Friday, July 5, 2019

The Friday 5: 5 Musicals on the Immigrant Experience

Yesterday gave me a chance to reflect on our country and its current state. It wasn't a pleasant reflection, I'm sorry to say. My thoughts went to what is happening at our southern border, and it really got me down. Thinking of Broadway shows always provides me with an escape, and I got to remembering musicals that reflect various aspects of the immigrant experience in the United States. There are so many, but this is the Friday 5, and that's the limit. So, here's what I came up with:


Allegiance: It would be impossible to believe that we'd go down this horrible path again, but here we are. People in camps. Again.

Hamilton: "Immigrants - we get the job done!" Our founding fathers would be appalled by today's American experience. I hope.

Rags: People came to this country with hopes and dreams. They were greeted with racism and suspicion. Not much has changed, sadly. Still, I have hope for everyone brave enough to come here.

Ragtime: This caustic look at the American Dream through the eyes of the white privileged elite, the willing immigrants full of hope, and the once-here-against-their-will African-American class trying to make their own place in this country, only goes to show how much things haven't changed in the last century. Wheeee.

West Side Story: Leave it to a Shakespeare to give us a tale about division that is just as true today as it was centuries ago. Leave it to Bernstein, Sondheim and Laurents to take it to the next level and give us a tale of racial division. Only several unnecessary deaths brought about any semblance of unity. Are we that numb these days?


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