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The Hanslick Girls

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

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Earth Under Fire: Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” with Lauren Scovel

“Tea?”

“Thank you,” said Lauren, taking the mug from Gwen. It wasn’t often that all three of the trio could meet together to formally discuss a book –– and even rarer that they could do so with another friend. So Gwen had pulled out the stops to make the meeting an “occasion.”

“Does everyone have their copy of ‘Silent Spring’ with them?” Gwen asked, finally taking a seat around the coffee table. Eleanor and Lauren, both resting on the couch, held up worn copies of the novel.

“I just borrowed Eleanor’s when she was done,” Dania said. “I remember most of it.”

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The Television Virtuoso: Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed A Dream”

“Ten years?” Eleanor said, with considerable shock.

“Yep, it was 2009,” Gwen confirmed. She tilted her computer screen towards her friends, showing them clearly the Wikipedia article with the date inscribed on the top.

“Wow,” Eleanor said. “It feels way more recent than that.”

“I’d say it feels longer,” Dania replied. “I mean, when was the last time you thought about Susan Boyle, really?”

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Them’s Fighting Words: Macha Theatre Works’ “Sheathed”

“Where has this writer been all my life?” Dania asked, as they traced up the stairs and onto the bustling 7th Avenue. With conviction, Dania hopped the last two steps and planted her feet on the curb –– a tiny gesture to express the fighting spirit now instilled in her.

“She has an excellent voice,” Gwen agreed, as they walked. “It’s great conversational writing. Perhaps a touch heavy on the exposition at the start, but I’ll allow it for the fantastical setting.”

“Yeah, how else are you going to explain all the backstory with the armies, and Ren’s father?” Eleanor asked. “You gotta just state it, eventually.”

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The World On Fire: Haven Theatre’s “The Total Bent”

Compared to the raucous live performances throughout the evening, Dania couldn’t help but feel the slightest tinge of letdown when the pre-recorded 1960s hits came through the speakers as the house lights rose. She longed for a version of the songs with the same raw power as the songs in The Total Bent had possessed –– but admitted to herself that perhaps that was impossible to capture on record.

“What a gutpunch,” Dania said, glancing up to the illuminated cross at centerstage. Around the stage, musicians were just packing up their instruments, scattered around the stage. Only the two keyboard players –– Frederick Harris and Jermaine Hill –– were listed as members of the cast, but it has been difficult to divorce the remaining quartet of band members from the narrative.

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