Arts in New York City: Baruch College, Fall 2008, Professor Roslyn Bernstein
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Sports, Family, and Faith

When we were first given this project, I didn’t waste much time before I knew my theme.  I would put together a collaboration of different things that define me.  There are three things that I hold very highly in life: sports, family, and religion.  Ever since I was a child I knew these three aspects of my life would give me strength, power, and determination to succeed.  Surprisingly, as soon as I decided on this theme, I knew exactly what I wanted to include in the actual collage. [Read more →]

December 11, 2008   4 Comments

Frances Richey: More than a Woman

As soon as the event began, I knew Frances Richey wasn’t like any other poet in the world.  From the moment I saw her, a smile covered her face from ear to ear.  Richey began by introducing herself.  Even though she is also a yoga teacher, her true passion and talent is writing poetry.  For some reason, when she began to explain how her son, Ben, was involved with the military and the War in Iraq I felt a connection.  I always had a great deal of admiration for those who fight for American freedom overseas.  I also have respect for the parents of these young men and women fighting for us.  Richey went on to tell us that Ben graduated from West Point and eventually became a Green Beret.  Richey even compares her son to a warrior of the Aztec Empire.  She was never entirely comfortable with Ben’s life choice, but supported him with all her heart, exactly the way a great mother should.  I can especially relate to this because my mother is the same way.  She loves me to death and will support me no matter what I decide to do.  That kind of love is unconditional and will always be there.  The love she showed for her son reminded me of my mother. [Read more →]

December 2, 2008   Comments Off on Frances Richey: More than a Woman

International Center of Photography: Susan Meiselas

On that cold, rainy morning I arrived well before anyone else at the ICP.  This gave me an opportunity to walk around the facility a little by myself before the rest of the class arrived.  The numerous photographs on the first floor were produced by Cornell Capa.  As I walked around to get a feel for the artwork, I took a peek down the long staircase.  The exhibit downstairs consisted of Susan Meiselas’ works.  I knew from the praise given by Professor Roslyn Bernstein, Susan Meiselas was the artist I wished to research and examine.

When the rest of the class and Professor Bernstein arrived, we were advised to choose either Cornell Capa or Susan Meiselas and focus on his or her work.  I already had my answer before Professor Bernstein finished giving us instructions.  As I walked down the steps leading to Meiselas’ exhibit, I noticed the unique way the pictures were displayed.  Some were hung normally on a wall as if in a home or studio, while others were hanging from string in the center of the room.  I thought this was an interesting way to display these works of art.  I also wondered if Meiselas had any input on how the pictures were set up.  Meiselas was best known for her coverage of political conflicts in Central America during the 1970s and 80s.  Because of this short biography on the wall, I was expecting to see many pictures of America during these times.  I was shocked to see that many of her most interesting pictures were of war in Nicaragua.  Some of them were so graphic I was forced to look away.  Meiselas truly knows how to shock her audience. [Read more →]

December 2, 2008   Comments Off on International Center of Photography: Susan Meiselas

“Clay” Wows Students of the Macaulay Honors College

Already excited I was seeing a performance with a description I actually loved, I couldn’t wait to get to The Duke.  Recently we’ve seen plays, musicals, lectures and even operas, all things that don’t exactly keep my eyes open, but a one man hip-hop performance? Now that sounded like something I would want to see!  Waiting outside of the studio, I saw signs that said “Please be aware: a fog machine will be used in this performance.”  I thought to myself, “Wow! This must be a heck of a performance!”  It turns out I was right.  When my fellow classmates and I were seated, music was playing and I was shocked to realize that I recognized it.  As I sat there moving my head to the beat, I couldn’t wait for the show to start.  This only added to my already high expectations of “Clay,” and when I walked out of that theater after the performance I wasn’t disappointed in the least. [Read more →]

December 2, 2008   2 Comments

Nothing but Praises for “South Pacific”

Tickets for this remake of James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific have been backordered for months in anticipation of a great Broadway musical.  I think it’s safe to say every member of the audience got the “bang for their buck.”  From the opening scene, Kelli O’Hara and Paulo Szot of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific” steal the show.  With a combination of superb acting and breathtaking musical numbers, the characters of Nellie Forbush and Emile de Becque seem to jump off the stage and into the eyes, ears, and hearts of the audience.  It was as if O’Hara had been playing the role of this Little Rock ensign all her life.  Times of peril and love both plague and strengthen this small town girl as she battles an interior conflict of racism and discrimination.  Szot nails the role of the charming, French plantation owner with a controversial history.  This performance landed him the Tony Award for “Best Performance for a Leading Actor in a Musical.”  He brings a sense of sophistication along with an accomplished singing voice from his opera background to the already stellar group of actors and actresses.  The two characters fall head-over-heels in love with one another and the audience is thrown into a timeless romance fused with the always controversial topics of war and discrimination. [Read more →]

October 15, 2008   Comments Off on Nothing but Praises for “South Pacific”

Off Broadway Production Takes Breath Away

Not too often can I honestly say something has moved me in such a way that I will live my life differently.  This was how I felt as I walked out of the Barrow Street Theater after viewing Yvonne Latty’s “In Conflict.”  Going in, I was expecting just an average play out on by Temple University student actors.  I was pleasantly surprised to have been proven wrong.  I didn’t have any “conflicts” with this hard-hitting off-Broadway production.

From the minute the play began, it was evident that these students weren’t average actors.  Each one had a unique originality and talent for the character being depicted.  In other words, when Yvonne Latty found these students, she assembled the perfect group.  Emotion and passion rushed through the stage with each delivery of the accounts of the Iraq War.  During the talkback after the performance, I was shocked to learn that the actors’ only means of preparing for their roles were listening to vocal recordings of the actual veterans.  I found it amazing that they could portray these men and women so realistically without actually meeting them.  The actors even had a few surprises offering the audience a tasty treat to nibble on during the performance.  Although, all of the actors showed obvious talent, one actor had a profound effect on me in particular.  Damon Williams’ portrayals of Jamel and Herold were simply amazing and left me asking the question, “Where else will I see this rising star in the future?”  As evident as it was, casting wasn’t the only success off Broadway production. [Read more →]

October 15, 2008   Comments Off on Off Broadway Production Takes Breath Away

Irena’s Vow Pleasantly Surprises Viewers

“Irena’s Vow” is an original play with a controversial theme and a grim tone.  The main character and protagonist of the play Irena, played by Tovah Feldshuh, does a spectacular job of both narrating and acting out her plight during the Holocaust.  Irena, already witnessing so much death as a young woman, makes a promise to herself to protect the lives of thirteen Jewish refugees.  She has the responsibility of preserving these lives as well as her own in the midst of the bloodiest slaughtering in world history.  Irena is mostly seen avoiding Strumbannfuher Rokita, played by John Stanisci, throughout the play, being that he could easily be mistaken for Adolf Hitler’s clone.  Although this personality was obvious because of his stereotypical Nazi upbringing, Stanisci could have done a better job bringing the character to life truly becoming the crazed lunatic Rokita was in real life.  Irena develops an odd relationship with the other main character of the play, Major Rugemer, played by Thomas Ryan.  Proud of his rank in the German military, Rugemer wouldn’t be caught dead helping the “Jew vermin” escape to freedom.  Ryan portrays the lonely, grief-stricken general to perfection depicting both the crazed Nazi side as well as a sensitive one.  The love-hate relationship between Irena and Major Rugemer proves to become very interesting as the course of the play develops raising many eyebrows. [Read more →]

October 15, 2008   Comments Off on Irena’s Vow Pleasantly Surprises Viewers