Archive for February, 2010

“On the Verge” Review

Friday, February 26th, 2010 | Student Life Staff

by Davis Sargeant, Cadenza Reporter

4.5 out of 5 stars

Theater often presents difficult questions. “On the Verge” is no exception, and it asks several, ranging from how best to accept the future, to “What is life without a luffa?” The production, now in its second and final weekend at the Hotchner Studio Theater, deserves your time, money and consideration. The play follows the expedition of three Victorian women into Terra Incognita, the last frontier of their world. During the first act, they realize their adventure moves forward in time from 1888 onwards. The play’s main appeal is its examination of how these reasonable women perceive and interpret the future as it gradually reveals itself.

The plot always entertains. Three protagonists, Alex, Fanny and Mary (Renae Adams, Catherine Morton, and Ginny Page, respectively) describe themselves as “politopians,” travelers to places unusual, adventuring to collect impressions, record emotions and amass artifacts. After landing in Terra Incognita, “a strange new world,” they discover items like an “I Like Ike” button, a newspaper clipping from 1972 and cream cheese. Simultaneously, they absorb the future’s vocabulary, a mental sensation they dub osmosis. While new words like Burma Shave and Mr. Coffee delight them, the trio also encounters concepts like “mustard gas.” Along their way, they meet eccentric characters from the future, all played by Matt Rosenthal, whose performance creates some of the most memorable scenes. Eventually, the trio reaches 1955, “the apotheosis of the future,” and must determine the extent of the future they desire to experience.

The soul of “On the Verge” is its outstanding look at language. The three travelers speak in a comedic Victorian manner and respond to new ideas with Victorian reason; an egg beater must be a marsupial’s unicycle.” The playwright, Eric Overmyer clearly loves the twists and turns language can take, inserting zany phrases like “Jacuzzi J’accuse,” and “Taft, you daft duo!” While the production’s plot and drama will keep you interested, you should attend this play to listen. Overmyer packs the dialogue with puns and allusions in the most unlikely places, such as a greaser who references “Kubla Khan.”

When my parents ask me to define words of today like “tweet,” “holla,” or “The Situation,” I usually cringe. Languages change rapidly; slang often identifies a generation.

While the heroines enjoy some innovations like Cool Whip and resort hotels, new words like “ground zero” and “third world rankle their optimism. The three must also reconsider their values, as advances in perceptions, morals and meaning accompany language change. When the trio left 1888, the United Kingdom ruled half the world. English was “the language of Empire.” By 1955, Britain was dismantling its empire to give its former subjects the right to self-determination. As another example, “mustard gas” would sound silly before 1914; the play implicitly asks which of today’s seemingly harmless words will acquire grimmer meanings in the future. The play depicts three women’s struggle to adapt to such rapid transformation.

To properly enjoy “On the Verge,” one must pay rapt attention. The play’s significance lies in its subtleties. The audience sits around the stage, and no angle provides a particular advantage. Be sure to arrive on time. The doors close shortly before the show begins, and you should not miss the first act. “On the Verge” provides an enjoyable two hours that will challenge your relationship to language and its change over time.

One Enchanted “Chocolat” Evening

Friday, February 12th, 2010 | Student Life Staff

By Christina Wilson

Cascading chocolate fountains, gooey brownies, creamy coffee and Johnny Depp? If this sounds like the perfect way to start your Saturday night then come check out Filmboard’s Valentine’s Day inspired event tomorrow evening. Thanks to a partnership with the DUC and Dining Services, a chocolate bar and refreshments will be served from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm for $5 per person. The sinfully delicious film “Chocolat” will start at 8:00 pm (free for all students). So bring your sweetheart along, or simply come for a delightful chocolate filled night!

Are you wondering who is bringing you this classy, rich event? Well, the answer is Filmboard! Filmboard is WashU’s premiere film society, dedicated to promoting the love of movies. You may have heard of Filmboard from past events, including its annual tradition of giving away free tickets to feature films such as “Rocky Horror Picture Show” in October or “Watchmen” last March. Filmboard has grown in the previous year by offering more organized screenings on campus. Last semester, Filmboard showed pre-releases such as “Star Trek,” “Up,” and “Harry Potter: 6”, among others, on the big screen in DUC Commons.

Look out for more Filmboard events. The Oscar winner will be shown in late March, and Avatar (if it does not win for Best Picture) will be shown in April. Both will be shown in the DUC Commons.

For more up-to-date information on upcoming Filmboard events, check out the “Filmboard” group on Facebook, search for “Filmboardwustl” on Twitter, or email [email protected] with any questions.

The Attendance Challenge

Friday, February 5th, 2010 | Johann Qua Hiansen

The February 5, 2010 men’s basketball game marked the 2,000 game in the program’s history at Washington University. Attendance fell well short of the 2,000 fan goal with a total of 1,310 according to the official box score. A light snow fall or any of a number of other factors could have contributed.

Fans who came out to the game received Wash. U. pom-poms. The Bears were down for only a short while when Rochester’s Bill Serle knocked down a three pointer for a two point advantage with 14:21 left in the second half. The Bears came back with a three pointer by Aaron Thompson. From that point on, Wash. U. controlled the game never yielding the lead enroute to a 68-59 victory. Thompson finished with 29 points in the game.

Competing against Division I

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 | Johann Qua Hiansen

In the pages of Student Life, we’ve seen columns in support of becoming a Division I school and those that say we should remain a Division III school.

There will be no comment on that topic in this blog post.

But junior Nicholas Yozamp is taking on students from other colleges in the Jeopardy College Championship on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. Central Time.

School spirit can be exhibited in so many ways so support your classmates especially when they get a shot at facing other schools.

This weekend features the 2,000th men’s basketball game in school history against the University of Rochester. At the same time, women’s basketball looks for revenge against the Yellowjackets. The women play at 6 p.m. and the men are at 8 p.m.

After Sunday’s doubleheader against Emory, the school plans on honoring the national championship volleyball team and the national runner up women’s soccer team at 3 p.m. in the Field House.