Pixar’s ‘Coco’ brings death to life

Pixar’s ‘Coco’ brings death to life

Over the years, Pixar has brought life to a number of things — toys, cars, monsters and robots, to name a few. With Coco, Pixar manages to bring light and color to death, a theme ordinarily off-limits or glossed over in children’s movies. Coco centers on Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez), a boy in love with music despite his family’s strict abhorrence of any musical note whatsoever. This hatred is due to an unwelcome story in the family’s past regarding Miguel’s great-great grandfather who abandoned his wife and daughter (Miguel’s great-grandma Coco) for music. Despite his family’s uncompromising ban on music, Miguel idolizes famed musician Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), who tragically died after being crushed by a giant bell during his last performance. After Miguel attempts to “borrow” his idol’s guitar in the altar the town has built to remember him, he is suddenly transported to walking with skeletons as a live boy on the Day of the Dead — the one day of the year where one’s ancestors can come back and visit with family if they are remembered by having their picture set up by relatives left on earth. After finding his ancestors in skeleton form, it’s a race to get Miguel home before sundown unless he wants to stay in the Land of the Dead forever. The Land of the Dead is a bright, intriguing spectacle filled with striking visuals and vivacious color more elaborate than Pixar has every achieved. In typical Pixar fashion, the film manages to bring emotionalism, depth and realism to animated characters, and in this case, even manages to bring these attributes to walking skeletons. Coco’s finale is packed with warmth and emotion, but viewers are...
2017 Stompfest photo gallery

2017 Stompfest photo gallery

With a mechanics-inspired routine, women’s social club Phi Sigma scored the top prize at the eighth annual Stompfest on Thursday night in Collins Alumni Auditorium. Men’s social club Theta Psi received second place with its boy-band stomp, and women’s social club Delta Omega took home third place as “DO Army.” Morgan Ellison and Ciara McKinney co-directed Phi Sigma’s show, and Katie Markham helped choreograph. Ellison said it’s hard to describe how excited she was upon hearing Phi Sigma being called out as the victors. “The fact that we actually won this year and redeemed ourselves is really such an incredible feeling,” Ellison said. “There are really no words to describe it. We’ve worked so hard for this.” Photos by Sarah Johnson  ...
Phi Sigma takes home first place at eighth annual Stompfest

Phi Sigma takes home first place at eighth annual Stompfest

With a mechanics-inspired routine, women’s social club Phi Sigma scored the top prize at the eighth annual Stompfest on Thursday night in Collins Alumni Auditorium. Men’s social club Theta Psi received second place with its boy-band stomp, and women’s social club Delta Omega took home third place as “DO Army.” Morgan Ellison and Ciara McKinney co-directed Phi Sigma’s show, and Katie Markham helped choreograph. Ellison said the level of competition among all the clubs was incredible this year, and that she felt very proud Phi Sigma came out on top. “We feel like it’s really long overdue, but especially since over the years, all the teams have gotten so good,” Ellison said. “It’s been such tough competition.” The annual event featured seven social clubs on campus performing a 10-minute, student-choreographed routine. Student Government Association and The Office of Intercultural Development sponsored the show. Other clubs that participated in Stompfest included: Delta Sigma’s “Firefighters,” Phi Nu’s “Shipwrecked,” Pi Delta’s “Candy Shop” and Sigma Iota Delta’s “Barbershop.” On Wednesday night, the clubs performed for a “Family and Friends” show, and on Thursday night, a guest panel of judges was brought in for the second performance. The winners were chosen based on the stomp choreography, theme of each club’s group and audience participation. Markham, one of Phi Sigma’s choreographers for the award-winning stomp, said she was proud of how hard everyone on the team worked to get there. “I’m ecstatic,” Markham said. “Very thrilled, very proud. Everyone on the team worked really hard. We put in a lot of hours of practice, and I’m just really proud.” Markham said the way that...
‘An American in Paris’ thrills with lovely, complex production at TPAC

‘An American in Paris’ thrills with lovely, complex production at TPAC

Music City has been beautifully transformed into the City of Light this week. The anticipated production of An American in Paris has officially come to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, featuring a jaw-dropping array of color, dance, music and emotion, sure to delight any hopeless romantic or musical-enthusiast. A ballet set in Paris right after WWII, An American in Paris tells most of its story through striking musical numbers, complete with big sets and authentic-looking costume work by Bob Crowley that will take you straight to 1940s Paris. Real-life husband and wife duo Matthew and Kirsten Scott steal the show as Adam Hochberg and Milo Davenport, who both convey a groundedness to round-out the overall mysterious and lush-nature of the show. K. Scott’s timing is spot-on, and M. Scott gives an endearing and down-to-earth performance as an ex-GI living in Paris. The story centers on an American soldier, Jerry Mulligan (McGee Maddox), who decides to stay in Paris after the war and focus on his artwork. Here, he meets Adam and Henri (Ben Michael), and the three immediately become the “Three Musketeers,” as they aptly put it during one of their song and dance numbers. Although intending to focus on his artwork, Jerry is, after all, in one of the most romantic cities in the world, so of course he meets Lise (Allison Walsh, who served as the Lise alternate in the Broadway production), a mysterious yet beautiful ballerina who has an interesting and complex past with Henri. Meanwhile, Milo, an American heiress, also joins the picture, and a complicated love triangle ensues, which will keep unfamiliar playgoers guessing....
Lipscomb welcomes 48th annual GMA Dove Awards for gospel music’s biggest night

Lipscomb welcomes 48th annual GMA Dove Awards for gospel music’s biggest night

Artists such as Reba McEntire, Lauren Daigle and Pat Boone gathered together in Lipscomb’s Allen Arena to celebrate another year of Christian and gospel music. The GMA Dove Awards celebrated its fifth consecutive year on Lipscomb’s campus Tuesday night to honor outstanding artists, songs, albums, films and more. Kari Jobe and Tasha Cobbs co-hosted the event, which centered on a “Sound the Remedy” theme. “We believe the message of gospel and Christian music offers God’s remedy to the world,” GMA President Jackie Patillo said. A unique aspect for this year’s Dove Awards, a 40-foot-tall replica of the Gutenberg Gates was displayed outside Allen Arena October 16-17. The display was part of a five-city tour by the Museum of the Bible set to open in Washington D.C. on November 17. Attendees had the opportunity to visit the replica prior to entering the concert venue. Photos by Anna Rogers Country music star Reba McEntire takes home first Dove Award Legendary country music artist Reba McEntire took home one Dove Award for Bluegrass/Country/Roots Album of the Year. The album category was a brand new award this year.  From the stage, McEntire expressed humble gratitude in receiving the award, praising her fellow nominees as well. “It’s not mine,” McEntire said. “It’s God’s. We’ll give him all the glory. I’ll put it up on the mantle and think of Him every time I look at it.  “It [music] is a way of expressing our thanks to God for giving us and allowing us this opportunity to use our God-given gifts to help other people.” McEntire added that she finds music to be very healing,...