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Articles by Jillian A. Berry

ARTS EDITOR
October 12, 2007
Stephanie Gayle, who works at the MIT Media Lab, released her debut novel My Summer of Southern Discomfort this summer. The novel follows Natalie Goldberg, a New England lawyer who has moved to Macon, Ga., as she navigates a capital murder case and her own life in the sticky Southern summer. Recently, I met with Gayle to discuss her novel and her writing in general. The following is an excerpt from that conversation.
ARTS EDITOR
October 5, 2007
Inman Square is about a mile from MIT and home to an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants, including the appropriately named All Star Sandwich Bar. This small restaurant on the corner or Cambridge St. and Prospect St. is crammed with tables, and when I went on a Saturday at noon, those tables were filled with a variety of people. From pajama-clad college students to a distinguished older man, everyone loves sandwiches.
ARTS EDITOR
September 28, 2007
Last week, the Cambridge University American Stage Tour returned to MIT to perform William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. CAST, comprised of Cambridge University students, tour the east coast of the United States during the month of September, performing a work of Shakespeare at a school, charity, community theater, and various universities. In addition, CAST holds workshops over the course of their trip. This year, CAST performed at MIT for three nights in Kresge Little Theatre.
ARTS EDITOR
September 14, 2007
After seeing Tavern in the Square in Central Square (on Massachusetts Ave. just past Prospect St.) multiple times over the course of the summer, I was finally able to visit the restaurant a few weeks ago.
ARTS EDITOR
August 27, 2007
The Bourne Ultimatum,” the latest release in the Bourne movie series, is the epitome of a summer thriller: action-packed with enough suspense to leave you on the edge of your seat and wanting more. “Ultimatum” picks up where the last movie, “The Bourne Supremacy,” left off, and it features most of the cast from the first two films (or at least the living characters), including Matt Damon as the title character Jason Bourne, Julia Stiles, and the amazing Joan Allen. Even if you didn’t see the last two movies, or you’re like me and forgot some of the details, the movie is still worth seeing.
ARTS EDITOR
July 6, 2007
Meg Cabot, the bestselling author of the Princess Diaries series, has recently released her latest book, Queen of Babble in the Big City, a sequel to her 2006 novel Queen of Babble. It should come as no surprise that both of these novels fall under the "chick lit" category; in fact, if you look up the definition of "chick lit," I wouldn't be surprised if you found a picture of these books.
ARTS EDITOR
June 8, 2007
Last summer, I was fortunate enough to read and review The Glass Castle, a memoir by MSNBC journalist, Jeanette Walls (the review is available at http://www-tech.mit.edu/V126/N27/27Castle.html). In the work, Ms. Walls describes growing up well below the poverty line with her alcoholic father and creative mother. This entertaining work that seemed more like fiction than reality was beautifully written and made me so much more appreciative of my "normal" family. Needless to say, when I found out Ms. Walls would be speaking at a local event held by Parenting Resource Associates' COMPASS for Homeless Families (http://www.parentingresourceassociates.org ) to raise awareness and funds for homelessness in Massachusetts, I was delighted to be able to hear her speak and talk with her after the event. After Ms. Walls shared some of her personal experiences with homelessness and poverty, I sat down with her and the following is an excerpt from our conversation.
ARTS EDITOR
May 4, 2007
This past weekend, the MIT Musical Theatre Guild opened their spring musical, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, with a bang. The musical, which was written by Stephen Sondheim, is a classic comedy about an ancient Roman slave, Pseudolus (Timothy I. Abrahamsen ’06) as he attempts to win his freedom by getting a girl, Philia (Kathleen McEnnis ’07) for his young master, Hero (Jonathan Arie Gray ’10). Since this is a comedy, Pseudolus’ plans are continually (and humorously) foiled by all of the other characters — including a pimp, courtesans, three Greek chorus members, a nagging wife, an unhappy husband, a powerful Captain, a blind neighbor, and an uptight slave — and confusion ensues. While the plot is interesting enough, it is a bit predictable and overshadowed by the humor of the dialogue. In fact, despite the title, I’m pretty sure no one even went to a forum; and if a character did, it was of no consequence to the work as a whole.
ARTS EDITOR
April 6, 2007
One of the things I like most about MIT is finding out about the varying career paths that alums take. Mark Driscoll '92 is one who took the path less traveled. Mr. Driscoll started the Hollywood based Look Effects, a visual effects company that has worked on films including "Apocalypto," "Blood Diamond," "The Fountain," and the upcoming "Next" and "Gone Baby Gone." I talked with Mr. Driscoll a few weeks ago about what he actually does and how he went from MIT to making movies.
ARTS EDITOR
April 6, 2007
Last week, the Irish/Scottish alt rock band, Snow Patrol, came to Boston University's Agganis Arena to promote their most recent album, Eyes Open. Best know for 2004's "Run" (Final Straw) and "Chasing Cars," the first single from Eyes Open, this group's sound is best characterized as emotionally packed lyrics against a "soft-core" rock backdrop that gives them a unique sound in mainstream popular music.
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