#LateNite
A Pretty Good Latenite


This year Bwog decided to make it tradition that the outgoing EIC reviews Latenite. Why? Unclear, but we’re doing it. Alexandra Svokos thusly tunes in.

Unlike M. Jones, I’d never been to a Latenite performance before this semester—which I now realize was a major mistake of my past 3.5 years here. I’ve been impressed by nearly every performance I’ve been able to see in my time here, and Latenite kept up that tradition. With a series of short, student-written/directed/acted plays, there are few other platforms on campus that showcase this many talented individuals.

Each of the works had their own special twist, tone, and draw. Watching the pieces, and thinking about the different crews of people behind them, I couldn’t help but take a moment to mourn that this year’s Varsity Show has an essentially identical C-team to last year’s show. There is so much talent on this campus; it’s unfortunate that in two years most students will only see the work of those dozen individuals.

But let’s stop thinking about what could have been and move onto what was. I sat through both performances on Saturday night: first sober, second decidedly less so (for journalism! —hi potential employers). There were 7 pieces of varying levels of humor, ranging from cleverness to absurdism to good ol’ physical comedy.

Tell us about ‘em

Where Art Thou?
Swooning: "Wow Bwog, thanks for these events!"

Swooning: “Wow Bwog, thanks for these events!”

Just thinking about all of the cultural activities around campus and in the city makes Bwog swoon, so we’d like to share what we’ve found with you. Arts Editor Kyra Bloom delivers the scoop on your talented peers and discounted tickets. Send your event to events@bwog.com.

On Campus:

  • CUPAL’s Special Project this semester is a combination of six diverse opera scenes directed and performed by Columbia students.  Opera Untapped is playing in the Lerner Black Box, Thursday at 7 and Friday at 7 and 9.  Tickets are $5 and are available at the TIC. 
  • Latenite is back in action, but in a different time and place due to a slight scuffle involving the Lerner building staff and illicit alcohol last semester.  Tickets are free as always, available at the TIC.  Performances are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, all at 9 pm.
  • The Barnard-Columbia Ancient Drama Group (who knew?) is performing Seneca’s Thyestes. It will be performed in Latin with English subtitles in the Minor Latham Playhouse on Thursday and Friday at 8 and Saturday at 2 and 8.  Tickets also $5, available at the TIC and online.
  • Postcrypt presents Abject Beauty in the basement of St. Paul’s Chapel.  Curators say the exhibit is one of “happiness, hatred, and the space we inhabit between the two.” The opening reception is on Friday at 7 pm, and we hope there will be free food.
  • There will be a piano recital featuring pieces by Schumann, Ravel, Berg, and Beethoven performed by Prof. Michael Skelly on Saturday at 7:30. The event hopes to fundraise for a music scholarship begun in memory of Ana Marquez-Greene—one of the Newtown victims, whose father is a musician and professor. Music inspired by children begins and closes out the program.  The recital will be in the Milbank Chapel at Teacher’s College on 120th, and there is a $5 suggested donation for students.
  • Beyond the Bars: Moving Forward is this weekend, the third annual Conference on Criminal Justice at the Columbia School of Social Work.  The conference begins with speakers Angela Davis, Marc Lamont Hill, and Soffiyah Elijah with special guest performers throughout the evening.  Registration necessary, and more information about conferences and events is available here.

Around Town after the jump.

A Great, Late Nite

Alex Jones was there, and now shares his late night Latenite experience.

Latenite rarely fails to deliver a raunchy, relevant, expletive-filled wham-bam of a show, and this fall’s anthology was perhaps the best in four years. I’ve always been a fan of Latenite, and so I decided this time to get the full Latenite experience: drunk to the Friday show, and (kinda. I mean, “sobriety” is such a social construct) sober to the Saturday “prank” show. Although I am guilty of juicing with theatric performance enhancers, I can objectively say that anyone who made the mistake of giving up their tickets (I got in off the wait list two days in a row) is a loser who shouldn’t be trusted to make important life decisions.

The brilliance in Latenite results from its intimacy. It’s not only a convenient coincidence that campus’s prevailing dialog for the past few weeks has interrogated issues surrounding dating, love, and what it means to intimate with a fellow Columbian. In the best skit in four years of Latenite, “You’re My Only Hope” by Elizabeth Logan and directed by Lena Rogow, CC ’14, and Emily Snedeker, CC ’16, Chris Evans, CC ’15, commands the stage as the embodiment of male anxiety in an encounter with a potential fuck. The scene was one DFW reference and one coconut water bottle away from full on satire of the email read ’round the ‘Heights. Evans’s impassioned performance elated the audience with an absurdist fervor, but challenged us to confront all-too-familiar thoughts desperately attempting to manage a head full of boiling emotions. In that situation, perhaps a wookie call is an appropriate response to a first kiss.

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Last Night with LateNite, Fall Anthology 2011

Bwog’s comedy correspondent, and Saturday daily editor Bijan Samareh, got his first taste of Late Nite, late last night. He tells it from a freshperson’s perspective. You can see LateNite for yourself tonight and tomorrow at 11pm.

When I hear the term “student-written plays,” I dread concept-heavy experimental pieces in which characters recite Shel Silverstein poems while stabbing a manifestation of the internet to death against the backdrop of Marcel Duchamp paintings. After entering the Lerner Black Box last night, however, my preconceived notions were shattered. A hip horde of theatergoers awaited the LateNite Fall Anthology , all chatting happily around an empty stage while “The Ghost of LateNite” was being projected against the back wall. The projection allowed students to text anything they wanted to a designated number and have it displayed to the whole audience. The messages included anything from “___ is so sexy!” to the egregiously lewd. Nonetheless, I was reassured that the show was not going to be taking itself too seriously.

The first performance was “Porn! The Musical!”, written by Alex Katz. The short sketch was a revue of famous musical theater songs with an erotic twist. A group of actors dressed as porn stars switched off verses from “There’s No Business Like Porn Business,” “Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand Six Hundred Condoms,” and that’s about as far as I can go. The parodies were nothing short of hilarious and started the evening on a note of laughter.

Next up on the bill was “Reconnecting,” written by Jacob Marx Rice. James, a 30 year old financial consultant, meets up with Julie, a girl he liked in middle school. The catch is that Julie brings a lawyer to the reunion who reveals a contract James signed when he was 14 stating that if he and Julie were still single at 30, they would get married. James is in disbelief as Julie pushes him for marriage and the lawyer validates his obligation. While the premise was promising, the conflict was only sustained for so long, as the characters began to talk about their past, plot was disregarded for exposition and a few one-liners worth a chuckle.

Read on for vaginas, Shakespeare and Pokemon …

Where Art Thou?

Night of the Living Daed

Who doesn’t love free fun? Bwog’s Wednesday feature, Where Art Thou?, surely does. Do you supply the Columbia community with free fun? Expensive fun? Moderately priced fun? Let us know at events@bwog.com.

Today
  • La Ronde, 8pm at Riverside Theatre. Through Saturday. New work featuring MFA acting students.  A Turn of the Century Sex Romp: whores, soldiers, parlor maids, death! Witness the men and women of Arthur Schnitzler’s Vienna spin through the pleasures of life and relationships while embracing their inevitable mortality. Visit the TIC for more info.
  • #CONTROLTOPPROBLEMS, 9pm – 10pm in Held Auditorium, 304 Barnard Hall. Control Top is Columbia’s only all-female, long-form improv group. Stop by Control Top’s first show of the semester and see special guest Fruit Paunch. Free.
  • Daedalus Quartet: The Night of the Living Daed, 10pm – midnight in 301 Philosophy. Classical musical and free food. Who needs anything else?
Thursday
  • L.H.MAYHEM,  8pm- 10pm in the Diana Cafe. Comedy show brought to you by Latino Heritage month. $3.
  • Latenite Fall Anthology, 11pm in Lerner Black Box. Additional shows at 11pm on Friday and 8pm and 11pm on Saturday. Don’t miss this hilariously offensive anthology of short plays. It’s free!
Friday
  • The Colored Museum, 8pm in the VagBox (Diana Black Box). Additional shows Saturday at 3pm and 8pm. Presented by NX Generation Entertainment & 7th Stage Productions in association with The Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University & Africa-Diaspora Literary Society. $10 with CUID.
Saturday
  • Alfred’s Lerner Ball, 9pm in Lerner 555. Columbia’s only musical improv group invites you to a night of fancy, imagination, mayhem, and song. It’s free!
Sunday
  • CU Wind Ensemble presents “LIGHT”, 2pm – 3pm in Roone. Music director Andrew Pease and the Columbia University Wind Ensemble will explore the role of light through riveting wind band music. Free with CUID, $5 without.
Columbia’s Life Size Maps and EMEFE were selected to perform in the week-long CMJ Musical Festival. Life Size Maps will play three shows: one tonight at 11pm the Legion, tomorrow at the Lit Lounge, and Friday at the Fifth Estate. EMEFE will play 7:30 pm – 8:15 pm at Le Poisson Rouge.
LateNite Spring 2011 Review

Late Nite was last night, and it’s also this night! Peter Sterne thinks you should go, and describes his experience below…

The first play, directed by Steele Sternberg, begins with action movie music swelling as the suave Agent 7, played by the even suaver James Rodrigues attempts to…well, it isn’t really clear, but suffice to say he is captured by ninja henchmen sent by an unnamed Villain, played by a German accented Dennis V. Perepelitsa. Perepelitsa’s performance effortessly reveals the insecurity that underlies his character’s arrogance, leading to great laughs from the crowd. Taylor Owens’ performance as dissatisfied (and eponymous) henchman Ted, on the other hand, channels a righteous outrage that is a bit too raw to be laugh-out-loud hilarious.

“We do have a lot of awkward moments, don’t we?” asks Jordan, the well-meaning hostage-taker played by Sam Johnson in Charlie Gillette’s “Not Really a Pizza Party.” Written by Zack Sheppard, the play depicts the often awkward relationship between Jordan and his hostage Will, a victim of circumstance by Lorenzo Landini. Johnson fully inhabits his character, who appears less dangerous or cruel than simply misguided. He has great chemistry with Landini, who gradually warms to Johnson’s friendly overtures, though this may simply be due to Stockholm Syndrome. The skit drags on a bit, but is abruptly ended with the surprise appearance of Matt Yeaton’s character.

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Where Art Thou?

Like this Wedding Singer, but better.

Bwog’s Wednesday feature, Where Art Thou?, is here to keep you posted on what’s going on in the A&E department in Morningside Heights and beyond (basically all the cool events your friends are in/on/at). If you would like your production entitled EarlyMorn Theatre Post-Winter Anthology posted on Bwog, now you can! E-mail us at events@bwog.com.

Thursday

Friday

  • The Wedding Singer, starting Friday at 8 pm in Roone and running thorough Saturday. A CMTS production. $ 5 with CUID, $10 without.

Saturday

Operation: Ease on Down the Road

Liz, left, and Colette performing their two-women show.

Last night, Bwog’s theatre aficionado Megan McGregor clicked her heels together three times and soon found herself in the Lerner Black Box theatre watching Operation: Ease on Down the Road.

Friday night at 8 and 11 pm, Lerner Black Box experienced something unlike it has ever experienced—racist jokes, cultural references, and Barnard women galore. Wait, that sounds like LateNite. Colette McIntyre and Liz Watson (LateNite veterans themselves) truly did present an extremely unique hour of comedy, dance, and music quite unlike anything Lerner Black Box (or should I say Lerner African-American Box?) or Columbia University have ever seen—Operation: Ease on Down the Road.

Colette and Liz, both BC ’12, advertised their two women show (quite well, I must add, as the turnout was impressive) as a two (white) women show retelling The Wiz in sixty minutes. The Wiz, a “super soul musical,” is itself a 1970s retelling of The Wizard of Oz in the context of urban African-American culture. Most audience members entered Lerner Friday evening not knowing what exactly to expect, except most likely an hour of masturbatory jokes and self-indulgence. However, Operation: Ease on Down the Road was much more than that. Sure, here and there it did feel more like the Colette and Liz Show than The Wiz, but that’s because in reality, it was their show, and it was hilarious.

The play fluctuated between the actual story of The Wiz and the story of Liz and Colette’s journey producing their play. Operation: Ease on Down the Road wisely used these dual plots to never let the audience grow old of either story line—the first of which the audience already knew (The Wizard of Oz), and the second ridden with occasionally tiring jokes about and references to African-American culture and quarrels between the two women. Liz and Colette surprised the audience by occasionally having their pianist, Solomon Hoffman, CC ’14, who indeed is as cute as they suggested, and their producer, Will Hughes, CC ’13, participate in their show as characters. These moments were some of the funniest.

Overall, I was impressed with the hysterical show the two women came up with, despite its tiring aspects—the African-American jokes, the sex jokes, and the overemphasis on their friendship. Operation: Ease on Down the Road also featured awesome lighting by Will Brown, SEAS ’12. Liz and Colette ended their show on a feel-good note, letting the audience participate in their song and dance.

LateNite Theatre: Fall Anthology

LateNite Theatre presented the first showing of its fall anthology last night. Bwog’s own Peter Sterne reports.

An NYC Late Night Subway Map

Last night, LateNite presented a series of six short plays written, directed by, and starring members of the Columbia community, as they have for the past 15 years. All of them were quite funny, though they varied in tone from laugh-out-loud hilarious to almost dark comedy. Some were just short sketches based on a central idea, while others were full-fledged short plays.

The opening play, “The Haunting of Our Lives,” written by Augusto Corvolan and directed by Steele Sternberg, examined what happens when a demon tries to haunt an apathetic loser. Despite the simple premise, it was very entertaining to watch Dan Aprahamian remain completely oblivious to everything and everyone around him, from Alex Katz’s suave but increasingly frustrated demon to Hannah Ceja as his terribly under-appreciated girlfriend. The ending is fairly obvious, but the journey there is a treat.

Another popular play was “Lost Manuscripts.” Written by Brian LaPerche and directed by Zack Sheppard, this show has no plot. Instead, the actors all play drunken versions of Shakespeare brainstorming ideas for his next play. The actors are a mix of KCST and improv types, and it shows as they deliver quick sketches of classic plays that are short, vulgar, and pitch-perfect in their middlebrow Shakespearean satire. Who else could summarize Taming of the Shrew as “Bitch get trained!” or call the end of Othello a “pillow fight”? By the time the actors run out of Shakespearean parodies and tackle everything from Waiting for Godot (“He never fucking comes!”) to Inception (BWAAAAANG!), the audience is in stitches.

In a similar vein, Alyssa Lamontagne’s “Don’t Teach Archery (Lest You Become the Target)” mocks Ocean’s Eleven-type caper movies and soap opera drama. It also makes great use of music. The centerpiece of the play is a scenario, set to the tune of “Mission Impossible,” where various stereotypical assassins (a ninja, a sexy Russian, a bombs expert, etc.) work together to assassinate the English king and prince, with the Mission Impossible theme blaring in the background. Perhaps the best scene occurs when the prince’s archery teacher (Kendale Winbush) and the queen (Lida Benson) find themselves attracted to one another. While romantic music swells in the background, Winbush and Benson express the melodrama of the scene to a truly absurd degree. Throw in a great finale, where the assassins try to execute Winbush with a bow but struggle to do so until he teaches them how to hold it properly, and you’ve got one hilarious show.

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