Orpheus brings variety to stage

Siblings Elizabeth and Ian Morley perform “Sister, Sister” at the Orpheus Variety Show. Photo by Morgan McCririe

By Heather Mead

Laughter filled the room, as people shook in their seats, cheering for more as members of the Orpheus choir performed.

The Orpheus Variety Show is an annual student production which combines serious and comical skits appropriate for all ages.

The 28 performances ranged from 6-minute acts to 30-second fillers.

“Last year was all about the comedy,” said junior Kyle Hance, Orpheus president. “This year we have more variety, but it’s still really funny.”

The night included the annual campus spoof called “Olivet Update,” as well as “The Evolution of Dance,” Celebrity Jeopardy and “Happy Working Song” from “Enchanted.”

In addition, a rendition of “All I Ask of You” from “Phantom of the Opera” showed the classic Olivet student relationship in a comedic light.

In this act, a freshman boy meets a freshman girl, and they immediately begin dating. The girl then wishes to get married, but the boy wonders what he got himself into.

But the night also took on a more serious note with songs like “Oh Johnny,” a jazz piece performed by Christine Caven, Amber Leffel and Sarah High, and an a cappella version of “Hide and Seek,” originally sung by Imogen Heap.

“[We wanted serious acts to] break up the monotony of laughter,” Hance said. “Laughter can be tedious.”

This year’s show also included a number of original works. Several girls performed songs they had written themselves, including junior Kate Wilson’s “She is Beautiful” and freshman Ashley Sarver’s “Take a Stand.”

“Orpheus Dinner” was another original sketch.

“Many students recognize when Orpheus members are at dinner because they pull together four or five tables,” Hance explained. “It’s a skit where we’re mocking ourselves.”

Several of the women presented one of the largest acts of the show, a concert featuring older bands.

“All of us girls dressed up as favorite bands from the 90s,” said freshman Cassandra Petrie. “We did dances from their videos.”

Several boys also posed as female fans when a mock Justin Bieber began to sing.

Even if they were not onstage, all members of Orpheus Choir were still involved in the show.

“[They] made posters, collected tickets, gathered props and costumes and did instrumental accompaniment,” Orpheus director Jeff Bell said.

He added that the choir strived to make the Orpheus Variety Show family friendly through secular songs and skits.

“We like to provide a fun, mostly non-religious show,” Bell said. “This is a way to use secular entertainment. People occasionally need a good laugh and a nice, clean show.”

The Orpheus Variety Show has been an annual tradition since the 1960s, when the event was used to entertain visitors during Parent Weekend. Now the show provides entertainment for everyone.

It is also used to raise money for the choir’s projects, like CD recordings and last year’s trip to Africa.

But the variety show isn’t about money; it’s about people.

“It’s just a lot of fun,” Petrie said. “[It’s] another opportunity to perform and it makes Orpheus [members] grow closer together.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *