'Curse Of The Starving Class' Review

'Curse Of The Starving Class' Is More Relevant Today Than Ever Before

One of the most storied playwrights ever reveals many things in his most famous work.


A theme that seemed very common in Shepard's play was the sheer bad luck and so-called "curse" of the Tate family. This Californian farm family composed of a drunk father (Weston), a son and daughter (Wesley and Emma), and an unforgiving mother (Ella) go through struggles that become more escalated as each ego begins to grow, leading to the demise of Emma, and in turn the whole family.

The "family curse" is apparent from the beginning. Wesley, the oldest and only son, has a brief conversation with the mother, Ella, over Weston's drunk episode the night before. It was one of concern, and Wesley feels "lonely" and sees Ella calling the cops, "humiliating" the family.

When Ella gives Wesley news about selling the farm to her "lawyer friend" and moving to Europe, Wesley is almost infuriated, knowing that he takes care of the livestock and horses and tends to the home more than any of the family members. Wesley is the only Tate that really does care about the home they live in, and at times, shows real concern for the family members around him.

Emma, the younger sibling and only daughter, has aspirations of moving out of the house and is the rebel of the home. She's very brash, selfish, and almost uncontrollable, just like Weston. She threatens to leave the family by taking the Horse out of town due to lack of "consideration" that the family has for her things — Wesley pissing on Emma's chicken project, for example.

Emma later in act two gets arrested for vandalizing Alibi's Club (owned by the character Ellis) because she felt the life of crime made a quick profit and was deemed "the perfect self-employment" as explained in the middle of act two, her final words before her death. Her devious ways indeed made her pay when the Packard exploded at the end of the play.

The parents, Ella and Weston, are the most responsible for the curse set upon this family. Although they are in different stages mentally, Weston being drunk for most of the play and Ella being sober, the mistakes are very similar. They both try and sell the farmland to con-men. Taylor, a lawyer, conned Weston into buying the desert land and Ella figured she had beaten Weston into selling the home and could have filled Taylor's pocket even more.

Weston was in huge debt due to his alcohol and low-end job, so making foolish deals was detrimental to the Tate family. Ellis, the owner of the Alibi Club, also made a deal with Weston, giving Ellis the deed to the farm with $1500. However, when Taylor enters the home, Ellis believes that Weston didn't stick to his word and runs away with the cash and the house deed. This leads to the death of Emma, when two of Ellis's accomplices, Slater and Emerson, bomb Weston's Packard, the car Emma was supposed to take to leave the family.

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27 Broadway Songs That Will Inspire You To Win At Life

Time to seize the day and defy gravity with this list.

The experience of seeing a Broadway musical live is unlike anything in the world. The story, actors, characters, music, lyrics and visual aesthetic can make your emotions run wild. They can resonate with your current life, or make you think of your childhood, or even the path ahead of you. The shows can make grown men weep, empower the next generation and inspire those watching to ultimately be better people.

Personally, Broadway shows inspire me. They give me the courage to defy gravity and make history. They enable me to seize the day and claim my corner of the sky. They allow me the chance to feel electricity while I stand up to the man. I have seen too many shows to count at this point but here is a list of the most inspiring numbers that have seen on Broadway, and some that are still being performed in Times Square night after night.

1. "Seize the Day" - Newsies

Doesn't it just make you want to revolt against something?

2. "Will I?" - Rent

Just gives me chills, and makes me want to live for every single day.

3. "The Wizard And I" - Wicked

Who wants to go to Oz and be "de-greenified?"

4. "Light" - Next to Normal

I remember when show came out on Broadway. There is nothing but inspiration and hope in this show.

5. "One Day More" - Les Misérables

Just going to leave this here.

6. "The Story of Tonight" - Hamilton

Just Lin-Manuel Miranda thinking about how history is made.

7. "No One is Alone" - Into the Woods

You are not alone in loving this song.

8. "If Only You Would Listen" - School of Rock

This show was about so much more than rock 'n' roll. It was about children breaking free from the mold their parents put them in.

9. "And I am Telling You I'm Not Going" - Dreamgirls

This is the song you sing to impress people. It also got Jennifer Hudson an Oscar.

10. "History Has Its Eyes On You" - Hamilton

Miranda reminds us later in the show that sometimes the world is watching and we have to give them the best we can give.

11. "Ring of Keys" - Fun Home

An inspiring piece making audiences aware that sexuality is not a choice but rather something that is always present, even in children.

12. "When Your Feet Don't Touch The Ground" - Finding Neverland

Ever want to feel like a child again? Run away with J.M. Barrie and be in awe the whole time, especially during this song!

13. "She Used to Be Mine" - Waitress

The emotions in this song will for sure give you the feels.

14. "Corner of the Sky" - Pippin

Just a classic that has been done countless times but never gets old.

15. "Electricity" - Billy Elliot

I get chills when I listen to this song.

16. "Falling Slowly" - Once: A New Musical

We have heard multiple versions of this song at this point and they are all incredible. I mean, everything is better on Broadway, am I right?

17. "Cross the Line" - Bring It On: The Musical

Yassss to this way too short-lived production. I am so ready to cross the line!

18. "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" - The Sound of Music

Totally old school but just amazing regardless.

19. "Raise You Up/Just Be" - Kinky Boots

This number just can do no wrong. Just a bunch of drag queens and regular folk in high heels singing about being there for each other.

20. "The Circle of Life" - The Lion King

Just a classic that makes you want to hold up a baby lion.

21. "Defying Gravity" - Wicked

I am not sure what to say here...

22. "The Impossible Dream" - Man of La Mancha

Another classic song that every thespian has auditioned with before. Just up-lifting.

23. "Im Here" - The Color Purple

A song about loving yourself, something all of us could do a little bit more.

24. "This Is the Moment" - Jekyll & Hyde

This is the song you listen to before you start a new chapter in your life. It is sure to put some pep in your step.

25. "Don't Rain on My Parade" - Funny Girl

Take a bite of life with this classic. Also, the "Glee" version is pretty damn good, too.

26. "Move On" - Sunday in the Park with George

Just a little number about moving on, with Bernadette Peters. She's alright, I guess.

27. "Chip On My Shoulder" - Legally Blonde: The Musical

This song is just perfection. So much fun, and gives some great perspective to just bust your ass.

Cover Image Credit: Variety

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I Went To My First Broadway Show And It Was Tony-Worthy

To be clear, this was my first Broadway show on Broadway, and I loved almost every minute of it.


Let me just make the clarification now that this wasn't my first Broadway show I've seen. I've seen several at the Arizona Broadway Theater and also recently saw Wicked at ASU Gammage. However, this was my first ever Broadway show that I actually saw on Broadway. I was excited, to say the least. I knew it was at one of the smaller theaters on Broadway, but I was just as excited as I would have been for any of the other performances. It really all about the experience, and overall mine was great.

Deciding which show I was going to see was no small feat. I had a mini list that included Aladdin, Waitress, and Chicago. Deep down I really wanted to see Hamilton, but as a broke college student who recently started to make payments on their new car, Hamilton tickets were not even an idea. It really came down to what I could afford and what I would regret the most not seeing. So I chose Chicago. The ticket that I bought was relatively inexpensive since I sat in the far back of the theatre and would still have enough money left over for a commemorative t-shirt.

I was originally planning on going with one of my cousins that lives in New York, but her plans changed and I ended up going by myself. Some of you reading this are probably thinking, "aww that's so sad, going to the theatre by herself." Let me just squash that thought by saying how much I prefer going to things like that alone. I go to the movies alone more times than I go with someone else. That could be a whole other story on why I prefer my alone time, but in short: I'm an introvert. So I was fine seeing the musical by myself. My dad and I walked around Time Square before showtime. He dropped me off, and then we both went our separate ways for a few hours.

Like I said earlier, this was one of the smaller theaters on Broadway so it wasn't hard to find my seat. I bought my shirt before I went to my seat because I assumed there was going to be a line after the show. There wasn't, but I was still happy I got it earlier because then I could just leave after the show. My seat was literally four rows away from where the back wall of the theater was. Which was fine. I have great eyesight and I could see all of the stage clearly. That was until the large group of teenage girls sat directly in front of me and completely blocked my view of center stage.

During the first half of the musical, I was swaying side to side to get a view of the stage. I didn't want to yell at the girl and tell her to sit properly so the people behind her could see. Mainly because her mom was sitting next to her, and I didn't want that drama in the middle of the play. So during intermission, I moved seats. To my right, there were several empty rows of seats with no one for a few rows ahead of them so I thought "might as well." I made the decision to move because someone came and sat behind me about two songs into the music and started to complain that she couldn't see as well. So I took the liberty for both of us to have an experience and moved out of the way. The rest of the time was marvelous. I was able to see clearly. I sang along without having an older lady next to me judging my ability. It was fantastic.

The only thing that I wish would have happened, but I guess that only happens in lesser productions is when the audience gets to meet the cast and get an autograph. Of course, I didn't have a pen or sharpie with me so it was honestly for the best, but that would have been the cherry on top. Hopefully the next time I am in New York I have enough money to see another Broadway show. Maybe if I save up it could be Hamilton.

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