All posts by Nichole Rosanova

The Top 5 things We’ve Learned from “How I Met Your Mother”

Since its premiere in 2005, “How I Met Your Mother” has brought on a huge fan base, ranging from young teens to middle-aged parents.  We’ve developed close bonds with the most eccentric group of friends—Ted Mosby, Barney Stinson, Marshall and Lilly Erikson, and Robin Scherbatsky—and can now probably create a detailed mental map of McLaren’s Pub.  As a die-hard HIMYM fan, I will truly miss tuning in every week to see the shenanigans that unfold leading up to how Ted finally meets the woman of his dreams.  Now that the nine season long series has finally come to a close, we can reflect on the great lessons “How I Met Your Mother” has taught us.

WARNING: Major spoilers ahead.

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(left to right) Cody Stabelfeldt, Alison Collins, and Keoni Zane entertain the audiences in a musical number from “Little Shop of Horrors.” Photo by Danielle Maingot/ Foghorn

College Players’ “Little Shop of Horrors” is a Little Shop of Hilarious

Can you imagine comedy, horror, and rock’n’roll packaged into one musical? Last weekend USF’s College Players brought that unusual variety to life in their 150th annual spring musical “Little Shop of Horrors,” directed by Kelsey Magaña.  The Musical was adapted into a film in 1986, starring Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene, and has since become a cult classic.

The sassy Trio played by Kiana Budzinski, Haley Heidemann, and Marysa Robinson (left to right) were an audience favorite as they narrated the musical.

The sassy Trio played by Kiana Budzinski, Haley Heidemann, and Marysa Robinson (left to right) were an audience favorite as they narrated the musical. (Photo by Danielle Maingot)

In choosing the musical, the College Players’ executive board gathers every year and decides what show they want to do, according to Keala Freitas, senior and voice of the plant in “Little Shop of Horrors.” “As for our 150th season, we wanted to do a big show that everyone knows. So we chose “Little Shop” because it was a movie and then a musical movie.”

The musical revolves around the young botanical genius Seymour Krelborn, played by freshman Cody Stabelfeldt, freshman, who made his College Players debut as Dr. Frank N’ Furter in last semester’s presentation of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”  Seymour struggles for money working in a flower shop on the dilapidated Skid Row, until one day he comes across a peculiar plant, in which he names Audrey II after his love interest played by the charming Alison Collins, freshman.  Audrey II influences Seymour to go through an odd series of events, eventually catapulting him into stardom…and crime.

“I’m a freshman so getting this role was the most amazing thing ever,” said Collins. “It’s extremely humbling.”

Despite the unusual storyline, “Little Shop” had no problem entertaining the audience. Sounds of laughter were maintained throughout the entirety of the show as a result of the witty dialogue, outlandish dance numbers, and delightful awkwardness emitting from the cast members.

“I thought it was absolutely hilarious.  I wasn’t expecting it to be that funny,” Elle Rittler, freshman, said.

Amanda Rhoades, senior and member of College Players, saw the play twice. “It was very well delivered. It was effin’ hysterical to be honest. It was well-acted but contingent upon the audience.” Rhoades explained the audience was more responsive the second night she attended.

In addition to humor, the players won us over with their beautiful voices.  Stabelfeldt’s voice added an indie rock edge to the goofy Seymour, while Collin’s lovely pitch echoed throughout the theater like a true Broadway star. The soulful voices of Haley Heidemann, sophomore, Marysa Robinson, freshman, and Kiana Budzinski freshman, were perfect for their roles as The Trio—a group of sassy young women narrating the musical.

“I’m totally impressed.  Their voices were great, and The Trio’s dresses were beautiful,” Eiselle Ty, freshman said.

Each and every one of the players starring in the show brought their A-game, making every student in the audience wish they could be a part of the College Players. To no surprise, the show ended with a standing ovation, proving that USF should be incredibly proud to be home to such amazing talent.

The rain did not stop fans in seeing Cold Cave and front man Wesley Eisold at Slim’s last Friday.Photo by Nichole Rosanova/Foghorn

Cold Cave Chills

East coast band carries on the rainstorm into SF

     I remember the first time I heard Cold Cave like I remember the first time every one of my beloved music idols touched my heart. Struggling with a self-portrait alongside my friend, in the otherwise empty art room of our high school, “Love Comes Close” exited the small speaker of his iPod, and the room suddenly began to fill with the hazy fog that was my lust.  Since that moment, founder Wesley Eisold has been on my mind.

The darkwave synth-pop sounds of Cold Cave have always been a guilty pleasure of mine.  With lyrics that exude teenage angst, it is not for the tame of heart.  Eisold sounds like what would be the deadly combination if Joy Division and Depeche Mode were to meet and have a musical love child.  My dad has snidely described Cold Cave as being very “alternative.”  This only feeds my desire for his sound.  Eisold is like rich, dark chocolate.  It hits the spot, it’s exactly what you were looking for, and despite the calories, you can’t seem to stop yourself from reaching for more.

I listen to Cold Cave when it’s raining and when I am consumed by overwhelming feelings. So when I heard that he would be performing at Slim’s last Friday, in addition to the news of a possible heavy rainstorm, I just couldn’t help myself.

A white projector screen, serving as a makeshift curtain, temporarily blocked the view of the stage as Cold Cave set up and sound checked.  Audience members became dazed by the displaying psychedelic images. Finally, the screen slowly rose, revealing the man of the night. Eisold stood before us, with his hand—garnished with heavy silver rings—defiantly placed on his hip.  A long, oversized black raincoat hung over his shoulders.  Loose fitting leather pants creased to the stomping of his feet as the bass of “Burning Sage” boomed over the speakers.  This song is by far the darkest track on his album “Cherish the Light Years,” and most of the audience members stood stupefied by his opening song, while others chanted hypnotically to his lyrics.  “I’ve been breathing with my lung. Black lung. I’ve been staring at the sun.  Black Sun.”

My friend, who seemed as equally confused, looked over at me and simply said “So twee,” (Slang term to describe English pop music, nauseatingly precious) ironically describing the essence of Cold Cave that appeared before us. Despite the fact that I was counting down the seconds until the next song, I washed the distaste out of my mouth with the conclusion that since I’ve moved to San Francisco, I’ve become happier, and thus could not connect with his opening.  I still had hope that my love would not disappoint.

Following his dark anthem, he quickly transitioned into songs like “Confetti,” and “Icons of Summer.” Regardless of his punk spirit, Cold Cave had the power to connect with every person in the room.  With one hand on his hip, and the other clenched in a fist reaching out towards the crowd, he had the audience in the palm of his hand.  All eyes were on him.

Like all idols, Cold Cave is untouchable and all-powerful.  The first time he spoke to the audience, with the simple statement of “I hope you’re enjoying your Noise Pop experience,” the crowd erupted with cheers and began to dance even harder.  Kneeling at the end of the stage while he belted out “Underworld USA,” he was close enough to smell.  Screaming girls and boys reached for him.  They could’ve pulled out a lock of his hair.  But no one dared touch him.  It was quite a bizarre display.

My night at Slim’s only fueled my continuing love for Cold Cave.  If it’s raining, and you see me walking around campus plugged in—obviously entranced—just know that I’m having a moment with my musical lover that is Wesley Eisold.


The Story of the Elements Entertains All

Audience Members Learn to Shake their Hips at the Annual Ho’ike

Friends and family piled into McLaren this past weekend to enjoy the 5th Annual Ho’ike, in which USF students in the Hawaiian Ensemble performed various dances celebrating the stories of the elements.

Before the performance, guests were able to dine in the conference center where delicious barbecue was served.  Traditional Hawaiian music played over the sound of eating and mingling, getting everyone in the mood for the upcoming dancing.
After an hour of eating, the show was ready to begin.  Melissa Tecson, serving as the master of ceremonies for the night, livened the audience as she introduced the first dance of the elements.  The lovely ladies of the Hawaiian Ensemble took to the stage dressed in bright tropical dresses, designed and stitched by the members themselves.

Maintaining true Hawaiian form, the dances did not merely depict earth, wind, and fire, but rather how “the wind kisses the water,” as Melissa explained.  And although the majority of the ensemble members were women, the men of the dance group eventually took the stage, causing a thunder of whistles and cheers from their friends, and—I assume—every middle aged woman present, as they were all shirtless and covered in tribal art.

Before wrapping up, the show took pause for a lighthearted moment, as members went into the audience to select their friends and relatives to join them on stage for a dance tutorial, in which they were forced to awkwardly swerve and shake their hips.  The show finally ended with all the members in a compilation dance of the elements, followed by resounding applause.

Last year’s CAB concert was huge, and this year looks promising too  —  CAB has  already sold out their target of 1,000 tickets, and opened up 200 more which are close to selling out. (Photo courtesy of Amanda Rhoades/Foghorn)

Are you Rooting for DON-A-ROO?

We’re two days away from DON-A-ROO, the annual Spring concert at USF organized by the Campus Activities Board.  This year, St. Lucia will be performing in support of the electronic trio Krewella on Feb. 8.  Most of us Dons have heard great things about last year’s Macklemore performance, so is it even possible for Krewella to top it this year?

CAB’s concert director, John Hewitt, expects this year’s show to blow people away — despite the fact that Ellie Goulding was the first choice for the show, but couldn’t attend because of her European Tour.  It is no secret that electronic dance music—or EDM rather—has become increasingly popular over the past couple years. Artists like DeadMau5 and Skrillex have attracted quite a large fan base as a result of music festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival and Camp Bisco.  So, it’s no surprise that Krewella would seem like the obvious choice for a headliner. But what do the students have to say about it?

“I’m kinda over the ‘rave scene.’ I’d rather see something new and different,” Alison Collins, freshman, said.

“You know what’d be cool? If they got someone like Weird Al, or Smashmouth to play. Just this awesome, [nostalgic] band that everyone knows and loves,” Alec Kaplan, junior, said.

Perhaps the popular choice isn’t the best choice, at least according to a couple of students.  Should CAB have gone the retro route?  Granted, St. Lucia was booked as the opening act in favor of Hewitt, who describes the five-piece band as having a “tropical 80’s style.” Maybe that’s as retro and as far away from EDM as we’re gonna get for this year’s DON-A-ROO.

In addition to the annual pressure of picking a compelling headliner for the show, CAB faced an even bigger challenge, given the exponential success of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, thanks to songs like “Thrift Shop,” “Can’t Hold Us,” and “Same Love.”  The duo won four Grammys last week in the categories of Best New Artist, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Album, and Best Rap Performance.

When some students were asked about their expectations for DON-A-ROO, half of them hadn’t even heard of Krewella.  Hewitt considers this fact to be in the concert’s favor.  “Krewella may not be as well known as Macklemore, but if you look back to this time last year, there were a lot of students who did not know who he was earlier, and that’s the fun in bringing up and coming talent,” Hewitt said.

Who knows what we can expect from this year’s show.  Maybe next year we’ll be bragging about how Krewella performed exclusively for USF; or maybe we’ll still be talking about Macklemore.  Either way, how many universities do you know of that hold concert quality performances on campus?  One of the great things about San Francisco is the easy access to great live music, and we get to have just that in our own school gym.

Zoe’s Bar & Restaurant is Poutine on a Show!

For anyone who has ever walked into a diner at three in the morning — possibly coming down from a night of drunken stupor and craving just about anything salty and smothered in goo, then you’re probably familiar with the classic diner dish Disco Fries. These are fries dripping with chicken gravy and garnished with thick slices of mozzarella or provolone.

As a New Jersey native, to be well versed in diner culture is a must. My first plate of Disco Fries served almost as a right of passage to the Garden State.  Admittedly, when it comes to diner food I can be a bit of a snob; fries must always be of the Disco sort and nothing less. So needless to say, when I heard that this thing called poutine was taking San Francisco restaurants by storm, I had to see what it was all about.

Poutine, which originated in Quebec, is essentially the Disco Fries of Canada.  Doing a little research, I found that Zoe’s Bar and Restaurant in the Mission District is the go-to place for the most authentic plate of poutine at a reasonable price.

Walking into Zoe’s can be a little intimidating at first.  What appears to be a typical hole-in-the-wall bar is accessorized with oil paintings, ambient lighting, and what sounds like the entire soundtrack of Dazed and Confused.  Naturally, my friend and I entered not really knowing what to expect from the food. Glancing over the menu, we found that the place was host to simple bar food items — like hot wings and burgers.
What does stand out, however, is the “Mushroom Poutine.”  My friend, who has never had fries with anything other than a side of ketchup, and I who was still rooting for my beloved Disco Fries, skeptically placed two orders of poutine and expected to soon call it a night.

What eventually appeared before us was unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.  A steaming porcelain bowl filled to the brim with golden fries soaked in homemade gravy, topped with caramelized mozzarella cheese curds and scallions silenced us for a moment.  And then we took a bite.  I rarely get poetic about the food that I eat. The very thought of describing what I ate that night at Zoe’s via literary device makes me cringe, but honestly that first bite of poutine erupted in my mouth like a thousand exploding suns.  The dish is satisfying for vegetarians and meat lovers alike.  Hearty mushrooms and salty gravy warm you up the entire time you’re feasting on this bowl of goodness.  What seems like something that could be fulfilling enough for three large men came at the decent price of eight dollars — which is usually around the same price I spend for a meal at the Market Café’.

I’m pleased to say that I walked out of Zoe’s Bar and Restaurant wholly satisfied and absent of any skepticism.  Sorry New Jersey, but Disco Fries ain’t got nothing on poutine!

Zoe’s Bar and Restaurant

3088 24th St.

(cross street Folsom St.)