UT brings back annual “A Christmas Carol”

The University of Tennessee’s own Clarence Brown Theatre welcomes their annual production of the classic Charles Dicken’s play, “A Christmas Carol,” this month perfectly in time for holiday entertainment.

With a cast of over thirty local adult and child actors consisting of both current and graduate students of UT, “A Christmas Carol” will surely delight families and people alike. Audiences have the opportunity to channel their holiday spirit into this riveting tale of Ebenezer Scrooge as he travels into the past, present and future with the help of four compelling ghosts that lead him on his journey.

With a new director, set, props and costumes, there is a new look to the play this year that will improve the play from those of years past, according to the Clarence Brown Theatre’s website.

To further enhance the holiday experience, there will also be holiday treats sold at concessions, as well as a “Christmas Carol’s Ghost” cutout display to pose with for pictures.

Kathleen F. Conlin, this year’s director, has previously worked for twenty-two seasons at the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespearean Festival directing many Shakespeare plays, as well as modern American dramas and comedy plays such as, “The Tempest” and “Richard III“, both of which earned her praise for her creativity in the designs of the performances.

Jed Diamond will play Ebenezer Scrooge. He is currently the head of acting at the University of Tennessee. Previously, Mr. Diamond lived in New York City as an actor and director working in plays such as, “Of Mice and Men” and “All the Way Home.” He also taught at NYU, Fordham University and Stella Adler Studio, and was also a part of the faculty at the Actors Center and the Shakespeare Lab at New York’s Shakespeare Festival.

Shows are currently playing and will do so until Sunday, Dec. 18, just in time for a last minute holiday festivity for the whole family. Ticket prices differ depending upon the day of the week and ages. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the price for adults is $26, children from age 5-10 are $10, UT students can buy tickets for $5 and non-UT students for $15.

Weekend shows will be $32 for adults with the ticket prices for children and college students remaining the same. There are also senior, military and UT faculty and staff discounts available along with deals for groups with 15 or more people. Children under the age of five are not permitted.

Featured Image courtesy of the Clarence Brown Theatre

Edited by Katy Hill

Local retailers open for Thanksgiving Day sales

Last year, 151 million people shopped over the Black Friday weekend, with 34 percent of those shopping on Thanksgiving day, according to the Washington Post.

This year, many retailers have decided to close their doors on Thanksgiving day.

Recently, the Mall of America, located in Minneapolis, Minn. decided to close their doors on Thanksgiving day. This decision gave over 1,000 employees the day off to spend time with their families.

Following this decision, many other retailers have also decided to close their doors on Thanksgiving day including REI, Dillard’s and Costco.

If you are planning on taking advantage of the Thanksgiving deals, there are still big-box retailers that will be open.

Here is a list of retailers that will be open on Thanksgiving and those that will not.

Retailers Open on Thanksgiving:
West Town Mall – 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday; Will reopen at 6 a.m. on Black Friday
Walmart – 6 p.m. (Online will begin at 3 a.m. Thursday)
Target – 6 p.m. (Online deals begin at 1 a.m. Thursday)
Best Buy – 5 p.m. (Online deals begin at 2 a.m. Thursday)
Toys R Us – 5 p.m. (Online deals begin 9 p.m. Wednesday)
Kohl’s – 6 p.m. (Online deals begin 12 a.m. Monday, Nov. 21st)
J. C. Penney – 3 p.m. (Online deals begin at 12 a.m. Thursday)
Belk – 4 p.m. (Online deals begin 12 a.m. Wednesday)
Michaels – 6 p.m. (Online deals begin 4 a.m. Thursday)
Dicks Sporting Goods – 6 p.m. (Online deals begin 12 a.m. Thursday)
Ulta – 6 p.m.
Old Navy – 4 p.m.
Stein Mart – 5 p.m.

Retailers Closed on Thanksgiving:
Barnes and Noble
Game Stop
HH Gregg
TJ Maxx
Home Depot

Featured Image by Paul§, obtained through CreativeCommons.org

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

3 Simple and Cute Treats for Halloween

As Halloween is only two days away, it’s that time to Google late-minute costume ideas, run to the grocery store for candy and most importantly, look for some fun treats to make for your festivities.

But, who really has the time to sit on Pinterest for hours looking for the best sweets the internet has to offer? I have gathered three simple and festive treats for you that will charm your guests and get them in the spooky spirit!

recipe3Pumpkin Cheesecake

This is a delicious dessert that feeds into all of our inner pumpkin spice dreams! You can either put it in plastic cups and serve it as a dessert cocktail, or put it in a pan and serve it for a nice dinner.

Estimated Time: 20 minutes to make and 2 hours to chill in the refrigerator.

Jello No-Bake Cheesecake and Crust Mix
Pumpkin Puree (15 oz. can)
1 teaspoon of all spice
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of milk
3 teaspoons of sugar (Or a sugar substitute)
1 tablespoon of butter
Cool Whip (optional)
Plastic cups (optional)

1. To begin, mix the crust mixture with the two tablespoons of butter and 1 teaspoon of sugar. You can add more butter if you like. The Jello box suggests 5 tablespoons, but for this recipe, you don’t have to have the crust moist if you don’t prefer. (I enjoyed the consistency of the dry graham cracker mix with the texture of the pumpkin cheesecake.)

2. Mix the cup of milk with the cheesecake mix. After you have thoroughly mixed those two ingredients, add the pumpkin puree.

3. Add the 1 teaspoon of all spice, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of sugar to the cheesecake mixture.

4. Lastly, gather the plastic cups or whatever you would like to put the cheesecake in, and layer the crust at the bottom and cheesecake mixture on top. For reference, I put two tablespoons of crust on the bottom and then two tablespoons of cheesecake mixture on top; but, if you like a less even ratio to crust-cheesecake, then add more or less of the crust and cheesecake! Then place it into the fridge for a couple hours to let it chill.


Pumpkin Patch Dirt-Cakerecipe1

Reminiscent of my elementary school years, this is a must-have for my friends and I at all of our Halloween parties. This is the quickest and cheapest of the three recipes, but the taste is still as heavenly. Good for Halloween parties for five-year-olds and college students, this recipe is a win-win all around.

Estimated Time: 15 minutes

Chocolate Pudding (You can either make your own or buy pudding that is already made.)
Pumpkin Candy Corn
Green Sour Patch Straws (optional)
Plastic Cups

1. If you decided to make your own pudding, then you would just need to prepare it first so it has time to chill in the refrigerator or freezer.

2. Crush the Oreos. If you can find pre-crushed oreos at the grocery store, this will save you a lot of time as this is the most time-consuming step. What I initally did was put the oreos in a ziplock bag and used the end of a screwdriver to crush them, but I found if I put the Oreos in the plastic cups and used the end of a utensil to crush them that it was quicker. There are other methods on the internet to crushing oreos if neither of these work for you!

3. Layer the oreos and pudding in an order and ratio that you like. I layered the oreos first, at the bottom, and then the pudding with a ratio of 2:1 oreos and had two layers of each. Lastly, after layering your oreos and pudding, just place your pumpkin candy corn on top and add the green sour patch straws!


recipe22Halloween White-Chocolate Bark

I vote this one as the most fun and frustrating to make. The decorating part is very gratifying, however, the waiting for the chocolate to melt part is quite the opposite. If you are trying to challenge yourself and work on your patience, this is perfect as that is exactly what you will need for when you are melting the chocolate. If you also just want a cute treat to sit on your counter at your party, this is perfect, as well. Easy to make look good and simply delicious, this is definitely one of the best Halloween treats out there!

Estimated Time: 30 minutes to make and 20 minutes to chill in freezer.

White Chocolate Chip Morsels
Orange Food Coloring
Candy Corn
Assorted Chocolate Candies (I used Snickers, M&M’s and Kit-Kats)

1.  Heat the white chocolate. This is a tedious step and you will have to keep a watchful eye. Take a glass bowl and place it on top the pot on the stove. This creates a double barrier for the chocolate to warm and making it less likely to burn. Set the stove on medium heat and put the chocolate in the glass bowl. Stir the chocolate throughout the entire process, like I said, you will need to keep a careful eye on the chocolate as it can burn very easily. It will take 15-20 minutes for the chocolate to fully melt. You can add a dash of milk to help the chocolate to melt, but add the tiniest bit because adding too much will make the chocolate difficult to freeze.

2. Add the orange food coloring to the chocolate while it is still on the stove. It is important that you do not remove the chocolate from the stove before you are prepared to do the future steps, as the chocolate will harden very quickly. Add as much food coloring as you wish, the more food coloring the darker the orange of the bark will be.

3. Once the chocolate is melted and the food coloring is added, prepare what you will lay the chocolate on. I put wax paper down on a plate, but you can also use Pam to spray a plate or baking sheet.

4. Take the glass bowl off of the stove and pour the chocolate onto your platter. Smooth the chocolate out into any shape you would like, but I will warn you that the bark does not cut off clean so your shape may not remain.

5. Lastly, the fun part! Decorate your bark any way you like, just try and do it as quickly as you can! I added chocolate sprinkles, Kit-Kats, Snickers, M&M’s and candy corn to mine! Make sure to press your decor down hard into the chocolate so it will not fall off later, and then place your bark into the freezer for twenty-thirty minutes!

Images by Kayla Marcum

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Opinion: Kanye West performs innovative, sold-out show in Music City

Kanye West appeared out of a mist of smoke onto his state-of-the-art boxing-ring size, floating stage, an hour and a half after the scheduled show time. Every person in the stands caught a glimpse of “Yeezy” as he soared across Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. on Saturday, Sept. 24.

With no opening act, it was clear that West was the main event. The sold-out, diverse crowd, that only West himself could bring together, was electric. Fans were fist bumping, jumping, reciting the well-known lyrics and recording and sharing the event using social media.

Accompanied by the innovative floating stage was a field of lights that stretched across the arena. West used them as a breather in-between a set of songs. The lights, as well as the stage, are an example of how West has became one of the most sought-after concert shows, making use of his resources and creating art at his shows. The lights would shift and slant in the colors of orange, red and yellow over the crowd, and at one point the lights and stage connected and angled diagonally for one song.

Halfway during the 30 song set list, West ranted for 15 minutes about his critics, his recent fashion show and how he wants to lower the price of his merchandise to as low as “Walmart and Target.”

West ended the show with a few throwback favorites including “All of the Lights” which features Rihanna, “Good Life” and “Stronger,” before ending with “Ultralight Beam.”

The merchandise lines were long and the wait for West was longer; but, the common feeling after the show was that it was a masterpiece. It was a show, and a night, you never want to forget.

Featured image by Kayla Marcum

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo