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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, March 2, 2024


Materials from the 2022 Tufts Art Datathon are pictured.

Creative Currency: The politics of supporting arts education in public schools

In the American school system, it is easy to notice the emphasis placed on ‘traditional’ subjects: math, English, science, history and language. Of course, there’s a decent number of people that will continue to study these fields throughout their lives and careers, but what about those that are passionate about art or music? Does public education often disregard these paths, and is there more value to arts education than federal funding currently supports?

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‘Sweeney Todd’ is a killer first production for Arrow Street Arts

Greater Boston recently welcomed a new performance space to its theatre scene: Arrow Street Arts in Cambridge, on the outskirts of Harvard Square. The venue was previously home to Oberon, a popular stage for fringe and experimental performances, owned by the American Repertory Theater. Since Oberon closed its doors in the winter of 2021, 2 Arrow St. has been vacant — that is, until Cambridge theatre company Moonbox Productions took up residence in the theatre this year. Their first production was an ambitious reimagining of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (1979) directed by Ryan Mardesich.

Graphic for Ethan Essner’s column “Attack of the B Movies”

Attack of the B-Movies: New York’s crime-riddled ‘Bad Lieutenant’

When we take a step back and look at how cinema depicted sprawling urban metropolises in the 1970s through the 1990s, we can uncover significant traits. For one, films started to look into the setting as much less of a backdrop and more of a character in itself. Films like Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” (1989) and John Carpenter’s “Escape from New York” (1981) are prominent examples from this era featuring New York City. These movies transcended their genres as they shaped the city around them into storytelling devices in bold new ways. More esoteric showings of this same style are incorporated in almost every work by B-Movie icon Abel Ferrara. “Ms .45” (1981), “King of New York” (1990) and — arguably his magnum opus — “Bad Lieutenant” (1992) are prime examples of how big cities and their cinematic facades can be reshaped like Play-Doh to fashion some of the most crafty narrative concertos.

Tom Petty is pictured.

‘I Won’t Back Down’: A brief history of American campaign music

“9 to 5” (1980). “High Hopes” (2018). “Y.M.C.A.” (1978). What do these songs have in common?They’ve all been used as campaign songs in recent U.S. presidential races. While the music a candidate chooses to play as they walk onstage for a campaign event may seem like a trivial detail, it can play a major role in defining the tone of their campaign.

A graveyard is pictured.

Compost in the Daylight: Small-town ghosts

“I’m here with my friends at the graveyard.” One of my favorite books growing up wasNeil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book” (2008). It’s about a boy named Nobody Owens who is raised by ghosts in a graveyard after his entire family is murdered.


Marie Antoinette: The price of womanhood

“Marie Antoinette” (2012), written by David Adjmi, is a theatrical retelling of the life and death of the infamous queen who led France up until its revolution. The Tufts Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies’ production follows Marie’s life as her reputation becomes ruined and the French citizens turn on the royal family.


Hey Hollywood Reporter, you forgot some shows

On Oct. 4, The Hollywood Reporter released its “50 Best TV Shows of the 21st Century (So Far).” THR restricted the list to English-language shows that aired episodes after Dec. 31, 1999. Some of the shows on this list are pleasant surprises, like “Avatar: The Last Airbender” ...

Column graphic for Claire woods “inside the MFA”

Inside the MFA: What’s on view?

With over 500,000 works of art throughout the Museum of Fine Arts, navigating the galleries can be overwhelming. Luckily, the MFA is divided into several collections, making the viewing experience more digestible. The MFA has 13 collection areas in total. They are as follows: Art of Africa ...

graphic for Odessa Gaine's column "The Power of the Pen"

The Power of the Pen: Becoming a screenwriter is really f---ing hard

One fun fact about myself: I love to write. Maybe that’s not a surprise considering this is an article for my weekly column — but it’s true. Novels, short stories, articles — I love to write them all. And recently, I have started to fall in love with writing for film, partially because of this column and partially because of my screenwriting class.


WEEKENDER: BAAFF celebrates legacy and joy on 15th anniversary

The Boston Asian American Film Festival celebrated its 15th anniversary this year, screening its program from Oct. 12–22, which showcased shorts, documentaries and narratives, closing with a preview of director Lulu Wang’s upcoming series, “Expats” (2023–), starring Nicole Kidman. The Daily spoke with Susan Chinsen, director of BAAFF, to get a greater understanding of the festival and what it hopes to achieve.


‘Killers of Flower Moon’ is a defining entry in the Scorsese catalog

In “Killers of the Flower Moon” (2023), we are pulled back into the dark, twisted underbelly of the American workforce with a story that links gracefully with the previous works of the director. Featuring another examination of crime and raucous character confrontations, the film is nothing short of a monumental staple in the already stacked career of one of the true great American directors.

Confessions of a Cooking Fanatic

Confessions of a Cooking Fanatic: Fruity favorites

My cooking origin story begins with the first phase of the COVID-19 lockdown, between March and June of 2020. As a high school senior, I was (very validly) going through a bout of self-isolation. I barely left my room during those first few months of the pandemic. What was I doing with my time? Watching cooking videos: primarily Bon Bon Appétit’s YouTube content.

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Joe Pera, Jim Carrey in alternative standup

On Oct. 6, comedian Joe Pera released his first standup special on YouTube. He opened it with the following words: “How ‘bout this door?” He then turned to gesture at the massive black door looming behind his substantially smaller body. “Something pretty big could come through this door.” Pera just smiled warmly and stayed pointing at the door awhile. The absurd investment was never mentioned again for the rest of the special. There is not an inkling of explanation for it.


‘Fashioned by Sargent’ masterfully invites viewers to step into the artist’s shoes

In 1888, famed painter John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) hosted his first solo exhibition at the St. Botolph Club in Boston, where he displayed some of what would later be deemed his most iconic works. Throughout his life, he would continue to return to Boston, painting portraits of Boston’s wealthiest patrons and his closest friends, including Isabella Stewart Gardner.


Expect a captivating performance from Sun Salon on Friday

The local collective Sun Salon will be playing at the Fisher Performance Hall in the Granoff Music Center on Friday at 9 p.m. Sun Salon performs and records a unique combination of rapped poems accompanied by improvised jazz, and they’ve just released their first album, “Deep Space” (2023). On Oct. 17, the Daily spoke with Abraham “Abe” Brownell, the coordinator of the collective. In addition to organizing the group, Abe writes and performs poetry and plays lap steel guitar and mandolin. He also works at Tufts as the staff assistant in the Granoff main office.


WEEKENDER: Tufts theatre department prepares for ‘Marie Antoinette’

For its fall production, the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies is staging David Adjmi’s play, “Marie Antoinette” (2012). A contemporary take on the story of the young French queen who witnessed the country’s collapse into revolution in the late 18th century, the play reflects many of the challenges women face in the modern world.


Łaszewo gives electric performance in Cambridge

Three-person electronic band Łaszewo (pronounced la-zay-woah) played an incredible show on Thursday in Cambridge at Sonia. The band’s energy was bubbly, fun and contagious, which was all the more impressive given that lead singer Keeva “Kiki” Bouley had recently fractured her ankle. Band members and producers Matt Ehrlich and Justin De La Fuente frequently hyped Bouley up, encouraging the crowd to chant “Kiki” and applauding Bouley’s ability to dance around while wearing a protective boot.