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angora

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  1. Every second of Mo, Dawn, Connie, and Marcus at dinner was perfect, loved it all. The beats of Mo's neverending saga were beautifully timed throughout, and I adored everyone ganging up on Connie for "taking the FBI bitch's sides." And of course here comes Keith to blow everything up - I laughed when Mo told him to go away because they were doing Black shit. God, Blair and Tiff arguing over having a baby was so much fun. I loved Tiff promising to do all the work of hiring the people to do all the work, and Blair getting grossed out when she started infantilizing the semen cup. The Trump kid bit was executed really well. Trump was the first thing I thought of when the girl said her dad told her she looks hot in makeup, and there was that moment where one of the boys called Tiff a nasty woman, too. I really hope someone is able to revive/resuscitate Roger. Not that he's any prize, and his relationship with Blair is totally twisted because of how they both constantly use each other but resent BEING used by the other, but the closeted gay character committing suicide is just... ugh. For a show that normally does the unexpected so well, that feels so tired. I did really like the scenes at the election party, though. It's interesting to see how vicious Blair gets when someone pokes at his vulnerabilities.
  2. Pretty good interview with Trevor on CBS Sunday Morning, talking about adapting to shooting during the pandemic and realizing that, some days, the news is such that there are no jokes about it. Side note: it now feels kind of bizarre to see someone interviewed NOT remotely (there are several wide shots that go, "No, it's okay, here's how far apart they're sitting!")
  3. angora

    Hamilton (2020)

    Wait - Young Sheldon's dad is Euan Morton, who played Boy George in Taboo back in the early 2000s? Mind blown!
  4. angora

    Hamilton (2020)

    Quoted for TRUTH. I love that song and thought LMM had it in the bag. Another reason to dislike La La Land. But like I said upthread, he’s writing a few new songs for the live-action Little Mermaid with Alan Menken, so Disney is dedicated to giving him opportunities to win his Oscar one way or another. (Unless he wrote any new music for the In the Heights movie? I’d be cool with that too.) I appreciate that LMM isn’t shutting down the criticism. I know that, watching it now in 2020, it definitely stood out to me that Washington is mostly let off the hook while it’s the antagonistic Jefferson who’s highlighted as being a slaveowner. The show has blind spots, but it also accomplished a lot of incredible things too. I think it’s all right to love something while still acknowledging the places where it could’ve been better.
  5. angora

    Hamilton (2020)

    If it helps, LMM's In the Heights was on Broadway in 2008, and that was a mix of hip hop and Latin music. It wasn't the monster mainstream hit that Hamilton is, but it won 4 Tonys (including Best Score and Best Musical) and ran for 3 years. It's not a show "about" hip hop, but the characters in it who rap are definitely all about hip hop culture and it's about a neighborhood block where everyone is just doing what they can to get by. I see the Jesus Christ Superstar and Amadeus comparisons. It's also struck me, when you look at the narrative journey for Hamilton himself, it follows the same general trajectory of a musical biopic: starts from nothing, meteoric rise to fame through hard work and talent, career takes a major hit after scandals brought on by self-destructive behaviors. Those stories usually end either with the musician pulling themselves back from the brink/making a comeback OR with a tragic death, and in a way Hamilton does both. He reconciles with Eliza and has important relevance on the political stage again, but then of course, we get to the duel. Makes it easy to see why, in that video of LMM demo-ing the opening number at that White House event, he says he feels Alexander Hamilton exemplifies hip hop.
  6. angora

    Hamilton (2020)

    Heck, even with filmed recordings of stage shows, they usually cost more than the average movie ticket when they're shown in cinemas (in my area, a regular movie ticket is $9-12, and a ticket for a showing of a filmed stage show is generally $15-20.) So I agree, $7 to see it as many times as you want in a month is a steal. Another consideration for including Peggy - having the three of them in "The Schuyler Sisters" gives off much more of a girl-group vibe than if there were only two of them. From the Supremes to Destiny's Child to TLC, you need to have at least three.
  7. angora

    Hamilton (2020)

    Plus Daveed Diggs is playing Sebastian in the live-action Little Mermaid, which will also feature a few new songs co-written by LMM! (God bless Disney - one way or another, they're going to get LMM that Oscar for his EGOT.) That's part of why it took so long to make In the Heights into a movie, even though the film rights were first picked up back in 2008 - Hollywood didn't know how to cast it.
  8. angora

    Hamilton (2020)

    Okay, so that WAS the "fuck." I kept wracking my brain trying to figure out what they left in. I thought of that one, but isn't it actually just "Fuhhh--" - that still counts? Boo. If I was choosing, I'd have kept, "Southern motherfucking Democratic-Republicans!" I love that line so much. Eternal thanks to LMM, the cast/crew/orchestra, Disney+, and everyone else who had anything to do with making this and getting it in front of our eyeballs. I agree with everyone who's said that it doesn't replace live theatre, but I'm grateful for every show that gets recorded. Even if the show in question doesn't really connect with me personally, it's still special to capture that moment in time and make it available for people to see it who otherwise wouldn't have a chance to. And for people who have seen it live, to rekindle those memories and/or give them the opportunity to see it with the original cast. Because - that cast! There's not one weak link in the chain. I remember that it took me seeing the show to fully appreciate just how great Okieriete Onaodowan is, because as much as loved his Hercule Mulligan on the cast recording, I didn't get how fantastic his performance was until I saw just how much of a cold fish Madison is onstage. He plays hilariously off of the wildly-animated Jefferson, and it's such an amazing contrast to the gritty, dynamic Hercules Mulligan. Leslie Odom Jr.'s voice is just like silk, and both "Wait for It" and "The Room Where It Happened" are such incredible moments in the show. The bridge of "Wait for It" (starting with "I am the one thing is life I can control") is an instance where I inevitably get choked up even though the lines themselves aren't as explicitly-emotional as other moments in the show. LMM is a composer who can sometimes make me tear up because his melodies are just THAT DAMN BEAUTIFUL, and when you put it together with the lyrics and Leslie's soaring vocals, I'm just dead. Jasmine Cephas Jones is another one I had to see onstage to fully appreciate. Her Peggy is a delight, and then she's completely different as Maria Reynolds. Can Christopher Jackson be my president? He brings such presence to the role. I love how, even though Jackson is just a few years older than LMM, you can completely buy Washington as a father figure to Hamilton - he's just out there with ALL the gravity, and then he still brings the gentlemanly rapping with the Gilbert & Sullivan references and everything. "One Last Time" kills me every time. After In the Heights, I hoped he'd become a big star, but it feels like LMM is the only Broadway composer who knows how to treat him right. Phillipa Soo is the one who invariably wrecks me. It starts with "Burn," with a bigger wobble at that soft delivery of "It's quiet uptown," and then as soon as we get to her part in the finale, I'm gone. Even if I'm just singing "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story" in the shower, sometimes I can't even sing her part. "Eliza...", and that's it for me. Jonathan Groff is so great as King George. I love that his costume gets less elaborate each time he comes onstage as he grows more dejected about his "relationship" with the U.S. Everything about this character is perfect. Everything about Anthony Ramos is so earnest. Even when Philip is being all cocky, he's still got his heart out on his sleeve. He's a great Laurens - I especially love the "Rise Up" lines in "My Shot." Oh man, Renee Elise Goldsberry. ICONIC. She tears the roof off of "Satisfied" - I'm spellbound from "Number one:" all the way to "At least I keep his eyes in my life." I was blown clean away the first time I heard that song. I was obsessed that the fact that we were presented with a woman who explicitly tells us she's rejecting the guy she wants in order to marry for money, and that decision is given CONTEXT and a sympathetic portrayal. She's another one that needs to be a bigger star like yesterday. Obviously, LMM. He's of course a better composer/lyricist than he is an actor or a singer, but when he keeps to his wheelhouse - namely, passionate, energetic, and idealistic, so Hamilton all over - he does well. He plays off Jefferson especially well, along with Eliza and Washington. I also love all the moments of him being obnoxiously-extra, like speaking for 6 hours at the Constitutional Convention or sending Burr an itemized list of 30 years of disagreements (the ensemble carrying each page over to Burr separately - ha!!!) "Hurricane" is another one where I always get choked up at a less obvious moment, because everything just comes together so beautifully - it's, "They passed a plate around, total strangers moved to kindness by my story." Daveed Diggs is an absolute CHARISMA BOMB. I love everything about both Lafayette and Jefferson. "Guns and Ships" just explodes off the stage, and Jefferson steals every goddamn scene he's in. On this viewing (the first of many, no doubt,) the only moment I rewound to watch again was the "I'm in the Cabinet - I am complicit in..." run in "Washington on Your Side," because he's just that great. Also, Jefferson making it rain with the Reynolds Pamphlet gives me life. I don't know if Diggs wants to do more Broadway, TV, movies, music, writing (have you seen Blindspotting? you should,) or whatever, but I want him to be able to do EVERYTHING he wants to do.
  9. angora

    Hamilton (2020)

    That virtual "Helpless" was so much fun, @ElectricBoogaloo! Phillipa sounded great! It cracked me up that most of the shots of Daveed were just of him dancing. I'm so pumped for the Disney+ release. I was lucky enough to see the OBC - MINUS LMM. He was out sick that day. We saw his understudy Javier Munoz, who was very good, but I was still bummed to have missed LMM. Even though LMM isn't the strongest singer or actor on Broadway, 1) his rapping is obviously awesome and 2) he brings an energy/charisma to his stage presence that's pretty special. I got to see him in In the Heights back in the day, and I loved it to pieces.
  10. For me, a lot of those blackface moments on these shows depict the character in question as doing a bad thing/being offensive, but the tone of it plays very "oopsy racist!", basically good (or at least decent) people stumbling into offense with a boneheaded move. But the thing is, even if a character (or show) isn't intending to be hateful or hurtful, that's how many people feel when they see those images, regardless of the intention. By continually framing blackface just a dumb mistake/accidental offense, it ignores the feelings of people who were just sitting down to watch one of their favorite comedies and then got blindsided by seeing their favorite characters in blackface for the sake of a joke.
  11. I loved those bits too. In the former, I also loved Trevor's comments about the noose in Bubba Wallace's stall exposing the lie of "the Confederate flag is about southern heritage, it has nothing to do with racism!" The latter was just hilarious - I cracked up at Trevor saying he nudges the white person next to him to make sure they're not dead. Trevor making up middle names for Trump is one of my favorite recurring bits. I laughed so hard at "Donald Juneteenth Trump." Is there some way to take everyone who sneers at the thought of athletes talking about race/politics and make them sit down and watch that Malcolm Jenkins interview? He was on fire!
  12. For me, the only celebrity apology I've heard that felt like an actual apology was Dan Harmon's. He talked specifically about his actions and why they were terrible, he explained what he told himself at the time to justify his behavior while emphasizing that those excuses were bullshit, he agreed that he deserved the consequences he got as a result, and he urged people to blame HIM, not Megan Ganz. Most significantly to me, he said, "I certainly wouldn’t have been able to do it if I had any respect for women. On a fundamental level, I was thinking about them as different creatures." Everything else I've heard just sounds like PR.
  13. A lot of prisons have halted in-person visits during the pandemic - while still charging them for phone calls, of course. Cutting inmates off from their families (not to mention their lawyers) is right up there with "keeping them in their cells 23 1/2 hours a day" and "using solitary confinement for quarantine" for the most cruel "health measures" prisons have adopted right now.
  14. Trevor's words on Rayshard Brooks were so powerful. I always appreciate that, in killings where the victim did or may have broken the law, he doesn't brush that aside or downplay it. He allows it to be, as he said, messy and imperfect while staying laser-focused on the fact that those crimes or suspected crimes in no way justify that person being killed by the police. On a happier note, I love the clear respect and admiration that so many Black guests on the show express for Trevor and the work he does. It warmed my heart the other day when Spike Lee opened his interview by praising Trevor's recent coverage, mentioning that he already said this off-camera but wanted it said on the show as well.
  15. For sure. From Star Wars, you can add Rey and Finn, along with Jyn and Cassian from Rogue One. And Abbie and Ichabod from Sleepy Hollow, my god! That show had something so special and they just threw it away. I'm not mad about no Sherlock/Joan on Elementary, because I think it was the right call for that show, but I DO wonder if the creators thought, "We want to make Watson a woman, but we don't want her and Holmes to hook up, so who could we cast? Oh hey, I bet Lucy Liu would be great!", without interrogating why it was easy for them to envision her in a purely-platonic relationship with the male lead. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a tricky one for me. Rebecca's obsession with Josh Chan is SUPPOSED to be unhealthy, more about her mental health issues than about who he is, but as someone who came to the show specifically because I heard about the "Asian male romantic lead," it hurt to immediately see Josh portrayed as kind of a tool and not worth Rebecca's obsession, all while damaged-but-sensitive white bartender Greg was standing right there. The show then pulled the same thing with Nathaniel. Seriously, there were only two straight white guys in the regular cast, and they were both almost INSTANTLY painted as better potential matches for Rebecca than Josh. If they needed to maintain Josh as a symbol demonstrating Rebecca's unhealthy feelings about love, did they really have to make BOTH Greg and Nathaniel white? That felt icky to me.
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