On Sunday, actor Tony Shalhoub came to Brandeis for a question and answer session in the Wasserman Cinematheque. Shalhoub has a prolific career in plays, movies and TV shows; he is well-known for his portrayal of troubled homicide detective Adrian Monk in the show “Monk” for which he received multiple awards, and he currently plays Abe Weissman, father of Miriam “Midge” Maisel in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
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Joy Ladin, a poet and the first openly transgender professor at Yeshiva University, gave a lecture about her perspective on the Torah as a transgender woman last Thursday.
Last Friday — Groundhog’s Day Eve — Improv group “Bad Grammer” put on an excellent Groundhog Day-themed show in the Pollack auditorium. Their Facebook promotional photo showed Mitchell Redfield ’20’s face on a groundhog, and when they bounded onto the stage, they announced that they would check Redfield’s shadow when the show ended.
Women composers are notoriously little-known. Nevertheless, last Sunday the Women and Music Mix of the Women’s Studies Research Center sponsored a concert entirely of pieces composed by women. Appropriately titled “Composing Women,” this concert reflects the goal of the Women and Music Mix to study the contributions of women to music and bring knowledge of these contributions to a wider public. This concert was the fourth in a series dedicated to Alfredo and Demitra DiLuzio, the aunt and uncle of WSRC co-chair Rosalie Ripaldi Shane. The past concerts of this series were also exhibitions of female composers, but this was the first concert whose name reflected this.
On Friday night in The Levin Ballroom in Usdan Student Center, Club Cantonese presented their second annual cultural show. The theme this year was Jook-Sing, which is a derogatory Cantonese term for people of Chinese descent born in the West. The term is derived from the word for bamboo, using its hollowness and compartmentalized nature to suggest that foreign-born Chinese people are empty of traditional Eastern values, but are not quite Western either. Club Cantonese chose this theme to challenge the derogatory nature of Jook-Sing, choosing to take pride in their dual heritage rather than be ashamed of it.
The South Asian Student Association welcomed the month of December with their annual event, MELA. The event, whose name is a Hindi word for “religious festival” but was used in this case to simply mean “gathering,” advertised itself on Facebook as the “biggest student-run show on campus,” and it didn’t disappoint. Hundreds of students took a break from stressing about finals to pack the Levin Ballroom in Usdan Student Center.
Crowd Control came out to Cholmondeley’s coffee house last Thursday to celebrate the end of Halloween. The title of their show was “Halloween Hangover,” and they made a point of blinking at the bright lights of the stage and moaning about how tired they were. One performer was even dressed in a Winnie-the-Pooh costume. Although this event was not well publicized, there was a decent turnout and a warm reception.
This is a historic year for the Toxic Majorette Dance Line. Formed in 2015 under the umbrella of the Brandeis Black Student Organization, this year the team became an independent, University-chartered club. They celebrated this acheivement in Saturday’s enormous showcase “Pick your Poison,” demonstrating not only their skills but also those of a variety of other dance and music groups.
Namaskar, the Association for Hindus, Jains and Sikhs, hosted Raas Rasiya last Friday, one of the many events within the wider festival of Navratri. Navratri, or “nine nights” in Sanskrit, is a widely celebrated nine-day festival, each day honoring an incarnation of the warrior goddess Durga. According to the Facebook description, the festival celebrates “the victory of good over evil,” referring to Durga’s triumph over the demon Mahishasura. Although Raas Rasiya is typically held before Navratri (Oct. 9–18), last Friday was simply the most convenient time to hold the event.
For the first time ever, Brandeis University was a co-host for the Boston Latino International Film Festival along with Harvard University, Northeastern University and Emerson College. The festival was held from Sept. 27 to Sept. 30, screening twenty eight films primarily at Emerson, with Harvard, Northeastern and Brandeis each hosting for two days within the festival — Brandeis hosted films during the first two days. Occasionally, directors or producers of a film would hold a Q&A session, educating the audience about their filming process and intended messages.