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The Hanslick Girls

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

Tag / live musical

Smile, Darn Ya, Smile: The 5th Avenue Theatre’s “Annie”

This had been Dania’s suggestion.

As far back as she could remember, Gwen had always been the person scheduling performances and telling the others what shows they would go see. But during this jaunt to Seattle, Dania had looked up the local arts scene, and specifically requested a trip to see Annie at the 5th Avenue Theatre.

It was obvious why. Dania had grown up with Annie, one of the few musical soundtracks she had listen to as a child, since it was family-friendly. As Gwen had railed against the absences of any legitimate stakes in the plot, and naturally had choice words to say about the most recent film adaptation, Dania had held fast to her adoration for the tale of the plucky orphan and her sugar daddy (“God, the word ‘Daddy’ just isn’t the same nowadays, is it?” Dania had cooed just moments before the musical began).

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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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