1960s

Smiling Through the Apocalypse

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Smiling Through the Apocalypse, if you haven’t already Googled it yourself already, is a documentary that focuses on Esquire magazine during the sixties. Specifically, during the sixties under the helm of editor Harold T.P. Hayes. The story goes something like this: during one of the most turbulent decades unseen since the Civil War era, editor and provocateur Howard Hayes is remembered as having stepped up to take the falling star that was Esquire, and put it back in the sky. The film’s summary goes on to describe a man who not only led a team behind some of the most varied polemical writing styles and iconoclastic subtleties, but did so under the caveat that each and every day could easily lead to (and oftentimes did) disaster riddle in controversy.

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A Man of MUCH Importance

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I’ll admit that I was swept away by the music but when I started to truly understand what was happening in the story, when Alfie clearly shows he is in love with Robby, things begin to really fall into place. With a bizarre but dutiful relationship between Alfie and his sister, Lily, the protector, anchor, and opinionated powerhouse; the friendship between Alfie and Robby that is seemingly innocent and true; the importance of the theatre to every character involved; societal persecution; the unfortunate backdrop of conservatism rearing it’s head to take the freedom and swell of joy right out of it – this was a play/musical that leaves you full of thought, a bit of sadness, and a reason to feel your voice needs to sound.

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