There are so many “study break for final exams” activities around the Baldwin Wallace University campus that it is a challenge to study for final exams. Students who are interested in the arts are never left behind. Active minds, the campus student organization that aims to create an open environment for discussion about mental health, brought together our Campus Film Society and Student government to sponsor their movie night; a chocolate bar, snacks and holiday gift bags ensured that many students watched Benefits of being a wallflower. More gifts were stacked at our holiday party at the Ernsthausen Residence with a screening of Polar Express. Baldwin Wallace University SALSA, the campus association of Spanish and Latino students, hosted their dance party, Noche De Fiesta, featuring local legend DJ Chevi Rouge and latin dance teacher Bri Feliciano. Those years of Zumba cardio helped me get third place in the dance competition!
Events on Front Street, a mini-downtown adjacent to campus, showcase the talents of the University’s music and performing arts students. My favorite hangout is Social front street, the local bar / restaurant which hosts live entertainment events. Open mic parties are great; students are invited to participate. On my last visit, I saw classmates playing jazz and classical music, country music, rap and stand-up comedy. Talk about variety!
The semester classes concluded and were highlighted with a presentation by local music legend Jack Boessneck, a three-decade veteran of Cleveland’s Eighth day sound. He was a guest speaker in our Music Industry Course, examining his long career in the entertainment industry. His company handles sound engineering for an incredible array of the world’s top-grossing tours, festivals and theaters in the world. It was great to hear it firsthand from a professional who has worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment. Boessneck is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cleveland Rocks Past Present Future, an organization that supports live music in our city and administers a Musicians Relief Fund that provided critical support during the pandemic.
The pandemic has once again derailed plans to attend musical theater performances during the winter break. Much like Broadway, our local theaters have been hammered by COVID epidemics among artists, cast and crew. Cleveland Place of play house sold sold-out performances of Bad until he was forced to cancel two performances. Cleveland Playhouse and the Cleveland Orchestra performances suffered a similar fate. Despite strict commitments to the health and safety of their audiences, performance dates are constantly vulnerable.
In response, my musical theater fan was redirected to streaming, TV, and movie events. The NBC performance of Annie live! was great. I was one of the 5.2 million viewers who logged in. Did you enjoy the unique staging, using a 360 degree format? Musical films have filled the void; West Side Story, Diane the musical, Come from afar and Encanto. The Pentatonix Evergreen concert was a hit during the holidays, and there is still The Beatles: Come Back in case I have several hours of inactivity to satisfy my Beatles obsession. Streaming events seem to be making a comeback; I became a fan of the Australian comedian John robertson. His humor crosses the ocean via Twitch. Sofa so funny is back in action with a stand-up comedy live on Zoom. My favourites, Normandy coasts and James burey, ran the international comedy review on a Christmas and birthday streaming show.
I need “take a break from streaming” activities! All this cheerfulness leads to mindfulness activities, and Andrea Koehler Broadway coloring page always fills the void. Musicals are magic, and this month the lyrics of Red Mill! Musical comedy were my therapeutic goal!