I Ranked My Top 10 Favorite Broadway Musicals So Other Theater Nerds Didn't Have To

I Ranked My Top 10 Favorite Broadway Musicals So Other Theater Nerds Didn't Have To

*jazz-hands*
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It has become a tradition for my siblings and me to go see a lot of Broadway shows every year. Last year we almost saw a musical every single month of the year. I've seen over twenty shows so far and plan to see many, many more. I have decided to rank my favorites from the shows that I've seen so far.

1. "The Color Purple," 2016 Revival.

We did not plan to see "The Color Purple" but actually went into New York to see "Les Misérables" for a matinee. After talking to one of the workers at TKTS, a place where you can get discounted tickets, we decided to go see this show. I usually know general information about the show and some songs before I go and see it with my family, this was not the case for "The Color Purple."

I went in completely blind. This show was life-changing. It was filled with female empowerment and the only musical I've seen that has had a standing ovation before curtain call. Cynthia Erivo, Cynthia Erivo, Cynthia Erivo. She went on to win the Best Lead Actress in a Musical at the Tony's even when she was up against the cast of "Hamilton." She is incredibly gifted and truly took my breath away.

2. "The Great Comet"

I was lucky enough to see "The Great Comet" twice when it was on Broadway. Based on the novel "War and Peace," this musical tells the story of a Natasha and Pierre following the lives of their family and friends through scandals and chaos in Russia. This show is all over the place, and I love it.
First of all, the set is beautiful and allows for the audience to sit on the stage and in normal seats. The entire theater is the stage and the cast is running around dancing to all of the songs. It is exciting, fun, and has good songs. An added bonus are the pierogies that they give out before the official start of the show.


3. "Hamilton"


If you haven't heard about "Hamilton" then you must be living under a rock. Not only did the show win a ton of awards but is known for being very expensive due to its popularity. When I was finally able to get tickets to see this show, most of the hype was gone and I had moved on to other musicals. I still loved the show and thought that it was an amazing production but I didn't have the same reaction to it as I did to the above-mentioned shows.

4. "Falsettos," 2017 Revival.

"Falsettos" was only on Broadway for a short period of time but I still was able to see it twice. This is a show discusses the tough topic of AIDs and how it affected people who were gay. I laughed and cried during the show which means that they must be doing something right. Even though "Falsettos" can seem to be a little all over the place, it is still an entertaining and uplifting show. I would see it again if it was still on Broadway.


5. "A Band's Visit"

"The Band's Visit" is the most recent musical that I have seen. It is nominated for Best Musical in the upcoming Tony Awards. This show is only one act but still tells a beautiful story of a band who accidentally end up in the wrong city but use their time to get to know the locals. The music in this show is extremely calming and if you need help falling asleep just put their album on replay. "The Band's Visit" has so much representation and culture that makes the show so inspiring. The cast is also super friendly and loves the support shown by their audiences.


6. "Dear Evan Hansen"

"Dear Evan Hansen" is another very popular musical and also won Best Musical at the last Tony Awards. The show follows Evan Hansen as he tries to find his place in the world. This musical talks about hard topics like suicide and mental illness but also is very relatable. The music is also very catchy and, at points, very moving. As someone who has struggled with mental illness, this show hits close to home and allows me to relate to it on many different levels.


7. "The Book of Mormon"

I saw "The Book of Mormon" with one of my best friends for her birthday a few years ago. We left the theater laughing because of the amazing cross between humor and show tunes. This is not a show for the light of heart but if you're up for it, this show will leave you begging for more. There isn't a big overall message but it is definitely entertaining.

8. "Kinky Boots"

Brendon Urie played the lead role of Charlie Prince when I went to see "Kinky Boots." I should have waited till after his opening night to go see the show because the audience was very disruptive and many people left before curtain call to go to the stage door. All theatergoers know that you can't hoot or holler during a performance. Nonetheless, the show was very upbeat and fun. I love the music and the characters were brought to life on the stage.

9. "Miss. Saigon," 2016 Revival.

"Miss. Saigon" is another show that I went into not knowing much about the production or the song. I was taken back in time to the Vietnam War to not only see some of the aspects of the war but the aftermath. The people in Vietnam were suffering and attempting to pick up the pieces to their home country. There was sacrifice, love, and loss. I am forever changed by this production.

10. "Bandstand"

"Bandstand" won a Tony Award in 2017 for its outstanding choreography by Andy Blankenbeuhler, who also choreographed the popular musicals "Hamilton" and "In the Heights." The story about a band of war veterans was entertaining and interesting, and the score was fun. The two leads gave wonderful performances. Sadly, the show is no longer on the Broadway but you can still listen to the cast album on iTunes.

Broadway has been a huge part of my life these past few years. I always walk away from a show changed because of the way the actors and stage crew are able to immerse the audience into the lives of the characters. I can't wait to see my next trip to New York.


Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Picking Passion Over Pressure Is The Answer To A Fulfillng Life

Don't crack under pressure, flourish with passion.

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What motivates your actions? The answer to this critical question can determine whether or not you are living a fulfilling life. Many of us follow a social script as if we are reading lines from a play. We succumb to the influence of those around us and roam aimlessly in the direction of the masses.

The concept of living within the confinement of certain "norms" is an expectation society calls us to uphold, and it is not an entirely negative idea. But when life becomes "a series of motions to go through", this expectation can become problematic. When you find yourself stressed out about doing whatever it is you think that you have to do, stop and ask yourself if it makes you truly happy. Are you pursuing your passion or are you just performing under pressure? To find true contentment in your life, pick passion over pressure.

Be an individual before an identity.

When people first introduce themselves to a new friend or group of people, they are quick to jump to aspects of their life that compose their identity. Many of us define ourselves by what it is we do, and not necessarily who we actually are. For example, this can include identifying as a member of a club or sports team or even defining yourself based on accolades and accomplishments you have achieved. While these are definitely adequate ways to distinguish yourself from others, have you ever stopped to look beneath the surface? It is important to know what unique qualities make you an individual and not just a part of a larger entity.

By viewing yourself as an individual, you will find your passions in life more easily and find genuine enjoyment in all that you do. Taking on an identity will only hold you under unnecessary pressure to fulfill a role that could leave you feeling unsatisfied later on.

Become self-aware.

To find out what makes you truly happy, you need to establish a clear sense of who you are. Fostering self-awareness is a journey, and it can be discovered through life experiences. In order to figure out what you love doing, push yourself out of your comfort zone to figure out what you don't love doing. This can mean joining a new club, taking a challenging class, or working in an environment that you are unfamiliar with. Once you begin to discover how you react in certain situations, use these personality traits to your advantage.

Don't make the same mistake twice, and avoid taking on a position that you know would not be compatible with your lifestyle. By becoming self-aware, you will discover your passion more easily and will be able to take on realistic opportunities that will prove to be fulfilling. When you try to become someone you are not, it will seem like there is always a lingering pressure to "keep up the act", and it will be harder to accomplish tasks because you don't truly enjoy doing them.

View outside opinions with a filtered lens.

Don't let others dictate your future. When you make life decisions based on what other people think is best for you, you will be pleasing everyone except yourself. Consciously decide whose opinions are valid, meaningful, and constructive to your life. This can include the wisdom of close friends and relatives, professors, or a boss that has known you for years. By finding out who knows you best and who truly desires the best for your life, you can tune out the background noise and hone in on the few voices that actually do matter.

Place value in what these people have to say, and take the words of others with a grain of salt. Avoid letting irrelevant or negative opinions linger in your mind. If you allow the influence of others to infiltrate your decision making, you will find yourself in many regrettable situations and unsatisfied with the outcome of your choices. By subscribing to the helpful advice shared by those closest to you, you can foster your true passion.

Practice positive thinking. 

You can't find out what makes you happy in life without actually experiencing what happiness is. To discover your passion, adopt a positive mindset. Get out of the habit of mentally putting yourself down, and take the word "can't" out of your thought process. The more mental blocks you put on yourself, the less likely you are to have good experiences. Release your inhibitions and train your brain seek positivity in any situation.

Don't allow minor inconveniences to disturb you, and remind yourself of the saying that "it is only a bad day, not a bad life." In doing so, the positive choices you make will lead you in the direction of your passion so that you can live a fulfilling life.

Be open to new ideas. 

Keeping an open mind will allow you to experience life from a new perspective. Even when something seems foreboding, treat it as a lesson. If you cannot think of a positive quality for the situation you find yourself in, then don't assign your circumstances any qualities at all. If you keep a neutral mindset, you will eliminate the possibility for disappointment. This will encourage learning and growth, which are essential in your journey to finding your true passion.

Being open to new ideas will help you avoid sticking to the status quo. By taking part in something you have never done before, you are less likely to find yourself confined by what others expect you to do.

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