Songfest Spells Success for Greeks
If you had happened to pass by the Bren Events Center last Friday night, you would have heard a lot of screaming.
Inside, hundreds of fraternity and sorority members, along with friends and families, showed their support for over 150 students gathered in the wings of the makeshift stage set up on the gym floor, anticipating the start of Greek Songfest 2007.
Greek Songfest is the largest student-run philanthropic event at UC Irvine. Each year, the Songfest Executive Board selects a partner charity with which to work. In the past 28 years the Board has donated thousands of dollars in proceeds to worthwhile causes. This year they partnered with Team Kids, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to ‘helping kids help kids’ and promoting youth involvement in the community.
Songfest is just what its name implies. Nine sororities and fraternities teamed up to perform 12-minute renditions of some of Broadway’s most popular musicals. Cast members showcased their singing and dancing before seven judges sitting in the audience. Before each show, the audience watched a short video introducing the cast members and chronicling their hard work throughout the year.
Songfest 2007 began as members of Alpha Pi and Alpha Epsilon Pi ran onto the stage dressed in ’80s outfits and big hair. They performed an abbreviated version of the ‘The Wedding Singer’ and got enthusiastic applause for the love song of Robbie Hart.
Despite their professed concern over ‘finger-pointing’ skills, Gamma Phi Beta and Sigma Phi Epsilon did an excellent job of dancing their way through ’70s hits in ‘Saturday Night Fever.’ Pi Beta Phi and Pi Kappa Alpha took more serious subject matter to hand with ‘Miss Saigon,’ a tragic love story of a Vietnamese war victim and an American soldier.
Epsilon Phi and Phi Gamma Delta performed ‘Grease,’ a hugely popular musical set in the ’50s, which tells the story of two high school kids who love each other despite being from opposite sides of the track.
Kappa Kappa Gamma’s original partners did not enter Songfest, so the Interfraternal Council improvised a cast comprised of members of different fraternities: Beta Theta Pi, FIJI, Sigma Chi and Sigma Phi Epsilon. The five-chapter cast performed ‘Guys and Dolls,’ the story of a big time gambler and his girlfriend.
While the Greek performers took a break, break- and modern-dance groups, including the Chinese Association Dance Crew, performed. As everyone came back to their seats, Delta Delta Delta and Sigma Alpha Epsilon took the stage for ‘Anything Goes,’ in which a young man discovers his love will be marrying someone else, followed by ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ by Delta Gamma and Sigma Chi. A simple spelling bee turns chaotic as we learn more about the characters. Alpha Chi Omega and Sigma Nu performed ‘The Full Monty,’ the story of a group of ordinary men who decide to develop their stripper skills. Last but not least, Kappa Alpha Theta and Kappa Sigma performed ‘Hairspray,’ in which a trendsetting teenager pursues her dream of dancing.
If you hadn’t seen any of the productions, it was a little difficult to understand what was going on, but the students did an admirable job of condensing the material.
After a brief wait, the judges tallied their performance points and announced the winner of Greek Songfest 2007: third place to the cast of ‘Hairspray,’ second place to ‘Anything Goes’ and first place to the ecstatic cast of ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.’