Month: November 2020

Anatevka – The Unbreakable

Communities are built on standards. Standards of etiquette, of work ethic, of moral values, of how you ought to treat your fellow man, etc. In the formation of communities, as people live with and around each other, the manifestation of collective normative values and expectations is an inevitability. As we see our neighbors act as…

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A Bloody Revolution Means Messy Social Statements

Charlotte Lange A bloody revolution. Brilliant chemise gowns. Seductive love triangles. An ex-convict with a heart of gold. From the opening scene, Tom Hooper’s film version of Les Miserables is the epitome of an enthralling, edge-of-your-seat musical that combines ensemble ballads and heart-wrenching trios to consistently leave its audience with goosebumps. Within its four musical…

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Urine America: Can’t You Tell?

I wish I were in the room when Greg Kotis decided he was going to create a musical about a drought that led to a complex story of public urination and subsequent punishment. I’ve had some pretty outlandish shower thoughts, but Kotis’s level of creative genius in producing Urinetown is something that I’ve never come…

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History In Color

Before Hamilton, United States history was one of my least favorite subjects in school. I thought learning about America just consisted of memorizing the names of numerous old, white men and wondering how many more could have the name James or John. The American history they taught me in school never really applied to me…

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Soup or Salad? West Side Story and American Multiculturalism

“America is a melting pot”.  We’ve heard this all our lives; America is a country that melts together immigrants of diverse racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds into one emergent American culture. But this vibrant nation isn’t a monotonous, homogenous soup. No, America should actually be a multicultural salad. A beautiful conglomerate of different cultures and…

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You (Don’t) Belong with Me: Senseless Racism in the Face of Eastern European Jewish Culture

By: Kacy Jones (the token goy on the Hillel Jewish Life Committee) The simplistic plot of Fiddler on the Roof in five words would go something like: tradition, family, love…pogroms…exile? Historically, not an unexpected twist, but a truly heartbreaking one as the show places viewers alongside Tevye and we follow life as he does –…

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“In the Heights” is Not Revolutionary: How the Ordinary Story of Washington Heights Uncovers “Home”

At the end of the seventh grade I acquired the nickname “Mexico.” Actually, it wasn’t really a nickname at all, or at least not one that I approved of. I can’t remember the exact insult that led to the birth of this name, but I know one of my “friends” made some probably unoriginal jab…

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Who am I?

 It seems like I’ve been chasing the answer to the question “Who am I?” for my whole life and still haven’t quite found it. I think for everyone, the search for identity is a common question. Almost 3 years ago, I was asked to write an essay for a scholarship application, and “Who Am I?”…

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Forbidden Love: Maria as Pocahontas

By Elise Darby Pocahontas and West Side Story share a major similarity: both productions display a story of forbidden love. Just like Pocahontas and Captain John Smith, the love between Tony and Maria is disapproved of because of their different races. Both characters want the love they have never been allowed to experience, providing them…

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Fiddling with Hamilton

Matthew Arcuri’s deep thoughts to introduce this blog… Ensembles are representational. For the audience, they help define the norms of the society that exists within the musical as well as provide a greater context to the musical through representation of real life tropes. Through the ensemble’s representational acts, they challenge the audience’s preconceived notions while…

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Hamilton: New Age America

            Kayla Eason Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is unique in the sense of community that its cast creates within itself and those that watch the musical. Throughout the course we have read a lot about how representation is vastly lacking on the Broadway stage. Miranda took a risk and put together a cast of actors more…

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How The Original Cast of HAMILTON is a Powerful Display of Community On and Off the Stage

By Cassidy Johnson The pop-culture phenomenon and Broadway smash hit Hamilton: An American Musical is a revolutionary and symbolic piece of work for a plethora of reasons. It’s not revolutionary because it happens to feature a revolution, but instead, because the work shatters preconceived notions many held about a Broadway musical by integrating hip-hop and R&B themes,…

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Tradition! Fiddler on the Roof’s Protection (And Deconstruction) of the Patriarchy

By: Sarah Beth Huntley From the opening line of the first song of the movie, Fiddler on the Roof  establishes the fact that the entire community works to maintain what they believe is most important: tradition. We see a tight knit community where everyone is involved in everyone else’s business and each high and low…

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A dot Ham v A dot Burr: Narrative foils in the American dream of Hamilton: An American Musical

Always think twice before a murder. That was one of the most profound lessons Hamilton: An American Musical taught me. There is always a chance that the duel between you and your nemesis will become the climax of an internationally acclaimed musical. You will spend the majority of two hours and forty minutes narrating said…

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Contemporary Communities Don’t Involve… They Exclude

Charlotte Lange Today’s generation of stereotypically over-sensitized, underworked college students starkly contrast the image of grease-streaked baby boomers who spent their afternoons fighting in wars and smoking cigarettes alongside their mob of loyal conspirators. The gritty nineteen-fifties aesthetic of unrestrained, youthful sexuality; tough, boyish scuffles; and audacious, adolescent rebellion against authority incites passion and nostalgia…

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Jets Side Story

By Margie Johnson Set in the 1950’s, West Side Story features the rivalry between two gangs in the Upper West Side of New York City. Although they face a common enemy, the police, the hostility between the two groups is palpable. Both groups consist of all male teenagers but differ in ethnicity. These groups, with…

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To Be(long) or Not to Be(long): Fitting in through the Lens of Hamilton

Late in the summer of 2016, Lin Manuel Miranda shaped national conversation with his Broadway debut of Hamilton: An American Musical. Non-thespians were skeptical at first; but the musical quickly became popular in theatrical and non-theatrical circles alike. Unlike many other musicals of its time, Hamilton experienced a very long and noteworthy honeymoon phase. Spontaneous…

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Who Cares About Patriarchy?

How Fiddler on the Roof Uses Two Separate Ensembles to Show the Effects of Oppression By Kay Berlatsky Fiddler On the Roof is a musical about the life of Jewish people, an oppressed group, and how that group relates to the Russians, who possess and exploit power over them. As part of the exploration of this dynamic, Fiddler establishes a…

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