Category: Entertainment

Ellicott City Turns Into Harry Potter World

Words and Photos: Alexandra Valerio

On October 5-6, the Old Ellicott City Partnership held a Harry Potter-themed day for helping the National Federation of the Blind. Many people came for a spectacular time and brought their wands, brooms, and costumes into the heart of Old Ellicott City.

Costumes were welcomed by both children and adults. Many owners participated in the event and stores provided some Harry Potter exclusive themed items and events.

Stores such as Main Street Yoga provided sorcerers’ stones, Manor Hill provided a Pizza Wizard Theme, and Macha Time Cafe had butterbeer, cookies and collective cards. Moorenko’s Ice Cream cooked up some special unique flavors, and Reclaimed by You! had a tournament for competing for the House Cup.

More than ten stores participated in the Harry Potter theme; some also offered discounts to people who were decked out in Harry Potter themed wardrobes.

Julio Algeria, the owner of Gamer Corps, provided Harry Potter wardrobes and ties. Algeria says he “loves to read Harry Potter- genres and loved the scavenger hunt idea that Old Ellicott City created.”

The Old Ellicott City Partnership also provided selfie stops to allow visitors to travel into the Harry Potter World.

The Flower Barn Owners, Teresa Graham and Stephanie Wells, decided to create the Harry Potter theme for Teresa Graham’s daughter, Naudia Graham. She is a big fan of Harry Potter.

Naudia Graham decided to give back to the National Federation of the Blind and their community. Their plans for next year are “much bigger and much better” due to the strong response with the first one.

They give their thanks for people who came to the event and who are from Centennial High School, since Naudia Graham’s sister, Tiana, recently graduated from Centennial.

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Principal Dillon Comes Out on Top in Centennial’s Annual Dancing With the Staff

Words: Shawn Kruhm

Photos: Noorie Kazmi

On Thursday, October 17, members of the Senior Dance Company partnered with a teacher of their choice to compete in Centennial’s annual Dancing With the Staff performance. 

From Ghostbusters to Despicable Me, students and staff incorporated numerous popular movies and themes into their entertaining dance numbers. 

Once all student and dancer duos had finished their routine, the panel of judges, made up of teachers and school officials, voted on the best dance duo. Although Divya Proper and choir teacher Rebecca Vanover won the judge’s vote, the audience voted for Principal Cynthia Dillon and Lexie Fang to win the first place trophy. Juliet Pantoulis and computer science teacher Michael Hobson received an honorable mention for their Back to the Future performance. 

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Blockbuster Black Panther Crushes Box Office Records

Words: Julia Stitely and Lien Hoang

        Before Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp, Black Panther is one of the Marvel movies premiering this year. Already gaining praise from its stunning visuals and the wonderful energy, Black Panther is already top of the box office. The movie showcases a rare representation for African Americans in the entertainment business with the majority of its cast being black.      

        Black Panther is easy to follow due to it being an origin story. With his introduction in Captain America: Civil War, we barely knew anything about the Panther himself, T’Challa, and where he came from. The story of Black Panther is set in the technologically advanced nation of Wakanda. In this hidden society, the future king, T’Challa, faces several challenges including a rising competitor for the throne. The strength backing up the community derives from an extraordinary metal called Vibranium, the material of Captain America’s shield.

        Now, what really makes Black Panther is the African-American cast and production team. The team includes director of Creed, Ryan Coogler, head of the beautiful costume design, Ruth E. Carter, and many others. Chadwick Boseman returns as T’Challa, giving him more background and passion. Although the villain usually acts as an evil character for the hero to defeat, the audience can sympathize with Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan, and the reasons behind his actions. The idea behind his cause is sensible, but his way of carrying out his plans is questionable. The new additions of Letitia Wright as his sister, Shuri, Lupita Nyong’o as the caring Nakia, and Okoye, played by Danai Gurira, are fresh displays of female empowerment. It is seen through amazing fight scenes and women holding high positions of power. In fact, the king’s right hand man, in this case woman, is the head general Okoye.

        Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther is a force to be reckoned with. The different outfits the people wear are so colorful and great to look at. In addition to that, the landscape is beautiful to view in the background. Black Panther depicts unimaginable technology and it stands out from other movies, hopefully inspiring many others to come.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Wonder Movie Review

Words: Natalie Keane

Based on the bestselling novel by R. J. Palacio, the movie Wonder hit theaters on November 17, sharing a message of complete authenticity to viewers. For a movie seemingly aimed at kids, Wonder does an unusually good job of bringing depth and underlying wisdom to the screen, while still being clear enough for younger viewers. With important life lessons threaded through each individual character’s story, it surprisingly could appeal to not just the movie’s aimed demographic of kids, but to much older people as well.

Thankfully, the movie proved to be a near exact replica of the book, and it was a relief to know that the author of the book had a large part in producing the on-screen adaptation. Just as the book is written, the movie begins showing the seemingly minor life of a kid who desperately wants to fit in, but then expands into a movie about community, kindness, and how the decisions we make can affect people in ways we don’t know.

The message of Wonder is clear. The year-long story surrounds 10-year-old Auggie Pullman, who has a facial deformity and is going to public school for the first time. As he navigates through the fifth grade, we watch his character as well as many of the other children at his school go from being closed off and unwilling to accept change to people who work to see beyond their own differences and connect with each other. The movie starts off in Auggie’s point of view, but as the story progresses, the perspectives switch between each of the characters and their stories relative to Auggie’s. Through these differing perspectives from the same year, director Stephen Chbosky doesn’t fail to bring a sense of warmth and genuineness to the screen.

It is often forgotten that sometimes there can be more to a movie than just the entertaining aspect, and Wonder represents this perfectly. Once you dig down to the very roots of why this story was made, you find that there is so much more than what this film seems to be on the surface. It is a lesson that so many people have difficulty learning, which is a lesson of hardship, acceptance, and ultimately, how the choices we make show who we truly are, not anything else.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial Fine Arts Prepare for The Nutcracker Performance

Words: Shawn Kruhm

Centennial High School will be performing Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker on Thursday, November 30, and Friday, December 1 at 7 p.m. The show will be held in the school auditorium. Admission is $10.00 at the door or online at chs.hcpss.org.

The show is being presented by Centennial’s Junior and Senior dance companies, members of orchestra, wind ensemble, and the singing groups Bella Voce and Madrigals.

The students and the directors of the production have been working for the past few months to put on this show. Performers in the show have been spreading the word about the show through announcements and posters at school, and social media.

The Nutcracker has been a part of Centennial’s history for a long time. The performing arts program used to alternate between the Winter Spectacular and The Nutcracker every other year, and have made the decision to return to that tradition.

One of the directors of the show and Centennial’s dance teacher Rebecca Clark shared, “the directors wanted to bring new repertoire to their students, and thought this would be a great way to bring The Nutcracker back to the Centennial community.” 

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Stranger Things Season Two Review

Words: Natalie Keane

As the end of October rolled around, season two of Netflix’s hit show Stranger Things was released, giving its millions of fans a look at the new problems arising in the fictional small town of Hawkins, Indiana. The story of the second season is now set during Halloween of 1984, one year after the disappearance of Will Byers. We get to see the familiar adventure of Byers and his friends, as they are determined to uncover the supernatural element they believe to be underneath their town. Last season was simply an introduction to the Upside Down. Now, the characters are working to rescue Byers from an even bigger entity that threatens to change the course of all of their lives, while also trying their hardest to convince everyone else that there is a problem.

While new characters are introduced at the start, unlikely heroes are revealed as the season progresses. Old characters show development we never expected, and most everyone agrees that the new characters prove to make season two better than season one.

“I’d have to say my favorite part is the characters,” said Emily Hollwedel, a freshman at Centennial, who has been a fan of the show since season one, “when I watch the characters build relationships with each other, it helps develop their personalities and even change their view of their world for the better.”

The unusual cross of fantasy and horror mixed with 80s nostalgia is something that many people love most about the show, and there is no doubt that the familiar feeling of excitement and thrill in season one carries directly into season two. Stranger Things is a rare example of a show that takes the best qualities of classic 80s films, such as E.T, Aliens, Jurassic Park, and more, and combines them into one universe for old and young fans alike to enjoy.

“The mix of 80s nostalgia with the already fascinating plot is an easy pull for all sorts of people to enjoy the show,” Hollwedel said. “The [feeling] of childhood and a whole life ahead brings adults and kids together to enjoy a show that appeals to people of all ages.”

As Stranger Things’ sophomore season comes to a close, there is no indication that the characters we’ve come to love are disappearing any time soon. With their biggest trial yet to be faced, the show’s final two seasons have the potential to reveal even more secrets, and set the story up for its ultimate climax.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.