Chicago, The Jungle Book steal the show
The house lights went out and a sea of cell phone lights flickered in the audience as the presenters announced the first act. The excitement was palpable as the stage lit up and Greek Sing 2009 began.
One of the most anticipated events in the Greek calendar, and drawing as much enthusiasm and often as much hard work as booth and buggy, Greek Sing is the Greek Council’s annual charity event wherein each fraternity or sorority chapter is invited to perform its own short show. Often drawing inspiration from musicals, movies, and pop culture, Greek Sing participants have been known to pull out all the stops to produce shows that entertain and awe.
This year was no different.
The night started off with alumnus Tim Dimond strumming a few chords on his guitar and then going all-out into a Carnegie Mellon-style version of the Spice Girls’ ’90s hit “Wannabe.” Poking fun at rising tuition, TBA, nerdiness (a cosine function was mentioned in the lyrics), and other traditions, Dimond had the crowd roaring with laughter by the end of his performance.
The first act consisted of the singles performances, which were relatively low key. Delta Tau Delta kicked off the night with their rendition of “Delts in Tights” and pranced about the stage in their merry rendition of Robin Hood. As the performance called for a female role in Maid Marian, one of the brothers sang in falsetto and traipsed about in a white dress, much to the delight and amusement of the audience.
Beta Theta Pi once again performed an original piece. Their show featured the perils of trying to write a script during the school year, and then during spring break, and then at the last minute, after the extension given to them had passed. Somehow managing to feature The Twilight Zone, a little bit of flashing, as well as an elderly horticulturalist in their performance, Beta’s show was very original. Next was The Jungle Book, presented by Theta Xi. A comedic rendition of the childhood classic, Theta Xi’s version included red lights drenching the stage whenever the main villain — Shere Khan the tiger — graced the stage, tap-dancing, and a musical centered on the “Bare Necessities.” Not taking itself too seriously, though, their performance also included a “They’re grrrreat!” shout from Shere Khan and then some cannibalism, first from the vultures and then from everyone, as a celebration at the end of the show.
Pi Delta Psi presented their version of Mulan, with the brothers singing many of the female roles. Their performance followed the Disney version of the tale for a while, and then broke out into a rap-battle against the Huns. Following them was a step performance by alpha Kappa Delta Phi, which involved coordination of rhythm and beat as the sisters performed various configurations of step dancing.
The second act of the show brought much more tension, as the highly competitive doubles performances began. Starting with Chicago. by Kappa Alpha Theta and Kappa Delta Rho, the bar was set high as the sisters, complete with gold top hats, danced on a two-tier stage with remarkably versatile sets that changed from a prison to a sparkly court room scene. Next up was Seussical: The Musical from Delta Delta Delta and Alpha Epsilon Pi, which consisted of an intriguing storyline, although it was not always clear who or what each character was. Featuring creative and flashy costumes, as well as whimsical hairpieces and good singing, their show kept viewers entertained.
Delta Gamma and Sigma Phi Epsilon came together for the first time to produce The Lion King. Using sets that functioned almost like Venetian blinds, the pair was able to quickly change scenes from day to night and do it beautifully. Perhaps one of the most lauded moments in their piece was during “Hakuna Matata,” when the sister playing young Simba transformed into adult Simba, played by a brother, by jumping behind from one of the tiered platforms and having the new actor come out from behind them. Their performance involved creativity and a sense of fun. What followed was the first doubles collaboration ever between two fraternities: Pi Kappa Alpha and Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Their show took its main plot from the movie 300, including an epic battle between the leader of the Spartans — Condomitus — and the Persian ruler —Herpses — who was also a cat, as were all the Persians. At the end of the performance, which featured several scantily clad men, the audience found that it was really all an employee’s idea for a new commercial for a fast food place.
A Nightmare Before Christmas by Alpha Chi Omega and Kappa Sigma was next. With actors who really got into their roles like Jack and Sally, and sets that changed easily from Halloween to Christmas Town, the two groups had a lot of talent and always kept something happening. The vanquishing of the Boogie Man was especially funny, as the villain collapsed with a high-pitched “Nooo!” when Jack came in to rescue Santa. The last performance was Kappa Kappa Gamma and Phi Kappa Theta putting on West Side Story. Using two-story sets to represent houses, the groups showed the fight between the Sharks and the Jets fluidly without breaks in the action. Although the ending of their act happened very quickly, which might have made it a little difficult for new viewers to understand, it was a poignant show and was carried off very well.
Theta Xi’s The Jungle Book won first place in the singles category while Kappa Alpha Theta and Kappa Delta Rho’s Chicago bagged first place in the doubles category. While Greek Sing 2009 did encounter a few problems with its microphones and had to pause once or twice to fix a few technical difficulties, it was nonetheless an enjoyable performance benefiting a great cause, namely the Lustgarten Foundation and pancreatic research. The show was able to raise $36,050 for this cause.