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inside A review of Green Day’s new album, “21st Century Breakdown” page 3   Intermission

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review of Green Day’s new album, “21st Century Breakdown”

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Intermission speaks with Backlight founder Brad Wolfe

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FRIDAY

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theatre-heavy week at Stanford: “King Lear” and “Medea” reviewed

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STAMP’s One-Act Plays focus on political and social issues

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5.15.09

The new Nintendo DSi is a step forward for hand-held game consoles

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Intermission raves about “Wicked” and “Angels & Demons”

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stanford’s weekly guide to campus culture

VOLUME

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a publication of the stanford daily

Photos by Steve Lesser
Photos by Steve Lesser

ALSO

INSIDE

“GREEN DAYRELEASES A NEW ALBUM AFTER FIVE YEARS. INTERMISSION TELLS YOU HOW IT IS.

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FIVE YEARS . I NTERMISSION TELLS YOU HOW IT IS . page 3 photos courtesy google

photos courtesy google images

STANSHAKES SCORES ANTHER SUCCESS WITH PRODUCTION OF KING LEAR

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photos courtesy google images S TAN S HAKES SCORES ANTHER SUCCESS WITH PRODUCTION OF “ K

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IS ON HIATUS.

INSTEAD, LETS RECAP:

SEASON FINALE photos courtesy google images
SEASON FINALE
photos courtesy google images

the endgame. The show has a lot of duels to bring to a close — Ben vs. Widmore, Jack vs. Locke, Jacob vs. his enemy and, of course, good vs. evil — and not a lot of time left to give them all justice. This cliffhanger may go down as a big tease, a fake- out from a show that has run out of mysteries to conceal and is scared to reveal the ones it has left. But, it’s worth pointing out that “Lost” has changed the very nature of the tension we feel in watching television enter- tainment. The finale was a love letter to everything “Lost” has accomplished in rewriting the rules of its medium, and in changing the way we interact with the material. Even if it turns out to be a swan song for the era when the show earned our

attention, it’s one hell of a send-off. And if you’re worried about whether the show can pull it off and bring everything in for a safe landing, I understand. For everyone scared about number six, here’s my advice: Relax, and count to five.

— eric MESSINGER contact eric: messinger@stanford.edu

WARNING:

BIG SPOILERS AHEAD!

Lost” viewers know to expect mind-bending season finales, and Wednesday night’s two-parter did not disappoint. Last week’s episode ended with two plans: Jack made

it clear that he was going to follow through with Faraday’s

plan and detonate the hydrogen bomb on the Island, and Locke told Ben that he was going to lead the Others to Jacob to kill him. The results of these plans, on the surface, are straightforward. By the end of two hours, Ben Linus stabbed Jacob to death on Locke’s orders, and a nuclear bomb exploded when and where Jack wanted it. The det- onation led to a fade to white, and an agonizing wait for the start of the next season. It was a riveting episode, but it’s a frustrating cliffhanger. We want to know what’s going to happen, and

what the implications of the detonation are. To its credit, “Lost” has trained its viewers to react to the explosion of

a nuclear device by wondering where those in its vicinity

will wind up, rather than assuming they’ll all die immedi- ately. But as a result, there’s an uncertainty over whether we just saw a “reset,” and the very open-ended nature of where the sixth season could go is both exciting and wor- rying in equal measure. We have no idea where this is all heading. And yet it’s characteristic of “Lost” that answering “what” is only the beginning of the mystery. The real cliffhang- er isn’t what will happen; it’s finding out the nature of what did happen. We don’t know if Jack succeeded in altering the course of history, or if he merely fulfilled the inevitable. We don’t know who the man is who has inhabited Locke, why he’s fight- ing with Jacob or how he found a way to end him. The stakes are clearly high, but the mysteries are mostly a matter of inter- pretation, not prediction. We’re waiting, oddly enough, to find out what we’ve already seen. There’s a very real chance that the sixth season could be a frustrating mess, and time-travel stories aren’t usually good at

mess, and time-travel stories aren’t usually good at FRIDAY MANAGING EDITOR 5.15.09 Joanna Xu LAYOUT EDITOR

FRIDAY

MANAGING EDITOR

5.15.09 Joanna Xu

LAYOUT EDITOR

BONE TO PICK? well then, email us! intermission@daily.stanford.edu
BONE TO PICK?
well then, email us!
intermission@daily.stanford.edu

Jin Yu

COPY EDITOR

Samantha Lasarow

DESK EDITORS

Annika Heinle

Kyle Evaldez

PHOTO EDITOR

Amanda Zhang

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MUSiC REViEW

NN II NN TT EE NN DD OO DD SS II ::

PORTABLE GAMERS GET AN UPGRADE

T he portablegaming market is a tough sell these

days. Don’t get me wrong, the kids these days are

eating handheld games up like crazy — but what

about us college-aged folk? How are we supposed to get

our video game kicks when we’re waiting in line at the

post office or bored in lecture? Thankfully, Nintendo has somewhat answered the call through the release of the Nintendo DSi, the evolutionary successor to its widely popular Nintedo DS system. Now if you’re the least bit video game savvy, then I know the questions that you must have. Why say that we college kids need a portable video game system when there is so much out there already? Look at the Sony PSP, the iPhone and of course the Nintendo DS Lite. What makes the Nintendo DSi so interesting? Well, first off, Sony’s Playstation Portable (PSP), although gorgeous and technologically brilliant, has an atrocious video game library. Enter the iPhone. Although I will personally say that I think Apple’s wonderphone is a work of sheer genius, not to be biased or anything (I have an iPhone), it still fails to appease the hardcore portable video game audience. Finally, this brings us to the Nintendo DS Lite. Since the DS’s first release in 2004, Nintendo’s handheld has quickly become the most successful handheld console to date. The original DS, which was more of a brick then a portable device, merely introduced this idea of dual- screen gaming. Then when the DS Lite was released, it brought a much-needed cosmetic makeover to the sys- tem.

Even after the handheld gaming platform took off after the release of the DS Lite, a part of me still felt like the DS was missing something. Yes, it was supported by a wealth of awesome games, but it still just seemed like the system was skewed more toward the younger crowds. It is for this very reason that Nintendo has recently decided to update their popular system — which brings us to the DSi.

WELCOME TO THE BREAKDOWN

— which brings us to the DSi. W ELCOME TO THE B REAKDOWN F ive years.

F ive years. That’s how long it has been since Green Day’s last CD, “American Idiot.” So when the band announced the imminent arrival of their new album, “21st Century

Breakdown,” expectations were high. This isn’t exactly surpris- ing considering “American Idiot” sold over 12 million copies and revitalized the band’s career. Thankfully, Green Day ful- filled those expectations and then some: “21st Century Breakdown” is a masterwork, blending the punk styles that made the band famous while charting a path into new sonic horizons. Green Day, comprised of Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals, guitar, lyricist), Mike Dirnt (bass) and Tré Cool (drums), had their start as a punk rock trio hailing from Oakland, Calif. They reached mainstream success with their 1994 album, “Dookie.” Yes, they named their CD after poo. Despite this, “Dookie” sold over 15 million copies. Each of their following albums suffered from diminishing returns. Until after their 2001 CD, “Warning,” Green Day was on the verge of collapse. They didn’t break up, though. Instead, they returned to the studio and wrote a rock opera, “American Idiot,” that was hailed by critics and fans as one of the most important albums of the year, if not the decade. Now, buoyed by this newfound success, Green Day wrote “21st Century Breakdown,” which expands upon “American Idiot” in every way. It is longer, grander and an even stronger indictment of a complacent society that let the world crash around them. “Breakdown” begins sim- ply with radio static and a cappella vocals by Armstrong. The lyrics read like a prologue, with images of bombs, contraband, and war where things might not end up alright. “Waging a war and losing the fight.” The Beach Boys, this ain’t. This leads directly into the title track. More than anything, this song plays like a mix of The Who, Queen, The Clash, and even a dash of Bruce Springsteen, all held together by the trademark pop-punk sen- sibilities that made Green Day famous — in other words, the song is fantastic and an excellent way to draw listeners into the album. From there, Green Day broadens their sound, taking in faux-Mariachi rock (“Peacemaker” which is actually one of the stand-outs on the album) and even Beatles- esque love songs (“Last Night on Earth” and the opening of “Viva La Gloria!”).

of the song. The real heart, though, of “21st Century Breakdown,” lies in its story. The album follows the two young rebels, Christian and Gloria, as they weave their

way through the pitfalls and the devastation left in the wake of the Bush admin- istration. Part of what makes the story resonate so well is that it recognizes that having President Obama in the White House doesn’t automatically solve everything. The world is still reel- ing from war, famine and disease. By the time the listener reaches “See the Light,” the final song, they are drained, angry and scared for what the future brings. This makes this last song all the more poignant for its message that maybe hope does still exist, especially after the anthem-like chants of “I don’t wanna live in the modern world” in the previous song. That is an apt message for the album itself, that even with songs like “Murder City” and “American Eulogy” that serve as calls to the revolution, this is not the final note Green Day leaves the lis- tener with. Instead, they suggest that maybe the promise of tomorrow is waiting just around the corner, that maybe all we have to do is open our eyes and “see the light.”

E O L A F the vital stats. C 21st Century 1 Breakdown GREEN DAY
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DOWNLOAD THIS FROM ITUNES: photos courtesy google images
DOWNLOAD THIS FROM ITUNES:
photos courtesy google images

21st Century Breakdown, Viva La Gloria!, Peacemaker, Horseshoes and Handgrenades and American Eulogy (it’s hard to pick one or two when there are 18 tracks to pick from)

— patrick KELLY contact patrick: pskelly@stanford.edu

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On the outside, the DSi is not hugely different from its predecessor. It’s roughly the same weight of the Lite, albeit noticeably thinner. Nintendo decided to forgo the glossy plastic exterior of the Lite, adopting a matted plastic (though I personally liked the glossy look of the previous system). On the sides of the system, you will notice that instead of a volume slider, the DSi now uses click buttons for sound adjustment. The three big changes to note on the outside are the inclusion of an SD memo- ry card slot, a 0.3 megapixel digital camera (there’s another one on the inside) and the lack of a Gameboy Advance game slot. The SD card slot adds a whole slew of flexibility and options to the system, and the inclusion of the camera also adds a wealth of features — more on that later. Finally, the lack of a Gameboy Advance slot may be painful for most to hear, but thankfully Nintendo seems to have offered a potential solution to this — also more on this later. On the inside, once again, there aren’t very many cos- metic changes. The infamous dual screens are a little bigger and brighter, there’s another digital camera located in the center of the hinge and the power switch

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However, at its core, Green Day is still a punk band and this never shined brighter than on “Horseshoes and Handgrenades” which sounds like an amped-up version of The Hives, if that’s possible. For all of their energy though, the album does sometimes drag. I suppose I should mention that this CD, with three acts and 18 songs, is 69 minutes long. The second act, Charlatans and Saints, especially has its low points, like in “Last of the American Girls,” which while catchy and fun does not measure up to the grandeur of the rest of the CD. “Murder City” also suffers from an incessant need to repeat the word “desper- ate” as many times as humanly possible, which detracts from the stunning imagery of the riots and despair that fill the rest

CONTINUED ON PAGE 10 |

friday may 15 2009

Q&A: B ACKLIGHT ’ S B RAD W OLFE S tanford graduates don’t often go
Q&A: B ACKLIGHT ’ S B RAD W OLFE S tanford graduates don’t often go
Q&A: B ACKLIGHT ’ S B RAD W OLFE S tanford graduates don’t often go

Q&A:

BACKLIGHTS BRAD WOLFE

S tanford graduates don’t often go on to become professional

musicians or artists, and even if they do they cannot escape

the entrepreneurial spirit that pervades the Stanford educa-

tion. Intermission sat down with Brad Wolfe this week to talk about his budding music career and his web creation and start-up, Backlight.org.

intermission (i): What inspired you to become a professional musician after graduating from Stanford?

Brad Wolfe (BW): When I was a junior here at Stanford one of my

best girl friends growing up who’s a soccer player at Duke confid-

ed in me that she’d be diagnosed with a rare form of pediatric can- cer. She came back to west coast and was placed in Stanford Hospital. At that time, music was just a hobby to me. I did some songwriting and I played at the CoHo. But when Sara was placed in Stanford Hospital, I went over and played music for her by her bedside. It became a really regular thing. My music became one of the few things that bring her happiness and made her feel better while she was battling this disease.

I wrote a song called “Sara’s Got a Sunbeam.” It’s an anthem of

sorts that was inspired by her fight for life. She ended up passing away during my senior year, but before she did we had some deep conversations. She really inspired me to pursue music as a career. I

thought a lot about what she said and it was what I was passionate about. I did my thesis in American Studies on why students don’t pursue their passions in life a lot of the time.

I stated this foundation called the “Sunbeam Foundation” to

find cures for pediatric bone cancer simultaneously as I launched

my music career. That’s when I started getting press and airplay on

Alice Radio and sold out the Great American Music Hall for my

CD release. Sarah Bareilles opened for me for that show. I’ve

played shows with Tim Reynolds from Tim Matthews Band and a bunch of other artists. But I think main reason people were very supportive of me was because of the story behind my music, because of the story of Sara and her inspiration. That’s when I realized, really there’s an inspiration behind everything people create. When people realize the stories behind a piece of art or creation, it becomes so much more powerful. For example, all those pictures at the CoHo. You may judge them or dismiss them, but if you knew the context behind them — the backlight behind something — that picture becomes a lot more personal, interesting, and meaningful.

becomes a lot more personal, interesting, and meaningful. 4 6 intermission “W E WANT B ACKLIGHT
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“WE WANT BACKLIGHT TO BE FULL OF ARTIFACTS AND STORIES A REPOSITORY OF INSPIRATIONAL ARTI- FACTS. ITS NOT JUST ABOUT THE THINGS THEM- SELVES BY WHY PEOPLE CARE ABOUT THEM .

intermission (i): What inspired you to create Backlight?

BW: Backlight was conceived about 3 years ago: I’m interested in inspiration and creativity . Communication has become more abundant but at the same time, more meaningless. We’re looking for more meaning online where people can share inspiration, art, and all the normal things that people don’t share. On campus, so many people are creative who aren’t necessar- ily art majors or involved formally in the arts. What do they do with their creativity? It sits there latent. I think there should be a way to express that sort of creativity. We want to capture the cre- ative community, build a home for the artist in everyone.

(i): Did you create Backlight alone or who’s helped you in this start-up?

BW: I have two partners. Jonathan Lipps and I both are Stanford grads, art affair performers, have our own bands, and both play shows. He worked in Africa for an organization called Hope Runs after graduation. He also works for Inside Facebook, this big Facebook blog. We both believe in creativity and meaning. The other partner is Katie Bernacchi who went to UCLA and is a graphic artist. Backlight was my idea originally. Jonathan is the creativity officer and Katie is the graphic design person.

(i): For those of us who are still unfamiliar with Backlight, can you describe to us what it is?

BW: It’s an interactive online museum. All artists in Stanford com- munity are welcome on Backlight. Artists can post creations or inspirations and people can read why these other people were inspired to create those things. It’s kind of like a social networking website but based around creativity. At Backlight, people can post anything creative, beyond the normal definition of art. Creativity can extend to a photograph you just took of your friends, a thought, a quote that inspired you, or a brief snippet of a song. It’s more of a hub of creativity. We hope to make it the largest space of creativity and inspiration in the world. We also want to focus on the stories behind these things, whether art or inspirations, that people post. There might be bet- ter sites and forums online for specific art, but at those places peo- ple don’t explain the inspiration behind the creation. We want Backlight to be full of artifacts and stories — a repository of inspi- rational artifacts. It’s not just about the things themselves by why people care about them.

(i): How are you funding this? BW: We’re actually a start-up. We have a bit of Angel Funding.

We’re about to start seeking more funding. Right now it’s been like a project. We’ve
We’re about to start seeking more funding. Right now it’s been like a project. We’ve

We’re about to start seeking more funding. Right now it’s been like a project. We’ve been doing it ourselves. We’re looking for more developers to build and expand. This summer we got someone from Stanford interning with us. We’re excited to have her with us.

(i): Where do you plan on taking Backlight in the future?

(i): Where do you plan on taking Backlight in the future? mental space for people to

mental space for people to show their creativity. Everyone has amazing stuff — drawings, essays, music — from high school that are inspirational but no one ever reads . We’re con- stantly producing creative stuff that no one ever sees. On the Stanford homepage there’s a video of President Hennessy talking about the importance of creativity at Stanford. But in many ways, Stanford pushes kids towards more structured, less creativity things. That’s what we’re trying to address. I was president of my class here and this issue was part of what I really cared about. I want people to go onto our site and realize how creative and amazing Stanford students can be when they have a comfortable place to display it.

BW: At the moment we’re super under-the-radar. We decided we’d start at Stanford and go from there. Our official launch maybe not be for a few months. There’s no set timetable, but Stanford students can get on it right now and sign up with a Stanford account. We’re actually already on post the Stanford art pages. Stanfordart.stanford.edu has post- ed our widgest all over their website — before it just had some outdated documentation of artwork by Stanford students. SOCA is also using our widgets on their websites. We just started working with Santa Clara University as well. Professors can create an

online portfolio of all the things that students in their class create, whether it’s a poetry class,

a photo course, whatever. Our goal is to build creative community in the world. There’s a lot

more beauty and creativity if you know where to look. We’re starting at Stanford and Santa Clara, but we’re planning on reaching out to Berkeley and Harvard as well. Eventually we do plan on opening this out to everyone in the world. At the moment, if you open an account with your Stanford email you immediately join the Stanford network. Universities and groups will be able to create galleries. We devised widgets that allow you to take your gallery anywhere on the internet. Classes, departments, groups of friends can all cre- ate their own galleries.

(i): It seems like Backlight will be keeping you very busy. Are you planning on continuing to develop your music career?

BW: Backlight is a big commitment. My goal in music is to make people feel a certain way and

be inspired to see the beauty in life. Backlight’s purpose is to do the same thing. I’ll still be playing music, we’re actually recording a new album pretty soon. Creating a hub for other peoples’ creativity is part of the journey of life. My music career won’t be affected,

I like empowering people to feel a certain way. Backlight does that

better than anything else. Yeah, I’m going to keep forging ahead with music. Hopefully I’ll soon be putting on shows with people from Backlight — I’ve found a lot of cool artists through the website. You know, people are falling in love after meeting each other on Backlight already. Only put online starting this year at Art Affair. First time we showcased. Testing a little bit. First time allowed normal people to use the site. Few weeks ago. Gratifying is the response to Art Affair was really positive. Fact now the Santa Clara wants to use it now too. Most gratifying thing. Over time people start discovering things, even more exciting. Just a kernel of where we want to be.

(i): This year you worked in conjunction with SOCA at this year’s Art Affair. What was your role?

BW: This year we took photographs of all the student art that was presented at Art Affair and put it right on the site. It was really the first time we showcased something on and allowed normal people to use Backlight. We wanted to create a way for audiences to remember what they saw at Art Affair — but it’s also a way for artists to help themselves as well. All the student groups have been really supportive — Bria Long, Megan Miller and Sarah Woodward all were really instrumental in getting this facilitated at Stanford. It’s gratifying because we got a really positive response from Art Affair.

(i): What do you think about the art scene at here at Stanfod?

— joanna XU contact joanna: joannaxu@stanford.edu

Intermissions verdict on Backlight

When I first heard about the concept of Backlight.org, I thought to myself, “Wait, what? A website like that doesn’t exist already?” Backlight.org is a great home for creative minds, budding artists, aspiring writers, or just anybody looking for a way to channel their creative juices. Backlight.org is what the child of Deviantart, Flickr, Blogger and Facebook might look like. The layout of the website is also really fun and interactive. Everything is user-friendly and thusfar the site is very easy to navi- gate. Take a look. Maybe even post something!

easy to navi- gate. Take a look. Maybe even post something! BW: Jonathan and I were

BW: Jonathan and I were students here. There are so many talented people at Stanford, but there’ not really an outlet and a non-judg-

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friday may 15 2009

STANSHAKES DELIVERS

K ING L EAR

S TAN S HAKES DELIVERS K ING L EAR D eception. Royal intrigue. Madness. Such are

D eception. Royal intrigue. Madness. Such are the

classic makings of a Shakespearean tragedy.

Cigarettes, revolvers, coffee runs? Welcome to the

modern and apocalyptic world of William Shakespeare’s “King Lear” as envisioned by student director Zach Chotzen-Freund ‘09 and the cast of the Stanford Shakespeare Company. This timeless Shakespearian story follows the downfall of two noble families, each torn apart by greed and betrayal. An elderly King Lear disowns her (yes, “her”) faith- ful daughter, banishes her trusted advisor, and leaves her kingdom in the hands of the conniving daugh- ters Goneril and Reagan. Gloucester is deceived by his bastard son Edmund, falsely believing that his loyal son Edgar conspires to murder him. As Edgar flees from the court under the guise of a beggar and the fallen King Lear descends into a tempest of madness, the families intersect in a complex web of loyalty and treachery. As the play begins with a high-powered business din- ner, the cast attired in suits and contemporary garb, it is evident that Chostzen-Freund has staged a fresh telling of “King Lear.” Indeed, the Stanford Shakes are renowned for their innovative and engaging versions of Shakespeare’s works, as evidenced by their fall production of “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” set in the opulent “Roaring Twenties.” But this is no world of decadence we find our- selves in; instead, this is a modern society marked by cor- ruption and decay. Yet, despite its interpretive choices, the

company does an excellent job of retaining the essence of Shakespeare. “We tried not to change the original text too much,” said cast member Philip Balliet ‘11. By fusing modernity with Shakespeare’s text, the director successfully highlights the enduring human themes of family, duty, love and betrayal. One of the most noticeable features of this “King Lear” is choice of casting a female as the title character. When asked about the most difficult obstacle in preparing for this role, freshman Xandra Clark replied, “Fear. It was a lot of pressure, and I had to tell myself to get over that fear.” There is no trace of hesitation in her performance, however, especially in her later scenes — her regal portray- al of Lear in the first act serves to highlight the tragedy of Lear’s inevitable downfall. There are absolutely no weak links in this cast. An audience favorite was Alex Connolly ‘11, who played the wicked Edmund with a devilish glee and an unexpected comedic glimmer. Bronwyn Reed ‘12 should be commend- ed for her nat- ural perform- ances. Her sweet, wide- eyed Cordelia is so far removed from her role as the droll and sinis- ter Fool — it was a shock to see her listed as both charac- ters in the pro- gram. The actors are placed within a minimalistic setting of black furniture, which works well with the dramatic lighting and the expanse of the outdoors. Although there were several issues with the lighting cues at the beginning of the first act (the show was only permitted technical rehearsal this past Monday), the effect of the Law School as a backdrop served as a haunting reminder of the ambiguous morality prominent throughout “King Lear.” The play runs a lengthy two and a half hours, but by the time the lights descend upon the final scene, you will be left with chills, and not just from the cold. Grab a blan- ket, and experience the drama that is Shakespeare’s “King Lear.”

Performances run through Sunday outside of the Richard Crown Law Library. Admission is free. Make your reservation at shakespeare.stanford.edu.

— nina DUONG contact nina:

nduong@stanford.edu

— nina DUONG contact nina: nduong@stanford.edu photos by steve lesser 6 6 intermission MEDEA MEDEA MEDEA
photos by steve lesser
photos by steve lesser
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MEDEA

MEDEA

MEDEA

I t starts as soon as you walk into the room. Sit down, be

quiet. The experience was immediate. Sleeper jump’s ver-

sion of the classical Medea story — the result of a Drama

Department senior project titled “MedeaMedeaMedea” — can be summed up in one word: intense. This play will silence you and make you lose your breath at times. You can’t help but always be focused on the central figure on stage: the puppet Medea. Sleeper Jumps’ production of Euripedes’ classical Medea was actually a retelling of a retelling. A major work by German dramatist Heiner Müller, “Despoiled Shore Medea Material Landscape with Argonauts” is its own reworking of the original Greek Medea tragedy written in 431 B.C. However, the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts is taken to the next step in MedeaMedeaMedea. After returning to Corinth with the Golden Fleece, Jason is betrothed to Glauce, the princess, there- by abandoning Medea, the father of his children and savior in his previous quest. The moral is: never mess with a witch woman; Medea is understandably bitter and intent on bent on revenge, therefore destroying everything in Jason’s world. She poisons golden robes and offers them to Glauce. She dies in the arms of her father Creon, who also dies soon after. Finally, she murders her two children to remove everything that Jason had loved. It is very important to have some knowledge of the orig- inal play before entering the theatre. Sleeper Jump takes the audience on a wild ride with no explanation, and follows the Greek tradition of ‘in medias res,’ starting in the middle of the action. The first thing you see onstage is a completely white back- ground. Sitting on the floor in a huge black dress is Medea’s puppeteer, Michelle Sutherland ‘09. She lifts a fold of her skirt and removes a puppet with just a head and waist, with the upper portion of legs all connected by string to disembodied arms, like a doll. When you first come into the theater, everyone sits down, and it’s completely silent. In fact, the entire play was silent save for a German lullaby in the middle and eastern European music toward the end. Along with Sutherland on the ground, hiding the puppet from the audience, there are three other people:

Michael Bateman ‘08 as Jason, Hannah Kopp-Yates ‘12 as Glauce and Cuauhtemoc Peranda ‘10 as King Creon — all of whom were completely nude. Their nudity, like the silence in the play, was purely an artistic choice made by Sleeper Jump. What is interesting about the play was not exactly the lack of sound, but its resultant focus on movement. As the show builds toward the climax, Glauce is given a red string meant to signify the poisoned robes. She falls dead, fol- lowed by her father and finally Jason. Here, Sutherland puts the puppet on the train of her dress, and walks through the stage, leaving Medea by Glauce in the center of the stage. She dances to the eastern European music and steps onto a stool. Above the

stage she yanks her hands and Jason jerks a puppet to her touch. Lights fall, actors leave and when the lights turn back on, Medea is left on stage, in the middle, tangled in the red rope. The audi- ence stays for a beat, collecting their thoughts together, before standing up and leaving. There’s no bow for Medea.

— eric WALKER contact eric: egwalker@stanford.edu

STANFORD JAZZ ORCHESTRA WITH

JON FADDIS

T he Stanford Jazz Orchestra rocked Dinkelspiel Auditorium this past Wednesday evening as they jammed with renowned trumpet player Jon Faddis.

The small-but-enthusiastic crowd cheered as Faddis strolled on stage. Throughout the night, The Stanford Jazz Orchestra played a number of songs written by Faddis and a few by his mentor, the jazz icon Dizzy Gillespie. The show started with Manteca, a Latin jazz tune written by Chano Pozo and Gillespie. Jon Faddis does it all, representing the holy triumvirate of music: performance, composi- tion and education. Having started studying trumpet at the age of eight, he has since become one of the greatest lead trumpet players in the world of jazz. Faddis directs the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and teaches at the music conservatory at Purchase College-SUNY. In 1997, he wrote a jazz opera entitled “Lulu Noire,” which was critically acclaimed. Faddis has completely and totally mastered the technical aspects of playing the trumpet. He can play notes higher and faster than I ever imagined pos- sible on the instrument. “He has astonishing range!” commented one audience member. He seems so comfortable on stage — performing truly comes naturally to him. Yet for all his fame and talent, Faddis defies trumpet play- er stereotypes, i.e. he does not appear to have a huge ego. He seemed very genuine and likeable. He had a great sense of humor, joking around a lot on stage. For example, during a tense pause in the music, Faddis pointed to his sheet music

photos by steve lesser
photos by steve lesser

and shouted “Rest!” before resuming the song. The audience responded well to him.

always entertaining,”

said Tyler Boyd-Meredith ‘12. The jazz orchestra managed to not be overshadowed by this trumpet titan — no easy task. The tight rhythm section expertly drove up-tempo tunes like “The Baron,” a piece that was arranged specifically for The Stanford Jazz Orchestra.

“Faddis has a lot of personality

There were occasionally problems with pitch in the trum- pet section, but nothing unforgivable. Student soloists exhibited their skills of improvisation throughout the evening. Freshman Jacob Wittenberg showed an impressive command of the piano. Max and Alex Eckstein, a pair of twins who are only seniors in high school, were also showcased in many numbers. Alex, on the tenor sax, will actually be studying with Faddis in col- lege next year at Purchase. Bass player Leland Farmer was another student soloist who stood out. Farmer was really emotionally invested in the music, and as a result, his solos were captivating. Interestingly, only two members of the Stanford Jazz Orchestra are music majors — a fact one would not guess from listening to their excellent concert.

— meghan BERMAN contact meghan: meghanb@stanford.edu

“7000 ISLANDS ONE BEAT”:

THE KAYUMANGGI SPRING SHOW

K ayumanggi’s 4th Annual Spring Show, “7000 Islands One Beat,” featured a play with Filipino students per- forming as actors and actresses in lieu of the usual

MCs. After the original — and hilarious — setup of the play, the format mainly consisted of Filipinos from the more exotic islands explaining the dances to their mainlander friends. The best explanations usually involved “show and tell” in the form of either a simplistic rendition of the dance or a dramatic per- formance of the dance’s origins. The audience readily enjoyed the change of structure to the show. Logan Hehn ‘12 said, “It’s helpful that they explain the storyline and the historical context before each dance. It just makes it that much more engrossing!” The performances showcased Stanford’s secretly thriving community of Filipino students and simultaneously informed and entertained audience members of all backgrounds. “Even though I’m Filipino, I’d never even heard of many of the traditional dances,” said Ryan Torres ‘09. “The jokes about the guy from Manila, who didn’t know anything, were

about the guy from Manila, who didn’t know anything, were photos courtesy facebook.com funny, but they

photos courtesy facebook.com

funny, but they were also accurate.” Not everything in the show was wonderful, however. Though most of the acting was phenomenal, some of the short vignettes between dances seemed less well prepared and thus created as many awkward lulls as humorous ones. The transi- tion into “7000 Islands One Beat” involved the audience stand- ing through the American and then Filipino national anthems. Following Stanford tradition, the show went overtime despite its brisk pace, and the food — the usual of crackers, cheese, fruit and chips — had a considerably less generous reception. “The advertising of ‘free food’ was totally mislead- ing,” said one attendee. “I was expecting Filipino dishes or

said one attendee. “I was expecting Filipino dishes or something. They should have said, ‘light refresh-
said one attendee. “I was expecting Filipino dishes or something. They should have said, ‘light refresh-

something. They should have said, ‘light refresh- ments provided.’” Regardless, these criticisms are minor compared to the show’s new and innovative structure as well as a great mix of culturally informing and entertaining performances. Next year’s organ- izers will surely have to work hard to top the bar that was set this year. The show also featured openers from Cardinal Calypso, DV8, Kaorihiva, Talisman, Dil Se and FACS.

— lisa TANG contact lisa: lisatang@stanford.eduu

7
7

friday may 15 2009

THE SAME OLD SLANG

I n one of the defining moments of the 2004 independent film “Garden State,” Natalie Portman’s character turns to a disenchanted Zac Braff and places her earphones on his

head. “You gotta hear this one song,” she says. “It’ll change your life, I swear.” Cue “New Slang,” the beginning of a silver-screen romance and the astronomic rise of The Shins in the pop-cul- ture spotlight. Five years removed from “Garden State” and anything New Jersey for that matter, The Shins visited Oakland with opening band Delta Spirit last Saturday night, playing a sold- out show at the plush new Fox Theatre. The Fox, which opened in February, hosted the Portland-based indie group, sandwich- ing their tour date in the middle of an impressive collection of acts, which had already seen everyone from B.B. King to Bloc Party perform, and promises the likes of The Decemberists and Sonic Youth in the near future. The Shins, on their third tour since the 2007 release of their junior album, “Wincing the Night Away,” took to the stage — complete with gold idols and trimming — on Saturday night hoping to provide some inspiration to fans before returning to the studio to record their fourth album. However, unlike “Garden State,” the performance was anything but a life-changer. While they opened with a cut of familiar songs off their newest album, The Shins could not shake the noticeable fact that they had a new look. The group, or what was left of it — frontman James Russell Mercer, guitarist Dave Hernandez and multi-instrumentalist Eric Johnson — failed to mention that they had replaced members Marty Crandall and Jesse Sandoval with two new faces: one a lanky, ginger bassist and the other an aloof drummer. Though these artists were later identified to be Ron Lewis from the Fruit Bats and Joe (insert “the” here) Plummer of Modest Mouse, nonetheless the audiences’ shock at seeing the

Mouse, nonetheless the audiences’ shock at seeing the border.se band with unannounced replacements was undeniable.

border.se

band with unannounced replacements was undeniable. With group cohesion evidently lacking, minimized crowd interac- tion and banter between band mates created an almost uneasy, quizzical air in the theatre. This feeling remained throughout the night, a subtle slap in the face for fans expecting familiar faces. The sentiment seemed to translate into the performance. A disinterested Mercer cruised through the opening songs, from “Australia” to “Saint Simon,” and the band struggled to fill the venue with its musical intentions. Had Christopher Walken attended, he would have chided the band for failing to explore the studio space. “Play a loud song,” a group of fans whined to no avail. Acoustics aside, the band was also plagued by an oddly

chosen set list, creating an up-tempo atmosphere with songs like “Phantom Limb,” and then slowing it to walking pace soon after with “Those to Come” and “Weird Divide,” a mother’s favorite, according to Mercer. Furthermore, without any new releases to tout, the band lacked the creative promoting ener- gy that had seen them embark on their previous two tours with gusto and verve. All they had this time were two new faces and a number of pre-EP experiments. Mercer and Johnson went on to intro- duce these new songs and openly discussed switching their set as they attempted to capture the crowd, which proved to be a whole different endeavor in itself. Those visiting The Fox to see The Shins perform provid- ed quite the eclectic mix ranging from middle-aged men to high school students. Granted, while Mercer is fast approach- ing 40, one would not expect a crowd dynamic of awkwardly swaying adults staring disapprovingly at drug-experimenting teeny-boppers. Perhaps the teens, too eager to mature, had taken Seth Rogen’s “Pineapple Express” rant to heart: “You’re going to go off to college next year, and your going to get into Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and the fucking Shins!” As the night progressed, the band began to pick up its act with “Sleeping Lessons” in particular proving quite impressive. After returning for their encore, sans collared shirts, the band continued to warm up to the crowd — but it proved to be too little, too late. Aside from Hernandez’s tattered Iron Maiden shirt, the night’s overall confusion can perhaps best be encapsulated by a 16-year-old’s reaction to the performance of The Shin’s claim to fame: “New Slang.” “Gold teeth and a curse for this town were all in my mouth,” she sang. “Wait, those are the lyrics, right?”

— ryan MAC contact ryan: rbmac@stanford.edu

right?” — ryan MAC contact ryan: rbmac@stanford.edu “J AZZING ” UP THE ISSUES L ast night,

“JAZZINGUP THE ISSUES

ryan: rbmac@stanford.edu “J AZZING ” UP THE ISSUES L ast night, Stanford Theatre Activist Mobilization Project

L ast night, Stanford Theatre Activist Mobilization Project (STAMP) put on the second of its “Spring Into Action” One-Act plays, “Jazzing.”

At its onset, “Jazzing” by Yaa Gyasi seems to tread ground that has

been handled by artists for decades — racism is quite a common theme.

However, as the world of “Jazzing” starts to open up more and more, the

characters and their plights began to resonate and offer a meditation on

the nature of racism. “Jazzing” follows four youths in Montgomery, Ala.

in the mid-1950s. Two of them, Comfort (Faradia Pierre ‘12) and Jeremy

(Justin Key ‘09) are African-American and the resulting tension between

them and the white adults forms the backbone of the story.

The strongest parts of “Jazzing,” though, are the powerful and poet- ic monologues. Most of the play is told in this manner, with characters offering meditations on the predicaments that encircle them. The expert direction of Alex Mallory ‘08 carries these scenes, giving the actors the room to depict their inner emotional state without making them feel contrived. On the other hand, these monologues do sometimes short- change the actual story, leaving little room to establish the dynamics between characters. Each character has a moment to himself to flesh out his personality, but sometimes at the expense of story flow. These mono- logues, though, are one of the primary ways in which “Jazzing” breaks from the mold established by Southern plays of the past. One of the stand-out lines from Jeremy was “I know it like I know the black of my hand.” This line takes a cliché and breathes new life into it, making it an entertaining addition to the show. Sure, it makes one roll their eyes a bit,

but Key successfully sold it. The actors, as a whole, did a great job of making the environ- ment feel real. Holly Rogers ‘10 carried the main character, Hailey Jane, through the trials and tribulations of her escapades. She was able to straddle the line between empathy for her suffering and scorn for her recklessness. This sort of contradiction flows throughout the show. In a post-show discussion, Gyasi stated that one of her goals is to show that “nothing is black or white” and these characters were raised in a “culture of racism.” By showcasing this aspect of the society in which the charac- ters inhabit, it makes even Hailey’s racist parents (Nathaniel Stockham and Rachel Quint ‘10) carry at least some humanity in their actions. The same goes for Hailey’s boyfriend, Harris (Daniel Steinbock), who initial- ly seemed like a flat character, acting as a plot device to fill out the neces- sities of the story, but grew into a three-dimensional figure by the end. “Jazzing” offers no pure villains and no pure heroes — instead, the characters are portrayed as victims of their time period and their circum- stances. It is a shocking change from the demonization traditionally given to racist people. It makes the viewer pause, making them study the sort of society that can produce these figures and what can possibly happen to stop this cycle from its persistent repetition. It is unorthodox, but, in the end, “Jazzing” is all the better for it.

— patrick KELLY contact intermission: pskelly@stanford.edu

8
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intermission

R OBLE AND THE BEAST

THE

“BUSH

AFTERMATH

photos by alex oppenheimer
photos by alex oppenheimer

L ast Thursday and Friday, Roble Hall performed Disney classic “Beauty and the Beast” to a standing- room-only crowd. Fellow residents, friends, teachers

and parents turned out in support of performers, filling even the hallway outside Roble Theater. “I thought it was hilarious,” said Disney Williams ‘12, who attended Friday’s show. “Comedic genius.” Residents took on roles as director, producer, staff, musician and actor, and were able to do a lot with a relative- ly small number of dedicated participants. Many Stanford a cappella groups also had representation. Williams said her stomach hurt from laughing so hard. “The characters sounded a lot like they did in the Disney version, but people added their own pizzazz,” she said.

In one such moment, Aisha Ansano ‘12 (Mrs. Potts), Brady Hamed ‘12 of the Mendicants (Lumiere) and Matt Rubin ‘12 of the Harmonics (Cogsworth) burst into their own rendition of “We’re All in This Together” from “High School Musical.” Ansano balanced the serious and comic aspects of the Mrs. Potts role, moving audience members with her poignant performance of “Beauty and the Beast — Tale as Old as Time” as easily as her performance alongside Ed Schmerling ‘10 as Chip, her son, made everyone laugh. “I haven’t had a lot of experience with acting before, so I enjoyed the chance to get into a role,” Ansano said. “It was more of us all working together than being completely led by the director, and I think this was because we were all stu- dents.” Sarah Spikes ‘09 and Ken Kansky ‘12, a member of Fleet Street, starred as Belle and the Beast. Spikes’ costume change from conservative blue jumper to sparkly ball dress elicited cat calls from the crowd, while Kansky’s commanding stage presence silenced the often-raucous crowd. Along with Hamed, Chris Lewis ‘12 of Mixed Company drew a lot of laughs from the audience as Gaston. Hamed, sporting a delicious French accent, shared the stage with Rubin as worrywart Cogsworth, while Lewis hammed it up with sidekick Lefou, played by Sean Tannehill

‘12.

Producer Allison Portnoy ‘09, who has worked with Ram’s Head and the Stanford Drama department, said her favorite part of the show was when Tannehill said his first line during the “Gaston” num- ber.

“It just felt really homey and comfortable, like everyone

was on the same level at that moment,” she said, remember- ing how the audience laughed and cheered during both shows. Lewis also enjoyed performing “Gaston.” “I got to show Gaston’s true character and exaggerate it ridiculously,” he said. “I enjoyed assuming the personality of a character that I’ve loved since childhood and sinking my teeth into how he thinks.” According to Lewis, Gaston is not a villain. “He’s not really a typical bad guy, he’s just naïve about why people don’t like him,” he laughed. “It’s kind of fun to be that obtuse sometimes.” Cast and crew made do with just three painted scenes — two inside the Beast’s castle and one of Belle’s village. Roble Resident Assistants (RAs) James Barton ‘09, Xavi Gaeta ‘09 and Jen Schmerling ‘10 stuck together throughout the show, first as one of Belle’s eccentric father’s inventions, and later as silverware in the Beast’s castle. Roble Resident Fellow (RF) Kate Chesley also made an appearance as a villager and member of the chorus. Although the pit orchestra contained only four mem- bers and stage staff counted about the same number, things went according to plan, and very few errors were noticeable. “Considering it was a dorm musical we put on in six weeks, it looked amazing,” Portnoy said. “I wanted to put on a show that that was fun for people to be in and entertaining for their friends to watch,” she added. “I think my professional background allowed me to help people have that experience.”

contact emma:

The Spring Into Action Play Festival 2009 presented its first showing on Wednesday to a small audience in an inti- mate setting. The festival, a production of the Stanford Theatre Activist Mobilization Project (STAMP), is showcas- ing four different student-written plays that deal with cur- rent and past social issues. “The Bush Tree,” a play written by Jessica Cornwell ‘09 and directed by Alex Mallory ‘08, takes a more creative approach to the STAMP motto of theatre for progressive social change, presenting a story that alternates between present day and a century past as it investigates the motives behind colonization and human relationships. The play, set in Western Australia, tells a generational story between grandfather and grandson. James (Patrick Davis ‘10) and Jane (Hannah Kopp-Yates ‘12), original set- tlers of a land thick with jungle and haunted by old spirits and mysteries, live in their house in the middle of nowhere and undergo circumstances that test the strength of their marriage. Two gener- ations later, James’ son Marcus (also played by Davis, which brings an intriguing coherence between the stories), having left the Australian wilderness 10 years before, returns on honey- moon with his new wife, Rachel (Chrysanthe Tan ‘09), after having met her in San Francisco at art school. They return to the same house where James and Jane had once lived, and things start to meld together as past becomes present with the introduction of Rebecca (Liane Al-Ghusain), a mysteri- ous native girl who visits the house late one stormy night. The entire story is framed by a child (Kendra Mitchell ‘12), who begins and ends the play with a recounting of a fairy tale about Bluebeard. The play connects thematic ele- ments through all three stories: Bluebeard, James and Marcus. Certain motifs appear in all three stories — opening doors, keys, etc. — that help lend continuity to the play. Thematically, “The Bush Tree” covers a wide range of topics without really making a grand statement on them. The play discusses slavery, colonization, racial relations and relation- ship abuse, all within the scope of the characters in the high- ly mystical setting of Western Australia. Since the play is a work in progress, the performance was a staged reading — the actors sat on stage with their scripts on music stands, standing up and moving toward the audience when their part called for more physical move- ments. It created an ethereal atmosphere, and the audience had to do their part to imagine the setting. After the play ended, the writer and director came up on stage to partici- pate in a post-show discussion, again emphasizing that the- atre, especially this piece, is something that is always chang- ing and adapting to create social change. “The Bush Tree” is playing on Friday at 8 p.m. in the Women’s Community Center. All STAMP Spring Play Festival shows are free and open to the public.

— ellen HUET contact intermission: ehuet@stanford.edu

9
9

friday may 15 2009

public. — ellen HUET contact intermission: ehuet@stanford.edu 9 friday may 15 2009 — emma TROTTER emmat@stanford.edu

— emma TROTTER

emmat@stanford.edu

public. — ellen HUET contact intermission: ehuet@stanford.edu 9 friday may 15 2009 — emma TROTTER emmat@stanford.edu

|

CONTINUED FROM “PORTABLE GAMERS” PAGE 3 |

has now become a power button. There are also now three LED light indicators instead of the DS Lite’s two. Technically speaking, barely anything has changed in the DSi. The speaker quality seems a tad louder and clearer, but overall, you’re not going to find any major changes to processing power — this system is still meant to play DS games, after all. Once you turn the system on and go through the typical set-up process, you will notice a sig- nificant amount of internal changes. The navi- gation menu has a channel-like feel to it, more closely resembling that of the Nintendo Wii. The three channels worth noting are the inclusion of a photo channel, audio channel and online store. The photo channel is what you’d expect — allowing you to take pictures with the DSi’s cameras and then play around with them by way of goofy lens effects. At the moment though, this camera functionality seems more gimmicky than functional, as the picture quality is not that great, and it is also hard to see how these cameras can add anything extra to games. Keep your fingers crossed for the ability to video chat with the DSi. In terms of the audio channel — similar to the photo channel — you have the ability to record your own sounds and then play around with them afterwards. You can also edit mp3 songs here, saved on your SD card, as well as listen to them, which is a nice function. Finally, and probably

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most exciting, the inclusion of the DSi shop channel screams of massive potential. Online video game stores are already popular on the home consoles (PS3, XBOX 360 and Wii), and Nintendo is definitely trying to capitalize on this success with the DSi. Hardcore fans will love to be able to download and play their favorite retro handheld games on the new system — which means that Gameboy Advance games can defi- nitely linger around for a few more years. When it comes down to it, although the DSi offers relatively minor changes to the popular system, it does succeed in bringing the system more in line with its equally successful Wii console system. So far, the Wii has been able to capture a wide audience and has been able to release software that appeals to both the casual and hardcore gamer. With the inclusion of a couple of new features, as well as the shop channel, the DSi, although not revolutionary in its current state, has massive potential to further expand Nintendo’s stranglehold on the handheld market — if that’s even possible. Now, when it comes to actually purchasing one, if you’re a casual, portable gamer that already owns a DS Lite, you might want to wait a bit before buying the DSi. However, if you are a hardcore gamer with the money to spare, the DSi is a fun pur- chase that will only get better over time. The Nintendo DSi was released in the U.S. on April 5, and it retails for $169.99.

— kyle EVALDEZ contact kyle: kedemon@stanford.edu

ANVIL COULD HAVE MADE IT

BB

II

GG

kedemon@stanford.edu A NVIL COULD HAVE MADE IT B B I I G G images.google.com documentary. But
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documentary. But the pessimism that you feel in watching, the worry that Lips’ devotion is going to all be for naught, grows the whole time. “How they keep going” becomes “will they,” and it’s clear that it will be up to Lips to decide. When you see the hope in his eyes following the most modest of successes, what you wind up watching for is whether the band will find some reaction satisfying enough for Lips to declare a modest victory. To some extent, then, it’s no shock that Lips finally man- ages to find something he can call success. More than anyone else, the band is his whole reason for being, and to admit its failure would be to give up on himself for good. What does come as a surprise, however, is that when that victory comes, you believe in it, too. Somewhere along the course of the film, its wildly oscillating, fanatically devoted lead manages to do to you what he’s done to his friends and his band. He makes you believe. And when you do, the feeling rocks.

— eric MESSINGER contact eric: messinger@stanford.edu

D irector Sacha Gervasi wants us to know this from the very start of his film, marching out a parade of heavy- metal legends to tell us how great Anvil was. This band

rocked, and the rockers we actually know are here to tell us why. The comments from members of Guns N’ Roses, Metallica and Anthrax are part pity for Anvil’s unrewarded merit, part professional respect and part relief that they’re the talking heads at the front of the movie, rather than the subject. On the one hand, this establishes credibility for the band, which is useful because the band members themselves don’t earn it until late in the film. But it’s also to set the possibility of real fame clearly in the past. This is not a band struggling for a big break; if they were going to have one, it was two decades ago. Because we know that fame and fortune aren’t in the off- ing, “Anvil: The Story of Anvil” becomes a film about one question: How does a band like this keep going? The answer is lead singer and guitarist Steve “Lips” Kudlow. From the start, it’s clear he’s at the edge of stability, flirting with a certain lunacy, but also intensely charming. His enthusiasm and his optimism never waver for very long. The fire in his eyes, the belief that what’s he doing means some- thing and that the world will finally break his way, can be sad, but it also compels you to watch him, wondering how his endurance has kept itself safe through decades of distortion. The film introduces you to Lips first, and you expect to find the other members similarly off, unable or unwilling to give up no matter how long ago the door to rock immortality slammed shut. Gervasi finds something far more interesting, however, which is that most of the people involved in the band are quite levelheaded. Drummer Robb Reiner seems to have achieved an almost Zen calm over the years, his energy only coming out when he plays. At home, he paints calm still-life

paintings and street landscapes. He may be the quietest member of a heavy metal band you’ll ever see. Secondary members Glen Gyorffy and Ivan Hurd simply look happy to be involved, with all the wide-eyed inno- cence of meeting their idols undiminished by years of playing with them. Even the hardcore fans aren’t especially unhinged. Half of these guys wouldn’t draw an eye walking down the street. Somehow, though, Lips keeps them play- ing after two decades of middling success and slow decline. When things go wrong, whether it’s on a hellish tour of Europe or a gig at a community center, it’s always Lips who takes it the hardest. The day after, it’s Lips who is the most upbeat about what took place. His friendship with Reiner is his anchor while the pendulum of his emotions rises and falls, and it’s a fasci- nating relationship. The two care equally about the music, and about each other, but Lips’ volatility can push the more relaxed Reiner to the ends of his patience. Besides the length of time they’ve been together, the music is what keeps them together. What we hear of that music is the sound of unabashedly generic metal, which gains a charm from its ferocious dou- bling-down on the most stereotypical elements of the genre. The titles of their albums: “Metal on Metal,” “Forged in Fire,” “Strength of Steel,” tell you all you need to know, doubling- down on the same concept again and again. It’s an interesting sound, if only for its purity, but if the band ever evolved, we don’t see it. As the film moves forward and the band’s hopes slip fur- ther and further out of reach, “Anvil: The Story of Anvil” moves gleefully through the arc and expectations of the rock

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intermission

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Heatherlyn CoHo listen to some indie folk-rock

7pm

Fight Back: Relay For Life Concert Toyon listen to music for charity

Sa
Sa

8pm

Lucy Langlas CoHo more great CoHo music

S
S

7pm

Mela Dinkelspiel Auditorium sanskriti’s spring cultural show

M
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8pm

Jazz Jams CoHo just chill out and relax

T
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7pm

Tango Night CoHo learn it for the ladies

W
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8pm

Groove Approval CoHo more funky stuff at the CoHo

Th
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8pm

Andrew Deagon, Mayfield, and Da Bloons CoHo another fabulous CoHo concert

ROXY S GUIDE TO EXOTIC EROTIC

Roxy rarely needs an excuse to shed her garments, but with temperatures heating up and Exotic Erotic fast approaching, one

heating up and Exotic Erotic fast approaching, one 3. P EOPLE WHO REALLY SHOULD BE WEARING

3. PEOPLE WHO REALLY SHOULD BE WEARING MORE CLOTHING

need not ask twice. Twice is plenty, given the unspoken Exotic

Erotic rule of two articles of clothing for girls, one for guys. Roxy plans to embrace this weekend like she would Fraîche

on a hot day — with lots and lots of licking.

Exotic Erotic, despite this year’s elegant appellation of Cirque D’Exotique, can’t hide that fact that it’s a riotous peep show — that is, Roxy’s natural habitat. With 680 Lomita’s debauchery exposed for all to see, the party is a veritable cornucopia of your favorite body paints, bare chests and baffled freshmen. Taking inspiration from the party’s theme, Roxy hopes to help pitch a few tents on Friday — not of the circus persuasion. So get ready to bring home your sweat-laden souvenirs, and with so few clothing barriers to tie you up, it shouldn’t be hard to get things rolling. Or rocking. Whatever floats your boat. With Roxy’s guidance, you’ll easily become the ringleader of your personal circus — maybe even turning it into a three-ring threesome of your own. And for the grand finale, Roxy introduces her complete field guide that will help you tame the nude masses sans chair and whip. On sec- ond thought, whip optional.

1. NAKED CO-OPERS

If organic is your thing, look no further. These vegetarian types may not eat meat, but they definitely know how to use it. You can expect them to congregate in conga trains during the live shows, so feel free to join the train and proceed front to caboose. If you’re hesitant, remember that after the fun and games, they’re likely to make the bed, clean your bathroom and cook you a little breakfast.

2. KIDS WITH TOO MUCH CLOTHES

Who doesn’t enjoy a good [clothed] challenge? Rules be damned, these boys want to party but stick out like sore thumbs, often wearing their polos and cargo shorts. It’s not Sunsplash — that got cancelled — it’s Exotic Erotic. They probably came to see the sights, but Roxy really just wants to see theirs; wearing clothing among naked people is such a tease. You gotta wonder what’s hiding under that pink Lacoste shirt. It’s up to you to find out.

Roxy says: stay away. The delicate balance is something that Roxy respects almost as much as she respects the Kama Sutra. Giving away too much is fun only if there’s something good to be given away. That being said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and let’s be honest — Roxy will behold almost everyone. However, for those concerned, remember two things: body paint and optical illusions. Vertical stripes are slim- ming, and no one can see your body hair if you’re painted like a Jackson Pollack.

4. OVEREAGER FRESHMEN

Spotted traveling in herds, these freshmen come for the spectacle but are woefully out of depth. Roxy has some advice to share: girls, there’s more to looking slutty than American Apparel onesies and headbands. Flex your creativity: try foliage for a “greener” effect — we all know that environmentally friendly is the new hot. As for the boys, Roxy says if you’re looking for an easy catch, look no further. At their first Exotic Erotic, most of these boys will be too busy attempting to drag their jaws off the floor. Here’s a fun game: see how many fresh- men you can line up by the end of the night.

5. MEN IN UNIFORM

As one of the biggest parties of the year, cops will promise to be in full force to shepherd the masses. Roxy asks, “Why not?” Who doesn’t like a strong man in blue (or tan), wishing to jump in on the college action? Roxy suggests you find the young, fit officers, complete with handcuffs and nightstick. Roxy has had a few rides in cop cars, some- times stationary, and recommends breaking the law with officers of the law. The back of their cars are surprisingly spacious, and it’s all good as long as you don’t end up with a ticket for a noise violation or dis- turbing the peace.

XOXO, Roxy Sass

end up with a ticket for a noise violation or dis- turbing the peace. XOXO, —
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friday may 15 2009

W W ICKED hen one considers the most classic of Broadway musicals, the most common

WW

ICKED

hen one considers the most classic of Broadway musicals, the most common ones that come to mind are shows like “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Rent” and “The Sound of Music.” The next genera- tion will certainly feel the same way about the smash hit musical “Wicked,” now showing at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco. For those that haven’t seen the play or read the book, “Wicked” tells the story of the Wicked Witch of the West

(from “The Wizard of Oz”) and shows an entirely new side to the legendary vil- lain.

The show opens with the people of Oz rejoicing the Witch’s recent death by melting, thanks to a young farm girl from Kansas. Glinda (The Good Witch)

arrives by bubble to tell the people that an age of fear is over, and an excited townsperson asks Glinda if the rumors that Glinda and the Wicked Witch used

to be friends. The story unfolds from there. “Wicked” is all about Elphaba, a girl who was born green but was unnat-

urally gifted at sorcery. The play follows her trials as a young girl and the devel- opment of her strange and unexpected friendship with Glinda. Elphaba is forced to overcome society’s view of her skin color, and that is not the only political undercurrent to appear in the show, as the Wizard of Oz and his regime over the Emerald City is surprisingly corrupt. There is also a love story involved, with Elphaba and Glinda caught in a love triangle that compromises their friendship. The Orpheum Theatre is a beautiful venue, and the crowd was buzzing with excitement for the much-anticipated play. When the show finally did begin with a powerful and attention-grabbing number, the audience was hooked. Glinda (portrayed by Kendra Kassebaum) was absolutely hysterical, inspiring the audience to both laugh and cry. Her vocals may not have been as strong as expected, but her portrayal of a shallow and potentially basic charac- ter was so multi-faceted, honest and endearing that it more than made up for her nondescript singing. At the performance I saw, the lead role of Elphaba was being performed by the standby, Vicki Noon. I was initially disappointed, because

I

However, I had nothing to worry about because Noon did an incredible job and blew the audience away with her powerhouse vocals. It was astonishing to see the amount of stage presence that she brought to such an intense role. Her chemistry with the role of Glinda was also so powerful — I was in tears at the end because I believed in their friendship so much. Beyond the lead roles, the rest of the cast was also impressive, as were the sets and costumes. There was a lot of smoke and mirrors in “Wicked” that kept the audi-

broadwayworld.com
broadwayworld.com

intermission

was excited to see Teal Wicks in her starring role.

ence ooh-ing and aah-ing all throughout the play. Chances are a lot of Intermission readers have already seen this wildly pop- ular musical, but if you haven’t, don’t miss this chance to see “Wicked,” a sure-to-be classic, at the Orpheum Theatre.

— annika HEINLE contact annika:

anheinle@stanford.edu

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sony pictures MOViE REViEW ANGELS & DEMONS
sony pictures
MOViE REViEW
ANGELS & DEMONS

Angels and Demons,” the sequel to “The Da Vinci Code,” has more twists and turns than Vatican tunnels and Roman streets put together. As one who would personally rather watch “the game” than read a Dan Brown

novel, I went into the theater hoping to be enter- tained — and was I ever! While assaults on the Catholic Church may be offensive to some (although the Church is portrayed as more the victim in this movie), “Angels and Demons” is wildly entertaining and you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. Tom Hanks reprises his role from “The Da Vinci Code” as Robert Langdon, a world- renowned symbologist and professor at Harvard (had he been from Stanford, the film might have been shorter). He is summoned to help find four prominent Cardinals who are in

line to be the next Pope and who have been kidnapped by the Illuminati, a powerful under- ground society of sci- entists holding a cen-

Cardinals and the stolen, ticking time bomb. Director Ron Howard’s nuances in this film

are simply brilliant, and his detailed attention to camera angles and lighting are masterful. Every shot, without exception, has meaning and pur- pose. These subtleties add intensity to the already thrilling storyline and caused this reviewer to attack his already short fingernails. Perhaps the one major flaw in this film is the lack of character development and depth; Howard may have relied on his viewers to have read the books — or perhaps he found that there was no time during the two-hour thrill ride to explore the characters in more detail. Vittoria Vetra, in particular, really lacks a clear purpose in this film (other than to decorate it). If I remember correctly, there was some chemistry

between Hanks and his

love interest, Sophie

Neveu, in the prequel; there is none, however, in this film, and that is a missed opportunity to give the movie additional

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Angels &
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Robert Langdon works to solve a
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turies-long enmity against the Church. Beautiful Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer plays Italian scientist Vittoria Vetra, who works at CERN, a research facility in Geneva much like SLAC. Vetra is enlisted to help Langdon because the kidnappers have stolen a vial of antimatter from the lab and are threaten- ing to blow up St. Peter’s Square as well as most of Rome — when the villains are highly educat- ed physicists, anything is possible. Langdon must navigate church hierarchy, including an adversarial Cardinal (Armin Mueller-Stahl) and a devoted Vatican priest (Ewan McGregor), as well as sealed crypts, labyrinthine catacombs, beautiful cathedrals and mysterious vaults in search of ancient sym- bols that will help him find the Cardinals and the container of antimatter. Set in the Vatican City and Rome, the film explores the historic tensions between religion and science amidst a frantic search for truth, as well as the missing

dimension. If Howard want- ed this move to be an action thriller only, then he succeeded; for me, however, thrillers with some romantic spice are generally more exhilarating. This leads to the question I know will be discussed over lunch: Which is better, “The Da Vinci Code” or “Angels and Demons?” Honestly, both are somewhat similar and formulaic, but in my opinion “Angels and Demons” is much more exciting and just a better film overall because unpredictable curveballs are continuously thrown at the audience right up until the credits begin to roll. That’s a thriller for you. “Angels and Demons” is a definite must-see. I give it two slightly chewed thumbs up!

— ben LAUFER contact ben: bjlaufer@stanford.edu

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