Audiences filled with Glee over new show

Fox gave viewers a taste of Glee last spring, making this fall’s premiere of the show highly anticipated–and it was well worth the wait.

Glee is a musical comedy television show that revolves around McKinley High School’s glee club made up of a misfit group of students. Spanish teacher Will Schuester, played by Matthew Morrison, decides to take over the glee club and restore it to its former glory.

This high-energy show is unlike anything else on television these days. It is like a breath of fresh air among all of the reality shows that keep springing up. Glee is entertaining on multiple levels with its singing, dancing and hilarity.

The music alone is enough of a reason to watch the show. Several of the actors have musical theater experience: Morrison and Lea Michele have even performed in Broadway productions.

Transforming modern day pop songs like “Gold Digger” and “Single Ladies” into show tunes is a risky endeavor, but Glee does it successfully.

It is like a more mature version of High School Musical where the characters deal with things like coming out and marital troubles.

The show uses humor to make fun of everything it is based on. With things like an all-male a cappella group named Acafellas and an angry cheerleading coach, played by Jane Lynch, that is out to destroy glee club, each episode’s multiple plot lines will keep you laughing and entertained.

Glee’s satire does not undermine the quality of its storylines or acting. Most of the main characters have already been given background stories, so they are more than just high school stereotypes.

Michele stands out as Rachel Barry, an overly ambitious student who wants to be a star, while Cory Monteith as Finn Hudson, plays the quarterback-turned-singer.

Chris Colfer does an excellent job portraying self-proclaimed fashion icon Kurt Hummel, and Amber Riley’s voice stands out in her role as Mercedes Jones, a diva who refuses to sing backup.

Viewers will get to see plenty more of this incredible cast because Glee has just been picked up for a full season.

Reilly rocked campus during night classes

As evening classes began on Sept. 23, McInnis auditorium was transformed into a concert venue.

A crowd of about 150 students and visitors turned out to hear rock band Reilly.

Classes normally held on the first and second floors of McInnis were moved to other buildings to accommodate the loud concert.

Assistant Director of Undergrad Admissions John Levis stepped up to the microphone and introduced The Color New, followed by Tim Be Told. Then the lights on the stage lit up for Reilly, and the audience went wild.

Reilly was founded in 2001 by band namesake John Reilly, a singer and songwriter, and Dan Huie, who plays the violin and electric guitar.

When they were booked for a show that required a full band, Reilly and Dan Huie asked some friends to join them.

Reilly now stands at five members strong: lead singer and guitarist Reilly; guitarist and violinist Dan Huie; violinist and keyboard player Noele Huie; bassist Matthew Bly; and the newest member, drummer Jordan Lenhoff.

As a Philadelphia-based band, Reilly knows many people from Eastern and surrounding colleges. When Dan Huie came over to talk to the Eastern booth at Creation, Levis was surprised.

“I could only think, ‘I’m talking to a Creation main-stage band,'” Levis said.

Reilly is special in more ways than one: It is perhaps the only Christian rock band that features not one, but two electric violins.

The Huies took center stage for violin duets and guitar-violin battles. The cheers got louder after every song, especially when the Huies called up two volunteers to compete in an air violin face-off.

“My favorite song was Reilly’s song ‘Sunlight,'” first-year Emily Samuelson said. “And I loved the Irish song (that Noele played). That was pretty cool too.”

Field of Screams

Field Of Screams, located in Mountville, Pa., is known as America’s number one haunted attraction.

Every fall, it offers three different events that you can take part in: the Haunted Hayride, the Den of Darkness and the Frightmare Asylum.

The Haunted Hayride drives its passengers in tractor-pulled wagons through the dark and creepy corn fields, passing and stopping at various scary scenes. These include frightening creatures, terrifying people, fires, chainsaws and many other chilling sights.
The Den of Darkness is a three-story house that you and your friends walk through. The passageways and rooms are challenging to walk through.

You must kneel and crawl through parts of the Den, feeling the walls in the darkness and walking over squishy and bumpy flooring made to feel and look like dead bodies. By the end, all you can do is get yourself out of the Den and to safety.

Walking through a four-story house known as The Frightmare Asylum, there are many insane patients and crazy situations that you have to overcome to find your way out.

There are rooms filled with patients screaming for your help and rooms where everything is flashing and bright.

You have to decide if you want to stay and help these patients or help yourself by making your way to the exit.

There are also multiple stands where you can purchase a variety of fair-type foods, as well as Field of Screams clothing.

Other stands feature games, such as the Toxic Head Toss Game.

Tickets are on sale from 6 to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 6 to 9 p.m. on Sundays. The event is open each night until the last person gets through the attractions.
It costs $15 to enter the Haunted Hayride, $12 for the Den and $15 for the Asylum. A “scream pass” for $25 will allow you to take part in all three.

As stated on a sign outside of the ticket booth, “Pay to get in, pray to get out.”

Philadelphia Zoo celebrates 150th birthday

Wouldn’t it be great to have a birthday celebration that lasts all year long? While the Philadelphia Zoo’s official birthday is on March 31,  the celebration was extended to last the whole year so that everyone can take part.

There may not be any cake, but there will definitely be lots of party animals.

For instance, new to the zoo is the McNeil Avian Exhibit, located past the penguins and next to Bear Country. Made from the   zoo’s original bird house, the exhibit lets you get close to many different kinds of birds that may even come down and land on you.

Along with seeing birds in a replica of their natural habitat, you can go into the Migration Theater and see a vivid depiction of Otis, a Philadelphia native oriole who is about to embark on his first migration. Educational and entertaining, the Migration Theater and the rest of the avian exhibit are a treat for anyone who visits.

For a full day’s outing or just a short hiatus with friends, the zoo is a great place to spend some time. For the last 30 minutes that the zoo is open each day, admission prices are lowered to $5 per person. If it is possible to cover the entire zoo in such a short amount of time, then this saves a great deal of money.

By riding the Channel 6 Zooballoon, taking a quick trip to see the new McNeil Avian Exhibit or just walking around, you will be taking part in a celebration of 150 years with America’s first zoo.


It’s not the ‘60s anymore, but that doesn’t stop Eastern students and faculty alike from getting excited about the upcoming visit from the Beatles tribute band, Beatles: The Return.

The band will be making a live appearance in McInnis auditorium on Oct. 23, and their visit is already generating buzz on campus.

Coming from Atlanta, Ga., the band’s visit was facilitated primarily by history professor Dr. Stephen Gatlin who is teaching a course this semester entitled The Beatles in Dream and History.An avid fan of The Beatles for many years, Gatlin arranged to invite the band as a function of the course.

The course is a historical and philosophical examination of the Beatles, their place in popular culture and their music, with particular emphasis on the lyrics and their underlying meaning.

“What made the Beatles successful was raw talent and timing,” Gatlin said. “You can be a no-talent nothing and sound like something these days. A lot of people seem to forget how hard they worked.”

Gatlin claims that this band’s skill as a tribute band is unparalleled.

“I’m very excited,” Gatlin said. “When these guys strike up, you will not be able to tell the difference between them and the Beatles.”

Beatles fanatic junior Katy Slininger is excited but skeptical. “I’ll be very critical of them at first,” she said.

Slininger is taking the Beatles history course taught by Gatlin.

“Revolver was the first important album I ever bought,” she said. “The Beatles were my introduction to real music. They blew my mind.”

As for other Eastern students, excitement levels seem to vary depending on devotion to the band. When questioned, several students were not even aware of the event.

According to Gatlin, tickets will go fast and the band is a must-see. So whether you’re a fan of the Beatles or completely unaware of their existence, stop by the concert and come prepared to party like it’s 1965.

“I’m very skeptical because, the Beatles are just great,” Slininger said, who is required to go to the event. “But hey, it can only be fun right?”

Dia del Este: Round Dos

Nowadays a dollar does not do much except buy two-thirds of a soda from a vending machine or do some laundry. But what if, after buying a $1 ticket, one could see a play, sing karaoke, go to a country fair and have a chance to win an Xbox 360 or iPod touch?

Dia del Este is an all-campus party that spans the whole weekend. The event kicks off on Sept. 18 at 5:30 p.m. with a county fair in Hainer Hall, repeating the hall’s fair from last year which won the highest attendance of all the events, and ends on Sept. 19 with a karaoke party in the Dining Commons.

The biggest prizes of Dia del Este are an Xbox 360 and an iPod touch. A ticket has to have 10 punches on it to enter the raffle, but do not fret: everyone is eligible for prizes at each event including Eagle dollars, movie tickets and Spring Banquet tickets.

Other events include a soccer game at Cabrini College, a late night dance party in Gough, a larger-than-life version of bingo in Doane Hall and an a cappella group that performed on season two of America’s Got Talent.

On Saturday night, students will be able to get deals on Breezeway combos and enter to win a bicycle. Those who buy tickets will also be granted free admission to the theater department’s production of Waiting for Godot on Thursday night, worth two punches per ticket.

Since Dia del Este is co-sponsored by SAB, there will be a fall carnival Saturday on the softball field from 12 noon until 3 p.m. There will be face painting, inflatables, music, vendors and barbeque provided by Sodexo.

The popularity of Dia del Este last year is remembered by all, especially the big closeout with the band Centrevol.

“I liked how the festival last year brought together the Eastern community and brought the halls together as well,” junior Chris Clark said.

Sophomore Gavin Donnelly, an RA in Kea-Guffin, said that he thought Dia del Este was “kick butt and high octane like a power wheels (car).”

Participation is key: The residence hall from which the largest percentage of residents participate will win $250.

Another $100 will be given to the particular floor that has the best participation. In addition, the residence hall that holds the best activity will win $250.

Those who commute can sign up for the residence hall of their choice.


Dia del Este Schedule
For more information, go to

8 p.m. – Waiting for Godot, worth two punches

5:30-7:30 p.m
. – Country Fair, Hainer Hall
6:30-8:30 p.m. – Gallup Luau, Gallup Center
7:30-9:30 p.m. – ‘70s House, Kea-Guffin Hall (worth two punches if dressed in ‘70s clothes)
10-11:30 p.m. – Fault Line, a cappella rock band, main gym
11 p.m.-1 a.m. – Pajama Party with Jenny and Tyler, Breezeway (worth two punches if dressed in pajamas)
1-2 a.m. – Save the Last Dance Hunt, Gough Hall

12-3 p.m. – Fall Carnival, Softball field (Rain location, Rec Gym)
2:30-4:30 p.m. – “Wet n’ Wild,” Sparrowk Hall
3:50-5:30 p.m. – Salsa Saturday, Eagle Hall
6:30-8 p.m. – Men’s Soccer game v. Cabrini, Cabrini soccer field (worth two punches if dressed or painted in Eastern colors)
7:30-9:30 p.m. – D-O-A-N-E Bingo, Doane Hall
9-10 p.m. – Jenny and Tyler concert, Jammin’ Java
9:30-midnight – Video Karaoke and Grand Prize ceremony, Dining Commons

Free Library of Philadelphia hosts author readings

Sept. 22: Ralph Nader, Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!, 12 p.m. FREE

Sept. 24: James Ellroy, Blood’s A Rover, 7:30 p.m. FREE

Oct. 5: Monday Poets, Leonard Gontarek, 6:30 p.m. FREE

Sept. 23: Marjane Satrapi, The Complete Persepolis, 7:30 p.m. FREE

Sept. 30: Banned Books Reading, 7:30 p.m. FREE

Where’s Godot?

At its least, Samuel Beckett’s post World War II tragicomedy is about the banter that arises between two friends who exist in a state of perpetual, time-bending boredom. At its most, it is a haunting window into the darker questions and limits of Christianity. Beckett has, in large part, left it up to the viewer to decide.

Waiting for Godot is a play about two friends, Vladimir and Estragon, or “Didi” and “Gogo,” as they wait by the side of the road for their appointment with the mysterious Godot, who always seems just out of reach of the increasingly frustrated friends. As day turns to night, Vladimir and Estragon repeatedly attempt to leave their roadside haven for the pursuit of greener pastures but are always stopped short by reminding themselves that they must continue to wait for the promised Godot.

Enter Pozzo and Lucky, a slave driver and his mostly mute, suffering servant, and the stage is set for an interesting outcome.

Eastern’s production, directed by ‘97 alumna Deanna Downes, brings several accomplished alumni back to Eastern’s theater department. Among these are Jon Froehlich (Gogo) from ’99, Michael Brix (Pazzo) from ’98 and Downes herself. Froehlich and Downes have both gone on to graduate studies at Columbia University.
In the midst of the play, Beckett alludes to numerous biblical figures through his interpretation of characters such as Lucky, whose passive obedience has been connected with the suffering of Christ; Godot, whose omniscient power has been taken to represent God; and Vladimir and Estragon, who are often seen as representatives of the increasingly hard-to-please human race. Beckett is clearly speaking to the questions of our time, questions that are even more relevant to those who call themselves Christians.

But while it is tempting for Christians to elevate the religious elements of the play, Beckett’s real agenda is perhaps more obscure. Isaac Woofter (Vladimir) said that in choosing how to act out his character, he and Froehlich made the decision “not to play up the religious themes” of the play.

Woofter said that in the process of developing his character, he focused less on deciphering original thematic intent and more on “playing the likeness, playing the fun” of his Vaudeville-like relationship with Estragon. Such banter provides entertainment, and, though the overarching religious themes are still present, leaves these themes for the audience to interpret.

Downes, however, sees the religious content of the play as being more prevalent, noting how she wrote a paper on its religious content for a graduate class at Colombia. Downes said that such differences in dramatic interpretation provide a nice, subtle contrast between some of the actors on stage.

Perhaps the true brilliance of Beckett’s play comes from its multiple interpretations, as both sides seem to acknowledge some degree of purposeful obscurity in deciphering its true meaning.

“Beckett leaves it open, and he leaves room to put ourselves into it,” Downes said.
For Christians, this may mean the topics of a post-play conversation are a little bit different than those of their secular counterparts. But as it stands, just about everybody can glean some sort of meaning from a story about two friends waiting for Godot.

SAB and Fine Arts have high goals for the year


The buzz word for SAB this year is Friday.

“Almost everything we have planned this year is on a Friday,” Coordinator of Student Activities Paul Daigle said. “Now students will always know when student activities events are being held.”

Every weekend is scheduled with activities ranging from coffee houses to dances. One new feature is Weekly October Pictures at which a different movie will be shown every Friday night. Some events will specifically occur on Saturdays, so be on the lookout for those.
The most important event this semester will be the return of Dia del Este. It will now be on Sept. 18 to correspond with the opening of the KaGe.

“We hope that with Dia del Este earlier in the year, it will get students more engaged and kick off the year with more energy,” Daigle said.


Theatre department

With a line-up including Waiting for Godot on Sept. 16-20 and My Soldiers on Nov. 11-15, the theatre is aiming to deliver some truly mind-blowing performances.

One of the biggest changes is the Opera Workshop that the department will hold in the spring. Associate Director of Theatre Teresa Moyer will be running the workshop for students who either take the THR230A class, perform in the Actor’s Lab or have special permission.

“Voice majors and other singers need to be trained in acting and truthful theatrical performing,” Moyer said in an e-mail. She also hopes to have her students work together on a bi-yearly musical.

There will be no spring musical this year because the Opera Workshop will take all of Moyer’s time. But one thing remains the same in the theatre department: its goal.
“(Our goal is) to elevate the arts,” said Mark Duska, Technical Director for Fine and Performing Arts and Production Manager for Theatre.

Director of Theatre Mark Hallen agreed with Duska, adding that re-integrating alumni with current students is another integral part of their goal.

“If that’s what growing is, that’s what we want to do,” he said.


Music department

Little has changed for the folks in Workman Hall. Their big event is still the Winter Music Festival, occurring this year on Nov. 20-22.

The new thing that the music department wants to happen is the construction of a new concert hall. And with the music major being one of the top four majors of the incoming class, it is no surprise that it needs this larger building.

“There really is administrative support” for the concert hall, music department chairperson Dr. Ron Matthews said.

In the meantime, the music department hopes to go more digital with the help of John Greenland, Director of the Electronic Music Studio. Together with EUMedia, they plan to put excerpts of performances online.

“I believe that it will stimulate participation and creativity in multimedia performance and composition by both faculty and students, while affording a common virtual stage for both,” Greenland said in an e-mail.


Dance department

“Our goal this semester is to continue to build on the success of last year and improve curriculum for the students,” dance department chairperson Dr. Karen Clemente said.
Last April, the dance department was in fine form at Spirit Dancing, its final show of the year. The pieces varied in theme and difficulty, but the one that shone most was “In the Making,” choreographed by Dr. Joselli Deans.

“In the Making” was a unique piece that showed the process of dance, with dancers moving from warm-up to performance.

What made this dance special was the cooperation of music department professor David Bryant who wrote music specifically for the dance. A recording of the music was played during the performance of “In the Making” last April.

This year at the Fine Arts Festival on Oct. 9, “In the Making” will be performed again, this time with live musicians playing Bryant’s composition. The dancers will also receive acting lessons from one of the theater department’s alumni, making the piece a collaborative effort.

There will also be a dance concert on Dec. 4-6.