Fashion Reverie’s Summer 2024 Blockbuster Movie Picks

Summer 2024 is poised to be a vibrant season for cinema, especially for those with a keen eye for fashion. This year’s blockbuster lineup includes films that not only entertain with their riveting plots and stunning visuals but also captivate with their stylish wardrobes. From futuristic dystopias to glamorous period pieces, these movies showcase fashion as an integral part of their storytelling. Fashion Reverie brings you a roundup of the best 2024 summer films where fashion takes center stage, offering inspiration and a feast for the eyes.

Fashion has always played a crucial role in cinema, often defining characters and enhancing narratives. This summer, directors and costume designers are pushing the boundaries of creativity, bringing to life garments that range from haute couture to street fashion. These films offer a diverse array of styles, each serving as a reflection of the characters’ identities and the worlds they inhabit. Whether it’s the meticulous recreation of historical attire or the bold imagination of future trends, the fashion in these movies is set to make a lasting impression.

Here are the standout films of this summer where fashion takes a leading role.

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“Despicable Me 4”

Release Date: July 3, 2024

Gru and his lovable Minions are back in “Despicable Me 4,” directed by Chris Renaud. This time, Gru faces a new villain, voiced by Will Ferrell, who brings a comedic twist to the character. The film features Steve Carell’s return as Gru, along with Pierre Coffin as the Minions, and includes voices from Miranda Cosgrove, Kristen Wiig, and Steve Coogan. As always, the film combines heartwarming family dynamics with hilarious antics, promising a fun-filled adventure for audiences of all ages. The Minions’ mischievous behavior and Gru’s quirky personality are set to deliver another memorable summer blockbuster.

Image courtesy of thehollywoodreporter.com

“Bad Boys: Ride or Die”

Release Date: June 7, 2024

The iconic duo of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return in “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” delivering not just action but also a stylish feast for the eyes. Directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, this latest installment sees Detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett tackling corruption within their own ranks. Amidst the high-octane chases and explosive sequences, the film features a sharp wardrobe that blends sleek modern wear with classic cop attire. Vanessa Hudgens also joins the cast, bringing her own flair to the screen with edgy, contemporary outfits that highlight her character’s fierce independence and style.

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“A Quiet Place: Day One”

Release Date: June 28, 2024

Directed by Michael Sarnoski, “A Quiet Place: Day One” takes us back to the spine-chilling start of the alien invasion that turned Earth upside down. With an impressive lineup featuring Lupita Nyong’o, Joseph Quinn, and Djimon Hounsou, this prequel dives into the chaos and horror of the first day the extraterrestrial terror struck.

Known for its brilliant use of silence and nerve-wracking suspense, the “A Quiet Place” franchise has been both a critical darling and a box office hit. This latest installment promises to enrich the story, offering new angles and unraveling the mysterious origins of the catastrophic events that started it all. Get ready to hold your breath and uncover the secrets of Day One!

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“The Bikeriders”

Release Date: June 21, 2024

Directed by Jeff Nichols, “The Bikeriders” is a gritty exploration of a fictional 1960s motorcycle club. Starring Jodie Comer, Austin Butler, and Tom Hardy, the film draws inspiration from the photo book of the same name, promising a visually rich narrative. Costume design plays a pivotal role in immersing viewers into the era, with meticulously detailed leather jackets, vintage denim, and rugged boots. These pieces not only define the characters but also reflect the rebellious spirit and countercultural vibes of the time, making fashion an integral part of the storytelling.

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“Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1”

Release Date: June 28, 2024

Kevin Costner’s “Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1” is an epic Western set during the Civil War era. The film stars Sienna Miller and Sam Worthington and features historically accurate costumes that transport viewers to the 19th century. From rugged frontier attire to elegant period dresses, the costumes reflect the diverse backgrounds and statuses of the characters. The meticulous attention to detail in the wardrobe enhances the film’s immersive experience, offering a vivid glimpse into a transformative period in American history.

Image courtesy of disneymovies.com

“Inside Out 2”

Release Date: June 14, 2024

Pixar’s “Inside Out 2” may not immediately scream fashion, but this sequel to the beloved original brings a colorful, imaginative approach to style. As Riley navigates her teenage years, the film introduces new emotions, each characterized by unique, vibrant designs. The creative team behind the animation ensures that every detail, from Joy’s bright, sunny dress to the new emotions’ distinctive looks, contributes to a visually stunning experience. This movie showcases how even animated characters can influence and inspire real-world fashion trends, particularly for younger audiences.

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“Fancy Dance”

Release Date: June 28, 2024

“Fancy Dance,” directed by Erica Tremblay, stars Lily Gladstone in a powerful narrative set within the Seneca-Cayuga Nation Reservation. The film’s fashion highlights the intersection of traditional Native American attire and contemporary styles.

 As Gladstone’s character embarks on a quest to find her missing sister, the wardrobe choices reflect her cultural heritage and modern identity, blending ceremonial garments with everyday wear. This fusion offers a poignant commentary on the preservation of culture in the contemporary world, making fashion a key narrative device.

Image courtesy of movietimes.com

“Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga”

Release Date: May 24, 2024

George Miller’s “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” stars Anya Taylor-Joy in a prequel to “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the film’s costume design is a standout element, featuring a blend of rugged, utilitarian clothing with avant-garde, dystopian aesthetics.

The outfits, characterized by their practical yet inventive use of materials, play a critical role in defining the harsh realities of the world the characters inhabit. Taylor-Joy’s Furiosa is set to become an iconic figure in cinema fashion, with her distinctive look influencing future trends in both film and fashion industries.

Ryan Salfino

Trinisha Browne Talks Music, Love, Queerness, and Mental Health

Trinidadian-born and Montreal-based singer-songwriter and rapper Trinisha Browne sits at a unique intersection. She’s one of the few musicians who combines Afro-Caribbean sound, gospel, and themes of queer love to make music in genres that typically are worlds and concepts apart.

Her newly released album, “Rhythm & Love,” is filled with themes of romance, broken love, longing, mental health, and the struggles of an artist trying to make ends meet while honing her craft. The new 10-track album is sung in English, but also features lines in Nigerian Pidgin, and Yoruba.

Songs like “Bad Ting,” “Worth It,” and “Matchmade” explore themes of a relationship ending too soon. Other tracks, including “Rihanna Rich” and “Rich Life,” address unemployment and bipolar disorder. “Rhythm & Love” marks Browne’s first full-length album, and it was written in collaboration with Jovian, a Puerto Rican/Portuguese artist from Brooklyn.

Browne recently signed a recording and publishing deal with Frostbyte Media LTD, which produced “Rhythm & Love.” In celebration of the album release and in honor of PRIDE Month, Fashion Reverie spoke with Browne about her upcoming album.

 

Fashion Reverie: Why did you title the album ‘Rhythm & Love’?

Trinisha Browne: I titled the albumRhythm & Love’ because there are many songs, melodies, and different vibrations going on in the instrumentation of the album. Most songs on the album are love songs, so the words rhythm and love together felt like the most fitting title based on the songs and subject.

 

FR: Who or what was your greatest inspiration for this album?

Trinisha Browne: When working on this album, I drew inspiration from artists, including Burna Boy, Tems, Fireboy DML, and Ayra Starr, who are all Nigerian artists who beautifully work with Afrobeats and in the Afro-pop genre.

FR: Why did you incorporate languages and dialects like Nigerian Pidgin and Yoruba on this album?

Trinisha Browne: My album features collaborations with artists who speak these languages and dialects. Temmie Ovwasa, who sings ‘Matchmade’ with me, speaks Yoruba. I wanted Yoruba in the lyrics for this song, so it would have a different touch. I wanted Nigerian Pidgin included on this album because I feel it strongly represents Afro-music and music from African culture.

FR: What barriers do you think queer Black musicians have to overcome to try and reach a broader audience?

Trinisha Browne: Developing a fanbase is still very challenging for queer Black artists, as is engaging with fans, and touring. Developing a fanbase isn’t the easiest thing to do, even in the world of social media today. There are so many different social media platforms, and the goal is to have as many followers on as many platforms as possible, which is virtually impossible. Without a strong developed fanbase, it’s hard to even be taken seriously in the music industry.

FR: How would you say ‘Rhythm & Love’ differentiates from your past work?

Trinisha Browne: My past work was more upbeat, and I put a strong emphasis on vocals. With ‘Rhythm & Love,’ my vocals are more laid back because wanted to create a calm, soothing sound. I wasn’t necessarily going for a whisper-tone approach with vocals, but, rather, trying to find a blend between Afrobeats and Afro-R&B music.

FR: How did the intersection of your queerness and Caribbean ancestry inform this album?

Trinisha Browne: I don’t treat myself being queer like a brand, it’s me being who I am. The music is just a form of expression of who I am. Going into working on this album, I wanted to make sure that the idea translated with my queer fans. I wasn’t shy about using pronouns like her and she when it came to the love songs. I was being honest with myself when it came to all these songs.

FR: The lead song of ‘Rhythm & Love’ is called ‘Bad Ting’. What does that song mean to you personally?

Trinisha Browne: ‘Bad Ting’ is a song that describes an attractive female, who some other people would describe as a ‘bad bitch,’ a ‘hottie,’ a ‘baddie’ or a ‘hot chick.’ In Trinidad, sometimes you refer to a girl who is attractive as a ‘bad ting.’ I came up with the song title to have something to incorporate my roots and heritage.

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FR: What was the catalyst for you writing this album?

Trinisha Browne: I started writing this album last summer after having challenges with my mental health. Songwriting became part of my coping process as I tried to process my mental health struggles.

 When I’m writing a song, I start with beats first, and I start just by humming. Whatever words come to my mind first, I don’t doubt them. I grab a notepad and begin writing. By the time I have a verse and a chorus, I know I’m good to finish the song.

FR: What’s next for you now that you’ve signed an official record deal?

Trinisha Browne: I want to get my music out there. I just did a music video shoot for my song ‘Itchy Palms’ from ‘Rhythm & Love.’ I’m trying to find more ways to engage with fans and bring new fans into the fold. I would love to do a tour eventually, but that’s a longer-term goal.

Kristopher Fraser

 

 

Summer of Sound: The Best Music Festivals of 2024

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Summer 2024 is upon us, and the irresistible call of music festivals comes with it. The days are longer, the nights are warmer, and the stages are set for unforgettable performances. This year, the music scene is back with a vengeance, promising a lineup of festivals that will make your summer sizzle. From the sun-soaked grounds of Chicago to the vibrant streets of New Orleans, music lovers are in for a treat. Whether you’re into hip-hop, rock, pop, or eclectic artsy vibes, there’s a festival just for you.

Fashion Reverie is here to guide you through the top music festivals you can’t miss this summer. These events are more than just concerts; they’re immersive experiences that blend music, fashion, art, and culture into one thrilling package. Picture yourself dancing under the stars, discovering new artists, and soaking up the unique atmosphere only a live music festival can offer. Get ready to make memories, snap some Instagram-worthy shots and spot a few celebrities.

The festival scene has always been a fashion playground and 2024 is no exception. From boho chic to neon rave, the style on display is as diverse as the music itself. So, as you plan your festival outfits, think bold, think colorful and most importantly think fun. This summer, it’s all about expressing yourself and living in the moment.

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Lollapalooza – Chicago, IL (August 1-4, 2024)

Lollapalooza needs no introduction. This iconic festival, set in the heart of Chicago’s Grant Park, is a staple of the summer music scene. With a diverse lineup that spans multiple genres, Lollapalooza 2024 promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Headliners this year include Tyler The Creator, SZA, The Killers, Metro Boomin, blink-182, and Hozier, ensuring a stellar mix of pop, rock and soul that will cater to all tastes. The festival transforms Chicago’s downtown into a playground of creativity and joy, with the city’s iconic skyline providing a stunning backdrop for unforgettable performances.

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ESSENCE Festival of Culture – New Orleans, LA (July 4-7, 2024)

The ESSENCE Festival of Culture is the heartbeat of Black music and culture. Hosted in the vibrant city of New Orleans, this festival is a celebration of heritage, empowerment, and artistry. Headliners Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliott, and Megan Thee Stallion will deliver powerful performances that resonate with soul and energy. ESSENCE isn’t just about the music; it’s a holistic cultural experience.

Attendees can partake in inspiring seminars, explore beauty and fashion expos, and indulge in the culinary delights of New Orleans. This festival is a jubilant celebration of community, creativity, and cultural pride.

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Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival – Manchester, TN (June 13-16, 2024)

Bonnaroo is an escapade into a world where music, art, and community converge. Set in the scenic landscapes of Tennessee, this four-day festival is renowned for its eclectic lineup and enchanting atmosphere.

This year’s headliners include Post Malone, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fred Again, and Pretty Lights, promising an exhilarating mix of genres. Bonnaroo is more than just concerts; it’s a lifestyle experience. With wellness activities like yoga, immersive silent discos and a vibrant arts village, there’s no shortage of things to do. Camping on the festival grounds fosters a sense of camaraderie and adventure, making Bonnaroo a unique and unforgettable journey.

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Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash Festival – Chicago, IL (June 28-30, 2024)

Hip-hop lovers, rejoice! The Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash Festival is your ultimate destination. Returning to its home in Chicago, this festival has quickly become a highlight of the summer music scene.

Known for its dynamic performances and stellar lineup, this year’s headliners—Cactus Jack, Playboi Carti and Chief Keef—promise a weekend filled with the freshest beats and electrifying energy. Cactus Jack consists of Don Toliver, Sheck Wes, SoFaygo and Chase B. Curated by the influential Lyrical Lemonade team, the festival offers more than music; it’s a cultural extravaganza. Expect vibrant graffiti art installations, exclusive merch drops, and an all-encompassing celebration of hip-hop culture.

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Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival – San Francisco, CA (August 9-11, 2024)

Outside Lands transforms San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park into a haven of music, food, wine, and art. This festival is a sensory delight, known for its diverse lineup and eco-friendly ethos. While the 2024 lineup remains a secret, past performers like Tame Impala, Lizzo, and The Strokes set high expectations. Outside Lands is a culinary paradise, featuring gourmet food from top chefs and local wineries.

The festival’s dedication to sustainability, coupled with its interactive art installations, creates a unique and enriching experience. Whether you’re grooving to the music, savoring artisanal eats, or exploring the creative spaces, Outside Lands offers a festival experience like no other.

—Ryan Salfino

 

 

Ballet Hispanico’s New Season Stimulates the Heart and the Mind

Ballet Hispanico conjures up images of castanets, fiery flamenco dancers, the sensual undulations of Cuban dance styles—salsa, mambo, and meringue—as well as Brazil’s indigenous and African beats. Confirmed, Ballet Hispanico is all that and so much more!!

Ballet Hispanico’s season at New York City’s City Center showed the company at its best with a variety of Latin-based dance styles and modern dance techniques. That said, Artistic Director streams these very familiar Latin dance styles through a prism of modern dance techniques—Horton, Graham, Cunningham—positioned nicely alongside current social dance evolutions, and at this performance, New York ballroom-style vogueing.

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s “House of Mad’moiselle”

By drawing from this amalgam of dance styles, new and traditional, Vilaro keeps Ballet Hispanico fresh, current, and always evolving. This evolution is readily apparent in Anabelle Lopez Ochoa’s “House of Mad’moiselle.”

Though gender neutrality now seems to be acceptable subject matter for stage and skin, the dance world has lagged behind in pansexual inclusions. In Ochoa’s “House of Mad’moiselle,” Ochoa examines the in-your-face, glamour delusions of a gender fluid character as the center character, buttressed by dancers in bobbed red wigs as a corps de ballet of sorts.

Though humor is employed throughout this dance work, Ochoa expertly melds of styles of the New York ballroom culture with more established modern dance techniques. While the central ‘drag’ character struts and poses in a dance style that includes vogueing, death drops, and bunny hops, the corps de ballet extends their incredible limbs in sky-high extensions, acrobatic lifts, and intricate partnered couplings, with a little social dance thrown in for good measure.

Though this work has a strong camp element and parodies stereotypical female representation in Latin culture, this work demonstrates Ochoa’s craft in weaving disparate dance styles into a cohesive expression of strength and versatility.

Gustavo Ramirez Sansano’s “18+1”

In comparison to Ochoa’s “House of Mad’moiselle,” where there is one central character, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano’s ballet “18+1’s” strength is in the choreography’s ensemble work. This is where Ballet Hispanico shines this season.

In their ensemble work in “18+1,” Ballet Hispanic reigns supreme. Like some other works in the company’s repertoire, the dancers don asymmetrical loose-fitting clothing, dark garments that works well for the type of movement quality of this ballet.

That said, what works best in “18+1” is the dancers’ ability to inhabit this ballet as one body, breathing and moving as one with the same phrasing and approach even though Sansano uses a cornucopia of dance styles and movement forms. In this respect, this is how Ballet Hispanico has evolved as a dance company; from a company that mostly gave audiences an insight into Latin dance in the diaspora to a company that is adept at melding a plethora of dances styles into one cohesive presentation.

Eduardo Vilario’s “Buscando a Juan”

Vilario’s “Buscando a Juan,” (Looking for Juan) though a more cerebral dance work, aptly applied the same unity of phrasing seen in other works on this program. “Buscando a Juan’ is a works that celebrates Ballet Hispanico’s expert partnering abilities which is necessary for Vilaro’s intricate choreography.

If there is one Ballet Hispanico dancer to give special notice, among all the great dancers in this company, Fashion Reverie gives a nod to five-year veteran Leonardo Brito. Brito distinguishes himself with his magnetic stage presence, masterful technique, and brilliant partnering skills. When Brito is on stage, sometimes it’s hard to look at anyone else.

Leonardo Brito

With this outing, Ballet Hispanico demonstrates their skill at stimulating the heart, the mind, and visual palettes with their beauty, dedication, and craft. What’s next for the company in this 15th anniversary of Eduardo Vilario? Hmm, not even the sky is the limit!!

—William S. Gooch

The Must-See Broadway Shows for the Spring 2024 Season

With the Tony Awards set for Sunday, June 16, 2024, the Broadway spring season is in full effect. From new plays to new musicals, this past year’s newly mounted and revival shows are preparing to compete for the crown jewel of theatre awards. There is a plethora of shows to check out from original new biographical musicals to nitty, gritty dramatic plays. Fashion Reverie is here to provide a guide for Broadway and live theatre lovers for the spring season.

Image courtesy o broadwaydirect.com

Lempicka

“Lempicka” began previews on March 19, and officially opened on April 14. This musical tells the story of Polish painter Tamara de Lempicka, who became best known for her Art Deco portraits of aristocrats and the wealthy, along with her highly stylized nudes.

Prior to its Broadway run, “Lempicka” saw sold-out performances at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and La Jolla Playhouse. This pop-infused score tells a story of a woman overcoming turmoil, who was seen as ahead of her time. Eden Espinosa, best known for playing the role of Elphaba in “Wicked,” both regionally and on Broadway, stars as the title character of this must-see show.

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The Great Gatsby

Broadway leading man Jeremy Jordan returns home to the Great White Way playing Jay Gatsby in the musical adaptation of the famed F. Scott Fitzgerald novel “The Great Gatsby,” that’s also been adapted for TV and film numerous times. Jordan is joined by Eva Noblezada, who plays Daisy Buchanan. The musical will have its official opening on April 25, 2024.

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Water for Elephants

He might be best known for playing the title character in The CW TV series “The Flash” but actor Grant Gustin proved his singing chops with his recurring role on Ryan Murphy’s “Glee” back when the show was on primetime. Now, he’s brought his vocal talents to Broadway in the musical adaptation of Sarah Gruen’s best-selling novel “Water for Elephants.” The musical is now open after its March 21 official premiere.

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The Wiz

The famed hit musical “The Wiz,” the Black culture adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz,” returns to Broadway for the first time since the ‘80s in an all-new adaptation. The musical first made history as one of the first big-budget all-black cast musicals to have such a long  Broadway run, playing for 1672 performances.

This new revival stars American television host, comedian, and actor Wayne Brady in the title role, and legendary R&B and pop diva Deborah Cox as Glinda. The show is now officially open, with an April 17 premiere.

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The Outsiders

S.E. Hinton’s novel and Francis Ford Coppola’s film “The Outsiders” has been given musical life in a Broadway adaptation. Set in 1967 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the story follows Ponyboy Curtis, Johnny Cade, and their chosen family fight for survival and a purpose. The musical marks the Broadway debut of newcomer Brody Grant as Ponyboy.

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The Who’s Tommy

Following a successful run in Chicago, “The Who’s Tommy” returns to Broadway for a Broadway revival that opened on March 28. The Who’s acclaimed rock opera from 1969 features songs that have become synonymous with the pop culture zeitgeist, including “I’m Free” and “Pinball Wizard.” Rising Broadway star Ali Louis Bourzgui stars as the title character in this show-stopping musical.

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Hell’s Kitchen

Alicia Keys is best known for her multiple Grammy-winning albums and her impeccable piano skills. Now, the musician has put her pen to paper to write the music and lyrics for a new Broadway musical titled “Hell’s Kitchen,” set in the New York City neighborhood of the same name. Shoshanna Bean, one of Broadway’s biggest stars, plays the leading lady in this must-see musical that has critics raving.

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The Notebook

Nicholas Sparks’ novel, “The Notebook,” which became a box office movie hit, is now getting the musical theatre treatment with a Broadway adaptation. The epic love story has been gifted the touch of songwriter Ingrid Michaelson, who has taken the tale of two lovers who are constantly dragged apart by outside forces, but ultimately write their love story. The Broadway run officially opened on March 14, following a successful Chicago run.

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Uncle Vanya

Steve Carrell is taking his talents from the television to the stage playing the title character in one of playwright Anton Chekhov’s best-known works, “Uncle Vanya,” adapted by contemporary American playwright and screenwriter Heidi Schreck.

Although a new adaptation, the play still sticks to the themes of people dealing with their unlived lives. Tony-winning actress Anika Noni Rose also joins the cast of this production as Yelena.

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Suffs

It’s 2024, and women are still fighting for rights from reproductive justice to equal pay. Despite the political battles women are fighting today, the course of women’s rights changed forever with the women’s suffragist movement in the early 20th century. In “Suffs,” a new musical written, composed by and starring singer and songwriter Shaina Taub, the 1913 women’s suffragist movement is documented in Broadway fashion. The producers behind this musical are none other than 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Pakistani women’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai.

Kristopher Fraser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Shows Come to Broadway for the Fall 2023 Season

After some pretty dark days during the COVID-19 pandemic years, Broadway is seeing a rebound. Many Broadway shows are making their mark for the fall 2023 season and are expected to be met with success.

Fashion Reverie has grouped together shows we are excited to see and performances we can’t wait to experience. We took the time to gather some of our favorite selections so we can present for you a roundup of must-see Broadway experiences for the fall 2023 season.

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Merrily We Roll Along

“Merrily We Roll Along” is the story of how a composer’s idealism and friendship were corrupted by success. Not only that, but now the composer must tell his story backwards, starting with a tale that’s down and depressing, and ending with the optimism that came from his college years.

This is a fantastic show to add to your fall 2023 list, as it tells the story of a group of friends who are all artists gaining fame and how things eventually fall apart between them all. This musical was first directed by Maria Friedman at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory. The show is scored by Stephen Sondheim and has a book written by George Furth. The show will begin performances on Sept. 19 at the Hudson Theatre on 139–141 W. 44th St. “Merrily We Roll Along” features actors Daniel Radcliffe as Charley Kringas, Jonathan Groff as Franklin Shepard, Lindsay Mendez as Mary Flynn, and many others.

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Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

Featuring esteemed stars Aubrey Plaza and Christopher Abbot in John Patrick Shanley’s play, “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea” is a portrayal of the near-indistinguishable space between joy and pain. The setting of this show takes place in a rundown bar in the Bronx, where two societal rejects, Danny and Roberta, hit things off after conversing over their drinks. Danny seems incapable of tender love and resorts to violence. Roberta is recently divorced and ridden with guilt over a teenage son she feels is too far gone to be fixed. Roberta naturally isn’t trusting or fond of men, as a sexual incident with her father happened to her in the past. Yet, these two find a way to connect and show compassion to one another while forgiving the wrongs of the world around them and choosing to be less bitter and lonely.

This drama is coming to New York for a limited time only this fall at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in Manhattan’s iconic West Village. With the show’s powerfully enduring message of human connection, it will surely be a show that is sought out.

Image courtesy of broadwayhereandthere.com

Purlie Victorious

If you love Broadway revivals, then you will love “Purlie Victorious.” Tony & Grammy Award winner and Academy & Emmy Award nominee Leslie Odom, Jr. will star in a new Broadway production of this classic American comedy. Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch is the rousing, laugh-filled comedy by Ossie Davis that tells the story of a Black preacher’s machinations to reclaim his inheritance and win back his church. Preview for “Purlie Victorious” opens September 7.

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Is It Thursday Yet?

“Is It Thursday Yet?” is co-created and co-choreographed by Jenn Freeman and Sonya Tayeh. Performances come solely from Freeman, while it is directed entirely by Tayeh. Through dance, live music, and home video footage this show invites you into the unique complexities of a dancer and choreographer (Jenn Freeman) while she goes through her life following her autism spectrum disorder diagnosis at the age of 33. Since her original diagnosis, she has been able to examine memories from her childhood with a new lens and understanding.

Live music from composer and vocalist Holland Andrews and a set by Rachel Hauck, who won a Tony Award for “Hadestown,” make this show a must-see. It’s a testament to the abilities of the everyday human and is truly liberating. The show will take place at the Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC NYC) from Dec. 8-23.

Image courtesy of brooklyn-theater.com

Waiting for Godot!

Michael Shannon as Estragon and Paul Spark as Vladimir will be leading the cast and starring in this classic. Shannon has played multi-award-winning roles in hit movies like “Knives Out” andBullet Train.” In this show, two wanderers are waiting by a lonely tree to meet up with Mr. Godot, whom they believe holds the power to change their lives for the better. Keep in mind that the two men are supposed to have troubled lives, so they believe in their lives changing for the better when they finally meet Mr. Godot. While they wait for the man, they fill their time playing games.

Jeff Biehl will be featured as Lucky, with Ajay Naidu as Pozzo. The show is by Samuel Beckett and will be directed by Arin Arbus at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn, NY. The show takes place starting Nov.4 and runs until Dec. 3.

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Jaja African Hair Braiding

This world premiere welcomes you into Jaja’s bustling hair braiding salon in Harlem where every day, a lively and eclectic group of West African immigrant hair braiders are creating masterpieces on the heads of neighborhood women. During one sweltering summer day, love will blossom, dreams will flourish, and secrets will be revealed. The uncertainty of their circumstances simmer below the surface of their lives and when it boils over, it forces this tight-knit community to confront what it means to be an outsider on the edge of the place they call home.

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Monty Python’s Spamalot

This is a hilarious musical comedy based on the classic “Monty Python and The Holy Grail” film and is making a return to Broadway. The show includes everything from flying cows to killer rabbits. The musical follows King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table on their quest for the Holy Grail.

Directed and choreographed by Josh Rhodes, the show will begin performances on Tuesday, Oct. 31, ahead of the official opening night on Thursday, Nov. 16. The work features a book and lyrics by Eric Idle and John Du Prez, which are rip-offs from the iconic 1975 film. Jeffrey Finn, the artistic director of the series, will produce the revival happening on Broadway.

—Ryan Salfino

 

 

 

BAAND Together Dance Festival Is a Celebration of the Future of Dance

Alvin Ailey American Dance Company in “Dancing Spirit”/Photo Credit: RICHARD TERMINE

In this third season of BAAND Together Dance Festival at Lincoln Center, dance companies Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre (AAADT), American Ballet Theatre (ABT), Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH), New York City Ballet (NYCB), and Ballet Hispanico presented dance works that demonstrated the breadth and depth of the respective companies.  “The BAAND Together Dance Festival is a testament to the vibrancy and diversity of the New York City dance community. We are thrilled to be returning with a spectacular program that features the city’s most internationally revered repertory companies. This year’s program highlights the innovative visions that have made New York City our nation’s dance capital,” as stated by organizers of BAAND.

BAAND Together Dance Festival was created during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to spark continued interest in dance in New York City as dance performances were shut down due to the pandemic. This five-day, free dance festival, held at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park, has grown over the past three years with attendance increasing every year.

This season ABT, DTH, NYCB, AAADT, and Ballet Hispanico performed works that not only define these esteemed dance companies but project the next iteration of these dance companies. Ballet Hispanico, Alvin Ailey, and New York City Ballet scored the bonafide hits of the evening, with American Ballet Theatre and Dance Theatre of Harlem performing to lesser effect.

Ballet Hispanico in “Linea Recta”/Photo Credit: RICHARD TERMINE

Ballet Hispanico opened the evening with Anabelle Lopez Ochoa’s “Linea Recta.” Though this masterpiece is set to flamenco music Eric Vaarzon Morel, Lopez Ochoa goes beyond traditional flamenco steps and choreography to interpret Morel’s music.

As one of the most popular choreographers on the dance scene, Lopez Ochoa demonstrates in “Linea Recta’—which has been Ballet Hispanco’s repertoire for a few years now—why she is at the top of her choreographic game. With Lopez Ochoa there is also something unexpected. And with this element of surprise, Lopez Ochoa whets the appetite just enough to keep audiences wanting more and more.

In “Linea Recta” there is very little reference to Spanish dance or movement. This dance work is heavily intertwined with Graham contractions and high leg extensions and undulations; movement that at times is a far cry from traditional flamenco dance. Yet, Lopez Ochoa finds a way to make it work and work brilliantly. And Lopez Ochoa expertly uses the red ruffled train to grand effect as a prop and exclamation point to the sharp, dramatic movement.

What stands out most about this ballet is Lopez Ochoa’s intricate partnering where the male dancer is so much more than a porter presenting the female dancer. The dancers weave themselves around, dramatically punctuating the strong flamenco music in the background.

New York City Ballet in “The Times Are Racing”/Photo Credit: RICHARD TERMINE

Another strong work of the evening was Justin Peck’s “The Times Are Racing” with music by Dan Deacon. This sneaker ballet, slightly reminiscent of Jerome Robbins’ “N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz” from the late 1950s, uses casual streetwear and sneakers, not unlike Robbins’s work. Still, Peck’s work is a lot less binary than Robbins’ work. Men partner men, women partner women with the real star of Peck’s ballet being the ensemble, who though dancing as a unit, each individual dancer stands out and has their moment in the sun.

Gone are the pointe shoes, tutus, and even the black and white unitard and tights ala Balanchine abstract ballets of the 20th century. In its place are urban streetwear garments that can be seen on any young consumer. Also absent is the stylized ballet lexicon. But who needs that ballet reference for this modern-day urban hodge podge of dance idioms.

What is taking place on stage is a commitment and focus by each dancer on an expressive interpretation of Deacon’s rock-inspired music. And this focus presents the New York City Ballet in a new and streamlined projection toward the future.

Peck proves in this work that this is the New York City Ballet of the 21st century. Just as Balanchine pushed the proverbial dance envelope in the 20th century, Peck is pushing that same envelope in the 21st century. And evolving ballet in a way that can be more appealing to younger audiences.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Company in “Dancing Spirit”/Photo Credit: RICHARD TERMINE

The highlight of the evening was the Ailey Company’s “Dancing Spirit,” choreographed by Ronald K. Brown with music by Duke Ellington, War, and Wynton Marsalis. If you are not familiar with Ronald K. Brown, you should become acquainted with his work.

What is so endemic of Brown’s dance works is the dancers’ abilities to dance with their entire body. Everything needs to be aptly coordinated with the music. And the Ailey dancers rise to this challenge, ever surpassing this requirement. In other words, they brought the party to BAAND!!

As with most of Ronald K. Brown’s choreography, Brown borrows heavily from African dance styles, house club social dancing, as well as the modern techniques of Horton, Dunham, and Graham. All combined into a magical frenzy of rhythmic interpretations of the music and human experience.

The Ailey Company proves with this work they are as relevant as ever, and that are continuing to evolve the black dance experience for young audiences. Ailey artistic director Robert Battle has continued to demonstrate modern dance as seen through lens of the black experience is a valid and ever-evolving commentary on world culture.

The two disappointing performances of the evening came from American Ballet Theatre and Dance Theatre of Harlem. Both outstanding companies failed to deliver noteworthy performances for different reasons.

Dance Theatre of Harlem in “Nyman String Quartet No. 2″/Photo Credit: RICHARD TERMINE

In DTH’s case, it was the choice of Robert Garland’s choreography, “Nyman String Quartet No. 2.” At first it seemed that DTH’s new artistic director Robert Garland was creating a work to the abilities of his dancers. However, at further examination it was obvious that Garland’s choreography missed the talent and depth of DTH’s current crop of performers.

Though some of Garland’s choreography sat well on the women of the company, unfortunately the men looked like unwanted guests or crashers at the party. And the sight level of the Damrosch Park stage didn’t help matters, preventing audiences from seeing the footwork of the dancers.

Another distraction was the costumes that did not show off the dancers’ bodies to good effect. In years past, DTH dancers were known for having some of the most beautiful bodies in the dance world with great stage presence to match.


American Ballet Theatre in “Other Dances”/Photo Credit: RICHARD TERMINE

American Ballet Theatre performed Jerome Robbins’ iconic “Other Dances,” set on ballet legends Natalia Makarova and Mikhail Baryshnikov. While the ABT dancers performed the pyrotechnical aspects of the ballet well, many of the Russian/Slavic folk dance steps—mazurka, czardas steps—were lost on the dancers.

What fit so beautifully on Baryshnikov and Makarova looked dated and forced on the current crop of ABT dancers. While it is laudable that ABT’s new artistic director Susan Jaffe is giving her dancers this great jewel of a work, some education and better coaching would have served this performance well.

—William S. Gooch

 

Love Is in the Air in Some of These 2023 Summer Reads

With summer in full swing, something about the warm weather makes you want to dive deep into a book with hopes that it may be your new favorite read. You can just get lost in the pages of a book for hours while sitting by the pool or on the beach. Fashion Reverie has curated a list of titles that we are excited to share. From a groundbreaking memoir from an Academy Award-nominated actor to a novel based on the life of a remarkable Black woman from history, you are sure to find your next summer read here.

Pageboy by Elliot Page

In this non-linear memoir of actor Elliot Page, he divulges never-before heard details on gender, love, mental health, relationships, and Hollywood. As one of the most famous trans advocates of the current times Page tells intimate stories of his life from childhood to present time and how thirteen years after his Oscar nomination for Juno, he came out as a trans man. He also eloquently sends home the message of the contentious experience of living a life as a trans man.

Happy Place by Emily Henry

The newest book from New York Times best-selling author Emily Henry, tells a story of a couple who have been together for months and have yet to tell their friends. They end up having to fake their relationship during their annual weeklong summer vacation with their friend group in Maine.

It is hard for the couple, Harriet and Wyn, to deny how desperately they still want each other while simultaneously lying through their teeth as the cottage is being put up for sale their last week in Maine. Make sure to add this vibrant novel to your summer reads list as Emily Henry always produces a fantastic summer read,

 The Whispers: A Novel by Ashley Audrain

Ashley Audrain’s page-turning thriller perfectly depicts the experience of four women and what occurs the following week after a horrific accident that happened to one of their children in the middle of the night.  This novel explores many themes revolving around motherhood and the quiet sacrifices, complexities of friendships, and what happens when intuitions are silenced.

The Wind Knows My Name by Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende presents a gripping novel that traces two stories, past and present, through war and immigration. In 1938 Vienna, six-year-old Samuel Adler was put on the last Kindertransport train going to the United Kingdom the day after Kristallnacht after the disappearance his father.

In Arizona in 2019, Anita Diaz, a blind seven-year-old girl, boards a train with her mother as they are fleeing from the impending danger in El Salvador. This is at the time of El Salvador’s new family separation policy, and Anita finds herself alone without her mother at a camp in Nogales. Through these two stories that are testaments to the sacrifices that parents make and the unfathomable dangers that these children survive, Allende creates another gripping novel.

Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan

This is the ultimate summer nostalgia read with the backdrop of the main character’s Sam’s parents’ beach house on Long Island. Sam is an engaged women to a successful doctor with a great job in Manhattan. She finds out that Wyatt is vacationing in Long Island—the Wyatt she spent every summer with from five to seventeen years old until he broke her heart. The presence of Wyatt makes her question everything about what happened between them in the past, and about herself in the present, including her engagement.

The Seven Year Slip by Ashley Poston

This new novel comes from New York Times Bestselling Author of the Dead Romantics. Ashley Poston has created a story of love and what happens when your perfect plan gets derailed. The main character Clementine, who is an overworked book publicist finds a strange man standing in her late aunt’s kitchen with a kindness that she can’t quite explain, however the catch is that he lives seven years in the past. Just her luck! The novel shows how they navigate their love for each other while not living in the same time period.

Queen of Exiles by Vanessa Riley

Queen of Exiles by Vanessa Riley is a tale of a remarkable black women of history who was Haiti’s Queen Marie-Louise Coidavid.  Coidavid escaped a coup during the Haitian Revolution and then goes on to build her own royal court in Regency Era Italy. She manages to flee to Europe with her daughters. By finding their place and acceptance in society, they discover more about themselves and their blackness, and what they can possess in world that is European and male dominated.

Images courtesy of amazon.com

Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood

In the newest novel by New York Times best-selling author Ali Hazelwood, theoretical Physicist Elsie Hannaway finds that experimental physicist Jack Smith, who ruined the career of her mentor, is standing in the way of her dream job at MIT. As she is vying for her dream job, she finds herself not having to be anything but her true self with Jack. Those long looks from Jack that she receives as she is preparing for scholarly sabotage may mean more.

—Phoebe Howard

George Michael, Portrait of an Artist: Getting to Know the Real George Michael

Image courtesy of GCN.ie

Like so many people within the entertainment industry, George Michael would come to write a legacy that was inspiring, magnetic, and complex. A documentary, “George Michael, Portrait of an Artist,” that explores these elements of his history was released on June 25, what would have been Michael’s 60th birthday. Available on Amazon, Tubi, Peacock, Plex, and Xumo in the U.S. and Canada this film sets itself apart in the way it casts a light on George Michael’s legacy. Going beyond his issues with drug use and confronting his sexuality, we see the hidden layers of his intense love and fear of fame.

In the opening few minutes of the documentary, the viewer becomes aware that George Michael’s name was not George Michael, but a name that reflected his Greek heritage, Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou. To become the person he wanted to be, he built a new version of himself. While this person was somewhat based in reality, George Michael enhanced his personality with some well-placed stories, creating almost a caricature of himself. 

Image courtesy of mashable.com

Born in London in 1963, Michael would become the lead singer of the pop band Wham! Still known for the singles ‘’Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” and “Last Christmas,” the duo group took on the American Billboard 200 and hit #1 on the UK Album chart. Eventually selling over 120 million records worldwide and becoming one of the best-selling artists of the 1980s. 

During the years of Wham! Michael often surprised people with his enigmatic presence. Both Andrew Ridgley, the other half of the duo, and George Michael would complain about the unemployment they dealt with in the years before Wham! rather than discuss thoughts of them being destined for fame.

Images courtesy of pinterest.com and IMDB.com

In the years that followed the band’s breakup over musical differences, George Michael made a name for himself as a solo artist. As his singles and albums grew in fame, George Michael created a god-like image of himself. Part of his ability to create this larger-than-life persona was the way he used his sartorial influence and talent at being in front of the camera. Dancing and singing directly to the audience at home, whether in his solo performances or during the years of Wham!, his excitement and love of music was palpable.

“He was made to be a star,” was a version of the words many of those interviewed said in the documentary. Tom Robinson, a broadcaster and rock musician, talked about the signing of George Michael’s Innervision contract. Apparently, after signing, George would immediately head for a holiday in Greece, but flew back in the middle of his vacation to get his hair cut! When he became more famous, he threw away the standard protocols of dress codes and entered many formal restaurants in ripped jeans. This casual look largely pushed the trend of ripped jeans in the ‘80s, along with a few other celebrity endorsements. He would often appear to be an uncaring star in the spotlight, drunk on fame and fortune, yet he was fundamentally unhappy at the height of his stardom and wished for a quieter life. Despite his longing for anonymity, George Michael was recognized for his signature style as he moved along the streets.

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

The infamous ripped jeans, a slouching leather jacket, and a singular cross earring dangling from one ear is an image of George Michael from the late 80s. Largely popularized by George Michael, it was a look that was both hedonistic, a bit homoerotic, and yet still masculine. This was a balance that Michael’s always seemed desperate to strike, particularly because of his intensely Greek and patriarchal father. After the release of the album, “Fast Love,” many fans came to be more aware of his sexuality. In 1998 George Michael would openly admit he was gay.

His being more open to his sexual orientation allowed fans to not only feel closer to him but also become inspired by what he wore. After the ‘Fast Love’ album, George Michael’s signature style choices would be worn by more people. But the real George Michael wasn’t just the man in slouchy jackets and ripped jeans, a fashion persona he created that made his sexuality ambiguous.

Ultimately, George was human. He loved, he lost, and he made some great music. And his personality beamed bright though his music and his fashion.

BAFP PHOTO MIGUEL MEDINA (AFP/GettyImages)

George Michael: Portrait of an Artist” is available on Amazon, Tubi, Peacock, Plex, and Xumo in the U.S. and Canada. 

—Sydney Yeager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love, Kelly: Putting Vermont on the Map

Images courtesy of Instagram and YouTube

When you think about influential people in hip hop and rap in the last decade, highly rising music videographer and director Kelly Butts-Spirito needs to be included into the conversation. Butts-Spirito has found a way to be part of something much bigger than his name alone and he did so in a highly unconventional way. The hardships he endured in his life helped him form a community that is making a positive impact. His journey can be viewed in the film, “Love, Kelly: Putting Vermont on the Map,” which is available on YouTube.

The short documentary is directed by Owen Hammel and Sam Snowden, and was shot in both Vermont and New York City. The movie premiered in Soho, NYC, in partnership with Create More Studios.

This documentary takes you through Butts-Spirito’s entire life and demonstrates the bridge between music, fashion, videography, and other industries. Our theme this month for Fashion Reverie focuses on the intersection between fashion and music, and how their worlds are often intrinsically linked.

“Love, Kelly: Putting Vermont on the Map” engages the audience because it goes beyond a rags-to-riches story. It doesn’t just show how Butts-Spirito overcame his personal trials of battling addiction and going to a group home in Montana, but how he is “paying it forward” and helping others jumpstart their careers. We see how he shines a spotlight on someone if he sees something in them—a trait not typically associated with highly recognized musicians. In doing so, he’s unified people under one brand, which also happens to be his own event promotion, talent marketing and production company, lovekellyllc (@lovekellyllc on Instagram). His real love for everyone who supports what he does is the reason why he’s been able to impact his hometown of Burlington, VT, to such a high degree.

Image courtesy of Love, Kelly

The film goes into Butts-Spirito being a role model figure for the youth of Vermont who are growing up in his hometown. It also explores how he is proving wrong the people who picked on him or tried to write him off when he was growing up. He wants to show kids that they can rewrite their scripts all while being a little like him when it comes to resilience and perseverance.

Butts-Spirito connects to his audience throughoutLove, Kelly: Putting Vermont on the Map by humanizing creative people who don’t typically get support in their youth. He worked hard year in and year out by setting short-term goals as much as having long-term goals. His mindset is something people can appreciate because he stands for that dream of being on a big stage and going against the norms of society.

The film itself included a lot of themes that were important to capture when diving into the life of Butts-Spirito. The biggest theme was that of a sense of community for his fans and followers. The film dives into what is possible for someone who felt like nobody at times in his life, only to turn around and create sold-out shows and music festivals, something no one from Vermont had ever done to the scale he did. 

Image courtesy of Love, Kelly

“I just feel like sometimes we don’t understand the power of following through on certain things,” Butts-Spirito told fashionreverie.com. “I think that a lot of times it can be seen as both negative and positive.

“I definitely think that something that we really like, pride ourselves on is not having limitation around what we’re capable of,” he continues. “I feel like that’s always been something that I’ve tried to carry over when we’re having conversations about events or about the goals. There’s not a lot of talk about, ‘Oh, well this is too ambitious.’ I look back on things in retrospect and I can’t believe we did a storefront in Soho with hundreds of people on Mother’s Day. That’s just kind of crazy. But in the moment, I feel like it was a lot of us coming together for one specific thing and one specific moment. So, of course you want to do it in a storefront because we want to do it the best way we can.”

Hammel, the movie’s co-director, began his film career in college, and has roots in Vermont. The film’s other co-director, Sam Snowden, is a freelance filmmaker based in New York City.

Hammel had the original idea to make a short film on Butts-Spirito. He wanted to draw the audience in with the story of how Butts-Spirito’s Vermont show and festival was shut down by the city. But then he wanted the story to evolve from there.

“We came to Kelly about doing a video about him,” Snowden told fashionreverie.com. “It was great to capture a bunch of footage of Kelly. I think when you’re capturing someone like this you try not to think about what’s going to happen next. What they’re going to be like. Just (have to) focus on what’s possible and I think Kelly is really good at that.”

The film shows Butts-Spirito as an innovator who has both honed the ability to use his strengths while championing a new wave of creatives taking over social and digital media. “Obviously he’s a director, but what he does is more than just being known as a guy who makes cool videos,” said Hammel. “He’s essentially the backbone of this whole wave coming out of Vermont. And not to discredit anyone else, but without him, everything that’s happened to Vermont would not be at such a level that it’s at right now.”

Image courtesy of Love, Kelly

“I think when Butts-Spirito was first doing the house parties where there’s iconic moments like the OG ‘Eastside’ music video from North Ave Jax (Rapper from Vermont),” Hammel went on to tell fashionreverie.com. “That was happening before I was even aware of what was going on. Something like what Kelly was doing for the music scenes, specifically hip-hop rap and to help pioneer its development in Vermont of all places? That fast? I know all the people and I’ve become a part of it. But even still, I sometimes sit back and I’m like what the hell just happened. Who would have ever thought that there would be a rap scene in Vermont?”

You can view the film at Create More Studios YouTube page.

—Ryan Salfino

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