Rises," this weekend at McCarter.

As this week’s prefrosh descend like locusts–bringing Shirley T’s patented Perfect-Preview-Weather along with them–there are lots of exciting arts events on hand to make this weekend an enjoyable one.  Get out into the sunshine, savor the post-thesis existence (or, if you’re a junior, take a break from JP hibernation), and bring your prospective students along–there’s no better way for them to get a sense of the countless events that the Orange Bubble has to offer on a weekly basis.

  • Only at Princeton would you have one of indie music’s hottest bands performing…at an art museum.  That’s right, the Fiery Furnaces are playing tonight at the University Art Museum’s “This is Collage,” where they’ll be collaborating with the Princeton University Klesmer Ensemble (who actually call themselves PUKE).  Not to be missed!  The Mashmaticians and The Rembrandts (of Friends theme song fame) will also be making appearances: Rembrandts are on from 9:30-10:30pm, with Mashmaticians from 10:30-11:30 and the Fiery Furnaces from 11:30-12:30.  It’s a pretty small venue, so get there early!

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Weekend Arts Roundup: A Cappella, Asperger’s, and More

[caption id="attachment_9985" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Indie darlings Joy Formidable: coming soon to an eating club near you!"]Indie darlings Joy Formidable: coming soon to an eating club near you![/caption]

It’s our last weekend before all the 2015ers descend upon us, complete with orange lanyards and dazed expressions; breathe deep, take a short break from your theses, JPs, and other academic insanity, and treat yourself to one of these arts gems.

  • The biggest arts event on campus this weekend (albeit one that might have stolen my soul as stage manager) is Strange Faces, an original musical by Andrea Grody ’11 about children growing up with Asperger’s Syndrome and how they interact with their families.  Love, tears, laughter, amazing acting, and stunningly beautiful music–this show has it all, and more.  Free open dress rehearsal at 8pm on Thursday; performances Friday and Saturday at 8pm, with $10 student tickets. Events eligible.  Matthews Acting Studio at 185 Nassau.  Get tickets now, it’s selling out fast!
  • Speaking of big arts events, Terrace brings us indie powerhouse Joy Formidable this Thursday for one of the club’s most exciting concerts of the semester.  The night also features sets from Mona and The Lonely Forest, and it’s sure to fill up fast; get there early at 11pm to get in before the doors close.
  • 189775_10150115537936046_560851045_6948930_2696601_nThe premiere a cappella event of the month is Twenty-Something, Roaring 20’s semi-annual Jam concert in Richardson Auditorium and guest-starring the Georgetown Chimes and Quipfire.  It only happens once every two years, so come to cheer on your friends and hear some epic tunes!  Tickets are $8; student events eligible.  Saturday 4-5:30pm
  • There’s still time to see Brighton Beach Memoirs at Theatre Intime and House of Blue Leaves at the Berlind Theatre.  Both play Thursday-Saturday at 8pm; tickets are $8 for Brighton Beach and $10 for Blue Leaves, and both are student events eligible.
  • 208594_1765711416933_1063560131_31811728_6337267_nGot a craving for free classical music? Check out Classical Music Hour in the Rocky Common Room at 7pm on Friday, featuring performances from Princeton’s Sinfonia Orchestra.  A lovely way to kill some time after dinner!
  • Ballet Folklorico has its 9th annual show, Detrás del Sombrero (Behind The Hat), this Friday at 9:30pm and Saturday at 7pm.  Featuring traditional dances from Veracruz, Huasteca Veracruzana, Jalisco, Baja California Norte, Baja California Sur, Guerrero and Colima, it’s not-to-be missed.  Tickets are $8, student events eligible; performances are in the Frist Film and Performance Theatre.

Weekend Arts Roundup: A Capella and Theater Galore

192732_10150123172839626_501629625_6134099_6315723_oA big weekend ahead for the arts at Princeton!  Give yourself a couple hours to relax after an epically long (and snowy…sigh) first week back:

  • In the mood for a (literally) epic evening of opera? Theo Popov ’11’s senior thesis with the Music department, called Nero Artifex, is an original chamber opera based on the life of the famous Roman emperor.  Written entirely in Latin by seniors Mariah Min and Veronica Shi (it has subtitles projected onstage), it’s shaping up to be an extremely exciting production, and has involved over fifty student actors, designers, musicians, and backstage hands. Thursday and Friday only, 8pm in Richardson Auditorium at Alexander Hall. Admission is free.
  • If family dramedy’s more your thing, check out Emma Watt ’13’s production of Brighton Beach Memoirs, a semiautobiographical play by Neil Simon about growing up Jewish in Brooklyn in the 1930s.  Not intrigued yet?  The play’s scenes about growing up (think two teenage boys desperate to see their cute girl cousin naked) are priceless.  Thursday-Saturday at 8pm in Theatre Intime; the show will also play next weekend. Tickets $8 at the door, student events eligible.
  • Nuns, mistaken identities, a psychotic wife named Bananas, sixties costumes that look straight out of Mad Men…John Guare’s House of Blue Leaves, featuring Brad Baron ’11 as his senior acting thesis for the Theater department, has all that and more.  This weekend and next; Friday and Saturday at 8pm in the Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center.  Tickets $10, student events eligible.

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21 Questions with … Mark Dancigers GS


Name: Mark Dancigers, Ph.D candidate in Music Composition

What was the best part of playing your electric guitar concerto with a hundred-person orchestra?
What wasn’t the best part?! The experience was fantastic. I had a great time working with Michael Pratt, the conductor. And it was really cool to actually feel the sound of an orchestra behind me. But feeding off the energy from the musicians on stage was the best part.

What’s the weirdest advice you’ve ever gotten from a composition professor?
One lesson that really stuck with me was when I brought a teacher a set of electric guitar etudes I was working on. His advice was to play through what I was writing very, very slowly. He then went to the piano and started playing the first Chopin etude through very slowly, which was so weird because you always hear etudes played so fast; that’s the whole point, isn’t it? It was a kind of otherworldly experience but eventually I think I figured out what he was trying to tell me: calm down!

What’s been the biggest surprise coming to Princeton from Yale, where you did your bachelors and masters degrees?
Princeton has electricity and running water! I heard otherwise.

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