Elizabethtown College’s student senate class of 2020 presented the annual talent show at Leffler Chapel Friday, April 6. Students at Etown performed dancing and singing duos, beatboxing, juggling singing and instrumental pieces to benefit The Church World Services or CWS refugee center.
The night commenced with sophomore Emily Perry and Ethan Waugh co-hosts cracking jokes. They represented the student senate club by serving as co-hosts. Personally, I found the jokes unentertaining. I am biased because I do not find knock-knock jokes funny. I deem that this took away from the show because it was uncomfortable to watch and seemed disorganized. The co-hosts would pause awkwardly or move in front of each other, making it hard to hear what they were saying. Emily and Ethan have great stage presence, and I think they could have utilized this characteristic better in a different capacity.
“The most difficult part of hosting was trying to plan funny bits in between every act. Ethan and I went through over a dozen different ideas and even switched things we were going to do the night of the show, right before we went on,” Perry said.
The first act contained four performances. Juniors and roommates, Cheryl Errichetti and Sara Palatnik performed the song, “This is Me” from the Greatest Showman. The interpretive dancing by Errichetti was well done; her costume was gold with glitters, adding to the theme of the movie. I am biased because I love the movie; however, audience members seemed to like Palatnik’s singing and piano playing skills combined with Errichetti’s dance.
The second performer was Joseph Wunderlich who played an original song on the guitar. He utilized a photograph of his girlfriend facing away from the audience to give the performance an artistically appealing image to look at while he played guitar. It was creative of Wunderlich to display a photograph of his inspiration for the piece without specifically stating the song was about the girl.
First-year John Duttenhofer performed popular songs in beatboxing form. It was a unique and unexpected performance. By having a beatboxer in the mix of performances for the evening, it added a surprising and diversified talent to the group. The crowd and myself were impressed by Duttenhofer’s talent.
Josh Fisherman, performed an original song called “Hello World” singing and playing guitar. While he was talented, his song was very long, boring some audience members. Some audience members were even yawning.
Sophomores and friends, Hannah Paymer and Dylan Warner took the stage to sing “You and Me, but Mostly Me.” They both are excellent singers, but the song choice was not familiar to me, or any other members. The audience seemed to lack interest because they could not get into the song. It would have been wiser to select a show tune that is popular and relatable to viewers of different ages.
First-year Elise Stendal sang and played guitar to an alternative original song titled, “Rising.” I am biased because this is not my preferred style of genre, so I personally did not love it. However, Stendal is talented and the audience cheered loudly for her.
Junior Bradley Vasilik juggled and rode a unicycle. His performance mastered stage presence due to the use of upbeat music and dramatic usage of lights. The performance was exciting and received enthusiastic screams from viewers.
Junior Megan Stone performed “Danny Boy,” in an opera-like fashion. She was very talented in her alto pieces but got pitchy during her soprano parts. Some audience members nearby cringed. She should have selected a song that showcased her excellent alto skills.
Lastly, first-year Hunter Reiner, his father and friend, Austin Brown gave a rock concert vibes to Leffler Chapel. Reiner came out playing his electric guitar and audience member screamed with excitement. The group played a number of songs, but it did not feel too long. This is so because Reiner and his band were clearly having an awesome time performing.
After voting polls closed, the winners were announced. First place was awarded to Reiner and his band, second to Stendal’s singing and third place to Vasilik’s juggling act.
Overall, Etown’s Got Talent was a fun and well-organized event. There was a diversity of talents in the production; the proceeds helped a worthy cause. To better prepare for the event, there should have been more practices and rehearsals to ensure that performances were audience ready. Additionally, the co-hosts should have practiced transitions between acts to make them smoother and more informational for the audience members. This annual event could be better advertised in the future by sending emails weeks in advance and asking for auditions from a variety of talents.
Article by: Brianna Titi