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Student Blog: How the Grammys Showed that Theatre is Alive and Well

Even with Broadway being closed, the theater is still entertaining us through large-scale pop performances, like those seen at The Grammys.

Student Blog: How the Grammys Showed that Theatre is Alive and Well

This past Sunday, March 14th, was the 63rd annual Grammy Awards. We were graced with performances by Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, and more. These performances were theatrical, campy, and everything we've been missing this last year since Broadway closed. Between the stage design, costumes, lighting design, and music, these performances were the closest thing we've gotten to live theater since the shutdown.

Megan Thee Stallion's performance of her songs "Body" and "Savage" embraced everything theatre is about. From the vaudeville-era set design to the quick changes and choreography, Megan brought back theater. Her ensemble of dancers were dressed in vaudeville-inspired costumes, paired with sparkling face masks, of course. She danced and sang up, down, and around a large staircase, something that is very iconic when it comes to the vaudeville era and the Ziegfeld Follies. The level of performance that Megan gave had the high-octane energy and passion that one would expect out of a Broadway performance. Also, her dancers gave a nod to the Nicholas Brothers, an African-American dance duo who did the splits over each other while going down a staircase. In her performance, two tap dancers did the splits one after the other on a staircase.

Taylor Swift performed three of her biggest songs from the last year, including "Willow", "Cardigan", and "August". One thing Taylor did to bring theatricality to The Grammys is that she made the audience feel like they were in a cute forest with her, not watching her perform on stage. Her stage presence was incredible and her use of the set really allowed for audiences to suspend their disbelief. She allowed the audience to feel as if they were in a different world and not in a pandemic, watching everything from their couches. Taylor brought theatrical magic to The Grammys, which was whimsical and fun.

Another performance that I think was very theatrical and brought back the essence of theater was the Cardi B performance. Between the high energy and large set pieces, Cardi B brought a very theatrical experience to this show. She performed her iconic songs "Up" and "WAP", bringing out the previously mentioned Megan Thee Stallion for the latter song. The performance Cardi gave, especially during WAP, was high energy and made me think of large-scale Broadway musicals where the performers are having a lot of fun doing what they love. One show, in particular, I think back to is Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, especially right before The Duel, where all of the actors are dancing and jumping around in a rave-like atmosphere. While Cardi did not have a rave, it still had the fun and energetic energy that is promoted during other shows.

Finally, I think The Grammys show us all just how theater lives on, even when we aren't thinking about it. While Broadway is currently closed, theater is thriving in other parts of the entertainment world. I also think that The Grammys show us all how award shows could be successful during the pandemic, something that might motivate The Tony Awards to move along with this process.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Paige Rosko