Thankfulness Week: A Tribute to BU on Broadway

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to pay tribute to one of my favorites organizations on campus: Boston University On Broadway.

I love musicals. Sadly, musicals are not a big thing in France, and opportunities to see quality live performances are scarce. The absolute worst: some songs are translated into French. It may be a beautiful language (I am being completely subjective here!) but there is nothing worse than realizing that “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music became “Mes Joies Quotidiennes.” It truly is, trust me on that! Only Disney can do it right!

So, I turned to movies. From Brigadoon to All that Jazz and The Young Girls of Rochefort (a great film that was actually shot in French, which makes all the difference) I have seen them all. Gene Kelly and Judy Garland are on top of my personal pantheon. Yet, nothing can replace the thrill of a live performance. Moving to Boston, I planned to see at least one live musical, but I was not expecting to find that here at BU.

I then discovered the existence of BU on Broadway and was really excited. On Broadway is BU's premier undergraduate musical theatre organization. They are dedicated to bringing quality musical productions and theater-related events to the BU community. I must say that they are doing an amazing job! Plus, the organization was founded in 1994, the year I was born, so if that is not destiny, I don’t know what is!

I thought I could not be more excited, but that was before I found out that they were performing Cabaret and Spring Awakening. I was thrilled! Cabaret is probably my favorite musical ever. Okay, it is at least in my top 5, and I had wanted to see Spring Awakening since the first time I heard about it. It had never been adapted into a movie, although one is currently in development, so I had to settle for the original Broadway soundtrack (the one featuring Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff). 

BU On Broadway’s Cabaret // Photo credit: BU On Broadway Instagram

"Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, Cabaret focuses on the nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub, and revolves around young American writer Cliff Bradshaw and his relationship with 32-year-old English cabaret performer Sally Bowles."

BU On Broadway's Spring Awakening  // Photo credit: BU On Broadway's Spring Awakening Facebook

"Based on the 19th-century German play (once banned in the country), Spring Awakening takes the story of sexual awakening, youth revolt, and self-discovery into a new century. A group of young men and women travel the fraught and rocky path of adolescence, discovering their bodies, their minds, and themselves along the way."

The two musicals are set in Germany but, more than the settings, I feel like both stories are still worth telling today, as they deal with topics that are, sadly, still extremely relevant. Spring Awakening tackles themes such as abortion, self-harm, sexual assault, and suicide, whereas Cabaret addresses racism and the rise of right-wing extremism. Does that ring a bell? I truly feel like art should address these issues and BU on Broadway’s productions did it in a beautiful way!

 

Thank you, BU On Broadway! You made my semester here even better than I thought it would be!

 

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