Controversy on Broadway

Controversy on Broadway

Results In Show's Closing

Today is a sad day for Broadway as Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 closes its doors. The show was supposed to be the next Hamilton, but while tickets for the latter are still impossible to come by and continues to extend its run, the former was forced to close early partly as a result of racial controversy.

Josh Groban, the original Pierre for the Broadway run, had a big enough name to sell a lot of tickets and is one of the main reasons why this broke college student dropped $190 on the closest seat I could get to him. After Groban ended his run mid July, the African-American actor, Okieriete Onaodowan of Hamilton fame, was set to take over. Although a talented performer, Onaodawan had yet to become well-known outside of the Lin-Manuel Miranda-obsessed community, and ticket sales began to dwindle to the point of where the show was under financial duress. Producers thought in order to save the show, a bigger headliner was needed to boost the box office and began searching for another actor.

Producers then reached out to Tony Award winning Mandy Patinkin, famous for his role as Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride, asking him to make his Broadway return as the melancholy Pierre. There was only one issue: due to Patinkin’s Homeland schedule, his three week run was to start August 15th prematurely forcing Onaodowan out of his role. The show immediately received backlash when the Broadway community discovered the abrupt replacement of a black actor with a white actor, and critics took to Twitter to condemn the producer’s actions while devout fans rebutted with tweets of their own to defend their beloved show. Even though Patinkin decided to step down as Pierre, the damage was already done, and The Great Comet was condemned to close early.

Hamilton made headlines casting actors of color as the founding fathers, and The Great Comet attempted to do the same. Having seen the show first-hand back in March, I can attest to the diversity of the cast, despite the primarily white landscape that is nineteenth century Russia. In fact, nearly half of the cast is nonwhite, including many of the principal characters such Denée Benton’s Natasha, Amber Gray’s Hélène, and Nick Choksi’s Dolokhov, and the show actually received the

Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity on Broadway Award from Actors Equity’s National Equal Employment Opportunity Committee. After the initial controversy, the cast even made a one minute video attempting to highlight the cast’s differences while communicating the importance of diversity in art.

Although Onaodowan was treated poorly by the show’s producers, I believe the decision made was a business-oriented instead of racially motivated. In fact, it’s ridiculous to target arguably the most diverse show currently on Broadway when shows like Anastasia, or as I like to call it the other show that took place in Russia, as well as the critical darling Dear Evan Hansen have all-white casts. It’s terrible to treat actors as means of making money, because musical theatre should be about the art and not profit, but at the end of the day, money is what keeps shows going, and sometimes it’s necessary to cast actors who are going to fill seats.

It is unfortunate and ironic that a casting decision made in an attempt to save the show was what led to its sudden and dramatic demise, effectively silencing the voices of many actors of color. I think the real tragedy, however, was the social media witch hunt the show endured as critics were so quick to persecute the show without first understanding the bigger picture. It’s easy to hide behind a Twitter handleand bash The Great Comet without knowing all the thought that went into this decision, especially since 140 characters could not possibly begin to cover the facts. This experimental work was honestly the best theatrical experience I have ever had, but I think that the show had yet to reach the commercial success it was hoping because it departed so far from the theater-going norm. Unfortunately, fans will never know how far this comet could have soared, but they can at least hope for a revival.

Goodbye, my Gypsy lovers. I’m sorry that Broadway was just not ready for you yet.

Cover Image Credit:

Popular Right Now

75 Of The Most Iconic Vine Quotes

"I smell like beef"


Vine may be dead but Vine references live on. I still watch Vine threads AT LEAST twice a day. Here are 75 of the most quotable vines:

1. "Ooooooo, he needs some milk."

2. "Hi, welcome to Chili's."

3. "It is Wednesday, my dudes."

4. "Country boy, I love you ahhhwweelhwh..."

5. "Escalera oooooooaaaa!"

6. "F**k ya chicken strips!"

7. "Barbecue sauce on my titties."

8. "Gimme your F**KING money!"

9. "That was legitness."

10. "Ms. Keisha, MS. KEISHA! Oh my f**king God, she f**king dead."

11. "Fre-sha-vocado."

12. "Staaaahp! I coulda dropped my croissant!"

13. "That's my OPINION."

14. "You're not my dad, ugly ass f**king noodle head."

15. "What the f**k, Richard."

16. "This bitch empty, YEET!"

17. "Road work ahead? Yeah, I sure hope it does."

18. "What up, I'm Jared I'm 19, and I never f**king learned how to read."

19. "Um, I'm never been to oovoo javer."

20. "My God, they were roommates."

21. "Why are you running, why are you running?"

22. "Whoever threw that paper, your mom's a hoe."

23. "I can't swim."

24. "Lebron James."

25. "It's an avocado, thanksssss..."

26. "Mother trucker dude, that hurt like a butt cheek on a stick."

27. "Watch your profanity."

28. "I love you bitch, I ain't never gonna stop loving you, biiiiiitch."

29. "What are thoooooose?"

30. "I smell like beef."

31. "You better stop."

32. "What the F**K IS UP KYLE?"

33. "Come get y'all juice."

34. "Two bros, chilling in a hot tub, 5 feet apart cause they're not gay."

35. "So you just gonna bring me a birthday gift on my birthday to my birthday party on my birthday with a birthday gift?"

36. "I wanna be a cowboy, baby."

37. "Why you always lying?"

38. "Nice Ron" "I sneezed, oh, what, am I not allowed to sneeze?"

39. "I'm washing me and my clothes."

40. "Honey, you've got a big storm coming."

41. "XOXO, gossip girl."

42. "Shoutout to all the pear."

43. "A potato flew around my room before you came."

44. "Chipotle is my life."

45. "Look at all those chickens!"


47. "I like turtles."

48. "It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life, watermelon, INSIDE A WATERMELON."

49. "Deez nuts, HA GOT EM?"

50. "F**k you, I don't want no ravioli."

51. "21."

52. "I'm in my mum's car, broom broom."

53. "Iridocyclitis."

54. "You know what, I'm about to say it."

55. "That is NOT correct."

56. "Uh, I'm not finished" "Oh my God, can you let me do what I need to do?"

57. "I have osteoporosis."

58. "ADAM."

59. "Merry Chrysler."

60. "Wait a minute, who ARE you?"

61. "Try me, bitch."


63. "I didn't get no sleep cause of y'all, y'all not gone get no sleep cause of me!"

64. "Do you want to go see Uncle Cracker or no?"

65. "So no head?"

66. "You got eczema."

67. "I am shooketh."

68. "Hey my name is Trey, I have a basketball game tomorrow."

69. "Can I PLEASE get a waffle?"

70. "There is only one thing worse than a rapist." "A child."

71. "Ah f**k, I can't believe you've done this."

72. "Bitch, I hope the f**k you do."

73. "Two shots of vodka."

74. "F**k off Janet, I'm not going to your f**king baby shower."

75. "JEEEEEZ, Jesus Christ."

Cover Image Credit:

Vine/Katie Ryan

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8 Old Katelyn Tarver Songs You Probably Haven't Heard

None of her new songs will ever go as hard as "Chasing Echoes" and that's a fact.


Years ago, I found (through iTunes recommendations) a pretty cool female artist. Later found out she was on "Big Time Rush", and then I found out she had some new songs out. I decided to give her new songs a listen, and they're good. However, I prefer some of her older stuff, which sadly isn't on Spotify. Fortunately, YouTube exists, and I'm here to share the best ones.

1. "Wonderful Crazy"

This is just a fun, upbeat song for when you're having a good day. Would recommend playing in your car with the windows rolled down.

2. "Rain"

I have a very specific memory of a time when this song blessed my life, but for all intents and purposes, it is a beautiful and happy song.

3. "I'll Make It Real"

This is a beautiful song with a wonderful message about staying true to yourself. I used to listen to it on the way to school every day my senior year of high school.

4. "Something In Me"

Featured in the greatest show of all time, "South of Nowhere" season 1 episode 6. A very relatable breakup mood.

5. "Love Alone"

This is definitely the second-hardest-hitting song she's ever released. The fact that this is not on Spotify or even iTunes anymore is just not fair.

6. "Favorite Girl"

This one's cute and upbeat, a definite crush mood. Not on the same level as "Love Alone", but it's still underrated.

7. "Closer to My Heart"

Another cute love song. I'll tie it with "Everything" for cutest love song on her first album. Highly recommend both.

8. "Chasing Echoes"

Facts are facts and the facts are that Katelyn Tarver's new stuff could never go as hard as "Chasing Echoes". I can't even begin to explain how deeply these lyrics cut through me when I was fifteen. Even now, this song can take me all the way back. She is robbing us by not making this available on streaming services (or even to purchase). Katelyn, bring this song back, I am begging you.

Anyway, I'm still enjoying the new stuff and am excited to see what's next.

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