By Jonathan Parker and Laurie Feit of Traffic
What do smoking quack, jumping boxes, and an airplane hijacking have in common? I honestly have no idea, but the Binghamtonics (popularly known as the Tonics) wed the three into a menage-a-trois of hilarious proportions in their spring show Too Legit to Quit, Too.
Taking place in Lecture Hall 1, Binghamtons oldest co-ed a cappella group kicked off the show with a beautifully harmonized "Road to Nowhere.".Featuring Soul-train-esque dancing that complemented the song nicely, it made for a great introduction for the visiting group, Michigans Gimble. An ensemble with obvious talent, Gimble performed tunes ranging from a jazzy 'Pink Panther " to "Slide" by the Goo Goo Dolls. The highlight of this segment was a medley of Aerosmith titles, which featured smooth blending and sharp solos. The Tonics retook the stage with "Now I'm a Believer," soloed by Peng Suvilaisunthorn. It was an upbeat number, and served as a likable precursor to the very well done "Mister Blue," sung by Dana Giacopelli. With a bridge of the techno song "I'm Blue," this song was dynamic and beautiful (I know those adjectives don't tend to go together, but they did for this song, trust me).
One of the highlights of the evening was the Tonics first skit, which featured live zoo animals from the Ross Park Zoo. Actually it featured different Tonics acting out various roles from a circus, such as clowns, lion tamers, and box - I mean dog - trainers. It was wildly successful (perhaps more so than real animals would have been), and had the crowed primed for the exceptional "No One is to Blame." The spectacular backup coupled with Johnny Martins magnificent soloing was so flawless as to overshadow even the original recording. As great as Martins rendition was, Mike Bavers performance in "Got My Mind Set on You" had even the skeptics in the audience paying rapt attention. His voice tore through the air, and heartbeats in the room no doubt began to match the beat of the song. Musical Director Samantha Schwartz was next to take the stage, and even hampered by a broken ankle it was immediately obvious why she held the vaunted position of leadership. From her seated position she held the audience captive with her beautiful rendition of "Show me Heaven." Schwartz was followed by a touching alumni song, and after a short, humorous skit about a botched airplane hijacking the Tonics leapt into Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror." While the arrangement was nice, Mary Galiotos solo tended to sound a bit too sharp at times, and a bit to shallow at others. The pleasant "Stay with Me" was next, followed by a well sung "Freebird," which went so far as to feature three a cappella guitar solos. Following a quick and...um...interesting skit about smoking quack (yes, quack), the Tonics said farewell to their graduating seniors with a touching song and gift presentation.
Next up was a smoothly accomplished 'The Sweetest Thing," which set the stage for "Change in My Life," sweetly performed by Tonic-princess Kerry Ann Tortorello. This tune flowed well, and brought the show to an impressive close. Running back into the Lecture Hall to a standing ovation, the Tonics encored with Suvilaisunthorns trademark song 'Karma Chameleon." Full of energy and life, it bought the group a well deserved second ovation. All in all, the evening was characterized by power, beauty, and fun, testifying to the reality that the Tonics truly are too legit to quit.