Student talents battle for Lynch tickets

The College Union Board (CUB) hosted its first talent show in the Rathskeller last Tuesday, pitting singers against songwriters, comedians against musicians, and one juggler against them all for two front-row tickets to the upcoming Stephen Lynch comedy show.

While varied amounts of applause were awarded by the audience to each competitor, freshman math major Pat Catalano was announced the night’s winner.

As “Knights of Cydonia” by Muse played over the house speakers and the lights at the front of the room dimmed, Catalano came onstage. With his act in both hands, Catalano illuminated the three juggling balls, quickly flipping and spinning the small globes with precision. The act continued in this seamless fashion, even as the fourth and eventually fifth balls were added to the juggling routine.

Senior psychology major Tim Dalton started the night off with his standup comedy routine. His friend’s answering machine, women and gender studies classes and a lengthy Christopher Walken impression served as his material, rousing a few laughs but never enough to break through the noise of crickets.

After Dalton walked off stage, the event coordinator, Mike Lawrence, stood up and took the mic.

“Someone dropped out and instead of having an awkward 15-minute period we invited one of our CUB members, Colleen Napolitano, to play a couple songs,” Lawrence said.

Napolitano quickly plugged in, tuned up, and went into “Manifesto,” an original song, followed by a cover of Neutral Milk Hotel’s “Holland, 1945.”

Next up was senior technology major Phil Toronto. Sticking with a story about his “bomb-ass” sweater-vest being covered in birthday cake and the fight that later ensued, Toronto’s brand of comedy stood out.

The block of laughter was followed by an acoustic set by freshman journalism major and Signal Production Manager Matt Huston. He covered Radiohead’s “High & Dry,” followed by an original titled “Barracuda.”

Though Huston faltered holding some of the higher notes, he was able to still turn out an entertaining batch of songs.

Dave Ginsberg, junior mechanical engineering major, followed with a performance of covers by Acceptance and Edwin McCain.

“I just learned this song today, so I apologize if I forget some of the words,” Ginsberg said before beginning his cover of McCain’s “I’ll Be.”

Tom Coughlin, junior engineering major, later plunked away on an original, “I’m Waiting for Amy,” which was preceded by John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

Sophomore math major Garrett Hoffman unpredictably used his performance as an opportunity to announce his last time doing standup. Hoffman joked that he was performing in the competition to win tickets to a show that he’d competed to open for but lost. The quip was perplexing, but it also had a strange flash of meta brilliance to it.

Leo Mahaga, senior criminology major, came to the stage for some intense guitar playing. With his focus on shredding as intensely as possible, Mahaga’s performance didn’t feature a single sung note – and didn’t really require any.

Cristian Fernandez, English secondary education major, played another solo acoustic set with a cover of Brand New’s “Play Crack the Sky,” along with an original.

The final artist of the night was Shelley Snyder, sophomore interactive multimedia major. While she belted out a Jason Mraz cover and a parody of “Hey There, Delilah,” the crowd started to die down as the event drew to a close.