The Oberlin Review

Students at Solarity last semester dancing while opener Kota the Kid performs.

Behind the Scenes: How Bookers Bring Musicians to Campus

February 14, 2020

A few weeks ago at the 2020 Grammy Awards, pop legend, self-love queen, and all-around icon Lizzo opened the show with her back turned to the audience, arms waving as she conducted the full band in front of her while the celebrity audience cheered. Lizzo won three Grammys in this ceremony. Just over a year earlier, Lizzo headlined Oberlin College’s free rave-style concert, Solarity, in the Heisman Club Field House. This isn’t the only case in which Oberlin has booked musicians just...

On the Record with Dizzy Fae, R&B Artist

On the Record with Dizzy Fae, R&B Artist

September 6, 2019

Dizzy Fae is a rising R&B artist from Minneapolis. At just 21 years old, she has shared the stage with an impressive list of musicians. Shortly after graduating from her performing arts high school in 2017, she went on tour with pop icon Lizzo. Since then, she has also performed alongside artists like Kehlani, Toro Y Moi, and Jorja Smith, and at 2019 World Pride in NY. Last Friday, students packed the Cat in the Cream to watch her perform as part of the New Student Orientation Week series.  Th...

Senior Creative Writing students on stage at the Cat in the Cream after their reading. Back row: Rebecca Wood, Claire Wong, Jacob Fidoten, Madi Mettenburg, Gabi Shiner; Front row: Michelle Chu, Em Marcus.

Creative Writing Seniors Give Dazzling Reading at the Cat

May 10, 2019

 Graduating seniors in the Creative Writing Program read their work aloud to an audience of about 70 at the Cat in the Cream on Monday, May 6, their final chance to present their work as undergraduates.  The event was organized by Madi Mettenburg, Creative Writing major representative and graduating senior. Mettenburg credits the large crowd with the fact that she booked the event at the Cat, a popular venue on campus, as well as advertising the event in advance with enticing memes. She said ...

Seniors Strip for Final Time in OBurlesque Performance

Aly Fogel, Staff Writer

May 10, 2019

Last Wednesday, the Cat in the Cream was packed with students chatting under the venue’s familiar twinkling lights, nibbling on cookies, drinking tea, and anxiously waiting for their peers to come on stage and take off their clothes.  It might seem unconventional, but shows like these have become a celebrated tradition at Oberlin over the past four years since Oberlin’s own burlesque troupe, OBurlesque, was founded.  Burlesque is a style of performance that is broadly satirical, parodic, and theatrical in nature. The term usually refers to strip routines in which the dancer plays at sexuality through exaggerated character routines or comedic bits.  “So basically, the classic burlesque is kind of old-...

Open Mic Culture Provides Performance, Community

Carson Dowhan, Senior Staff Writer

February 15, 2019

The lights go dim and the night begins with the sound of the emcee announcing the first act — welcome to the open mic. Here, you’ll see the creative headspaces of students come to life on the stage through slam poetry, diary readings, a capella covers, instrumental pieces, and original songs. Deep down, everyone is nervous to share their work — yet they still summon the courage to do exactly that.  The open mic is a positive atmosphere in which people can exercise their right brains, and where artists of all backgrounds can perform in a safe, low-pressure environment. Oberlin is lucky enough to have one held at the Cat in the Cream every month or so, with other themed nights springing up around campus sponsore...

Lecturer in Creative Writing and WITS mentors discuss their work in Langston Middle School at Monday night's poetry reading.

College Mentors Work with Elementary, Middle School Students

December 7, 2018

Rarely have I smiled so hard as I did at the Cat in the Cream this past week at not one but two fantastic performances by students from local Oberlin schools.  Kids from Prospect Elementary School and Langston Middle School wowed packed houses on Monday and Wednesday — Monday night’s offering was a poetry reading by the middle school students, and Wednesday’s was a dance performance by students from both schools as a culmination of the afterschool program Girls and Boys in Motion. Both of ...

Kishi Bashi Duo to Play at Cat in the Cream

Carson Dowhan, Staff Writer

October 12, 2018

American singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter Kishi Bashi will perform at the Cat in the Cream this Saturday, Oct. 13. He will be showcasing songs from his critically-acclaimed 2016 album Sonderlust, described as “frantic, unpredictable, digital, and danceable” by NPR. In an interview with Bandcamp, Bashi said Sonderlust “chronicles the life, death, and possible re-birth of a relationship.” The whimsicality behind the album title comes from John Koenig’s blog Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, the title of which captures the theme of the album perfectly. His work takes an eclectic approach to the indie-rock genre, with noticeable inspirations from ’70s pop. Hints of influences behind Sonderlust ra...

Conservatory senior Zoe Heuser writes in her diary. She is one of the many students who read their inner thoughts aloud during last Friday’s Diary Reading Open Mic at the Cat in the Cream.

Students Bare Innermost Thoughts During Diary Reading Open Mic Night

September 21, 2018

Brave students recited their diary entries aloud to the audience of the Cat in the Cream at the Diary Reading Open Mic last Friday night. The excerpts could be from any time period in their life. Some entries were funny, others emotional; still others were deeply poetic or revealing. Each one was a window into how exactly self-reflection works when we don’t particularly believe anyone will see. Jordan Bettencourt  College junior This is an excerpt of a diary entry from my junior year of h...

Ari Lennox Delivers Powerful Performance

Carson Dowhan

September 14, 2018

The line to enter the Cat in the Cream wrapped around the hallways of Hales Annex before R&B artist Ari Lennox’s show Saturday, Sept. 8. “Over 100 people were in line by 7:30,” manager and College senior Hanne Williams-Baron said. “At 330 people, we reached full capacity.” The sold out house was quite an impressive turnout for an artist not particlarly well known to the Oberlin community. Lennox launched her music career in 2012 and released her first EP Ariography in 2013. She signed to J. Cole’s record label Dreamville in 2015, and gained major traction with the release of her 2016 EP, PHO. While she has yet to present a full-length album, she has already garnered a national following, speaking to t...

Oslam Open Mic Highlights Talent of New Poets

Kate Fishman, Arts & Culture Editor

September 14, 2018

Each time a poet took to the stage and announced their name and pronouns followed by “I’m a first-year,” the audience erupted into a chorus of snapping and cheering. This was “Back 2 School Open Mic,” hosted by OSlam, Oberlin’s poetry collective. The event, which occurred last Friday at the Cat in the Cream, was the first opportunity this academic year for Oberlin students to hop on stage alongside OSlam’s three current members and share some of their work. “I’ve worked a lot of open mics because I work at the Cat in the Cream, and it can be really hard,” College junior Amy Sahud said. “The energy can definitely dip, [but] I feel like we sustained it. I thought [the audience] was really supportive,...

Mourning [A] BLKstar Impresses With Soulful Orientation Show at the Cat in the Cream

Sophia Zandi

September 7, 2018

The Cat in the Cream hosted Mourning [A] BLKstar, a future-soul band from Cleveland, on the first Friday night after orientation. Not sure what to expect, students slowly trickled into the cozy coffeehouse and hesitantly sat on couches near the walls. Although the show started with no line and tentative entries, soon about 250 people were dancing around the stage, while dozens of others sat enjoying tea and cookies. One of the three lead vocalists, Kyle Kidd, had remarked earlier that he was excited for the performance because there would be a lot of first-years. He wanted to make sure everyone felt welcome, given that his own college experience wasn’t always a great time. Mourning [A] BLKstar was created by...

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