Tuesday, February 27, 2018

From Big-Screen to Broadway

From Big-Screen to Broadway
By Trina Scuderi, Spring 2018 Intern

I have always loved musicals. Growing up, I would sing along to every Disney movie I owned, and in high school I joined the drama club and discovered Broadway musicals.

Broadway has recently looked to a different source of inspiration: the big-screen. There have been stage adaptations of film favorites Groundhog Day (1993), Anastasia (1997) and Shrek (2001).

One of my favorite musicals started as a movie as well. Legally Blonde: The Musical is fun, upbeat and perfectly captures the essence of its film counterpart. The characters in the musical are just as lovable and zany—possibly zanier—than the ones in film.

I was impressed with how the musical adds more depth to certain characters. Emmett reveals in the song “Chip on my Shoulder” that he grew up in Roxbury and worked multiple jobs to get himself through law school.

I saw a production of Legally Blonde: The Musical at the North Shore Music Theater a few years ago. My rants and raves about the musical convinced my mom—and entire extended family—to go, too. It was a lot of fun, and I hope to do that again someday.

The success of Legally Blonde has strengthened my excitement for more movies-turned-musicals and up next, I look forward to the musical adaptation of Mean Girls!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Lure of the Lake

The Lure of the Lake
By Alex Belloli, Spring 2018 Intern

In the 1970s, my grandfather started building a house with his family, including his four, then-teenaged sons, right on the edge of Great East Lake in Acton, Maine. Decades later, my dad would take his family back there every summer. The drive was 2.5 hours—what felt like a long way from my hometown of Framingham, Massachusetts—so during my early years visiting, I would often fall asleep on the ride.

I would be awakened by the rumbling of my mom’s minivan as it lumbered down the narrow, gravel road that ran through the woods surrounding the lake. As we got closer, the car’s roof would break through the trees, and on the last turn onto the property, the bright, blue shimmer of the lake beckoned me.

During these vacations, mornings were filled with the smell of bacon frying, afternoons were spent either learning how to swim or throwing rocks into a nearby quarry, and nights had us trying to adjust the giant antenna hanging from the porch ceiling so we could watch TV.

The house and all the memories living within were the cornerstones of my childhood. When my grandparents broke the news over 10 years ago about having to sell it, I was distraught. Though we don’t own the house anymore, I still possess all of the memories.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Rare Reads and Expensive Editions: Some of the World's Priciest Publications

Rare Reads and Expensive Editions: Some of the World’s Priciest Publications
By Erin Sherry, Spring 2018 Intern

As a lifelong book lover, I’ve been known to rack up quite the bookstore bill, and often find self-control difficult to exercise when I’m lost in the stacks. Unique copies of my favorite books, such as a holographic edition of Haruki Murakami’s A Wild Sheep Chase and a signed copy of the illustrated Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, are among my most prized possessions. However, there are some limits to how much I’m willing to spend on books, and these rare reads—cashing in as some of the most expensive titles in the world—definitely make the cut!

The Tales of Beedle the Bard (“The Moonstone Edition”), J.K. Rowling: $3.98 million
Arguably, you can’t put a price tag on the magic of the Harry Potter series. However, two copies of this handwritten and illustrated companion collection have sold for upwards of 4 million (muggle) dollars!

The Birds of America, John James Audubon: $10 million
Only 120 copies of this hand-colored, life-sized book were ever completed by the renowned artist, so its frequent moniker as “the most expensive book in the world” comes as no surprise.

Codex Hammer, Leonardo da Vinci: $30.8 million
Microsoft’s Bill Gates took this rare notebook (full of over 300 original notes and illustrations) off the market in 1994, though he has been lending it to museums once a year ever since.

Though I think I’ll remain loyal to the discount tables at my favorite bookshops until I strike the lottery, it sure is fun to dream!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Beauty and the Remake

Beauty and the Remake
By Trina Scuderi, Spring 2018 Intern

When I was little, I would have Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast playing on loop. I watched those movies so often, I’m sure even my mom could quote them verbatim. 

Recently, Disney has been reimagining these classic tales as live-action; replacing animation with actors. So it was no surprise that I was thrilled when Disney released their adaptation of Alice in Wonderland in 2010.

The 2010 version wasn’t bad as a standalone film, but it couldn’t compare to the magical quirkiness of the original. I was left disappointed. It just didn’t hold the same enchantment as its predecessor.

When the live-action Beauty and the Beast was announced, I was much more skeptical. My hesitation grew with every cast report and photo release. I almost expected to be disappointed.

Instead, the remake held the magic of the original. I was enthralled by the music, cast, CGI, everything. The cast was especially incredible. Luke Evans and Josh Gad were the perfect Gaston and LeFou, respectively. It was the Beauty and the Beast of my childhood.  

The sheer perfection of Beauty and the Beast has restored my excitement for Disney’s live-action remakes. I’m definitely looking forward to the upcoming remakes of Aladdin, The Lion King and Mulan!