You might have heard of “The Prom” because of Ryan Murphy’s Netflix adaptation, but the musical — and one of its protagonists, Alyssa — has been years in the making.

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Pictured (left to right) are the three Alyssas: Anna Grace-Barlow, Isabelle McCalla, and Ariana DeBose

On Friday, December 11th, Ryan Murphy’s movie adaptation of Broadway musical “The Prom” made its streaming debut on Netflix. However, “The Prom” is far from a new show, and like other movie-musical adaptations (most notably “R.E.N.T.”) had quite a journey in its development. The story follows a group of down-on-their-luck Broadway performers who, in an attempt to create positive publicity for themselves, decide to travel to Indiana in support of high-schooler Emma Nolan who is being ostracized for wanting to bring her secret girlfriend (Alyssa Green) to prom. …


Why are we pinning the burden of well-executed LGBTQ+ representation on one queer director‘s film?

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DuVall behind the scenes with Stewart and Davis. Source: Variety (https://variety.com/2020/film/features/clea-duvall-hulu-happiest-season-kristen-stewart-1234827619/)

By now, you’ve likely heard about the sapphic Happiest Season and its associated discourse unfolding over the internet. The film was advertised as a feel-good, holiday romantic comedy, but viewers were instead surprised with 102 minutes of uncomfortable development with a touch of internalized homophobia. Abby (Kristen Stewart) is invited by her girlfriend Harper (Mackenzie Davis) home for Christmas, but a mere ten minutes into the film conflict arises: Harper hasn’t yet come out to her family. …


Let’s be real: it’s hard enough to focus on a random Thursday while WFH, let alone one with the biggest election of our lifetimes underway during a global pandemic. So whether you’re trying to be productive right now or have mentally taken the week off, this Broadway themed Post-Election Playlist is here to keep you chugging along during this unreasonably long and painful waiting period. (Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5zvJNDWuOWiAWFENq0BqTg?si=yq06O54YQP2u-JoOVPUICA)

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(Source: Entertainment Weekly) Miranda and Platt at the 2018 March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C.
  1. Found/Tonight — Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen

Lin Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt came together to record this mash-up for the March for Our Lives in 2018. The result is a song that will make you cry at least once, probably more when you think about the 800,000 people who gathered in D.C. on a cold day in March to pay their respects (and demand change for) teenage school shooting victims. And then another time when you realize that teenage survivors of the shooting were the ones who organized the whole thing. …


It’s no wonder that everyone is talking about Emily in Paris. With the world being what it is right now, escaping to the beautiful city of Paris — or anywhere that isn’t broadcasting our Commander in Chief at every waking hour of the day, really — sounds better than ever.

Enter: Emily in Paris. Much like Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada, the title sets the scene and tells you exactly what you’re in for as a viewer, which is incidentally both the upside and downside of the show. On one hand, Emily’s adorable blunders in Paris — like when she mistakes the French word ‘jam’ for ‘condom’ — is both entertaining and easy to watch. On the other hand, as soon as any level of critical thought is applied towards the show, it immediately and irrevocably begins to unravel. How old is Emily? (Lily Collins spoke on this, causing more chaos). Why did her account become so famous? (There are plenty of articles, starting here and here, on how her content is far from influencer-status). …


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If you have any kind of pulse on social media, then you’ve probably heard that Taylor Swift released a new song yesterday. Unlike previous titles of hers that have hinted at notions of queerness (and I highly recommend checking out Jill Gutowitz’s Twitter feed for in depth analyses on these), ‘Calm Down’ explicitly references the LGBTQ+ community by mentioning pride parades, GLAAD, and condemning hate-speech. Naturally, this has garnered all kinds of reactions. …


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A few months ago, I turned 25. Almost immediately, everyone over the age of 25 felt suddenly qualified to give me the exact same piece of advice that sounded like something they’d read on a tote bag once: your mid-twenties are for exploration. You know — for finding yourself. I was urgently instructed to try new things, as if I hadn’t been doing that for the 24 years of my life leading up to this day, and to take actions that would put me outside my comfort zone. The whole notion felt kind of unnecessary, but I obliged. I engaged in difficult career conversations with my manager; I cooked recipes that were from actual cookbooks and not the Tasty website that I normally relied on. …


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Sometimes, I fantasize about having foot-tapping anxiety. I’m not sure of what the technical term is, but close your eyes and let me paint you a picture: a wide-eyed, female protagonist sitting cross-legged in front of her vanity, one Keds-clad foot wiggling wildly in place. Blonde hair. Blue eyes. Her cheeks are splayed with freckles that she claims to hate, but has recently started to grow fond of. She’s debating on going to prom with the popular jock with the nice hair that everyone has a crush despite the fact that he’s kind of a dick, or her best guy friend who has been hopelessly in love with her since kindergarten. Her best girl friends, lying face-forward on her bed with their ankles kicked back and crossed, tell her to follow her heart. The correct answer is always the best guy friend, but she doesn’t know that. It’ll take her the painful duration of the movie to stumble, fumble, and eventually come crashing into that guy friend’s arms after hurting him unnecessarily by forgetting he was there. I can relate to feeling forgotten so I’m in no rush to mimic that sentiment, but I want her anxiety: it is controlled and non-threatening. …

About

Sam Bellissimo

She/hers. Pop culture enthusiast and aspiring writer. My day job is marketing at IBM Watson Health and my side hustle is leading PR/Comms at Out for Undergrad.

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