To say that 2020 was a disappointing year for the arts would be an understatement. Concerts were canceled, movie releases were postponed and festivals that would have brought people together couldn’t happen under new restrictions on gatherings. But we adapted; theater productions took to Zoom, musicians live-streamed from their homes and we made it work. It’s a new year, and while we are still dealing with the pandemic that brought life screeching to a halt last spring, the arts have had time to adjust. And though the COVID vaccine won’t be widely available for a while, now that it has started to roll out, we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel and a possible return to in-person events. In case you, like us, felt starved of events last year, our Cadenza staffers list the arts and entertainment events they are most excited for in 2021.
Plays! In person!
I was so excited when I heard that there was a major off-Broadway production of Chekhov’s Three Sisters, featuring Steve Buscemi and Greta Gerwig, slated for May of 2020. Needless to say, that production didn’t happen, but I am hopeful that we can resume seeing (and producing, and being in) plays in the flesh, so to speak. I attended a number of luminous Zoom productions in 2020, and these were wonderful in their own way. But I dearly miss hearing audience members react in real-time, being face-to-face with the production, even breathing in the dusty air of a theatre. Plays simply feel more human when you’re watching them in person. Here’s hoping we can feel that humanity in 2021.
—Elizabeth Piasecki Phelan, Staff Writer
Catching up on what I missed
I’ll be honest—I was looking forward to 2020. One year ago, things were looking great, entertainment-wise. I have long been a Marvel fan, and 2020 was supposed to kick off the MCU Phase Four. I had tickets to see My Chemical Romance on their reunion tour. And for me, 2021 is like a second chance. None of the MCU content came out last year, but it’s slowly rolling out now, starting with the rollout of the first episodes of “Wandavision” last week. Yes, my concert was postponed a full year, but (at least for now) it’s still happening. Things are by no means the same now as they were a year ago, but they aren’t totally different either.
—Isabella Neubauer, Senior Cadenza Editor and Copy Chief
Lorde’s new album (I’m manifesting it)
Before you get too excited, no, I don’t know when this much-anticipated album is coming out. But I’m speaking it into existence. “Melodrama” will be a tough act to follow, but I’m sure Lorde’s brilliant mind will deliver something magical. She’s also announced that she’s working with Jack Antonoff again, and if his recent collaborations with Taylor Swift and Carly Rae Jepsen tell us anything, it’s that this album is going to be a game-changer.
—Jaden Satenstein, Multimedia Editor
A cappella concerts
One of the biggest parts of Wash. U.’s campus culture is a cappella. Going to themed concerts and seeing friends perform is one of the highlights of my college experience and unfortunately, due to the pandemic, it was sadly absent from all of our lives this past semester. However, with auditions happening as we speak, it is safe to say that a cappella will be back this semester. I personally cannot wait to see how the various groups jump through the hurdles of singing in a pandemic to continue to provide the student body with the joy of song and vocal technique. Hopefully, the wait for our favorite a cappella groups to host a concert—virtually or in-person—won’t be too long.
—Sabrina Spence, Senior Cadenza Editor
Movies I’m anticipating
As Oscar season comes to a close, I’ve reflected on how badly I’ve missed going to movie theaters and sharing screenings with absolute strangers. That being said, there are several films I am excited to see—although probably not in person—this year. First, In the Heights, a movie representation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s original broadway show. Anything concerning Lin’s music excites me. Next, Top Gun: Maverick, the sequel to the 1986 film Top Gun. This movie will probably be a let down, considering it is one of the most classic movies ever and it just can’t have the ’80s charm of the original. Nonetheless, I’m interested to see how they follow it up. Finally, I want to manifest a final Tarantino film. Many anticipate him releasing one more film and calling it for good in his directing career, and honestly, that is what I need this year. 2021 really could (partly) redeem itself with a grand finale Tarantino.
—Gracie Hime, Staff Writer
Upcoming St. Louis exhibitions
One of the things I missed most about my college life when I was stuck at home last year was going to all of the wonderful art museums in St. Louis. There’s nothing like a day at a museum looking at some new art to put your mind at ease during a troublesome semester. That’s why I am very much looking forward to all the exciting exhibitions that local museums have planned for this year! I’m particularly excited to see “Nubia: Treasures of Ancient Africa” at the St. Louis Art Museum, “Stories of Resistance” at the Contemporary Art Museum and “Hannah Wilke: Art for Life’s Sake” at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. So, for anyone in St. Louis, I would encourage them to put on their cutest museum outfit (extra points for matching mask) and go check out some of the amazing art coming to town this year!
—Lydia McKelvie, Staff Writer