My 2017 Emmys Predictions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: fall TV season! Although most of my shows don’t come back in September (I’m just waiting for This Is Us this month), a new season of TV is one of the several reasons why I’m so drawn to autumn. Tomorrow, September 17, is the day of this year’s Emmy Awards, and anyone who knows me gets that awards shows are my Christmas.

The results of last week’s Creative Arts Emmys got me hyped and ready for tomorrow’s ceremony. Alexis Bledel of The Handmaid’s Tale and Gerald McRaney from This Is Us won there for the Guest Actors in Drama categories, and Bledel’s win probably thrilled any Rory-Jess shippers who are pulling for Milo Ventimiglia to win tomorrow. After the episode “Memphis,” Gerald McRaney in the Dr. K-centric episode of This Is Us was probably the greatest cause of tears for me.

Compared to previous years, I’ve watched a good amount of the Emmy-nominated shows this time around. I’m also so excited for Stephen Colbert to host, because I know firsthand that he puts on a good show. Before covering the ceremony over at Her Campus tomorrow, I wanted to make predictions for who I think will win in the Best Comedy, Best Drama, and Drama and Comedy acting categories. Here we go!

Drama Series
Better Call Saul
The Crown
The Handmaid’s Tale
House of Cards
Stranger Things
This Is Us
Westworld

It seems that The Handmaid’s Tale taking this is all but unannounced. I’ve yet to watch it because I just haven’t been in the right mindset for such an intense show. I think it definitely deserves the recognition because of its politically relevant material, strong cast, and success on a streaming site that isn’t very known for its original programming. Although I’d love for The Crown to pull an upset win, I think This Is Us is the strongest contender after Handmaid’s Tale. 

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A Reaction to Broadway’s ‘Anastasia’

It’s no secret that I’ve been dying to see Anastasia on Broadway. I grew up adoring the 1997 animated film, and when I was older, I loved reading both nonfiction and fiction about the end of the Romanov dynasty. Even upon hearing about the notable differences of the stage musical (stick to the movie if you want to see Rasputin and Bartok), I was so eager to find a chance to see this show!

With the summer winding down, I was ready to pull a Fiddler on the Roof and ask for Anastasia tickets for my birthday. However, when I ended up in the city for a networking opportunity back in August, I was free by 1:30 with a completely open evening ahead of me. With the whole afternoon free, I wandered around until the daily discounts at the Times Square TKTS booth went up around 2:30. If you aren’t familiar with TKTS, check out the video I found below!

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News Worthy: 9/4 – 9/8

The last few weeks of summer dragged for me, bringing plenty of important but sad news regarding politics and the world, but not enough happy, fun cultural news. Now, just as you snap back into gear for school or work after Labor Day, the past week’s pop culture announcements have been crazy! Given that there’s still a few weeks before fall TV starts, I’m thrilled for the release of so much news to hold me over!

Theatre

More casting news for next year’s Carousel revival, which I’m so excited for, was released. Betsy Wolfe, who’s currently playing Jenna in Waitress, will play Julie Jordan’s best friend Carrie. Having watched Betsy’s current Broadway.com series and realized how great of a career she’s had, I think she and Jessie Mueller will be great in their scenes together. The two also starred together in The Mystery of Edwin Drood several years ago, and I love seeing old costars reunite for new projects. Carousels marquee also went up this week at the Imperial Theatre, and I think the artwork is so old school and classy. While I’m waiting on My Fair Lady casting news to determine if it’s worth seeing, I’m definitely planning on going to Carousel and seeing this awesome cast!

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Powerful Women Reads for Powerful Women

Being that I’m currently on the job hunt, I’ve turned to a lot of nonfiction reads written by women in the media industry this summer. I’ve found that these kind of books keep me motivated but also provide a dose of tough love reality. Sometimes, you just get lucky and happen to be in the right place at the right time for a certain job. Most of the time, though, you have to work hard at not-quite-right jobs until you finally earn your dream position.

I wanted to share the three “career woman” books I’ve read this summer. I actually saw all of these authors in person over the course of Her Conference weekend back in July! if you ever have the chance to hear someone you admire professionally at an event, definitely jump on that chance!

1) The Big Life: Embrace the Mess, Work Your Side Hustle, Find a Monumental Relationship, and Become the Badass Babe You Were Meant to Be, by Ann Shoket

“It can be incredibly lonely to grow into who you’re meant to be.”

I have to be honest: I was never a Seventeen reader beyond flicking through it in waiting rooms. I’ve known of its former editor-in-chief Ann Shoket completely from her guest appearances on America’s Next Top Model, but one of the Her Campus (which I currently work for) co-founders interned for her back in the day and they kept in touch. This called for Ann’s workshop at Her Conference, where she talked to us about staying confident while climbing the professional ladder and keeping calm about stabilizing a satisfying personal life.

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Dream Casting: ‘The Music Man’

The last Dream Casting blog I did was for Into the Woods, and today I wanted to do another Dream Casting for one of those classic shows I saw so many community productions of while growing up. The Music Man probably has my favorite overall score of any show – the songs are so easy to catch onto and are fun yet beautiful.

I think a huge part of The Music Man‘s initial appeal is Robert Preston in the title role both in the original Broadway production and in the film. Any other Harold Hill, professional or amateur, seems to fail in comparison because they’re (consciously or not) trying to emulate Preston’s unique style.

This may be why Broadway revivals of The Music Man are few and far between. There was a 1980 production with Dick Van Dyke that’s considered a revival, but it lasted less than a month after its opening. The 2000 production with Rebecca Luker and Craig Bierko lasted a little over a year and a half, which is a pretty standard run for a revival, but those are huge gaps between versions. What with Carousel and My Fair Lady being revived next year, there isn’t much room for another large-scale classic from that era, but I’m hoping for a Music Man revival in the next few years! So, I lived vicariously by casting my dream company of the show.

Harold Hill – James Monroe Iglehart or Seth MacFarlane

Seth MacFarlane is often the Internet’s choice for an ideal Harold Hill because he performed a very Preston-esque rendition of “Ya Got Trouble” at BBC Proms. I have to admit, I forgive Seth for all of his gross humor (ugh, remember the Oscars?) when I hear him sing musical theater, but I really don’t see him doing a Broadway show. I think he’d be a safe revival choice if producers want to please an older generation that likes their traditional musicals. However, current Hamilton star James Monroe Iglehart said in a recent interview that he would love to play Hill if non-traditional casting was embraced, and I sort of love the idea!

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A Reaction to Broadway’s ‘Bandstand’

This post has been a long time coming since I saw the new Broadway musical Bandstand in previews back in April. Now with the show’s cast recording out, I’ve listened to a few songs recently and I think the show’s effect has finally sunk in for me. So, I’m ready to share my opinions on the show! Keep in mind that because I saw it in previews (albeit later in its preview run), there’s a possibility that some of its elements have changed since I was in the audience.

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Going into the experience, I was really excited because I love the show’s World War II era. If I’m reading historical fiction, there’s like a 95% chance it’s set in the 1940s and exploring the before, after, or immediacy of the war. I also love hearing about the American homefront during the war, probably because I read so much about Europe in that time and there isn’t a huge literary focus on the States. I also adore Glenn Miller-esque music, which was a huge selling point of the show for me.

Originally produced at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey, Bandstand presents a group of young WWII veterans returning home and dealing with the mental effects that the fighting has caused. Compared to now, the idea of PTSD is virtually nonexistent, and the men feel even more isolated from their homes because of such a lack of understanding these mental changes.

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My Favorite Podcasts

I always feel like I came into the podcast game a little later than everyone else, listening to some for the first time about two or three years ago. In actuality, I think there was a huge surge in podcast production over the last year or so, and the forum has gained so much more attention as literally anything in the pop culture world seems to have a well-known fan podcast now.

I’m not a huge fan of podcasts that consist of “unknowns” talking to a long-distance friend/relative/whatever. I also don’t really enjoy ones produced by bigger publications that might have a more serious reputation and think podcasts will get the “young folk” interested. I’ve also never listened to Serial or any podcasts that are like a radio play, and I don’t think I’m really interested in trying them out. My favorite ones tend to focus on a certain theme I’m already a fan of, and I love hearing deep discussion about a production’s little inconsistencies or fun facts.

That being said, I’d like to share my four favorite podcasts with you and talk about why they’re so great!

1. Gilmore Guys 

Arguably the greatest podcast success story out there, Gilmore Guys is so popular that the titular guys, Kevin T. Porter and Demi Adejuyigbe, partner with Up TV for its Gilmore Girls airings and have interviewed several of the show’s stars. Coming from the perspective of a longtime fan (Kevin) and a first-time viewer (Demi), the podcast goes through each episode of Gilmore Girls and discusses characters’ fashion, pop culture references, how an episode was originally advertised, general critique of the episode’s storyline, and more. The guys are hilarious and have great chemistry with each other and their guest co-hosts, and they’ve even done live shows for some later episodes that are absolute must watches (I recommend this one if you have the time!).

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What I Love Lately

Hi friends! My first post-college summer is in full swing and amidst weekly (or daily) freakouts about life, I’ve finally emerged from a rough slump where I really wasn’t in the mood to take in any kind of cultural stuff. I wanted to share some things I’ve been loving lately that have made this transition into real life a little smoother.

Jill Mansell books

I read my first Jill Mansell book years ago and remember thinking it was just okay. Last month, I found myself in the mood for some of my beloved British contemporary fiction (the mood strikes whenever I’m particularly homesick for London, and what with everything going on in the UK in June, I guess it hit me hard). Having come across Mansell’s section on my library OverDrive, I downloaded one at random, Three Amazing Things About Youand quickly fell in love with Mansell’s style. It’s lighthearted, funny chick lit, but still so satisfying – I call her books the written equivalent of films like Love Actually. 

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What’s New: A Catch Up

Welcome back to my blog, friends! I’ve had a crazy month and a half or so of schoolwork, internship projects, and freak-outs about life that kept me from blogging regularly, but with summer on the horizon, I’m trying to get back into a nice writing routine!

Recently, I purposely made a post about my Tony nomination predictions so it was out before award announcements, and am planning on a reaction post to seeing the Broadway musical Bandstand. For now, as a nice catch-up to get the blog back in order, I wanted to do a News Worthy-esque post about recent cultural news or events that excited me!

Theatre

Jessie Mueller and Joshua Henry are starring in a Broadway revival of Carousel next year. The sound that came out of my mouth when I saw this headline was not human. I love Jessie Mueller, and recently fell in love with my birthday buddy Joshua Henry through his HamJams on Instagram. I love how this is a pairing no one would have really considered in casting speculation but now that it’s happening, everyone loves it! The fact that a black man was cast as Billy in Carousel is also huge and amazing. With a My Fair Lady revival already announced for next season as well, the 2018 musical revival category is looking pretty strong.

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My 2017 Tony Nominee Predictions

The last semester of college has been slowly killing me as far as having energy for outside blogging, but with things quickly winding down, I’m hoping to get back into it! I have some other posts coming up, like a general catch-up and my reaction to seeing Bandstand on Broadway, but given this crazily competitive theater season and the upcoming announcement of Tony nominations on May 2, I wanted to share my predictions for the musical categories. So many shows are officially opening in the next week or so, and Tony season is also a make-or-break time for new shows to gain some traction or quietly close a month after opening (remember Tuck Everlasting last year?)

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