Ken Barnett ’94, pictured above with co-star Lisa O’Hare, is starring in the new Robert Freedman musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.
After premiering October 12, Barnett’s show received a glowing review from Charles Isherwood of the New York Times, who does not dole out praise easily.
Isherwood writes that Barnett, who majored in theater at Wes, “finds just the right blend of perky propriety and gimlet-eyed opportunism as the jolly killer at the center of the show.”
Bill Belichick ’75, head coach for the Super Bowl-bound New England patriots and former Nics resident, had much to say about football during a Monday press conference: his football philosophy, his thoughts on entering his fifth Super Bowl in 11 years, his wide receiver Wes Welker. According to a NY Daily News report, Belichick also found time to slip in a shout-out to Ye Olde Wes in the midst of this footballmania. Asked by an unnamed Connecticut station what he gained from attending Wesleyan (where he played football, lacrosse, and squash and graduated with a BA in Economics in 1975), the coach responded enthusiastically:
A Connecticut television station wants to know what an education at Wesleyan University did for him. “Taught me how to think, solve problems, become independent, things like that,” Belichick says, sensibly.
A pitch fit for the Stewart M. Reid house if I’ve seen one. At any rate, Belichick’s fifth Super Bowl in little more than a decade is coming soon to a sweaty Fauver lounge near you this Sunday, February 5. You can read transcript excerpts from the press conference here
, or a video clip here
. Neither, sadly, seems to contain the Wes question. Belichick also notably celebrated his Wesleyan roots at a financial aid benefit
in Boston in March’ 09; check it out
“When I was in college, someone at some point told me, ‘If you’re gonna make movies, don’t shoot on the water, don’t shoot with children, and don’t shoot with animals.’ And our movie is really about children and animals on boats.”
This isn’t a film series showing post, but by goodness, in a year or so it could be. The Wesleyan Mafia left its mark on the film world again this past weekend in the form of Beasts of the Southern Wild, a SFFS/KRF grant-winning movie by up-and-coming filmmaker and Wesleyan Film Studies alumnus Benh Zeitlin ’04. The film, described as “a dreamy exploration of survival on the flooded Mississippi Delta,” not only took the grand jury prize in the U.S. dramatic competition at Sundance this weekend (Zeitlin accepted the award while holding up the film’s star, eight-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis). It also signed with Fox Searchlight for $2 million. GO, WESLEYAN MAFIA, GO, eh? (Speaking of which, the film’s three producers includes Wes alum Michael Gottwald ’06, who was assistant director for Zeitlin’s thesis film, Egg, and completed his own feature Frame of Reference in 2006.)
I haven’t seen the film, of course (I certainly hope to soon, preferably in the mighty Goldsmith itself), but from what I’ve read, it’s a rather surreal exploration of a girl named Hushpuppy living with her father “at the edge of the world”—the impoverished, flooded Louisiana delta.
In today’s New York Times WesMention column, a Wesleyan alumna is quoted in an article about people attempting to get rid of their New York accents. Read for yourself:
Lauren LoGiudice sought help for similar symptoms. “I would have sessions and I started to cry,” she said
Miss LoGiudice’s accent didn’t matter when she was growing up in Howard Beach, a heavily Italian neighborhood in Queens where dropping r’s in words like doctor (doctuh) and water (wawtuh) just happens to be the way many people talk.
“I grew up with people who could be the cast of ‘Jersey Shore,’ ” Miss LoGiudice, 27, said. It was not until she got to Wesleyan University that she realized how much her speech pigeonholed her. And as a young actress who is “tall and Anglican-looking,” she worried her accent would be a roadblock. “If I had looked like Meadow Soprano,” Miss LoGiudice said, “I wouldn’t have had to worry about my accent.”
From my experience, there’s still people with somewhat of an “heavily Italian neighborhood in Queens” accent around, though rarer than ever.
Starting this morning, Wes alum Matt Ferrisi and a coworker began their attempt to break the world record for traveling the entire New York subway system in the fastest time. The “Subway Challenge” is a fairly well-known competition, despite its total absurdity. Everyone wish them luck!
Read the NY Daily News article here.
And here are some pictures, courtesy ABC.
[Thanks to Michael Brown for the tip]