On the Campus...
November 16, 2005:
happened one night
By Amy Sennett ’06
When you see a naked man on stage before 9 p.m., it’s going
to be an interesting night. That’s how an attempt to discover
thrills outside of Princeton’s bipolar Thursday-Saturday social
scene began on a rainy Friday night in October.
The daredevil exhibitionist appeared in a performance of “Too
Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind” at Theatre Intime. Created
by the Neo-Futurists, an experimental theater company in Chicago,
the show was an outrageous attempt to perform 30 short plays in
The spectacle began even before the house lights dimmed as the
house manager stuck audience members with absurd nametags like “Her
sister is the pretty one.” Two emcees then guided the audience
through the selection of plays from their “menu,” producing
a unique collage of performances.
“Everything is much more organic because you have to go
with what the audience is giving you at that moment,” said
cast member Rebecca Gold ’09.
The show’s tone ranged from ironic in “It’s
a breeze,” in which four actors celebrate the joys of being
“young, white, straight and male”; to riotous in “No
Tech! No Tech!” in which the actors turns guns on the enraged
director; to simply silly in “Bright Region of the Heavens,”
which features the pale, white behind of a female cast member.
Between moments of slapstick humor and riotous laughter, the show
made powerful statements about race, homosexuality, AIDS, and war.
The result can be an uncomfortable arrangement of very serious plays
following extremely funny ones.
“I could have done completely funny, but I tried to get a
diverse array of styles and messages,” said first-time director
Alex Limpaecher ’08. “To attract the audience to listen
to your deep message, you have to attract them at a superficial
THE NIGHT’S DAMP and foggy weather created
the perfect atmosphere for the 11th annual presentation of the silent
movie Phantom of the Opera by the University Chapel Choir.
The crowd of nearly 400, mostly freshmen and their parents visiting
for the weekend, were treated to viewing the 1925 film on a 15-
by 20-foot projection screen, accompanied by organist Michael Britt.
Arriving audience members were greeted by members of the University
Chapel Choir dressed as Halloween spooks. At show time, lights in
the chapel were completely extinguished and choir members, dispersed
among the pews, recited an eerie, almost unintelligible chant from
the time of the Plague. A piercing scream echoed from the balcony,
and the organ erupted into Bach’s Tocata in D Minor.
As the piece finished, the Phantom came to life on the big screen.
LATER THAT NIGHT, Santana-inspired rifts floated
out of the front door of Terrace Club as students slipped inside
to hear the sounds of The Friendship, perhaps Princeton’s
most eclectic band.
Taking extended solos on hits such as Santana’s “Black
Magic Woman,” the band used a mélange of classic rock
– “California Dreamin’ ” crossed with “Stairway
to Heaven” – to showcase their talent. But their set
list also included a diverse group of tunes including a cover of
a recent hit, “Feel Good Inc.,” by the animated British
The Friendship’s strength lies in its differences. Members
hail from Morocco, Australia, Pakistan, Los Angeles and the exotic
state of Indiana, and while some are classically trained, others
never played an instrument before reaching Princeton.
“We all like the music we play, but we also like different
types of music, so we bring different tastes together,” said
Sean Gleason’08, The Friendship bassist.
Kieran Ledwidge ’08 and Miles Miller ’08, who play
violin and guitar, respectively, jammed together with Gleason for
the first time last spring. Soon they had picked up Tofik Kolade
’08 on the saxophone and Hicham Alaoui ’08 on the darbouga,
a Middle Eastern drum. The group discovered Alaoui when he unexpectedly
added rhythm to Ledwidge’s violin performance at a Forbes
College open-mike night.
“It was more magic,” remembered Gleason. “He
put the most incredible beat behind classical music, and suddenly
everyone was vibing.”
That kind of inventive fusion of styles also attracted trumpeter
Malik Saunders ’08 and vocalist Emad Atiq ’09.
This fall the band has played at Forbes brunch, a Quadrangle Club
semiformal, Café Vivian and finally Terrace – their
“make or break show.”
“At brunch people are eating and at Quad people are mingling,
but with this people were here for us,” Gleason said. “It
Amy Sennett ’06 is a Woodrow Wilson School major from