To encourage social distancing during the spread of COVID-19, we are altering our regular “Event Horizon” section for the foreseeable future. While many local events are on hold, we will clue you into at least one local experience — this week: TheatreWorks' virtual play about the American presidency, House Arrest — and recommend some things you can do at home or safely out and about. Please continue to support the arts during this difficult time.
Louder than a Riot
Hip-hop has long told the story of the impact that mass incarceration and systemic racism in the criminal justice system has had on Black Americans. In NPR’s new podcast Louder than a Riot, hosts Rodney Carmichael and Sidney Madden take a deeper look at the intersection of hip-hop music and incarceration by examining the histories of popular artists such as the late Nipsey Hussle — and the hip-hop industry as a whole. The show is intriguing and insightful, blending the hosts’ obvious affection for — and deep knowledge of —the genre with an objective, informative look at the power structures inside and outside the industry.
Part of the fun of tabletop gaming is discovering the new ways game designers are working to elevate play. In the case of Everdell, a new worker-placement and tableau-building game from Starling Games, “elevate” is quite literal. The board unfolds and is constructed into the shape of a tree, creating gaming experience that is not only engaging and tactile, but visually beautiful as well. The game is designed for 1 to 4 players and each one takes their turn building cities and performing tasks to generate points across several seasons. At the end of the game, the player with the most points wins.
The Mortuary Collection
Anthology flicks are a staple of the horror genre, giving scare-thirsty viewers a way to sample a variety of stories in a single film. The Mortuary Collection is a new entry in the style and while it doesn’t deviate too far from the standard compilation formula, it does offer new tales reminiscent of Creepshow or Tales from the Darkside. It definitely leans more slasher than paranormal, with body horror and copious amounts of gore sprinkled with beloved horror tropes and a fair bit of cheese. If you’re not a fan of those, you should definitely avoid this one. For those who do dig it, you’ll get your fill and then some. Available on Amazon Prime.
The Once and Future Witches
The ways of witches were thought to have died in the fiery executions of their maligned practitioners — but they were merely dormant, awaiting the right time to be resurrected once more. When Eastwood sisters James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth and Beatrice Belladonna join the rising suffragette movement in New Salem, they find that overcoming the forces against them will require a return to these otherworldly magics to ensure their survival in a world reluctant to change. Author Alix E. Harrow’s prose is witty and entertaining and her well-woven plot reflects her academic background — sometimes historical fiction is just better when it’s written by an honest-to-goodness historian.