In times of great social conflict, artists often rise to the occasion and express their unrest through art, song, and more. Music has been a popular medium for protest throughout the years, but perhaps never as strongly as that of the 1960’s counterculture movement. With America in the midst of the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement, the music of the 1960’s strongly represented the sentiments of social justice.As President-elect Donald Trump is set to take office, many are fearing a new era of unjust social policies from the White House. Singer/songwriter Neil Young, an activist since the 1960’s, recently spoke about the parallels between then and now. “This time is very similar to the ’60s, as far as I can tell,” he said in an interview with Mother Jones. “The artists always reflect the times, so there’s a lot to think about, a lot of unknowns, a lot of things that are describable. This is the closest I’ve seen to the kind of ambience that made the ’60s happen. It’s not about the artist having a responsibility to do anything. They have to be artists and express themselves and everything will work out fine. It’s all going to be great. The youth of this country are not behind what is going on. We all know that. If you looked at a [political] map of the United States 25 and under, it’s all-revealing. It’s a unified map.”Though Neil Young is concerned about the troubling times, it’s also nice to see him so optimistic about the youth of this country. He continues talking about the way people will be connecting with one another, saying, “We had the Vietnam War in the ’60s, and there was a draft. The students didn’t believe in it, and it unified them. That brought the people together and made the ’60s like they were. The youth were very unified against the status quo—against the old line and the new old line. It’s the same exact thing today. Social media and young people, art, music, all communications make this one of the most active times for activism. It will be a time of change.”Let’s hope that Young is right, and more artists will usher in this time of change in the years to come.
View Comments Maddie Baillio as Tracy Turnblad(Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC) Oh, oh, oh, Maddie Baillio woke up today, feeling the way she always does, except she had some big news to share: this December, she’ll take on the coveted role of Tracy Turnblad in NBC’s Hairspray Live! The Texas native just finished her sophomore year as a Theatre Arts major at Marymount Manhattan College, and now she’s getting ready to share the soundstage with Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson and more. Broadway.com sat down with the fresh face on the day of the announcement to learn all about the dramatic reveal from director Kenny Leon, keeping Game of Thrones-level secrets and more.Congratulations! This all must be such a whirlwind for you.This is surreal. I was finishing my finals in college two weeks ago. This is incredible.Walk me through that moment when you booked it.It was the last call back. Kenny Leon came in with a big envelope. He said, “Harvey Fierstein just emailed this to me and asked if you’d read it. It’s a part of the script, so just take it out of the envelope, look into the camera and project.” And I’m like, “Oh, this is fishy!” I pulled it out, and in huge, bold letters it said, “The role of Tracy Turnblad in NBC’s Hairspray Live! will be played by Maddie Baillio.” I didn’t think it was real. I actually asked Kenny, “Are you joking? This is cruel if you’re joking!” But it was real, obviously. I called my mom, and she was very excited for me, and my dad just screamed. I think he was on his tractor in Texas.Was it tough keeping the news a secret? So tough. I don’t know how famous people do that, like on Game of Thrones. I think it was even harder for my parents to keep it a secret.What was the open call process like? There were so many girls who looked like me and talked like me, but I didn’t want to compare myself to anyone. I got in the room with [casting director] Bernie Telsey at noon. We were asked to prepare a short portion of “Good Morning Baltimore,” so I was pretty confident with that. Then he said, “That sounded great. Now, will you sing the end of the song?” I didn’t really know the end of the song, so I totally messed up like 50% of the words. I don’t think that mattered, though. [Laughs.]There were so many hopefuls who went full out with hair and costumes. Did you go that route? No, I think I was the only girl wearing pants. I wore pants and a color-blocked sweater. I kept it simple.Have you done Hairspray before? I’ve never done it before. I did sing “Good Morning Baltimore” for a competition when I was in fifth grade, and that’s actually the only time I’ve ever forgotten the words in a performance on stage. So I just started dancing, naturally. That was embarrassing, and I said, “Never again.”I think by December, you’ll have it down. Hopefully! That’s the only song I’m going to practice every day.Has Hairspray been a part of your life for a while now? Ever since I saw the movie, I fell in love with Tracy. That’s a girl who looks like me. You don’t see that on TV or film, or anywhere at all these days. That was really inspirational.What is it about the show and Tracy that resonates with you? There are so many important themes in Hairspray that are relevant today—particularly body image. Tracy’s so comfortable in her skin, but it took me a while to feel that way. She’s so optimistic. She sees a rat on the street, and she’s like, “That is the coolest thing ever.” I wouldn’t go that far, but I feel the same about a lot of things.For many people, these telecasts are their first exposure to musicals. What does it mean for you to be a part of that? I wish when I was really young, there would have been something like this. Being all the way out in Texas, there’s no way I could just come and see a Broadway show every weekend. It’s cool that people get to experience this art form that’s so beautiful and important in my life.What’s going through your head as you get ready to work with these huge names like Kenny Leon, Harvey Fierstein and Jennifer Hudson? These are people I’ve looked up to for so long. Harvey Fierstein won a Tony for this! And I know Jennifer Hudson is going to slay. I think what I’m most excited about is not just working with them, but learning from them. If there are days when I don’t have rehearsal, maybe I can just go and look at them. That would be the best masterclass in the world.NBC’s Hairspray Live! will air from Los Angeles on December 7.
Topics : Global cases of the novel coronavirus reached over 8 million on Monday, as infections surge in Latin America and the United States and China grapple with fresh outbreaks.The United States still leads the world with the highest number of infections, about 2 million or 25% of all reported cases. However, the outbreak is growing fastest in Latin America, which now accounts for 21% of all cases, according to a Reuters tally.Brazil’s COVID-19 cases and deaths have surged to make it the No.2 hot spot in the world. The first case was reported in China in early January and it took until early May to reach 4 million cases. It has taken just five weeks to double to 8 million cases, according to a Reuters tally.Global deaths stand at over 434,000 and have doubled in seven weeks.Although Brazil’s official death toll from the pandemic has risen to nearly 44,000, the true impact is likely far greater than the data show, health experts said, citing a lack of widespread testing in Latin America’s largest country.In the United States, which has over 116,000 deaths, testing is still ramping up months after the start of the outbreak. After cases declined in much of the United States for weeks, many areas are now reporting record new cases and hospitalizations. Fears of a second wave in hard-hit states – or a failure to get a grip on the first wave in some others – have led health experts to plead with the public to wear masks, avoid large gatherings and maintain social distance.China is also grappling with a resurgence of the virus just as its economy is trying to recover from shutdowns earlier this year. After nearly two months with no new infections, the capital Beijing has seen a spike in cases linked to the biggest wholesale food market in Asia.
While many NBA teams make their strategy for the upcoming summer by observing with the corner of the eye which of the quality players is to be free, Phil Jackson wisely tailors the list of potential players that could bring additional quality to the New York Knicks, who are currently not members of the starting line-up in their clubs.Players on Jackson’s wishlist are: Langston Galloway, Marco Belinelli, Andrea Bargnani, Alexis Ajinca, and Mirza Teletović.“Mirza Teletović has had a solid season entering from the bench in the team of Brooklyn Nets. He averaged 8.5 points per game, with 4.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists, for almost 22 minutes on average spent on the court”, says the Daily Knicks.Mirza Teletović is currently sidelined due to a pulmonary embolism from which he is successfully recovering.(Source: klix.ba)