An interview with the Dinner Party Download’s hosts Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam

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A few weeks ago, BlogDailyHerald got the chance to interview the hosts on our favorite Rhode Island Public Radio program: The Dinner Party Download. Hosts Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam structure their radio show like a dinner party, with segments that emulate etiquette lessons and a cocktail hour. In recent episodes, Rico and Brendan have interviewed the likes of Elisabeth Moss, Daniel Radcliffe, Mel Brooks, Greta Gerwig, and Bill Hader. In one hour of airtime, the hosts aspire to catch busy people up with what the hell is going on in culture each week… and the show was even endorsed by Queen Gwyneth on goop, which is pretty much a Michelin Star for groovy public radio shows. Read on after the jump for our conversation about Dutch currency and horse-sized ducks:

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Ass-less chaps and timeless wisdom at Cinebrasil

Cinebrasil

Cinebrasil is part of the Watson Institute’s Brazil Initiative

I went to Cinebrasil, Brown’s annual Brazilian film series, to enrich my understanding of foreign cultures and score participation points for my Intro to Portuguese class. The film they showed was Tatougem (translated to English, “tattoo”), a drama that follows a LGBTQ theater group called The Star Spangled Floor. The film is set in the 1970′s when Brazil was ruled under a military dictatorship.

Before the movie, a professor from the Portuguese and Brazilian Studies Department told the crowd that Brown has the largest collection of Brazilian films in the U.S. (woot woot). The professor then promised that the film would be a “steamy story of chaos and liberation.” As the lights dimmed, I made a baldfaced grab for the armrest before the guy sitting next to me could get to it. Boom. Ready to go.

I’m not going to summarize the plot for you, because Wikipedia can do that a lot better than I can. I’m just going to share with you some interesting aspects of the film.

Tatouagem

“Resorting to sensuality, they did get some laughs.” —A newspaper quoted in the film, referring to the Star Spangled Floor (above)

If you want to see the sun and the moon get in a fight, watch Tatouagem. Towards the end of the film, two performers in the Star Spangled Floor—one painted silver like the moon, the other golden like the sun—start going at each other during a performance. Sun disses the moon for not being radiant, but Moon counters that he does not need to be because he just reflects the light of the sun. Sun then insults Moon’s ugly craters. Moon counters with, “Yeah, well at least I don’t have all of your disgusting eruptions!” That just about settles it.

In my beginners’ Portuguese class I’ve learned to say things like, “Hello! After breakfast in the morning I generally ride my bicycle rapidly to Portuguese class, but it’s Wednesday so the chalk is not joyful, no.” Unfortunately, the characters in the film rarely discussed their post-breakfast transportation habits or the disposition of writing implements, so I had to rely mostly on the subtitles.

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Imagine Brown 500+ is gonna be awesome

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The 250th anniversary celebrations were so much fun. Sadly, they’re behind us now, and we have nothing else to distract us from our studies. But fear not! Using BlogDH’s time-travel machine, I have visited the future and return bearing good news: If you thought the 250th celebrations were fun, you’re going to love Brown’s 500th anniversary extravaganza. Here are some of the best events on the docket for 2264:

Friday, September 23rd, 2264

The party kicks off with the ceremonial unfreezing of Noam Chomsky, who has been preserved Han Solo-style in the SciLi basement since 2015. Light refreshments will be served.

Noam

Noam, just minutes before we chucked him into a vat of Carbonite.

Three words: Robochicken finger Friday!

At seven, the football game against Harvard. Brown victory guaranteed.

Ferries to the mainland will leave every half hour from the Benefit Street Waterfront (Note for 2014 readers: Due to rising sea levels, College Hill will be all that’s left of Rhode Island by 2264. While this is certainly unfortunate for everyone, it finally validates the naming of the state Rhode “Island.”) 

Scuba tours of the RISD Museum will also be offered throughout the day. (Note for 2014 readers: We have no one to blame but ourselves.) 

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SNL’s Stefon’s guide to freshman parties

Who is Stefon?

Stefon, played by Bill Hader, is a reoccurring guest from the Weekend Update portion of SNL He is a sharp diva, with a dark edge, and hilariously quirky side. He is plugged into (what he thinks are) the best parties in NYC. His plans are odd, unique and always out there. If you do not know him already, watch the video below to get a glimpse of the genius of Stefon, or watch the video below because you love him already. Why aren’t you watching this already? If Stefon were to describe the freshmen party scene at Brown, this is what we think he’d say:

Stefon Final

Brown’s hottest party is…Metcalf 2nd floor lounge. If you and your friends are looking for an unsanctioned, rowdy time, hit up the lounge. To get in just say the password: your SAT score. The party starts at 8:45 and gets shut down at 9:15 by DPS. Don’t worry, just get there early. There is watered down Vodka, beers someone stole from their dad, and some oregano that someone is pretending is weed. Show up fashionably early, and leave fashionably…early?

babies and beer

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Imagine 250+: Homecoming, a beginner’s reflections

Okay guys, here we go. Game day. Day of the BIG GAME. Brown versus Harvard, alright alright alright. Boy, I am amped to be the official reporter for this homecoming game. I truly feel as if the stakes could not be any higher, and I mean that sincerely. Full disclosure, I am unfamiliar with the rules of football, but I will not let that stop my hard-hitting play by play! I promise (maybe) that I won’t get bored twenty minutes into the first half.

Above: Football I understand

Above: The kind of football I understand

First thing to note about this game – there are lots of drunk people here. Also lots of penny loafers and blazers, which I think is weird, but to each his own. Who am I to judge? I am not judgmental. I’m bitter I don’t have a Brown State shirt I’m not sure how I feel about the Brown State shirts. Anyway, some people are actually painted with our school colors. That’s pride! Especially since our school colors tend to fall distinctly into the poop-brown and blood-red camps, covering your body in such is a true sign of loyalty.

Anyway, the game. Right – the game!  Brown actually has the ball right now, which I was lead to believe is rare, but I think we’ve had it for a while. At least a down or two. It’s really nice we get to keep the ball even if we drop it! Must be a football thing. Oh, we dropped it, and now Harvard took it. Can they do that? That feels like stealing.

Update: I asked the gentlemen next to me if stealing the ball is a foul and it is not. Nice guy. I’ll befriend him as the game goes on. The Brown band is KILLING it right now. Very into it. Whoever says a tuba restricts movement is very wrong.

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PW Presents: Waxwing

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Originality in a theatrical production comes in many forms– content, structure, unique casting and acting choices, a novel use of space, an unexpected twist on a familiar trope, etc.

Waxwing, written and directed by Evan Silver ’16, is a simultaneously familiar and original piece of work. The story is immensely simple: two parallel love stories that eventually converge, one ending happily, another, not so much. An elementary plot comes as no surprise; after all, the show runs only 45 minutes long, hardly enough time for plot intricacies and complex character development.

However, Silver’s originality lies in the presentation, in the characters he’s constructed to tell these stories, and in an effective use of space and music to tease out tension from even a tired, old love story.

First off, I’ll address space. Silver, who triples as set designer, transformed the room into a runway, utilizing the tennis-court-arrangement of the space to evoke a love story that verges at times on a duel. It is an inventive use of the Upspace, and one not commonly seen.

From the moment the lights, subtly designed by Jordana Rosenfeld ’17, dim, you’re thrown directly into Silver’s world. This universe is one in which a bird and a boy not only converse, but also have sexual tension, and the sea and the sun are personified as starcrossed (see what I did there) ex-lovers with a juicy history.

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