Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Regina Park.

The second half of February is still frigid, so keep toasty with dinner specials across the District and DJs known for their global sound. Before you chow down, enjoy Mardi Gras even if you’re under 21, or avoid the bar scene and learn to make a real drink at Mixology 101.

Tuesday

Mardi Gras with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band: For those who are not yet 21 but would still like to enjoy the annual Carnival celebrations, The Hamilton is hosting this free concert. Straight from the streets of New Orleans, the Dirty Dozen have been playing together since 1977.
The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Free.

Mixology 101: If you’d rather make drinks on Mardi Gras, this one-night-only workshop is for you. Learn to make high-end cocktails from Chad Spangler, who was named the 2012 Best Bartender by the Washington Post Express and the 2013 Most Imaginative Bartender by GQ Magazine.
Chaplin’s, 1501 9th St. NW. 6:30 p.m. $45 in advance, $55 at the door, 21 and older.

Wednesday

Das German at Doner Bistro: Doner Bistro is hosting a “Das German” Party for the Germanophiles in us all. International DJs Dianamatic, Wolfblister, Slammer and IndaNile will be spinning everything from pop and electro to rap – and, of course, it will be in German (auf Deutsch). And who could forget the bier specials?
Doner Bistro, 1654 Columbia Road NW. 7 p.m. Free, 21 and older.

Cutting Agency and Fractal Cat at Gypsy Sally’s: Cutting Agency is an experimental group founded in the District that merges DJ groove with the live-music sound of a five-piece band. The group has shared the stage with big names like Magic!, Ramsey Lewis, Lettuce and others.
Gypsy Sally’s, 3401 Water St. N.W. 7 p.m. $10

Thursday

Chocolate Puma at U Street Music Hall: U Street Music Hall is bringing Gaston Steenskist and René ter Horst, two of the Netherlands’ most celebrated electronic musicians, to the District. The duo, called Chocolate Puma, will collaborate with D.C.’s very own Brad Piff.
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. 10 p.m. $10

Chinese New Year Celebration at The Fainting Goat: For those interested in a little culture with their Chinese food, check out this celebration. Executive chef Nathan Beauchamp will serve a family-inspired dinner consisting of food that’s traditionally eaten for good luck, such as Szechuan goat, clams with XO sauce and steamed bass. Imported Tsingtao beers for $4 will be available, as well as “good luck” cocktails. The Fainting Goat will also have traditional lion dances and kung-fu movie screenings.
1330 U St. NW 6 p.m. $35

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The GW Muslim Students’ Association held a vigil Friday for the three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, N.C. who were killed earlier this week.

Students gathered in Kogan Plaza to hold candles and listen to their classmates give speeches.

Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and Razaan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, died Tuesday in a shooting near the University of North Carolina. A neighbor, Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, was charged with three counts of murder.

Video by Deepa Shivaram.

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Humans Versus Zombies at GW delivered “zombiegrams” across campus Friday to raise money for the club’s Relay For Life team.

The zombie-themed surprises were hand-delivered by team members in full zombie makeup. So far, HvZ has raised over $100, which will go to the American Cancer Society to benefit cancer research.

Video by Deepa Shivaram and Randala Abraham.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Katrina Kagan.

Litchfield Penitentiary in “Orange is the New Black” may be the small screen women’s prison we know and love, but Cook County Jail still does lady jailbirds best.

As the curtains rose in the smoky theater hall and a slow jazz tune began to play in The National Theatre, an otherwise dull Tuesday evening transformed into a Prohibition-era cabaret.

As a show that’s been performed countless times around the world, one might expect a bit of a lackluster performance or an unenthusiastic audience with a less notable cast. And as somebody who’s seen the show before, I didn’t expect to be enthralled.

But the D.C. leg of the national tour of “Chicago” proved that the show is as exciting as ever, from the booming orchestra at center stage to the intimate and skilled cast.

At The National Theatre show, the scenes were not set with decorative scenery or elaborate props, but rather were accented by lights, a few ladders, some feathers, sequins and a set of bar stools. The cast filled the barren stage and their performance flooded the theater.

Bianca Marroquin and Terra MacLeod, who play Roxie Hart and Velma Kelley, respectively, were the true stars of the night as they pushed one another vocally. MacLeod’s character as a venerated performer with a rich history in showbiz was excellently executed, while Marroquin brought a quirky and comedic freshness to the young starlet.

In a fight for fame and fortune, the characters sing and dance through a media circus, fool the public and acquit Roxie of her crime, all with a little “Razzle Dazzle.”

This production, directed by David Hyslop and choreographed by David Bushman, pushed the identity of a show that has run for nearly two decades with its dancers and simple, powerful red-and-gold lighting. The all-black costumes contrasted with the textures of mesh, lace, glitter and fishnets.

The cast is comprised of about two dozen actors, including John O’Hurley, who is best known for his role as J. Peterman on “Seinfeld.” He was also the host of “Family Feud” and voiced King Neptune on “SpongeBob SquarePants.” O’Hurely was a convincingly charming Billy Flynn, the character who recognizes the fleeting nature of the fame that the protagonists desire.

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Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015 11:49 p.m.

Hidden Gems: Das Ethiopian Restaurant

Das Ethiopian serves authentic Ethiopian cuisine at 28th and M streets, about a 10-minute walk from campus.

Eating Ethiopian food the traditional way is a social experience, with the dishes coming on one platter for the entire table. The food is served over injera, a bread that “becomes sort of your knife and fork,” said Das Ethiopian’s operator, Sileshi Alifom.

“At the end of the day is where everybody gets together in the Ethiopian tradition to sit on the table and really share their thoughts,” Alifom said.

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Monday, Feb. 9, 2015 10:22 p.m.

Monday Mix and Editors’ Picks

Monday Mix

Here are a few tracks The Hatchet staff listened to while editing the Sex Issue. Happy listening.

Editors’ Picks

Music | Jeanine Marie, Culture Editor

This week’s pick: “Repetition” by Purity Ring

The lovely Canadian duo hasn’t made an album since 2012, so I’ve waited anxiously for this latest work. Purity Ring has released three singles, and this BBC teaser doesn’t disappoint. (“Repetition” starts at 8:35 minutes.)

Television | Robin Jones Kerr, Opinions Editor

This week’s pick: “Saturday Night Live” 40th Anniversary Special

Where will you find Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Maya Rudolph and 50 other comedians this Sunday? On NBC for the 40th Anniversary Special of “Saturday Night Live.” The star-studded event is sure to cap off your long weekend with lots of laughs.

Lit | Nora Princiotti, Sports Editor

This week’s pick: “When the Game Was Ours” by Larry Bird and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, with Jackie MacMullan

Study up with this candid read about the notoriously competitive basketball stars before March Madness begins.

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If the pre-midterm jitters have you in your room procrastinating, take your nervous energy to the dance floor. From The Kongos to Butch Queen DJs to small DIY groups, as well as must-see plays, this week is all about the stage.

Tuesday

The Kongos at the 9:30 Club: Hailing from Phoenix, Ariz., these brothers with a U2 sound and notoriety in the United Kingdom have been playing together virtually their whole lives. Their 12-song record “Lunatic” is comprised of diverse rock tunes with a hint of Coldplay and a splash of pop. They’re best known for the accordion-clad rock song, “Come With Me Now.”
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 7 p.m. $15.




Nick Thune at Sixth & I: Check out the D.C. installment of Nick Thune’s Very Tour! Much Comedy! He played small roles in “Knocked Up” and “Unaccompanied Minors,” and he’s performed on “The Tonight Show” eight times. Comedians Kate Berlant and Ben Kronberg will join Thune on stage.
Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. 8 p.m. $15.

Wednesday

Polyon, Chandos, Two Inch Astronaut at Babe City: These DIY bands are just a few of many groups playing lo-fi tunes in District basement quasi-venues. They’ve cut the production down to straightforward sounds to be played for small crowds.
Babe City, Dupont Circle. 7 p.m. $5 suggested donation.




Riot Grrrls’ “The Tempest” at Capitol Hills Art Workshop: Riot grrrl, a feminist hardcore punk movement born in D.C. in the 90′s, is taking on one of William Shakespeare’s lesser-known works, “The Tempest.” The play only has one female lead, which the group seems to view as a challenge rather than a setback.
Taffety Punk Theatre Co. at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. 7:30 p.m. $15.

Thursday

Phox at the 9:30 Club: These six “best friends” pride themselves on their small hometown, Baraboo, Wisc., where “kids often drink poisoned groundwater and become endowed mutants.” As far as music goes, their sugary blend of psychedelic pop-rock often goes on for six or seven minutes.
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 7 p.m. $15.




Love Feast at Tropicalia: If you missed Butch Queen DJs at The Black Cat last weekend, here’s your chance to redeem yourself. The evening kicks off with Dance Afire Productions, followed by Pussy Noir and MUNDY, and will culminate at midnight with an eclectic set of vogue house, 90′s mixes and trap.
Tropicalia. 2001 14 St. NW. 8:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. $10.

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The 12th annual Bokamoso youths’ residency culminated in performances in the Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre on Friday and Saturday.

Under the leadership of Leslie Jacobson, a professor of theater at GW and the vice president of the Bokamoso Youth Foundation, 13 students have traveled to South Africa each year since 2003 to work with the Bokamoso Youth Centre. Then, every February, the members of the center visit D.C. and stay in residence halls with GW students for the final week of their stay.

“The performances try to reflect both the challenges of the community and the joy in the community,” Jacobson said.

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Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 3:17 p.m.

World Cancer Day: Be The Match Drive

Relay For Life of GW commemorated World Cancer Day 2015 with a “Be The Match” bone marrow registry drive Wednesday.

“Be The Match” manages the largest bone marrow registry in the world. Students were invited to stop by a table in the Marvin Center lobby, ask questions, swab their cheeks and join the registry to help fight cancer.

Video by Surya Greer.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Eric Robinson.

“A Most Violent Year”

★★★★✰

There is not that much violence in J.C. Chandor’s gripping crime drama, “A Most Violent Year,” a film that often feels gritty rather than bloody or grisly.

Chandor trades white-knuckled shootouts for tense backroom dealings: In one such scene, oil company mogul Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) walks into a room full of loud competitors and silences the group with a simple, curt “Stop.” Such a scene is more satisfying than any action sequence.

“A Most Violent Year” follows Abel as he tries to expand his New York-based oil business legitimately – despite pressures to use extralegal methods – while under the scrutiny of Assistant District Attorney Lawrence (David Oyelowo), who takes an interest in Abel because his wife, Anna (Jessica Chastain), is the daughter of a notorious gangster

Oscar Isaacs and Jessica Chastain do not fail to impress playing Abel and Anna Morales. The duo are believable as a couple, and they still simultaneously add a conflict to the relationship that results in some spine-tingling scenes. Additionally, Isaacs and Chastain steep their roles in understatement and subtlety, a move that succeeds in making the moments when they do start yelling and screaming all the more effective.

“A Most Violent Year” may not be Chandor’s best – that honor goes to the survival drama, “All is Lost” – but it definitely shows his best cinematography. Chandor creates images of a decaying city, producing a sense of dread that festers in the audience’s mind.

The only flaw to “A Most Violent Year” is its thematically derivative subject matter. The story of honest men in a dishonest world is one that has been done many times before. The plot, while certainly gripping, occasionally falls into lulls of predictability.

Yet “A Most Violent Year” gets a pass. It may not be the most original storyline, but few if any films have been executed in this way. Going less for the punch of films like “The Godfather” and “Pulp Fiction,” and more for something akin to a political drama, “A Most Violent Year” shows the allure of the American Dream. Unfortunately, the dream only becomes reality when the system is rigged in your favor.

“You should know that I have always taken the path that is most right,” Abel says, knowing it is really the best he can do.

Writer, Director: J.C. Chandor
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo

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