The College, known for its excellent academics, is not just a place for studying. In the past two years, the school has hosted several excellent performers as well as student-run performances that entertained the community as a whole and made the college experience much more memorable.
Among the many performers was legendary tap dancer Savion Glover, who performed in Kendall Hall in Spring 2004. With his team of dancers, he showed off his brilliant dancing technique to a full house.
Also in 2004, as part of the College’s Celebration of the Arts, were the improvisational stylings of Colin Mochrie, Chip Esten and Brad Sherwood of “Whose Line is it Anyway?” For those who were lucky enough to purchase tickets after waiting in line for hours in Brower Student Center, the show treated them to classic games from the hit improvisation show with suggestions and participation from an active audience.
Each year, the College Union Board (CUB) hosts a Welcome Back Concert after winter break. In 2004, the featured musicians were Art Alexakis of Everclear and Blessid Union of Souls. Both concerts drew large crowds as the artists played several of their hits and invited audience participation.
The concerts also featured opening acts who continue to gain in celebrity with each passing year. Amos Lee, who opened for Blessid Union, was a recent guest on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and Adam Richman, who opened for Art Alexakis and has played several other shows at the College since, recently released an album with Or Records.
In 2005, as part of Celebration of the Arts, the College brought blues legend B.B. King to Kendall Hall. In a filled theater, King entertained the audience with his hit songs and trademark wit, filled with stories of his childhood and his opinions about life and love. Students and other guests had the opportunity to meet King after they gave him a standing ovation for his performance.
The College also hosted poet Mark Halliday in Fall 2004 and several authors, including Jonathan Lethem in Spring 2005 and Tim O’Brien in Fall 2003. Author John Irving visited the College in Spring 2004 and shared a section of his newly released novel, “Until I Find You,” before it hit stores earlier this summer. Other speakers included actor and comedian John Leguizamo, who shared his life story and rise to fame to the delight of the audience.
Although a great deal of celebrity has visited the College, much talent can also be found on our very own campus.
The Opera Theater presented a different musical each semester, including “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” and “Kiss Me Kate.” Each performance featured the singing and acting talents of many students on campus and drew in large crowds over its several-day run.
All College Theater (ACT) is the master of comedies and mystery productions. Throughout the year, it performs two comedies and hosts a Murder Mystery Dinner, during which audience members guess who they believe is the murderer and are then entered in a drawing to win a prize if they are correct.
Probably one of the best ACT shows was last year’s “Noises Off,” which was performed on a circular stage and featured several characters struggling to prepare to perform a show. The backstage antics were front and center for the audience, while the actual play was performed on the other side of the circle. The actors were forced to use their body language and facial expressions to convey their emotions so as not to disturb the “play” already in progress.
Overall, whether it is outside talent or simply your next-door neighbor, the College offers a great deal of entertainment options as a break from the books.