Friday, October 26, 2018
By Lorraine Glowczak
I was only three years and 10 months old when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon on July 20, 1969. Ironically, there is very little I know about these two astronauts and their adventure before, during and after their space exploration. As a result, I couldn’t wait to see the film, “First Man”, directed by Damien Chazelle and produced by Steven Speilberg, when it came out in theaters on October 12. This weekend, I took the time to watch it and I have mixed reviews of this biographical movie.
Briefly, “First Man” is the story about Armstrong (Ryan Goseling) and his life from 1961 to 1969. The film reviews the sacrifices and costs on the Nation as well as on Armstrong, his wife Janet (Claire Foy) and his two sons. The movie also lets the audience take a peak in on Armstrong’s mourning of his two-year old daughter, Karen, who died of brain cancer. He also experiences the death of two fellow astronauts who were also great friends.
Although the viewer is aware of his sadness, Armstrong never breaks down. He remains stoic and often, emotionally distant. Goseling does a fantastic job portraying this famous man in history (but I personally believe, as an actor Goseling can do no wrong, so you might take my opinion with a grain of salt.)
What I liked best about the film is that it includes the family’s perspective of having a husband and father who is going to the moon – and may never return. In one poignant scene, Armstrong sits down with his two sons and discusses the possibility that they may not see him again. The conversation would not have happened, however, if his wife didn’t demand it. It’s for this reason that I enjoyed Foy’s portrayal of Armstrong’s wife.
Although I learned a bit about history and was moved by the life of Armstrong and his family, I found this film a bit too somber for my liking. One reviewer on Rotten Tomatoes stated my perception the best: ‘“First Man" never quite connects at a gut level. For a story that shoots for the moon, it has trouble leaving the ground.”
Friday, October 19, 2018
By Colby Willis
In my second review of Daniel Sloss’ comedy, I highlight his second show “Jigsaw”, a sequel to his recently aired Netflix special “Dark”, which I couldn't praise enough.
“Jigsaw” follows suit with another intensely funny, deeply personal hour long set that shows Sloss' sharp comedic wit and ability to add a message to which anyone can relate. While “Dark” was about death, “Jigsaw” focuses on life, and specifically the complexity of building one's life.
Sloss, in the same vain as one of his peers, Bo Burnham, has grown up in an era of social media posturing that has left him critical of how society functions as a whole. He is able to weave in light jabbing jokes while also repeatedly touching back on the titular “Jigsaw” metaphor that he lives by.
His is a tone of self-love and accepting when there isn't love between people. As someone just four years his junior, I couldn't help but relate to this special from start to finish.
“Jigsaw” is a repeat success from Sloss, and I couldn't recommend his work enough. Though, if you do have the time, watching his first special “Dark” lays important groundwork for “Jigsaw”, the two don't truly need to be watched in order. There was however, an amazing comedic and emotional arc that matches a good film that I was able to glean from watching these two sets of comedy in sequential order. Another edgy, dark, hilarious outing from Sloss. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.
Saturday, October 13, 2018
By Colby Willis
Standup comedy is a means in which people can tackle some of the world’s most depressing topics through the shared coping mechanism of laughter.
Daniel Sloss, a young Scottish comedian who is on the rise in America, touches upon such themes in
However, I was quick to realize that he may have quite the different idea of what dark comedy is to the general public. A start focused on culture shock and poking fun at religion got the crowd prepared for edgy comedy, while still being handled quite well by Sloss, towing the line between offensive and hilarious.
However, the second half of the show was a deep, personal, meaningful string of stories by Sloss about the nature of death and how it has affected him and those around him. I was blown away by this special.
Sloss was able to keep me laughing for the entire show while picking apart themes that should have been emotionally crushing. All of this was summed together with a hopeful message at the end that perfectly wrapped the special up. This is not an easy, light special, but is hilarious, profound, and as the title suggests, dark.
Saturday, October 6, 2018
By Elizabeth Richards
If you’re a fan of mystery and intrigue, you won’t want to miss Schoolhouse Arts Center’s rendition of Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None.”
On the second night of the run, a respectable sized crowd filled the theater. The first act found ten strangers thrust together on a remote island, either as staff or guests, with no sign of their host.
As they get acquainted, a record is played, accusing each one of a terrible crime. While they all have what seems like a plausible explanation for the accusations, they are understandably nervous and confused about what is going on. And then one of them dies.
From there, the action is non-stop, with characters coming and going on stage, and one by one turning up dead. It quickly becomes obvious that the deaths are no accident, and tension builds as each character suspects another of being behind the murders.
The set was a perfect representation of the interior of an island retreat, and the constant sound of the sea placed the audience on that remote island, far away from civilization. The effects of weather, power outages and off-stage discoveries of dead bodies were well timed and well executed.
The cast is strong, and although there were some moments of struggle over lines which broke the flow on occasion, for the most part the show was fast paced and engaging. Each performer found subtle ways of making their character come alive, and also of creating suspicion and doubt to keep the audience guessing. There were also plenty hilarious moments, fueled by flawless timing and perfect line delivery.
Of particular note were the performances of Zachariah Stearn as Phillip Lombard, Barbara Levault as Emily Brent, and Ricky Brewster as Dr. Armstrong. Each created and maintained a character that was both authentic and hilarious, making the moments that they were speaking incredibly fun to watch.
Saying too much would detract from the fun of watching the story unfold, so suffice it to say that you won’t be bored. The audience was engaged throughout the show and gave the cast a standing ovation to show their enthusiasm and appreciation.
The show runs for one more weekend, with performances on Friday, October 5th at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, October 6th at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 7th at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for students and seniors and $14 for adults. Tickets can be purchased online at schoolhousearts.org or at the door.