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One of My Favorite Movies Got Adapted for the Stage

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  One of my all-time favorite movies is Clue . I watch it every year. I know every line of dialogue. I've attended several midnight screenings of it here in Los Angeles. I own Clue T-shirts. I personally know someone who worked on the production back in the 80s. I am a fan. So, when I receive an invitation to attend the opening night of the stage adaptation of the movie and review it for Medium , it is without hesitation that I shall accept it.  And here's what I wrote.

PRIDE 2021: Anthems for a "Hot Vax Summer"

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As a member of the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Council at work, I am certainly proud to be a part of a group that celebrates and showcases the various figures and cultures that have shaped and continue to influence our country. And for the month of June, I am also thrilled to contribute to our company's newsletter which puts a spotlight on Pride – including this playlist that will hopefully help everyone find their groove, find their voice, and find their place during this upcoming "hot vax summer." Enjoy (also available on Apple Music): @TheFirstEcho

UNLEASHED: The 2021 Summer Playlist

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The face masks are coming off (for some of you), and there is a certain energy in the air, one that is screaming at the top of its lungs, "Watch out, world! I'm gonna have me a Hot Vax Summer!" This is an energy unlike any other felt at the beginning of the season. These aren't some pent-up feelings from a long, dreary winter. This is more like a life-force that has been suppressed since March 2020, and it. Needs. To. Come. Out.  While I still advise all of y'all to embrace these new "roaring twenties" with caution, I do suggest that you soak up every moment you're given – and use this as your soundtrack while you do it.  As usual, be sure to come back and revisit this playlist as I'll be adding more tunes to it over the next several weeks. @TheFirstEcho

Obsession of the Week: The 'Fear Street' Teaser Trailer

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Last week, the teaser trailer for Netflix's Fear Street trilogy of movies dropped, and yours truly woke up to the news, immediately reverting back to his 12-year-old self. To say this is a major event for me would be an understatement. (If you don't know what the hell I'm talking about, go do some Wikipedia-ing.) Anyone who really knows me knows that this is my Marvel. This is my Lord of the Rings , my Game of Thrones . This is the book series that truly shaped me into the horror-loving bookworm and writer who stands before you (and with all due respect, f**k Goosebumps ). I own all 80+ titles of the original series, plus 2005's  Fear Street Nights , 2014's six-book reboot, and the latest rendition, Return to Fear Street , that came out two years ago. I've literally waited YEARS for this adaptation to be made. I've been anticipating a release ever since 20th Century Fox  announced its development , attaching Leigh Janiak as the director back in 2017. (*Net

The Summer of '96: The Good, The Bad, and The Macarena

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Listen up children. Time for a little pop culture history lesson... The year was 1996. Will Smith was defeating aliens in  Independence Day , Bill Clinton was defeating Bob Dole in the polls, and the Macarena was defeating us all. Twenty-five years ago, I was working my first summer job at  Playland Park  in New York, the amusement park where Mariah Carey once sang "Fantasy" on a roller coaster for her music video (and where Tom Hanks took back his wish on that boardwalk at the end of Big ). That summer was a magical one. I was the brand new recipient of a driver's permit. I had disposable income that enabled me to purchase plenty of CD singles. And, one afternoon at the Jacob Javits Auto Show in Manhattan, I had the chance to geek out over a meet-and-greet with  Melrose Place 's Kristin Davis and Marcia Cross (another story for another time).  This was the soundtrack that got me through it all. @TheFirstEcho

In Celebration of the Half-Asian Heartthrob

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Growing up, I didn't think much about my mixed-race heritage. I grew up in the suburbs of New York City with a white mother from a large Irish-Catholic family and a Japanese father who emigrated to America in the late 70s. My childhood was, simply put, very American. I was obsessed with  Sesame Street 's Grover, Cookie Crisp cereal, and Waldo, that red-striped-sweater-wearing nerd of Where's Waldo fame. I had annual photo shoots at our local Sears Portrait Studio. I got creeped out when Cherie got locked inside that refrigerator on  Punky Brewster . And I, too, wondered what being "like a virgin" meant whenever Madonna's song came on the radio in between bites of my Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. But as I got older, I became more cognizant of my "other half," the part of me that remembered Japanese nursery rhymes my father narrated for me at bedtime ( something about an elderly couple adopting a baby they find hidden inside a giant peach on their farm