SMCM Fall 2021 Orchestra Concert

By Jordan Williams

Vol. 82 Issue 6 December 14th 2021

On Nov. 18, the SMCM community gathered in Montgomery Recital Hall to listen to a live performance of the St. Mary’s Orchestra. Friends and family members of the musicians cheered in support as the musicians showed off what they had been working on over the past few months. The concert featured several soloists, including MK Meyers on trumpet, Dylan Parham on violin 1, William Capon on oboe, Zayon Morgan and Jonathan Zutt on percussion and Robert Hayes –an SMCM music faculty member on piano.

This concert was really special to the orchestra. It was the first time in two years that the group was able to put on a performance together. Normally, the orchestra does one concert every semester but due to COVID, they have not been able to perform since fall 2019. For three whole semesters since COVID hit, the orchestra met twice a week, mostly over Zoom, and only came together a few times in-person outside when the weather was nice. They did not get enough rehearsal time to put on a concert. Everyone was excited to finally show off their skills and everything they have learned since the last concert.

Angelie Roche is a sophomore violin and viola player in the orchestra. They described the concert as a success, “I think that overall the concert went well. We had a lot of difficult material, so we did experience some trip-ups, but overall I feel really proud to have finished my first concert at SMCM!” The weeks leading up to the concert were stressful for the group. There were delays receiving some of the music scores, so the orchestra had limited time to work on certain songs. “The pieces that we got last turned out to be some of the hardest ones, so everyone was busy practicing and preparing for the concert,” said Angelie.

The lack of instrument variety in the orchestra this year posed a challenge, “Being a small group, we had some unevenness and had to fill in several parts. I actually switched from viola to violin 2 halfway through the semester because there were 5 violas (at that time) and only one 2nd violin,” said Angelie. Some wind instruments were missing entirely from the group. Despite the challenges, the group was able to put on a performance they were proud of.

The orchestra is excited to move into the new music building being built. It is set to open with a full-fledged auditorium. The Montgomery Recital Hall has many acoustic issues that make it difficult to play in. The new building will hopefully fix those issues once it opens next year.

22-Year-Old Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason Makes New York Philharmonic Debut

By Charlotte Mayer

Vol. 82 Issue 6 December 14th 2021

On Nov. 11, 22-year old British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason made his debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. It was an evening of “bold, charismatic musical storytelling,” said the New York Times.

In the introduction, Kanneh-Mason sat patiently with his instrument — the soloist in Dvorak’s Cello Concerto does not enter until after three and a half minutes of orchestral music, says the New York Times — but when he finally begins, he is “suddenly animated, matching the ensemble’s grandeur with his own: fiery vibrato, dramatic phrasing,” and “richly voiced yet crisp forzando chords.”

The third of seven children, Kanneh-Mason grew up in Nottingham, England and began learning the cello at the age of six after briefly playing the violin. His household was always full of music. When practicing, he goes “in [his] bedroom, [his] brother goes in his bedroom, and then the girls fight over the pianos,” he said in an interview with Caroline Crampton from U.K. magazine The New Statesman. In fact, in 2015 his brother and four of his sisters performed with him on Britain’s Got Talent where they made it to the semi-final.

When Crampton first met him in 2016, “it was hard to tell where the cello ended and he began,” she said. His cello playing was “astonishingly emotive” and public reactions to it were “almost universally positive.” According to Crampton, commentators have remarked on “the startling maturity that shines through his interpretations of music” — the “raw emotion” in his Shostakovich concerto, the “grimly frenetic passages” and “Russian melancholy.”

His love for the cello started when he saw his sister perform in ‘Stringwise,’ an annual weekend course for young string players in Nottingham. He then switched from violin to cello and began to take part in the Stringwise courses, “impressing conductors with his astonishing ability to play everything from memory,” said Music for Everyone, the local charity running Stringwise courses. At the age of nine, he passed the Grade 8 cello examination with the highest marks in the U.K. and won the Marguerite Swan Memorial Prize, says the Nottingham Post. Also at the age of nine he won a scholarship to join the Junior Academy of the Royal Academy of Music. 

At age 17, he won the 2016 BBC Young Musician competition — the first Black musician to win the award since its launch in 1978. 

At age 19, Kanneh-Mason was a royal wedding cellist at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018. He played three songs for guests as Harry and Meghan signed the register, reported CBC News.

On Jan. 26, 2018, Kenneh-Mason released his first full-length album, “Inspiration.” This album includes the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1 as well as shorter works by Shostakovich, Saint-Saens and Offenbach, among others. On Feb. 2, 2018, the Official U.K. Charts Company announced that “Inspiration’s” success had made Kenneh-Mason “the U.K.’s youngest cellist to break into the Official Albums Chart Top 20 with his debut album.”

In early Feb. 2018, the BBC reported that Kanneh-Mason’s album “Inspiration” was “the biggest-selling British debut of the year to date,” becoming number one on the U.K. classical albums chart and achieving 2.5 million streams on Spotify, according to BBC News Online. 

As of today, he has over 1.5 million monthly listeners on streaming service Spotify and is currently a student of Hannah Roberts at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

“Red: Taylor’s Version” Review

By Catherine Wasilko

Vol. 82 Issue 6 December 14th 2022

After months of Swiftie fandom speculation, Taylor Swift announced that the next album to be re-recorded would be “Red.” The original date for the release was Nov. 19, however, she announced on Twitter that the release would be moved up a week earlier, on Nov. 12. The album has a total of 30 songs, 24 of which were on previous “Red” albums, and “Babe” is included on the new “Red” album. “Babe” was originally sung by Sugarland with Swift as a featured artist. The song appeared on Sugarland’s album “Bigger.” The next five songs are ones Taylor is releasing “from the vault,” and “All Too Well” is extended into a 10 minute version, being more explicit than the original.

The 10 minute version of “All Too Well” was released as a short film on Nov. 12, starring Sadie Sink from “Stranger Things” and Dylan O’Brien from “Teen Wolf.” Fans speculated that the two resembled Swift and her then boyfriend, Jake Gyllenhaal, with O’Brien and Sink portraying the same ages as Swift and Gyllenhaal when they were dating in 2012. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon on  Nov. 11, Swift said “It was the most unbelievable experience working with people who are that prepared, committed. Just the chemistry between them is really on another planet.”

Swift also released another music video on Monday Nov. 15. “I Bet You Think About Me” was directed by Blake Lively, a friend of Swift. It starred Miles Teller, with his actual wife, Keleigh Teller. The music video follows Swift’s ex, speculated to be Gyllenhaal, as he sees her at his wedding as a figment of his imagination. Swift gives the toast for the wedding, while also handing Teller’s wife a familiar object. Inside the red box handed to the bride, is a scarf that appears to be similar to the one shown in “All Too Well.” As Swift stated in her announcement, “The reddest video EVER is out now.”

The songs that were re-recorded have clearer diction and tone. It is easier to understand the lyrics and how they are sounded out. Swift’s voice is smooth, clear, and has deepened over the years. Parts of the song have changed from when they were originally recorded, but have resulted in a truer appreciation of her work. As her voice has aged from the original recordings of the songs, the fan’s appreciation remained consistent.

The songs “from the vault” are ones that Swift wrote during the time of Red, but remained unreleased until now. “Babe,” which was originally by Sugarland, was rerecorded by Swift using only her voice. The others are songs she wrote during the time of the original “Red” album, but never released to the public. This includes the 10 minute version of “All Too Well.” The “vault” songs are equal parts sad and happy, some with slow rhythms and others with faster tempos. These songs represent the heart of the “Red” album, being the unspoken feelings Swift was unable to express.

Swift’s re-recorded album came at the right moment as the fall season began. As the leaves change their colors, “Red: Taylor’s Version” sets the mood for the season. Overall, Swift’s album collects the same amount of nostalgia as when listeners first heard the songs back in 2012. Newer fans will appreciate how Swift owns her songs, as well as releasing even newer songs to the public. But the entire fanbase will love how Swift will have officially owned her “Red” album.

Broadway Legend Stephen Sondheim Dies

By Lily Riesett

Vol. 82 Issue 6 December 14th 2021

Composer Stephen Sondheim passed away at 91 on Friday, Nov. 26 at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut. Sondheim’s friends and family knew he was ill, but the death was rather unexpected and sudden. After completing an autopsy, the cause of death had been marked as a cardiovascular disease. He had been celebrating Thanksgiving with some friends in Roxbury just the day before. 

Sondheim was born on March 22, 1930, in Manhattan and lived on the Upper East Side of New York City. He attended military and private school up until his parents separated during his teenage years. He stayed living with his mother to support her, but had a very difficult relationship with her. He recalls her either flirting with him or belittling him. She was good friends with lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II who took Sondheim under his wing and taught him how to write music. 

Sondheim attended Williams College in Massachusetts, where he studied music composition. He got the opportunity to study under famous composers Milton Babbitt and Robert Barrow and worked for the agency representing Hammerstein after college. Sondheim then began writing for what he was destined to do: Broadway musicals. 

Sondheim led a very successful life and career, writing music for some of Broadway’s most beloved shows. His first Broadway show which he wrote the music and lyrics for premiered in 1962, a comedy musical “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” He went on to win a Tony for Best Musical. Sondheim began his career on Broadway writing lyrics for well known musicals such as “West Side Story” and “Gypsy” in the late 50’s. After his success in ‘62, he decided to only write lyrics for his own compositions. 

Some of his most prized works which he wrote both the music and lyrics for include “Company” (1970), “Follies” (1971), “A Little Night Music” (1973), “Pacific Overtures” (1976), “Sweeney Todd” (1979), “Merrily We Roll Along” (1981), “Sunday in the Park With George” (1984) and “Into the Woods” (1987).  Five  of his shows won Tonys for Best Musical, six  won for Best Original Score and “Sunday in the Park With George” went on to win a Pulitzer Prize. 

In honor of his passing, many Broadway stars joined together in Times Square to sing in remembrance of Sondheim. They performed pieces from his shows as the theater community grieved his death. Sondheim’s legacy will live on in the theater as being one of the most successful lyricists and composers in Broadway history.

Is Marvel’s “Eternals” As Bad As The Reviews Say?

By: Annilee Hampton

Marvel’s newest offering “Eternals” surprised fans in all the wrong ways when its Rotten Tomatoes critics’ score was revealed to be only 47%; Marvel’s first ever film to have a rotten score. However, the audience score differed strongly from the critics’ score, settling at 80% –at the time that this article is being written. This disparity may leave potential viewers wondering whether “Eternals” truly is the worst Marvel movie ever. 

One of “Eternals’” greatest strengths is its diversity, not only in its cast but in its settings. The present-day storyline takes the characters from London to Iraq to the Amazon Rainforest, while flashbacks show ancient civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Babylon and the Aztec Empire. In addition, a wide variety of different languages other than English are used throughout the film, including Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, and even American Sign Language. This serves to highlight the massive scale of the film, taking place across thousands of years and spanning the entire Earth – and beyond.

The film makes sure to give each member of its ensemble cast a chance to shine, however, audiences may be left wanting more from certain characters. For example, Lauren Ridloff’s Makkari, the first deaf superhero in the MCU, is the last of the group to appear in the present day. Makkari’s power of super speed is among the most interesting depicted in the film, leading to a thrilling fight scene in the film’s climax. Also of note is Makkari’s relationship with fellow eternal Druig, played by Barry Keoghan. While the two have very few interactions, their romantic chemistry is palpable, perhaps even more so than the film’s main couple, Sersi — Gemma Chan — and Ikaris — Richard Madden. Other standouts among the cast include Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, an inventor and technopath whose primary motivation comes from his desire to keep his husband and child-safe, and Angelina Jolie as Thena, a warrior struggling with an illness called Mahd Wy’ry which causes her to forget who and where she is. 

Visually, “Eternals” is one of the most spectacular Marvel movies. Director Chloé Zhao has infused the film with a unique style similar to that of her previous film “Nomadland”, which won Best Picture and Best Director at the 2020 Oscars. Much of the film was shot on location rather than through the use of green screens. This gives “Eternals” a much more grounded feel than many of Marvel’s other films, complementing its wide global scope. The film’s visual effects are also notable, particularly the golden cosmic energy that appears whenever an Eternal uses their powers. This looks especially striking on the weapons that Thena conjures out of thin air. Also notable is the design of the invasive species the Deviants. Each creature is unique, with some appearing amphibious, some appearing birdlike and even a Deviant that is more humanoid. The Deviants’ design appears intentionally incomplete and flawed, further emphasizing their monstrousness and establishing them as true threats. Perhaps most striking is the appearance of the Celestial Arishem, whose size is appropriately intimidating and emphasizes the Eternals’ contrasting humanity. 

“Eternals’’ weakest moments tie back to one thing – its runtime. Clocking in at two hours and 37 minutes, the film struggles with pacing, seeming rushed in some places and dragging in others. The beginning of the film, featuring Sersi, Ikaris and Sprite traveling the world in order to assemble the rest of the Eternals, feels particularly repetitive. While the film picks up speed in its second act, it is not quite enough to prevent audiences from feeling its runtime. 

Marvel fans will surely be looking for ties to the rest of the cinematic universe, and Eternals gives them much to think about. The most clear sequel hooks appear in its mid-credits and post-credits scenes, both of which include cameos that no one will see coming for very different reasons. However, throughout the rest of the film, small details tie the Eternals to the Marvel universe both past and future, from mentions of the Global Reparations Council (last seen in Disney+ series “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier”) to the appearance of Dane Whitman, played by Kit Harington, who is sure to have a large role in the universe’s future. The film offers multiple opportunities to speculate about the Eternals’ involvement in other films, with one fan wondering if there is a connection between Phastos’s technological abilities and the titular objects in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”. 

Overall, “Eternals” is a very different film than its predecessors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While its ambition can sometimes be its downfall, especially in the areas of inconsistent pacing and its lengthy runtime, stellar performances from the cast and outstanding visual effects prove that Eternals is worth your time, even if it might be asking for a little too much of it. 

Alec Baldwin Involved in On-Set Shooting

By: Lily Riesett

On October 21, 2021, Alec Baldwin was in the middle of shooting his low-budget, small crewed film, “Rust,” when a deadly set mishap occurred. This historic filming area, Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has been home to many famous westerns, all of which have gone off without a hitch as severe as this. In the middle of shooting a scene, Baldwin picked up and shot his supposedly unloaded prop gun, killing a member of his crew in the process.  

Baldwin’s character, a cowboy outlaw named Hardin Rust, was in the middle of a shootout between a sheriff and a U.S. Marshal in a small wooden church when the fatality occurred. Baldwin was given a .45 Colt Revolver which was told to him to be “cold”, or not loaded with ammunition, by the props workers on set. He held the gun up facing the lens of the camera for a close-up shot of the action, but was stunned when he pulled the trigger and an actual bullet was released. Halyna Hutchins, the film’s cinematographer, was fatally wounded in her stomach while Joel Souza, the film’s director, was injured.

It is difficult to pinpoint the perpetrator of Hutchin’s death in this situation. Though Baldwin was the one who shot the gun, he was told the gun he was holding did not contain live ammunition. The majority of the film’s crew must be looked at to get a solid grasp on who messed up in this situation.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the lead armorer, or the person who handles weapons as props on a movie set, was only 24 when she was hired to work on the set of “Rust.” The gun wasn’t only in the hands of Gutierrez-Reed though. Her lawyer made the argument that  “The first one on this set was the prop master, and the second was a stunt man after Hannah informed him his gun was hot with blanks.” 

Sarah Zachary, the props master, was the first individual to handle the gun the day of the shooting, taking them out of a combination locked safe and handing them to Gutierrez-Reed. She then placed the gun on a cart on set. Dave Halls, the first-assistant director, checked the gun to make sure the only rounds loaded were dummies. These resemble bullets when shot but contain no gun powder. Halls recalls seeing three rounds in the gun, but Gutierrez-Reed did not turn the revolver for him to analyze if they were dummies or not. 

Both Halls and Gutierrez-Reed had come under scrutiny for mishaps on sets before being hired for “Rust.” In 2019 Halls was hired from a movie “Freedom’s Path” after letting a live gun go unchecked causing it to injure a crewmate. Gutierrez-Reed acted as head armorer for Nicolas Cage’s film “The Old Way,” but was almost fired due to having two rounds of live ammunition go off accidentally. 

Though no one has been charged with the death and injury during filming, Baldwin has been sued by multiple crewmembers over keeping an unsafe work environment. The decisions made regarding this case will forever change the way firearms are handled in Hollywood. 

A Look at the 2021 Met Gala

By: Lily Riesett

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit, better known as the Met Gala, took place on Monday, Sept. 13. This event is held each year to raise money for the Met’s Costume Institute and commemorate the opening of the Institute’s fashion exhibit. This year, the gala was in honor of the show “In America: The Lexicon of Fashion.” For most viewers though, this benefit is known as the star-studded event where the richest celebrities can show off their fashion choices. This year’s gala was no different.

The 2021 Met Gala did have some logistical differences though. For one thing, it is in celebration of only the first of two installations of “In America.” There will be another event in May of 2022 in honor of the second half of the exhibit. Because of this and the threat of the COVID-19 delta variant, the gala has been downscaled compared to years past. The smaller guest list became very youth-focused, inviting younger celebrities such as Tik-Tok stars. This was not only to attract a young viewing audience, but also because the fashion shown in the Met exhibit is emphasizing young designers. 70 percent of the fashion on display in “In America” was designed by what the benefit classifies as “young designers.”

With the Met gala being a smaller event this year, tickets were in even higher demand. Tickets were selling for $35,000 a pop. Entire table spaces were being sold for between $200,000 and $300,000. The stars that can afford this had to present a negative COVID test, proof of vaccination, and wear a mask during the event at all times when not eating. Tables were also spaced out so they follow basic social distancing guidelines.

The hosts of the Met Gala continued the theme of emphasizing younger stars, designers, and viewers. Amanda Gorman, the poet who read at President Biden’s inauguration, was chosen to be a co-host at just age 23. Timothee Chalamet was another host, drumming up anticipation for his two new film releases, Dune and The French Dispatch. Tennis player Naomi Osaka and singer Billie Eilish made up the other host duo for the event. 

One of the most talked about parts of the Met Gala is the fashion worn by the attendees. Though there was a limited number of guests, there was not a lack of impressive fashion seen that evening. Host Amanda Gorman wore a dark blue, sequin-studded Vera Wang dress. She carried a purse imitating the book “Give Us Your Tired,” imitating the Statue of Liberty. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore a white floor-length gown with the words “Tax the rich.” Cortez was invited to the event since she is a politician for the city of New York, and took this as an opportunity to protest the upper class attendees who could purchase a ticket. 

All viewers have their own opinion of who was best dressed at this fashion event. St. Mary’s sophomore Andrew Seitzman says “I loved how simple yet elegant Troye Sivan’s Met Gala look was. He had a very simple dress that was elevated with wonderful studded boots, a leather cuff on his bicep and a gorgeous Cartier necklace.” The fashion elevated the event as always.

Sex Education Season 3 Review

By: Angelie Roche

Netflix’s “Sex Education,” a show featuring a group of teenagers exploring their sexual identities, returned for its third season on Sept. 17. The students are in the midst of their sixth form–the British equivalent of high school seniors–and are suddenly wrought with a number of changes to their schooling– in particular, their Sex and Relationships Education curriculum. Moordale Academy, which had been dubbed the “sex school,” had been in danger of shutting down because of its reputation, so its new headmaster Hope vowed to make the SRE curriculum abstinence-focused, take down any inappropriate artwork and force students to wear uniforms. 

The show again expands its inclusion of identities with the addition of two nonbinary students, Cal and Layla. Both find their identities threatened with the imposition of the new uniform, as new headmaster Hope wants them to adhere to gender categories they simply do not fit into. It is rare for transgender and nonbinary characters to be accurately represented in media, especially when it comes to the unique and complex issues they face, such as chest binding. Far too often, shows will add characters of marginalized identities just to “check boxes” without giving them actual voice or direction in the storyline. One great aspect of “Sex Education” is that it not only includes people from these groups but allows them to tell their stories. When asked how they felt about this season of “Sex Education,” a nonbinary SMCM student, who wished to remain anonymous, added “I like that they had a nonbinary character who wasn’t white, because we don’t often hear about the black queer experience.”

Another character whose story is more closely examined in this season is Eric, main character Otis’ best friend. Eric begins dating shy ex-bully Adam, but feels that he is holding him back. This feeling is exacerbated when Eric visits his home country of Nigeria and finds the underground gay culture there, connecting his cultural pride and his pride in his own identity. This is yet another plotline that explores a nuanced issue with extreme care: though it can be dangerous to be gay in Nigeria, the show also portrays the country in a positive light, once again using it to strengthen Eric’s pride in his identity. However, (spoiler alert) there is one plotline that taints Eric’s loveable character–his act of cheating on Adam while in Nigeria. It was already clear that he was unsatisfied in his relationship, so why was it necessary to, once again, have Eric cheat on his boyfriend just as he cheated on Rahim last season? 

Yet another surprise plotline emerged in Otis’ mom Jean’s pregnancy reveal. She hesitates for months before telling ex-lover Jakob, who wants to be involved in the baby’s life but cannot seem to get along with Jean. Otis and his mother get closer through this plotline, but Jakob and Jean fight so much that it seems their season one chemistry has expired. 

Of course, the show would not be complete without the “will-they-won’t-they” Otis and Maeve plotline. Season two ended with Maeve’s love interest, Isaac, deleting a voicemail, which left many fans upset and angry. However, Isaac’s character takes a better turn in this season, being honest with Maeve about his actions and showing a softer, more understanding side. Otis begins the season with “mean girls”-esque Ruby, who we get to see become more vulnerable as the episodes progress. So, as Maeve becomes closer to Isaac, Otis is dating Ruby, and it seems that the two star-crossed lovers will once again miss their chance with one another. However, the season does end with a passionate kiss between the two and a promise that Maeve will find Otis after going away to America, giving fans hope that perhaps all is not lost.

Ultimately, the students put on a performance to try and “save” Moordale, but end up losing–the administration ousts Hope, but also cuts off all of Moordale’s funding, leaving the sixth formers to “find their own way” to finish the school year. This, of course, gives Maeve a reason to follow her heart and go to an advanced program in America, but it leaves so many loose ends regarding the rest of the characters. But, never fear–on Sept. 24, just a week after season three’s debut, the show announced that it would be renewed for a fourth season.

Upcoming Book, Television, and Movie Releases to Look Out for This Fall

Breezing into autumn in full, many long anticipated releases of seasonally aligned shows or books are approaching rapidly. 

By: Emily Vance

Benjamin Alire Sáenz, author of “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” and winner of the Stonewall award as well as a multitude of other awards for this novel, exemplifies themes of identity, specifically that of Mexican-Americans as that relates to his personal experiences. The sequel to the previously stated novel, “Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters do the World,” picks up from challenging and understanding how different aspects of your identity interact and potentially conflict and further develops this concept to “discover what it means to stay in love and build a relationship in a world that seems to challenge their very existence.”

A more seasonally appropriate novel coming out Oct. 19 is “The Restoration” by J.H. Moncrieff. The novel, influenced by the author’s overnight stay in a historically haunted house, follows a woman who was hired to restore an old mansion. As the woman and her daughter move into the house and begin the process of fixing the house the woman quickly realizes there is something not right. The house will not let her leave until its secrets are told, those same secrets could very well be the death of her. 

As Halloween creeps up, many television shows are set to release and embrace the oncoming spooky season. In terms of recurring shows, “You” season three is set to release Oct. 15 on Netflix. Leaving off with an unexpected pregnancy and a brief glance into a new nuclear family with a bloody past, “You” builds up excitement for its third renewal due to its astounding popularity. Anticipate a venture into the minds of two killers who seem to be the perfect match with similar pasts and motives as they attempt to assimilate into the suburban lifestyle despite its contradictory nature. 

Another show to look out for this fall that delves more into the horror genre is “Chucky”, which is set to release Oct. 12 on SyFy and USA. A revamped version of the notorious film franchise, “Chucky” follows the trend of the terror the doll reigns upon humans, this time with a “Joker” style narrative. The Chucky doll, bought by a local teenager at a garage sale, teams up with his new unlikely ally; Instead of attacking the boy Chucky defends him from his classmates’ unrelenting bullying. The doll, in front of the school at an assembly by the side of the boy, states “It’s contagious isn’t it? Laughing at people.”. Expect a new look into the mind of the infamous killer through this thriller commentary of cruelty in society. 

In the realm of movies, “Halloween Kills,”, the continuation of the classic “Halloween” horror movie franchise, is set to release in theatres Oct. 15. The movie is the 12th installment in the film franchise, as well as the sequel to “Halloween” 2018. Previously, the series left off with Micheal Myers who had been thought to be dead by Laurie, Karen, and Allyson, yet is shown to the viewer as just barely alive. The sequel picks up with Laurie assembling a mob from the town, hunting down Micheal in a vigilant pursuit hoping to finally end it all.

An upcoming movie to look out for later into the fall is “Encanto,” a Disney movie following a family hidden in the mountains of Colombia where each child is blessed with a magic gift except Mirabel. After discovering that their magic may be in danger, Mirabel may be the family’s last hope. The film’s musical aspect features the work of Lin-Manuel Miranda, who previously worked on the score This film is perfect for those who love the feeling of fall in films yet are not fond of the horror genre and is set to release in theatres Nov. 24 and on Disney Plus Dec. 24.

Look out for not only the new releases previously stated, but other horror movies, novels and shows as we enter October.

Take One! Improv Club Presents “Sick Day”

By: Catherine Wasilko

On Friday, Sept. 17 at 9 p.m., Take One! Improv Club hosted their first in-person improv show. The cast and audience wore masks during the entire performance for everyone’s safety. Senior Maggie Malia, President of Improv Club, introduced the event as well as herself to the crowd. When asked about her first in-person experience with an improv show since the pandemic, Malia said “I was really nervous, but also really excited. I had to engage with the audience in a way that keeps it engaging for everyone.” Malia’s previous experiences with improv were online. Malia explained, “We previously did a show over a recording [Zoom], so it was different since everyone was online.” 

The other cast members introduced themselves, along with their favorite activity to do on a sick day. The first game they played was called “Doubling Downment,” in which audience members got to choose two words, such as adjectives or nouns, that would describe senior Connor Heveron and junior Timothy Wells’ character. The two seemed to act like a tennis match, going back and forth with each line given. The game ended rather intimately, while scoring some laughs and applause from the audience.

The next game was called “Channel Changers,” where audience members chose wacky television shows for the whole cast to act in, as well as the type of person they were playing in each show. Names or personalities of the characters, as well as the television shows were chosen by the audience members. To transition each skit, cast members moved clockwise on the stage. For extra laughs, some of the members threw in some plot twists.

The third game was called “News Team,” where cast members acted as a part of a news team. Each member, such as the anchor, co-anchor, meteorologist and sports anchor, got a quirk chosen by audience members. Due to the audience members’ answers, props were used. A few members even broke the fourth wall by breaking out into laughter during the performance. 

The final game they played was called “Ad Campaign,” where audience members choose a “product” to be pitched to a fake company. As the final skit for the night, this gained the most applause from the audience. Freshman Sena Weaver is a part of Take One! Improve Club, although she was in the audience for this show. Weaver said, “I was sitting next to someone who couldn’t stop laughing, which was really funny, and [it] had me laughing.” 

Weaver will be a part of the next improv show on Oct. 1, which will be “Dad-themed.” When asking about future improv events, Weaver explained, “This will be my first time doing improv comedy.” In Weaver’s experience, “I was just so happy it went so well.” If you would like to be a part of Take One! Improv Club, practices are Sundays from 6-8 p.m. and Wednesdays from 8:30-10:30 p.m. Take One! Improv Club will do different themed shows every two weeks on Friday, from 9-10 p.m.