High 5 teens were invited to a special screening of The Way Way Back, a new film starring Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell, and more, to be released in select theaters this July. Teen Advisory Council’s Adonys shares his thoughts on the film below.
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Pictured: David Behrman
The Kitchen: famous for its experimental vibe among New York music-ites, it holds a reputation for openness to all music. Avant-garde and ultramodern, The Kitchen’s roots come from the No-Wave scene from the 1970’s. Unknown musicians (at the time), like Philip Glass, Elliot Sharpe, and Arthur Russell would come out of this project.
To this day, The Kitchen retains its air of an underground scene. Slightly off-limits, The Kitchen seems a little shady to those who don’t know of its reputation. The venue itself has an off-off-off-off Broadway feel to it. Lacking a traditional raised stage and backstage, The Kitchen creates a feeling of equality between the performer and the audience. The performer is no more well known than any single member of the audience, and they often sit in the front row looking on as audience members until it is their time to perform. [click to continue….]
drawing by Visual Arts TRaC instructor Nathan Sensel
It’s that time again: Teen Reviewers and Critics season!
Last week we kicked off our Spring 2013 semester of TRaC with a special performance of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind with the NY Neofuturists at The Wild Project. You can check out photos from the event on TRaC’s Facebook page. With its constantly changing menu of plays, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind is a show where the performers attempt to perform thirty plays in sixty minutes! The audience becomes a part of the act, deciding the order the plays and sometimes appearing in them. The show is performed once a week at the Kraine Theater as plays shift and change and ensemble members add new pieces to the existing body of work. Originating in Chicago, the Neofuturists are a group of performers who try their best to be truthful, immediate, and creative in the theater they make. Inspired by their mission to perform thirty plays in sixty minutes, members of Spring 2013 TRaC were asked to usher in the semester by creating reviews of the show in sixty seconds. They timed themselves for a minute and the responses below are what they came up with. Much like the Too Much Light… these reviews are quick, direct, and unique to each person’s experience; just the beginning of what we have in store this spring! [click to continue….]
At the Fall Kick-Off event with the NY Neo-futurists in October
This fall, High 5′s TRaC program went to see some pretty awesome performances all around NYC from MoMA, to Harlem Stage, to Playwrights Horizons, and so much more! We’ve compiled a running list of their reviews right here! Take some time to peruse through a few as we look ahead to the spring.
If you’re interested in the TRaC program, this is definitely the place to start. We have an open house coming up at our headquarters on Thursday, January 31 and applications for the spring semester will be due Friday, February 8. More info, including the application, will be online soon!
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Giant, directed by Michael Grief and based of the 1952 novel written by Edna Ferber, is the story of a man trying to protect his home of Texas while creating a family. Jordan Benedict, known as Bick (Brian D’Arcy James) basically runs his town in Texas and plans on keeping it the way it was run by his ancestors. He falls in love with Leslie (Kate Baldwin) and marries her despite the disapproval of his sister Luz (Michele Pawk).
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The movie Airplane is a comedy in which a contagious illness strikes during a plane ride, and knocks out the pilots. It is a very funny movie; and it is a great movie. It was written by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker. It is a very quick movie with a rapid fire of jokes. It stars Robert Hays, as a taxi driver. It is a very well known movie; and many of the jokes in the movie are famous and often referenced in other media.
The movie is about the ex cab driver Ted Striker. His ex-girlfriend breaks up with him and is now a stewardess. He wants to get back with her. He plans to do this by going on the flight she’s working on. The movie starts out in the airport, with someone announcing a plane leaving for a certain location. However, another announcer cuts in and says the plane goes to a different location. The two announcers get into an argument and eventually start swearing at each other. This is the beginning scene of the movie.
The movie has very fast slapstick comedy. There are many jokes; and they come very quickly. Most of the jokes are very in your face; but some of the jokes are more subtle. Most of the humor is very light and silly. For example, there is a famous line where a character says “Can you fly this plane and land it?” And the response is “Surely you can’t be serious.” And the other character responds “I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.” The joke is obviously that “surely” sounds like the name “Shirley.” While the joke seems very childish and stupid, it is very popular. A Google search of “don’t call me Shirley” produces 3,040,000 results. The TV series “Suburgatory” has an episode called “Don’t call me Shirley”. It is a timeless gag.
The film has aged quite well, but not perfectly. There is one joke that involves two jive speaking black men. They are only able to speak jive, and cannot speak regular English. When one of them strikes ill, the stewardess come to ask what is wrong. Being that they can’t speak English, she is unable to understand. An old lady says she can speak Jive, and can communicate with the two men. She speaks Jive with them, and much of the humor from this scene actually comes from the very formal translations of the Jive in the subtitles. Much of the Jive has English words, and they are translated in a more formal manner. While this is certainly not terribly offensive, this can offend some people as some comedies do rely on racist humor, even today.
The story of the movie is very simple, and obviously just a bridge to the jokes. The character interactions, while not deep, are very cleverly written and humorous. The acting is top notch. While every character does play an established archetype, it is obviously intentional and does not come off as stereotypical.
Image source: IMDB
I am at the Harlem Stage Theater waiting for Kyle Abraham’s Pavement to start. I sit in the purple cushioned chairs as old school hip-hop and soul music plays from the two speakers on the sides of the stage and the two attached to the tan brick arch. I observe the scenery and soak in the feel of the room. There is a basketball hoop on the top right corner of the stage with the words “No Loitering” projected onto it. The audience fills with about one hundred and twenty people. The performance soon begins. [click to continue….]
If you are a fan of excess in a play then Giant is surely for you. That title might ring a bell, if you’ve read the book, by Edna Ferber, or perhaps seen the movie, directed by George Stevens. The play is set Texas, spanning a number of years, but starting in the 1920s. Jorden “Bick” Brendon falls in love with Leslie, who comes from a sheltered life in Virginia. Leslie, has to learn to adjust to life at a cattle ranch and to deal with the Texas matriarchy. Problems arise, such as Bick’s sister’s disapproval of Leslie, racism, and the change of farmland to oil wells. While it’s fun to watch people in western outfits run around and proclaim their love for the land, the highlight of the play was the orchestra. The music and lyrics by Michael John Lachiusa are very impressive. The orchestra is set up so it floats above the stage in plain view of the audience. The play uses many screens and different types of lighting to make the musicians sometimes disappear and become the endless Texas sky. [click to continue….]