By Jonathan Parker of Traffic
If a survey were taken to discover the things most abundant on the average university campus, two items that would certainly make the list are sex and a cappella. Since many people don't get their fill of one or the other on a regular basis (you singing freaks out there know who you are), the nice people at R.E.A.C.H. were kind enough to bring the two together at the sixth annual Sex and A Capella performance, presented on Tuesday in the Mandela Room of the University Union.
The evening kicked off with an introduction to the program by the members of R.E.A.C.H, a group of students who try to educate their peers about issues most pertinent to our generation's personal health. After a short preface, the first a cappella group of the evening, Kaskeset, was brought on stage. While their particular brand of music (Jewish and Hebrew songs) seemed a bit out of place at the R.E.A.C.H. event, the caliber of the groups members did not. The group performed three songs and throughout their set the group sounded vibrant and together, and was led through all four songs by powerful soloists. R.E.A.C.H. followed Kaskeset's departure with a short skit depicting the five worst possible things to do before, during, and after sex. The short, and funny list included videotaping the event (which was promptly followed by a viewing by parents and siblings) and gluing shut orifices, which one would hope would remain open.
The next group to take the stage was the Rhythm Method, an 80s a cappella group. The group performed two songs, but their third and final song, "Walkin' on Sunshine" was energetic and exciting, most likely due to the exuberance and talent of soloist Farrah Napack. Once again retaking the stage, the members of R.E.A.C.H performed an Impromptu Quiz of audience members, with condoms for prizes. Those attending were surprisingly well versed in the answers to questions on STDs and safe-sex, which I suppose is a testament to the quality of R.E.A.C.H's programming.
Next on stage were the Vibrations, and they came dressed for the event. Resplendent in their pajamas and bathrobes, the group launched right into "That Thing You Do," followed by "Earth Angel." Nicole Lee, who displayed a strong voice, sang both songs. Next came a rendition of "California Dreaming," soloed by Brad Spiegel. While Brad seemed to cut off his words a bit too soon, the arrangement was likable, and acted as a great precursor to the next piece, a parody of "Buttercup" with words set to suit the event.
The Harpur Harpeggios took the stage following the Vibrations, leading off with a very well done "In the Name of Love," soloed by Johanna Lester. The piece was solid and unified. This was followed by "Walk Like an Egyptian" which featured three potent solos by Hillary Weissman, Sarah Williams, and Kristen McNichols. The finale was "Sexual Healing" a nicely appropriate way to round out the set, led delightfully by Sharon Matthews.
After R.E.A.C.H described to the audience that safe sex is a lifestyle and a choice, not just facts, the Binghamtonics took the stage. As Binghamtons oldest co-ed a cappella group they have obviously had many years to perfect their act, and it showed as they stole the show. They opened with the beautiful "Beautiful Girl," which was followed by Mike Baver, who soloed the parody "I Want You to Sit on Me," and a hilarious parody of the George Harrison classic "I've got My Mind Set on You." With a confidant solo and a chorus containing the line "Do me, and screw me, and eat me, and beat me," the group had the audience rolling in the isles and screaming for more. Next came another well-arranged piece "Show Me Heaven." While it contained lyrics as dirty as the song it followed, in no way did it compare to 'Karma Chameleon," in which group members took turns undressing soloist Peng Suvilaisunthorn until he stood on stage dressed in a skirt, tube top, makeup, and boa. The hilarity of the groups antics in no way took away from the perfection of the song. They completed it wonderfully.
Following a Jerry Springer skit demonstrating not only the shows standard lesbians and white-trash, but correct condom use as well (it's not who you do it with, but how you do it) the Crosbys took the stage. An obvious crowd pleaser, the nationally renowned all-male group walked on stage to great applause. Whether it was for their singing skill or musical director Al Orbinatis huge phallus is unclear, but once he ripped it off his crotch (it was plastic...I hope) and Chris Sheppard launched into "Pretty Girls" it became obvious that the crowd adored them. Throughout the set the group was vibrant and together, and they used a wide array of appropriate songs ranging from "Vagina," sung by Evan Behlivaris and Jeremy Honig (guess what it was about. Go ahead, guess) "Chicago," sung by Scott Honig and Scott Eckers (about all the obscene things which one can get fired from department stores), a quick ditty about mothers and oral sex, and an equally amusing song about firemen. The set closed with Danny Amy singing. All things considered the sixth annual Sex and A Capella was a great success. While it seemed to focus more on the singing and less on the sex, the quality of the performances makes this error forgivable. Congratulations to R.E.A.C.H and all of the performers on a spectacular show.