Award-winning actress Dianne Wiest, who appeared in such movies as “Edward Scissorhands” and “Hannah and Her Sisters,” will host “An Evening with Dianne Wiest,” at 7:30 p.m. tonight in O’Laughlin Auditorium.The Margaret M. Hill Visiting Guest Artist program made the visit possible through an endowment made by a College alumnus who is now a New York theatre producer, associate professor of theater Katie Sullivan said.“This [endowment] is a great way to give something really tremendous to our students,” Sullivan said. “To have such a program … that in four years our students will have met with, worked with, shown their work to, had lunch with these amazing artists … to have this opportunity is almost unheard of.”Wiest has won two Oscars and two Emmys among otherhonors and is known for her 10-year career with popular series “Law & Order” as District Attorney Nora Lewin. She also appeared in multiple theater productions and over 54 films, including “Footloose” and five Woody Allen films such as “Hannah and Her Sisters.”“The amount of plays she’s done and the amount of movies she’s done can be split up amongst several different lifetimes,” junior Maria Welser said. “And I think the best thing ever about it is even if you don’t know her, she’s worked with some of the biggest names in theater and in movies and television.”Wiest will partake in a three-hour class with College theater students, Sullivan said. During the class, 13 students will present six short scenes they have prepared.“[Wiest] is really dedicated and interested in doing the very best job of coaching and guiding she can,” Sullivan said, “Usually we don’t have as many as 13 performers. She was very interested in being as inclusive as possible.”Sullivan said an hour-long private lunch will follow the class. With no faculty present at the meal, 19 theater students will have the chance to ask questions and converse with the actress.Sophomore Katie Corbett said the time at lunch will allow her and fellow students to peek into Wiest’s world.“I think it’s such a rare opportunity for us to have someone who’s so acclaimed from the industry,” Corbett said. “She will be able to give advice to any Saint Mary’s woman … it’ll be an incredible opportunity.”Sullivan said she plans to ask Wiest a series of questions regarding her childhood and career, allowing Wiest to share personal anecdotes and stories with the audience, she said.“We’ve all been a fan of a movie or a person, and the idea of getting to hear them really talk about the experience that meant so much to us is really cool,” Sullivan said.Following the presentation there will be a question and answer session with the audience, she said.“I think there will be fans from various walks of life, not just theater trained people but movie goers, TV watchers, people who think ‘Wow, I have the chance to hear somebody speak as her real self when I’ve been watching her for years,’” Sullivan said.Corbett said Wiest’s strength and independence embodies what Saint Mary’s is all about by. She said she seesWiest’s story as motivation for other women to craft an enriching career no matter where they come from.“A lot of times when we’re hosting a woman, we’re saying to our students ‘This is possible. Dream big,’” Sullivan said. “It’s not just about showing off or saying ‘help me, help me,’ it’s really about saying ‘My gosh we have this opportunity to pick someone’s brain, who has been where you are, young and full of desire’, and learn from her. It’s a great learning experience.”Tickets are free to students, faculty, and staff from Saint Mary’s College, University of Notre Dame and Holy Cross College. Admission is $10 for general public and $5 for senior citizens. Tickets are available at the Moreau Box Office, by calling (574)-284-4626, and online at www.moreaucenter.com.
The White House announced a new program on Monday that aims to address urban problems in cities across the country, including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles — and South Bend.David Murphy, director of the ESTEEM graduate program and associate dean of entrepreneurship in engineering and science, said Notre Dame and South Bend were selected to participate in the MetroLab Network, a program that enables universities and local governments to work together to find innovative ways to address cities’ needs.“The interesting thing about the South Bend-Notre Dame relationship is we really are kind of punching above our weight in terms of city size,” Murphy said. “We are clearly the smallest city, so we feel blessed and fortunate to be a part of the MetroLab Network. We also feel we have a lot to contribute and are excited to learn from what some of the bigger cities are doing with their university partners.”Santiago Garces, South Bend’s chief innovation officer and Notre Dame class of 2011, said the MetroLab Network is part of the White House’s “Smart Cities” initiative, which focuses on using technology and science to help communities tackle local challenges.“The MetroLab Network is a collection of city-university partnerships that are developing the framework to share expertise and share resources, trying to figure out how we can create solutions to problems using new technologies and new approaches,” Garces said.The MetroLab Network will examine problems such as crime, traffic, air quality, water quality, sewage and education, Murphy said.Murphy said because Notre Dame is one of the premier research institutions in the country, it could impact communities all over the world by sharing its results.“The research here at Notre Dame is always ongoing, always challenging, always exciting,” he said. “The question’s going to be how to harness that [research] and direct it to address pressing problems in this city and in other cities.”As part of the MetroLab Network, Notre Dame and South Bend will get access to expertise and resources they may not otherwise have, Garces said. The program aims to share urban solutions with other cities across the nation.“As we start confronting some bigger issues, including sustainability, engagement and inclusion of different residents … we will probably benefit a lot from being able to share ideas and share approaches in looking at the entire collection of cities and laboratories that are trying different methods to confront these big questions and big problems,” he said.Murphy said Notre Dame and South Bend have a rich history of successful collaboration. EmNet, a South Bend-based company that designs and produces technology to control overflow in city sewage systems, is just one example of the effectiveness of this partnership.According to Murphy, Notre Dame research labs produced a sensor that was eventually installed in South Bend sewer systems, allowing the city to open and close gates and direct the water flow away from areas in danger of flooding. EmNet commercialized this product.“That’s a great example of technology coming out of research labs at Notre Dame that can be deployed in a very practical setting, in this case the city municipalities,” Murphy said. “We then look to how we can share this technology with other cities.”Murphy and Garces traveled to Washington D.C. on Monday to attend the “Smart Cities” forum, where South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced the MetroLab Network with Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto at a White House event. South Bend was chosen to be one of seven cities on the program’s steering committee, Murphy said.Michael Yu | The Observer Garces said he believes the program has the potential to help generate a sense of civic pride and create economic benefits in South Bend.“I think that, for South Bend in particular, this opportunity of continuing to redefine itself and make use of our strengths as a city can give us the opportunity to build pride in the city,” Garces said. “We can build a bridge for people that have gone to Notre Dame that are researchers and students and Ph.D.s who might want to stay and work and solve these very exciting problems by developing exciting solutions.”According to a University press release, Notre Dame and South Bend have chosen four projects on which to focus. The projects will include new methods of cleaning the water in the St. Joseph River, assessments of local neighborhoods, a community-based research course and a downtown wireless network.Murphy said he believes the MetroLab Network will help Notre Dame fulfill its duty to serve humanity by sharing its innovative ideas with the rest of the world.“We feel like we are on the cusp of something very cool, in the sense of what this could mean, not just for our cities, but for the world,” he said.Garces said he is excited to see the partnership between Notre Dame and South Bend continue to produce solutions that could now help solve problems in cities across the country.“From our perspective, we’re the smallest city in the Network, and the Network grants us access to a level of expertise and a level of visibility that we wouldn’t have otherwise,” he said. “It’s an incredible opportunity for our community.”Tags: Mayor Pete Buttigieg, MetroLab, South Bend, White House
The Snite Museum held a special exhibition on Monday afternoon of 17 photographs that capturing some of the touchstone moments of the Civil Rights movement as part of Notre Dame’s “Walk the Walk” Week.“On view are some of the seminal images that we have come to know as the images that tell the story of the Civil Rights movement,” Gina Costa, director of public relations and marketing for the Snite, said. Sarah Olson | The Observer Framed photographs line the wall at the new exhibition at the Snite Museum of Art. The installation consists of 17 photographs that illustrate the Civil Rights Movement.The photographs follow the chronology of the Civil Rights movement, starting with images of individual protests and small victories, and progressing into large scale demonstrations and the death of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They convey a range of sentiments, from repression and hatred to strength, brotherhood, perseverance and human dignity.“You get these epic, sort of monumental images of freedom and hope,” Costa said.The photographs, most of which were taken by some of the most influential photographers of the time, portray some of the most recognizable moments of the Civil Rights Movement: the first desegregated bus in Montgomery, protesters being sprayed with water cannons and attacked by police dogs in Birmingham, and peaceful crowds at the 1963 March on Washington.“One of the most moving things about these pictures is the way the protesters are using their bodies — it’s a choice,” Bridget Hoyt, curator of education and academic programs, said. “They are victims, but they are also agents.”One of the most recognizable photographs shows a pensive Dr. King just after his “I Have a Dream” speech. The image, Hoyt said, looks like it was shot in a photography studio, due to the way the light hits Dr. King’s face.“It’s so solitary, a moment of peace — you would never know from looking at it that it was taken during the March on Washington,” Hoyt said. “It speaks so much, even without context.”The timeline of the photographs is especially striking. One photograph depicts the sanitation workers’ strike in Memphis, in which a solid wall of workers holds signs reading, “I am a man.” It was this protest that brought Dr. King to Memphis in 1968. The photograph was taken on March 28; six days later, Dr. King was assassinated on his balcony, a photograph of which was also on display in the exhibit.“Looking at this image, you can see how it’s still relevant today,” Hoyt said, gesturing toward a photograph of policemen locking eyes with a protester, who is holding a child, in Memphis. “It raises the same questions: what kind of relationships and communities are we building for our future?”The final photograph in the exhibit portrays Mrs. King holding her five-year-old daughter during her husband’s funeral. The image won the photographer, Moneta Sleet, Jr., the 1969 Pulitzer Prize.“We’re a museum — we’re collecting good works of art, but we also have another responsibility to our students,” Hoyt said. “Not just to their education, but to their development as a whole.”Tags: #photographs, Civil Rights, Martin Luther King Jr., MLK, Snite Museum of Art, Walk the Walk Week
Darren Criss Kristin Chenoweth Criss also dished about the show’s upcoming special two-part 100th episode, which will see the return of a slew of favorite characters, including Kristin Chenoweth’s April Rhodes, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Holly Holiday, Dianna Agron’s Quinn Fabray, Amber Riley’s Mercedes Jones and more. “We had a great dance rehearsal last week and it was the first time I’d been in the same room as all those people. It was great.” View Comments When word got out that FOX’s hit musical dramedy Glee was moving to the Big Apple for the rest of the fifth season, the only thought that popped into our heads was, “So that means more Darren Criss in NYC, right?” Call us biased, but the City That Never Sleeps should just be nicknamed The City That Needs More Criss. Luckily, our favorite heartthrob opened up about what’s in store for Glee fans, what his long-in-the-works album will sound like and, most importantly, if he’s going to come back to Broadway. Criss told TheBacklot.com that he hopes his Glee co-star Lea Michele’s upcoming debut album Louder is a smash hit because he thinks she’s “a superstar.” As for his own debut album? “Mine will be a little different, it’s a different process,” he said. “I’m the nerdy rock musician who wants to make my nerdy rock and roll so I don’t know if it will be the same fanfare, but I’d like to finish it.” Yet, the How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying alum miiiight just have another plan for 2014… “Or do another stage show or do a movie. I’ll take whatever they give me.” WE’LL GIVE YOU WHATEVER YOU WANT. In an interview with TheBacklot.com, Criss said he’d “love” to shoot Glee in NYC and that he thinks the upcoming move will make a lot of sense for most of the characters—especially for Blaine and Kurt (Chris Colfer). “For Blaine, if he moves to New York…I would assume they’re going to live together,” he said. “Call me crazy, but when you get engaged to somebody usually that’s a good idea. So that will present a whole new structure to their relationship.” Star Files Lea Michele
Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 24, 2014 View Comments Liana Hunt will seize the day! The actress is set to replace Kara Lindsay in the Newsies as leading lady Katherine Plumber starting February 3. As previously reported, Lindsay, who originated the role, will play her last performance on February 2. Star Files Related Shows Hunt is currently an ensemble member in Newsies. Her stage credits include Sophie in Mamma Mia! on Broadway as well as the national tour. Other credits include Les Miserables and Beauty and the Beast. Set in New York City at the turn of the century, Newsies follows Jack Kelly (Corey Cott), a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged boys, who dreams of a better life far from the hardships of the streets. When publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike. In addition to Lindsay and Cott, Newsies currently stars John Dossett as Joseph Pulitzer, Ben Fankhauser as Davey and LaVon Fisher-Wilson as Medda and features music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman and a book by Kinky Boots’ Harvey Fierstein. Newsies Kara Lindsay
View Comments Arterton recently appeared in a revival of The Duchess of Malfi. She made her professional stage debut at London’s Globe Theatre in 2007 as Rosaline in Love’s Labour’s Lost. Other London theater credits include The Master Builder and The Little Dog Laughed. Her TV and film credits include Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Quantum of Solace, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, St Trinian’s, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, Hansel and Gretel and Runner Runner. Bond girl Gemma Arterton is set to star in the stage adaption of Made in Dagenham. According to the Daily Mail ‘s Baz Bamigboye, the musical, directed by Rupert Goold, will open at the West End’s Adelphi Theatre in the fall, after The Bodyguard ends its run. Based on the 2010 film of the same name, Made in Dagenham tells the tale of the female machinists who went on strike in 1968 at the U.K.’s Ford Dagenham car factory demanding equal pay and protesting against sexual discrimination. Arterton will star as Rita, who leads her co-workers to strike.
Singer-songwriter Jessie J began her career in musical theater and she’s impatient to get back to the stage! “I can’t wait to do a musical. It was my first musical love,” the Brit recently wrote on her Facebook page after she visited Broadway’s Book of Mormon. She also posted a clip of her singing her “back inna di day audition song” from Les Miz, “On My Own” on the stage of the Eugene O’Neill, where the hit tuner is currently playing. View Comments The “Domino” diva was nine when she was cast in a lead role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s West End production of Whistle Down the Wind, the musical he co-wrote with Meat Loaf legend Jim Steinman. (Remember “No Matter What”? That show!). She later joined the U.K.’s prestigious National Music Theatre. Jessie J’s obviously never forgotten her roots. Check her out in all her superstar glory paying tribute to Lloyd Webber, the “first person who ever believed in me” below. We’re thinking a beautiful collaboration could be on the cards…
View Comments Take another little piece of our hearts, Janis! Tickets for the off-Broadway run of A Night with Janis Joplin are now on sale. The Janis tribute, after an acclaimed run on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre, will play the Gramercy Theatre beginning April 10. A Night with Janis Joplin celebrates the inspirations of one of rock’s greatest legends and takes audiences on a musical journey with Joplin as her unforgettable voice made her a must-see headliner all across the country when she exploded onto the music scene in 1967. The show features many of Joplin’s hit songs, including “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Down on Me,” “Summertime,” “Piece of My Heart,” “Ball ‘n’ Chain,” “Maybe,” “Kozmic Blues,” “Cry Baby” and “Mercedes Benz.” Mary Bridget Davies will reprise her performance as the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Additional casting will be announced soon. The show is written and directed by Randy Johnson. Star Files Mary Bridget Davies
Our New Girl will run through June 29 at Atlantic Stage 2. Opening night is set for June 10. Written by Nancy Harris, Our New Girl opens the door to Hazel Robinson’s (McCann) perfect London home, where nothing is as it seems. Hazel’s plastic surgeon husband Richard (Wilson) has embarked on his latest charitable quest in Haiti, leaving the heavily pregnant Hazel with a failing business and a problem son. When a professional nanny arrives unannounced on the Robinsons’ doorstep, Hazel finds her home under the shadow of a perfect stranger with an agenda of her own. Show Closed This production ended its run on June 29, 2014 View Comments Our New Girl Related Shows The U.S. premiere of Our New Girl starts preview performances on May 28. The Atlantic Theater Company production, directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, stars Mary McCann, Lisa Joyce, CJ Wilson and Henry Kelemen.
Look out, because there’s another show coming to Broadway that has magic to do. The Illusionists—Witness the Impossible will astonish the Great White Way with a series of spectacles this fall. The show will dazzle audiences at the Marquis Theatre beginning November 26 and run through January 4, 2015. Opening night is set for December 4. Related Shows The Illusionists has toured internationally, making appearances in Mexico City, London, Dubai and more. The show recently played a sold-out season at the Sydney Opera House. The Illusionists View Comments The Illusionists—Witness the Impossible brings some of the most incredible illusionists on earth to the stage. They thrill, mystify, shock and delight audiences with hilarious magic tricks, death-defying stunts and acts of breathtaking wonder. Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 3, 2016