Sunday, December 7, 2008

Snowfest Blankets Black Box

By Luke Deming

Competition for an audience wasn’t able to stop Alpha Psi Omega’s (APO) Snowfest talent show.  

The theater fraternity’s show had a small audience due to two plays running simultaneously, but those in attendance laughed to parodies on Christmas tunes, popular songs and “illusion” magic that really didn’t fool anybody. 

Theater and social work sophomore Christopher Biek is in charge of APO.  The show followed the induction of seven new members into the fraternity.  

“Half of the theater department is actually in Snow Queen and then we have Thomas the Train going on in the main theater, so we competed with a lot,” Biek said.

Five acts were entered and first, second and third place were awarded humorous gifts. Places were decided by the intensity of the audience’s applause to an act.  

Donations of winter clothes for children were collected at the event.  

Admission was free, but entering an act cost $5 or a donation of a pair of gloves.  Biek championed the economic advantage of donating handwear. 

“I thought it was a better deal to bring gloves,” he said.

Justin Gouthro, a Spanish, French and international studies senior, and Zachary Brissette, an accounting and political science junior, were the only act without an APO member, but they took home first place with a rendition of “Hollywood’s Not America” by Ferras.  

Their first place win will serve them well, Biek said.

Gouthro and Brissette’s group received a college gift basket of macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles and pop corn.

“Basically it’s what every college student lives off of and gets malnutrition from,” Biek said.

“We both didn’t even realize it was a competition,” Gouthro said. “We were thinking it was just a fun event to come and play in and for people to enjoy and didn’t know there were going to be prizes.” 

“We are definitely going to eat that basket,” he added, “Literally the whole basket.”

Physics senior Mike Saloka received second place and a bag of apples, which he said might turn into apple pie.  Saloka used “illusion” magic, which included goofy tricks that nearly anyone could do.  

Saloka wowed the audience with a trick that had his leg disappear behind a blanket.   When the blanket was removed his leg would “suddenly” reappear to the audience’s surprise.  He had to talk himself into entering because he wasn’t able to practice much.

“It took me about five minutes [to prepare],” he said “I was like ‘all right I got this.  I can make my leg disappear. I’m good.’ And then it was convincing myself that this was actually a good idea to go up against people that actually have talent with this thing that I just threw together.”

Saloka was confident his APO friends would receive his “illusion” magic well. Snowfest gave him another opportunity to showcase his humor.

“[I can] make a fool of myself in front of people who already know I am a fool,” Saloka said.

Third place was shared between a parody on “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Danielle Schoeny and Andrea Knoll, and “How the Other Half Lives” by Amanda Mueller and Allison Murray.  

Schoeny, a theater senior, acted as a passionate singer who messes up the words to the song, which upsets Knoll, a theater senior.  

Mueller, a theater sophomore, and Murray, a marketing sophomore, played women who wanted to experience being rich or poor. 

APO’s next big event is the Tony Awards this spring.  The awards recognize the most outstanding actors from SVSU plays in the same academic year.   

The theater department has more than just APO. The improv group Work n’ Progress meets from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays.

Murray encourages all students to attend theater events such as APO sponsored events, Work n’ Progress and SVSU plays.

“We are going to start doing more events so people should watch out for [us],” he said.

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