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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Not Too Lesbian for a Kids’ Movie – Where The Prom Went Wrong

Let’s talk about The Prom. Specifically, let’s talk about Emma. Emma’s the main character of Netflix’s 2020 musical special The Prom, a story about a lesbian teen in small town Edgewater, Indiana who just wants to dance with her girlfriend at the prom. Based off a true story, the star-studded production retells Emma’s conflicts with her high…

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Stereotypes Within The Prom

Will Sheppard Ryan Murphy’s version of The Prom, which is basically hidden in the depths of Netflix, is an attempt at taking down issues of the LGBTQ community. This becomes problematic because of the gender and sexuality stereotypes within, as they ultimately took over the goal as a whole. We start off the musical In…

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The Angel and The Deviant: Racialized Representations of Womanhood in Newsies

The virginal, well-educated white chick. The sassy, promiscuous black woman. Oh boy. I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry while I watched these hackneyed tropes play out on the musical stage through the characters of Katherine (Plumber) Pullitzer and Medda Larkin in the 2017 Disney version of the Broadway show, Newsies, written by…

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The Modernized Cinderella

Nate Clifton The story of Cinderella has been remade numerous of times. Since its first Disney animated version dating back to 1950, a total of twelve other remakes have been released, one even being televised this year. Personally, I grew up with the original edition. Even though it had been about for over half a…

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The PROM Character Analysis

Jansen Preston In the Musical Movie, “The PROM”, James Corden plays a character named Barry Glickman. He is cast as a middle-aged gay male who is a dying thespian on Broadway. His character, despite the looks of it in the beginning, is very complex and important to the story. His first words in the movie…

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Jack-yll and Hyde?

Disney’s 2017 rendition of Newsies: The Broadway Musical!, directed by Jeff Calhoun, seems to captivate its audience and pull each spectator in many different, creative directions. Some strong feelings have been assigned accordingly surrounding the ideas of gender and sexuality when further investigating the role that Jack Kelly plays within the musical. Jack Kelly’s character…

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Nothing New(sies) Here: A Failed Attempt at Breaking Gender Stereotypes

Disney’s Newsies, tells the story of the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899, and does so through dynamic choreography, lovable characters, and empowering musical numbers. While Alan Menken’s music, Jack Feldman’s lyrics, and Harvey Fiertsein’s book all make for an enjoyable performance, the musical grapples with breaking down stereotypes and, ultimately, falls flat on its face.…

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Love Thy Neighbor

Megan Walters I never had heard of ‘The Prom’ Netflix film until watching it a few weeks prior. Netflix has been hit or miss recently, but I was hopeful regardless. As someone who is a musician and performs on a regular basis, and was a classic ‘theater kid’ in middle and early high school, I…

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On Revision:

Oh, revision. How dreadful it can be. I don’t know about you, but I hate revision——or, at least I used to. Until recently, I would despise “revising” my work because it felt like editing something I already wanted to be done with. “Revision,” in an academic sense, usually happens by force, typically so you can…

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A Lasting Legacy

Here is Episode Eighty Four of “An Inside Look” where I sit down with Harold Jefferson. We discuss the diverse cast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and it’s lasting legacy of racially diversifying film and the musical stage. Enjoy!Here is Episode Eighty Four of “An Inside Look” where I sit down with Harold Jefferson. We…

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2013 Cinderella: A Diversified Take on a Classic Fairytale

By Alexandra de Roziere, Megan Graziano, and Enrique Bradfield. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 2013 rendition of Cinderella attempts to revamp the classic tale into a relatable story in today’s society. Similar to the original production, Cinderella follows a young girl who lives with her stepmother and stepsisters after her father’s passing. Being the odd one out…

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The Clouds Between the Sun and Moon

A Discussion between Iris Tseng and Emily Leatherwood on the 2016 25th Anniversary Gala Performance of the West End Production of Miss Saigon written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg Content warning: mentions of sexual assault/coercion, war, racism Emily: So, I am so excited to dive into the wild ride that is Miss Saigon with…

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If Cinderella’s Shoe Fit, Why Did It Fall Off? and Other Questions About the Timeless Tale

By Natalie Stigall and Chloe Hodge We sat down and had a discussion on Cinderella (1997). Focusing mainly on the casting, we talked a lot about the importance of the diversity in this production, how unfortunately normalized white-centered stories are, and how this is harmful. Though this cast was diverse, was the story and the…

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Behind the White Curtain: A Look into Racial Representation in Miss Saigon.

Dialogue between Gabe Robles-Nieles and George Zhu. GZ: Today Gabe and I are going to be talking about one of the musicals that we watched in class titled Miss Saigon. The rendition that we watched was the 2014 West End Revival version which featured a more demographically appropriate casting of characters, addressing a few racist…

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Classical Rendition Meets Modern Ideals: Cinderella the 1997 Remake

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, remade in 1997, was a groundbreaking musical performance that intertwined a conversation about the progression of diversity in musicals with an all time classic Disney fairytale. The musical stars many prominent figures such as the late Whitney Houston as Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother, Whoopi Goldbeerg as the Queen, and Brandy Norwood as…

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Miss Saigon: Asian Representation Manufactured by American Entertainment

A Dialogue between Tinah Le and Ella Smith: TL (Tinah Le): In this conversation, we will be discussing the 2017 Revival of Miss Saigon, starring Eva Noblezada and Alistair Brammer as Kim and Chris. The show was originally written by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil. Mainly, we will focus on the representation of Vietnamese culture,…

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The Black Magic of The Wiz! Live

By: Amaya Allen and Hassatou Diallo The Black Magic of The Wiz! Live by Amaya Allen and Hassatou Diallo  The Wiz is considered to be a prized possession within the African American community as this is one of the first musicals to contain an all Black cast, African American linguistics, and musical elements. This production…

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