Friday, December 5, 2008
When I entered this class, I was extremely excited because I am a huge musical theatre fan. I have been to lots of Broadway shows, and have grown up near New York City my whole life and visit there extremely frequently. I had a feeling that this was going to be the perfect class for me, and I was right. But in addition to all of the writing techniques I have learned from this class—and I have learned a ton—this class really taught me how to brave the streets of New York as well as the musical theatre world.
Even though I have been going to see theatrical productions my whole life, and going into NYC was a regular part of my childhood, I never really knew exactly how to behave or go about doing things around the city. Whenever I had taken a trip in the past, there was always someone else with me to guide me, either a parent or a friend who knew where they were going. However, when I entered this class, it was time for me to survive New York on my own, without a crutch. Yes, we did have our classmates, but I still felt this overwhelming sense of independence every time we would go on a trip for this class. On our very first trip, we had to rely on ourselves and the resources around us to navigate the theatre district of NYC (which was no easy task for me considering I have no sense of direction). Once we arrived at that restaurant for lunch, I think we all felt proud of ourselves for making it through and surviving in the big city. On other trips we took, we had to navigate the subway system, which is not something that I am terribly familiar with. I go to the city frequently, but usually I go by car or bus, and I don’t really use the subway system unless it is necessary. But every time I used the subway for this class I felt a little bit more relaxed, and I think I will be able to use them a lot more in the future since I am beginning to understand how they work. This class, more than any other class I have taken thus far in my life, has given me a feeling of independence that I have never felt before. In addition to the writing aspect of this class, going out into the real world and experiencing theatre and the city has given me skills that I will use for the rest of my life.
Another thing I loved about this class was that it allowed me to see theatrical productions that I otherwise would not have seen. Each new piece that we saw gave me new perspective on a different topic, and I really feel like my musical and theatrical taste has expanded from all of the varied things we’ve seen. This class also taught me how to behave in the theatre setting, and help me understand certain aspects of theatre that I had never really even paid attention to before. Being a musician, I feel as though these skills will help me in the future during my own performances as well as performances I will be seeing. I have learned so much this semester, and the memories from this class are ones that I know for a fact will stay with me.
Monday, December 1, 2008
The Broadway performance of Hairspray was the perfect ending to our Broadway and Beyond excursions. The show was simply AMAZING. The choreography just caused you to want to get out of your seat and dance. Hairspray is a musical that many people are familiar with, whether they heard the songs or saw the film starring Zac Effron, Amanda Bynes, and John Travolta. I felt as though after seeing the film I was able to get more into the Broadway performance. The Broadway show is very different then the film and offers "in the moment" acting. I highly recommend the show to anybody who enjoys a musical type of show.
Overall our last trip to the city was fun. I enjoyed having dinner with classmates I made friends with during our semester together, and was very entertained with the Hairspray performance. Hairspray is a very inspirational musical, which encourages integration. Throughout our semester in our writing class we have seen shows dealing with different cultures and customs. Being our last show Hairspray wraps all that we have learned about what Broadway and New York City offers.
Farewell Broadway and Beyond:(
Pros: Seeing Broadway shows, going to NYC almost every other weekend, being independent in the city, meeting some cool people, Dr. Shosh, writing topics aren't that bad
Cons: Long bus rides, crazy crowds in the city
Sunday, November 30, 2008
On November 9, 2008, our Broadway and Beyond class boarded the bus for New York City for our final trip. This last trip was markedly different than our other excursions, for we got to choose what show we were seeing. Our choices were Boy’s Life and Hairspray; I was in the group that saw Hairspray. We got off the bus, and decided to get some lunch at Applebee’s. Then we headed off to the Neil Simon Theatre to see our show. Hairspray was amazing, despite a few mishaps. It was upbeat and funny, and the sets, lighting, and costumes were tremendous, and, though Link fell in one of the dance numbers, he just got up and kept going, which I thought was really professional. This trip was the perfect ending to our growth and learning through this class, and I’m so glad that I got to be a part of it and will miss it greatly when it’s finally over in a few more short weeks.
For our last tour to the city we boarded the bus and headed toward a new change. We chose what we wanted to see and only had time for the show. It was a good change because there was no bus to catch at odd hours of the morning and we could finally relax because it picked us up right on campus. Couldn't be easier for the long day ahead. We boarded at 11:00 and then we were on our way...for the last time. This was the closer and I could not tell if we were relieved or saddened by the thought of not going to the city with our class anymore after this one. We arrived in the city and had some time to roam then split to go to our desired show. I chose A Boy's Life which was perfect for this point in my life. It was about the transition beween college and the decisions involved and then into adulthood. Put to eighties beats set the mood for this short production. After enjoying the slapstick comedy we met with another person from our group and toured the city for the remaining hour. We caught the bus at six and it was all over. No more trips, no more "am I going to be on time", and no more fantastic shows. It was brought to an end as we drove out of the city and heaed back toward Bethlehem. We arrived back to classes the next day and the normal of our college day-to-day. Our time for the finale was well spent and worth all our hard work and time.
For the last trip our class, Broadway and Beyond, was allowed to choose out of four plays which on we wanted to see. Some went to see a Boy's Life; others saw Hairspray. I was one of the people who went to see Hairspray, and I also had the wonderful duty of handing out the tickets to everyone who went to see this particular musical. Before I went to see the show I watched the movie version, which was different in some aspects, the musical was much more interesting than the movie. In the beginning, the first song, it was really cool. The lead role, Marissa Perry, was standing on a set that was made to give the illusion of her lying down on a bed. The choreography and all the dancers did a tremendous job. The sets were very bright and vibrant to grab your attention. Even with the little slips, this musical is one I would recommend for everyone to see.
As this semester comes to a close, the Moravian Writing 100 Broadway and Beyond class ventured into the city one last time. The group slit up some of us went to see Hairspray; while others went to see Boy's Life. I had not seen Hairspray before and I was looking forward to this final production. When we first arrived in the city we had some free time to wander around NYC. Finally after receiving our tickets and finding our seats, the show was about to begin. Although Hairspray is actually on its way out of the Broadway theater scene, the production appeared as well done as if it were the first. I thoroughly enjoyed this last trip to NYC with my class. Through the opportunities I have been given through this class, I am less anxious and nervous to be off in the city on my own. I look forward to many more trips in the future.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
The last performance that would tie the red knot to the perfectly wrapped present was Hairspray. The fluorescent pink strings of fabric, that combined to form a curtain, illuminated the theatre. I was very excited to see Hairspray, and could not wait till the curtains unveiled the first scene of the 8 Tony Award winning production. Marissa Perry, who played Tracy Turnblad, delivered a strong performance in the first scene. Her voice, hair, style, and size, all coordinated together perfectly. The cast, as a whole, performed with great passion, determination, and just pure talent. Many times I wondered of myself being on a stage, acting with incredible actors, dancing with amazing dancers. Hairspray was not the first production that made me feel this sentiment, in fact, I believe it was my Broadway and Beyond class that opened my eyes to see more clearly of what I love to do. Throughout the production, I was sitting at the edge of my seat, laughing, gasping for air, and releasing sounds of awe. Constantine Rousouli, who played Link Larkin, stole my heart by the end of the production; his breath-taking smile and his implausible dancing, had my eyes opened wide, only blinking when he was off stage. Each actor showed tremendous talent and to me, the performance on stage brought a little more than the performance on television. This production certainly wrapped up the set of productions I have seen throughout this course. I just cannot believe how fast this course went along; from seeing my first Broadway production, I never thought I would learn so much from a single semester. Throughout these months, I have grown to love Broadway in an unimaginable amount and my love for it is continuous; the experiences I have encountered, such as getting an autograph by Daniel Radcliffe, is something I will never forget. What a semester this has been for me. The last trip to New York City, is really not the last, in fact, it is just the beginning of many trips to see Broadway productions.