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Who's Your SQUIP?

Who's Your SQUIP?

We asked the cast and creative team of Be More Chill: Who’s your SQUIP?

Breaking Down The April #Hamildrop: First Burn

Breaking Down The April #Hamildrop: First Burn

Banner Image: Joan Marcus

by Brookelynn Mason

The whole world is all kinds of fucked up over the newest #Hamildrop, “First Burn”. Twitter is blowing up, Facebook's on fire, and Instagrammers can’t decide how many hashtags to use to accurately describe the world we live in now. If you’re as completely SHOOK as I am, don’t fret—we’re going to break this down and go on this journey together. Listen to the track here while you read along...or listen as you watch the behind-the-scenes video below.

A little background info: “First Burn” is the first draft of the song “Burn” from Hamilton, as sung by Arianna Afsar, Julia Harriman, Lexi Lawson, Rachelle Ann Go, and Shoba Narayan. Yep, an alumni of Elizas past and present. Oh, and let’s take a moment to gush about the absolute genius of Alex Lacamoire, because it needs to be mentioned that these women weren’t in the same room (where it happened) together recording this piece of magic. Yeah, nbd, Lac gonna Lac, all day err' day. Five different Elizas, all portraying the kaleidoscope of emotions Eliza goes through during this moment, in one badass track? Abso-fuckin'-lutely.

Let’s break it down. Eliza comes out SWINGING, wasting no time to put Alex in his place with “Don’t take another step in my direction”. It’s the beginning of a motif that runs throughout the whole song, which is written in such a way that we can imagine Eliza interrupting Hamilton’s words and actions while he tries to make excuses for himself. It changes the story—instead of a silent decision to rid herself of his written word, she confronts him face to face and DESTROYS HIM. This whole stanza totally fucks you up in the best way:

Heaven forbid someone whisper
"He's part of some scheme"
Your enemy whispers
So you have to scream
I know about whispers
I see how you look at my sister

So here we have an Eliza consumed with fury, just totally wrecking Alex with everything she can possibly throw at him. “Fuck it, here are all the ways in which you are an absolute shit human being” should be the subtitle of this song. She’s not just burning his letters; she’s setting the whole world on fire and then walking away with her middle finger in the air. Just when you think she’s roasted Alex to a charred-black shell of a man, she even muhfuggin' takes it a step further:

And when the time comes
Explain to the children
The pain and embarrassment
You put their mother through
When will you learn
That they are your legacy?
We are your legacy

You tell him, Eliza!

Want more of “First Burn”? The most recent episode of The Hamilcast has commentary and an EXCLUSIVE listen at Lin-Manuel Miranda’s original demo, that you cannot find anywhere else except the podcast. Listen here!

These People Are Writing Your New Favorite Musicals

These People Are Writing Your New Favorite Musicals

Banner Image: Natalie Powers

Every year, the American Theatre Wing gives out several Jonathan Larson® Grants to musical theater writers who are continuing the RENT composer's dream of merging musical theater (back) into pop culture.

This year's winners are Jay Adana, Andrew R. Butler & Andrew Farmer, Emily Kaczmarek & Zoe Sarnak, and Mark Sonnenblick. Check out The American Theatre Wing's Facebook Live of the grant presentations to see them performing songs from musicals that are still in development. There's some really dreamy moments in there!

Highlights:

17:45: "Moon Shine" from Jay Adana’s new musical The Loophole, which about a bi-racial scientist in Georgia during the Civil War. Yo, that bassline at 19:45? So groovy!

30:45: “Travelin’ Song”  from Andrew R. Butler & Andrew Farmer's delightfully weird sounding new musical Finn The Fearless. Get your stompin' boots on for 34:30.

44:50:  "Open Water" from Emily Kaczmarek & Zoe Sarnak's new musical Afloat , which takes place in the year 2100. Dear Evan Hansen fans: prepare yourselves for 48:00.

56:25: "Where I Am", the opening number  from Mark Sonnenblick's new musical Devotion. Sophia Ann Caruso (from Lazarus and Runaways) will break your heart at 1:00:45. Hey, peep 40 Under 40 star Jordan Tyson in there?

1:09:00: For the grand finale, George Salazar (!), Lilli Cooper from SpongeBob SquarePants, and Colin Hanlon sing "Louder Than Words" from Jonathan Larson's tick, tick…BOOM!

The 2018 YesBroadway 40 Under 40

The 2018 YesBroadway 40 Under 40

by Sam Maher, Brookelynn Mason, Olivia Lusk, Gianluca Russo, Brian Cudina, Tyler Conroy, and Tom Coppola.

YesBroadway's 40 Under 40: Broadway Class of 2018 is chock full of NYC theater people who are poised to be names as big as Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt one day very soon. Get to know them now and be a Broadway star early adopter!

P/S Follow them all on Twitter here.

The YesBroadway Podcast is BACK!

The YesBroadway Podcast is BACK!

The YesBroadway Podcast: Designed to be listened to on a 25-30 minute subway ride, we discuss what shows to see, Broadway/NYC theater pop culture news and features, and upcoming shows to get tickets to now.

Highlights from The Shubert Foundation 2018 High School Theatre Festival

Highlights from The Shubert Foundation 2018 High School Theatre Festival

The Shubert Foundation High School Theatre Festival welcomes hundreds of NYC high schoolers to perform on a Broadway stage. There may be some future Tony Award winners in here! Check it out:

Your new favorite album: Kyle Riabko's Richard Rodgers Imagined

Your new favorite album: Kyle Riabko's Richard Rodgers Imagined

Your New Favorite Album: Kyle Riabko's Richard Rodgers Imagined

Remember hunky Broadway star Kyle Riabko from Spring Awakening and Hair? Well, he's got a real knack for reimagining classics, selling out NYC and London venues a few years ago with his show What's It All About?: Bacharach ReimaginedNow, he's back at it...this time with swoonworthy covers of classic Richard Rodgers songs from all your favorite musicals. 

The first track of Richard Rodgers Reimagined is an acoustic version of "Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'" from Oklahoma that will make you feel like you're waking up a bright summer day when all is right with the world. As the album continues, you slowly fall in love with Kyle's soothing arrangements of these classic showtunes. His version of  "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel will make you hope and pray that the upcoming Broadway revival will sound as fresh and as relevant as this. Hear some snippets of the album in the video below.

Bonus: Wanna see him perform live? You're in luck. He'll be playing songs from the album at Joe's Pub in November.

Keep 'em comin', Kyle! This album sounds goooooood.

You Should Be Freaking Out About Steven Universe

You Should Be Freaking Out About Steven Universe

Banner Image: Rebecca Sugar

You Should Be Freaking Out About Steven Universe

Um, did you know that Cartoon Network's Steven Universe:

  • is the first animated series on the network to be created solely by a woman?
  • defies heteronormativity and cisnormativity with tons of queer characters?
  • is chock full of really catchy songs that are sung by all of your favorite Broadway stars?

Well, series creator Rebecca Sugar writes most of these crush-worthy songs herself and when she enlisted Broadway stars to sing them, we're freaking the eff out!

5 videos you'll be obsessed with IN ABOUT TEN MINUTES:


Kween Patti LuPone (yes, that's right...Patti. LuPone.) slays in this incredible villain song. She battles with Christine Ebersole every night on Broadway in War Paint, but here she is battling a rag tag team of rebels.


Deedee Magno Hall, who took over for Lea Salonga in Miss Saigon back in the 1990's (no big deal) is the voice of Pearl. This superb ballad about a woman that left her for another man belongs on Broadway IMMEDIATELY.



See? And Deedee Magno Hall's "and Pearl..." at 2:57 is the aural equivalent of the heart eyes emoji in this extended version of the Steven Universe theme song:


This song right here will make you yearrrrrn for British pop star Estelle to headline a Broadway show one day soon. Cynthia Erivo as Burr with Estelle as Hamilton? #DreamCasting


Another good one from Estelle. In this song, her character is teaching young people who are in love how to think through their anxieties so they don’t get destroyed by them. That shift at 1:03, tho...


Yeah. We're obsessed, too. Bingewatching: Go!...and maybe a Broadway musical of Steven Universe?