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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

I missed seeing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in theaters, so I decided that it gave me the perfect opportunity to read the book before the movie comes out on DVD on May 31. So I picked up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith at the bookstore and devoured it (pun intended) within a few days.


As someone who has loved Jane Austen for years, I found this adaption incredibly clever. I love different Austen adaptions (my favorite are Pemberley Digital's Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Emma Approved of course) and this one is perfectly cheeky while still offering a compelling story.

I found the way that they handled the zombies to be delightful, with words like "the plague" and "unmentionables." The author clearly has a good grasp on Regency England and I found the small tweaks to the society (training in Asia, ninjas galore, etc.) to be incredibly well-done.

Mostly, I loved the characterizations in this novel. Jane Bennet is my favorite character and I loved that she was made even stronger than she perhaps is in the original novel. I adored the fierce and sometimes frightening Lizzie. But mostly, I finally found a Darcy that I truly love whose intentions seem more pure somehow, with zombies in the mix.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves Pride and Prejudice...and a good laugh! Now I can't wait to see the film when I can buy it on May 31.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Workwear Haul

This past week has been spent shopping for clothes for my internship, so I wanted to share what I found with you. Everything in the haul came from H&M, Loft, Target, and Charming Charlie, which proves that it is possible to find nice work clothing on a budget! x

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Internet Finds

It's nice to be home...even if I'm only here for another week! Let me know your summer plans in the comments below.

1. Buzzfeed now lets you make a quiz that you can send to your friends to test how well they know you. Time to challenge your friends to see who really knows you best!

2. I love this College Fashion article of outfits inspired by the female characters of War and Peace. Especially because I know them because of Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.

3. My dear friend Fletcher wrote a beautiful blog post reflecting on his first year of college.

4. It's so exciting to see some first photos from Aladdin rehearsals in the West End. While it makes me sad to think of something else going into the Prince Edward Theatre (I'm still in mourning for Miss Saigon), I think Aladdin is going to be an amazing production!

5. I love this video from Broadway.com asking quirky questions to some of this years Tony nominees!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Best Broadway Snapchatters

If you're a fan of musical theatre and you use Snapchat, then you need to be follow these accounts! As someone whose two great loves are social media and theatre, I love these for backstage looks at shows and staying up on the latest news. Now all we need to do is convince Lin Manuel Miranda to get Snapchat...

If you know of any Broadway or West End or other international musical theatre Snapchat accounts, please leave them in the comments below so I can follow them too! x

Andrew Chappelle (achapphawk)
Andrew is obviously the social media star of the Hamilton cast. Whether he's sending you clips from his dressing room or snaps of his adorable dog whose name is Patti LuBone (best. dog. name. EVER.), his story will make you feel like the world is a happier place. If you're looking for other Hamilton Snapchatters, check out Daveed Diggs (daveeddiggs), Leslie Odom Jr. (leslieodomjr), or Hamilton's Snapchat (hamiltonmusical).

Courtney Reed (rhodesreed) 
The beautiful Courtney Reed plays Jasmine in Aladdin...and apparently makes an amazing matcha tea. I love Courtney's snaps from cast shenanigans to her favorite places to workout and eat to her trips into Sephora. Plus, Courtney is making me want to be healthier...and showing me the best places to eat while I'm in New York this summer!

from Courtney's Snapstory today

Laura Benanti (therealbenanti) 
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a bit obsessed with Laura Benanti...so of course, I love her Snapchat. She posts some backstage fun and cute pics with her husband. She's basically Broadway royalty, so how could you not want to follow her? I can't wait to see her in She Loves Me in just ten days!

Chris McCarrell (chrismzcarrell) 
It's worth following Broadway's Marius for his snaps of him singing (and the close-up shots of his gorgeous costumes) alone. Plus, you'll get to see shots of the other members of the Les Miz cast until it closes on Broadway in September.

Humans of Broadway (humansofbway) 
This sister account to the amazing Humans of Broadway Instagram always has something cool going on. If you love Humans of New York, you'll want to check out this cool addition to Humans of Broadway's normal content.

And finally....the Tony Awards (thetonyawards) 
Obviously, with Tony season coming up, it's imperative that you follow this account now for all the backstage snaps on the night of the Tony Awards. However, this account doesn't fall inactive at other times of the year...they snap from the red carpets of every Broadway opening. Definitely one you don't want to miss out on!

Monday, May 16, 2016

My Room Tour

It's a bit funny that I'm posting this room tour on the day that I'm moving out of my apartment...but at least I finally got around to it! Enjoy and don't forget to ask me if you've any questions about where something is from. xx

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday Internet Finds

Today marks the first of my four finals. Are you all surviving final exams if you have them?

1. You may have seen my video of the poem I performed for my French class. One of the guys in our class made a mini-documentary on our performance and it turned out beautifully.

2. I love this article about Mike Karns, the man behind Hamilton's social media.

3. This Buzzfeed quiz will tell you which home from Harry Potter you should live in. I've always loved Shell Cottage!

4. Ever wondered how to style one white spring dress five different ways? This College Fashion article tells you how.

5. These clips of Shuffle Along has made me want to see the show even more! And I'm so excited about Audra McDonald's news that she is pregnant.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

New York & Internships & Research || Life Update

Hi there friends,

Yesterday was the last day of classes of my third year of university. Once exams are finished next Monday, I'll officially be a senior. How crazy is that? I thought that I ought to give you all a bit of an update so you know what to expect on this blog over the summer.

At the end of May, I will be heading up to New York City to participate in Elon University's program there for two months. I will be interning at a PR firm in Manhattan called Krupp Kommunications and I cannot wait to get started. I'm so looking forward to learning more about public relations and getting some hands-on experience with real clients.

While there, I will also be taking a class through my university that's basically about the city of New York and completing an ethnographic research project on Lafayette Street. I'm so lucky to have this opportunity through my university...and to be going (and living with!) two of my close friends.

While there, I'm also going to have the opportunity to work on my thesis project by going to different archives throughout the city. I'm lucky that I have Tuesdays free to explore the city...and work on my thesis which is due next year??

I will be continuing weekly posts for this blog, hopefully with lots of reviews of Broadway shows for you (I know that I'm definitely seeing She Loves Me, Aladdin, and Hamilton this summer!). I will also be attempting to keep up my Sunday YouTube uploads, though probably with more vlogs than normal. AND I'll be writing and filming content for my new blog that I co-author with my friend Jenna called Making More than Sandwiches. It's a feminist blog that's looking for submissions of creative writing, blog articles, memoirs, and art from anyone. Check it out!

What are you all up to this summer? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter at @nicoleackman16!

Love,
Nicole xx

Monday, May 9, 2016

French Feminist Poetry???

This past week, I performed an original poem about feminism in French for my French class's performance about the protests of May 1968 in Paris. If you'd like to see a transcription and translation, check out this post on my roommate/bestie Jenna's and my new feminism blog.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Friday Internet Finds

Happy Friday! Anyone else in the middle of school finals right now? So stressful...which of course, means that procrastination is important.

1. My beloved friend, Fletcher, wrote an incredible column in our school newspaper about performers cancelling their concerts in North Carolina because of the HB2 bill. It's everything I ever wanted to be able to articulate!

2. Check out this fascinating article on diversity and the Tony Awards in the New York Times.

3. I love this "Which Look from the 2016 Met Gala Are You?" quiz from Buzzfeed. (And not just because I got Taylor Swift.)

4. It looks like the New York Pops concert was amazing based on this compilation of videos. And now I want Jeremy Jordan to play Chris in Miss Saigon more than ever.

5. I so wish that I could make it to Canada to see this production of Evita...Ramin Karimloo as Che? Yes please. Anyone going?


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Good Week for Theatre Kids: Tony Nominations and Diversity

Yesterday was Tony Award Nomination Day, one of the most important days of the year for theatre geeks like me. And it's a good week for theatre kids with Hamilton breaking the record for number of nominations and an incredible diversity of nominees.


Hamilton broke the record with an incredible 16 nominations, including Best New Musical, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Direction. Amazingly, they got three of the five nominations for Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical with Jonathan Groff, Daveed Diggs, and Chris Jackson all nominated. (Yes, I cried when they read Daveed's name.) I was so excited that Renee Elise-Goldsberry snagged a Best Featured Actress nomination too.

The all-black musical Shuffle Along followed with ten nominations and She Loves Me scored eight. The Color Purple, School of Rock, and Waitress all were nominated in four categories.

For me, the most exciting thing about this round of nominations (other than Phillipa Soo being nominated for Best Actress at the age of just twenty-five) is that it seems like the opposite of #OscarsSoWhite. We could practically claim #TonysSoDiverse with the array of black, Latino, and Asian actors, actresses, writers, and technicians nominated. I was especially excited to see Sara Bareilles nominated for Best Score (for Waitress) and female nominees for lighting design, categories that are typically dominated by men.

It's been a great year on Broadway with shows like Hamilton, The Color Purple, Allegiance, Eclipsed, and Shuffle Along creating opportunities for people of color. Hopefully, this wasn't just a lucky coincidence -- a year of great diversity in theater while Hollywood fell short. Hopefully, this is the beginning of more equal opportunities on Broadway for people of all races. Hopefully, this is a trend that will continue through next season and all the ones after it. We've made progress, but the fight isn't done.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Zoo Day Vlog

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