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We hopped on the 110, took it to the 101, and exited at Hollywood Boulevard.  Just a short drive from USC, and we were at the iconic Pantages Theatre.  Located at the corner of Hollywood and Vine, the theatre is surrounded by the Walk of Fame stars lining the street.  As I looked up at it, I stood where the Academy Awards had once been held, where thousands of talented actors had once walked!  I stepped inside, admiring the plush red carpet (yes, there’s actually a red carpet!), and my excitement boiled up.

On a whim, my friends and I had decided to see West Side Story.  We went to Ticket Master, bought $30 tickets, and just a few days later, there we were!  We watched the love story of Maria and Tony unravel, as social classes collided and fought (and by fought, I mostly mean had dance-offs).  As they sang about America, Officer Krupke, and feeling pretty, the Jets and the Sharks battled, dancing in order to win territory and protect pride.  I left wishing that I had the ability to sing and dance, and I thought back to the other theatre experiences that USC had offered me.

During my freshman year, the faculty master in my dorm had taken me to Stomp at the Pantages and Dreamgirls at the Ahmanson Theater (just 4 miles from USC! Really, could we be in a better location?!) – all at no cost to me!  I was lucky enough to see so many amazing productions, and I cherish these memories every day.  But fortunately enough for us Trojans, such opportunities are not uncommon at USC.  I have also seen Spring Awakening at the Long Beach Convention Center (once again for free!), and I won’t even begin to bore you with all of the other plays and cool things I’ve been able to go to.  Though musicals may not be everyone’s thing, these productions are absolutely amazing.  The beautiful mix of music, dancing, and entertainment at such short distances from USC?  There’s no way you can pass that up!

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