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The Hanslick Girls

"Three is company, safe and cheery" -Stephen Sondheim

The American Fairytale: NBC’s “The Wiz Live!”

Meet the Hanslick Girls: Gwen, Eleanor and Dania. Created by writer Zach Barr, they are a trio of friends who are always out experiencing the best of entertainment. Be it plays, films, concerts, exhibits, or games, they’ve learned that the arts are best when experienced together. They may not have the same opinions, but their conversations tend to make for an entertaining read. Today, we throw it back to the Girls discussion of NBC’s third attempt at a live musical: the 2015 broadcast of Smalls & Brown’s The Wiz (1974). Let’s listen in on their conversation…

 

Dania was shook. Fully and fundamentally, she had not been prepared for what she just saw. She had been nervous with excited anticipation, for sure. After the delightful trainwrecks that were NBC’s previous specials, The Sound Of Music Live! and Peter Pan Live!, it only made sense that she would expect nothing less of the third iteration of the newly-revived live musical trend. The Wiz was not exactly a household name the way the other two were – premiering in 1975, after the era where Broadway musicals dictated the popular songbook, and perhaps most famous today for its film adaptation, which not even Diana Ross and Michael Jackson could save.

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Our Iconic Art: Katsushika Hokusai’s “Beneath The Wave Off Kanagawa”

Meet the Hanslick Girls: Gwen, Eleanor and Dania. Created by writer Zach Barr, they are a trio of friends who are always out experiencing the best of entertainment. Be it plays, films, concerts, exhibits, or games, they’ve learned that the arts are best when experienced together. They may not have the same opinions, but their conversations tend to make for an entertaining read. This week, the Girls dove into one of the most famous oceanic images from the art world. Let’s listen in on their conversation…

 

“It’s over here!”

“Where?”

“Japanese Art, obviously.”

“Okay, got it, got it.”

The girls bounded down the stairs, Eleanor in the lead. She walked quickly into the thin hallway for Japanese Art, and had barely made it more than a dozen steps into the gallery before stopping. She wormed around an elderly couple to get a better look into the glass case embedded in the wall.

“That’s it,” she said. “It’s over here, guys!”

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Take My Word: “LeVar Burton Reads”

Meet the Hanslick Girls: Gwen, Eleanor and Dania. Created by writer Zach Barr, they are a trio of friends who are always out experiencing the best of entertainment. Be it plays, films, concerts, exhibits, or games, they’ve learned that the arts are best when experienced together. They may not have the same opinions, but their conversations tend to make for an entertaining read. Recently, the Girls rediscovered the magic of LeVar Burton’s voice, returning from his Reading Rainbow days, on a brand new podcast. Let’s listen in on their conversation…

 

Gwen liked to listen to music while she cooked. Usually, it was slow, casual music, the kind that she could describe as “floating” through the air, complementing the scent of the food. Musicals, she often said, were ideal.

So she was initially dismissive when Eleanor and Dania both, independently, suggested she listen to a podcast instead. Gwen loved podcasts, certainly, but preferred to cook to music that she could acknowledge distantly. Podcasts required your attention to be undivided – or, at least, less divided than she could give while cooking. But both her flatmates insisted that LeVar Burton Reads was still ideal.

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Drawn Through History: Marjane Satrapi’s “Persepolis”

Meet the Hanslick Girls: Gwen, Eleanor and Dania. Created by writer Zach Barr, they are a trio of friends who are always out experiencing the best of entertainment. Be it plays, films, concerts, exhibits, or games, they’ve learned that the arts are best when experienced together. They may not have the same opinions, but their conversations tend to make for an entertaining read. Recently, the Girls discussed “Persepolis,” Marjane Satrapi’s complex graphic novel about her maturation in Iran. Let’s listen in on their conversation…

 

“Did you ever read the book that it was based on?”

“Like, the comic?”

“The graphic novel, yeah.”

“I did, actually,” Eleanor said.

“Really?” Gwen asked.

“Sure,” Eleanor said. “I mean, I should probably re-read it, but I remember most of it. The story is mostly the same between the comic and the movie.”

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