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Showing posts from March, 2022

REVIEW: An American in Paris - The Musical

The story of An American in Paris is simple, in the way old movie musical romances are, and complicated because we know the course of true love never runs smoothly. Lise, a French ballet dancer, on the verge of becoming a star, is pursued by three suitors: Adam, a pianist, Jerry, a visual artist and Henri, a cabaret singer, who is hiding the truth about himself from his parents. Set in post-World War II France, against the backdrop of a city recovering from being occupied by the Nazis, the character interactions are a pure joy: all three men meet before discovering, much later, they are all in love with the same woman. Henri is already Lise’s boyfriend, but he’s scared to lose her if he doesn’t propose marriage. Adam thinks writing a ballet for her will be enough to get her attention. Jerry is under no allusion that his art might catch her eye, so he doggedly chases her, even in the wake of her protestations. The problematic old trope of the man continuing to ask a woman out even

REVIEW: Stay Woke by Aran Thangaratnam

Niv has invited his brother Sai up to Mount Buller for a weekend in the snow to reconnect. Their partners, May and Kate, are with them, so they can all get to know each other better. Niv and Sai have become estranged since growing up and moving out of their upper-class suburban household, which they admit wasn’t as pleasant as it might have looked from the outside. Niv has just become vegan, which annoys his younger brother. Kate keeps stepping in it with racially-insensitive remarks, which she keeps apologising for. And May, even though they are off the clock and ready to party, is trying to bring them all together with the tips and tricks they have learned from their day job at a non-profit that teaches rich businessmen not to be pricks. Trapping two couples at a dinner party or a weekend away is the plot of numerous plays and films. Stay Woke isn’t about generational conflict or hippies versus conservatives, though. Aran Thangaratnam’s play is about the millennial minefield o