“Hamilton” Address Pence

Photo (cc) 2016 by Travis Wise

“Hamilton,” Lin Manuel-Miranda’s incredibly successful hip-hop musical, may have lost a few fans this week. More specifically, it may have lost Donald Trump and his supporters.

Vice president-elect Mike Pence attended the show on November 18. During curtain call, the cast made a statement directed at Pence, expressing concern over the Trump administration.


Aaron Burr actor Brandon Dixon spoke on their behalf:

“We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. All of us.”

The next day, Donald Trump tweeted in response to the statement:

The hashtag #BoycottHamilton starting circulating on Twitter, followed by #NameaPenceMusical, which included anti-Trump/Pence puns on musical titles:


A Look Inside a NU Stage “Godspell” Rehearsal

On November 14, I got a behind-the-scenes look at the making of NU Stage’s production of “Godspell,” which opens December 2. NU Stage is Northeastern University’s student-run musical theater group. Check it out!


Celebrities discuss the election

On this blog, I explored the opinions of celebrities, from the “West Wing” cast to the Avengers, during the election lead-up period. Now that the election is over and Donald Trump (the candidate who both of the above were against) has been declared the winner, I would like to look at how celebrities have publicly address the results.

Seth McFarlane, the creator of “Family Guy,” spent the day following the election regularly tweeting against Trump, before leaving Twitter on November 9 without giving details why.

On the other side of things, hip-hop artist Azaelia Banks shared her happiness over the results on Facebook:

“I’m just sooooooo relieved. I’ve dealt with SO MUCH bulls*** on behalf of the liberal media and to have someone beat the liberal media is just so refreshing and Inspiring.”

The official Twitter for “Black Mirrors,” a Twilight Zone-style television, tweeted this as Trump took the lead:

Theater at Northeastern University – A three-part story

Photo (cc) by Hernan Pinera


I’ve dipped my toes in mixed media like photography and video on this blog before, but reader be warned! I’m preparing a multistep, multi-format project for December. 

Since I’ve been focusing on entertainment and celebrities, I’ve decided to take that idea a little more locally and explore the entertainment and celebrities of my own Northeastern University.

I’ll be making a 3-minute video profiling Northeastern student Carol Hicks, who goes by Carly. She’s an environmental science major here, but she devotes her free time to music. A classically trained vocalist, she tried theater for the first time when she came to college and is now a soloist in NU Stage’s upcoming performance of “Godspell.” For my video, I’ll help you get to know her a little, as a person and as a performer, and give you a look at her experience with NU Stage, which is Northeastern’s only student-run musical theater group. They put on both a main stage show and a musical review each semester.

To accompany the video, I’ll be doing a photo series that goes behind the scenes of “Godspell” to show you what the cast does at a typical rehearsal. I’ll photograph dancing, singing and the general antics of a cast of performers as they prep for their big show.

The final part of my series will be a piece that takes the focus off of the performers and onto the people behind-the-scenes. I’ll be doing a text piece profiling the team of ushers that makes the show go on. Most audience members only know them as the people who take their coffee away; my article will show the rest of the story.

I’ve been chatting with Carly this week and we’re both enthusiastic about the profile. The leaders of NU Stage have granted me access to a rehearsal, and I have a contact who is helping me get time with the ushers. Between the three methods of storytelling, I hope my readers can get an good look at what goes into local entertainment events like college theater.

Emma Watson plays Santa Claus – with Books

Photo (cc) 2012 by David Shankbone
Photo (cc) 2012 by David Shankbone

Emma Watson is having a big week. Entertainment Weekly’s cover story is about the upcoming live-action “Beauty and the Beast,” in which she stars as Belle.

But it’s her role as a feminist activist, not as an actress, that’s taking over the London Underground. 

On Monday, she tweeted:

The next day, she personally hid 100 copies of “Mom & Me & Mom.” The book is by feminist icon Maya Angelou and discusses Angelou’s relationship with her mother.

Watson is supporting Books on the Underground, an organization that encourage the spread of books on the train lines.

Watson has been a UN Women Goodwill Ambassadosince 2014 and works with feminist organization HeForShe.

An Evening Trip at Oakleaf Cakes Bake Shop

After three years of admiring the windows of Oakleaf Cakes Bake Shop, I finally went in and tried it out for myself.
Oakleaf is a small, welcoming bakery located at 12 Westland Ave in Boston’s Back Bay. It’s got coffee and all kinds of baked goods, but most people probably know it as the place with the amazing cakes. The windows are filled with everything from guitars to giant hamburgers, all covered in fondant and all examples of the elaborate custom works the shop can produce. Owner Amanda Oakleaf has even competed on Food Network’s “Duff Till Dawn.”
But if you’re not getting married or hosting a ground beef-themed party, there’s still a reason to go in.
Like me, it was Shreya Muchimilli’s first time coming in.
“It’s like a really cute, boutiquish kind of store,” she said. “The cupcakes are really moist. They’re kind of better than Georgetown [Cupcakes], in my opinion.”
Shreya Muchimilli grabs coffee and sweets with a friend.
On the other hand, Katherine Yom comes about once a week.
“I feel like this is a good atmosphere to do homework in,” said Yom, who attends Northeastern University nearby.
She had a cupcake in front of her and also complimented the coffee, but her favorite Oakleaf treat is their homemade marshmallows.
At 5 p.m. on a Wednesday, the cupcakes were picked over. For my first try, I passed over the mini apple pie cheesecakes and the last few honey lavender cupcakes in favor of a cherry pie poptart, which cost $3.05. It was soft, with a great texture and a filling that wasn’t overpowering. Considering how cheap it was, I see myself going back a lot. (Update: I went back two days later.)
 Oakleaf Cakes Bake Shop is open Monday-Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. They have vegan options but are not a gluten or nut-free bakery. The shop is handicapped-accessible and is a short walk from the Symphony stop on the (Green) E-line.