JanPlan in review: Hoppin' in the dead of winter
JanPlan is usually pretty dead in the entertainment department, which makes sense as some students are away and those on campus keep themselves occupied with other pursuits. However, this JanPlan was brimming with both student-sponsored events and artistic endeavors. Among the highlights were the Student Programming Board and the Bridge's sponsorship of comedian, Erin Foley, Powder and Wig's production of The Pillowman, the club's sponsorship of the Red Eye Film Festival and SPB's continued Coffeehouse shows.
Playwright Martin McDonagh's dark and disturbing comedy was given the Powder and Wig treatment. Staged in the bare and close Cellar Theater, the play takes place in an unnamed totalitarian regime where short story writer Katurian (Alex Bassett '10) and his cognitively impaired brother, Michal (Doug Newkirk '12) are interrogated by Officers Tupolski and Ariel (Sean Senior '10 and Francis Gassert '11, respectively) about a series of grisly murders that resemble the stories Katurian has written--which mostly consist of "kids getting fucked over." This play was superbly acted by all involved and deftly directed by Lindsey Anderson '10, who unflinchingly juxtaposed the play's humor and horror. The audience never caught a break from the intense subject matter, laughter catching in our throats as we were suddenly thrust from the absurd to the truly horrific.
RED EYE FILM FESTIVAL
In true Powder and Wig fashion, this film festival asked participants to shoot, edit and present a complete short film in just 24 hours. Groups were given a genre, a location and two movie quotes (one famous, one not-so-famous) that they had to incorporate into their work. Other than that, everything was fair game. While all the films submitted were very good, two stood out for this reviewer: La Puerta Esta Abierta (the Seinfeld reference is an automatic plus), and Last Call 2023. La Puerta Esta Abierta was a horror film, and how the filmmakers managed to shoot the scene with a door in the middle of Waterville's Main Street is beyond me. It was great acting on Kelsey Gibbs' '10 part and had some great special effects by Danny Hoshino '11. Last Call 2023 was an action film, set in the future (hence the title). But the future hearkens back to Jay Gatsby's America, as all men wear suspenders and fedoras and the plot revolves around prohibition. This film was a cut above the rest because of its painstaking attention to detail, especially noticeable in Jeff Carpenter's '12 excellent camerawork and editing as the film's director of photography.
The Bridge and SPB managed to wrangle Erin Foley for a packed crowd at LoPo. Foley was on Last Comic Standing but had been making her way around the comedy circuit before then. She has had appearances on Comedy Central's Premium Blend and HBO's show Curb Your Enthusiasm. Other than her small meltdown over technical problems with her mike, the show was very entertaining (actually, even her meltdown was entertaining). What sets Foley apart from other comediennes? She is a lesbian, and gay humor is just infinitely better--let's be serious. Other than the contradictions and funny moments that being an Irish Catholic lesbian bring to the fore, Foley's routine endowed everything from sports to politics to the absurdity of JanPlan with her own twist.
SPB's coffeehouse concerts continued, bringing an eclectic mix of musical styles to Colby. From Colby's own Grant Patch '12, who turned the coffeehouse into a club with his electronica/techno stylings to Pete Matson's groovy and brassy band, Underground System Afrobeat Orchestra, there was a little something for anyone ready to expand his or her musical horizons.