Friday, April 21, 2017

show review: RENT 20th anniversary tour

i'm typically iffy on most musicals; a full two hours of showtunes tend to make me start twitching. but there are two that i can't get enough of: rock of ages and RENT. i was fortunate to see the latter for the fourth (!) time on wednesday night at the shubert theatre in boston as part of the 20th anniversary tour, and it was fantastic and i teared up about four times.

based on the opera la boheme, the show premiered on broadway in 1996 and centers on a group of artists/musicians/creative types living in manhattan -- most of whom are drug addicts living with HIV/AIDS. not the sunniest subject matter, for sure, but most of the songs are surprisingly upbeat and get stuck in your head immediately. i had to stop myself from mouthing along the entire time like a freak. my favorite, "la vie boheme," from the movie adaptation which includes references to pee-wee herman, the sex pistols, soy burgers, dildos, and even pablo neruda.

the entire cast was incredible this time around, but i've gotta say that aaron harrington, an apparent "musical theater newcomer" who played tom collins, was far and away the best vocalist i've heard in a production (including broadway) in a loooong time. my mouth dropped open every time he sang, legit.

and of course, the iconic "seasons of love" just got me right in the feels as always. i mean, that high note at 1:16? HOW CAN YOU NOT SOB? she nailed it just like in this video, too.

TL;DR: go see RENT if you have the chance.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

5 things i love right now

1. this cover of the talking heads' "this must be the place"

covering talking heads is sort of like covering the beatles: if you're going to do it, you better damn well do it right. i was extremely skeptical (but intrigued) when i saw this on my spotify friend feed and listened intently, as the original is one of my favorite songs of all time. i hear a bit of vampire weekend, a bit of alt-j, and a bit of ra ra riot. i love it! what do you think?

2.  this new york times series, sunday routine

i'm endlessly fascinated by glimpses into the lives of random individuals, and this wonderful little times column satisfies all of my curiosities by profiling a sunday in the life of a well-heeled NYC resident each week (a radio city rockette, the editor-in-chief of redbook, bill nye!). i'm always surprised at how typical and similar to my sundays they are. and now, it's become a little sunday tradition of my own to read about them along with my morning coffee. how meta.

3. this insane dance choreography to the lil' jon classic, "snap yo fingers"

okay, SO. you guys know by now that i could happily watch dance videos from the millennium complex in LA alllll day. and probably have. but i've gotta say that willdabeast adams (red shirt) is the only choreographer that just kills it on a consistent basis, and i love that he mixes it up with not-so-current songs (like this one). his girlfriend, janelle ginestra, is a beast of a dancer in her own right; check her out in the front of that first group. and like, just look at them dancing together to one of my favorite guilty pleasure jams. power. couple. please never talk to me again if this doesn't make you smile:

4. this show, 13 reasons why

this teen drama, based on the novel of the same name, is minimal on the cheesiness, maximal on the drama and darkness, and just a really good guilty pleasure to enjoy with some wine and cheese while painting your nails or whatever. the basic premise: a teenage girl commits suicide, and leaves behind a set of 13 cassette tapes that explain her fateful decision. i'm only on the third episode, but i'm totally hooked.

5. these perfect summaries of harry styles' new, epic single, "sign of the times:"