03

Dec

The Editorial Entertainers at work!
(Photo taken by Travis Greene)

The Editorial Entertainers at work!

(Photo taken by Travis Greene)

***The Editorial Entertainers: Signing Off***


(Brookfield.  Photo taken by and Edited for dust and exposure by Travis Greene.)

            Here at The Editorial Entertainers weve decided to be completely honest with you; these publications have been for class assignments and this is our final installment. We hope to have been able to show you some things you didnt know were happening in our greater Danbury, Conn. area, including various movies, shows, restaurants, parks, museums, festivals and even farms. With any luck, you’ve found a few things to do that interest you and helped you figure out things to do to get your mind off life’s stresses for a little while.

            Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is only a few weeks away, so if you’re someone who enjoys spending time outside in the fresh air at all, do it now while its still closer to comfortable out. So far this fall, yes were still in fall for a couple more weeks, we’ve already had two snowstorms and a trail of power outages with people trapped behind downed trees after Sandy that I hope make it apparent how not existent this mild weather we’re currently enjoying will soon be.

            Walk around in the grass. Even if you have your shoes on it will still feel much different once the ground freezes over and is coated in snow. Soon it will take almost ten minutes to get ready as we layer ourselves in extra clothing, lace up some high-top boots instead of throwing on sneakers, zip and button up, and throw on the extras like scarfs, gloves and winter hats, all before many of us step outside.

(The Streets of Danbury.  Photo taken by and Edited for dust and exposure by Travis Greene.

            With that said, this mild weather will soon be gone and we wont be uploading any more ideas for things to take advantage of. So. Even though everything will be coated in white, that doesn’t mean you have to go into hibernation. Life will still go on, and well still have to carry on with its chores and stressors. But there will also be another bounty of ways to entertain yourself out there; they call it a “Winter Wonderland” for a reason.


(The First Snowstorm.  Photo taken by and edited for exposure by Travis Greene.)

            Yes there will be some amazing sights this winter, but the sights are already there now, no reason to wait until were stuck behind glass panes or bundled up like a Michelin Man or Woman. When you get the chance to unplug yourself from your to-do list and get a chance to enjoy yourself, we hope weve at least sparked an idea for something entertaining you can do.

(Snowstorm Last Year.  Photo taken by and Edited for exposure and dust by Travis Greene.

Article by Travis Greene.

Jones Family Farms: Local and Affordable Produce

            Jones Family Farms is a local family-run business that has been in operation for 150 years. Year round, the farm has much to offer. Right off of Route 10, in Shelton, Conn., the farm is now selling Christmas trees, which you can cut yourself or pick from a wide verity of pre-cut trees. As the seasons change, so does the harvests. The farm offers strawberry and blueberry picking in the summer and pumpkin picking in the fall. Year round, the Jones Family Winery offers their homemade wines.


(Photo courtesy of Jones Family Farms)

            The winery hosts wine tasting every day of the week. A wine tasting is about 20 minutes long and samples many of the seasonal vintages.  The wine is good, for the most part, the selection ranges from reds like Merlot to dinner wines like Black Currant Bouquet.

            The farm is also very eco-friendly. They avoid using pesticides with their philosophy, “Be good to the land and the land will be good to you.” They are “organic-spirited” and only use a minimal amount of pesticides when mold or fungus growth is so out of control it threatens the entire crop.

            The staff is friendly and helpful, it has the spirit of small business that would be unmatched by its monolithic conglomerate corporate competitors. You are treated like a guest, not a customer.

            Their tree farm and staff is equally as delightful if you need one for this holiday. The selection of trees varies in size and type, with many to choose from. The tree farm is a great place to bring the whole family, with a cozy bonfire and warm cider and cookie vendor waiting in the center of it all. Santa is even in the cut-your-own-tree section giving out candy canes for the kids!

            If you’re looking to celebrate the season or taste some excellent wines, Jones Family Farms and Winery is the place to go. The farm is located on 606 Walnut Tree Hill Road, Shelton, CT.

Their website is: www.jonesfamilyfarms.com/ and phone number: (203) 929-8425.

Article by Tyler Ekstrom.

"Lincoln" Review

        The charm of “Lincoln” lies primarily in the charm of Daniel Day Lewis, whose unrivaled ability to command attention makes what could have been, at two and a half hours, a biographical slog, into inspiratory splendor.  Along with his visage, which is keen and unwavering and proud, and his robust and looming stature, his much talked about vocal performance completes a trifecta of dignified strength and gentle persuasion that characterizes one of our most beloved presidents.


(Theatrical poster for “Lincoln.”  Photo courtesy of the Washington Post.)

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01

Dec

Trans-Siberian Orchestra Rocks Mohegan Sun

            The Trans-Siberian Orchestra has amazed audiences worldwide with their extraordinary performances. The rockers have gained significant popularity, especially during the holidays. The orchestra is known for taking classic Christmas tunes and transforming them into new, fresh songs with their use of electric guitars, drums, keyboards and a full orchestra. The group has been selling out shows at the Mohegan Sun Arena, located in Uncasville, Conn. for the past several years and this year was no exception.

            On Nov. 23 the orchestra electrified the audience with an exciting, three hour show complete with lights, smoke machines, fake snow falling, fire and moving stage parts. In classic Trans-Siberian style, the show featured a narrator who led the audience through an original holiday story. As the story intensified, the band’s music would as well, captivating the sold out audience. The orchestra played all of their most popular songs including “The Lost Christmas Eve” and “Christmas Eve- Sarajevo.” The orchestra left the audience cheering on their feet and full of Christmas spirit.


(The Trans-Siberian Orchestra puts on a light show.  Photo taken by Beth Turley, Edited for color and orientation by Travis Greene.)

            The Mohegan Sun Casino provides plenty of fun and family-friendly entertainment during the holiday season. During the months of November and December the world-famous casino transforms into a winter wonderland complete with giant wreaths, Christmas trees, nutcracker and snowflake displays and their most popular holiday decoration, a life-sized gingerbread house made of approximately 6,525 gingerbread bricks! The house is even guarded by two seven foot soldiers made of Rice Crispies and milk chocolate.

 
(Keep out, Hansel & Gretel!  Photo taken by Beth Turley, Edited for color by Travis Greene.

            Aside from the decorations, Mohegan Sun also has a line-up of holiday shows for guests of all ages. One of these attractions included a tree lighting on Nov. 29, where guests watched the casino’s enormous tree being lit on big screens in the Shops Concourse while enjoying food, music and entertainment from ballerinas. These professional ballerinas are cast members of Albano’s Nutcracker Ballet, a classic show celebrating its 50th anniversary this year at Mohegan Sun. This show has become a tradition for the casino during the holiday season and will be held Dec. 15 and Dec. 16.

 
(Christmas decorations at Mohegan Sun.  Photo taken by Beth Turley, edited for color by Travis Greene.

            To purchase tickets and view more information on the casino and the entertainment offered during the holidays, visit mohegansun.com/entertainment.

Article by Beth Turley.

Meet Me at Foxwoods

          If you are looking to have a good time and have a few extra dollars to spare why not take a chance at Foxwoods Casino and Resort located in Mashantucket, Conn. From slots to shops, Foxwoods has it all. From the minute you walk in you will be dazzled with the brightness of the place. There is a little something for everyone. There is bowling, an arcade and a selection of restaurants and shops. The buffet is the most popular place to have lunch but for $20 a person you had better have an appetite.

          For those who would like to gamble here are some suggestions. There are the slots which are tipped in the casino’s favor, but your wallet will have a much longer life against them. That is not to say that it is impossible to win big, it is just highly unlikely and many people prefer playing these machines because it can be very exciting. There are also games to play such as blackjack and poker. While skilled players might have what it takes to win big at these games there are a lot of risks considering that the minimum bets or blinds are very high and must be put up at some point. Depending on the game you will have to take hits every now and then considering you will not always have a good hand to play which can be very taxing on players. Deciding which way to spend money gambling is all up to the player. Always remember that the casino is open to make money and it is a good idea to have some self-control gambling.


(Photo taken by Nasir Amarah, Edited for Exposure, Color, and Orientation by Travis Greene.)

          Spending a whole day at Foxwoods can easily be achieved. They even have Bingo, which lasts for four hours. It only costs $20. If you’re into Bingo go for it. There are other things to do like bowling and there is plenty of good food. The buffet, while expensive, offers a great selection of food and unlike most places they do not rush their customers out. There is also a Chinese restaurant among other things. Another thing you cannot complain about is free drinks, but it would not be wise to have too much alcohol in your system if you want to win the big bucks.

Article by Nasir Amarah.

New York Comic-Con 2012

          I stepped into the foyer of the Javits Center and immediately found myself face-to-face with Superman, Spider-Man and Captain America.

            Only at Comic-Con.

            From Oct. 11-14, the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City was packed with an estimated 115,000 attendees of the New York Comic-Con (NYCC).  First held in 2006, NYCC has grown to become a spiritual rival and successor to the highly-hyped San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), which has been held annually since 1970.  


(Opening crowds on Saturday morning at NYCC.  Photo taken by Mike Giuliano, Edited for Exposure and Color by Travis Greene.)

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Levon, Jesse, Erik and Patty Ofgang of MacTalla Mor

Video provided by Suzanne Davenport.

Who is the Person Sitting Next to You in Class?

            Our publication, “The Editorial Entertainers” has been providing the public information about places to go, things to do and events to attend. This piece is about people to keep an eye out for in the future – all or either current students or alumni of Western Connecticut State University.

            If you look around there are many students on campus who are performers.  The drama department will be performing “Into the Woods” on Dec. 8 and 9. It will be shown at the Berkshire Theater at the midtown campus. It features a very large cast of WCSU students from all over Conn.  And there is a performance of the holiday classic “Amahl and the Night Visitors” on Dec. 7 and 8 in the Ives Concert Hall at the midtown campus as well. One of the chorus members is Kaitlyn Bogue who is a current student at WCSU. She considers herself a performer in both opera and musical theatre.  Bogue said that she has “always wanted to perform and sing for as long as I can remember. I would like to do this as my main career; however I also work as a special education teacher to make ends meet.”  She will be playing Constance in the opera “Dialogues of the Carmelites” in the spring. She has also been involved with the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Organization where she said “I hold the local title of Miss Capital Region. For the talent portion of the competition I sang opera.”  She performs on the weekends for a living and tries to not let it interfere with school.  For more information about “Amahl and the Night Visitors” go to http://www.wcsu.edu/tickets/.


(Kaitlyn Bogue at the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Pageant. Photo provided by Catherine Fiehn Photography.) 


            Another location to see WCSU students past and present is the Midtown Coffeehouse on Thursday nights in the Alumni Hall on WCSU midtown campus. Last September one of those performers was Erik Ofgang, otherwise known as Mageerik. He has been interested in magic since he was a child and unable to figure out any of the tricks. As he got older he apprenticed with “old time magicians who used to meet at a diner off Broadway in New York City. They were real characters and incredible magicians.” Although he does not do big illusion shows any more he still performs a lot of solo shows that are mostly for private events. He use to open for MacTalla Mor but now that he is part of the band he incorporates his magic into the “actual show as kind of a ‘magic solo’ instead of an instrumental solo,” Ofgang said. When he was an undergraduate at WCSU he said the “craziest experience ever was going to class on Friday morning then driving to North Carolina for shows over the weekend then driving back in time for class Monday morning.” He is part of the MFA Program at WCSU and is able to find time to do all three of his loves: perform magic, perform music and write. Erik said that “they really are all related and are all different ways of telling stories. I love telling stories in every medium.”  To find out more about Mageerik go to http://www.mageerik.com/ and to get more information on the Coffeehouse visit www.wcsu.edu/stuaffairs/Coffeehouse.asp.


(Mageerik at The Coffeehouse. Photo taken by Suzanne Davenport) 

           MacTalla Mor is a Celtic roots band consisting of the members of the Ofgang family. At this time it consists of their mother Patty and sons Erik, Levon (a current WCSU student) and Jesse (an alumni of WCSU). All the children were homeschooled until they started WCSU. The band started approximately 11 years ago when their older sister Ilana (an alumni of WCSU as well) was a jazz piano major, Jesse was playing the bagpipes and their mother played the Irish drum called the bodhran. They decided instead of practicing in separate rooms all over the house to practice together and from there the band was born. Jesse Ofgang is now a music teacher at a local private high school and said “Some of my teachers (at WCSU) were upset that I had to miss some classes. I never understood their motives as I was playing music professionally, a goal of students and teachers alike. I still had a great experience touring around the country with the band. Ofgang would always hand out flyers and advertise when their band was playing and in fact “took 30 of his students to one of his shows and they loved it.” Ofgang said that for him, “I really enjoy being part of a band. I am sure I could find other ways of being happy but since music is such a big part of my life, whether it’s teaching or performing, playing with a band seems like a no brainer for me.”  To find out more about MacTalla Mor go to www.mactalla.com.

Article by Suzanne Davenport.

26

Nov

Discovering Fun Amongst the Fun-less

      This time of year you may find yourself in a situation such as this. Sitting on a couch surrounded by people whom you know and associate yourself with but you’re not sure why. You talk with them freely as if you’ve known them your entire life and in most cases you have. You do all these things but still have to fight the urge to squirm in your seat. This is your family and you are gathered in your great aunt’s living room which is furnished by ancient cat-hair infested furniture and smells to match. You find yourself wishing that the television was on but don’t have the courage yourself to ask for her to turn the news on or, bolder yet, to turn it on yourself. So you sit in between your great aunt Alice who has just finished discussing her colonoscopy in depth and some sweaty man who everyone always tried to convince you is your long lost cousin twice removed… or something. This article hopes to spare you from these awkward situations with low-commitment entertainment.

            Most people have long-ago dismissed board games as outdated and boring. While this may be true for those who refuse to be entertained by something without a screen, board games have recently seen increased success with titles such as Apples to Apples, and Cards Against Humanity. Of course if you decide that these new-aged board games, aimed at the short-attention spanned youth of today aren’t for you, there are always the long drawn-out grueling classics like Monopoly, Clue, Yahtzee and Risk. But be ready to swallow your pride and make a deal with your prude Aunt Sally after the 9th hour of Monopoly, nothing stays fun forever. Board games are a great way to pass the time and while most games do require intelligence to win they require very little to play, good news for your nephew Brian!


(Cards Against Humanity.  Photo courtesy of gamechurch.com)

            If for some reason you are the only person who doesn’t have any board games hiding away on that shelf in the basement, then don’t fear- there are plenty of other games to play without any material requirements. Most people today have forgotten the lost tradition of charades; the rules are easy. Everyone writes something on a piece of paper and puts it into a hat or a bowl. Split into teams and during alternating turns embarrass one member by having them get up and act out one of the random things written earlier. If another member of the team answers it correctly then the team gets a point. The majority of the fun from these games comes from laughing at how silly the acting member looks. And it gives an excuse to directly laugh at another family member - what could be better.

            So if you find yourself sitting on that couch, surrounded by familiar strangers and cat hair, build up some courage and suggest an activity that will ease the discomfort and maybe, just maybe, let you have some actual pure fun with your family. Happy Holidays.

Article by Jack Miller.

"Life of Pi" Blends Reality with Fiction

 
(Theatrical poster for “Life of Pi.” Photo provided by Google.

           Ang Lee, most known for directing, “Hulk” and “Brokeback Mountain,” takes on the next challenge by creating one of the most well known books known to American literature, “Life of Pi.” Based off of the novel by Yann Martel, the film adaption by the screenwriter David Magee was released on Nov. 21, 2012 giving fans as well as the attracted people the chance to look closely at the story of the main character Pi and what things he has to overcome to stay alive in this adventurous fantasy of strength, wits, and courage.

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Stamford Thanksgiving Parade Pleases Crowds

           On Nov. 18, Stamford celebrated its annual “UBS Parade Spectacular” downtown with eighteen giant balloons of lovable cartoon characters like Clifford the Big Red Dog, sponsored by The Advocate, and the Cookie Monster, which was sponsored by the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Specialty Center at Stamford Hospital.

 
(Popeye floats through the streets of Stamford.  Photo taken by Luz Vargas, Edited for color, exposure, and orientation by Travis Greene.

            As the children waited for the balloons to appear, they were entertained with clowns, costumed characters, dancers, and marching bands from schools like Stamford and Westhill high school. Special guests included Grand Marshals (Stamford’s Hurricane Sandy heroes), and Alan Kalter from “the Late Show with David Letterman”. Also, a few Christmas floats jollied the crowd as Santa greeted everyone but the success of the parade was definitely the balloons.  

            One of the challenges the balloon holders faced was spinning their balloons in a circle as the crowd shouted, “Spin.” Every time a balloon would spin the children would shout out of joy, even their parents.

 
(Children atop a ‘Candyland’-themed parade float.  Photo taken by Luz Vargas, Edited for color, exposure, and orientation by Travis Greene.) 

           Last year, the parade drew over 100,000 people and has been noticed on the top 100 Events across the country for 2010. Claudia Telesco, a Stamford resident, stated, “This parade is a wonderful opportunity for families and friends to come together for the holidays, for most of us this parade is a tradition.”

            Even though it was freezing outside, this year people took out their winter coats and bought their hot chocolate nearby to enjoy one of Stamford’s popular events.

For more information on Stamford events, go here.

Article by Luz Vargas

The Recreational Driver: Route 53 Circuit

  For those who proudly wear the title Recreational Driver, there is no serenity like that which is found behind the wheel of a vehicle. And nothing manages to stifle that serenity like the stop and go tedium of the Monday through Friday commute. As Recreational Drivers, we must remember to set aside time in our lives to reflect and submerge ourselves in the balanced connectedness we feel when driving. 


(Photo taken by Liz Jacobs.)

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Westchester Broadway Theatre Gives us a “Miracle”

     One Broadway Plaza in Elmsford, New York, has seen a 37-year history of nearly 200 theatre productions. It is the Westchester Broadway Theatre, owned by producers Bob Funking and Bill Stutler. The theatre, which has seats and tables that wrap around the stage, puts on Broadway classics all year round. They serve dinner which can be eaten during the performance.  

     Every show is produced by Funking and Stutler specifically for the Westchester Broadway Theatre. Each production is a collaboration of Broadway choreographers, set designers, costume designers and directors. Broadway performers are also used exclusively and the auditions are held in New York City.

     Currently, they are showing “Miracle on 34th Street.” It will run through Dec. 31 in honor of the holiday season. This is a classic Christmas tale in which a kindred old man working as Macy’s Santa Clause tries to reignite the holiday spirit in the citizens of New York City by combating commercialism with sincerity and generosity, and cynicism with hope and a love for the spirit of Christmas. 

 
(Andrew Mayer as the Fiddler on the Roof!Photo provided by the Westchester Broadway Theater.)

They showed “Fiddler on the Roof, in November and it will be back later in January 2013. “Fiddler” tells the story of a Jewish dairyman trying to preserve his culture’s customs in early 20th century Russia, while at the same time struggling to marry off his strong- willed daughters to men he approves of - although they are determined to follow their own hearts.

  Article by JoAnna Jenkins. 

Last Twilight Movie Sucks Excitement Out of Fans

[Image taken from Google.com]

If you are a fan of the “Vampire Diaries” then you are most likely a fan of the “Twilight Saga”. On Friday, Nov. 16the last saga of the series was finally released to the fans – “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2”. I have not read the books, on which the movies are based, but I watched the first movie. The movie is about a girl named Bella Swan who has a boyfriend that is a vampire (Edward Cullen). The last movie, “Breaking Dawn Part 2” was, in my opinion, the best one out of all of them.

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