Posted in Books, Music

whoops, evermore is my favorite actually: an album dissection (with book recs!)

Yes, I’m back with another album dissection. ’tis the damn season.

No one expected a second Taylor Swift album release in 2020, least of all me.

I didn’t see how evermore could live up to folklore.

It did…and it might be my new favorite album.

Hear me out:

Continue reading “whoops, evermore is my favorite actually: an album dissection (with book recs!)”
Posted in Music

folklore is my favorite: an album dissection

I’ve listened to Taylor Swift’s folklore close to two dozen times since its release.

And, yes, despite my big research project not too long ago, my beloved reputation has been ousted by newcomer folklore.

Folk is a very natural fit for Taylor Swift’s vocal stylings – I’m surprised no one thought to explore this pairing sooner.

folklore feels more vulnerable than past albums. It ups the yearning quotient to levels we haven’t seen since “You Belong With Me” and includes plenty of POTENTIALLY QUEER CONTENT. (Yes, I know what Taylor said about “betty.” She is wrong.)

I wanted to talk about each track individually because, even after a month, I can’t stop thinking about them.

Continue reading “folklore is my favorite: an album dissection”
Posted in Theater

Converted by same-sex “Oklahoma”

A good adaptation can change your mind about a play.

To put a twist on the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival retooled “Oklahoma” as a queer romance featuring multiple gay, transgender, and gender-nonconforming characters.

Pairing
Bobbi Charlton and Tatiana Wechsler as Aunt Eller and Curly McLain

I won’t be able to watch straight “Oklahoma” ever again. The same-sex interpretation makes a lot of sense – barely any of the original text had to be changed to fit the f/f and m/m romances. In some cases, the original jokes become even funnier; one notable scene has the townsfolk shocked to learn Gertie Cummings married a MAN. Director Bill Rauch exhibits a keen sense of humor, advising actors to lean into the pronoun changes and other absurdities.

By abandoning historical accuracy, OSF’s production explores a fantastical world where same-sex attraction is a nonissue. This decision makes the now-homophobic Jud all the more frightening. His handsiness with both Laurie and Curly (and each woman’s subsequent discomfort), along with his description of burning down a farm after catching two girls together, threatens the accepting idyll of the Oklahoman townsfolk.

Before this, I hated “Oklahoma.” I scorned the original film, unimpressed by the supposedly “groundbreaking” musical.

I enjoyed the 5th Avenue Theatre’s 2012 attempt more, but that production still had problems. While casting a black man as Jud gave new energy to the material, Jud’s murder at Curly’s hands added a bleak ending to the thin story.

OSF’s “Oklahoma” strikes a balance: it retains the perky innocence of the original without leaning away from the horror angry men can bring. In fact, the same-sex interpretation boosts a fairly weak script, strengthening a once-tired classic for years to come.

“The world is changing,” cowgirl Curly says in the second act, “and we gotta change with it.”

I couldn’t agree more, so today I switch teams.

I’m Pro-klahoma and proud.

 

(You can catch “Oklahoma” at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland Oregon now until October 27.)

Posted in Books

TERRIBLE PROSE TUESDAY: Harry Potter phenomena I don’t understand

If you hadn’t guessed, I love Harry Potter. It’s a story I return to often and enjoy even more with every read.

I’m not too crazy about the fanbase.

I wouldn’t say it’s an entirely negative reaction, but more of a puzzled one. The fanbase has decided on things that I don’t agree with and/or comprehend and I wanted to take today to go through some of those things. Continue reading “TERRIBLE PROSE TUESDAY: Harry Potter phenomena I don’t understand”