This post has been a long time coming since I saw the new Broadway musical Bandstand in previews back in April. Now with the show’s cast recording out, I’ve listened to a few songs recently and I think the show’s effect has finally sunk in for me. So, I’m ready to share my opinions on the show! Keep in mind that because I saw it in previews (albeit later in its preview run), there’s a possibility that some of its elements have changed since I was in the audience.
Going into the experience, I was really excited because I love the show’s World War II era. If I’m reading historical fiction, there’s like a 95% chance it’s set in the 1940s and exploring the before, after, or immediacy of the war. I also love hearing about the American homefront during the war, probably because I read so much about Europe in that time and there isn’t a huge literary focus on the States. I also adore Glenn Miller-esque music, which was a huge selling point of the show for me.
Originally produced at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey, Bandstand presents a group of young WWII veterans returning home and dealing with the mental effects that the fighting has caused. Compared to now, the idea of PTSD is virtually nonexistent, and the men feel even more isolated from their homes because of such a lack of understanding these mental changes.
I always feel like I came into the podcast game a little later than everyone else, listening to some for the first time about two or three years ago. In actuality, I think there was a huge surge in podcast production over the last year or so, and the forum has gained so much more attention as literally anything in the pop culture world seems to have a well-known fan podcast now.
I’m not a huge fan of podcasts that consist of “unknowns” talking to a long-distance friend/relative/whatever. I also don’t really enjoy ones produced by bigger publications that might have a more serious reputation and think podcasts will get the “young folk” interested. I’ve also never listened to Serial or any podcasts that are like a radio play, and I don’t think I’m really interested in trying them out. My favorite ones tend to focus on a certain theme I’m already a fan of, and I love hearing deep discussion about a production’s little inconsistencies or fun facts.
That being said, I’d like to share my four favorite podcasts with you and talk about why they’re so great!
Arguably the greatest podcast success story out there, Gilmore Guys is so popular that the titular guys, Kevin T. Porter and Demi Adejuyigbe, partner with Up TV for its Gilmore Girls airings and have interviewed several of the show’s stars. Coming from the perspective of a longtime fan (Kevin) and a first-time viewer (Demi), the podcast goes through each episode of Gilmore Girls and discusses characters’ fashion, pop culture references, how an episode was originally advertised, general critique of the episode’s storyline, and more. The guys are hilarious and have great chemistry with each other and their guest co-hosts, and they’ve even done live shows for some later episodes that are absolute must watches (I recommend this one if you have the time!).
Hi friends! My first post-college summer is in full swing and amidst weekly (or daily) freakouts about life, I’ve finally emerged from a rough slump where I really wasn’t in the mood to take in any kind of cultural stuff. I wanted to share some things I’ve been loving lately that have made this transition into real life a little smoother.
Jill Mansell books
I read my first Jill Mansell book years ago and remember thinking it was just okay. Last month, I found myself in the mood for some of my beloved British contemporary fiction (the mood strikes whenever I’m particularly homesick for London, and what with everything going on in the UK in June, I guess it hit me hard). Having come across Mansell’s section on my library OverDrive, I downloaded one at random, Three Amazing Things About You, and quickly fell in love with Mansell’s style. It’s lighthearted, funny chick lit, but still so satisfying – I call her books the written equivalent of films like Love Actually.
Welcome back to my blog, friends! I’ve had a crazy month and a half or so of schoolwork, internship projects, and freak-outs about life that kept me from blogging regularly, but with summer on the horizon, I’m trying to get back into a nice writing routine!
Recently, I purposely made a post about my Tony nomination predictions so it was out before award announcements, and am planning on a reaction post to seeing the Broadway musical Bandstand. For now, as a nice catch-up to get the blog back in order, I wanted to do a News Worthy-esque post about recent cultural news or events that excited me!
Jessie Mueller and Joshua Henry are starring in a Broadway revival of Carousel next year. The sound that came out of my mouth when I saw this headline was not human. I love Jessie Mueller, and recently fell in love with my birthday buddy Joshua Henry through his HamJams on Instagram. I love how this is a pairing no one would have really considered in casting speculation but now that it’s happening, everyone loves it! The fact that a black man was cast as Billy in Carousel is also huge and amazing. With a My Fair Lady revival already announced for next season as well, the 2018 musical revival category is looking pretty strong.
The last semester of college has been slowly killing me as far as having energy for outside blogging, but with things quickly winding down, I’m hoping to get back into it! I have some other posts coming up, like a general catch-up and my reaction to seeing Bandstand on Broadway, but given this crazily competitive theater season and the upcoming announcement of Tony nominations on May 2, I wanted to share my predictions for the musical categories. So many shows are officially opening in the next week or so, and Tony season is also a make-or-break time for new shows to gain some traction or quietly close a month after opening (remember Tuck Everlasting last year?)
I’m still incredibly excited for all of the new musicals premiering this season, but there are some classic musicals that I think are long overdue for Broadway revivals. Growing up, we watched a lot of the popular, traditional movie musicals – Rodgers & Hammerstein, Disney live action – that really solidify your view of Broadway as a flashy song-and-dance place no matter how much you enjoy newer and more experimental musicals.
The Music Man
Last on Broadway: 2000
The last few weeks have been pretty crazy. I produced weekly news packages on my own for class, kept up on freelancing and intern duties, and – a moment I’m pretty darn proud of – interviewed Imposters star Rob Heaps for Her Campus (and have another exciting potential interview in the works!).
After keeping busy quite consistently, my “spring” break this week was very welcomed and needed. Aside from applying to “real world” jobs, I don’t have much going on this week, so I’ve found the time to get obsessed with some new things!
CBS Sunday Morning profiles
Unlike last week, today’s News Worthy is far more aligned with my typical format for the series!
Like so many others, I was so excited for the premiere of This Is Us back in September. My roommate and I even watched the first few episodes live, which, if you’ve been around here long enough, you’ll know is a privilege usually reserved for PBS dramas. After the pilot finished and that big twist was revealed, I even felt motivated to write a blog post in response (which never happened – whoops). We fell behind on watching when the semester’s work piled up, but I caught up over Christmas break and was finally convinced of the show’s power by the time I finished the mid-season finale.
I quickly fell in love with Into the Woods after seeing the film, and have become very familiar with the original Broadway cast recording. The show was revived in 2002, and what with that production hitting its 15th anniversary this year, I think another Broadway revival is well overdue.
In a new feature that I think I may keep doing because of how fun this post was, I picked some of Into the Woods’ main roles and matched them with Broadway actors I can easily envision playing the role in the near future.
Baker – Santino Fontana
I see Santino Fontana as an everyman, and the role of the Baker is that of an ordinary man thrust into this quest that’s asking so much of him. It’s hard to pick someone for this role when Chip Zien was so great in the original production, but I think Santino both fits the mold Zien set and has differences that could make his portrayal unique.
I haven’t written a post for my weekly News Worthy feature since the beginning of September, but I’d like to try and get back into it – a semi New Year’s resolution, if you will. I had a pretty busy semester in the fall, and while there are definitely more gaps in my schedule this semester (my last of college – uhh…), I feel like they’ll fill up quickly, so committing to News Worthy is a good way to write at least one post every week. Let’s see how this goes!
I finished reading Sarah McCoy’s The Baker’s Daughter last week and checked out McCoy’s website afterwards. She has a page for all of the essays she’s written over the years and this one, “Author Epiphany: I Film-Track My Novels” was great. McCoy explains that, instead of listening to music when she writes, she’s often typing with old black-and-white movies playing in the background.