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February 11, 2004

Binghampton Pipe Dream

"Squooshy, squooshy, squooshy!" was the appropriate remark of a student waiting to enter the lecture halls to see the Dollar Show on Saturday night. The concept of a line was too much to handle for him, as was the tremendous crowd of anxious a capella fans who rushed in to see BU's improv comedy team, the Pappy Parker Players, and a cappella groups perform. Three large lecture halls were quickly filled, and the audience got much more than their dollar's worth. What followed were highly impressive performances by 8 student groups, filled with music, laughs and gimmicks.

The show, although delayed by 20 minutes, began energetically with the Binghamtonics, BU's oldest a capella group. The Tonics were wise to select a female soloist for the typically male-led Guns 'N' Roses hit, "Sweet Child of Mine" -- it proved them both bold and talented.

Kaskeset, the Jewish a capella group, performed three lovely songs -- capped off by installing greater meaning into Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey's duet "When You Believe," from The Prince of Egypt soundtrack. The Vibrations were well prepared for their segment, according to Tom Larson, a senior English major and member of Vibrations.

"The first weekend of classes we went up to Albany and stayed at a member's house," Larson said. "We spent the entire weekend getting to know each other better and working on our repertoire. I think it really showed." The Vibes' rendition of Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry Be Happy," brought smiles to faces throughout the audience, especially when the soloist remarked, "I'll give you my phone number, I'll make you happy," and the group held up signs with his number and a smiley face, followed by one that read "That's really his number!"

The all-female Harpur Harpeggios' rendition of Dar Williams' "As Cool As I Am" was powerful and well presented, with multiple vocally strong soloists alternating the lead. The Pegs recognize the advantage of being a single-sex group, and take advantage of it to the fullest.

Koinonia, the Christian group, performed a harmonious, spiritual rendition of Steven Curtis Chapman's "Dive" as part of its set. This group, which began by telling the audience that it was there to bless them, blessed all (including the non-believers) with its music.

Rhythm Method was more than ready for its performance, according to Terry Edelman, a freshman and Rhythm Method member. "Preparing wasn't much of a task at all since we had been rehearsing heavily in preparation for competition this weekend, so we were confident going in and got to enjoy the thrill of being on stage," Edelman said. The group's method proved it could take on any nation with its enthusiastic performance of "Rhythm Nation," which concluded its set. The members have a knack for imparting joy on their audience by always looking like they are having the time of their lives.

BU's pride and joy, the Crosbys, performed a lengthy set, highlighted by Outkast's "Hey Ya," in which the soloist was vocally indistinguishable from Andre 3000. Two Crosbys hilariously outlined the top-ten reasons to be in the Crosbys, mooning the audience in the process. The Dollar Show is a BU tradition that is fun for performers and audience members alike. "Every group sounded fantastic," Edelman said. "The size and energy of the crowd showed that the a capella scene here is really thriving."

Posted by acapnews at February 11, 2004 8:33 AM

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