Movie Review “tick, tick…BOOM!”

Today is November 19th, 2021. All over the world, friends of mine are watching Amazon’s “The Wheel of Time,” by our beloved Creator, Robert Jordan. They’re sharing wonderful stories and pictures of themselves in costumes and shawls, which is awesome. I know you can find many lovely blogs, podcasts, and YouTubers talking about it.

This review, however, is not about WOT, as I am here to talk about the new Netflix film “tick, tick… BOOM!” that was also released today. This film is a semi autobiographical telling of a portion of the composer Jonathan Larson’s life. It is Lin-Manuel Maranda’s directorial debut, starring Andrew Garfield.

Many people know Jonathan Larson because of his musical “RENT.” But before he was “RENT” famous, Jonathan Larson wrote a little show called “tick, tick… BOOM!,” a three person musical, which in some ways I like better than RENT. Most people have never heard of it, though its been a personal favorite for decades, long before I’d ever heard of WOT. It gets to the heart of what it means to be an artist and performer; and that fire that is all consuming to leave your mark no matter what other struggles you’re dealing with. Then the heartbreak of starting all over again.

People have frequently compared Lin-Manuel Miranda to Larson, and said “Hamilton” was to “In the Heights” as “RENT” would have been to whatever Larson got to write next. Sadly, Larson passed away suddenly at the age of 35, right before “RENT’s” first public showing. Sometimes I wonder if this is why LMM (may he live forever!) works as hard as he does on so many different things- its all about the legacy and getting as much done with the time we’re given as possible. This drive to make, create, and write their way into our lives gave me good hope about LMM as the director, because I figured he’d “get it” more than your average Hollywood director would. I am happy to say, I was not disappointed. He made some excellent choices, and brought the story to life with tenderness and respect.

Going into my viewing I was excited, and nervous, especially regarding casting. Spiderman singing? Hmm, okay… And I knew Vanessa Hudgens was in it. She’s got a pretty face, but generally, her acting isn’t swell. (Though, not gonna lie, I’ll probably still watch the Princess Switch 3 anyway.) I was pleasantly surprised. Garfield was likable, and relatable, and had a voice that fit well for the part. Hudgens did far more singing than speaking, which was fine with me. I now look forward to seeing more of Robin de Jesus, an unknown to me before this, who plays Larson’s best friend, Michael. And, I have to admit, this Broadway Baby burst into tears more than once. The story and the struggle of being a creative person trying to find and birth their “thing” is so relatable to me.

“tick, tick… BOOM” is set during the end of Larson’s “Superbia” era, which he produced in 1989. But despite spending almost a decade writing it, it’s never really seen the light of day. Garfield’s Jonathan is touchingly portrayed as a kind of 1990’s Orpheus. Not a bad guy by any means; but one who is consumed and driven by his mission and music so much that it causes him to sometimes be neglectful towards those he loves. (Speaking of Broadway and Orpheus, if you haven’t checked out the musical Hadestown, please do so! Its one of the best things to come out in musical theatre in years, and does a wonderful job of making an old tales modern and relevant.) I really appreciated the diversity of the rest of the cast, all ages and body types were represented.

There are theatre and film related cameos all through the movie. The biggest numbers show up in the writing workshop, and a song called “Sunday.” My goodness, if you know your Broadway history and actors, wow, that was cool to see everyone. Small spoiler- Bernadette Peters was one of the cameos. I met her when she came to do a show at the theatre I worked at. She was lovely to work with, and is a surprisingly tiny person for as big of a voice as she has! André De Shields is another, whom I did not meet, but did get to see perform live when I was in the audience for the recording of PBS’s Great Performances for “Play On!”  This article from Slate has a good breakdown of everyone to show up. Most are uncredited, so you won’t find them on IMDB, but there are award winning actors, writers, composers, family, and friends, etc. It is a testament to both Jonathan Larson and to LMM that all of these folks were willing to show up and be a part of this project.

They took out one of my favorite lines of the musical (shared below), but they did a great job of portraying that statement, so I am very satisfied. I highly recommend you watching it, once you’re done binging WOT. Make sure you watch through the credits too, as it shows several videos of the real Jonathan. If you listen to the old recording of the show, you can hear Jonathan’s voice at the end of that as well. This line gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.

I want to write music
I want to sit down 
Right now at the piano
And write a song that
People will listen to and remember 
And do the same thing every morning
For the rest of my life

No Comments

Shienaran and Malkieri “New Spring” Fashion

This post contains spoilers for New Spring.

Malkier lay to the north of Shienar; and when it fell, Shienar truly became part of the Borderlands. “The law in every Borderland forbade hiding your face inside village or town” (p. 216).

Shienar

Very little is mentioned with regards to Shienaran fashion. The only description given was that of a soldier during the Aiel War. He was “stone-faced…with his crested helmet hanging from his saddle and his head shaved except for a topknot” (p. 64).

Malkier

Though the nation of Malkier had fallen, the fashion lived on. Some had adopted the dress of other nations, such as Ryne Venamar appearing to be Arafellin in his attire. Others retained traditional dress.

During the Aiel War, al’Lan Mandragoran and Bukama Marenellin wore unadorned armor, coats, and coats of plain wool. Lan’s helmet was in the Malkieri tradition, “supporting a steel crescent moon above his forehead” (p. 2). After the war, they wore “dark, knee-long coats” (p. 263). When needing to dress for a more formal occasion, Lan wore a white silk shirt, “tight black silk breeches”, and a “good black silk coat embroidered along the sleeves with golden bloodroses among their hooked thorns” (p. 300).

Bukama’s hair was “worn cut at the shoulders as tradition required” (p. 4). It was tradition for Malkieri men to wear the hadori, a “thin braided leather cord” worn across the forehead to hold their hair back (p. 5). Lan wore it as well, and he “would die wearing it, and go into the ground wearing that and nothing else” (p. 5).

Tradition among Malkieri women was to adorn their “foreheads with the ki’sain in pledge that they would swear their sons to oppose the Shadow while they breathed” (p. 220). As an unmarried woman, Iselle Arrel wore “a small blue dot painted on her forehead” (p. 338). Her mother, Edeyn ti Gemallen Arrel, wore a ki’sain, “still the white of a widow” (p. 304).

Iselle Arrel was described as a young woman with “black hair that fell well below her hips” and in a “pale green silk” dress (p. 338). After Iselle died, Edeyn wore a “white gown, her hair cut raggedly short” in mourning (p. 354).

No Comments

Warderball Central – Weeks 3 and 4

Week 3

Welcome back to another week of WARDERBALL with your hosts, #MadAlora!!

Alora: and what a week it was!

Madhar: That’s right Alora, the projections for this week were way off in nearly every game, lets get down to the nitty gritty…

First was Alora’s Targs vs the Brotherhood without Banners, it was projected to be a very close game but the Targs had multiple players fall short of projections, and J Robinson (RB) and D Moore(WR) going off weren’t enough to save her from defeat. The Brotherhood took the win in a blowout with a score of 141.84 to 103.48.

Braedan’s Bombers faced off against Rand’s Barrani Jokers this week, and though both teams fell short of projections, the outcome was as predicted with Brae taking the win with a score of 102.52 to 81.30. Rand’s team took an early lead on Sunday afternoon but after that it was all Brae, all the way.

Atane’s Accomplices lost to the Band of the Red Hand this week with a score of 110.54 to 143.68, both teams exceeding their projections. D Carr (QB) and K Hunt(RB) were the golden boys for Atane, but with four of the Band’s players exceeding expectations, which include Tom Brady (QB) and the Denver Defense, it was inevitable for the Band to come out on top.

Cursor’s Brady is GOD scored far less than projected but still took out the Valyrian Steelers to finish 104.92 to 83.62. There was a lot of back and forth this week between these teams but by Monday Cursor was soaring high, maintaining his perfect season of 3-0.

Madhar’s Minions and Daestruction both underscored this week severely, but Madhar took the week with a score of 86.14 to 75.68. One wonders if Dae was even playing this week, as T Higgins(WR) and W Lutz(K) contributed 0 points each, and most other players underscoring. Mad’s Washington Defense gave him nothing but it wasn’t enough to stop him from taking the win this week.

Esteban was barely projected to beat Dark One’s Luck this week by less than a full point, however Dark One’s Luck pulled ahead to end at 103.14 to 93.04. Dark One’s Luck is looking just about unstoppable as they have a perfect record coming out of Week 3 and have an average margin of victory of 39 points, which is the highest in the league.

Alora: So can anyone topple that record? We’ll find out going into Week four!

Madhar: Stay tuned for the next episode of…

Both: WARDERBALL CENTRAL!!!!


Week 4

Warderball Central opens up this week to Alora dancing in her seat as the camera pans forward and the theme music plays.

Madhar: Welcome to Week Four of—

Alora: WARDERBALL CENTRAL WHERE DREAMS CAN COME TRUE!!

Madhar: They certainly did for you this week, lets get right into it!

Alora’s team of Klingons slayed this week after a couple weeks of losses, beating Daestruction 148.04 to 69.12. The 78.92 margin this game was the largest so far in the league this year. Dae started 4 players which scored 0 points which certainly didn’t help things for him, but the Targs’ score of 148.04 was the second highest score in the league so far so it’s uncertain whether he could have pulled ahead.

Brae ended Cursor’s reign of terror this week by beating him 112.66 to 108.72, making this Cursor’s first loss in the league this year. The game was close the entire time until Brae pulled just ahead on Monday night. Brae’s Buffalo Bills defense were the real MVPs of this game, more than doubling their projected points.

VC cub Atane got on Rand’s lawn this week and owned it, beating him 126.44 to 102.22. Atane’s team scored more points this week than their season average, and his star player this game was T Hill (WR), who scored 47.10 points, far exceeding the projection of 17.50.

What happens when an immovable object is hit by an unstoppable force? The Band of the Red Hand vs Dark One’s Luck game is what happens. Both of these guys were undefeated but only one could come out on top and that was the Band, winning 102.06 to 71.72. The Band took an early lead and never gave it up, despite J Jones (WR) scoring them 0 points.

The Brotherhood slapped down the Valyrian Steelers this week, 100.68 to 91.62. The Steelers can’t catch a break as they have not won a game yet this year, and that small margin has got to hurt. The Brotherhood didn’t have their best week either, they would have only beat 3 other teams this week.

Madhar’s Minions had something to celebrate this week as they took the lead against Esteban early on and finished strong, 138.22 to 92.82. D Henry (RB) and T McLaurin (WR) were the heroes this week as they both far exceeded expectations, giving the Minions a 58.9 point lead on Sunday afternoon. Madhar’s score going into week 5 is 3-1.

Alora: Not to shabby yourself bro!

Madhar: Definitely was a great week for #MadAlora, lets see if we can keep it up in Week 5!

Alora: We’ll see you all next time on…..

Both: WARDERBALL CENTRAL!!!!

No Comments

Tattered Threads – Meowillin Gemalphin

This post contains spoilers for The Great Hunt and onward.

It’s hard for me to relate to any of the Aes Sedai in the Black Ajah. (That one stint I held in it during the latest Fundraiser notwithstanding.) And the Inverse Ajah doesn’t count!

Ahem.

So, like I was saying. It’s hard for me to relate to these ladies, but Marillin’s love of the kitties…I get it. My two have been wonderful companions. They bring a smile to my face, they’re great conversation, and they’ve been there for me during the stressful times.

Though, I do get why maybe having so many of them around might be…conspicuous.

Cherish your time with any kitties or pet companions your hold dear. And don’t let Liandrin tell you how many you can keep!

Black Ajah | Community | creative | TarValon.Net | Tattered Threads
No Comments

TVTT Yellow Ajah Edition – Crafty Yellows!

The Yellows sure are a crafty bunch! From knitting and crocheting to beading and quilting, we love to keep our hands busy and express our creativity. Here are some craft projects that the Yellows have been working on recently.

Elania al’Manir:

This was the first bracelet I made. It has yellow main beads with purple spacer beads. It represents my warder Brandon, who is in DM, and me.

This is another bracelet I made. The darker stones are garnet, my birthstone, and the lighter ones are ruby, my fiancé’s. The small spacer beads are Swarovski crystal.

Slàine al’Eir:

Slàine loves to knit and cross stitch, and she has been flying through the projects lately! She also does knitting projects for commission, and if you would like to see more of her lovely work, you can find her on Instagram: @owlsnestcreations.

Dragon scale mittens recently completed for a client:

Slàine shared her progress on the Tiny Modernist Halloween Stitch-Along:

She also knits gorgeous shawls for commission pieces:

Reusable water balloons: both fun and eco-friendly!

Idine Espanyas:

I decided to get back into cross stitching in the Fall of 2019, and it turned out to be the perfect timing to pick up a DIY hobby! Lately, I’ve been working on a series of Disney princesses in art deco style. The patterns are made by Make it Pink, and they are based on the artwork of Hannah Alexander. I started Tiana a few weeks ago and have been working on Belle for several months.

I am also participating in Satsuma Street’s Wizard of Oz Stitchalong. Here is one of the panels, a scene of the Good Witch and the munchkins:

No Comments