Friday Five: On March Madness, A New Broadway Season, And Seeing ‘Dear Evan Hansen’

1. March Madness Has Arrived

It’s time, friends. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship is here! While I’m excited that UNC is in the tournament as a one seed, I wasn’t too thrilled with the committee sending the Heels to Columbus, Ohio while Virginia and Duke get to play in Columbia, S.C. Columbus is double the mileage as Columbia. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Carolina not play close to home as a one seed to start off the tournament.

N.C. State was left out of the NCAA Tournament altogether, which didn’t sit well with this Wolfpack alumnus – as well as many other alumni and fans alike. The asinine snub by the NCAA Selection Committee prompted N.C. State Director of Athletics, Debbie Yow, to release a statement sharing her opinion on the issue.

Despite what some folks on social media told me, the support for the Pack in the NIT has been incredible. It started with a capacity crowd at Reynolds Coliseum for State’s first round game against Hofstra. After that game, ticket requests for the second round game on Sunday went live, in which more than 7,000 requests came in. This surpassed the capacity of Reynolds Coliseum.

I requested my ticket minutes after the request window opened and was able to score one, so stay tuned to my socials for pics and more.

2. New Broadway Season at DPAC

Durham Performing Arts Center held its annual Broadway season premiere event for season seat members on Thursday night. The event gives current season seat members a sneak peek at the new slate of Broadway shows that will hit the stage later this year and in 2020. Aladdin was already announced as part of the new season and seven additional shows were announced at the event on Thursday.

As a first time season seat member, I was able to attend the event and enjoyed it. While nothing compares to this season – with Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen – this upcoming season will be pretty good as well. I can’t reveal anything until the official announcement on Saturday, but I will say that two of the shows I wanted will indeed grace the DPAC stage in the upcoming season!

3. Seeing Dear Evan Hansen

Speaking of Broadway shows, I finally got to see Dear Evan Hansen on Sunday evening at DPAC. I was stoked about this past season overall, but the main reason I got season tickets was to ensure I’d get to see Hamilton and this show. Let me tell ya, it didn’t disappoint! The musical grabbed my attention from the start. Everything from the cast, to the music, to the set design was brilliant. Heck, it takes a lot to make me tear up but there were a few moments during the show that did just that.

Afterward, I headed out to the stage door to meet the cast and snag some autographs. I was fortunate enough to get an autograph from several of the cast members, including Jared Goldsmith, who plays Jared Kleinman – my favorite character in the show!

4. Us

As I’m writing this, I just got back from seeing Jordan Peele’s latest film, Us. The horror film was truly a cinematic work of art. It really had it all: incredible performances from the cast, a bone chillingly good plot that was more of the psychological variety than bloody or gory, and an ending that’ll truly make you think, at first. Once you get it, you’ll be even more freaked out! Stay tuned for a full review coming soon.

5. Wolfpack Women Competing at NCAAs

The N.C. State Women’s Swimming and Diving team is competing at the NCAA Championships this week in Texas. The Wolfpack women have already made a mark on the competition, placing six swims in the finals on Thursday night. Additionally, four individuals and both of State’s relay teams earned All-America honors, in route to sixth place on the team leaderboard after two days of competition.

The ladies continue competition with this evening’s finals, where freshman Sophie Hansson started things off by taking bronze in the 100 Breaststroke. Go Pack!

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