Bwog squeezed in to Havana Central’s backroom for the much anticipated Varsity Show Preview. There was promise, pizazz, and no Operation Ivy League…
Last night’s 117th Varsity Show preview was executed seamlessly, but displayed no awareness of the insanity that went down last semester. Of course, we’re not asking for a laundry list style lampooning of the highlights (or lowlights), but save for one POTUS project reference, you could have copied and pasted last night’s script to fit any other year’s show. Still, we liked it—a lot!—and it seems the rest of the audience agreed.
The show started off strong with a punchy LLC skit, (“the Laughing Loving Center”). Elizabeth Power, CC ’13, perfectly played the over-eager RA. But the script stuck to tried and true jokes pulled from clichéd V-Show scripts of yore: Harlem is scary, international students exist. So do Republicans. But then good ol’ Frontiers of Science Cowboy, played by Sam Mickel, CC ’14, showed up all the way from the “Northwest…Corner Building,” and won us over with his scruffy swag. He served as a clever narrative device linking the otherwise disconnected scenes. Though his Columbia “campfire stories” provided a suitable framework for the short preview, the Frontiersman, even with his spot-on sound effects and corny-cute shtick, probably couldn’t carry a full show.
Then came the real winner: ManDate. The music, featuring a keyboard switched to a tropical vibraphone setting, buoyed the best lyrics of the show. Four guys (Issac Assor, CC ’14, Andrew Wright, CC ’14, Chris Silverberg, CC ’13, and Bob Vulfov, CC ’13) out at a bar fail miserably at picking up girls (“Your hair smells like juice!”), commiserate in four-part harmony, and embrace bromance. We genuinely welcomed the performers’ punny “mandate” to see the V-Show when our favorite tune was reprised in finale.
The next numbers fell short. In “College is Latin for Mistakes,” the Chicago-inspired tango music and animated choreography proved memorable; the content less so. By trying to appeal to universal college experiences, the lyrics lacked the incisive references of last year’s best one-liners (COÖP cult, lawn police). An ADP escapade (“and then we stole a few pineapples from Westside…”), delivered memorably by Alia Munsch, BC ’12, represented more of what we want to see: the specific, unpredictable, yet weirdly relatable.