Posts tagged ‘NYC’
Be jealous! I got the absolute greatest news yesterday, and it completely turned my week around.
I haven’t had the greatest of weeks, and I’ve been feeling low on creativity lately. Being stuck in a bit of a rut is no fun.
Monday was a long day, and I was pretty exhausted afterwards even though I had my tap class. Usually, I’m excited and invigorated after tap, but not this week. I just wanted to get home and go to sleep.
Tuesday we had a meeting after dinner, and I went to bed right after the meeting, but I was still tired on Wednesday.
But around half way through my Wednesday morning, my mommy called! She told me Papa booked her a flight to come visit me, and all of a sudden, my week got brighter!
It’s amazing how a little thing can change your whole week around. I got to go home early yesterday afternoon, and I just relaxed and took some time to get rid of the dark circles under my eyes. I enjoyed a relaxing dinner with my community, and I got to talk to one of my friends for a little while after dinner.
But most importantly, I woke up this morning and I wasn’t tired! I was ready to seize the day, and take on New York.
Last wednesday was my last day in NYC for he next two and a half weeks. We’re down to just two weeks now, and I still haven’t told you guys what I decide to do on my last night in the city.
Honestly, most of you probably already know what I did, because I think at least 70% of my readers follow me on twitter. The other 30% is a collection of family, friends, and other WordPress users who don’t follow me on twitter. (comment below and tell me which you are! 😊)
Anyway, for those of you still interested in this story, I asked “What do I want to do on my last night in NYC?” I don’t know why I even wasted the time asking. Everyone (and I dI in fact mean everyone. Even the Newsies cast members and security and merchandising) knows exactly what my answer was.
Yes, that’s right. I wanted to leave NYC on a high note, so of course I would have to see Newsies. I invited a friend’s sister to tag along, and she did, so I wasn’t alone.
Of course, most of Wednesday was spent putting the finishing touches on my room and my packing. With the anticipation of seeing Newsies, though, I was done packing really early, and had an hour to spare before I could even check in for my Southwest flight.Side note: Why is it that time drags on when something exciting is coming up? We really need to figure this out.
Of course, since I was done packing early, I was ready to leave early, because I had so much extra time to get ready. So I headed out, hoping that spending some time on the subway would mellow me out and calm me down. It didn’t.
I was still a hyper mess when I got to Times Square, but I resisted the urge to go straight to the theatre. It was barely 4:15pm. The matinee wasn’t even over yet.
I had recently been upgraded to a Starbucks Gold Card Member, so I thought I’d work at maintaining that privilege. That stalled me for about 15 minutes. I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful for a long line before.
I walked past the theatre again, only to see that the show finally had been let out, and there was a huge crowd of people waiting for autographs. I was able to take a picture of one family under the sign, which was actually really exciting. It’s the only picture they have in NYC of all three of them! I talked to them about Broadway a little bit, and then they left to catch a dinner reservation.
I wandered back and forth along the street for a bit and then I settled myself at the front of the SRO line to wait for Anthea to arrive and the lotto to happen.
As it turns out, I didn’t need to get in that line. My name was called! I won lotto tickets! And a couple guys from the show saw that I won lotto tickets and gave me thumbs up!
Anthea and I went to Schnipper’s to get dinner before the show, and it was absolutely delicious! I definitely want to go back there soon. It was so good!!!
Anthea and I were the first people in the theatre, and we got all settled and really enjoyed the show from out 4th row seats! SO AWESOME! We even got to move over three seats for the second half. The show was amazing as always, but the best part was the curtain call.
Everything went very smoothly until Jeremy came out. He slipped a slid feet first, rolled himself over and stood up to continue running to the center of the stage. He played it off very well as if nothing had gone wrong, but a couple of the guys (Jeremy included) had huge grins on their faces. They were definitely getting a kick out of the fact that Jeremy ate it on stage.
After the show, I stage doored as always, and took pictures with a couple of the guys. I had everyone who came out sign a white Ivy Cap (similar to a Newsies hat) that I had to commemorate my 10th show.NOTE: Pictures will be posted, but I forgot my cord to connect my camera to my computer…so it’ll have to wait!! UPDATE: See the stage door pictures by clicking here.
Many of my friends know that after last Saturday (which you read about yesterday), the next time I was going to see Newsies wasn’t until Sunday, July 8 with Gigi (Twitter friends and fellow Fansie). Many of you also know that one little tweet from Jeremy Jordan yesterday changed all of that:
The second I heard Brendon Stimson was going on as Jack, I was ready to run to the theatre, and it was barely 1pm when I found out. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve wanted to see him as Jack Kelly since I found out he was the understudy (not that I don’t love Jeremy Jordan, because I do, but I love Brendon’s acting. When he’s Oscar, I’m scared of him and don’t like his character, but when he’s out there as a Newsie, I’m in love with the adorable Ike. He’s that good). The desire was only heightened a few weeks later when I met Brendon’s mom in Times Square (What are the odds, right?), and got to talk to her about her son and how he would hopefully get to go on as Jack Kelly at some point.
So of course, when I saw Jeremy’s tweet, I knew I was going to need to see the show. And then my twitter feed was just getting filled with more and more comments about Brendon being in the show, and I just kept getting more excited. I got to the theatre around 4:45 and went straight to the lotto guys and asked if I could start the standing room only line. They laughed and said yes, and followed me out to let everyone in the extremely long lotto line know I wasn’t cutting them.
I was anxious waiting there. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to win, but I was also pretty sure that I was going to get a SRO ticket because the show was sold out on Ticketmaster. I just wanted to get a ticket in my hand. While waiting, I think I told everyone about how Brendon was going on as Jack Kelly, and how excited I was about it. Basically, some random 30-odd people who were waiting to get lotto and standing-room only tickets found out that I wanted to see Brendon as Jack Kelly. Some of them even asked if I was worried about hyping it up too much for myself (I suppose they had a point, but I ignored them).
After the excruciatingly long lotto drawing where I did indeed lose, the standing room only crowd got to move forward to buy tickets. As I was at the front of the line, the ticketing guy saw me first, and recognized me. He asked if I’d managed to find Nelson (I had), and gave me my ticket and change, and said to enjoy the show.
I then went outside to catch up with the lotto guys to get a picture with them, since I see them so often, it only seemed right to capture the moment (FINALLY):
As the realization of having a ticket to see Brendon as Jack Kelly hit me, I saw Jack Scott and Kara Lindsay approach the theatre. I asked them if they could stop for a minute because I had managed to track down a copy of his trading card and wanted him to sign it. While that was happening, I told them I heard Brendon was playing Jack tonight, and that I rushed to the theatre to get a ticket to see him.
After they entered the theatre, I let myself react to having a ticket in my hand. I was definitely crying tears of joy, and I could feel all these wonderful emotions welling up inside of me. I had so much energy, I wanted to do some of the Newsies’ dances, but as I can’t dance (quite literally), I settled for walking laps around the theatre’s block for the next hour.
When I noticed Nelson, I went up and gave him a hug and said thank you for Saturday again. He asked if I was seeing the show, and I told him that I heard Brendon was going to be Jack Kelly tonight, so I had to see the show, and then Brady walked by and said that I couldn’t possibly be seeing the show. Once again, I told him I was there to see Brendon.
At this point, you can see that I was in fact truly excited about this. It’s quite possible that I was more excited to see Brendon play the role of Jack Kelly that I was before first seeing the show.
At any rate, my excitement was justified. The show was amazing. Sure there were a couple of mistakes, but I forgot that that wasn’t how the show was supposed to go because Brendon was such a professional on the stage. For example, his first time meeting Katherine, he’s supposed to be fully dressed already. There were some, uh, difficulties getting the shirt on in time, but if you didn’t already know that (and even if you did), you didn’t notice that it was off until you relived the show on the subway ride home. He really did a great job during every single part of his performance.
Brendon’s performance was so beautiful, I literally cried during the entire show. My eyes were sparkling and I could not stop smiling. He truly commanded the audience’s attention when he was on stage. And his singing was so wonderful! I was surprised to find that I loved him singing “I Never Planned On You.” Normally, I like the song, but I don’t swoon during it. I did some hardcore swooning with Brendon singing that song. Also, his facial expressions were perfect during every single song. “Santa Fe” caused my heart to break. He did such a good job tapping into the emotions there. He matched Jeremy’s skill in that song every step of the way. I loved “Watch What Happens (Reprise),” which I always do, and Brendon definitely brought something a little different to the table with that one. And of course, “Something to Believe In” caused my heart to melt. It was so beautiful and gorgeous. I couldn’t believe it. I was stunned and ridiculously happy and overjoyed.
I’ll definitely be on a high from this show at least until the next time I see it (Sunday July 8!!!). I was so happy and joyful during the stage door experience, and so many people came out (even the elusive Kyle Coffman, who immediately tried to say that he was 2 for 2…it’s 2 for 8, buddy, but since you asked about Jasmine’s video, I’ll let it slide), that it only added to the magic. I got pictures with most of them, which I’ll include below.
The highlight of my night was definitely much simpler than seeing the whole show. It was Brendon’s stage door. He came out, and when he got to me he said “Hey Steph, how’s it going?” He remembered me! Of course, I think I mentioned him in like 20 tweets that night (not really that many), but still. he stopped to talk to me for a minute, and I got a picture with the night’s big star and everything was right in the world. I was officially on Cloud 9, and I don’t plan on getting off anytime soon. Based on Brendon’s tweet, I think he’s feeling the same way:
Basically, the moral of this post is “Brendon Stimson makes a fantastic Jack Kelly, so if you get the opportunity to see him in this role, JUMP ON IT! It’s totally worth it!!!” Oh, and “If you get front seats to see Brendon Stimson as Jack Kelly, I’m ridiculously jealous of you.”
Barnes and Noble does all sorts of really interesting events, and the ones in New York are by far the best! That’s why last Thursday, I had an AMAZING opportunity.
Peter and the Starcatcher (5-Time Tony Award Winner) had recently released its annotated script (which is simply stunning, by the way. I think there should be one for Newsies), and B&N was hosting an event for it. They invited Ridley Pearson (author of Peter and the Starcatchers with Dave Barry, and The Kingdom Keepers) to host the event, and they brought in Director Rick Elice, and the three of the lead stars from the show: Christian Borle, Celia Keenan-Bolger, and Adam Chanler-Berat.
The format was pretty simple. Before the even started, twitter followers for @StarcatcherBway were invited to tweet in their questions. Ridley Pearson used those as a jumping block for questions to ask the cast, and he really only needed to ask three or so questions, because they were really good at telling the story of how the script came from a book, through La Jolla, to NY Theatre Workshop, to Broadway.
It was amazing seeing how connected they all are, and how they constantly give credit to each other for the show getting to where it is today. You can really see the camaraderie that defines their show come out in their interactions off stage.
After the question session, they all set up at a table and prepared to sign several copies of the script. They were all wonderful and were excited to hear what their fans had to say. They responded accordingly, and just had huge smiles on their faces the entire time. They are such a funny, warm, and welcoming group of people! It was amazing!
I was really excited to meet Ridley Pearson because he wrote the Kingdom Keepers, which is this awesome book series that my youngest sister and I just absolutely adore! It’s like mystery and adventure and excitement meet Disney.
Christian Borle is phenomenal, I’m surprised I was able to say thank you without stumbling over my words. I was so overwhelmed about being in the presence of such an amazing and impressive actor. I watch him on SMASH too, and I literally am stunned at how fabulous he is.
Celia Keenan-Bolger, big sister to Andrew Keenan-Bolger, is absolutely stunning. Girl has style, class, and an amazing voice. She can act the pants off of anyone. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: She could wear a paper bag and still look gorgeous. I definitely stumbled through my words to her, but man, she is so down to earth, and so kind to everyone.
Adam Chanler-Berat was adorable. Literally, I cannot explain him any other way. He’s funny, charming, and sweet. I was so impressed by how humble he is too! Everyone was trying to say that bringing him into the PATSC world brought the magic that was missing, and he was all bashful and shy about it, trying to credit them with the magic too. He is a winner in my eyes!
Meeting Rick Elice was almost too much for me to handle. By the time I got to him, I was already overwhelmed by all of the greatness and gratitude, and I feel like I made a fool of myself in front of him, stammering over words and sentences like none other.
Anyway, I also have some pictures from the event to share with you guys. Click on the images to make them larger!
Ghost. Maybe you’ve heard of the 1990 Romantic Drama-Fantasy-Mystery movie starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. Not ringing a bell? Whoopi Goldberg is also in it, as the Psychic Oda Mae Brown? Yeah. This one:
Classic movie right? Well it recently got turned into a musical (yes, a musical) and has been put on BROADWAY! Now, Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and Whoopi Goldberg are not in the musical version, but they have got some fantastic actors to replace them (in some cases, I think the stage actors might even be a little more believable than the movie, which is saying something!).
Now, I wouldn’t say this is the greatest show on Broadway, but I for one liked it a whole lot more than Once, and it is extremely good. Like, I-wish-I-could-go-back-and-see-it-again-and-again good. I would rate it just below Newsies, tied with How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
I was super skeptical about Ghost: The Musical. My initial thought when I heard about it was something along the lines of ”another movie to musical”? Really? I mean, I get Newsies: The Musical (It should have always been a stage production), but I think that made four NEW movies-to-stage shows on Broadway at the time. Which is a little crazy in my opinion. Especially since three of those new ones were from the early 90s. But whatever.
Then I started to hear some good things. And lots of people were disappointed that Ghost didn’t get more Tony nominations…and that’s when I knew I should see it.
Almost two weeks ago, I met that Crazy-Awesome girl (her name is Jamie, for future reference), and another awesome guy (John), in the lottery line for Newsies. John has seen Ghost so many times, I don’t know if he’s even sure how many times. He talked it up, and Jamie talked it up, and I knew that I needed to see this show.
So on my last day to hang out with Jamie before she jetted off to Florida (sad face), we went and tried our luck for the Ghost lottery. Jamie had already seen it multiple times this past week, but she wanted to give it another try, and against all odds, her name got called first.
I got to see Ghost. It was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed the stage magic and the special effects that went in to creating the show. I don’t know if I can ever go back and watch the movie now. Caissie Levy and Richard Fleeshman seriously looked like they were truly, madly, deeply in love. And they were gorgeous together. Also, Richard is stunning. STUNNING, I tell you. And I find him WAAAAY more attractive that Patrick Swayze. Also, his stage voice is dreamy. I think I was falling for Sam while sitting in the audience, and I know I wasn’t the only one. I overheard one audience member say “I wish Willie stole Sam’s wallet AND shirt…Then he could spend most of the show shirtless.”
Da’Vine Joy Randolph is AMAZING as Oda Mae Brown. Girl has style, attitude, and a killer voice. I was blown away by how much sass she had on stage, and I’m a little confused about why she doesn’t have a Tony. Without her, Ghost would be NOTHING (literally…he’d still be a ghost). She plays her character so well. It was simply stunning! I wanted to hang out with Oda Mae.
Everyone did a great job nailing their character. The music isn’t the greatest, but its still good, and gets stuck in your head every so often.
The special effects MAKE the show. It is amazing…like a musical magic show at times. It’s great! And they do such a good job making it super convincing. The LED light backgrounds are super high-tech and fancy. They do a great job making you feel the scene changes. The only problem that I had with the lighting is that sometimes it felt like it was blinding my eyes (but this was literally only for a few seconds maybe three times during the show.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the dancing in the show, but I’ve been watching the choreography of Christopher Gattelli in Newsies so much, and they won the Tony for Best Choreography, so I had extremely high standards going in. The cool parts were definitely when Richard was getting beat up by the subway ghost…that took some skill. I definitely see where those abs of his come in handy…
All in all, Ghost was magical. It’s definitely worth seeing, and I would for sure go back again and again!
Here’s a list of some favorite things that happened during the Tony‘s last Sunday. Theses have kept me laughing, crying, smiling, and remembering all week!
Favorite Awkward Moment:
The Newsies cheer on Christopher Gattelli’s victory! Newsies gets the Tony for Best Choreography. (Thanks to the Book of Mormon crew for filming it!)
Because this performance was so early in the show, my tears started early. I love Newsies so much!
Favorite Speech, more serious:
Steve Kazee made me cry. It was seriously the only time (when Newsies wasn’t on stage/mentioned) that I cried.
Favorite Speech, more comic:
Nina Arianda is one of those people I wish I actually knew. “You were my first crushHope you enjoyed! Share your Friday Favorites in the comments below!!! Thanks all!
Tragedy of all tragedy has happened. I stumbled upon an essay I wrote at the end of my freshman year of college. It’s not BAD, but it’s not great. Either way, the topic was something that really caught my attention this time around, because I think it might have helped lay the groundwork that got me out of California and across the country to the Bronx and Manhattan. This essay was written for an Argument and Research English class. We focused on the struggles with drugs, alcohol, and sex that young people face.
Love. Sex. Drugs. Trouble. Coming of age, wherever you are is tough. Coming of age in the Bronx? Even tougher. Within Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc offers an unbiased view into the lives of young Bronx teenagers struggling to grow up and mature. Unlike many similar books, her narrative avoids quoting statistics and professionals. Rather, it explores eleven years of their lives, and showing the problems that they encounter: teen pregnancy, unfaithfulness, drug use and distribution. Her account begins focused on the life of Jessica and her family, but it evolves into the story of a young Bronx girl: Coco.
In the beginning, Coco was different. “She wasn‘t a church girl and she wasn‘t much of a schoolgirl, either, but she wasn‘t raised by the street” (LeBlanc, page 27). She seemed to have more respect for herself than the other girls within the pages of Random Family. Coco seems to be better off, in a sense. She has an encouraging step-father, Richie, who warns her to stay away from the ‘normal’ lifestyle. He encourages her to “guard herself and aim for a better life” (LeBlanc, page 32). She even maintains a level of innocence that the other teen girls are missing. She was still considered a ‘virgin’ in some sense. Even though she has participated in intercourse, she still maintains the title of ‘virgin,’ because she refrains from having sex, even with her boyfriend. There is a flicker of hope for her, a chance at something better. She has a level of respect for herself in the beginning that is inspiring. I believed that she could actually make a better life for herself, even if the path were unclear.
But then, everything changes. When she starts dating Cesar, she seems to lose all resolve. For her role models, she looks to Lourdes and Jessica from Cesar’s family, neither of whom are worthy. She loses the title of ‘virgin’ forever when she begins to go out of her way to have sex with Cesar. Once she becomes pregnant with Cesar’s first child, she drops out of school and resigns herself to being a mother. She continues to have child after child, ending up with five by four different men. She doesn’t stand up for herself. And to top it all off, she never learns from her mistakes. While she tries some methods to get out, her overall way of life inhibits her ability to break the norm. She is stuck in her lifestyle and can’t break away from it. She continually destroys any chance she has for a better life, whether it be by being around people who have no respect for her and her family, or by not having enough faith in herself, or by not maintaining a career, or by trying to make everyone around her happy.
Coco was already weakened by “the fine light-skinned boy in the red-leather coat on the street below” (LeBlanc, page 28). She was stunned by Cesar’s appearance. She wanted him. “An agile boy with full lips, serious brown eyes, and a flat nose, who knew how to dress,” its no wonder Coco was immediately infatuated with him (LeBlanc, page 28). His amazing good looks definitely played a role in the weakening of her resolve. What girl wouldn’t have done anything he wanted her to? If Cesar had not caught her eye, if his looks hadn’t stood out to her, Coco’s entire life could have turned out very differently. But once he noticed her, any chance she might have had was pretty much over. Coco was too far gone. She was too excited that Cesar had noticed her.
“The smallest hope had a way of vaulting Coco into overdrive; just on speculation, she broke up with Wishman. She needed him out of the way in case Cesar wanted her” (page 30). Which it turns out, ended up being a good plan, because Cesar did want her. Though not for the reason she hoped. He wanted the challenge that she provided, the challenge of getting a ‘virgin’ into bed. And he does.
Coco gives into him and forever loses her ‘title’ as a virgin by willingly having sexual relations with Cesar, as well as with other men. Coco becomes completely wrapped up in her relationship with Cesar. She, like all other love-struck girls, stops focusing on the important things in life. “Coco headed for Cesar instead of classes” (LeBlanc, page 62). Coco willingly chose a boy over classes, and, I assume, over friends, judging from the fact that she changed her friend Dorcas just so that she could spend even more time with Cesar. Has she never heard of the phrase ‘bros before hos’ or the female version ‘hos before bros’? Your friends should always come first. Boyfriends, they come and go, as Coco is soon to find out. But your friends and family usually stick with you through the good times, and the bad. This was truly a part of her first mistake. By indulging in Cesar and putting all of her time and energy into being with him, she ignores people who could have potentially helped her climb out of the hole of poverty in which she has been raised. By choosing him over classes, she misses out on the education that could have gotten her somewhere great, that could have really made her something to be proud of. She loses out on the opportunity to be able to easily support her family.
When Coco participates in sexual intercourse with Cesar without using protection, she ends up pregnant, which “she hoped he’d feel was good news” (LeBlanc, page 84). His reaction leaves much to be desired, yet Coco seems indifferent. When he leaves, she follows and sees that he is off with his arms around another girl. And her response to this discovery was far from what I had hoped for. True, she did say that she died, and, indeed, a part of her did die (LeBlanc, page 85). She hid like a coward and accepted the fact that Cesar would be with other girls. She does not realize that she is more than capable of doing better than him. She is blinded to the fact that she deserves someone who will be faithful to her.
She should have marched up to Cesar and told him exactly why what he was doing was wrong. She should have seen that she was more than strong enough to leave Cesar now that she knows he is cheating on he. But she didn’t. She could have changed right then and there. She could have stood up for herself. But she didn’t, and by not doing that, she set herself up to be walked all over. Coco deserved the best. She didn’t deserve to have Cesar treating her like an old toy that can easily be replaced when a new one comes out. She deserved better than a cheater could ever offer her. She deserved a faithful partner who loves and cares for her, no matter what, through the thick and the thin. But she does not get that, because she could not stand up to Cesar when it mattered. Instead, she took it lying down, and it paved the way her life would end up heading.
Since Coco never realized that she deserved better than what everyone around her was getting, no one should have expected her life to go any different than anyone else’s life. But a flicker of hope stood within my heart. Even when, shortly after she had Mercedes (Cesar’s baby), she became pregnant with Kodak’s baby, I had faith. She had to realize that she did not deserve this, that she did not deserve men who treated her like dirt and garbage and had no respect for her. She would see that she deserved better. But then she saw Cesar again, and she fell for his good looks and smooth-talking all over again. She had no fight against his wiling ways. And once again, she ended up pregnant. Maybe now, with Cesar in jail again and three children for her to raise on her own, she would see that she truly deserved better, maybe she would stand up for herself, and show all of those male chauvinists in her life that she does not need them. But in the end, she merely accepts all of this hardship as the way things were done. Which, in a way, is sort of true.
According to an e-mail from Giraldo Rosales to the LCPP-listserv mailing list, “1 out of 4 Latinas in the US has a child before the age of 20.” The e-mail contains an article written by Elaine Rivera. The e-mail comments that although overall teenage pregnancy rates are going down, “Latinas continue to have a much higher birth rate than their black and white counterparts.” It offers the statistic that, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Latinas had 4,813 live births compares to 2,981 for black female teenagers, and 650 for white teenage girls. This high birth rate, the e-mail goes on to say, is the main factor in the Latina high school drop-out rate. Like Coco, many of the girls cannot find or afford adequate day care for the children they are having.
A study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family discussed the impact of variables relating to the family on a teenager’s sexual activity, more specifically within two ethnic minority groups. This study includes Puerto Ricans living within the Bronx, a minority of which Coco is a part. The study discusses how certain variables, such as family income, parental education, maternal marital status, maternal monitoring, and mother-adolescent communication, affect a teenager’s likelihood to participate in sexual activity. According to the hypothesis of the authors (Kim Miller, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Rex Forehand and Beth Kotchick, both from the Institute of Behavioral Research and Psychology Department of the University of Georgia), teenagers with “less-educated and single parents, as well as those who live in families with low monthly incomes” are more likely to participate in sexual activity, particularly unprotected sexual activity (Miller). The study goes on to prove that increases in maternal monitoring, and general mother-adolescent communication lead to less frequent sexual activity and fewer partners. However, mother-adolescent communication about sexual matters has an “inconsistent association with adolescent sexual behavior.” (Miller).
This does not bode well with Rivera’s article. The Puerto Rican culture, and even the Latin culture in general, has “cultural taboos and religious restrictions that prevent them from either openly discussing sex, contraception, or choosing abortion if they get pregnant” (Rosales). Wanda Diaz, director for family health programs for the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, Inc and one of the people interviewed for the article commented that “‘Sexual issues are not discussed in many Latino families…if they can’t talk about it at home, teens are going to talk about it with their friends and peers and they many not get the right information’” (Rosales). The article continues on to discuss that the strict gender roles cause teenage girls to believe that their only option upon becoming pregnant is to have the baby. Jane Delgado, the president and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health and the author of “Salud: A Latina’s guide to Total Health,” commented that that “educational futures can get easily derailed because of family pressures along with the lack of resources…there is this sense that once you become a mother all of a sudden you as a human stop existing” (Rosales). She also comments that “‘These girls don’t see a future, but a baby is a future and they feel like they’ve accomplished something when they do get pregnant” (Rosales).
This would definitely explain Coco’s exuberance when she discovers her pregnancy, and it would explain why she eventually did everything from dropping out of school to continuing to have children. But there are programs out there that could have helped her to make something special of herself. The New York State Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention & Services (NYSAPPS) works closely with programs in New York State to help girls like Coco.
The NYSAPPS publishes an Annual Report/Data Book for every year. In the 2006/07 edition, they recognize that “unintended pregnancies or pregnancies at an early age often result in lost opportunities, perpetual poverty, and public dependence” (NYSAPPS, 12). They even go so far as to say that the health of a child born under such conditions is often much lower. These babies are at a higher risk for mortality. The NYSAPPS attempts to utilize different strategies to help meet the various needs of what they refer to as “at-risk, pregnant and parenting adolescents through 21 years of age” (NYSAPPS, 12). They have programs that offer one-on-one contact and group contact that range in length from a one-time meeting to on-going contact.
The NYSAPPS uses their community service projects to serve a variety of adolescents. Within the Bronx, 862 ‘clients’ were served by NYSAPPS-sponsored community service projects between July 1, 2006 and June 30, 2007, and 367 clients were enrolled by the community service projects during the same time (NYSAPPS, 24-25). Of these 367 clients enrolled, three were expectant parents (1%), and one was a participant with one or more children (NYSAPPS, 26). Of these people, 25% received TANF aid, another 25% received food stamps, and 100% received Medicaid (NYSAPPS, 27). This report alone proves that there are ways for Coco to have gotten all of the help she would need.
Within the Bronx, they sponsor programs through the Claremont Neighborhood Centers, located on 169th Street, and Planned Parenthood of NYC (PPNYC), located on Bleeker Street. Just as an aside, both of these programs are within one hour of each other, in heavy traffic. In addition, the report details the programs they sponsor within the Bronx.
The Claremont Neighborhood Center is fairly recently established, yet it still offers a mix of services seeking to fill the “gaps in unmet needs” (NYSAPPS, 45). Their programs include Family Support Systems Unlimited, Inc. (FSSUI), Inwood House, North Bronx Sports Association (NBSA), South Bronx Campus High School (SBCHS), and Renaissance EMS. FSSHI identifies and provides housing support and pathways to achieving increased self-efficiency. They encourage participants to complete high school, get their GED, or completion of vocational training. Inwood provides after-school programs, school counseling and summer camp options. NBSA offers an organized youth sports program to keep young teens off the streets and under the guidance of good, upstanding role models. SBCHS fosters “self-improvement, self-esteem and life skills” through its Taking Control of Your Life Health and Physical Fitness Program. Renaissance attempts to amplify the potential of inner-city teenagers in the areas of music, sports, and education.
PPNYC is considered to be the leading agent for community service within the Bronx. Their “Teen Advocate” program provides a venue for peer-to-peer transfer in information. This program also includes discussion groups where same-sexes congregate to gain the information and skills they need to make informed decisions about their sexuality, and to help avoid early, unwanted pregnancy. PPNYC also sponsors Big Brothers Big Sisters pf New York City, which provides a mentoring program that matches a new teen mother with someone who will support and guide her through the challenges of being an adolescent mother. Morris Heights Health Center has a program entitled the “Youth Changing Paths Program” to help pregnant and parenting teens to have and care for a healthy baby and to deal with the challenges of being a teenage parent.
Many of these programs, had Coco been aware of them, would have provided her with the necessary knowledge to have prevented her initial conception. However, she had said that she and Cesar had wanted the baby, and that that was why they hadn’t used contraception (LeBlanc, p 84). As such, one can assume that the programs involving abstinence and contraception would not have made any difference to her life. However, programs such as those provided by the Morris Heights Center and the Family Support Systems Unlimited, Inc. would have provided her with the necessary skills to be a successful teenage mother, and with the ability to expand out of the ‘hole’ of Bronx life. Had she used programs, such as these and the Thorpe house, effectively, and truly wanted change, she would have broken out. However, her time in the Thorpe house after she went homeless was not as successful as it could have, or should have, been. Coco was truly capable of being different. But the resources available to her she either was unaware of, or did not use effectively.
- LeBlanc, Adrienne Nicole. Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx. Scribner: New York. 2004.
- Miller, Kim S., Rex Forehand and Beth A. Kotchick. “Adolescent Sexual Behavior in Two Minority Samples: The Role of Family Variables.” Journal of Marriage and the Family. Vol. 61, No. 1. February 1999. Pp 85-98. May 14, 2008..
- New York State. Office of Children and Family Services. Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and Services (APPS): Annual Report / Data Book 2006-07. GPO. 2007. <http://ocfs.state.ny.us/main/reports/AppsAnnRepDataBook06_07.pdf>.
- Rosales, Giraldo. “1 out of 4 Latinas in the US has a child before the age of 20.” E-mail to LPCC-listserv mailing list. August 2006..
Last night, the Tony Awards were presented. I felt like they were pretty predictable for the most part, which was sort of a bummer. It might have been fun to see a couple of bigger upsets, but that’s okay.
Bold text is the winner of the category. Italicized text is who I wanted to win. Orange text is my thoughts, if I had some to share.
Author: Bruce Norris
Producers: Jujamcyn Theaters, Jane Bergère, Roger Berlind/Quintet Productions, Eric Falkenstein/Dan Frishwasser, Ruth Hendel/Harris Karma Productions, JTG Theatricals, Daryl Roth, Jon B. Platt, Center Theatre Group, Lincoln Center Theater, Playwrights Horizons
Other Desert Cities
Author: Jon Robin Baitz
Producers: Lincoln Center Theater, André Bishop, Bernard Gersten, Bob Boyett
Peter and the Starcatcher
Author: Rick Elice
Producers: Nancy Nagel Gibbs, Greg Schaffert, Eva Price, Tom Smedes, Disney Theatrical Productions, Suzan & Ken Wirth/DeBartolo Miggs, Catherine Schreiber/Daveed Frazier & Mark Thompson, Jack Lane, Jane Dubin, Allan S. Gordon/Adam S. Gordon, Baer & Casserly/Nathan Vernon, Rich Affannato/Peter Stern, Brunish & Trinchero/Laura Little Productions, Larry Hirschhorn/Hummel & Greene, Jamie deRoy & Probo Prods./Radio Mouse Ent., Hugh Hysell/Freedberg & Dale, New York Theatre Workshop
Venus in Fur
Author: David Ives
Producers: Manhattan Theatre Club, Lynne Meadow, Barry Grove, Jon B. Platt, Scott Landis, Classic Stage Company
I feel like this was really predictable. Everyone was either talking about Clybourne v. Starcatcher or Clybourne v. Desert Cities. I wish Starcatcher had won. Their story and work seems so much more exciting and creative.
Leap of Faith
Producers: Michael Manheim, James D. Stern, Douglas L. Meyer, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, Annette Niemtzow, Daryl Roth, Robert G. Bartner, Steven and Shanna Silva, Endgame Entertainment, Patricia Monaco, Debi Coleman, Dancap Productions, Inc., Steve Kaplan, Relativity Media, LLC, Rich/Caudwell, Center Theatre Group, Michael Palitz, Richard J. Stern, Melissa Pinsly/Celine Rosenthal, Independent Presenters Network, Diana Buckhantz, Pamela Cooper, Vera Guerin, Leading Investment Co., Ltd., Christina Papagjika, Victor Syrmis, Semlitz/Glaser Productions, Jujamcyn Theaters
Producers: Disney Theatrical Productions, Thomas Schumacher
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Producers: Scott Landis, Roger Berlind, Sonia Friedman Productions, Roy Furman, Standing CO Vation, Candy Spelling, Freddy DeMann, Ronald Frankel, Harold Newman, Jon B. Platt, Raise the Roof 8, Takonkiet Viravan, William Berlind/Ed Burke, Carole L. Haber/Susan Carusi, Buddy and Barbara Freitag/Sanford Robertson, Jim Herbert/Under the Wire, Emanuel Azenberg, The Shubert Organization
Producers: Barbara Broccoli, John N. Hart, Jr., Patrick Milling Smith, Frederick Zollo, Brian Carmody, Michael G. Wilson, Orin Wolf, The Shubert Organization, Robert Cole, New York Theatre Workshop
Of course I would want Newsies to win here. I mean, I am a fansie. But I didn’t want Once to win, even though I knew they would, because not once during the show (no pun intended), did I feel like it was a musical. It was a play with music. The music was all diegetic. I think that in a musical,
some of it most of the music should be non-diegetic. Every time they sang in Once, they knew they were singing. It was a play about music. I think Newsies did a much better job incorporating a storyline with music, mostly non-digetic, and amazing dancing. And I felt like the scenes actually moved from location to location, rather than all happening in the same pub (ONCE!).
Best Revival of a Play
Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Producers: Scott Rudin, Stuart Thompson, Jon B. Platt, Columbia Pictures, Jean Doumanian, Merritt Forrest Baer, Roger Berlind, Scott M. Delman, Sonia Friedman Productions, Ruth Hendel, Carl Moellenberg, Scott & Brian Zeilinger, Eli Bush
Gore Vidal’s The Best Man
Producers: Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, INFINITY Stages, Universal Pictures Stage Productions, Barbara Manocherian/ Michael Palitz, Kathleen K. Johnson, Andy Sandberg, Ken Mahoney/The Broadway Consortium, Fifty Church Street Productions, Larry Hirschhorn/Bennu Productions, Patty Baker, Paul Boskind and Martian Entertainment, Wendy Federman, Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub, Cricket Hooper Jiranek, Stewart F. Lane & Bonnie Comley, Carl Moellenberg, Harold Thau, Will Trice
Producers: Manhattan Theatre Club, Lynne Meadow, Barry Grove, Max Cooper, Maberry Theatricals, Marks-Moore-Turnbull Group, Ted Snowdon
Producers: Manhattan Theatre Club, Lynne Meadow, Barry Grove
Best Revival of a Musical
Producers: Hal Luftig, Scott Sanders Productions, Roy Furman, Yasuhiro Kawana, Allan S. Gordon/Adam S. Gordon, James L. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Gutterman Fuld Chernoff/Pittsburgh CLO, Thousand Stars Productions, Adam Blanshay, Adam Zotovich, Robert Ahrens, Stephanie P. McClelland, Carole L. Haber, Richardo Hornos, Carol Fineman, Brian Smith, Warren & Jâlé Trepp
Producers: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, David M. Rubenstein, Michael M. Kaiser, Max A. Woodward, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Adrienne Arsht, HRH Foundation, Allan Williams
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Producers: Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Rebecca Gold, Howard Kagan, Cheryl Wiesenfeld/Brunish Trinchero/Lucio Simons TBC, Joseph & Matthew Deitch, Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub, Terry Schnuck, Freitag Productions/Koenigsberg Filerman, The Leonore S. Gershwin 1987 Trust, Universal Pictures Stage Productions, Ken Mahoney, Judith Resnick, Tulchin/Bartner/ATG, Paper Boy Productions, Christopher Hart, Alden Badway, Broadway Across America, Irene Gandy, Will Trice, American Repertory Theater
Jesus Christ Superstar
Producers: The Dodgers and The Really Useful Group, Latitude Link, Tamara and Kevin Kinsella, Pelican Group, Waxman-Dokton, Joe Corcoran, Detsky/Sokolowski/Kassie, Florin-Blanshay-Fan/Broadway Across America, Rich/Caudwell, Shin/Coleman, TheatreDreams North America, LLC, Stratford Shakespeare Festival
Best Book of a Musical
Douglas Carter Beane
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Bonnie & Clyde
Music: Frank Wildhorn
Lyrics: Don Black
Music: Alan Menken
Lyrics: Jack Feldman
One Man, Two Guvnors
Music & Lyrics: Grant Olding
Peter and the Starcatcher
Music: Wayne Barker
Lyrics: Rick Elice
I would have been okay if Bonnie and Clyde had won this, but there was no way. Everyone knew that it was Alan Menken’s turn to get a Tony.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
James Corden, One Man, Two Guvnors
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
James Earl Jones, Gore Vidal’s The Best Man
Frank Langella, Man and Boy
John Lithgow, The Columnist
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Nina Arianda, Venus in Fur
Tracie Bennett, End of the Rainbow
Stockard Channing, Other Desert Cities
Linda Lavin, The Lyons
Cynthia Nixon, Wit
Can I just say I’m glad I was wrong here. Nina Arianda brought me to tears and laughter with her speech, and I totally want to go see her performance! Plus she’s stunningly gorgeous and she seems wonderful. I’m so glad she told the Tony music off. “WHOOOAA, hold on, I might never get to do this again.” Best line ever.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Danny Burstein, Follies
Jeremy Jordan, Newsies
Steve Kazee, Once
Norm Lewis, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Ron Raines, Follies
I love Newsies. I love Jeremy Jordan. Ergo, I wanted Jeremy Jordan to win. Also, Steve Kazee was good, but he is not as cute in real life. He always looks so adorable in pictures and in video/TV format. But in real life, I was kinda disappointed.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Jan Maxwell, Follies
Audra McDonald, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Cristin Milioti, Once
Kelli O’Hara, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Laura Osnes, Bonnie & Clyde
Honestly, I would have cried tears of joy if anyone other than Audra had won. I felt like it was so obvious she was going to win, I was really rooting for Cristin, Kelli, and Laura. But it wasn’t meant to be.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Christian Borle, Peter and the Starcatcher
Michael Cumpsty, End of the Rainbow
Tom Edden, One Man, Two Guvnors
Andrew Garfield, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Jeremy Shamos, Clybourne Park
This couldn’t go any other way. Christian Borle is amazing.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Linda Emond, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Spencer Kayden, Don’t Dress for Dinner
Celia Keenan-Bolger, Peter and the Starcatcher
Judith Light, Other Desert Cities
Condola Rashad, Stick Fly
Celia Keenan-Bolger is amazing. She is absolutely fantastic. Enough said.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Phillip Boykin, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Michael Cerveris, Evita
David Alan Grier, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Michael McGrath, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Josh Young, Jesus Christ Superstar
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Elizabeth A. Davis, Once
Jayne Houdyshell, Follies
Judy Kaye, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Jessie Mueller, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Ghost the Musical
Best Scenic Design of a Play
John Lee Beatty, Other Desert Cities
Daniel Ostling, Clybourne Park
Mark Thompson, One Man, Two Guvnors
Donyale Werle, Peter and the Starcatcher
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Bob Crowley, Once
Rob Howell and Jon Driscoll, Ghost the Musical
Tobin Ost and Sven Ortel, Newsies
George Tsypin, Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark
Best Costume Design of a Play
William Ivey Long, Don’t Dress for Dinner
Paul Tazewell, A Streetcar Named Desire
Mark Thompson, One Man, Two Guvnors
Paloma Young, Peter and the Starcatcher
Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes, Follies
ESosa, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Eiko Ishioka, Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark
Martin Pakledinaz, Nice Work If You Can Get It
I actually didn’t care who won this category. At all.
Best Lighting Design of a Play
Jeff Croiter, Peter and the Starcatcher
Peter Kaczorowski, The Road to Mecca
Brian MacDevitt, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Kenneth Posner, Other Desert Cities
Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Christopher Akerlind, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Natasha Katz, Follies
Natasha Katz, Once
Hugh Vanstone, Ghost the Musical
Best Sound Design of a Play
Paul Arditti, One Man, Two Guvnors
Scott Lehrer, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Gareth Owen, End of the Rainbow
Darron L West, Peter and the Starcatcher
Best Sound Design of a Musical
Acme Sound Partners, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Clive Goodwin, Once
Kai Harada, Follies
Brian Ronan, Nice Work If You Can Get It
I was just really against Once winning everything.
Rob Ashford, Evita
Christopher Gattelli, Newsies
Steven Hoggett, Once
Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work If You Can Get It
I swear, if anyone else had won this, the Tony’s would suddenly become the biggest joke of an award. The Shmazies would suddenly take over as the most important award to get in theatre. Christopher Gattelli’s choreography is pure genius. It’s new, different, and exciting while still incorporating classic elements of dance. It’s freaking fantastic!
Best Direction of a Play
Nicholas Hytner, One Man, Two Guvnors
Pam MacKinnon, Clybourne Park
Mike Nichols, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, Peter and the Starcatcher
In addition to being partial to Newsies, I’m also a Starcatcher fan.
Best Direction of a Musical
Jeff Calhoun, Newsies
Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Diane Paulus, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
John Tiffany, Once
William David Brohn and Christopher Jahnke, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Bill Elliott, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Martin Lowe, Once
Danny Troob, Newsies
Well, that’s how the awards ended up. Once got 8 awards, but Newsies got two of the ones that really make a musical worth going to (I mean, really what is a musical without a score and without choreography? oh, that’s right…it’s a play!). Don’t get me wrong. Once is good. It’s just not my preferred style of a musical. As I said in my review of Once, I would go see it again if someone I knew would really enjoy the show wanted to go see it with me. I know a lot of people who would like Once, and will be sure to recommend it to them. It just was not my thing.
- ‘Once’ tops Tonys (variety.com)
- Tony Awards 2012: List of Winners! (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- All Last Night’s Tony Performances And Complete Winner’s List: VIDEOS (towleroad.com)
- Tony Awards: ‘Once’ And ‘Peter And The Starcatcher’ Dominate [Full Results Inside] (inquisitr.com)
- Tony winners in progress (variety.com)
- Tony awards 2012: Once scoops nine awards on night of upsets (guardian.co.uk)
- ‘Once’ crowned best musical at the Tony Awards (tv.yahoo.com)
- Musical ‘Once’ Jumps To Early Lead At 66th Annual Tony Awards (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Tony awards 2012: full list of winners (guardian.co.uk)
- ‘Once’ leads Tony Awards with 8 wins (todayentertainment.today.msnbc.msn.com)
Yep. You read that right. It says Two Broadway Show Day. And indeed, yesterday was an AMAZING two show day for me. No I did not get to perform in two shows. No I didn’t even get to perform in one show (maybe one day I’ll get a guest day in a show…DREAMS COME TRUE IN SANTA FE!!!! HEAR THAT NEWSIES/DISNEY THEATRICAL?!?!). But I did get to see TWO shows!
My high school basketball coach brought his family to visit the city, so my boss let me have the day off to spend some time with my “adopted” family. Of course, they wanted to see a show, and it had to be a matinee since they needed to drive to Philadelphia last night too. So we went out early and got tickets to see Phantom of the Opera (Broadway’s longest running show), which recently performed it’s 10,000th performance.
I love Phantom. It’s so classically beautiful, and it is extraordinarily powerful. Andrew Lloyd Webber did a fantastic job with the music. This was my second time seeing the show, and it did not disappoint. It really was a magical experience, being transported to late 19th century Paris, entering the Paris Opera House, and exploring the underground cavernous lake that leads to the Phantom’s home.
However, as magical and wonderful as Phantom was, I still walked out of the Majestic humming “Santa Fe” from Newsies. As I walked my coach and his family to their car, I hummed my way through a medley of Newsies songs. Saying goodbye I glanced at my watch (aka my smart phone), and saw that it was 4:40pm. The Newsies lottery would be starting in a few minutes. Maybe I’d stroll back down to 41st and try my luck.
At the time, I’d seen Newsies four times. I paid full price for my first ticket, Standing Room for my second, Alyssa (one of my best friends from college) won my third lottery ticket, and my fourth ticket was a lottery ticket won by a random chance pairing that has worked out splendidly! I’ve never actually won the lottery. I was 0 for 3, but always got to see the show somehow. Since I’d signed out of community for dinner, I figured, “Hey, why not?” And skipped (literally) down to 208 West 41st.
I stood in line and chatted up a few people while waiting to enter my name in the lottery, and gave away a few of my duplicate Newsies trading cards to welcome others to the Fansie family (I felt really cool handing them out). After I dropped my name in the raffle, I went for a walk around the block to get rid of my nerves. Broadway lotteries are extremely nerve-wracking! I came back and continued nervously tweeting my Fansie family, keeping them up to date.
I waited, shaking, hoping to hear my name called. It wasn’t. At all. But all of the people around me had their names called. Depressing stuff. Fortunately, one of them was CRAZY AWESOME, and her friend didn’t really want to see the show, so he gave me his ticket, and I got to see the show again!
The best part? Julie Andrews was at the show.
Yep, you read that right. JULIE ANDREWS.
“The hills are alive” Julie Andrews.
The “practically perfect in every way” Julie Andrews.
Mia Thermopolis‘ grandmother Julie Andrews for those of you who don’t appreciate the other classics.
SHE WAS THERE! I might have seen her. I’m not sure, but she met all the guys. And I’m excited just knowing that she was there, in the same theater as me, breathing the same air for two and a half blissfully wonderful hours, watching the exact same show as me.
Anyway, despite her presence, a bunch of the guys still came to the stage door and acted all calm, cool, and collected, so I took a bunch of pictures with them:
- Newsies Pun Twitter Conversation (stephanieisms.wordpress.com)
- Newsies Softball Game – May 17, 2012 (stephanieisms.wordpress.com)