Two Fridays ago, I took advantage of one of the numerous arts events that take place on our very own campus. You don’t have to go very far to discover a new performance at MIT — just check the MIT arts newsletter. I was surprised when a handful of my arts-inclined friends didn’t even know such a newsletter existed. Killian Hall (14W-111) serves as a home to many local performers, and Charles Bubeck and Daniel Ian Smith are no strangers to the intimate and cozy performance space we’re blessed with at MIT.
Underwhelming. Despite its star-studded cast, “American Gangster” fails to deliver. Its story — based on a feature in <i>New York Magazine</i> — chronicles the rise and fall of Frank Lucas (played by Denzel Washington), a shrewd and intelligent 1970s Harlem heroin operation mastermind. Lucas climbs his way to the top when he imports heroin directly from Southeast Asia, rather than working through the usual channels, offering a better product at cheaper prices. Inspired by the Mafia’s model, he brings his family up from North Carolina to run the operation, and he is extremely successful. That is, until Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe), seemingly the only honest cop in all of New York and New Jersey, is assigned to investigate the case.
Jens Lekman was magical. Every moment he was on stage, the room seemed to get brighter and happier. Even though Paradise Lounge was packed to the gills, a gentle harmony effused through the room. The crowd danced side by side, and no one seemed to mind the throngs of hipsters pushing their way up front. It must’ve been the Jens Lekman effect.
Last weekend, I saw Itzhak Perlman, the Israeli-American violinist and conductor, perform live. It was the first time I’d seen him live, although I grew up listening to recordings of his playing, and I was not disappointed. The concert, part of the Boston Celebrity Series, had Symphony Hall packed with people eager to see a living legend of classical music.
Leave it to the New England Philharmonic and its director, Richard Pittman, to come up with a bold program. Living up to the adventurous reputation that has repeatedly earned them awards and accolades in the recent past, they prepared a unique program for their Oct. 27 program held in Kresge Auditorium at MIT.
Though Illinois frontman Chris Archibald is primarily a banjoist, his small-town Pennsylvanian quartet shares little musically with the typical genres associated with said instrument. They’ve got less in common with Sufjan Stevens and much more to do with amply rocking contemporaries Menomena. This is surely a positive likening, since Illinois is touring with Menomena through mid November.
Ira and Abby” is the classic love story — boy meets girl, girl meets boy’s parents, boy marries girl, and several montages later, they live happily ever after! The twist in this latest rendition is that Ira (played by Chris Messina) and Abby (Jennifer Westfeldt, who also wrote the film) are engaged six hours after they meet, and they are married within the first half hour. Every aspect of the film is accelerated and exaggerated, and the end result is a light-hearted movie that will appeal to some, but certainly not everyone.
Well, surely you’re all quaking in your Keds now that music file-sharing site OiNK is shut down, and maybe you’re wondering how you’ll possibly acquire and share albums with the same level of ease. Stream from MySpace? Perish the thought! Post on your public? Time-costly! Newbury comics? A fun voyage, for sure, but you might as well blow a kiss goodbye to any petty cash in your wallet as soon as you step in the door. Next best solution? Cheap concerts coming to you in the Boston area this November. They may not be as permanent as, say, torrent-quality mp3s, but at least you can always take flash photos of you and your friends in front of the stage to put on Facebook.
As the longest running play in American theater history, “Shear Madness” is an outrageously funny, interactive “whodunit” murder-mystery whose topical humor and shameless innuendos leave the audience roaring with laughter. Though the play is currently in its 27th year at the Charles Playhouse, each performance is kept fresh with improvisation, an abundance of references to current popular culture, and an excellent sense of humor.
The Darjeeling Limited” is the latest film by director and writer Wes Anderson. The movie chronicles the emotional and spiritual journey of three estranged brothers reuniting in India. (For a review of the film, see <i>http://www-tech.mit.edu/V127/N45/darjeeling.html</i>.)<i></i>
S<i>tephanie Gayle, who works at the MIT Media Lab, released her debut novel </i>My Summer of Southern Discomfort<i> this summer. The novel follows Natalie Goldberg, a New England lawyer who has moved to Macon, Ga., as she navigates a capital murder case and her own life in the sticky Southern summer. Recently, I met with Gayle to discuss her novel and her writing in general. The following is an excerpt from that conversation.</i>
The Darjeeling Limited,” the latest film by Wes Anderson, is a tour de force of overt symbolism. In the film, three brothers bring their emotional baggage (played by real luggage) to India (played by India) and go on an emotional journey (played by a train ride) to confront their past (played by their mother).
When I first heard about <i>365 days/365 plays</i>, Suzan-Lori Parks’ project to spend a year writing one play a day, I remember thinking it was a little, um, ambitious. But I also remember reading her play, <i>Topdog/Underdog</i>, which brought fresh ideas on racial identity, history’s everyday presence, masculinity as a weapon, and masculinity as a weakness. I suppose few people would be better equipped than Parks for such an undertaking.
After four years of mystery, the longest gap between Radiohead albums has finally come to a decisive close, following Wednesday’s release of new record <i>In Rainbows</i>.
Freshly made beer, mechanical contraptions, and hyperbole are three of my favorite things. On a sunny afternoon, you can find all of these things at a tour of the Sam Adam’s factory in Jamaica Plain. First off, logistics: it’s actually really easy to get there. Just take the Orange Line down to Stony Brook and follow the signs that say “beer this way.” Second, they only ask for a $2 donation for the tour, and the money goes to local charities. Yes, you get to be a Good Samaritan and tour a beer factory on the same day. Lastly, don’t go on Saturdays: it’s crowded beyond belief. Oh, and make sure you’re over 21.
If you’ve been avoiding any of Boston’s museums because you can’t tell a Renaissance painting from a Post-Impressionist, your excuse has just been smashed. “Walk This Way,” one of the Museum of Fine Art’s latest exhibits, is a parade of shoes, some new and some old. Everyone can understand shoes — we wear them, don’t we?