ARTICLE BY ZACHARY SCHAFER, JOURNALISM STUDENT & WEBSITE MASTER.
Freedom High School’s Spring Theatre Production of a classic whodunit murder mystery Curtains was a smash hit among the community. Hosted between April 21st and 24th, with shows ranging from 2PM to 7PM, and directed by Justin Amann, the show lasted three hours total plus a 15 minute intermission.
The musical is set in Boston, MA. 1959. The storyline follows Lt. Frank Cioffi, played by senior James Meyers, who is a police detective who is a musical theatre fan who is investigating a murder of the leading lady in a theatre during a performance. In order to save the show, he must solve the mystery and find the killer before it’s too late.
The musical itself was amazing, and the fact that all these students could pull off singing and dancing for three hours straight is just incredible. The performance had its share of funny moments, sad moments, and shocking moments, but overall it was by far the best full-on, post-pandemic play yet.
One of the best parts about the performance was the lighting and stage sets. The sets were beautifully painted and designed by Freedom Theater Company’s stage crew, and they looked so realistic that it felt like you were actually there, instead of looking at dried up paint.
They even had a curtain for the performance inside of the performance, the “Robbin’ Hood”. My favorite songs out of the entire performance has to be “I Miss the Music”, sung by sophomore Connor McClure and junior MaryJo Rutkowski and “It’s a Business”, sung by freshman Tori Prostko. The first one was beautifully sung and it had so much meaning, such as lost love reacquainted for the first time. The other favorite songs are “What Kind of Man” and “The Woman’s Dead” and “The Man is Dead”, which are basically the same song but about different people. The ending of the performance was shocking to say the least, when it was discovered -- spoiler alert -- that Daryl Grady of the Boston Globe, played by senior (and Freedom Forum writer and host) Ben Lee, was behind the murders.
Overall, this show was definitely a great evening of entertainment, laughter and joy. This is definitely a show that will be remembered for years to come.
ARTICLE BY CODY ULIANNA, JOURNALISM STUDENT
Large numbers of companies have suspended their products in Russia, so they aren’t sold at the moment. Aside from probably the two of the biggest companies, Pepsi and Coca-Cola, here are some other brands that will no longer be selling in Russia and how much profit they will lose.
McDonalds has stated that they have temporarily suspended their 850 businesses due to shareholders saying they would not stand for generations of profit from Russia.
Following McDonalds shutting down, Starbucks has also stated that 100 of their coffee shops are being closed down temporarily. Nestle, which owns a massive amount of brands, also have halted their products to just bare essentials.
Not just the food and drink industry are suspending sales, the retail industry is also responding by shutting down their stores in Russia’s largest mall “Aviapark” at an estimated 390,000 square meters of space.
Those stores were closed as of March 11th with likely more that followed after.
The tech industry also took a big hit with Samsung no longer shipping to the country, but Samsung has not said whether it will close stores completely or not. Joining Samsung, Sony and Nintendo both suspended the delivery of shipping consoles. Another big company in Russia that is closing down its shops is Apple which has also limited its use of apps and features such as “Apple Pay” and “Apple Maps”.
Two Apps that are huge in Russia are Tiktok and Facebook. Facebook announced they are blocking their site in total and Tiktok is blocking all non-Russian content in Russia as well as blocking live streaming.
Now probably the biggest industry hit is the oil and gas industry, with both the US and UK announcing they are Banning or Curbing getting their oil and gas from Russia, according to the BBC.
Oil and gas prices are skyrocketing across the world with the current gas prices (April 11th) being at $4.219 a gallon for regular and $4.880 for premium.
It’s clear that these changes will have an impact not only on Russia but on the world as a whole.
ARTICLE BY JADA CARTER, JOURNALISM STUDENT:
Do you ever wake up in the morning and throw on the first thing you see in your room? Or do you plan out what you are going to wear an entire day or week ahead? Students at Freedom High School can most likely relate to the first person described, but still make a statement in how they dress. Fashion trends at Freedom make everyone unique in their own way. Whether they dress like they are ready for practice or dress a little more casually, they are still following some type of trend. Even the teachers and staff have a trend where they pay $5 to wear jeans on Fridays. However, when it comes to the students, what influences their everyday style?
Do you like to wear athletic clothing such as leggings and hoodies? Then you might fit under the category of the sporty style. This style can be influenced by professional athletes or having a love for the gym. Maybe people dress this way without even realizing it. This fashion trend is popular amongst the students of Freedom High School probably because we have so many amazing athletes here.
The casual fashion trend is also a popular style. Casual wear refers to a style of clothing that allows people to feel comfortable but also look somewhat professional. Some examples would be wearing jeans, sweaters, t-shirts, sneakers, etc,. Teachers and staff lean towards the business casual style, but plenty of students know how to dress casually.
If thrifting clothes is something you love to do, then it is very possible you already have an article of vintage clothing or even a whole outfit. The term “vintage” refers to something that is old but high quality. So the vintage fashion style includes fashion trends from time periods most of us were not even alive for. What is better than cheap, classy clothing that everyone can afford?
May Guo, a senior at Freedom, finds herself wearing “mainly comfy clothes”. She tries dressing for herself, but she mainly gets “inspiration from people on social media”. As for peer pressure, May has in fact changed her style before “because everyone else did”. So not only was she influenced by social media, fashion trends around school had a part in how she dresses now. When it comes to her celebrity role model, which is Zendaya, May is influenced by her athletic, sporty style that she pulls off so well. May is one of many at Freedom High School whose fashion style is impacted by her surroundings.
Lance Aborde is another senior at Freedom High School whose style was influenced by someone else. He said “My cousins and friends mainly influence my style as I would consider my style to fall between urban-casual and minimalistic.”. For those who do not know, having a minimalistic style means to dress simply. The urban-casual fashion clothing refers to hip-hop or street style. Because Lance likes to make his style his own, he never changed his style because of how everyone else dresses. If there’s one celebrity that does impact how Lance dresses, it would have to be Drake.
Speaking of how celebrities impact students’ styles, Kayla Schankel, a junior, is impacted by Park Gyuri, Ho Yeonjung, Hei Huixiang and other k-drama or c-drama actresses. The fashion trends that grab Kayla’s attention are the Korean and Asian style. Not only is she influenced by types of fashion, she also finds herself becoming amused by styles she sees on Tiktok. She also has “a lot of Pinterest boards dedicated to the aesthetic she wants”. When it comes to trends that are seen around Freedom, she has definitely “followed trends like bucket hats and pleated tennis skirts”. Although everyone has worn this style at least once, she said “I always try to make my style my own at the end of the day by adding personal touches like jewelry or shoes.” So even though there are other people who play a part in how she dresses, Kayla likes to add her own touches to ensure that her style is unique.
It is just as easy to take a style and make it your own as it is to hop on the latest trend happening at Freedom. Whether inspiration is found from your phone or from those around you, there’s a style for everyone.
ARTICLE BY ERIN KRAUSS, JOURNALISM STUDENT:
Are you as excited for Harry’s new album as I am? If you are a 100% Harry Styles fan (like me), then you probably are counting down the days until May 20th. In case you’re lost about who this man is and why his house is releasing, don’t worry, it will all make sense after I explain it.
Harry Styles was in the band One Direction when he was 16 years old. He auditioned for the X-Factor along with a bunch of other people and Simon Cowell grouped five boys together to make One Direction. These boys, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Niall Horan released five albums during the time that they were together. One Direction even had movies made about them. The first one was in 2013 called “This Is Us” and one in 2014 called “Where We Are” which focuses on one of their concerts. The band also sold over 6 million albums and all of their albums debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 Chart.
The boys then went on their own separate ways and are now all solo artists. Styles made a name for himself by releasing his first solo album called Harry Styles in 2017, then his second album in 2019, called Fine Line. In 2019, Fine Line also debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 Chart. He recently went on tour this past fall in the US, starting in Las Vegas on September 4th and finishing on November 20th in Los Angeles, California. He had a total of 42 shows and performed in more than 20 different states. Each one of his shows sold out which racked up 95 million dollars.
Now, us “Harries” or Harry Styles fans were blessed with a new song on April 1st, but some people were worried that it was actually going to be an April Fools prank.. He announced that he would be releasing the single on March 28th on Twitter and Instagram by posting a picture of his back, with the caption of “As It Was. April 1.” Fans immediately commented saying that they were not ready. Even @iheartradio said, “STOP IM SHAKING!!!!”. Instagram wasn’t the only platform that people were going crazy on - Tiktok had its fair share of fans uploading conspiracies about the song and even the album. In addition to that, they did their best to try and figure out how many songs we would get and calculate the number of days in between March 28th and April 1st to try to figure out if that meant anything.
“As It Was,” was released, and that’s no joke. The music video was released on April 1st at 12:00 AM for those who live in the UK, but 7:00 PM on March 31st for people who live on the east coast. It is a little under three minutes long and features Harry running in circles, trying to get to a girl dressed in blue. Personally, I love the song. I think it’s very different from what his fans are used to. The music is upbeat and sounds like it would be a happy song but the lyrics are sad and have a lot of meaning behind them. The song even has an emotional beginning when there is a child’s voice saying, “Come on Harry, we wanna say goodnight to you!” Some people suspected that it was one of Olivia Wilde’s children, but he has confirmed that it was the voice of his goddaughter who used to call him before bed each night and one time, he didn’t pick up, so he decided to put in the beginning of the song to see what it would sound like and kept it in because he thought it fit. It adds a fun touch of excitement to the song and always makes fans happy when they hear it. Another emotional lyric occurs a little while later, “Answer the phone/Harry you’re no good alone/Why are you sitting at home on the floor?/What kind of pills are you on?” These lyrics might suggest isolation and loneliness and specifically uses his own name.
The rest of the album will be released on May 20th. I can’t wait for the whole album, which I already know is going to be amazing.
ARTICLE BY DEANNA MILLER, JOURNALISM STUDENT
Alternative singer and songwriter Melanie Martinez is most commonly known for her debut album, Cry Baby, which came out in 2015. Her half-and-half dyed hair and retro-styled clothing compliment her colorful indie music that portrays the life of a character named Cry Baby. After four years, she returned with a new album and movie in 2019; K-12, which can be found on YouTube.
The movie is from the perspective of Cry Baby who is attending a sleepaway school. But, this is no ordinary school. We follow Cry Baby through her day at K-12 and along the way meet new characters and are introduced to real-world problems through symbolism in her songs. This school is set on reforming the children, and harshly punishing them if they disobey. The song, “Drama Club,” entails the student body being brain-washed through the play. This song expresses how the students are no longer their own person and have masked their own identity and feelings with a script written by a higher authority. Each song is suited to the characters’ trauma and conflicts, which many adolescent girls find themselves relating to.
Melanie Martinez wrote the song, “Show & Tell” to express her feelings and share her experiences being a popular artist. She describes how she is “on display” and a “product of society.” In the chorus she sings, “I’m just like you, you’re like me; imperfect and human are we.” This song symbolizes her career and the expectations people have, how fans want more and more when she cannot always provide. It’s about the fact that at the end of the day, celebrities are still human and can only give so much. At the end of the song, the lyrics are drowned out and faded in the instrumental as she sings, “Why can’t you ... hear me?” In this line, she communicates how her concerns and opinions are never taken into account.
“Orange Juice” has another heavy topic; eating disorders. In this scene in the movie, Cry Baby has a friend with bulimia. “You turn oranges to orange juice” refers to solid food turning into liquid by throwing it up. Eating disorders affect many teens and are fatally harmful to their health. This song shines light on the many people suffering from this and sends a very important message through the lyrics, “Your body is imperfectly perfect, everyone wants what the other one’s working; no more orange juice.” Melanie’s music allows for thousands to feel seen and heard, and that they are not alone.
Lyrical genius Melanie Martinez uses imagery and catchy beats to paint an honest picture of the real-world. The smooth flow of the lyrics convey meaningful messages throughout every song as she touches the hearts of millions of fans worldwide. K-12 is both informative and entertaining, and overall definitely worth checking out.
ARTICLE BY ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ, JOURNALISM STUDENT:
DC and Marvel have been rivaling each other for many decades now. But what are their differences? What makes them special from each other?
Let's first look at the themes. What really is the difference? Marvel usually has lighter tones in their stories; they would also have more realistic themes for their story and character, like in both Guardians of the Galaxy movies where there is a more playful atmosphere and a lot more jokes in it. DC is the opposite, with darker themes, especially in the movies, like The Batman where they stick to the dark plot and stay away from any comedy.
What about the characters? Most DC characters are granted some kind of power either from birth or at some point in their life. They are also usually based on some sort of mythology, mostly Greek, like Aquaman representing Poseidon and Wonder Woman representing the god of war. DC heroes will also usually be incredibly powerful in both films and movies without anything leading up to it. On the other hand, Marvel characters are more ¨human¨ and they are usually seen slowly getting better at handling their powers, like when Spiderman was bitten by a spider for his powers or how the Hulk got his power from an accidental exposure to gamma rays. Both of these characters throughout comics and movies were learning how to use their powers.
When it comes to ratings, while people have many different opinions about both, Marvel is the more well-liked one out of the two. The average Metacritic score they usually get is 58.73 while DC usually gets 56.71. They also scored an 87 on their most successful movie Black Panther while DC got an 84 on their highest movie Dark Knight. Meanwhile, DC has the lowest score on a movie with a 27 on the movie Catwoman while Marvel scored a 52 in their movie Eternals.
There are many differences between Marvel and DC. Marvel seems to be the more fan-favorite but that doesn't mean it's the better one. Their differences make them unique and provide fans with endless hours of entertainment and debate.
ARTICLE BY JADA CARTER, JOURNALISM STUDENT:
The winner of this year’s men’s March Madness was the Midwest’s very own Kansas, the top-ranked team of that area. Having an overall record of 34-6 in their regular season, they didn’t come to mess around; they were gunning for that championship win. They beat North Carolina with a final score of 72-69. It surprised fans, as everyone had Gonzaga on their brackets to win, after their upset in the final two the previous year.
Starting with the North Carolina Tar Heels, there are some interesting stats to come out of that game that almost led them to a championship title. One of their forwards, Armando Bacot, led the team in rebounds with a total of 15. Not only was he the top rebounder for the night, he was also one of the leader scorers with 15 points. RJ Davis was right up there with Bacot, with 15 points as well as 12 rebounds. As for the Kansas Jayhawks, the lead scorers that led them to a victory were Jalen Wilson and David McCormack, with 15 points each. Christian Braun was the top rebounder with 12, and had an excellent defensive game with 11 rebounds on defense. These three key players contributed to the number one seed to win the championship in this year’s March Madness.
This year’s championship title could have belonged to any team. St. Peter’s out of the East made that believable. Since they were ranked 15 out of 16 teams in their area, they weren’t expected to make it far. However, with an outstanding 67-64 win over the third-ranked Purdue, they made it to the Elite 8. They made history that day for being the first 15 seed to make it to the final 8 teams.
March Madness is the NCAA Division l Men’s Basketball Tournament. It’s a single-elimination tournament played each spring in the United States. It first appeared in the state of Illinois over 60 years ago for the excitement around the state basketball tournaments. The term was coined by Henry V. Porter, who coached and taught at Athens High School in Central Illinois. This year, the tournament featured 68 college teams across the country. They came from either the East, West, South or Midwest. Every team came to play and showed everyone that ranks do not matter; it could have been anyone’s tournament win.
ARTICLE BY ERIN KRAUSS, JOURNALISM STUDENT:
The MLB had its opening day not long ago, on April 7th, 2022, and will continue to play the 2022 season until October 5th, 2022. The season was originally scheduled to start on March 31st but was pushed back because of bargaining agreements. There was a potential of no MLB season this year because a lockout was put into place on December 2nd, 2021 and the MLb didn’t do anything about it for over a month.
At the end of April, the Yankees were the leaders of the East AL, tied with the Blue Jays with a record of 10-6. The Twins had a record of 8-8 which put them in first place in the Central AL, and the Mariners were in the lead of the West AL also with a record of 10-6.
As for the National League, at the end of April, the Mets were in the lead of the East NL with a reocrd of 12-5. The Cardinals had a record of 9-5 which claimed their spot of number one in the Central NL, and the Dodgers had a record of 11-4, paving the way for themselves in the West NL.
Now, in early May, baseball is back and better than ever. Fans are now allowed to watch games in person - full capacity for the first time since 2019. There is much excitement to come since this is just the start of the season.
ARTICLE BY BEN LEE, JOURNALISM STUDENT
“Hey, did you know that The Rock went to Freedom High School?” said every Freedom High School student ever. About a few months ago, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson delivered a special surprise to the Freedom High School football team with new gear, equipment and an electrifying video message our school would never forget. Even though this happened months ago, the event still remains relevant at Freedom today and likely years to come. This is just one example of the mass influence celebrities have over people. In some scenarios, celebrities are even worshipped like gods. Fans will cry, pass out or even attack other people for their favorite celebrities. A good example would be BTS fans attacking someone on social media who shared a negative opinion about the Kpop group.
This begs us to ask the question: why do we do this? Why do we worship celebrities? James Houran, a psychologist at the consulting firm HVS Executive Search who helped create the first questionnaire to measure celebrity worship, states… “Celebrity worship, at its heart, seems to fill something in a person’s life...it gives them a sense of identity, a sense of self. It feeds a psychological need.” Of course, celebrity worship in most cases is not too serious. However, celebrity worship can go over the top.
Analyzing the recent situation between Will Smith and Chris Rock, there have been very strong feelings towards the issue on both sides and this story stayed inside the news for multiple weeks. While there is an entire war going on, a story of two celebrities took up the headlines for weeks. This is a great example of celebrity worship in our society and how the media exacerbates this. Regardless of your feelings towards the situation, all celebrities ultimately have flaws and are not perfect.
A major factor to pushing one down the road of celebrity stalker-life is personality. Being egotistical, irritable, and impulsive are key personality traits in determining one’s likelihood of falling into the rabbit hole of celebrity worship. Specifically, considerable changes in someone’s life such as a divorce or being fired as well as finding one’s identity are the biggest reasons. To elaborate, this struggle with identity is likely the culprit of why more teenagers, on average, worship some kind of celebrity.
At the end of the day, celebrity worship is not harmful in many cases and it can even provide a social outlet for some people. However, celebrity worship can easily become toxic and we should all remember celebrities are people just like us. And they have flaws too. Don’t make someone else your personality; find who you are.
Article by Zach Schafer, Journalism Student
Ever wanted to somewhat time travel and see someone you loved back in the nineties? Well now’s your chance! Big names from the nineties, Snoop Dogg, Dre, Eminem, Mary J. Blidge, you name it, all came to the Super Bowl 56 halftime show.
Located in SoFi Stadium in California, this year’s Super Bowl was a first-time performance for all of these artists, except for Blige, who performed in 2001. The trailer for the show has been released since January 20th and can be found on the NFL’s official Twitter page, as well as the full show. Kendrick Lamar is the only person who is from today’s generation of music who performed, but overall the five performers have a total of 43 Grammys and 21 Billboard No. 1 Albums.
In terms of the show, overall it was amazing, nostalgic, and to say the least, well-deserved for the artists and the audience. With Covid-19 still a thing two years later, it was good to see a normal halftime show. No masks, no distancing, nothing. Last year’s halftime show had distancing and masks, and 2020’s show was before Covid-19 even hit the U.S.. This year’s show was awesome. There was a large house set in which Snoop and Dre could not have appeared more comfortable performing in. It was their “love letter” to their city, and what made it more authentic was that it was a literal house, and it really helped show off their creative sides, which was classic 90’s West-side rap. They had two special guests join the stage, 50 Cent and Anderson Paak. 50 Cent joined as a result of his “In Da Club” video reaching over a billion views, and Anderson joined the show to play the drums for Eminem’s set. Mary J. Blige killed it on the stage, while rocking some killer boots! She gave all her heart and soul into her songs. At the end of her bit, she threw herself to the ground and dropped to the floor. Eminem once again stirred possible controversy during the show. He decided to take a knee, possibly in an unspoken tribute to Colin Kaepernick, who was banished because of his stance against racism and violence but also possibly as a tribute to Tupac, whose song was performed by Dr. Dre at the moment.
Some background details on each artist: Snoop was born Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr, 1972, and has been recently well known as a TV personality. In 2016, he began co-hosting “Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party” with Martha Stewart. Eminem was born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, 1972 and is well known for his alter ego, “Slim Shady” which began in 1996. He has 15 Grammys to his name but has gone on many hiatuses to fight personal problems. Dr Dre. was born Andre Romelle Young in 1965. He founded Aftermath Entertainment and Beats headphones, and is CEO for both. Mary Jane Blige was born in 1971. As of this year, she has eight grammys and 13 studio albums. Kendrick Lamar was born 1987, and is the youngest of the bunch. He made an album in 2017, “DAMN” which got him a Pulitzer Prize in 2018, and he wrote the Black Panther soundtrack in 2018 as well.
All in all, the setlist was amazing, with some great throwbacks such as “Still D.R.E.” and “California Love”. This show is definitely a 10/10 for performance.