Macklemore Lewis

Horns Up: University recasts ‘In The Heights’ Musical

In November of last year, the College of Fine Arts promised to recast its upcoming production, “In the Heights” — a musical that follows the lives of 12 Dominican-American teenagers living in New York — after receiving backlash for casting professional guest actors instead of students. In the original casting, nine of the 12 lead roles were given to professional actors, as the outside creative team felt there were not enough qualified students of color in the theatre department to fill the need. On Friday, The Daily Texan reported that the theatre department both recast the production with minority students and hired an entirely new creative team to oversee the play’s production. Not only are we pleased that the college has made good on its casting promise, but we are glad that it has chosen to start fresh with a new director, musical director and choreographer, signaling that they aren’t afraid of making drastic changes in response to well-deserved  criticism. 

Photo: Debby Garcia, Daily Texan Staff. Theater department officials have a discussion with students about the casting of "In the Heights" in November. 

Horns Down: Macklemore beats out Kanye and Kendrick

On Sunday, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won three Grammys for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance, effectively sweeping the rap categories at this year’s ceremony. And while Macklemore is certainly a talented artist worthy of the accolades he’s gotten over the past year, it’s both disappointing and disheartening the awards didn’t go to Kanye West or Kendrick Lamar. Sure, The Heist is a great album, and “Thrift Shop” will go down in history as the first single to reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 without the support of a major record label. But at the end of the day, Macklemore’s fun, accessible pop pales in comparison to the heartfelt and deeply meaningful music of the other nominees. The intense racial commentary of West’s Yeezus is definitely harder to listen to than The Heist, and the harsh narrative of Lamar’s Compton upbringing on Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City is less accessible than a silly song about buying second-hand clothes. But the path of least resistance is seldom the most worthwhile, especially when it comes to art. Horns down to the Grammys for overlooking two veritable hip-hop masterpieces in favor of Macklemore’s easily digestible pop.

Horns Down: Students don’t know much about recycling

Though Austin continues to encourage recycling efforts and reduce wastefulness, information on how and where to recycle properly is not reaching UT students living in high-capacity dorms and apartments, according to an article by The Daily Texan released Friday. The city requires complexes with more than 50 units to allow 25 percent of waste disposal space for recycling, but the city’s policies and ordinances are not well enforced. Property owners and managers, consequently, don’t put in the effort to inform student tenants, who are often unaware of these recycling opportunities. Any student who has gone grocery shopping since last March is aware of the city’s stance on limiting wasteful plastic bags, and many students make an effort to utilize the recycling containers on campus. Educating students about apartment recycling options could lead to a similar surge in compliance. Property owners should take the time to point students in the right direction, instead of assuming that they already know their recycling options.


SNL in review: Kevin Hart

Saturday’s host was pint-size comedian and actor Kevin Hart with musical guests Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Hart’s ability to be extremely excited while talking a mile a minute got the episode off to a strong start but eventually wound down to end things with a whimper, not a bang. Sketches like “The Shark Tank” and “360 News” were, frankly, not funny at all.

Here are some of the night’s highlights:

Kevin Hart’s monologue: Hart opened with a short and sweet bit about watching a homeless man palm someone’s sandwich. He avoided the awkwardness of past comedy monologues on SNL, the prime example being Dane Cook pacing about the stage like a crazy man in 2005 and 2006.

Steve Harvey Show-Phobias: Oh, Kenan Thompson, I love you. You’re the funniest person on SNL right now, and your Steve Harvey impression made me laugh so hard, I choked on my drink.

New Pope: Hart plays the ever-precious Quvenzhané Wallis as she is crowned the spiritual leader of the Catholics. Who doesn’t want Quvenzhané Wallis to be pope? Also, pope jokes will never get old. Ever.

Barnes & Noble Firing: Bobby Moynihan and Cecily Strong reprise their roles as two gratuitously profane minimum wage laborers. Hart can’t manage a straight face as Carl, played by Tim Robinson, creeps over his shoulder. That’s the way the popcorn pops.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis-Thrift Shop: Macklemore jumps around in red pants, gold epaulets and a black leather tank top while Ryan Lewis tries his darndest to be a hype man/beat dropper in a white fur jacket. Watch for the horn section's varying degrees of being “into it.”

Bonus Pope jokes: Check out Weekend Update for more pope jokes! I really cannot get enough of these pope jokes, y’all.