The Alloy Orchestra accompanies a definitive restoration of Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” Nov. 8 at Cornell Cinema.

Things to Do, Nov. 1-8, 2019

Alloy Orchestra returns

The Alloy Orchestra returns to Cornell Cinema with an encore of its live score to Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis,” and new music to accompany a 1924 French circus drama.

Fritz Lang’s futuristic epic screens Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m., in a definitive restoration of a 147-minute version discovered in Buenos Aires in 2008. The silent film influenced many works to follow including “Blade Runner” and Tim Burton’s “Batman,” and footage from it was featured in a Queen music video.

Jacque Catelain’s recently restored “Gallery of Monsters,” screening Nov. 9 at 7 p.m., predates Tod Browning’s “Freaks” by eight years, and is a love story that’s similarly sympathetic to its sideshow characters.

Tickets to “Metropolis” are $16 general, $14 for students; “Gallery of Monsters” is $14 general, $12 for students. All-Access Pass holders receive a $3 discount at both programs.

Cornell Cinema will also feature introductions by faculty and graduate students at other screenings this week including: “Funan,” Oct. 31-Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.; “I am Cuba,” Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.; “Manta Ray,” Nov. 6 at 8:15 p.m., followed by discussion; and “There Will Be Blood,” Nov. 7 at 8:45 p.m.

Local talent

Singer-songwriter Naomi Sommers performs Sunday, Nov. 3, in Durland Alternatives Library in Anabel Taylor Hall, for a “Bound For Glory” live broadcast on WVBR, 93.5 FM.

Singer-songwriter Naomi Sommers performs Nov. 3 on “Bound For Glory,” broadcast on WVBR-FM live from Anabel Taylor Hall.

Admission is free for all ages, with three sets of music starting at 8:30 p.m. The broadcast, from 8-11 p.m., also streams live at

Based in Ithaca, Sommers plays guitar, banjo, mandolin and flute, and has recorded and performed professionally since childhood. She performs solo, and as a member of the Sommers Rosenthal Family Band and other groups.

She has recorded three albums of her own and one with old-time country duo Gray Sky Girls. Her most recent release, “Gentle As The Sun,” merges traditional and contemporary styles and was recorded in Nashville with producer Jim Rooney, who has worked with John Prine, Iris Dement, Nanci Griffith and Bonnie Raitt.

Losing birds

According to Cornell-led research recently published in the journal Science, wild bird populations in the continental United States and Canada have declined by almost 30% since 1970. The study quantifies, for the first time, the total decline in bird populations – a loss of 2.9 billion breeding adult birds – and the devastating losses among birds in every biome.

Ken Rosenberg, applied conservation scientist at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and lead author of the study, addresses why these results transcend the world of birds in “3 Billion Birds Lost: The Bird Crisis and What We Can Do About It,” a talk Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the lab’s auditorium, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca.

The talk in the Monday Night Seminar series is free and open to the public, and the presentation will be livestreamed.

Rosenberg leads joint research initiatives by the Lab of Ornithology and the American Bird Conservancy.

‘How Democracies Die’ author

Political scientist Steven Levitsky, co-author of “How Democracies Die,” makes his first visit to campus as an A.D. White Professor-at-Large Nov. 3-9. His free public lecture, “How Democracies Die: U.S. Democracy Three Years After Trump’s Election,” is Nov. 7 at 4:30 p.m. in Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium, Klarman Hall.

He will be featured in a Latin American Studies Program (LASP) Public Issues Forum, “Democracy in Latin America After the Left Turn,” Nov. 4 at 4:30 p.m. in Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium, 132 Goldwin Smith Hall, with Kenneth Roberts, the Richard J. Schwartz Professor of Government and director of LASP.

Levitsky also leads a two-day research workshop, “Democratic Resilience? Evaluating Whether the United States Can Withstand Rising Polarization,” Nov. 8-9 at Cornell Botanic Gardens’ Nevin Welcome Center.

Levitsky is a professor of government and the David Rockefeller Chair of Latin American Studies at Harvard University. His appointment at Cornell is through 2024.

‘Gorges History’ talk

A professor’s affinity for the unique geologic features of the Finger Lakes landscape is the subject of a Chats in the Stacks book talk, Nov. 7 at 4 p.m. in 160 Mann Library.

The late Art Bloom, a professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (EAS), introduced generations of Cornellians and other inquisitive minds to local landscapes, their deep lakes, waterfalls, shale, salt deposits, drumlins and gorges, and the powerful forces that formed them.

His book, “Gorges History: Landscapes and Geology of the Finger Lakes Region,” was published by the Paleontological Research Institution in 2018.

EAS professor Matthew Pritchard will share some of the region’s geological stories and discuss the collaborative effort he led to complete the book after Bloom’s passing in 2017.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase after the talk.


Cornell experts and vendor representatives will be on hand to provide information and answer questions about employee benefits at the Ithaca campus Benefair, Nov. 5, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in G10 Biotechnology.

Get answers about your health care, retirement and insurance benefits, and other benefits available to Cornell employees including continuing education, career training, wellness, parenting and caregiver support.

For employees in New York City, Benefair NYC is Monday, Nov. 11, 1-4 p.m. at the Tata Innovation Center on the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island.

‘There for You’

Madeleine Gray ’20 has written a minimusical that combats stereotypes in representations of mental illness and explores the question “Who, in the end, is really there for us?”

Khalfani Louis ’20 and Faith Slaughter ’20 in the original musical “There for You,” Nov. 7-9 at the Schwartz Center.

There for You” debuts Nov. 7-9 at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, 430 College Ave.

Gray, a performing and media arts and English major, conceived “There for You” as a solo performance in 2017, and reworked it into its present two-act form for her senior thesis. “It’s a play about human connection; about pain and the weight we carry that no one else sees; and about finding a way to keep breathing through it all,” she said.

Gray portrays a recently single pregnant woman named Anne Green who forms a friendship with Katie, a Planned Parenthood nurse played by Faith Slaughter ’20.

The musical, co-directed by Julia Smith ’21 and Cole Romero ’22, uses codified language to navigate Anne and Katie’s personal and romantic relationships from various perspectives, and depict the ways interpersonal relationships grow and change.

Performances are Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 8 at 5 p.m., and Nov. 9 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre. Tickets are $7 at or the Schwartz Center box office, open Monday-Saturday, 1-8 p.m.

Media Contact

Abby Butler