I started my News Worthy posts back in February, and posted weekly updates pretty consistently until April, when I finished school. The posts were a great way to talk about any and every thing I found interesting from that week, and it was a guaranteed addition to my blog.
Working full time this summer swept up any ambition I had to maintain News Worthy, but with the start of the school year in sight, I’m going to try to post weekly posts again. For now, I’m highlighting some recent-ish news / tidbits that was exciting to me!
I’ve spoken a lot about my love for The Last Five Years, from the original cast album to the film adaptation, so the announcement that Cynthia Erivo and Joshua Henry are starring in a TLFY benefit made my life. Like the rest of America, I’ve basically become obsessed with Cynthia Erivo through her lead role in The Color Purple revival. Joshua Henry has done several Broadway shows and will be playing Burr in the Chicago production of Hamilton this fall.
I had so much fun writing my first “If These Books Were Movies, They’d Star…” piece that I had to come back for a second one!
1. Bradley Whitford and Chloe Grace Moretz as Jim and Sylvia (The Vacationers, by Emma Straub)
“Families were nothing more than hope cast out in a wide net, everyone wanting only the best.”
Much like last year, the recent announcement of Emmy nominations wasn’t even on my radar. After seeing the complete list, I understand why – nearly all of the shows nominated are just not on my spectrum at all.
I was out of the country for last year’s Emmys, so maybe I’m just out of the loop about what’s the norm now, but when did these categories widen to include so many slots? Although it’s great that this allows for more deserving people to be recognized, I almost find it overwhelming, particularly with the categories for Best Comedy and Drama. Although I’m terrible at keeping up with current shows, I do like to have at least some exposure to the nominated works and their actors, and that has become increasingly difficult to do with these kind of nominations.
I love sharing what books I think would translate well into films or mini-series, and part of those visions stem from how clearly I can see a certain actor as a character. Ever since I was little, I remember running a book’s story through my head as if I was directing a movie, picturing people I saw on TV as those in the story. Even now, some of these visions are so strong that I view any movie adaptation of a book I love warily, because it’s almost as if my own movie already exists.
I wanted to share some of my favorite “casting choices” – the actors I quickly adopted as characters when reading – from books that haven’t had any kind of adaptation yet. That being said, I think all of these stories would be brilliant as films (it may be a secret desire of mine to write a Millicent Min screenplay).
I didn’t find the online theater community until about three or four years ago (discovering Aaron Tveit through Les Mis may’ve been a huge catalyst), and when I saw The Heiress on Broadway in early 2013, I had just found out that meeting the cast at the stage door was a thing. I then went three and a half years without seeing a Broadway show, familiarizing myself and falling in love with this world from afar. I don’t know anything about acting and singing technicalities, but I believe that simply keeping up on community news and learning about people’s careers gave me pretty resourceful knowledge of Broadway history.
Now with a greater appreciation and love for what these creators, actors, and musicians do on a daily basis, I would get frustrated about not being able to see shows because of time, price, or (when I was away at school) location. Episodes of Show People and press footage of shows had to suffice – and I know I can’t complain, having been able to see a good amount of shows at pretty young ages. Think about it as the equivalent to the kids’ table at a family event – once you hit a certain age, you know the real goods are at the grown-ups’ table, and it’s so close, yet so far.
But then, back in June, some stars magically began to align.
At the end of each year, I share a list of films I loved the most out of the ones I watched throughout the year (2014 is here, and 2015 is here). We’re now almost halfway through 2016, and I still have a summer full of film-watching and another film class in the fall to find potential new favorites. I’ve been going through a bit of a slump as far as wanting to watch new movies – I had a severe longing to watch one of my favorite films, About Time, the other night, so instead of trying to find something new and quirky on Netflix, I sat and sighed happily for two hours throughout a beloved rewatch.
So, in an attempt to feel inspired and seek out new films, I wanted to talk about the two standout films I’ve watched so far this year. Will these end up on the favorites list in December? Eh, who knows.
Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings was one of my favorite books I read in 2014, and a random scroll through Tumblr tonight brought me a screenshot of theater actor Corey Cott’s (Jeremy Jordan’s replacement in Newsies, Vanessa Hudgens’ love interest in Gigi) Instagram post promoting his role in something called The Interestings. My mind immediately became churning as I thought of the book, counted the people in the promotional photo, and tried to fathom how this was made without my knowledge. A quick Google search brought me to the show’s Amazon page and a review alluding to major disappointment about the adaptation, giving me both intense interest in and trepidation about this show.
The Interestings is an extremely intricate and internal story, and the book weaves in and out of time within chapters. When I read it the first time, I never felt fully grounded in just one time period. As a result, it’s one of those books that just sweeps you up and keeps such a hold on you that you feel wrong finishing the story and leaving the world of these characters. You’ve seen them grow and become different selves, and it feels unsettling to leave them behind even though, in the case of The Interestings, you’re exposed to practically their entire lives.
It’s been nearly a month since I last posted something, which is an oddity since I began blogging much more regularly at the start of the year. Since I cashed in my predictions for the Tony Awards, I’ve started a full-time internship and watched a lot of my free time dwindle into a 5:00 – 11:00 p.m. window on weekdays. So I guess this is kinda what growing up is like?
What I’ve Done
The week before I began my internship, I headed into the city for the day to attend a taping of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. I went to a Seth Meyers taping back in February and that experience was great, but this one proved to be even better!
I’ve made it clear that I have no credibility to talk about theater except for the fact that I just read a lot about it online and genuinely find it interesting. Over the last few years, the Tonys have become my favorite awards show, mostly because of the performances and because, compared to the stars at film and TV award shows, these nominees are not always accustomed to the glamour and excitement that a day of recognition provides and seem truly genuine.
This year’s Tony nominations came out today, and it’s already a record-breaking year – Hamilton has gathered 16 nominations, more than any other Broadway musical in the past. Once again, I haven’t seen the show and I consider myself a newer fan, but just listening to the cast album (it’s quickly become my background music for when I’m writing essays) and watching Lin-Manuel Miranda interviews proves that this record is well-deserved. While one show and its actors sweeping so many of the slots almost takes away the suspense of who will win, it does make it even more exciting for both the winner and the audience if someone from another show does win. As of now, I’m predicting at least one non-Hamilton actor win in the musical categories – find it below!
It’s no secret that I find the royal family fascinating and just love the history behind the lineage and monarchy. So, I obviously adored the photo of Queen Elizabeth with her three heirs, and loved reading this New York Times article about the plans for her 90th birthday and why she is such a strong figure for Britain. It made my night when other photos, including the one of the queen with her great-grandchildren and two youngest grandchildren, came out later that day. I was in London in September when the queen became the longest-reigning monarch, and even snapped a picture of a sign on a cab that read “Congratulations, your Majesty.”