Singers and Dancers and Mimes, Oh My!: 2017 Talent Show

“Mean Boyz” was a parody act of the 2004 film Mean Girls
Staff Writer
The UHS Performing Arts Department hosted the 2017 Talent Show on October 13 and 14, and featured many diverse performances from Kung Fu routines to mime interpretations. The show is the department’s biggest fundraiser of the year. During “Minute-To-Give,” the audience is excitedly prompted to make as many donations as they can in one minute. As a result, the department earned about $300/night, allowing the profits to carry into Comedy Sportz, the Fall Play, as well as the Spring Musical.
Ranae Bettger (Visual and Performing Arts Dept.) explained that the Talent Show made about $4,000 from ticket sales, snacks and Minute-To-Give. However, that is only about “half of what [the theatre department] needed to make because it costs about $15,000 just to pay the adult directors for the spring musical.”
Ticket sales were $13 without ASB at the door and $20 online with the benefit of receiving front row seating, while snacks were all $1.
The show went off without a hitch, as it was very well organized by the Drama Club. It was separated into 5 task categories including the House Crew, which Giana Ditolla (Soph.) explained was “in charge of selling tickets, snacks, as well as showing guests to their seats, while creating a friendly environment for parents and students.”
Other technicians include the skilled lighting crew that ran spotlights and the lighting board, costume/hair/makeup made sure performers were fully clothed and ready to make their debuts.
Fellow house crew member, Alex Mason (Jr.), clarified that “the two most important jobs were the running crew [who were responsible for scene changes between acts], and the stage managers who run the entire show.”
The Show included 2 Acts which each included about 13 performances each.
The first performance was kicked off by the UHS acapella group, The Undertones. They performed the “Evolution of Music,” initially composed by Pentatonix, which was a mash-up of a few different songs, while the music heard was done entirely without instruments.
One performer, Priya Mani (Sr.), sang “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith. She explained that she was “a little nervous, but had done it the night before, so [she] was fine.” When asked how she prepared for her performance she explained that she selected “whatever song [she could] connect to most.”
“The talent show is always so much fun to do because I love to connect with an audience,” Mani added.
The show continued into Act 2 with maybe the most anticipated performance by the “Mean Boyz,” with “Jingle Bell Rock,” which was a rendition of the iconic dance Regina George, Cady Heron, Karen Smith and Gretchen Weiners executed in the 2004 movie Mean Girls. The Mean Boyz followed the movie exactly, even including the speaker breaking down in the middle of the dance and needing to rely on the audience to help sing the rest of the song. The hilarious performance was definitely one of the most talked about acts of the night.
Act 2 continued with a few singers and pianists. One performer, Cindy Xu (Soph.) went for the unexpected but highly impressive Kung-Fu routine. She confessed that “[she] was kind of nervous, but when [she] got on [she] did not think about [performing in front of a large crowd of people].” She went further in explaining that she had “been doing Kung-Fu since she was seven, more than half [her] life.”
Audience member Olga Varvashova (Fr.) shared that she was “very impressed,” and when asked to pick a favorite she continued by saying they were “all too good [she couldn’t] pick.”
Another student, Madeline Price (Fr.), was there “supporting everyone” and exclaimed that she “wanted to see the miming again,” referring to the performance by Farimah Fanaei (Soph.) and Amir Fanaei (Jr.).
The Talent Show was the perfect opportunity for students to express themselves artistically, move past the barrier of fear and just be themselves. The talent displayed was remarkable, and the show signified something larger as it was able to bring people together to observe a show less about skill and more about passion.