Could have gone ‘Without You’ ‘RENT: Live’

     “RENT” is a Broadway musical that started in 1996. It is a show that depicts the lives of several characters living in the East Village of New York City. In the show, the characters face their own personal struggles—such as sexuality, drugs, paying rent and aids.

     The show’s characters feature Mark Cohen,  a struggling Jewish filmmaker, Roger Davis, an HIV-positive ex-rock musician; Mimi Maquez, an HIV-positive heroin addict who serves as Roger’s love interest; Rom Collins, a gay philosophy professor with AIDs; Angel Dumott Shrunard,  a drag queen and street musician with aids who serves as Collin’s love interest; Maureen Johnson, Mark’s ex-girlfriend and a bisexual performance artist; Joanne Jefferson, who serves as Maureen’s love interest and a Harvard graduate; and Benny Coffin III, landlord of the building Mark, Roger and Mimi live in.

      From its Broadway debut in 1996, Director Chris Columbus made a film adaptation of the Broadway musical featuring six of the original Broadway cast reprising their same roles.

      The show was then reprised once again on Jan. 27, 2019, but this time with a twist. This is because Brennin Hunt who played as Roger broke his foot during dress rehearsal on Jan. 26.

     So, instead of having Hunt do the whole show live in a wheelchair, the broadcast consisted mostly of a prerecording of the dress rehearsal from the prior night with only 15 minutes of the program performed live.

     Since the show primarily consisted of a prerecording of the dress rehearsal, the actors didn’t give it 100 percent. This is due to the actors trying to save their voices for the live recording. But “RENT” is the type of show that if the actors are not giving it everything they have it is not worth watching, and it was clear the actors were singing off-key without the enthusiasm needed to make this show work.

     Another thing I didn’t like about the show is how they did a live performance in a theatre for an audience while the viewers who were watching the TV broadcast had to sit through the trashy dress rehearsal.

     This ticked me off because Hunt did perform the show in a wheelchair for this audience and from the videos posted on Twitter it sounded phenomenal. I was mad because FOX could have recorded the show live and given us the “RENT” experience we all deserved.

     Although we were forced to watch a poorly performed dress rehearsal, FOX did grant us the final 15 minutes of the live show. During this segment of the show, viewers were able to see the live cast consisting of Jordan Fisher as Mark, Brennin Hunt as Roger Davis, Tinashe as Mimi Marquez, Brandon Victor Dixon as Tom Collins, Valentina as Angel, Vanessa Hudgins as Maureen Johnson, Kiersey Clemons as Joanne and Mario as Benjamin perform the songs “Finale,” “Your Eyes,” and “Finale B.”

     The viewers were also granted with an encore performance of “Seasons of Love,” the song that made ‘RENT’ what it is today. But in this performance, the live cast was joined onstage by the original 1996 Broadway cast, which consisted of Anthony Rapp, who played as Mark; Adam Pascal who played as Roger, Daphne Rubin-Vega who played as Mimi; Jesse L. Martin who played Collins; Wilson Jermaine Heredia who played as Angel; Idina Menzel who played as Maureen; Fredi Walker who played as Joanne; and Taye Diggs who played as Benny.

     Even though the somewhat live version of the show on FOX was basically trash, I would suggest watching the original Broadway version of the show or the 2005 film adaptation to gain the full ‘RENT’ experience.


ABAC Alumni speaks about postgraduate experience

     Colby Royal is an ABAC School of Agriculture and Natural Resource Alumni from Telfair County. From a young age Royal grew up on a farm, he knew that he did not want to be confined to an ordinary office job. Royal said that “From watermelons to planting peanuts, farming is a very diverse and rewarding job in my opinion. My first initiative was to attend ABAC, get a degree and come home to the family greenhouse business.”

     Royal started ABAC in the fall of 2011 where he chose to major in Diversified Agriculture. While at ABAC, Royal wasn’t involved in clubs or extracurriculars, since he would go back home and work. Although Royal was not involved in clubs, he did complete two internships. One was at Knight Farms Inc. in Milan, GA and the other was at Knight Greenhouses near the same location.

     Then in Dec. of 2015, Royal graduated from ABAC and began a career as the Telfair County Agriculture and Natural Resource Agent. As a County Agent, Royal has many different duties: such as covering things like livestock, row crops, fish ponds and flower beds. Royal said that as a County Agent he also receives questions regarding forestry and home gardens.

     Aside from answering questions about agriculture, Royal also collaborates with specialists from the University of Georgia as well as other agents to conduct different trials. One of the trials Royal is currently working on is a Pine Tip Moth trapping project which will run throughout the next year.

     As a County Agent, Royal is also involved in working with the Telfair County 4-H Club. He helps the club with different projects and judging events such as District Project Achievement and the Pumpkin Decorating Contest. Royal also attends and serves as an Adult Leader at a summer camp for a week.

     Royal works with an elementary school for Local Farm Day. At this event, he usually gives a presentation to kids about the importance of agriculture or forestry. Last year, Royal was able to team up with ABAC to present The Life of a Pine Tree. Royal also conducts peanut maturity check clinics with the ag students at Telfair County High School. During the clinic, he helps students learn how to determine the maturity of a peanut and when they are ready to be harvested.

     To finish off Royal said his favorite thing about the job is “the diversity. Not doing the same thing every day and being outdoors keeps it interesting. Also, serving the community brings pride to this position.”


DCEU’s ‘Aquaman’ comes to theaters

    “My parents were from different worlds, and I was a product of a love that never should have been. A son of the land and a son of the seas.” These are a few of the opening lines from the beginning of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU’s) new movie, ‘Aquaman.’

     The movie begins in 1985, where Thomas Curry, a lighthouse keeper in Maine, rescues Atlanna, princess of Atlantis. After rescuing Princess Atlanna, the two fall in love and have a son named Arthur, a child who has the power to communicate with animals from the sea.

     The movie then fast forwards to one year after the events that took place in Justice League, showing Arthur confront a group of pirates. After facing off against the pirates, an Atlantean named Mera finds Arthur letting him know that his half brother plans to attack the surface world.

     This leads the two on a journey across the world and seven seas to find the Trident of Atlan, so that Arthur can defeat his half-brother and take his rightful place as King of Atlantis.

     Aquaman uses phenomenal special effects. These effects can be seen with the creation of the seven kingdoms of Atlantis and the many different creatures within. Another effect that shows attention to detail is, while the characters were underwater, you could see their hair floating around in the water instead of staying in one position. I enjoyed this mostly because it showed the separation between those who lived on the land and those who lived within the sea.

     The movie also did a great job at introducing its characters. One character, in particular, that was introduced was David Kane aka Black Manta who serves as Aquaman’s archnemesis.

     The character is introduced at the beginning of the movie as one of the pirates trying to take over a Russian Nuclear Submarine. While trying to take over the submarine, his father, the leader of the pirates, dies during a fight with Arthur.

     Later in the movie, David receives Atlantean tech and creates his own suit becoming the Black Manta. Although he didn’t serve as the main antagonist in the movie, it did help set him up to become the main antagonist in future DCEU films.

      Even though some scenes and lines are corny, the story, actors and special effects give the movie life to make it worth the watch.


Netflix gets in touch with its western side

“The Ranch” is a Netflix Original that debuted its first season in 2016. The show is a sitcom starring Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Debra Winger, Elisha Cuthbert and Sam Eliot. It ’s based in the small town of Garrison, Colorado.

The series begins when past local football star, Colt, comes home to try out for a semi-pro team in Denver after being kicked off another semi-pro team.

But everything changes when Colt sees that his father is struggling with managing the ranch. So, in order to help his father and brother Rooster, he tells them that he did not make the team and offers to stay and help his family.

“The Ranch” has many different characters with different personalities that are easy to fall in love with. These characters consist of Colt, Beau, Rooster, Maggie and Abby. Colt is the character who is typically the butt of all jokes and seen as irresponsible.

His brother Rooster stayed and helped his father take care of the ranch and is often making fun of Colt. Their father Beau is the epitome of a cowboy, who is always serious and annoyed with everybody.

Their mother, Maggie, is a local bar owner, who has a hippie-like attitude and partakes in recreational drugs. The last major character is Abby, who is Colt’s high school sweetheart but is currently engaged to another man. Another cool aspect of the show is the way the episodes are named.

Each episode has a specific title based off of certain American country music songs. There are five parts of the series and each part focuses on one major country music star with the titles of the episodes being songs by that specific country music star.

Part one is named after Kenny Chesney songs, part two is named after George Strait songs, part three is named after Tim McGraw songs, part four is named after Garth Brooks songs and part five is named after Dolly Parton songs.

Overall, the show is considerably comedic, and one that is worth the watch. You can watch the show on Netflix, where all five parts have been released. Part six has been announced to be released on Dec. 7.


ABAC Collegiate 4-H makes its comeback

The ABAC Collegiate 4-H Club has been on campus for a few years now but is recently going through the process of getting restarted. This is because back in the 2016-2017 school year, the club struggled to keep a strong officer team causing them to miss Inter-Club Council meetings which sent the club into a temporary suspension.

Then in the fall of 2017, Jessie Jackson started the reinstatement process for the club. After getting the club reinstated, a strong officer team was then elected.

The current officers for the club consist of President DJ Hobbs, Vice President Jessie Jackson, Secretary Caitlin Cooper, Treasurer Shelbie Jordan, Reporter Hailey Addison and ICC Representative Savannah Eastall.
The biggest event the club puts on is their fundraiser. ABAC’s Collegiate 4-H Club also participates in events hosted by ABAC such as the Residence Hall Association Valentines Day Carnival, the Ag Business Easter Ag Hunt, ABAC’s haybale design contest and Mr./Mrs. ABAC. The club also takes trips to the local animal shelter, and club retreats to the bowling alley in Tifton.

This year, Jackson says that, “Next semester is going to bring a lot of changes and with that change, I hope a lot more activities and events that all of ABAC can get behind.”

When asked about what some of these things are that are planned for the spring semester, Jackson responded by saying “In the spring, our goal is to really get our name out there and to do that by participating in so much. We will continue to participate in the events we have in the past and bring a few of our own to the table. We hope to have a spirit night, a bird feeding activity/community service project, a dog show, a few separate retreats and much more!”

ABAC’s Collegiate 4-H Club can also provide many different opportunities. This is because 4-H has a spot for everyone whether you are interested in agriculture, growing plants, creating projects, working with youth, getting involved in your community, trying new things or even traveling.

To see that these opportunities are given Jackson says “at the end of all our meetings, if a member thinks of something they want to do, let the officers know and we will try to make that connection for them.”

If you are interested in joining ABAC’s Collegiate 4-H Club, the club is open for anyone to join and meetings are held bi-weekly in Environmental Horticulture room 105 at 7:30 p.m. So, to be sure that you don’t miss out on this opportunity keep an eye out for flyers and posts on the ABAC Collegiate 4-H Facebook page.