Actor and comedian Russell Brand frees chortles from belly prisons with his unique style of manic, irreverent humor. Riffing on the nature of fame and celebrity, Brand regales audiences with edgy observations and outsized characters to delight audiences grown bored with tamer comedians and telephone time-of-day services. Visiting a series of colleges, the tour filters the eccentricities of American universities through Brand's singular wit. George Mason University's recently renovated Patriot Center contains the glee in arena-style seating, ensuring everyone has a clear view of both Brand and the cricket whispering jokes in his ear.
For two decades, New Century Theatre has provoked thoughtful postshow discussions with a mix of new works and fresh renditions of familiar classics. "Distracted," a new play by acclaimed playwright and screenwriter, Lisa Loomer, follows the parents, teachers, and doctors of a rambunctious 9-year-old boy as they try to determine whether he has ADHD. By turns hilarious and poignant, the action unfolds within Smith College's Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, a performance hall built in 1964 and recently renovated to add modern comforts and chase Banquo's ghost from the wings.
From owning previous restaurants in Central America and Southeast Asia to appearing on the Food Network's Chopped, award-winning chef Kristen Davis is no stranger to staying busy. At Popcorn Noir Restaurant & Bar, she draws on her seemingly endless reservoir of energy to craft completely new menus of her New American cuisine every season. Her cinema-themed menu includes "trailers"—appetizers like local Vermont tofu with sweet chili – and "feature presentations"—mains like P.E.I. mussels by the pound with a choice of sauce.
The menu's movie references don't come out of nowhere—Popcorn Noir hosts a film series for its members, as well as occasional screenings for the public. Besides cinematic entertainment, Popcorn Noir's weekly events include trivia dinners, open mic nights, and mixology classes where bartenders teach three cocktail preparations. Outside of the classroom, the mixology team showcases its skills by crafting cocktails mostly made with house-infused liquors, such as gimlets with house-infused cucumber vodka.