Written by Bwog Staff
April 21, 20133:00 pm 2 Comments
The First Year MFA exhibition of the Columbia School of the Arts at the Wallach Gallery (located, naturally, in Schermerhorn) ended yesterday. Entitled And after a pause, it continued, the exhibition was first brought to Bwog’s attention by a tipped picture of what looked eerily like something Booth Jonathan would create and then trap a girl inside. We were instantly intrigued, and trooped over to get a taste of the talent Columbia students have.
The entire exhibit, though, was far more incredible than any Girls reference: dozens of mediums were used, from “traditional” photography and painting to a sensory-overload piece featuring dolls, TV monitors, and other visceral material objects that took up an entire room; single-hued works sat next to psychedelic levels of color; kitsch was juxtaposed with technology, and it wasn’t forced or tired. Since a picture says a thousand words, and since this reviewer doesn’t have the vocabulary or expertise to do justice to the art below, we’ll give you 11,000 words’ worth of review in the gallery after the jump — a gallery that unfortunately only captures a few of the works that were on display, but hopefully communicates the mood of the space. The only question we’ll offer to readers is: can you guess which work incorporates dried blood and semen, according to the exhibit program?
Tatiana Berg, Esteban Cabeza De Baca, James Case-Leal, Pamela Council, Zach Eichelberger, Jack Eriksson, David Gbur, Gregory Gentert, Anna Glantz, Ben Hagari, Ali Harrington, Davey Hawkins, Christina Sukhgian Houle, Heidi Howard, Katie Kline, Jeremy Mazzenga, Jason Murphy, Alyssa Piro, Bruno Pogacnik Wukodrakula, Victoria Roth, Matt Taber, Jesse Wakeman, Patrice Washington, Owen Westberg, Shahar Yahalom, Tuguldur Yondonjamts. Curated by Jenny Jaskey.
Note: The final image is a panorama of an exhibit that’s within a small room; the actual piece is not two-dimensional as depicted.
Our gallery of the Gallery after the jump.
Tags: booth jonathon, gettin artsy, people who are talented, reviews, wallach art gallery, yet another girls reference
November 30, 20125:00 pm 3 Comments
The fall production of theater group NOMADS (New and Original Material Authored and Directed by Students), American Ghosts, premiered last night in the Glicker-Milstein blackbox theatre, located on LL2 of the Diana Center; the show runs through Saturday, with performances beginning at 8 pm and running a little over an hour. Bwog’s Meandering Medium Marcus Levine reviews.
“What haunts you?” The creators of this project, Lorenzo Landini (CC ’13) and Alex Katz (CC ’14), prompted prospective writers with precisely this question. An exploration in five parts of what it means to be “haunted” in America, American Ghosts presents original work from five playwrights, whose work was selected from an initial pool of fifteen applicants. Each short (10-30 minute) piece presents a fully encapsulated world, while the musical, design, and directorial elements weave the disparate plots together into a thrilling ghost story which reaches into the past for clichéd references, while remaining squarely contemporary with our ever-ironic era.
Krista White’s Ward Seven starts off the production with a Sartre-esque interplay between three clearly deranged individuals. An explosive young girl, Matilda (Carly Ginsberg, BC ’15), an insecure army officer, Lieutenant Gumble (Eric Wimer CC ’16) and a senile old woman, Gertrude (Anika Benkov, CC ’16) await the arrival of the ever-mysterious Man in Black (Jonathan Gutterman, GS ’13). Ginsberg’s genuine temper-tantrums and focus-stealing expressiveness counter the innocent reserve and calm demeanor of Benkov, while Wimer’s curt but cordial army discipline would have been strengthened by dropping the inconsistent Southern drawl.
Tags: a night of theater, black box theater, ghosts, nomads, reviews, the folks at miller spell their theater with "re" cause they can, theater, theater reviews, theatre not theater, why are there still ghosts if it's almost december
November 09, 20127:15 pm 8 Comments
Lydia and Tom, a Columbia University Performing Arts League special project, will be performed tonight at 8:30 pm and 10:30 pm in the Lerner Black Box theatre. Free tickets are available from the TIC. Last night, we sent Bwog musical theatre maven Kyra Bloom to review the student-written production.
Musical theatre is a uniquely specific art form. The combination of acting, singing, and dancing makes it difficult to truly be good at; performers tend to be either actors or singers, and often, acting falls by the wayside to make room for more high belting, barrel turns, or special effects. In an incredibly crafted piece, however, Solomon Hoffman, CC ’14, and Nick Parker, CC ’14, attempt to undo some of these tired traditions. With a dancing counterpart for both of the lead actors, Lydia and Tom shows every side of the story.
One would be remiss not to note the troubles of the Lerner Blackbox right off the bat. It is not, and never will be, conducive to musicals. With that said, however, the Creative Team (led by Chris Silverberg, CC ’13) uses the space to the best of their ability. The five-piece orchestra is neatly arranged at the back of the stage, appropriately so, because they are as much a part of the story as the performers. The staging was nearly impeccable—no doubt a product of Silverberg’s strong experience and involvement over his years here.
Tags: a night of theater, and a good time was had by all, lydia and tom, reviews, student productions, talent
April 03, 20121:33 pm 4 Comments
Location: 548 W. 113th , next to Symposium Restaurant (544 W. 113). This brownstone was made available as a housing option for the first time last year, and has been spectacularly successful.
Tags: Housing 2012, not plato's symposium the other one, reviews, Symposium, the housing 2012 lottery: your best mistake ever!
March 30, 20125:56 pm 4 Comments
Location: 605-615 W. 115th Street.
Tags: angsty facade photos, halal proximity, Housing 2012, reviews, schapiro, silent cs, the 2012 Housing Lottery: Your Best Mistake Ever!
March 30, 20124:30 pm 5 Comments
Photo courtesy of Luke Henderson
Last night, Bwog’s resident Midtown Maven Hope Silberstein made it all the way to 43rd Street to see a preview production of Caligula, directed by Ittai Orr, CC ’12—read on to find out if the trek was worth it. The showtimes are today, March 30, at 8 pm and March 31 at 3 pm and 8 pm. The theater is located at 300 W. 43rd Street (off of 8th Ave) on the 4th floor in The Little Times Square Theatre.
What would you say to someone who asked you for the moon? In Caligula by Albert Camus, we enter a world where to deny that request has grave repercussions, where the impossible has to become possible.
This play about the Roman emperor begins with the death of Drusilla, Caligula’s sister and lover. This event causes him to realize that “men die, and they are not happy.” This cheery sentiment incites the emperor to impart meaninglessness to every aspect of life, through a series of arbitrary executions and laws that become increasingly ridiculous and cruel.
But don’t see this play simply for its plot. What comes to mind at the mention of Camus are often words like existentialist, absurdist, and perhaps philosophical, and in this vein Caligula will not disappoint. We jump from comic to tragic to absurd and back to comic at a frenetic pace. Not only do we question the characters’ motives and feelings, but the play’s genre as well. The tyrannical (but is he a tyrant?) Roman emperor descends into madness (but is it madness?), and the intimacy of the black box theater adds to the claustrophobia and terror that Camus meant to tap into when he wrote this play after World War II.
Another reason to see this arresting show is the fact that it was translated into English by the play’s director, Ittai Orr, CC ’12, and assistant director, Marianne Barthélemy, BC ’14. The new translation comes out of a desire to replace the “stodgy 1950s British version that was all words and no heart,” says Orr. In fact, this play has in it a scene that hadn’t originally been translated into English, so it’s being performed in English for the first time in their staging. And for those who enjoy Abusrdists like Samuel Beckett, this new translation brings Camus closer to that style. The translators hope it “mirrors the original’s stark, direct speech and raw, unembellished poetry.” It was quite a treat to see a play whose language, while being performed, feels so modern, natural, and at the same time poetic.
Read more about Caligula after the jump.
Tags: caligula, camus, midtown, reviews, theater, theatre
November 03, 20119:15 pm 37 Comments
Bwog wunderkind Marcus Levine caught the premiere of Crown and Scepter’s production of Sweeny Todd.
Though extensive in its size and depth, university theater scenes are fundamentally limited: they primarily appeal to and perform for students. Crown and Scepter Theater Company, founded by Joseph Rozenshtein (CC ’12/SIPA ’13) and Mitchell Feinberg (SEAS ’13), opens these insular groups to the wider community this week with their first production, Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, directed by Rozenshtein with musical direction by Feinberg.
Sweeney Todd tells the story of a barber in Victorian London seeking revenge on a pedophiliac judge who sent the barber to prison in Australia in order to steal his wife. Michael Carter (CC ’14) makes his premiere to the Columbia community as a snarling Sweeney, powering through the challenging musical score with a sadistic candor that draws the audience into the demon barber’s deranged worldview.
Andrew Wright (CC ’14) fills the role of Anthony Hope, the bright-eyed young sailor who rescues Todd from his doom on the high seas. Wright smoothly captures the genuine anticipation of a youthful lover with a brilliantly tackled vocal performance and authentic expressions. The object of his love, Johanna, is played by Kyra Bloom (BC ’15) whose elegant innocence captures the essence of her character, while she provides a near-professional vocal performance. (more…)
Tags: crown and scepter, reviews, sweeney todd, theater reivew
October 19, 201111:04 am 3 Comments
Nothing says, "tangy, sweet, and free" quite like this seasonal cranberry bread. No, really.
Most people like to eat. Most people do not like to spend money (see: free food tips). One such lover of all foods free and monies unspent has made herself known to us, and we harassed her so much that she finally agreed to assess the quality, quantity, and pizazz of free food events around campus. Read on as The Scrounger scales the Lerner ramps like a superhero in plainclothes, and reports back about Live at Lerner’s latest study break.
Study breaks are a free food lover’s best friend. What better way to procure inappropriately large portions than to do so in a sea of stressed-out midterm-ers who can’t be bothered to look up from a problem set? The Live at Lerner study break this past Monday was no exception. With a chill soundtrack setting the tone for the occasion, those brave enough to leave Butler for new horizons (the Lerner Piano Lounge) were rewarded splendidly as attendees basked in the aura of free stuff.
Tags: fall, free food, lerner, lions tigers and bears oh my!, live at lerner, reviews, scroungers anonymous, seasonal breads, study breaks
August 04, 20119:00 am 21 Comments
Community Food and Juice has dominated Sunday morning indulgences for too long. It’s time to diversify your dining portfolio, and Bwog is here to help! In our Brunch Chronicles, we will take our time and gladly overeat at the neighborhood’s newest dining destinations. To begin, Bwog’s No. 1 bruncher Brian Wagner visits Cascabel Taqueria. Want to join Brian on his next outing? You could be Rob Brydon to his Steeve Coogan!
Cascabel's Beachy Façade
Chipotle and Taqueria y Fonda have divided many, yet most would agree that neither are ideal brunching spots. Regardless of how you feel about the fare, Taqueria is small, crowded, and dark, and Chipotle is soulless, if at least well-lit. But now there’s Cascabel Taqueria, replacing Thai venue Lime Leaf on 108th and Broadway.
Aside from boasting one of Bwog’s new favorite Morningside logos, the layout of the restaurant is one of the neighborhood’s best for kicking back and enjoying a nice sunny day. You have the option of outdoor patio seating, or counter seats that let you feel the breeze thanks to a removed wall and a bright, spacious interior. There’s an upbeat atmosphere, aided by a full bar with a couple of TVs and a nice drink selection, making it a pleasant place to sit down and hang out with friends, family, a date, or even by yourself—Bwog won’t judge.
Steak tacos and their exciting crispy onion toppings
If you believe the menu, Cascabel is a casual taqueria offering “fresh, handcrafted fare, inspired by the markets of Mexico.” This gives off an inital Chipotle-esque vibe, though the offerings are far more extensive and less in-your-face. As it should, Cascabel boasts an impressive variety of tacos, each with unique toppings. Chicken tacos come topped with green onion and avocado, while the steak tacos arrive at your table bearing “crispy onions,” which are like miniature onion rings and add a fun crunch to your meal. Tacos can also feature fish, pork, and veal tongue, and come 2 for $8.50, which isn’t exactly a steal, but also isn’t bad for sit-down fare at a New York eatery. They do the job just as well as Taqueria’s giant burrito, while giving you the option of diversity. Additionally, you can add a third taco during lunch hours bringing the cost to $11.75, but stomaching three would be a feat.
A taqueria where you have room to stand and breathe? No way!
The main attraction on the menu is obviously the tacos, but Cascabel also offers a fine variety of authentic Mexican dishes. Depending on the time of day, you can order traditional Mexican breakfast, lunch, or dinner platters. Your faithful reviewers gobbled down a delightful plate of Chilaquiles during their morning meal. All entrées are delivered on a metal tray, which adds to the modern, hip, and slightly sterile feel of the place. This was reflected in their soundtrack, which featured the inoffensive likes of Feist, Passion Pit, The xx, and Phoenix.
Since you’ll likely pay around $10 for your main course, Bwog recommends skipping the pricey appetizers (though they are tasty—their zingy guacamole, the true measure of the worth of any Mexican restaurant, did not disappoint), and unless you’re dying for that horchata, the drinks are nothing to die for. However, there’s little excuse for passing up the churros, which come in a bag of three little D-battery-sized pastries for a measly $1 and are a great way to end a meal.
The verdict: If you’re looking for a place to sit down and enjoy a tasty Mexican meal in a relaxing atmosphere, look no further. The food is fresh and inspired, and the prices are mostly reasonable. On a nice day, it’s not hard to imagine that it’s the California sun’s rays you’re soaking up, but don’t expect the magic to last long once the year starts heading for cold weather. If you’re in a hurry and simply aspire to scarf down a burrito without expending much time or money, there’s really no reason to venture past Chipotle, and we honestly don’t think that Cascabel is going to convince a lot of Columbians to do so. But the place is highly brunchable, and so by our criteria, it’s certainly worth a try.
PS: In between researching and write-up, Serious Eats offered their opinion. They took issues with the tacos but passed an overall similar judgment.
Tags: Brunch Chronicles, brunchable, Cascabel Taqueria, mexican food, new restaurants, reviews
May 06, 201110:27 pm 26 Comments
Chief Ref Room Correspondent Sameea Butt forayed a floor below her usual spot to recap yesterday evening’s this morning’s Orgo Night. If you want to see video, you can check out one from a commenter or CUMB’s YouTube channel.
There was a little more excitement than expected in 209 last night, as the crowds sweated it out for the “53rd consecutive, 69th semi-annual drive to lower the curve in Organic Chemistry.” As usual, there were people piled atop desks and chairs, kids squeezed between anxious band groupies, dudes passing out CULPA fliers (do it, comrades!) and diligent students trying, also as per usual, to study through the ruckus. In what we naively hope was a rare display of school spirit, the eager audience burst into applause before the band even got there and started singing the Fight Song… yeah they were probably just jazzed about school ending.
A guy in a fedora led a slow clap to herald the band’s actual entrance. They proudly marched in playing the “Roar, Lion Roar,” with a few sporting sunglasses and one member carrying what this Bwogger heard described as “ohmygod an inflated penis!”
The speakers, Tyler Benedict, CC ’13, and Travis Alvarez, CC ’12, started the night off with a topic still fresh in students’ minds: the “bureaucratic error” that forced Bacchanal to move to the lawns.” Also, please step back from the fence. The show cannot continue unless you step back.” Someone from the crowd responded with a shout out to the co-president of Bachannal: “We love you Jody.” Shit happens, we forgive you too.
The crowd seemed largely to agree with the band’s assessment of Bacchanal this year: “saying ‘Snoop Dogg is coming to campus!’ is a lot more fun than him actually being here.” Although people were visibly annoyed by the comment, “Guess they [the barely-intelligible Das Racist] shouldn’t have booked the sound guys from the Varsity Show,” two band members shouted “Swag, swag!” The band then played “Push It,” “in honor of sticking your dizzle in a hot piece of pizzle and doing it all night lizzle”.
Tags: cumb, marching band, orgo night, people who bounce a lot, reviews
April 28, 20113:00 pm 18 Comments
A too-little, too-late (too-gross) allusion to shock porn? We would never! And we resent the accusation. No, this is just our new sometimes-weekly feature about two very hungry girls (Diana Clarke and Carly Silver) trying to share big mouthfuls of one snack. Barring more euphemisms, we thought it necessary to introduce this feature in light of the dozens of Morningside Heights a-la-carte eateries that all seem to sell similar products. So sit back, dim your computer screen in case your roommate walks in, and enjoy 2Girls1Snack.
When two girls (us) went looking for one snack (a pastry) on a recent afternoon, nearly all the croissants in a fifteen-block stretch were sold out. Oh how we wish that Morningside Heights was placed in the middle of the French countryside, and that Juliette Binoche would come whizzing by on a bicycle in just a moment. But it isn’t, and she won’t. Still, committed to a report-worthy snack experience, we rounded up croissants from three seriously different bakeries around Columbia, then settled into a beam of sunlight to get
down to snacking.
1Snack: clockwise from rear- Westside, Artopolis, Silver Moon
First up was the Westside croissant (marked $1.59, but we 2 girls were only charged $1.33). As soon as we pulled it out of that familiar crinkly bag, the smell of butter was overwhelming, and our fingers went limp with grease just as soon as we touched it. That said, it was perfectly pleasant to eat, if squishy and a little wrinkled. There was little if any flaking, and it reminded us more of regular old bread than anything that would get an artsy close-up shot in a French rom-com. The croissant left a heavy bread-and-butter taste on the tongue, and some palate-cleansing cranberry-grape juice was necessary soon after. This was an adequate, filling snack, but as a croissant, it wasn’t too impressive.
Two Girls’ Rating: One Star
Tags: 2girls1snack, a mouthful..., at least we didn't call it "kids in a snack-box", croissants, morningside heights is the culinary center of america, new feature, not free food, pastries, reviews
April 22, 201110:21 am 1 Comments
This picture raises a lot of questions.
Why did Emma Watson leave Brown? Because every time she spoke in class, her classmates yelled “Three points for Gryffindor!” (NYDN)
Who’s that new serial killer on Long Island? Profilers say he’s likely white, charming, and “has access to burlap sacks.” But sorry ladies—he’s not single. (NYT, Daily Intel)
Which coffee cart on 43rd Street is best? Perhaps inspired by our own Cart Chronicles, An anonymous individual has posted a physical critical review (on a post) of both carts on the street. (City Room)
Is it legal to take cases to trial if you haven’t passed the Bar? Apparently so…since some Columbia Law students have been prosecuting domestic abuse cases for the Queens DA. (NYDN)
What do the kids like these days? Attorneys general across the country are trying to shut down a fruit-flavored malt liquor endorsed by Snoop Dogg because it’s “enticing young people with hip hop themes and lollipop flavors.” (NYT, CNN)
Did you expect this from the title?
Image from Wikimedia Commons
Tags: 3 points to gryffindor, criminal profiling, emma watson's tour d'ivy, hip hop themes and lollipop flavors, law school, malt liquor, reviews, s-n double-o p d-o double-g, sometimes bwog just feels like monty python
April 15, 20115:00 pm 3 Comments
Yes, all those are supposed to be capitalized. Caps-lock expert and intrepid Bwog tipster Alexandra Svokos reviews Thursday’s opening NOMADS WORDPLAY 2011 production, part of the two-week long CARAVAN (Columbia Artists Reaching Audiences ViA NOMADS) festival .
The CARAVAN experience begins with free food in a cozy atmosphere. The food and performance are free—and with such great shows you feel as if they are being too generous. NOMADS began its first annual campus-wide spring festival of student-produced new works last night with CARAVAN in the Diana Black Box.
The evening opened with “Hail Mary,” a dance choreographed by Dominique Nieves and performed by Hana Goldstone, Alicia Outing, and herself. The performance is about struggles with faith, especially in the face of Catholic preaching and habit for rituals. “Hail Mary” clearly conveys this message with the three women putting their hands together in prayer and laying with arms outstretched like Jesus on the cross. The women dance beautifully, whipping around the stage and viciously moving their feet in a futile attempt to run. It was an excellently executed piece. (more…)
Tags: alexandra svokos, nomads, reviews, WORDPLAY
March 07, 20112:00 pm 17 Comments
Barnard's was a different kind of Lady Macbeth than this one
Bwog’s Thesp Crit Joshua Sorenshine caught the last show of the thesis festival last night:
This weekend, the Barnard theater department opened its doors for the annual thesis festival, giving audiences a performance that left this reviewer heartily satisfied. Both Alex Brinkman-Young’s, BC ’11 rendition of Tom Stoppard’s Cahoot’s Macbeth and Katie Lupica’s, CC ’11 sampling of Erik Ehn’s Saint Plays entertained and challenged the audience throughout the course of the evening.
The night began with Cahoot’s Macbeth. In a quaint, and slightly skewed home owned by our hostess, played by Tara Pacheco, CC ’13 we found a rag-tag group of actors furiously trying to put on a performance of Shakespeare’s Macbeth while constantly fighting off, around, and even over the interference of a particularly nasty police inspector, played by the fabulously funny Christina McCarver BC ’13. The abrupt transitions from the world of Macbeth to the hostess’ home and back were made possible by the talent of Lorenzo Landini, CC ’13 as Pavel Landovsky (playing Macbeth) and Ben Russell, CC ’11 as Cahoot (playing Banquo, Duncan, and Macduff). The pair worked well together, never faltering as characters within Macbeth or their struggle against the inspector. The play grew more absurd by the minute as all the characters “caught” the nonsense language “Dogg,” which is passed like a disease from person to person. Easy, the unfortunate lumber-delivery girl, played by the brilliant Bethanie Mangigian, BC ’11, was the source of the Dogg, and could not do her job until everyone caught her inconvenient linguistic disease. In the play’s final moments the entire cast speaks in Dogg and Brinkman-Young’s directing shines. Creating the final moments of a play without comprehensible language is no small feat, but Brinkman-Young accomplished it with grace, giving her actors strong motivations and utilizing the entire stage to leave us laughing and questioning the lengths to which we can go to make ourselves heard.
Tags: barnard, does snoop speak dogg?, reviews, theater
February 18, 20114:35 pm 5 Comments
We did it with Joe and now we’re doing it with the new Indian food truck. We invite you to enjoy the annals of Bwog’s weeklong experience of Desi…
Noob: “I ordered a chicken kati roll and had them put the spicy sauce on it, and I thought it was pretty damn good. The chicken is tender, the wrap is just crunchy and crispy enough, and the flavor is powerful and really interesting. As of one week ago, I had never had Indian food, so my judgement is probably poor.”
Expert: “I had the chicken kati roll, and on the whole, it’s pretty scrumptious. The roti used in the kati roll has a nice crunch on the outside that you won’t find at Roti Roll. People who have larger appetites than I do tell me that the kati rolls are too expensive given the amount of food they give you, but for me, they’re perfect. They wrap the roll annoyingly tightly in paper, which makes it harder to keep your hand clean while eating because you have to keep pushing down/tearing away the paper as you go. I suppose a simple solution to that problem is to just tear off all the paper to begin with, but whatevaaa. Also, be careful when they ask if you if you’d like your food spicy. When they say spicy, they really mean it.”
Complaint! “I had the aloo masala today. Those things are way too small! It’s $4 for one aloo masala at Desi, but you can get two larger aloo masala frankies for only $4.50 at Roti Roll. I didn’t notice any big difference in taste between the two. If anything Roti Roll is better. Desi truck is all hype and isn’t nearly as close to CrackDel.” (more…)
Tags: desi, food porn, food trucks, is the fact that it's on broadway and 113 decisive, not free food, reviews, roti roll
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