Tag Archives: Review

‘Urinetown’ brings many laughs to Studio One

By Nathan Hemminger

Full of intentional bluntness and a cast of characters whose personalities are as diverse as they are unique, Urinetown, the theater department’s latest Studio One production, is a hilariously strange show that flaunts its own faults, including its own title, for the sake of comedy.

The plot of Urinetown is a clever mix between a revolutionary tale and the classic “forbidden love” story. The local townspeople are living in poverty and are forced to pay a fine every time they wish to use the public amenity. A man soon rises against these laws and gets the townspeople on his side, while also falling in love with the daughter of the man behind the ridiculous “pee laws.”

Although this plot is cleverly written and wonderfully portrayed, it is not the reason I fully enjoyed the show. Rather, it was the shows unique brand of comedy that managed to win me over. The show does a great job of pulling off humor that is both fresh and unique as well as jokes that you would hear in the halls of an elementary school. And I laughed at every single one of them. Often times the show goes outside the normal boundaries of a musical, which, in a way, mocks the show itself as well as the entire musical genre. But in a good way.

However, this humor would not be as memorable if it were not for the excellent cast that conveyed the humor. The leading roles, Bobby Strong and Hope Cladwell, who are played by seniors Zach Hebert and Ryan Clark respectively, are the two lovers in the story. Hebert and Clark both pull of their roles excellently, bringing their intentionally over-enthusiastic personalities vividly to life on the small Studio One stage.

More humorous characters include, but are nowhere near limited to, Officer Lockstock, the town’s head cop and the play’s narrator (played by senior Brody Earnhardt), Mr. Cladwell, the owner of UrineGood Company (yeah, I laughed a little bit too,) and creator of the “pee laws” (played by senior Brantley Seawright), and Little Sally, the co-narrator of the play (played by both Marina Hart and Katie Alvey).

The music was very well performed and the dance numbers were quite impressive, especially for being performed on a small stage. There were quiet songs, and there were loud songs, but all of them were funny in some way. A lot of the humor was incorporated physically, which added yet another aspect of comedy to the show.

Few plays can pull off combining wordplay humor with toilet humor, but this play does it with splendor and grace. This is all thanks to the wonderful and enthusiastic cast behind it, from the lead role down to the general chorus. Do not let the title fool you, Urinetown is a funny and ultimately engrossing show, and seeing it was an opportunity that I am glad was not flushed down the drain.

Outrageous gesture spoils Madonna’s performance

By Alyssa Book and Chase Gosman

This Sunday Madonna took the stage at Lucas Oil Stadium for the Super Bowl half-time performance.

The singer was presented by an army of Roman soldiers on an extravagant throne clearly trying to appear as pop royalty. Although she came across as an ancient queen, the stage was futuristic and brightly lit. By bringing modern artists, such as Nicki Minaj, Cee Lo Green, LMFAO, and M.I.A., along the way, she appealed to the younger audience.

Madonna performed her new single “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” along with classics like “Vogue” and “Music.”  Even though these songs were showcased, they were not necessarily sung live. They were rumored to be lip synced.

Sophomore Ross Lundy said the show could have been better.

“It wasn’t very good. They could have gotten an older band like they have in past years,” said Lundy.

The theatrics were amazing, but the show was upstaged by an obscene gesture by co-performer M.I.A.

M.I.A. was onstage for the performance of “Gimme Me All Your Luvin’,“ and unexpectedly flipped off the camera, making its way to millions over their television sets.

“Things like that should not have been on live TV,” said Lundy.

The obscenity was offense to viewers, as complaints filed in to the NBC network.

After the mishap, there were still some good moments in the show. Madonna ended with “Like A Prayer,” where Cee Lo Green accompanied her on a rising platform, showing the TV viewers the flashing lights from the stands as the back lights were turned off.

All in all, it will not go down as the worst halftime show, but it will not be the best either. Madonna, for age 53, proved she still has the spark that made her famous years ago. How long that spark will relate with audiences is the question.

CHERUB excites columnist

By Lauren Holstner
Do you love spy novels involving teen spies?  Then CHERUB: The Recruitby Robert Muchamore is the book for you.  This book is one of the best spy novels I’ve read in a while, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.In CHERUB James is pretty much an orphan, though he does have a little half sister named Lauren.  He gets scouted for CHERUB, an elite spy school that sounds more like boot camp.  He has to learn everything and go through 100 days of intense training.  Even though CHERUB is the name of there school, no one knows what it stands for, not even the headmaster, who even asks students to help them figure it out.This book is full of action at every corner, from their training, to their trip to Malaysia, and even foil a plot to kill hundreds of people.  I loved all the action and adventure, this book makes you think what even James Bond went through. Since Muchamore used to be a private investigator his knowledge of the subject really shows in his writing.

This is a great read for anyone looking for a new exciting book filled with action, adventure, romance, and of course teen spies.

‘J. Edgar’ flawed but enjoyable to history buffs

By Chase Palmer

In this new movie, Leonardo DiCaprio plays J. Edgar Hoover, who was the head of the FBI from its inception to his death in 1972. J. Edgar chronicles this man’s life during this time period and also dabbles in some rumors over his supposed cross-dressing habit and sexuality; however, the film rarely exploits these themes. They focus more on his role in the Palmer Raids, Gangster Wars, and such. This makes the film have plenty of historical elements to it. If you are a history buff then I would recommend “J. Edgar” to you. However, if you usually fall asleep in AP European History, then you might as well skip this film.

This film is not perfect, nevertheless. The 37-year-old DiCaprio plays Hoover even as an old man, meaning that this movie contains a heavy use of facial prosthetics and CGI, required to make DiCaprio and other main actors in the film appear older. The makeup guy’s approach to this technique makes the characters look like unrealistic wax figures. At first it seemed funny, but after a while it took away from the film’s believability aspect. Although the makeup makes DiCaprio’s and other actor’s parts in the movie look like caricatures rather than characters, I thought that the film’s cast was pretty strong, not anything Oscar worthy, but still pretty strong.

The reason why I said J. Edgar ‘rarely’ explores the rumors aimed at Hoover is because I felt that the writer was trying to persuade to us that J Edgar Hoover was gay, a rumor that surfaced after his death. One scene in the film shows Hoover making out with Associate FBI Director Clyde Tolson, played by Armie Hammer. I later learned that his film was written by Dustin Lance Black. I noticed that all of Black’s movies leading up to this one were about homosexuality, the most well-known of these being “Milk, another biographical film about gay rights activist Harvey Milk. Think what you want about these scenes in “J. Edgarand Black’s intentions behind them. I personally think that the gay rumors over Hoover served as Black’s original intentions to write the screenplay to “J. Edgar”.

The worst quality of the film is the color. The color is poorly lit and gives the whole movie a bland effect throughout. I believe thatJ. Edgar is worth seeing, but if you are interested in J. Edgar Hoover’s life and the times in which he lived, I recommend this film only as an entry point.

A midsummer night’s play

By Grace Runkel

Warning: This is not your English teacher’s Shakespeare.

For 51 years Kentucky Shakespeare has been performing various works of William Shakespeare in Central Park. What started out as a small theater troupe in 1949, has grown into a local tradition.

Every June Kentucky Shakespeare puts on a summer-long event called Shakespeare in the Park. Every Tuesday through Sunday at 8:30 theater-goers make their way to Central Park in Louisville for free entertainment. Their first production of the season is The Complete Works of Shakespeare.

While on my way to see The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), I began to mentally prepare myself for several monotonous hours full of stiff actors babbling in a Shakespearean tongue, but I was quickly proven wrong.

Romeo and Juliet was the first play performed and consisted of a Juliet who wore a Snooki styled wig and a balcony scene performed on a construction lift. These, combined with many other slightly off details, transformed this over-told play into a hilarious comedy.

Some of the other highlights of the evening were a rapper’s version of Othello, the Moor of Venice and a mash-up of all of Shakespeare’s comedies.

The best part of Shakespeare in the Park is that admittance is completely free. Drinks are available for purchase, but many people bring their own snacks and drinks. Another popular item to bring is a blanket or cushion since wooden benches are only comfortable for so long.

The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) will be performed through June 26, but if you cannot make it to that show do not fear. Beginning June 28 and going through July 10, Shakespeare in the Park will be putting on As You Like It. Then Two Gentlemen of Verona will be performed on July 14 through the 17. The last show of the season, The Orphan of Chao, will be presented by the University of Louisville and will play July 19 through the 24.

For a cheap way to spend your summer nights, a trip to Shakespeare in the Park cannot be beat.

For more information about dates and times visit http://www.kyshakespeare.com/Kentucky_Shakespeare/Welcome.html.

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