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Essay

Is Anything More American Than Oklahoma! in Oklahoma?

Forget Broadway's Reopening—The Nation's Artistic Heartbeat Is at Its Center

by Jake Johnson

If there’s a more rambunctious and promiscuous genre than musical theater, I haven’t met it yet.
  Musicals are an everywhere phenomenon. They touch an enormously broad swath of American lives, unapologetically building worlds that don’t yet exist. I see this commitment to the not-yet as an aspiration for the rest of us stuck living in the here-and-now.
  I recently wrote a book about musicals, and visited communities in the heartland that were using musical theater to help understand their place in this country. I watched an original musical about Samson and Delilah in Branson, Missouri ...

Essay

Where I Go: Hiking the Mountain That Almost Killed John Muir

Finding an Adventure Story and a Portal to the Past Beneath Mount Shasta

by Tim Holt

The great outdoor adventurer John Muir—who had skipped over glaciers in Alaska, surfed an avalanche, and gleefully rode a wildly swaying tree in a storm in the Sierras—lay in a hotel bed strewn with wildflowers. He gazed through the window at the majestic sight of Mount Shasta.
  He had nearly died on the summit of that mountain the night before. A fierce blizzard had set in after he and mountain guide Jerome Fay reached it. A blinding deluge of snow obscured their route back, making a descent impossible.
  They survived by lying on their backs, just below the summit, on a bank of “fumaroles,” fissures ...

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