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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review: Kinky Boots Tour! (Durham, NC)

For my birthday present, I asked my parents for tickets to the Kinky Boots tour because I absolutely love the show and the guy playing Charlie Price currently is an alum from my university. I was lucky enough to see Kinky Boots this summer on Broadway (read my review here), but I think that the tour is every bit as good!


The tour is an impressive recreation of the Broadway show, if not even better. I was particularly impressed by Aaron Walpole as Don and Tiffany Engen as Lauren. Tiffany's "The History of Wrong Guys" had the audience laughing the entire time, but she managed to infuse her performance with humanity too. I definitely could relate to her Lauren.

J. Harrison Ghee was incredible as Lola in his singing, acting, and dancing. His "Land of Lola" was absolutely stunning (if only I could dance like he can!), but his "Hold Me In Your Heart" made me and much of the audience cry. Lola's humor isn't something that just any actor can pull off, but he certainly did. As he's from Fayetteville (not far from the DPAC theater), the audience went a bit crazy at the line "I'm from just down the road."


One of the main reasons that I wanted to see the tour was to see Adam Kaplan as Charlie Price. Adam graduated from Elon University a few years before I started there and I was able to see him in the ensemble of Newsies a few years back.

Adam was lovely as Charlie Price, a character that's a bit difficult at times to make likable. Adam seemed much younger than most Charlie Prices I've seen, which I think added to the character's vulnerability. Not only were Adam's vocals amazing, but his acting showed Charlie's struggles with himself and his father so well.

My sister, Hannah, with Adam 
Me with Adam!
I was lucky enough to get to chat with Adam at stage door and he was very sweet. We had a lovely chat about Elon...and how happy he was to get to go to Cookout while here in North Carolina!

If the Kinky Boots tour is coming anywhere near you, definitely go see it! It has an important message that everyone should hear and it is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Room Tour

I finally got my room tour put together to show all of you! Hope you enjoy and feel free to ask me where anything is from. x

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Summer Favorites!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Let the Weekly Vlogs Begin!

I've decided to do some weekly vlogging during my senior year, so here's some footage from my first week of senior year! Let me know if you like these and want to see more. Another video is coming your way on Wednesday! x

Friday, September 2, 2016

My Goals for Senior Year


It's hard to believe that I've started the final year of my undergraduate degree and that my time at Elon University is dwindling to a close. Of course, I have some goals for some things that I would like to accomplish during my last year here. 

Apply to graduate schools.
I've decided to apply to some graduate programs in London for next year. Thus, I will be completing applications in the fall. I didn't think that I would be doing college applications over again, so the idea of writing a personal statement is quite daunting but I'm excited.  

Finish my thesis (!). 
Is there anything scarier than finishing a project you've been working on for years? I've been working on my history thesis project since my first year and this is the year that I have to finish it and present it at conferences. 

Make the most of what Elon has to offer. 
One thing that living in New York City this summer made me realize is that I will never have access to so much free entertainment as I do this year. I want to see as many speakers, events, and shows as I can because Elon has so much to offer...for free! 

Take care of myself better. 
There's no better time than my last year in college to learn to eat better and work out...especially while I have a beautiful kitchen and a gym in my neighborhood. I also want to make sure that I take care of my mental health this year and find time to relax in my busy schedule. 

Make beautiful memories with friends (or with myself!). 
This is my last year living with so many friends and I need to make sure that I don't let my work get in the way of making memories with these people that I will miss so much after graduation. I also love going to cute coffee shops or going on bookstore runs by myself because you don't have to be with friends to make memories! 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

College/University Tips!

I wanted to share some of my tips and tricks for getting through your first bit of college (or university, if you're in the UK)!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Back to School Haul!

I wanted to share my back to school stationary haul, full of fun bits from Target! Let me know if you'd like to see other back to school/university themed posts and videos. x

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ranking Broadway Shows: Summer 2016


While I was in New York this summer, I saw twenty one shows and four (Broadway) concerts. Well technically, I saw sixteen different shows because I saw a couple of shows twice and I saw She Loves Me four times (Oops.) Since I was lucky enough to have this experience, I wanted to put together a little ranking of the shows that I saw...some of my choices might surprise you! 

Did you see any of these shows? Let me know what you think in the comments below or tweet me about it! 

16) The Crucible 
Out of all the shows I saw this summer, this is definitely the one that I didn't click with. Which isn't to say that I didn't think it was interesting, I just didn't quite...get it. At least not this staging. (Review coming soon.) 

15) The Rockettes's Spring Spectacular
Despite my fifteen-year dance background, I wasn't overly excited by the Rockettes. It was great to see them, but they couldn't compare to some of the other shows I saw. 

14) American Psycho 
The best thing I can say about American Psycho is that it was definitely ahead of its time. While it was riveting and the cast was very talented, as someone who doesn't like horror or scary movies, this definitely wasn't the show for me. (Review coming soon.) 

13) Troilus and Cressida
Reflecting on it, I realized that I loved the experience of Shakespeare in the Park more than I loved the actual show that I saw. While it was a beautiful production, Troilus and Cressida has definitely not beat out Coriolanus as my favorite Shakespeare production. (Review coming soon.) 

12) God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
What an amazing cast this show had! (I got to live out my dream of seeing Santino Fontana, who voiced Hans in Frozen). However, the show itself seemed a bit jumbled with the Disney-esque music (of course with Alan Menken and Howard Ashman at the helm) at odds with the dark storyline. (Review coming soon.) 

11) Aladdin 
Speaking of Menken and Ashman,  Aladdin is a lovely stage version of a Disney film. While I enjoyed the show, and especially its feminist reimagining of Princess Jasmine played by the wonderful Courtney Reed, I've never been overly fond of the story or its music. (Review coming soon.) 

10) Wicked
Those who know me know that I'm notoriously hard on productions of Wicked because I was spoiled enough to see Gina Beck as Galinda in the West End several years ago. I wouldn't have gone to see Wicked on Broadway if my class hadn't paid for it, but I'm so glad that I did because Rachel Tucker's Elphaba was truly astounding. The show gained the number 10 spot on my list for her "No Good Deed" alone. (Review

9) Kinky Boots
I fell in love with Kinky Boots via the West End cast album last year and was so excited to finally see it live. It's a truly solid production, only getting bumped down to the number 9 spot because Broadway's Charlie Price didn't quite live up to my standards (but perhaps having Killian Donnelly as my standard is unfair). (Review)

8) Something Rotten 
I don't think I've ever laughed as hard during a show as I did during Something Rotten. I'm not usually one for comedies, but Christian Borle as Shakespeare won me over. (Review

7) The Color Purple
It should be no surprise that Cynthia Erivo's performance guaranteed this show a high ranking. Plus two of my faves, Kyle Scatliffe and Heather Headley? I would see this show again in a heartbeat. (Review coming soon.) 

6) Les Miserables
If I were ranking this list based on the shows alone and not the productions, Les Mis would have the number 2 spot (with Hamilton in the lead of course). While I still prefer the West End blocking with the turntable, this Broadway cast is stunning and seeing John Owen Jones as Valjean fulfilled a dream of many years for me. (Review)

5) Finding Neverland
I loved Finding Neverland so much that I brought my family to see it...and we're already planning to see it when it comes to North Carolina on tour! The sets, the costumes, the dancing, the cast: there's nothing about this show that I didn't adore. (Review

4) Daddy Long Legs
The only Off-Broadway show that I saw this summer was the one that I came out of and immediately bought the cast album. I'm 100% in love with this charming show and the fact that the couple I saw in it are married in real life made it even better. (Review

3) Bright Star
Bright Star somehow manages to be new and exciting (that bluegrass music! that set!) while still having everything I love about musical theater. Perhaps I'm biased as a North Carolinian since the show is set in North Carolina, but I absolutely loved this show. (Review

2) Hamilton 
Who would ever have thought Hamilton would be second on my list? While it's undeniably my favorite show on the list, this She Loves Me production pushed it to second place. I was incredibly lucky to get to see Austin Smith as Aaron Burr, who absolutely killed it, and to see Michael Luwoye's second ever show as Hamilton. (Review coming soon.) 

1) She Loves Me 
And for first place...the show that I saw four times. I cannot describe how in love with this show I am, except to say that rarely have I left a show so happy. Something about this show made me feel at peace with the world. Plus the flawless combination of Zachary Levi, Jane Krakowski, Gavin Creel, AND Laura Benanti? (And my favorite ensemble member, Andrew Kober.) Obviously this show had to take first place. (Review

Monday, August 8, 2016

A Little NYC Vlog

Well, I'm officially home in North Carolina! There's certainly more content about New York to come (show reviews! a ranking of all the shows I saw! restaurant recommendations! anything else you want?), but I've left the city for a bit slower-paced life. It's nice to have some time to just concentrate on the things that I need to accomplish before I head back for my last year of university. 

In the meantime, here's a little vlog I pieced together of the time that my family spent in New York when they came to bring me home. x

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Review: Daddy Long Legs

One of the first shows I saw this summer was the off-Broadway musical, Daddy Long Legs. And despite the nearly two dozen shows I’ve seen, it has remained one of my absolute favorites!

Based on a 1912 children’s novel by Jean Webster, the show follows the story of Jerusha Abbott, an orphan from New England who is gifted with a college education by a mysterious benefactor. That mysterious benefactor is actually not the old man that she imagines at all but the young and handsome Jervis Pendleton. I don’t want to give away any more of the plot, but let me say that you can tell that it’s based on a children’s novel -- in all the best ways.


While Paul Alexander Nolan (who I saw in Bright Star) originated the role of Jervis Off-Broadway and appears on the cast album, I got to see Adam Halpin in the lead male role. This was so special to me because Adam is married to his co-star Megan McGinnis! Both of them were incredibly talented actors and singers and their chemistry (of course) was off the charts. One of the unique things about the show is that there are only two roles and thus those two actors carry the show entirely.

I downloaded the cast album the day that I saw the show and haven’t stopped listening to it since. Unfortunately the show closed only a few days after I saw it (which made me sad because I definitely would have seen it several more times, as they had $25 student rush tickets), but you can buy the cast album online!

By the end of the first act, I’d fallen in love with not only the music and storyline but the characters of Jerusha and Jervis. Their story, and especially Jerusha’s determination, helped me get through my first few weeks in New York City when I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing. I highly recommend buying the album and giving the show a listen and you can bet that if I ever find another production of it, I’ll be going…at least twice!
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