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Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Internet Finds

Happy Friday! Or rather, Friday evening as this is going up a bit late in the day. I've taken three exams in the past day and a half and only have one more left now. Are any of you dealing with exams right now? Thank goodness for the Broadway news that gets me through the day.

No One Else: I was so excited when I saw this "Which Great Comet Character Are You?" quiz from Buzzfeed earlier this week. (Though I think this one is actually better.) I got Natasha on both of them; let me know what you get in the comments!

Happy Easter: NBC has announced that their next televised live musical will be Jesus Christ Superstar on Easter Sunday of this coming year. Thoughts?

Ben Platt, the Unicorn?: This New York Times article examines Ben Platt's nightly transformation into anxiety-riddled teen Evan Hansen, how he got the role, and how he's taking care of himself mentally and physically.

Wait for It: In the fall, I wrote my communications capstone paper on how Hamilton's marketing team has dealt with the issue of ticket scarcity. It was published in Elon's Communications Journal which came out this week, so now you can read it here.

Broadway's Favorite Vlogger: Need a recap of every show that's been on Broadway this year? Check out Playbill's Tyler Mount, who is without a doubt one of the best Broadway vloggers ever.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Review: Kinky Boots Broadway

A Kinky Boots review is better late than never, right? In March, I finally got the chance to see my favorite actor Killian Donnelly as Charlie Price on Broadway. Kinky Boots is actually one of my favorite shows, as I saw it last summer on Broadway and I saw the tour in the fall. However, it's the West End cast album with Killian that I've always listened to so I was so excited to finally see him in the role.


There was definitely something in the air because the audience went wild over the show. I was lucky to have an amazing orchestra seat (thanks, Mom and Dad!) for this moment that I'd been waiting for. I think that the show's message of acceptance and love has become even more important with our current political climate. I recommend it to anyone going to New York!

I loved Taylor Louderman as Wendy in Peter Pan Live! so I was so excited to see her as the quirky and too relatable Lauren, who works at Price & Sons. Her Lauren was so adorable that I don't think anyone could not root for her! She gave her a depth that I think the character sometimes lacks, much as I love her. And her "History of Wrong Guys" was absolutely amazing!


I was lucky enough to see J. Harrison Ghee as Lola on tour and he has only improved since making the leap to Broadway. His Lola is absolutely legendary, as he handles humor and drama equally well. His "Hold Me In Your Heart" made me cry once again! I also never fail to be impressed by his dancing, which is utterly fantastic.


Killian Donnelly as Charlie Price was everything I'd hoped for and more. If only we could keep him on Broadway for longer! Charlie is a difficult character in some ways because he's really not very likable to be honest. But Killian manages to make him sympathetic and really portrays his crisis about how to proceed with his life. Killian's "Soul of a Man" is the stuff of legends, but he also shines in songs like "Everybody Say Yeah" and Charlie's soliloquies.


While Kinky Boots is always an amazing show, the current cast truly shines and makes the source material even better. I highly recommend going to see it if you're in the city!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Friday Internet Finds

Happy Friday! This was a big week for the theatre fans with the Tony Awards nominations on Tuesday. There were some definite surprises (Allison Janney getting snubbed, Mike Faist winning out the Featured Actor nomination over Will Roland), but I was so pleased for everyone nominated! What did you guys think?

Style through the Years: This absolutely beautiful People Magazine article chronicles the different time periods of fashion present on Broadway right now from Anastasia to The Bandstand. 

A Little Preview: The Broadway cast album for Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 will be released later this month on May 19, but they've uploaded their new recording of "Letters" to their YouTube channel. It's my absolute favorite song in the show!

I Got Lina??: I was so excited when I saw Buzzfeed's new "Which 'Singin' in the Rain' Character Are You?" quiz, but then I got Lina? Please let me know what you guys get!

You Get To Choose: The Broadway.com Audience Awards are now allowing you to vote for nominations. Make sure to fill out the form and vote for all your favorites (but especially vote for Alistair Brammer!).

City of Stars: Now, my friends will tell you that I absolutely hated La La Land. However, I'm in love with this beautiful cover of "City of Stars" by my faves, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Pete Bucknall.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Tony Award Nomination Predictions

Tomorrow is one of the most important days of the year for theatre nerds everywhere...Tony Award nomination day. I was lucky enough to be a part of an exciting new podcast series, Next Best Theatre, where we discussed our predictions for all the main awards. You can check out the podcast here and keep reading for all my predictions for the musicals categories.

Featured Actress in a Musical
Stephanie J. Block, Falsettos
Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen
Jenn Colella, Come From Away
Brittain Ashford, Great Comet
Kate Baldwin, Hello, Dolly! 

Featured Actor in a Musical
Andrew Rannells, Falsettos
Gavin Creel, Hello, Dolly!
Michael Xavier, Sunset Boulevard
Lucas Steele, Great Comet
Nick Cordero, A Bronx Tale

Best Actress in a Musical
Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly!
Patti LuPone, Warpaint
Christine Ebersole, Warpaint
Denée Benton, Great Comet
Eva Noblezada, Miss Saigon

Best Actor in a Musical
Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen
Andy Karl, Groundhog Day
David Hyde Pierce, Hello, Dolly!
Jon Jon Briones, Miss Saigon
Josh Groban, Great Comet

Best Musical Revival 
Hello, Dolly!
Falsettos
Miss Saigon 

Of course, there's a high chance that Sunset Boulevard will take the third nomination but I have to keep hoping for Miss Saigon.

Best Musical 
Dear Evan Hansen
Come from Away
Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812
Groundhog Day 

Don't forget that the Tony nominations are live-streamed on their website tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m., which will be hosted by Hamilton's Chris Jackson and She Loves Me's Jane Krakowski this year. Check back for my predictions for who will win each award later this month!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday Internet Finds

If anyone has been reading my blog for a while, they might remember that I used to do roundups of fun Internet links every Friday. Recently, a friend asked me if I might consider bringing it back and I've decided to do so -- but with a twist.

For now (and I'll continue it if it goes well!), I'll be doing Friday Internet Finds but with all musical theatre related links. So make sure to check back every Friday for my fave Internet finds of musical theatre and theatre links of the week. And let me know in the comments below or on social media if you like these! x

Skimm for Broadway: If you want to stay up to date on daily Broadway news, consider subscribing to the Broadway Briefing newsletter. It includes important news, events happening that day, Broadway birthdays, and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Newsie No More: Dear Evan Hansen's Mike Faist opened up to MTV about playing the troubled Connor Murphy in Broadway's biggest hit of the season. He discussed how he's dealing with portraying a suicidal teen and why he rarely stage doors.

Things I Almost Remember: I got a perfect score on this "How Well Do You Know Anastasia?" quiz from BroadwayWorld.com. How well can you do?

It's Bigger: This Broadway.com article explains how this year's Broadway season boasts the most new musicals since 1981...and what that means for the Tony Awards.

Charmante: As they approach the release of their Broadway cast album next month, Great Comet has been releasing music videos for their songs. This jazz club themed one of Amber Gray (who plays Hélène) singing "Charming" is absolutely stunning.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Review: Miss Saigon Broadway

Miss Saigon has been one of my favorite musicals since I discovered it years ago and it's much more than simply the show that shot Lea Salonga to stardom. I saw it last month, on March 24, to celebrate my sister's birthday. Based on the opera Madame Butterfly but set in the Vietnam War, it tells the story of a young American GI and a Vietnamese girl who are separated by the fall of Saigon. Furthermore, it brings light to the situation of the "bui doi" -- the half-American children born to Vietnamese women who had to deal with the stigma of their Western heritage. As a history major, how could I resist a show like this?


The music is written by the team that brought us Les Mis: Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil. It's a sumptuous score, alternating between dance numbers like "American Dream" and "The Heat is On" and soaring ballads like "I'd Give My Life for You" and "Why God Why." You can't leave the theatre without at least one song in your head. (If you'd like to listen, I recommend the recent live West End revival recording.)


This first Broadway revival takes after the recent West End one, even importing some of its cast. It's grittier than the original production and more focused on showing the atrocities of war. The sets are realistic enough to immerse you in the action and the costuming is lovely. Of course, it's the helicopter that many come to see and the effects surrounding it (especially with lighting and sound) are intense and impressive.


I could write whole essays on how fierce and wonderful Eva Noblezada is as Kim. Eva first played the role in London, right after graduating from high school (yes, I feel inferior in every way). Now back in her native United States after finishing up playing Eponine in Les Mis, it's clear that her Kim has only improved. Aside from her stunning vocals and acting that leaves me sobbing every time, I'm always impressed with how naturally she interacts with the young children who play Tam.

You can check out her singing "I'd Give My Life for You" at the Olivier Awards:


Though this was my third time seeing Miss Saigon, I've never seen anyone but Jon Jon Briones as the Engineer and I frankly never want to. It's a character with a tricky line to walk between comedic relief and showing the immorality that flourishes in wartime and Jon Jon executes it perfectly while also providing a humanity to the character. His "American Dream" is a show-stopper; the audience didn't stop applauding for several minutes the night that I saw it!


I truly didn't think that Alistair Brammer's Chris could be improved upon after seeing him in the West End, but Alistair proved me wrong. Alistair has been one of my favorite actors since I was sixteen and I'm so incredibly proud of him for being a leading man on Broadway, especially for a role like Chris which he seems born to play. (Yes, I feel like a proud little sister or something.) His voice is well-suited to the score and his "Why God Why" is the kind of performance that makes you remember why you love live theatre. However, it's his acting that impresses me the most: he truly shows a man broken by war and frustrated by his inability to help the people of a country torn apart. His "Confrontation" in Act II brought me to tears, especially his deliver of the heartbreaking line, "I'm an American, how could I fail to do good?" It's also worth saying that while his American accent was good in his West End performance, it's so impeccable now that I'm sure some are surprised to find out he's English!


If you have the chance, I would highly recommend seeing this beautiful and moving show before it leaves Broadway again in January as it's on a limited engagement. Worth seeing for any one of the three leads alone, it also boasts an impressive ensemble and cast of featured actors. For now, I'm just glad to have my favorite show back on Broadway, living the "American Dream."

Make sure to check out my full review video below x

Friday, April 21, 2017

Review: Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812

I never would have guessed that War and Peace would be great material for a musical, but that was before seeing Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812. I was lucky enough to see this masterpiece in March over my spring break at the Imperial Theater on Broadway. This new Tony Awards hopeful was written by Dave Malloy and is an adaption of a small part of Tolstoy's work. It follows Pierre through his existential crisis and Natasha through her anguish over the two men in her life, Andrey and Anatole.

I chose to see the show mostly because I had read so many good things about its immersive experience. They remodeled the Imperial Theater (where I have seen Les Mis three times) to include seating on the stage and ways for the actors to access the orchestra and balcony. With the actors all around you, it's hard not to get swept away in the action of the show. It has such an intimate feeling and if you're lucky, you might get handed a dumpling, shaker, or letter during the course of the musical!


However, even if it weren't one of the coolest theatrical experiences ever, the music itself is worth seeing the show. Dave Malloy has created a show that intermingles haunting melodies like Pierre's "The Great Comet of 1812" and Natasha's "No One Else" with rousing songs like "The Duel" and "Balaga." My sister and I both walked out the the theatre with the chorus of "Letters" stuck firmly in our heads! You can currently buy the Off-Broadway cast album featuring Malloy himself as Pierre and Philippa Soo as Natasha or wait until May when the Broadway cast album is released.

If you've not heard, Josh Groban is currently playing Pierre and I don't think I've ever been so surprised by a performance. Of course, I knew that Josh has a lovely voice but I wasn't prepared for his impressive acting performance. He brings a gravity and a realness to Pierre's struggle...and even made me wish I could play the accordion? If you have a chance to see him before he leaves the show in July, I would highly recommend it. I'm expecting a Tony nomination for this one!

No, I did not leave the lipstick mark on his cheek.
Denée Benton is absolutely stunning as the troubled ingenue Natasha. With a pure beautiful voice and an ability to portray emotion from across a theatre, it's easy to see why she was cast in the role. Natasha is definitely one of my favorite female roles on Broadway right now and Denée makes the audience feel for her.

While sadly I didn't get to see the great Lucas Steele as Anatole, I was lucky enough to see his understudy Blaine Krauss who was absolutely incredible. His charisma onstage was magnetic and he sang the (rather difficult) role wonderfully. Though Anatole is somewhat of a cad (spoilers!), I couldn't help but be drawn to him and found myself watching him in scenes with the ensemble. I also just can't help but be impressed by any understudy or swing in a show with blocking this difficult!

If you only have the chance to see one show from this Broadway season, I would pick Great Comet because there's simply nothing else like it. While the plot is admittedly complicated and perhaps somewhat difficult to follow, the beautiful music, set, and costumes are absolutely a must-see. And who knows...you might come away with a War and Peace obsession like I did.

Make sure to check out my video review on my YouTube channel as well! x

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tale as Old as Time: Beauty and the Beast (2017) Review

Growing up, Belle was always my favorite princess (now that spot belongs to Rapunzel or Anna of course). A bookworm who feels out of place in her village and longs for something more...how could little Nicole not relate? I first saw a bit of the Beauty and the Beast film last January when I got a tour of Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California and they gave us a sneak peek. I've been waiting impatiently ever since! But since Belle has always had a place in my heart and the live action Cinderella is one of my favorite movies ever, I was very nervous that the movie wouldn't live up to my standards...


I am pleased to report that this film is in every way truly stunning and magical. It's a lovely adaption of the original, just changed enough to address all the plot holes that annoyed me as a child and make the Beast infinitely more charming. The CGI is absolutely incredible and the sets and scenery are breathtaking. I'll be surprised if it doesn't at least get Oscar nominations for costuming and sound mixing. I now want every single outfit Emma Watson wears in the film except maybe the yellow dress, which I've never liked.

Of course, one of my favorite parts of the film is the music...I'm so glad Disney decided to keep this one a movie musical! (And I'm sure they are too thanks to how well it's doing at the box office.) You can read my review of the soundtrack here, so I'll keep this short. I adore the new songs and have been listening to and singing "Evermore" almost constantly since I got the album. Emma Watson is no singer, but she does a passable job and I'm admittedly a bit obsessed with how wonderful Dan Stevens's and Luke Evans's voices are. I also love the handful of lyric changes, especially those in "Gaston" and "The Mob Song."

If you had allowed me to cast this movie, I certainly would have picked Emma Watson for Belle (since Laura Michelle Kelly is arguably too old for the part). She didn't disappoint in the least as her Belle was intelligent and spirited, yet still kind and compassionate. I thought that her acting shined most in the Paris scene, which had me crying!

I loved Dan Stevens in Downton Abbey and Summer in February, but I wasn't ready for how much I loved him as the Beast. He managed to act the part superbly despite the amount of CGI and his amazing voice absolutely floored me. I loved the changes to the Beast's character. By making him an intellectual with a great sense of humor, it made it much more believable that Belle would fall in love with him.

No one smirks like Gaston?
Luke Evans as Gaston was the star of the film for me, but the again I have a weakness for a well-trained voice. His Gaston was strangely charming at the beginning of the film, but was disturbingly sinister in a very real way by the end. One of my favorite changes from the original is that Gaston is a Captain and war hero, whose high rank in the town is well secured.

Josh Gad as LeFou was the perfect complement to Evans's Gaston. He was hilarious without being ridiculous and brought a moral complexity to the character that I didn't expect. This LeFou is definitely not the one-dimensional character of the animated film. I personally thought that his sexuality was subtle, but well done. I had initially been afraid it might be an offensively flamboyant portrayal, but it was actually so subtle that I'm wondering why people bothered boycotting it...

A Few of My Favorite Things:

  • Anything and everything to do with Belle's father, Maurice.
  • Audra McDonald as the Wardrobe/Mme Garderobe was hilarious, beautiful, and God that voice!!
  • How well this film grounded the story in location and time period.
  • The Prologue was visually beautiful and set up the story quite well.
  • Not any different from the original, but I'll never be over the cleverness of the last line of the Prologue ("For who could ever learn to love a Beast?") being answered by the song that immediately follows ("Belle")
  • The few bars of "Home" (from the Broadway production) being played when Belle arrived at her room in the castle 

A Few Complaints

  • I wanted to spend more time in Belle's village because it was so picturesque and intriguing.
  • I wanted to see a few more reunions at the end between the townsfolk and former enchanted objects.
  • It made me so sad that we didn't get to hear Luke Evans sing Gaston's solo from the Broadway production, "Me." 
  • I needed a featurette following the film immediately about how they filmed everything with the Beast because I'm so intrigued by the CGI that went into it.
For anyone who made it through this long review, if it's not clear by now, I highly recommend the film. In fact, I can't wait to go back and see it a second time! It's the kind of intricate and enjoyable film that will only get better with every subsequent viewing. While it hasn't surpassed Cinderella as my favorite Disney live action remake, Beauty and the Beast is easily a close second. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Hollister Wish List

It's no surprise that I am obsessed with Hollister, which has certainly changed since my middle school days when it was all low-rise denim and brand name t-shirts. I'm absolutely in love with their new collection for spring and summer and wanted to share some of my faves pieces with you all!


I love this black "Icon Popover" shirt, which would look great tucked into jean shorts or a colorful skirt.


Florals for spring? Groundbreaking, I know, but this romper is absolutely lovely and comes in three different floral prints.


Lately, I have been loving long skirts and the button front is so popular.


This smocked off the shoulder romper is so unique; I actually haven't seen anything like it!


I love this peplum cami, which would pair nicely with jeans now and shorts later in the hot weather.

Are you loving Hollister's latest collection? Let me know in the comments down below and tell me what stores are your favorites! x

Monday, March 13, 2017

Review: Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack

Ever since it was released, I've been listening to nothing but the Beauty and the Beast live action soundtrack (okay, well that and Ed Sheeran's latest album). After being quite disappointed by the music of La La Land, I was pleasantly surprised by how lovely everyone sounds on this album. I'm so looking forward to seeing how the new songs from Alan Menken are integrated into the storyline!



Emma Watson has a sweet pleasing voice as Belle. Obviously, she's not a trained singer, but she pulls off the songs well and I love her spunky attitude, especially in "Belle (Reprise)." Dan Stevens sounds remarkably like the original voice of the Beast in "Something There" and sounds wonderful in "Evermore." Both of them carry a lot of emotion within their voices and I think that acting through singing is one of the most important things an actor can do in a movie-musical.

I was also especially pleased with Ewan McGregor as Lumière. Of course, I adore Ewan as Christian in Moulin Rouge so he's one of the people I'm most looking forward to seeing in the film. His "Be Our Guest" is hilarious, as is his French accent. Luke Evans sounds wonderful as Gaston, which isn't surprising considering he started out his career in the West End in shows like Miss Saigon and Avenue Q. Naturally, I'm most excited about Audra McDonald as the Wardrobe and she sounds stunning (like always) on the "Aria."

I was skeptical at first about the new songs being added to the film, particularly as I love the songs that they added to the Broadway musical so much, I didn't think I could like others. I was definitely proven wrong! While I love the Enchanted Objects singing "Days in the Sun," "Evermore" is by far my favorite of the new ones. Both Dan Stevens and Josh Groban (on the special track) sound beautiful singing it and I think the story could use a song at that point of the plot. Anyone else a bit confused about how "How Does a Moment Last Forever (Montmartre)" fits into the film though?

Overall, I highly recommend checking out this cast album either before or after the film releases this Friday, March 17. It has made me even more excited to see the movie (I already have my tickets to see it Sunday!), which I wasn't sure was possible. The album is available on iTunes and Spotify. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go back to listening to "Evermore" on repeat.

Friday, March 10, 2017

My Ten Favorite Lines from Ed Sheeran's Latest Album

Like everyone else, I've been listening to Ed Sheeran's new album, Divide, almost exclusively since it was released. I was going to write a review of the album, but then realized that a full post of me ranting about how much I love it wouldn't be that interesting to read!

Instead, I decided to share my ten favorite lyrics from the album with you all. Some of these lines are just too relatable and other ones are so absolutely beautiful, they feel more like poetry than song lyrics.What are some of your fave lines? Let me know in the comments!

I'm just keeping it real, still looking at your Instagram and I'll be creeping a little/I'll be trying not to double tap, from way back, 'cause I know that's where the trouble's at | "New Man"

Show me the locked doors, I'll find another use for the key | "Eraser"

So I'll sing Hallelujah, you were an angel in the shape of my mum | "Supermarket Flowers"

She shares my dreams, I hope that someday I'll share her home | "Perfect"

I gave all my oxygen to people that could breathe | "Save Myself"

Had my first kiss on a Friday night, I don't reckon that I did it right | "Castle on a Hill"

You know, she beat me at darts and then she beat me at pool/And then she kissed me like there was nobody else in the room | "Galway Girl"

I'm well aware of certain things that can destroy a man like me | "Eraser"

You know we are made up of love and hate/But both of them are balanced on a razor blade | "What Do I Know"

I guess if you were Lois Lane, I wasn't Superman, just a young boy trying to be loved | "New Man"

I think that Divide's aesthetic has even been creeping into my outfits this week. See?


Monday, March 6, 2017

My New Favorite Foundation

I recently picked up the Rimmel Match Perfection foundation because I had seen Zoe Sugg, Hannah Michelak, and Josie of Fashion Mumblr mention it in their YouTube videos and I wanted to give it a try. I struggle with foundation as I have very pale oily skin so both color matching and the wear of a foundation can be issues.

This Rimmel foundation, however, has both a wide array of shades (particularly for a drug store foundation) and incredible long-lasting power. I use the shade Ivory (110) and it works perfectly. While my nose will get a bit streaky over the course of the da y, I find that this foundation lasts better than my high-street ones.


I also love that this foundation has SPF 20 in it and has a surprisingly lovely smell. It's also an incredibly good bargain as I bought it for under $5 at Walmart. My only complaint about it would be that it comes without a pump which can be annoying especially as you get towards the end of the bottle.

I highly recommend this foundation if you're looking for something new, inexpensive, and with good coverage.

I didn't filter this at all! It's how smoothly
the foundation actually goes onto my face.

*I'm in no way sponsored by Rimmel and I was not gifted this product in any way.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Gagged Chokers Introduces a Princess Collection!

Chokers are incredibly on trend right now and my favorite place to buy them is Gagged Chokers. This small business was started by Courtney Reed, who plays Jasmine in Disney's Aladdin on Broadway, and sells beautiful handmade chokers.

Not only are their chokers incredibly well crafted, but they also have some of the best customer service I've ever experienced. Their collections are unique and exclusive: most of the time, once something is sold out, it's gone for good. I filmed a video with my friend Lexi all about them, which I will put at the end of this post.

Last week, they released their Princess Collection of chokers, each inspired by a different Disney princess. They've been so popular, they're already having to restock them. One of my favorite things about them is that they're modeled by different Broadway actresses! I personally have ordered Blondie (as Rapunzel is my favorite princess), but my other favorites include Muse and Wayfinder. Which ones are your faves?

Check out these images of the Princess Collection from the Gagged Chokers website:

Blondie (Tangled)

Jas (Aladdin)

Muse (Hercules)

Snow (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves)

Wayfinder (Moana)


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

My Five Fave TV Shows

Are listicles all I know how to write now? Apparently. I've never been a TV person, but lately there are so many shows on that I'm absolutely in love with. I wanted to share them with you and get all of your suggestions for TV shows that you love!

Supergirl
I started watching Supergirl because my favorite Broadway actor, Jeremy Jordan, is one of the leads on it, but then I fell in love with the show itself. Kara Danvers (alternatively, Kara Zor-El) is very relatable as she tries to deal with friend-, family-, and love life-drama in addition to saving the world as Supergirl. Plus, Supergirl has a knack for casting incredibly attractive men...


Once Upon a Time
If you love Disney, chances are you'll love Once Upon a Time. It tells the story of classic storybook characters put in the real world and left to try to break a curse set by the evil queen. To be fair, I only started watching because I love Colin O'Donoghue who plays Captain Hook and his relationship with the main character, Emma Swan, is my favorite TV ship of all time.



Z: The Beginning of Everything
Z: The Beginning of Everything was released earlier this year on Amazon and it's absolutely beautiful. It tells the story of Zelda Sayre and F. Scott Fitzgerald's relationship with incredible acting and beautiful period costumes. Plus, Corey Cott (of Broadway's Newsies, Gigi, and Bandstand) plays one of Fitzgerald's friends (yes, I fell off the couch the first time he came onscreen).


Victoria
Ever since I was a little girl, I've been obsessed with Queen Victoria. So when I saw that ITV and Masterpiece were doing a TV series starring the wonderful Jenna Louise Coleman, I was ecstatic. The show is incredibly well-produced with a talented cast, sumptuous costumes, and beautiful script.




The Crown 
If you haven't watched The Crown yet and you have any interest in the British royal family, you are missing out! The series is stunningly beautiful and gives a perspective into the lives of Queen Elizabeth II and her family that's rarely glimpsed. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are particularly impressive as Elizabeth and her husband, Phillip.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Top Ten Movie Musicals

With the Academy Awards coming up on Sunday, there's a lot of buzz around the film, La La Land. While I somehow still haven't seen it, I wanted to reflect on some of my favorite movie musicals. Let me know your favorites in the comments! x

10. Into the Woods (2014)
Into the Woods is undoubtably a beautiful film with a stellar cast of stars. It's not the most faithful of adaptions and I'm not the biggest Sondheim fan (sacrilege, I know), but it's a lovely movie that is great fun to watch even if it misses out on some of the humor of the show.


9. White Christmas (1954)
Growing up, White Christmas was always one of my favorite Christmas movies. With a cast that includes Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosby, and Danny Kaye, it's a heartwarming holiday film with beautiful dance scenes.




8. The Sound of Music (1965)
There's nothing more classic than The Sound of Music so I had to include it on this list. Julie Andrews is lovely as the governess Maria and the children of this film are adorable. The original 1965 film version is much superior to The Sound of Music Live! 




7. My Fair Lady (1964)
Despite the controversy that surrounded Audrey Hepburn's casting and voice dubbing in the theatre community, I absolutely love this film. It's visually stunning and Rex Harrison is hilarious as the grumpy Professor Higgins.


6. Dreamgirls (2006)
While I do quite like the show Dreamgirls, the movie had to make this list purely for being one of the objectively best movie musicals in the past few decades. Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson are brilliant in their roles and the movie is appealing to both fans of the show and those who have never heard of it before.



5. Moulin Rouge (2001)
I was absolutely obsessed with Moulin Rouge in my high school years. Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman are stunning in their roles and I love the soundtrack to this movie so incredibly much. I'm waiting every day for a Broadway production of it.




4. Les Miserables (2012)
While I have many problems with this film (unpopular opinion: I don't like Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean), it's undeniably visually stunning. Eddie Redmayne is an adorable Marius, while Samantha Barks absolutely slays as Eponine. I'll also always have a soft spot for this movie because of Killian Donnelly and Alistair Brammer playing Combeferre and Jean Prouvaire.



3. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
This is another film that I love because I grew up watching it. I love the music from it, especially "The Boy Next Door" (#relatable). And how can you not love a Judy Garland movie?



2. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is me and my mom's movie. I watched it so much as a child that seeing it now makes me nostalgic. It's also an incredibly well-made film. Plus, my sister is named Hannah after the baby in this movie!


1. The Last Five Years (2014)
This is not only my favorite movie musical, but actually my favorite movie of all time. Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick are perfect in their roles and it's some of the best acting I've ever seen from either one of them. Plus, the cinema nerd in me geeks out over how beautifully this movie was shot. If you've not seen it, I highly recommend it. (It's on Netflix!)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Top Ten YouTubers

In addition to theatre, I'm absolutely obsessed with YouTube. Not only do I have my own channel, but I also spend a lot of time watching YouTube videos. Upon reflecting on this list, I realized I watch mainly British vloggers!

I wanted to share my top ten favorite channels with all of you. Let me know who your favorites are in the description box below! x

The Michelaks
Hannah and Stef Michelak are a lovely couple living in London with their adorable son, Grayson, and absolutely my favorite family vloggers. Not only are they a cute family, but they're incredibly talented film makers. The editing in their weekly vlogs is better than most movies I see! Their recent Disney World vlog is definitely in my top ten YouTube videos of all time.


Fashion Mumblr
I actually discovered Josie's channel through a suggestion of Hannah Michelak. Another London-based vlogger, Josie films super aesthetically pleasing beauty and fashion videos. One of the things that I love most is how her knowledge from studying at the London College of Fashion shows through in her videos. I also adore her beautiful editing, posh style, and great sense of humor.


Zoella
Anyone who watches YouTube most likely knows Zoe Sugg, one of the most popular British YouTubers. Zoe was the first vlogger I ever watched and remains my absolute favorite to this day. She's the person whose videos I can count on to always make me happy.


Louise Pentland
Louise Pentland is like the older sister that you always wanted. Her videos are always hilarious and inspiring and her little girl, Darcy, is one of the cutest children I've ever seen. I also will always have a soft spot in my heart for Louise because my sister and I got to meet her at Vidcon a few summers ago.


Carrie Hope Fletcher
Carrie is one of my favorite stage actresses, YouTubers, and authors. I was lucky enough to see Carrie as Eponine in Les Mis in the West End three different times and I count her novel and self-help books amongst my all-time faves. However, I first discovered her through her YouTube channel where she posts covers, Disney videos, and more!


Lucy Moon
I've only been watching Lucy's videos for a couple of months, but I'm absolutely in love with them. Lucy is that cool hip girl that I wish I could be (and would love to be friends with). While she also films beautiful covers and artsy videos, I feel like I've learned so much from her about personal growth and life.


SophieBelle
If you love Disney princesses, you will love Sophie. Not just because she films lovely Disney videos, but because she seems like an actual princess! She has a girly aesthetic that I adore and I love seeing her fashion hauls and videos about Disney.


MrCheezyPop
You might recognize Maxwell Glick from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries or other YouTube series like Muzzled the Musical. But I adore Max's channel for his Disney World and Disneyland videos, which are incredibly well made and creative. I also love Max because my sister and I went to his meet-up at Vidcon and he was so incredibly kind.


MaryKateWiles
I've loved Mary Kate Wiles since she played Lydia Bennet on the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Not only is she a talented actress, but she has an amazing YouTube channel. She posts lots of videos that show the behind-the-scenes of being a struggling actress in LA, which I find so interesting.


Rebecca Smile
Rebecca is a Scottish YouTubers whose channel is full of Disney videos and Primark hauls. I love Rebecca's chatty style of filming, Disney expertise, and lovely makeup tutorials.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Review: Newsies "Movie"

Ever since I saw it on Broadway several years ago, Newsies has been one of my favorite musicals. So I was absolutely thrilled when they announced that they were filming it to release to cinemas, especially because I had always wanted to see the original Broadway cast with Jeremy Jordan and Kara Lindsay. 


For those who may not know, Newsies is based on the 1992 Disney film of the same name which depicts a fictionalized account of the Newsboy Strike of 1899. Scrappy Jack Kelly, along with his friends, leads a strike against Mr. Pulitzer himself to stand up for the rights of the young newsboys.

The filmed version absolutely did not disappoint. I thought that it was incredibly well done as the filming style allowed an intimacy that is missing from theatre while still capturing the feel of the show. I particularly loved the filming of the strike scene the descends into a fight as the chaotic style matched the feeling of the scene itself.

The girls all loved the show!
Jeremy Jordan was every bit as stunning as I expected as Jack Kelly. While his vocals undoubtably shine in numbers like "Santa Fe" and "Something to Believe In," it was his acting that impressed me the most. Jordan has a unique ability to pull off comedy and drama equally well, and sometimes within the same minute. The only complaint I could make is that next to the young boys of the tour cast ensemble, Jordan is a bit old for the role of Kelly purely because he was the perfect age when he played it on Broadway.

I had always regretted not getting to see Kara Lindsay as Katherine Plumber and her "Watch What Happens" was one of the highlights of the show. While the song can fall flat in others' hands, there wasn't a dull moment in her performance.

Andrew Keenan-Bolger was suitably adorable as Jack's best friend, Crutchie. They chose to leave in Crutchie's solo, "Letter from the Refuge," which was added for the US tour and I'm so glad they did. It adds a level of realism about children's conditions at the turn of the century and centers Jack's anger in the following scenes.

My favorite character in the show is the intelligent and well-spoken Davey, played by Ben Fankhauser. I thought that he did a smashing job and was the perfect partner to Jordan's fiery Jack Kelly.

Newsies was a wonderful film experience and I hope that they will release it digitally or on DVD in the future so that I can see it again. Make sure to check the Newsies website to see if it's showing at a cinema near you on February 18 or 22.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Review: Dear Evan Hansen Cast Album

I was already planning on writing a review of the Dear Evan Hansen cast album today since it's all I've been listening to since its digital release on February 3. But once I saw the news that the album debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200, I knew I made the right choice. In fact, it's the highest a cast album has debuted since 1961, joining just three other shows (Hair, Rent, and Hamilton) in the past fifty years to make it to the top ten.


This beautiful album, with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, tells the story of a teenager trying to navigate high school, mental health problems, and a viral story. As soon as I heard that, I knew it was the show for me and honestly my only regret is that I didn't have this album when I was in high school. If you don't know the story, I would recommend looking it up on Wikipedia before listening.

Ben Platt is simply stunning as Evan Hansen in songs like "For Forever" and "If I Could Tell Her." His performance on "Words Fail" brings me to tears every time I hear it and of course, "Waving through a Window" is breathtaking. I've never heard anything that so perfectly captured that feeling of being small and insignificant that so many of us experienced in high school.

Laura Dreyfuss shines as Connor Murphy's sister, Zoe, especially in "Only Us." Will Roland and Mike Faist are absolutely hilarious as Jared and Connor in "Sincerely, Me," which has actually become one of my favorite songs.

Other favorites include the haunting "Requiem" and inspiring "You Will Be Found."

I would highly recommend this album to anyone who remembers their own rough days in high school, is passionate about mental health, or loves Pasek and Paul's other work. Have you been listening to Dear Evan Hansen? If so, let me know your favorite song in the comments below.

Friday, February 10, 2017

How to Make the Most of Your Study Abroad Experience

The most important that you can do when you study abroad is do your best to make the most of your experience. If you're anything like me, then you'll feel incredibly lucky to be spending a summer or semester abroad and want to do everything that you can. I sometimes feel like I didn't take advantage of where I was enough when I was in Scotland, but I definitely did this past summer in New York City. Here are some of my tips for how to make the most of your experience!

Get outside of your comfort zone.
When you choose to study abroad, you have to accept that you're going to have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. For me, just going to St Andrews where I didn't know anyone was out of my comfort zone! I also tried to do things I might not have at home, like auditioning for a play and going to Catholic services with my friend.

Embrace the culture. 
Any new place you go has a unique culture. Even spending the summer in New York City, I had to get used to the culture of "the grind." I find that it's better to fully embrace the culture in every way you can, whether that means going out to the pub with your friends in the evening in the UK or doing your grocery shopping every other day instead of one big shop.

Try new foods!
I'm undeniably a foodie, so I absolutely adored trying new foods while I was abroad. Some of the things that I tried, like chips (or fries, if you're in the US) with curry sauce or new Indian foods, surprised me with how much I loved them. And even the things I hated (marmite, I'm looking at you), I'm so glad that I tried.

Travel as much as you can.
One thing I regret is that I didn't make more of an effort to travel while I was in Scotland because now I don't have that kind of opportunity. Even just going to the neighboring town of Dundee for a few hours when I wasn't busy was fun for me because it gave me the chance to see a different part of Scotland than I previously knew about.

In case you missed it, earlier this week I wrote a post on how to choose a study abroad program and posted a video about my experience studying abroad at the University of St Andrews. My friend Kendal also wrote a post on five study abroad must haves!

Monday, February 6, 2017

How to Pick a Study Abroad Program

This week, I wanted to share some tips on studying abroad as I know a lot of people are beginning their semesters abroad around this time. I've studied abroad three times: I spent a semester at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, a summer at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England, and this past summer in New York City (technically called a Study USA at my university).

I have a video about my experience at St Andrews going up on Wednesday, so for today I thought I would share my tips for how to go about picking a program. Hopefully these questions can help guide you through your process if you're thinking about studying abroad!

1. Do you want to go abroad or stay domestic? 
One of the first choices that you'll have to make is whether you want to go out of the country or stay within the United States. A lot of schools, mine included, have domestic programs where you can spend a semester in places like New York, Los Angeles, or Washington DC.

2. Do you want to stay in the English-speaking world or not?
The next thing you need to decide is if you are willing to go to a country where you don't speak the language. Obviously, if you speak a foreign language, studying abroad is a great way to fully immerse yourself in it.

3. What kind of experience do you want? 
Look at the programs offered by your university. Would you rather do a homestay or live on a campus? Would you want to do something like Semester at Sea or be a student at a normal university?

4. Does the program have the classes you need? 
With many majors, where you will study abroad is partially determined by what programs offer the classes that you need. If possible, save some general requirements to take while you're abroad so you don't have to worry.

5. Can you talk to someone from your school who has done the program?
The only way to truly get a feeling for a program is to talk to someone who did it. Ask your school's study abroad center if they can get you in touch with other students who have gone there before you.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Top 10 Theatre Experiences of 2016

We're already a month into 2017 (how did that happen?), but I wanted to look back on my Top Ten Theatre Experiences of 2016. I was so lucky to spend the summer in New York City, where I could easily see shows at discounted rates. It was hard to narrow this list down to ten, but I think these were the highlights (in my particular order).

Let me know what your top theatre experiences of the year were in the comments!

Hamilton 

I have to admit that nothing quite compares to Hamilton. I was extremely lucky to get to see it in both March (with the original cast) and in August (with some of the original cast and some replacement cast). If I had to pick one top theatre experience of 2016, I would choose seeing Lin Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton because it was definitely one of the most magical moments of my life.

Bright Star
I knew very little about Bright Star other than that it was set in North Carolina and starred Paul Alexander Nolan when I got rush tickets to see it. It was one of the best shows that I've ever seen and one of the best stage door experiences I've ever had. Everyone in the cast was SO nice! I'm so sad that this show closed (I was actually there the night closing was announced), but I'm definitely looking forward to the US Tour.

Laura Michelle Kelly's "All I Know Now" Concert 

It was hard for me to leave Finding Neverland off of this list, but I had to include going to Laura Michelle Kelly's concert and meet-and-greet. It was such a wonderful experience to share with my friends Kimmy and Julie and Laura was so incredibly kind. She even gave us candy!

Seeing Laura Benanti (in She Loves Me
Laura Benanti has been my favorite Broadway actress for years and I adore her witty and intelligent tweets. So getting to see her four times in She Loves Me this summer was absolutely wonderful (as was meeting Zachary Levi four times at stage door!). I feel so lucky that I got to see this incredible show so many times and that I got to witness Laura Benanti sing "Vanilla Ice Cream" in person.

Getting a backstage tour at the US Tour of Cinderella
My little sister, Hannah, and I had the very special treat of getting a backstage tour of Cinderella at DPAC. Johnny Link (our Prince Topher) and Tatyana Lubov (the lovely Ella herself!) showed us around the stage area and even let us stand on the palace steps! It was truly a dream come true.

Seeing my first show off-Broadway (Daddy Long Legs)
I had never seen a show off Broadway before this summer when I went to see Daddy Long Legs on the recommendation of a friend. I am so infinitely glad that I did because the album became the soundtrack to my summer. This charming little show was so well suited to its intimate venue and I will always treasure having seen it.

Seeing John Owen Jones as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables

I have wanted to see John Owen Jones as Jean Valjean for years and this summer I got to not once, but twice. His Valjean was absolutely every bit as great as I expected...and better! Hearing him sing "Bring Him Home" was honestly a spiritual experience for me.

Taking an acting class
This fall, I took Acting for Non-Majors with my friend, Jenna, and we had such an amazing time. Not only did I get to perform a scene from an incredible and challenging play, The Proof; I also got to do a monologue that a friend of mine wrote for a show called Bridge Over Oblivion. It was a challenge for me because I hadn't done any acting since high school, but it reminded me how much I used to love performing.

Meeting Daveed Diggs
There are no words to describe how incredible Daveed was as Lafayette/Jefferson in Hamilton when I saw him in March. He was also an absolute sweetheart at stage door and happily chatted with me and my family. My sister's lock screen for her phone is still their selfie! An absolute gent and someone that I feel honored I got to meet.

Ramin Karimloo's Broadgrass Concert

I'm not sure if I ever mentioned it on this blog before, but Ramin Karimloo was the reason I got into theatre in early high school after seeing the Les Mis concert video. So getting to see his Broadgrass concert (with special guests Andrew Kober and Tam Mutu, who are two of my favorite actors) was such a treat. I'm not afraid to admit that I cried because it felt like everything was coming full circle!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Playlists for the Ladies of Hamilton

I recently downloaded Spotify (late to the game, I know) and immediately started making playlists based on the ladies of Hamilton. I decided to center them around Eliza, Angelica, and Maria Reynolds as the three female characters with the strongest aesthetics. I'm still crafting them (and honestly don't know enough non-musical theatre music), so if you have suggestions for songs to add to any of them, please leave them in the comments below!

Eliza Schuyler | and my heart went boom 
Eliza's playlist is centered around cute love songs and that helpless feeling when you're falling for someone. It's the happiest and lightest of the three playlists.


Angelica Schuyler | i will never be satisfied 
I decided to make Angelica's playlist a collection of girl power jams, sprinkled with a few songs that hint at her complicated relationship with Alexander Hamilton. If you need to pump yourself up, this is the one to choose! 


Maria Reynolds | someone under stress meets someone looking pretty 
For Maria, I chose sultry songs and anything that hints at being a mess or going after a guy that you shouldn't. I know that this is going to become my playlist for when I'm doing my makeup to get ready to go out to a party.

Friday, January 27, 2017

My Jane Austen Favorites!

To round out my content this week celebrating the anniversary of Pride and Prejudice on Sunday, I wanted to share some of my Jane Austen favorites. I'll admit that I'm unfamiliar with Persuasion and Mansfield Park, so this will be based on her other four novels.

Favorite Cad: Mr. Willoughby 

While Wickham and Frank Churchill have little more than their good looks to recommend them, I always thought that Willoughby was absolutely dreamy. He can quote Shakespeare's Sonnets, he's funny, and he carries Marianne home in the rain when she sprains her ankle? If it weren't for his mercenary ways and tendency to ghost girls, he would be perfect.

Favorite Mean Girl: Isabelle Thorpe 

While Caroline Bingley may be the iconic mean girl, Isabelle Thorpe is much worse because she's so much more convincing in trying to befriend Catherine. She's also incredibly entertaining in her scandalous ways and has some of the funniest remarks.

Favorite Sibling Relationship: The Bennet Sisters

While the Dashwood sisters are lovely, there's no one as iconic as the Bennet sisters. Whether it's in the original book or the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I think the true focus of Pride and Prejudice is always the relationship between them.

Favorite Relationship: Jane Bennet and Charles Bingley

I've always preferred Jane and Bingley's relationship to Darcy and Elizabeth's (likely because I'm such a non-confrontational person). I love the idea that they're smitten as soon as they meet and are only ever pulled apart by outside forces. And it's a lovely idea that the guy who ghosts you might one day return to sweep you off your feet. I love how much Bingley unapologetically admires Jane...and isn't afraid for anyone to know.

Favorite Heroine: Emma Woodhouse

While Jane Austen thought that no one would ever love Emma Woodhouse, I've loved her since I first read Emma when I was thirteen. Emma is delightfully flawed, but always has the best of intentions. I identify with her need to try to take care of her friends and unfortunate inability to see when she's wrong.

Favorite Hero: Mr. Knightley 

While Mr. Tilney and Mr. Bingley both were serious contenders for this, after Emma Approved there could be no question about who my favorite Austen man was. Knightley is supportive, intelligent, and kind in addition to being an attractive and successful man. He always wants what's best for Emma, but he's not afraid to tell her when she's being unkind. He'll always have my heart.

Who are your Austen favorites? Do you agree or disagree with mine? Let me know in the comments down below. x

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Happy Birthday Pride and Prejudice!

In honor of Pride and Prejudice's birthday, I filmed a little video rambling about how much I love it and giving some suggestions (YouTube series! books! places!) for other people who love it as much as I do.

Monday, January 23, 2017

An Ode to Jane Bennet

This week, in order to celebrate the anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, I decided to do some Jane Austen themed content. Jane Austen is absolutely my favorite of the classic authors and I feel like so much of my growth as a teenage girl (and even now) was based on her characters. I've gotten to know her characters through books, movies, and Pemberley Digital YouTube series. This month, I've been rereading Pride and Prejudice and it never fails to impress me how her stories and especially the people she created have withstood the test of time.

As a young girl, I idolized Elizabeth Bennet as most young girls do. I may write an entire post at some point about how I transitioned from admiring and trying to emulate characters like Elizabeth Bennet and Jo March to recognizing that it's okay to be a Jane Bennet or a Meg March. Because as time went on, I realized that I'm not the Elizabeth Bennet and nor do I want to be.


I'm not saying that I don't like Elizabeth Bennet because I do. In fact, I find myself drawn to friends who remind me of her (hi Jenna, MaryClaire, Lucy!). But in my later high school years, I realized that I'm more of a combination of Jane Bennet and Emma Woodhouse from Emma. I'm always dismayed at the reaction I get when I tell people that Jane Bennet is one of my favorite female characters of all time.

I'd like to make an argument for why Jane Bennet is an incredibly lovely person that young women should want to emulate.

She is so kind.
One of Jane's main characteristics is that she is kind in a very live-action Cinderella way. She thinks of others' feelings, is sympathetic to her younger sisters, always listens to Lizzy's troubles, and endures her mother better than any of the rest of the Bennet girls. She is arguably the only character in all of Pride and Prejudice who never hurts someone else. Shouldn't we all aspire to that?

She is nice without losing her ability to stand up for herself.
Jane isn't without a sense of humor or a backbone. While she sees the best in everyone, she also is willing to admit that Caroline Bingley is a snake by the end of the book. One of my favorite lines in all of Pride and Prejudice is in Chapter XVII when Jane tells Elizabeth, "Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of his opinion." (And, for the record, she's right that Mr. Darcy isn't as terrible as Wickham says he is.)


She is so much more than beautiful. 
I admire how Jane deals with her beauty for she doesn't let it define her, but she also doesn't contradict it. I think that many girls we see in the media aren't allowed to accept a compliment to their looks, which is a terrible thing to teach young women. Jane never contradicts her mother's comments about her looks, but she also focuses on being kind.

She has great taste in guys (trust me). 
In my opinion, Mr. Bingley is a much better choice than Mr. Darcy. Shocking? I know. But, let's be honest, the Darcys of the world are actually just brooding guys who think they're too cool to call you back. I appreciate Bingley's open admiration, honesty, and good naturedness more than Darcy's temperament regardless of how nice Pemberley is.

Do any of you love Jane Bennet as much as I do? Who is your favorite Jane Austen character? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter! x

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Year in Review | Goodbye 2016!

2016 has been quite a year! It was both one of the best years of my life and one of the worst years. I saw an incredible amount of Broadway shows, I spent my first summer in New York, and I made wonderful new friends. I also got my heart broken and my little sister was sick and in the hospital for a few months. It's been a bit of a trying year and I'm hoping that 2017 will be a year of thriving in comparison.

I loved Louise Pentland's Year in Review post, so I wanted to write a little one of my own for sentimental reasons. Let me know how your year was in the comments! x

January 



I started off the year by taking the most amazing class ever: a sociology course about Disney Parks and happiness. I got to spend a week in DisneyWorld and a week in Disneyland with people that I still consider to be among my best friends. I got to visit the actual Walt Disney Studio in Burbank, hold one of Walt Disney's Academy Awards, and talk to the chairman of the company. I feel so blessed that I got to share this experience with such lovely people who I am so grateful to have in my life.

February



February saw a return to campus and a return to making content for my blog and YouTube channel. (My camera roll is mostly full of Hamilton Valentines Day memes.) I received a response to a letter that I had sent to Lin Manuel Miranda and I'll never forget crying at my mailbox when I saw his signature on it.

March



March saw me doing a lot of studying outside and appreciating the sunshine. My family spent spring break in New York City, reveling in Hamilton sites and exhibits. I also got to be in "the room where it happens" and I can pinpoint the best moment of my year as the very moment that Lin Manuel Miranda walked out for his first entrance in "Alexander Hamilton." We also got to meet Daveed Diggs, who is a real life angel.

April



One of the best things about this year was my friendship with Jenna and nothing epitomizes it more than the Disney themed party we threw in April (I dressed as Princess Anna, of course). I presented my thesis research for the first time and spent an amazing day at the zoo with friends. I also fulfilled a dream of many years, one that I thought I would never feel secure enough to do, and dyed the tips of my hair pink. Thanks to Louise Pentland for the inspiration...and the confidence to do it!

May 



In May, I performed a piece of feminist poetry in French for my class and spent a lovely Mother's Day with my family. I finished off the end of my senior year and said goodbye to all my friends to move home for a couple of weeks, before my mom took me up to New York City in the final few days of May.

June 




June was the beginning of my whirlwind summer in New York. I became super close with my roommates (Kimmy, Kendal, and MaryClaire) and we had so many adventures (including a bottomless mimosa brunch on the day of Pride that proved that there is such a thing as too many mimosas). I finally saw Laura Benanti perform in She Loves Me and met Zachary Levi (for the first time). I saw other amazing shows (Bright Star! Daddy Long Legs! Laura Osnes in concert!) and had my best friend visit me. I also fulfilled a lifelong dream by seeing John Owen Jones as Jean Valjean.

July




I started off the month with an incredible Fourth of July weekend including hanging out with my friend Julie, exploring Central Park and having a picnic, and dragging my roommates to an Alexander Hamilton exhibit. I got to see a New York Pops concert, have my friend Carolyn visit me for a weekend, and go to Coney Island. Julie also introduced me to Finding Neverland, I met Jasmine Cephas Jones on the street outside the Richard Rodgers, and MaryClaire and Kendal and I had a blogger photoshoot in Washington Square Park. Highlights included meeting Bernadette Peters, going to a Ramin Karimloo concert, and doing the meet and greet at Laura Michelle Kelly's concert. Additionally, Zachary Levi recognized me and Julie the fourth and final time I stage-doored She Loves Me, so that's likely going to be my claim to fame forever.

August




As my first summer in New York was coming to a (tearful!) close, my family came up to visit me. I taught them about rushing shows and we went to Ellis Island (and more Alexander Hamilton exhibits). I also had my second time in the "room where it happens" and finally got to see the amazingly talented Chris Jackson as Washington. Then it was back home to start preparing to move back for my senior year of college.

September



In September, I started taking my favorite classes I've ever taken (History of Musical Theatre! Acting for Non-Majors!) and was reunited with my friends. I started working for Elon Tonight, my school's comedy sketch show, and found a family of amazing friends. My best friend Andrew and I threw a joint birthday party with a shared theme of "Historical Figures and Jimmy Buffett" so I fulfilled another life dream...to dress as Bonnie Parker (modeled half off her real clothing, half off Laura Osnes in Bonnie and Clyde). My family and a few friends and I also went to the screening of Miss Saigon, which made me very excited for the Broadway revival.

October



October was a month in which my life felt like it went off the rails a bit. The first weekend, I took a trip to Chicago to visit my dad's family and got to see the Hamilton marquis there! While there were some fun things, like a great Halloween party with my girl squad and being an extra on a student film set, it was also a very difficult month. My little sister was sick and I spent a good deal of time going between school and the hospital.

November



November was a great month because my sister got to come home! We had a lovely Thanksgiving with my aunt and uncle and we all had a lot to be thankful for.

December



December saw not only exam week, but editing week for Elon Tonight. We had our first Elon Tonight premiere in the theatre in our new communications building...and actually had to have two showings! I also performed "Guns and Ships" as part of my final presentation for my History of Musical Theatre class...on a real stage! Then we celebrated a lovely Christmas with our family...and got to see the Cinderella tour! Overall, December was a great month (exam week aside) to end a year that had so many ups and so many downs.

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