Mongooses and 'The Wiz'
This Saturday, the Greek community held its annual Greek Sing show at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland. Competing for trophies, campus fraternities and sororities performed 13-minute musical scenes.
The singles division kicked off with a performance by Pi Kappa Alpha. Their show, “Stomp the Quad,” featured dance music and a rapper that seemed to parody The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Next up was Beta Theta Pi, performing “I was getting some Disney,” which made fun of R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet. The show created scandal among Disney characters, including Aladdin, Simba, Ariel, and Eric (Ariel’s prince in The Little Mermaid).
Sigma Alpha Epsilon followed with “Snakes on a Plane II: Mongooses on a Plane.” Roderick McMullen, a senior human-computer interaction major and Greek Sing chair, said that the idea “came to them in a dream.” Despite a major lack of preparation (the guys only rehearsed for a week), the show landed SAE the first place trophy, something that the Greek Sing chair expected. “We think we’re easily the most talented group there,” McMullen joked. The final singles act was Theta Xi’s “The Game,” a musical performance based on Neil Strauss’ book by the same name, which chronicles the plight of the pick-up artist. Theta Xi’s version included its fair share of bad pick-up lines, in addition to some ribbon dancers. The last fight scene was well-choreographed — easily the best part of the show.
Following a short intermission, first up for doubles were Alphi Chi Omega and Sigma Tau Gamma performing Spamalot. The songs were upbeat and well-performed. All of the dancers had high energy, making Spamalot a great performance to begin the second act.
Next were Delta Delta Delta and Sigma Phi Epsilon with “Sidekicks the Musical.” In this show, a group of sidekicks had a chance to save the day after their heroes were lured into a trap. The musical numbers were buoyant, and good triumphed in the end; the sidekicks saved the heroes, and the two worked together to defeat the bad guys.
Kappa Alpha Theta and Phi Kappa Theta followed with their rendition of The Wiz. Out of all the performances, “The Wiz” made the best out of 13 minutes, as it didn’t feel like anything important was left out. The group had very high energy, and the sets and costumes were obviously the result of a lot of preparation.
Next, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Alpha Epsilon Pi worked together to perform parts of Guys and Dolls. Their version was performed well, but the costumes and choreography were unsurprising. The voice casting, however, was impressive. “We choose a show based on the talent we see in both houses we’re working with,” said Kappa Kappa Gamma Greek Sing chair Cecilia Gondek.
The final doubles act was the joint effort of Delta Gamma and Kappa Delta Rho. They performed some of Zombie Prom, a musical from the ’80s about a high-school romance gone awry. This was their second consecutive year working together, and the performers generated excitement and enthusiasm throughout the show. The costumes were creative and the characterization interesting; characters included a green zombie and a hunched-over principal with wild hair and a gritty voice, perfectly suited for a show with horror elements.
The night ended with a step performance by the sisters of Kappa Phi Lambda, followed by awards for both charity and performances. This year, the Greek community raised a total of $13,000 for Easter Seals, an organization that provides support for disabled individuals. For the second year in a row, Delta Delta Delta won an award for raising the most money, which was presented by a representative from Easter Seals. Kappa Kappa Gamma took home the Chairman’s Choice award. Respectively, the first, second, and third places for singles were won by Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Beta Theta Pi, and Theta Xi. For doubles, first place went to Kappa Alpha Theta and Phi Kappa Theta, second to Delta Delta Delta and Sigma Phi Epsilon, and third to Delta Gamma and Kappa Delta Rho.
David Chickering, the Mudge House housefellow, was a first-time judge at this year’s competition. “Compared to Greek Sings at other schools, this blew me away,” he said.