Oran Etkin '01
Courtesy Oran Etkin
Oran Etkin '01

DownBeat magazine named Oran Etkin ’01 the No. 1 Rising Star Clarinetist in the 64th annual DownBeat International Critics Poll. Four years ago, he won a Grammy alongside other artists for an anti-bullying compilation CD, “All About Bullies … Big and Small.” His most recent album, “What’s New: Reimagining Benny Goodman,” was released in September 2015. Etkin, who plays both jazz and world music, is also the developer of a music-education program for children called Timbalooloo.

A constellation of Brandeis faculty and alums won 2016 Elliot Norton Awards, the highest honor given to Boston-area theater productions. Adrianne Krstansky, the Barbara Sherman ’54 and Malcolm L. Sherman Director of Theater Arts, won the Outstanding Actress/Large Company prize for the Huntington Theatre Company’s “Come Back, Little Sheba” and shared in the Outstanding Ensemble/Midsize, Small or Fringe Theater award for the same production. Krstansky and associate professor of theater arts Marya Lowry shared in the Outstanding Ensemble/Large Theater award that went to the Gloucester Stage Company’s “New Electric Ballroom.” The Outstanding Actor/Small Company prize was won by Brandon Green, MFA’14, for Company One Theatre’s “The Octoroon.” And McCaela Donovan, MFA’11, waltzed away with the Outstanding Actress/Large Company, Musical, award for the Huntington Theatre Company’s “A Little Night Music.”

Vogue magazine’s website named “Timekeeper,” the Sarah Sze exhibition at the Rose Art Museum, one of 13 must-see U.S. shows for the fall 2016 arts season. Sze, a sculptor, created two monumental site-specific installations (titled “Timekeeper” and “Blue Wall Moulting”) in the museum’s Lois Foster Wing. According to Vogue, Sze’s “deep, beguiling, intricate — and often humorous — work embodies the overload of information and imagery that bombards all of us every day.”

Guy Raz ’96, host and editorial director of National Public Radio’s “TED Radio Hour,” has launched a new NPR podcast, “How I Built This.” It digs into the back stories of the innovators and entrepreneurs who founded some of the world’s best-known companies and brands, from Spanx, to Clif Bars, to Instagram. Go to to listen to episodes (they may even inspire you to draw up a business plan of your own).

Stand-up comedian Josh Gondelman ’07 — who also writes for HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” which won Emmys in 2016 in the Best Variety Talk Series and Best Writing for a Variety Series categories — has released his second comedy album, “Physical Whisper.” The album was recorded in December 2015 at the Davis Square Theatre, in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Two Brandeis faculty members, Sonia Almeida and Lucy Kim, both painters, were recently awarded the Institute of Contemporary Art’s Foster Prize. Each will present a major work or group of works at the ICA from February to July 2017. Almeida, a lecturer in fine arts, was born in Lisbon, Portugal, and received an MFA from the University of London. Kim, also a lecturer in fine arts, was born in Seoul, South Korea, and received her MFA from Yale. The Foster Award recognizes exceptional Boston-based artists whose work has not yet received wide exposure.

A new musical that grew out of a documentary film by Ann Carol Grossman ’69 and Arnie Reisman ’64 opened last summer at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. Now, with some revisions, it’s coming to Broadway. The play, “War Paint,” charts the rivalry of cosmetics entrepreneurs Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden. Grossman and Reisman’s film “The Powder and the Glory” helped inspire the play, as did the book “War Paint,” by Lindy Woodhead. It is scheduled to open in April at the Nederlander Theater. Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole will star.

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