Category Archives: Music

Jagged Little Pill Broadway Musical Review

Family is complicated. Life is complicated. Bring those together and you have a complicated reality.

The new musical, Jagged Little Pill (based on the groundbreaking 1995 album by Alanis Morissette) takes place in suburban Connecticut. The Healy family appears to be picture perfect. Steve Healy (Sean Allan Krill) works long hours in the city, creating an emotional rift between himself and his family. His wife, Mary Jane (Elizabeth Stanley) does everything she can to be the perfect wife and mother. But an off stage car accident and a prescription for post surgery pain killers has led Mary Jane down the road to addiction.

Their son, Nick (Derek Klena) is everything a parent would wish for in a teenage son. His collegiate path seems to be headed straight to the Ivy Leagues, but Derek is not sure if this is the best option for him. Adopted daughter Frankie (Celia Rose Gooding) is unsure about her place in her mostly White community. Focused on social justice and getting into a relationship with her best friend Jo (Lauren Patten) is only the beginning of her struggles.

With a book written by Diablo Cody, Jagged Little Pill is more than the standard jukebox musical. The narrative includes thorny issues such as addiction, sexual assault, finding your sexuality, growing up, etc. But instead of being written as if standing on a soapbox, Cody naturally integrated the issues into a story of a family going through a rough patch.

Though the impression is that one needs to be a fan of Morissette and her music to enjoy the show, that is not necessarily true. It helps to know the songs, but not knowing them is not a deterrent for seeing and enjoying the show. I don’t see Broadway musicals very often, but this (for me at least) is one for the books.

I will warn that some long time Morissette fans might be a little put off by change of some lyrics. The changes were only made to match the narrative and are still the same songs that we have known and loved for 25 years.

I absolutely reccomend it.

Jagged Little Pill is playing at the Broadhurst Theater in New York City. Check the website for showtimes and ticket prices.

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Filed under Broadway Musical Review, Feminism, Music

Jillian Michaels is Fat-shaming Lizzo

One of the major problems we have in our culture, especially when it comes to women, is the idea that we have to be a certain size. Any woman who does not fit into the minuscule sizes prescribed by Hollywood, Madison Avenue or the fashion industry is essentially told that she is wrong for not fitting into their vision of how a woman should look.

Lizzo is one of the newest and hottest stars in the music industry at the moment. She is also not a size 2.

Recently, she has been the recipient of criticism because of her size. Television personality and trainer Jillian Michaels (known for The Biggest Loser) publicly berated the singer for her size.

Granted, there are valid health risks when someone is overweight.

However, the idea that someone who is thin is healthy and someone who is overweight is not healthy is a fallacy. But my main problem with her criticism is that if Lizzo was the same size as Beyonce or Taylor Swift, no one would say anything about her size.

But because Lizzo looks more like the average American woman than 99% of Hollywood, she is called out for her weight. The problem with this criticism is that it sends the wrong message to women, especially young women. Eating disorders affect too many women who embrace the idea that they have to be a certain size to be loved or to be successful.

I understand that Michaels was not speaking out of malice, but out of concern. But I wish that she and others would realize that not every woman is meant to be a size 2 and a healthy body comes in all sizes.

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Filed under Music, Television

Throwback Thursday-Lip Sync Battle (2015-Present)

Music, like any form of art, has a way to bringing people together.

Lip Sync Battle has been on the Paramount Network schedule since 2015.

Co-hosted by LL Cool J and Chrissy Teigen, the premise of the show is that two celebrities battle each other via elaborate lip syncing performances. The winner of each episode is chosen by the in studio audience.

This show is nothing but fun. The range of celebrities and song choice varies, which adds to the fun of the show. It’s a joy to watch and thoroughly addictive.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Music, Television, Throwback Thursday

New Randy Rainbow Video-He’s Just a GURL Who’ll QUID PRO QUO! – Randy Rainbow Song Parody

The term “quid pro quo” has been bandied about the press and the voting public since the impeachment proceedings against you know who started last week. In laymen’s terms, it means that one person will do something for another person, but the first person expects something in return.

Randy Rainbow’s latest video is entitled “He’s Just a GURL Who’ll QUID PRO QUO! – Randy Rainbow Song Parody“.

Based on the song “I Cain’t Say No” from the Rogers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma!. The original song is a euphemism describing the sexual blooming of the character of Ado Annie, a young lady with more male attention than she knows what to do with. This is a perfect song to parody how whorish (for lack of a better term) you know who is to stay in office.

I wish I could say that the circus that is the current state of politics will soon be going away. But with a Presidential election less than a year away and a President with autocratic tendencies, this circus will be our political normal for quite some time.

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Filed under Music, Politics, Randy Rainbow

Did T.I. Check if His Sons are Still Virgins?

The inclination of a good parent is to protect their child from the evils of the world. But, at a certain point, protecting one’s child should be replaced by trusting that child and being able to have an honest conversation about difficult topics.

In music news, rapper T.I. has admitted that he goes to the gynecologist with his eighteen-year-old daughter to confirm that her hymen is still intact. In other words, he is checking if she is still a virgin. According to medical experts, having an intact hymen (or lack thereof) is not an indication of whether one is still a virgin.

There are so many things that are wrong with this story. Granted, his daughter is young and he is looking out for her. However, this story smacks of the idea that she is not a flesh and blood human being with dreams, faults, and ambitions. She is a thing to be owned.

I have to wonder if he took his sons to the doctor to confirm the same information. But then again, a boy’s sexuality is never questioned in the same way that a girl’s sexuality is questioned.

I’m not a parent, but I know enough to understand the difference between a concerned parent and a parent who crosses boundaries. This is clearly a case of crossing boundaries.

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Filed under Feminism, Music

Flashback Friday-Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School (2007)

In the world of reality television shows, a spin off is common place. The question is, if the spin off, like any sequel is worthy of it’s predecessor?

In 2007, Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School premiered on VH1. A spin off of Flavor of Love, the show was hosted by Mo’Nique. The purpose of the program was to teach etiquette to the female contestants from the two seasons of Flavor of Love. The winner would walk away with $50,000 and the title of Charm School Queen.

I have to admit that I am a former reality show addict. I didn’t watch every show, but this one I did watch. Though it had some appeal at the time, at the end of the day, it was just another reality show.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Music, Television, TV Review

New Randy Rainbow Video-“GIULIANI! (Here He Goes Again) – Randy Rainbow Song Parody”

Those of us who are above a certain age remember the dark days just after 9/11. It was nothing but chaos and grief. Back then, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) was a light in that darkness. He was one of a handful of officials who helped to get New York City and the country back on it’s feet.

These days, he’s a joke. Known more for being you know who’s personal legal lackey, he is not the man the public thought he was 18 years ago.

Enter Randy Rainbow’s new video, entitled “GIULIANI! (Here He Goes Again) – Randy Rainbow Song Parody”. Using ABBA‘s classic song “Mamma Mia” as a cornerstone, this song perfectly explains that this former NYC mayor is not what he used to be. He is not only talking out of his behind, he is one of the idiots who is putting America on the road to Hades in a hand basket.

Just another reason to get you know who out of office.

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Filed under Music, New York City, Politics, Randy Rainbow

Demi Lovato Should Not Apologize About Visiting Israel

Travel happens for many reasons. For business, for pleasure, to visit loved ones, etc.

Recently, music star Demi Lovato visited Israel. Since returning home, she was forced to apologize for her trip.

There should be no need to apologize for her trip. For whatever reasons she had, she chose to spend her free time in Israel.

The sad and disgusting irony of this unnecessary apology is that if she had chosen to visit any other country, it wouldn’t have even made the news. But because she chose to visit Israel, it becomes a big deal.

Israel is a beautiful country with warm people, delicious food and the opportunity to walk through history while living in the present. I apologize to Ms. Lovato that she was forced to apologize and I suggest that if you have the chance to visit Israel, you take it. It may be the vacation of vacations.

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Filed under International News, Music, World News

Judy Movie Review

Judy Garland was a performer with a capital P. She is an icon above icons, a movie star in every sense of the word. She was a human being whose life off camera was far from perfect.

The new movie, Judy, tells the story of the last years of Judy Garland‘s (Renee Zellweger) life. She is no longer the young starlet (played by Darci Shaw) who was the apple of the movie-going audience’s eye. At the age of 47, she is battling addiction and facing major career and financial hurdles while trying to be a good mother.

The only gigs she can get are small clubs. Then she is offered a series of concerts at London’s Talk of the Town. Knowing that it is her only option, she takes it. While in London, she marries her fifth and final husband Mickey Deans (Fitt Wittrock) and is given to Rosalyn Wilder (Jessie Buckley), who acts as her assistant.

Judy has the reputation, but can she be the performer that she is known to be or will her personal demons get in the way?

This movie is awesome and without a doubt, is Oscar bait. Zellweger completely disappears into the role, making the audience forget that it is not the real Judy Garland that they are watching. Based on the stage play End of the Rainbow, by Peter Quilter, this film is many things. It is a tearjerker, a reminder of how destructive addiction can be and a story of fighting to survive when it feels like all is lost.

I absolutely recommend it.

Judy is presently playing in theaters.

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Filed under Movie Review, Movies, Music

Thoughts On the Post 9/11 Generation

Tomorrow is 9/11.

Those of us who are of a certain age and older will forever remember that day and the following days after the towers fell. I will never forget coming home for fall break from college in October of 2001 and craning my neck to see the remains of the towers as the bus drove into New York City.

I sometimes wonder what the kids who were very young or not yet born (Gen Z) think and know about September 11th. Especially that tomorrow is 18 years since the attack. An entire generation has grown up with 9/11 as just another aspect of their lives.

I wonder if they see it as living history or just as history in the same way that my generation sees Vietnam or the assassination of JFK (for context, I am in my late 30’s). I would hope that they understand how significant and life changing that day was for this country. I hope that they mourn and remember those who 18 years ago tonight, had no idea that their time on Earth was growing short.

May the memories of those who perished that day and of those who sacrificed their time, the health and ultimately their lives in the days after 9/11 to be a blessing to us all. Z”l.

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Filed under History, Music, New York City, Thoughts On....