princess

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

A brain, an athlete, a basket-case, a princess and a criminal.

In honor of “The Breakfast Club’s” 30th anniversary, Universal Studios premiered the digitally remastered film at the Paramount Theatre on Monday. The movie releases in theaters March 26 – 31. Before the screening began, the film’s stars Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy reminisced with the audience.

“I ate at least three entire sandwiches,” Sheedy said, referring to the pixie sticks-and-cereal flavored sandwiches her character eats.

Originally released in 1985, “The Breakfast Club” is a cult classic derived from the mind of late writer and director John Hughes. The film centers on five angsty teenagers, each a different stereotype, who attend Saturday detention and discover they have more in common than they thought.

“The essential message of the movie is that we are all outsiders,” Ringwald said. “No matter your background, skin color, or sexual preference everyone feels alone, right? It's about these people that feel so alone and they find out they're not.”

Ringwald, who plays the ‘princess’ Claire, and Sheedy, the ‘basket-case’ Allison, attributed the movie’s present-day relevance to its message.

“I felt what this movie really did was affirm the experience of a young person and put it up on the screen,” Sheedy said. “You do matter, we are interested in you and we’re going to tell your story.”

When asked whether the movie could have been made today and still capture the feeling that “The Breakfast Club” instills in audiences, Ringwald said it wouldn’t be the same.

“I don’t think it would be at all the way it was,” Ringwald said. “It would be a cool version but, without [Hughes] sheparding it — no.”

Ringwald said Hughes embodied characteristics from each of the five characters. Sheedy remembers he would approach each  actor telling them “No, I’m really your character.”

“One of [Sheedy’s] lines is ‘As you get older your heart dies,’” Ringwald said. “I feel like Hughes always had a heavy heart and that's why he was always able to hold on to that teen angst.”

Now that the years have passed and Ringwald and Sheedy are both mothers, Ringwald said it was an incredible moment when she realized she had become like the characters' parents.

“The movie focuses so much on how parents suck,” Ringwald said. “I would like to throw down the gauntlet right now and say there needs to be a movie from the parents side of view.”

Peter Rogers and March Majcher are improv troupe performers for the Fan Fiction Fandom Show, a series of audience interactive comedy shows at the Hideout Theatre.

Photo Credit: Debby Garcia | Daily Texan Staff

The cast of “Fandom” at the Hideout Theatre has been shape shifting into diverse, fictional worlds for the past five Saturdays. By becoming characters of popular culture, the Fandom cast performs an entirely different show every week. One week, the world was “Batman;” the next week was “Hunger Games” themed. There are no scripts and no plans — only improv. 

“Fandom: Improvised Fan Fiction in your Favorite Worlds,” is performed in an intimate theater where the audience is extremely involved. 

“Improv is unique as an art because it’s super immediate and audience interactive,” co-director Andy Crouch said. “So I think it can hit an audience in a way that theater doesn’t necessarily, because it’s scripted and has set things that have to happen.”

In the “Classic Nintendo” show, the improviser had to manage surprising twists to the skit at the yell of “Pause!” from any audience member, which would cause the improvisers to freeze and change their scene according to the audience member’s suggestion, no matter what it was.     

“One of the best things about this show specifically, is with the way it’s structured. We have no idea what’s going to happen,” said Mark Majcher, one of the Fandom improvisers. “And that’s true of any improv, but this show specifically we are encouraged to completely break free and do whatever we feel will be the most fun and in the moment; because we have absolutely no idea what will go on next. It’s scary and super fun.”    

During one segment of the show, a member of the audience was called to the stage to act as a princess on a dating show. “Where would you take me on our first date?” the princess asked, and three classic Nintendo characters answered her question with hilarious results. 

Fandom improviser, Halyn Erickson, said the show has become more than just comedy for her fellow
cast members. 

“A beautiful thing about this show is that not only do we get to be these characters, in these worlds that we love so much, we get to be with like-minded nerds, and now we have this common thing we can all do together,” Erickson said. 

The Fandom cast said that improv bonded them together in a way that everyday activities
couldn’t have. 

While members of the cast have participated in many other improv shows, the improvisers agreed Fandom is both exceptionally different and tremendously enjoyable. While one improviser dressed as Mario and spoke with an Italian accent, another improviser wore pink tights and fainted to the ground as Princess Peach. Each transitioned from different characters with each new skit such as: Wario and Boo, Yoshi and Link and many others. Fandom improviser, Aaron Saenz, feels this is what makes Fandom special.

“I think you spend your whole life wanting to be these characters, and in the show, you actually get to be these characters,” Saenz said.

After intermission, the Fandom cast offered three different story ideas for a skit that would last the entire second half. The audience members picked the third option presented to them — “Who killed Princess Peach?”. Unfolding in a hilariously shocking way, even Crouch joined in as well, assisting in the murder mystery. 

“This is the first time this show has ever been done. We got inspired because we want to create shows that are thrilling for audiences,” Crouch said. “We wanted something that was using those loved characters and getting as much audience feedback and participation as possible.” 

The Fandom show will be improvised live Feb. 9, 16 and 23 at 8 p.m., with the respective themes: “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter” and audience choice for the last week.

Printed on Thursday, February 7, 2013 as: Improv tackles fan favorites

Spoiler warning: This article contains major spoilers from the first season of “Game of Thrones.”

Illustrations by Holly Hansel.

It can be downright intimidating to parse out the immense character ensemble of the epic HBO fantasy series “Game of Thrones.” Here’s The Daily Texan’s guide to the major players you should know going into the season two premiere this Sunday.

 

THE STARKS OF WINTERFELL

Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark (deceased) — Former Lord of Winterfell and Hand of King Robert Baratheon, who was executed by Joffrey Baratheon following the king’s death when he discovered that Joffrey was a product of incest and an illegitimate ruler. Honest, noble and heroic, Ned was the one obvious hero of the story.

Catelyn Stark — Cat is the wife of Lord Eddard and Lady of Winterfell. She suspects that Tyrion Lannister was behind the assassination attempt against her son Bran, and arrested him on the Kingsroad.

Robb Stark — Robb is the son of Ned and the heir to Winterfell. Almost as nobly earnest as his father, Robb is in the midst of fighting for Northern independence from the kingdom.

Sansa Stark — The girly-girl of Eddard’s two daughters, Sansa dreams of becoming a princess and is somewhat insufferably snobby at first, but her father’s death and her subsequent betrothal to Joffrey and imprisonment at King’s Landing transforms her into a tragic and sympathetic figure.

Arya Stark — A fiercely independent tomboy, Arya runs away from King’s Landing after her father’s death. Masquerading as a boy, she takes up with a group of men headed for the Northern fortress, the Wall — which happens to include Gendry, a “bastard” son of the deceased king.

Bran Stark — The second-youngest son of Ned, who has eerily prophetic dreams, the crippled 8-year-old is forced to act as the Lord of Winterfell in his mother and older brother’s absence as they fight for Northern independence.

Jon Snow — Ned Stark’s bastard son Jon Snow has taken a lifelong oath to protect the kingdom from the dangers north of the Wall. Strange and supernatural happenings in the wilderness have led him to accompany his fellow brothers of the Night’s Watch on a dangerous expedition beyond the safety of the Wall.

THE LANNISTERS OF CASTERLY ROCK

Tyrion Lannister — One of the three Lannister children, Tyrion is a dwarf and a fan favorite. Unable to prove his mettle through battle or physical strength, Tyrion is extremely intelligent and cunning.

Jaime Lannister — Brother to Tyrion and Cersei and a knight of the Kingsguard, Jaime is known as the Kingslayer for his murder of the Mad King Aerys Targaryen, from whom Robert Baratheon wrested the throne. Jaime has been sexually involved with his sister from adolescence and fathered all three of her children.

Joffrey Lannister — After the death of his father King Robert, Joffrey Baratheon sits in the Iron Throne in King’s Landing. Joffrey is proud, impulsive and petulant, and it remains to be seen whether his family will keep him in line and check his destructive tendencies.

Tywin Lannister — Lord of Casterly Rock and former Hand of the King under Aerys Targaryen, Tywin is ruthless, calculating and spiteful, and loves Jaime and Cersei, although he despises Tyrion.

THE BARATHEONS OF KING’S LANDING, DRAGONSTONE AND STONE’S END

King Robert Baratheon (deceased) — Once a great warrior who overthrew the Mad King, Robert grew into a lazy, inefficent king who loved drinking, eating and womanizing. Robert was killed in a hunting accident engineered by his wife Cersei.

Cersei Baratheon, formerly Lannister — She is the ambitious, scheming, bitter and impetuous Queen Regent of Westeros.

Stannis Baratheon — Lord of Dragonstone and the eldest of Robert’s two brothers, Stannis is stern, humorless and brooding, and seeks to claim possession of the throne with the help of the sorceress Melisandre, who proclaims Stannis to be a messianistic figure.

Renly Baratheon — Robert and Stannis’ youngest brother and Lord of Stone’s End, Renly is handsome and charismatic and also seeks the throne.

Brienne of Tarth ­— A female knight who dedicates herself to Renly’s battle for the throne, Brienne is mocked for her homeliness, although she’s loyal, brave and idealistic.

TARGARYENS

Danaerys Targaryen — An exiled princess and daughter of the overthrown Mad King, Danaerys was married off to a vicious Dothraki horselord. At the start of the season, Dany’s husband has died and she’s gained possession of three dragons, a species previously thought extinct and which have unimaginable power. Dany’s goal is to return to Westeros to reclaim the throne for the Targaryens.

THE GREYJOYS OF THE IRON ISLANDS

Theon Greyjoy — A handsome, arrogant ward of Eddard Stark, Theon was raised like a brother to Ned’s children. In season two, Theon returns to the Iron Islands to offer his father Balon kingship over the islands in return for his assistance in Robb Stark’s effort for independence. Much to his dismay, Theon is rebuffed by his proud father, who resents that his son has been raised like a northerner.

Yara Greyjoy — Called Asha in the novels, Yara is Theon’s sister and the pride of her father. Yara is bold, tough, and a skilled warrior and sailor.

Printed on Friday, March 30, 2012 as: Game of Thrones

Review

Singer Chris Martin of the music group Coldplay performs on the “Today” show on Friday in New York. (Photo courtesy of NBC)

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

When Coldplay released its debut album, Parachutes, with its layers of beautiful, melancholic arrangements contrasting with the light-hearted lyrics of frontman Chris Martin, the band impressed audiences worldwide and started a movement that still resonates today. Alongside Radiohead, Coldplay has solidified itself atop the Britpop pedestal, each release a progressive climb towards pop icon status.

Mylo Xyloto continues in the Coldplay tradition — multiple crescendos, intricate arrangements and reflective social commentary — but with a more electronic, new wave direction.

Similar to its predecessor Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends, Mylo Xyloto shows the group branching out into different realms of music: “Hurts Like Heaven” is reminiscent of The Cure with its soaring, moody vocals and synthy passages. “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” and its arena rock guitars are complemented by a thumping bass drum. The subtle harmonies are enthralling, veiled by lightly strummed acoustic guitar that adds to the song’s powerful sound.

“Princess of China” and its fuzzy synths, electronic hand claps and vocal contribution from Rihanna, showcases the band’s admiration for hip-hop. Martin comes off as confident in territory that is familiar to the hip-hop diva, resulting in a strangely intriguing union between the two.

The album bridges the gap between Coldplay’s poppy, piano-driven past and its electronic future: There is an almost flawless balancing of the two worlds, indicating the band’s desire to intermingle sounds and ideas that might have been difficult earlier in their career. The band easily experiments, taking elements from its past that propelled it into the mainstream, while successfully adding a component of unfamiliarity.

Though, it can be displeasing at times. “Up In Flames” leans too far into the electronic realm, and unlike most songs on the album, there is no captivating build. “Us Against the World” can also be redundant: it would have been perfect on Viva La Vida, but its significance on Mylo Xyloto is out of place. This is where Coldplay experiences trouble — rather than sticking to its guns, it either leans too far to the left or right. The struggle between the complacency of its old, definitive sound and fascination with its newfound sound is apparent in these songs, taking away from the album’s overall fluidity.

Mylo Xyloto indicates a turning point for Coldplay. Yes, the piano and acoustic guitar still remain a part of the band’s music, but it is the exploration of new territory and how it will manipulate it that will prove why Coldplay is a noteworthy band.

Printed on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 as: Britpop mainstays go electronic

Participants of the Pop Princess Singalong dance with balloons and glow sticks beneath Beyonce’s video for “Crazy In Love” at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz last Thursday.

Photo Credit: Thomas Allison | Daily Texan Staff

The Alamo Drafthouse’s Downtown and Lake Creek locations will be putting on the Pop Princess Sing-Along event for its third and final show of the year tonight.

Audience members are invited to dress up as their favorite bubblegum princess and rock out to the tunes of nearly every guilty-pleasure pop diva of the past 30 years.

The Drafthouse has put on a Pop Princess Sing Along multiple times before, and in previous years, the sing-along show has focused on the classic female pop artists of the ’80s and ’90s: think Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, Cyndi Lauper, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. This year, the show has been updated to accommodate the many upcoming female pop artists that currently infiltrate the charts and implant their maddeningly catchy tunes in our brains for days at a time.

“I had the thought that Katy Perry is making a run to be cemented in the history books as the pop princess of our time,” said Greg MacLennan, director of interactive programming at the Alamo Drafthouse. “I wanted to add the stuff that’s going on now, like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, all those girls. So we’ll still keep in the ’80s stuff, but I also tried to include more contemporary stuff this time. It’s more fun that way.”

MacLennan said the Pop Princess Sing Along evolved out of past sing alongs hosted by the Drafthouse, including the Boy Band Sing Along and the Disney Musketeers Sing Along.

Although the show is designed to be an interactive experience for the audience, MacLennan said that the audience determines both the level of interactivity and the amount of fun they’ll have.

“We’ll have fun, kind of passive things for the audience, like when we pass out flashing rings during Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),’” MacLennan said.

“But it’s not aggressively interactive. I just say, ‘The only limits to the fun you’ll have tonight are your own inhibitions. Let’s just get over ourselves and have a good time. If you wanna dance in the aisles, get up onstage, dress up, you can take it to that level of interactivity.’”

Although one might expect a largely female audience in attendance for the Pop Princess Sing Along, MacLennan says it’s easy for guys and girls to enjoy the saccharine sounds of Britney and Christina.

“No matter gay, straight, guy or girl, these are the songs you can’t help but sing in the car by yourself,” MacLennan said. “Once you get into the theater, you realize, ‘Wow, I’m surrounded by 200 people who all do the same thing that I do,’ and then you just cut loose and enjoy yourself. I’ve seen a group of straight dudes sitting at a Pop Princess show and just having a good time.”

Printed on August 25, 2011 as: Seeing Stars

Pop princess Kylie Minogue transcends her already lofty position in tahe pop monarchy to take on the aura of a deity with her 11th studio album, Aphrodite.

“I’ve never felt like this about an album ... Aphrodite is the goddess of love, and as far as the music goes, there’s a feeling of euphoria to this one,” said Minogue in an interview with PopJustice, a U.K. music blog.

The inspiration for completing a new album arose after Minogue finished her first North American Tour, which received an overwhelming reception from U.S. fans and sold out at every city. While in New York, she teamed up with executive producer Stuart Price to finalize what he calls, “Kylie doing pop-dance music at her best.”

The lead single, “All the Lovers,” is somewhat of a Kylie anthem, characterized by a lullaby-influenced chorus and some of the best electronic production yet to be released by Minogue, climaxing in an explosive middle-eight section full of stellar arpeggios flying in every direction. The single is receiving top airplay in Europe.

The best track on the album, and currently in the running for second single, is called “Get Outta My Way” and should be the track to return Kylie to U.S. fame. Originally, the track was in the running for four other artists to cut as the top single — including Britney Spears, who offered Kylie a few million for it — but in the end, the track was selected for Miss Minogue. This song is the catchiest thing Mingoue has released since her days in the ’80s, characterizing a new, fierce attitude so strong it can be felt from verse to chorus in an immensely powerful stomper of a track, currently being packaged for its place at No. 1 on the charts.

The track “Too Much” was composed with Scissor Sisters’ lead singer Jake Shears and U.K. electronic artist Calvin Harris. This fantastical array of off-beat chimes and irresistible shouts from Kylie of a love that’s insatiably “too much” is just the kind of work fans want to hear, as it offers both Kylie’s distinctive euphoria with the best of modern chords, beats and vocal cutting. “Cupid Boy” features bubble-gum electronics, vocodered, multimetered builds, and one of the most fantastic choruses Minogue has yet to deliver in over 30 years of experience.

Kylie’s talents break free as she embraces her highest register, her catchiest and most sassy lyrics, as well as a hand-selection of the world’s top producers and DJs to provide music worthy for the Gods. Aphrodite is a dance album to transcend all others.