A/N: This is the first time I’ve ever done imagines, or anything xreader, so bear with me. :)
Imagine that you’re the bartender who Reid gave his number to, and his surprise when you call him.
I watched him walk away, pretty intrigued. I smiled to myself. We don’t get many like him in here. Actually, we don’t get any, and I found myself wondering if anyone like him even existed. He’d been so polite and obviously intelligent, not to mention adorably awkward. I picked up the card with his number on it and breathed a surprised laugh when I saw what was written on the back.
II III II-V V V- IIX IIIL VII
He’d written his number in Roman numerals, which only served to make me like him more. I checked my watch and realized that my shift was over. I raced through the motions of clocking out and gathered my things. Once I got out to my car, I pulled out my phone and flipped it open. I didn’t have to hesitate as I read and dialed the number on the card.
It rang four times, and then the voice of a certain Doctor Reid came over the line.
He sounded cautious and curious all at once, and I wondered if he always sounded that way when he answered a call.
“Hey, Doctor Reid,” I replied. “This is (Y/N), from the bar.”
There was a moment of silence.
“Wait, the one that I gave my number to, less than ten minutes ago?” he asked, sounding astonished. I smiled, pleased with myself. I got the feeling that he wasn’t the easiest to surprise.
“The very same,” I confirmed.
“You-you read?” he stammered, seemingly trying desperately not to insult me with his shock. I laughed.
“Yes,” I said. “I can read Roman numerals. Very clever, by the way.”
“I, um…thank you,” he said. “I honestly didn’t-”
“Expect me to call?” I filled in. “Well, expect the unexpected, Doctor Reid,” I teased.
“You can-it’s Spencer,” he said. “And I am impressed.”
“Just because I’m a bartender doesn’t mean I’m stupid,” I laughed.
“Oh, no, no, I didn’t mean that at all,” he told me in a rush. “It’s only that a very small percentage of the population can actually read Roman numerals without looking them up,” he said, and paused.
“Did you look them up?” he asked.
“No,” I said with a smile, “I didn’t.”
“So, Spencer,” I began. “I was hoping you would be willing to have coffee with me sometime.”
“I would love to.”
I smiled to myself. Finally, a guy who wouldn’t make my IQ drop after a two-minute conversation.
Especially notable is that before 1960, Americans didn’t even have the option of picking their own race; it was the census taker’s job to do it for them. Which means that in 1890, for example, census takers were tasked with figuring out whether multiracial families counted as “mulatto,” “quadroon,” or “octoroon.”
It’s another illustration of how our understanding of what race is, and who belongs to which race, keeps shifting over time — even though people of every era are convinced that the racial divisions of their era are just scientific fact.
As the presidential race shifted to Nevada with Democratic caucuses last week and Republican caucuses Tuesday night, more young voters had a chance to chime into the political process. Nevada is a state with a huge young, diverse population.
But, of course, there is the perennial question: Do young people matter in politics?
Millennials (born between 1982 and 2000, according to the Census definition) are the largest generation in the country. With an estimated population of 83.1 million, they now outnumber baby boomers. But, in the last election, they had the lowest voter turnout of any age group.
That’s partly because political campaigns aren’t tapping into the potential power of young voters, according to Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, the director of CIRCLE, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, at Tufts University.
The main conclusion for Kawashima-Ginsberg was that young people, when they’re actually targeted, can help win elections — especially in these 10 states, ordered from least important to most important in terms of youth vote.
The dominance of “Hamilton” in the new-musical category has shifted interest to other races, prompted a rethink of seasonal customs and even led one largely new show to seek categorization as a revival instead — all part of what might be called “The ‘Hamilton’ Effect.”
As it delights the American public, the idea of rapping founding fathers is doing something very different to the people who work on Broadway: furrowing their brows.
“What we all have to do is look at the assignment differently,” said Rick Miramontez, the veteran strategist behind Tony winners “Kinky Boots” and “Avenue Q” who this year counts the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “School of Rock” and the Steve Martin-Edie Brickell bluegrass piece “Bright Star” among the shows whose campaigns he’d be leading. “You’re not going to win the medallion, but that doesn’t mean the ante isn’t upped in a lot of other ways.”
Barely once each Broadway generation — “A Chorus Line” in 1975, “The Producers” in 2001 — a juggernaut so powerful comes along that it causes competitors a brief moment of despair. And then, just as quickly, it sets off a round of tactical maneuvering.
By generating so much attention on the race and the Tonys telecast — which has struggled to attract viewers in the last few years — “Hamilton” has ensured that a nomination will be more valuable this year.
That’s critical for shows such as “Waitress,” the adaptation of the feel-good indie film, which opened last week and is looking to seize ticket buyers’ attention.
And it has offered hope and incentive to the modestly performing “Bright Star,” whose theater was at a mediocre 70% capacity last week, as well as the tepidly reviewed macabre musical “American Psycho” and the children’s fantasy “Tuck Everlasting.” All could use a splashy spot in a highly rated Tonys telecast to help its prospects both in New York and on potential national tours. In the cutthroat world of modern Broadway, in which a Tonys nomination in any year can be a shot of adrenaline, this year it could be life-or-death crucial.
Don’t, however, tell that to some show creators.
“In a weird way I’ve found it all kind of liberating,” said Diane Paulus, the acclaimed director who brought “Waitress” to Broadway. “It’s like, 'OK, we know where this [awards] story is going to end. So let’s just focus on making our show great.’ ”
But others are seeing the “Hamilton” dominance and recalibrating their strategy. At least two musical insiders who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about budget matters said that post-nomination print ads aimed at voters — a staple of Tony season — will shrink as shows that have no chance at toppling “Hamilton” instead spend their money on consumer-targeted ads, such as broadcast-TV commercials.
Nor is the effect limited to dollars. The inevitability of a “Hamilton” best musical win when the American Theatre Wing and Broadway League hand out their Tonys at a James Corden-hosted ceremony June 12 is channeling interest to other races — especially musical revival.
Long a second banana to the top prize, musical revival this year is bringing a flood of interest. The Jennifer Hudson-Cynthia Erivo reprise of “The Color Purple,” coming just a decade after the original opened, is considered a front-runner, followed closely by inventive new stagings of “Fiddler on the Roof,” “She Loves Me” and “Spring Awakening,” the last of which comes from Deaf West Theatre, the North Hollywood company specializing in casts that include hearing-impaired members.
In part because the field is deep but also because revival is the lone truly competitive musical race, the approximately 860 Tony voters and the larger Broadway community are debating contenders more closely than they otherwise would have.
“The drama,” said Ken Davenport, the producer of “Spring Awakening,” “is suddenly in revival.”
The show has prompted some veterans to be creative. Miramontez, for instance, noted that with the “Hamilton” songs so acclaimed, the trick has been to remind voters early and often of the well-regarded “Bright Star” music, so that the songs are not swarmed under in the room where it happens. He and staffers, in turn, have embarked on a multitiered campaign to get the music to voters.
Others, meanwhile, note that the larger “Hamilton” legacy should be kept in perspective. The biggest effect the show exerts this season may not be what contender it crushes but, rather, how the production motivates Broadway insiders.
“In our world, where so much of theater is about movie studios producing shows or about celebrity-driven revivals, here’s a show that independent producers can look at and still see what’s possible, can see why we got into the business,” Davenport said. “For someone to do an innovative musical with a wildly diverse cast and have it succeed this way, that’s a little crazy. That’s what I keep trying to remember.”