Month: March 2021

From Leading Man to Leading Boy: a look at the “ideal male” throughout broadway history

Throughout the last century of American culture, we have seen shifts in public opinion of what attractiveness is. Whether in sports, popular music or television/film, trends in attractiveness change just as frequently and quickly as trends in fashion. We see this prominently in Broadway: writers of new musicals occasionally adjust their characters to fit to…

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World’s Best Mama

About a month ago on a Friday night, I was introduced to a powerful, fierce, and desperate woman while lying in bed and snacking on some deliciously pre-made popcorn. While cuddled up in my cozy movie watching outfit, I pressed play on my laptop and started to immerse myself in the movie Gypsy. Were there…

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The Idealism of Jack Kelly

I’ve got to hand it to Disney– if they can do one thing correct it’s completely mischaracterize being a teenager, specifically in regards to romance. But in Newsies, we get to see teenagers devoid of dimension in a whole new century! Instead of a classic Disney Channel plot point such as dropping a science fair…

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Bring Back Manly Men

A real American man– he is driven, strong, demands respect, and is not interested in frivolous behavior… or at least that’s what has always been represented in the white American male. And because white has been presented as the “norm” in the United States, that is what we expect from “real men” in general. As…

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Newsies: Is the Ideal Man Too Limiting?

Disney’s Newsies showcases the very definition of American masculinity with some catchy numbers and dazzling lights. Directed by Brett Sullivan, Newsies highlights the struggles of New York City newspaper boys as they rally together to fight for a fair price.  What was particularly remarkable about the show was the absence of a feminine presence. In fact, Katherine and Ms.…

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Chloe’s Crushes: an article about her varying taste in men and how they perpetuate gender roles

By Chloe Hodge While no man stacks up to my love Tommy Shelby of Netflix’s Peaky Blinders, two have come dangerously close recently, and they are none other than Davey Jacobs from Disney’s filmed version of Newsies (2017) directed by Brett Sullivan and a young Hugh Jackman as Curly from Oklahoma! directed by Trevor Nunn. Okay. What? These two fools are…

Read more Chloe’s Crushes: an article about her varying taste in men and how they perpetuate gender roles

Paving The Way for Strong Women

Women ruling the world? Surely, you’re kidding. But if you’re in Oz, that’s exactly the case. The Wiz Live!, a televised musical produced by NBC in 2015, directed by Kenny Leon, adapted by Harvey Fierstein, with original book by William Brown, choreographed by Fatima Robinson, and with musical directors Harvey Mason, Jr. and Stephen Oremus,…

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Mama Rose: Mother or Monster?

What do think of when you hear the word “diva?” Is it the dictionary definition of a classical opera singer, or it is the cultural definition of a woman who is strong, out-spoken, demanding and unapologetic? I would probably guess it would be the latter. In theater, the role of “diva” has been around almost…

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“How Do You Like Them Eggrolls, Mr. Goldman?”: Female Sexuality as a Means to Power in a Male-Dominated World

Ethel Merman. Bernadette Peters. Patti LuPone. And, of course, Bette Midler. Such musical theater giants have all taken on the iconic role of Mama Rose, and productions of the 1959 musical Gypsy, with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim,are often noted specifically for their leading ladies. In…

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“GET YOUR PAPES RIGHT HERE”

After watching Disney’s Newsies I realized how lucky I am to access my news and information online. No screaming newsboys, no children using pity as a means for more sales; I mean to decline a seven-year-old on the street selling papers would be a bit harsh.  Or you might take another stance, that to live…

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Jack and Crutchie take on NEWSIES!

Watching and listening to the popular musical Newsies! brings about a thought. This has to do with white masculinity with a little bit of spice. If you have watched this musical directed by Jeff Calhoun and Brett Sullivan, you know exactly what I am talking about. Newsies! shows a difference in masculinity between two different…

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Newsboys to OklahoMen

By: Kate Murphy The smooth talker. The power walk that is just subtle enough for you not to notice the sly attempts at establishing the upper hand. The charm with an undertow of coercion that may be slightly problematic but could also just be you reading into his “confidence.: Masculinity can present itself in any…

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The Newsies of Oklahoma!

         By: Hugh Fisher       Throughout the history of musicals and stage performances, there have always been characters that depict the overzealous white male. Newsies and Oklahoma! are no exception. Les, a young boy in Newsies, and Will, an adult in Oklahoma!, although separated by at least a decade in age, share similar traits of masculinity and…

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Laurey, What Happened to You

What does it mean to be an American? Is it ethnicity? Is it inextricably tied to whiteness? Is it culture? Common beliefs, ideals, and experiences that unite every single person under one cohesive identity? Oklahoma! the musical highlights aspects of American identity under a period marked by whiteness. Whiteness, as we have discussed in class, sets the…

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On Voice:

Consider yourselves lucky.  Dr. Essin has spared you from watching The Little Mermaid Live on Disney+. You can thank my section of this course for that. You’re welcome. I was not so lucky. Not that the live television version was bad, necessarily, but it certainly didn’t compare to the other shows we watched. It wasn’t…

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On Trust:

Trust. Assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. Hi, y’all! I’m Brooke! I’m originally from Delaware, but I went to high school in New Jersey. I’m a junior here at Vanderbilt double majoring in Theatre and English with a minor in American Studies. On campus I’m involved in both…

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