10th week is a busy week for arts on campus

So, this is the last week of the last school quarter — oh, I can already taste the sweet summer freedom — and though many students are deluged with papers and finals, many other students plan to drift aimlessly through this week. Instead of getting intoxicated and watching hours of YouTube videos, why not check out some of the events that UC Irvine’s art departments have to offer?

On Monday, June 1, UCI dance students will be performing classical dances with unexpected variations. Hence, its simple, easy-to-remember name: “Variations Showcase.” This one-hour show will feature dances from such famous shows as “Paquita,” “Swan Lake” and “La Bayadere.”

The Variations Showcase will be held at 6:30 p.m. in PTSU 1100, right next to the Mesa Parking Structure.

If you’re looking for something a little more unusual, the new performance art group Conversations at the Zoo will be putting on a late-night performance piece on Wednesday, June 3. If you’ve never seen performance art before, this would be a good chance to discover this modern, improvisational form.

It’s at an unusual place (outside of Cyber Café), at an unusual time (10:00 p.m.), so it’s only fitting that the show should have an unusual name: “Melk and Pellows.” Its focus is rediscovering the discoveries of childhood.

Later that night, there will be a chance to delve into the minds of an even stranger group. At midnight on KUCI 88.9 FM, Samantha Varela (the new KUCI general manager) will be interviewing PFFR on her weekly radio show, “Naked Comedy.” PFFR are better known as the comedy masterminds behind the twisted MTV sketch show, “Wonder Showzen.”

Varela will also be playing her usual mix of stand-up comedy acts, focusing this week on political bits from David Cross, Lewis Black, Bill Hicks and others.

For a combined assault on the senses, you need look no further than the Arts Ampitheater this Thursday, June 4. Acrobatics Everyday, UCI’s premier source for live alternative music, will be presenting The Happy Hollows and Big Whup, two indie bands to be happily juxtaposed with the Studio Art exhibition “Boxed.”

Big cities like Los Angeles and New York are rife with opportunities like this one, but where else in Irvine are you going to find live music in conjunction with live art?

That same night, two other events open; including the opening reception for the senior art exhibiton, “Indexical Flexible,” taking place at 6:00 p.m. at the Arts Plaza. I am a big fan of opening receptions. It’s exhilarating to witness new art, puff away on a pipe while discussing the subtext and make several trips back to the fancy hors d’oeuvres at the snack tables. Actually, while my appreciation of the art may vary, I have an eternal love for the snack tables.

The Indexical Flexible exhibit will be open for a while, but if you’re into pairing bread with six different kinds of cheeses, then head on over to the Arts Department on Thursday night.

Thursday is also the opening night for “Dear Gabby: Confessions of an Over-Achiever,” a drama workshop running through June 6. Directed by second-year Danielle Bardellini, this play is a character-driven exploration of emotions and relationships, centered around an advice columnist and the anonymous people who write to her.

‘Dear Gabby’ begins at 8:00 p.m., in the Little Theater inside Humanities Hall.

Thursday is really going to be a busy night as well.

Circle of Fifths, one of the best of UCI’s many acapella groups, will hold its end-of-the-year concert at 8:00 p.m., in the general vicinity of Humanities Plaza. Acapella groups are fascinating to listen to; every voice operates as an instrument. Circle of Fifths consistenly provides UCI with unique vocal performances.

Finally, we’ve reached Friday. One well-publicized event going on this day is Reggaefest, which will be going from late morning to the early evening in Aldrich Park.

Presented by ASUCI, this festival will also be supported by KUCI, Chronic Tacos and loads of vendors – which means that in addition to free live reggae, you can also get free food (in limited quantities).

After the Reggaefest musicians have packed up and gone home, The Students for Homeless Outreach will be putting on a show called “SHOUT for a Cause.” Although it’s free, all of the donations that they collect will go towards building a shelter for impoverished Rwandan youth.

This talent show with a mission begins at 7:00 p.m. in Crystal Cove Auditorium.

UCI’s do-it-yourself drama company, Pipeline Players, are putting on its own student-run production of “Coriolanus,” one of Shakespeare’s more under-performed plays. The company will be putting on this piece, focusing on the turmoils of war and the recession, at 8:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday in Studio 5, with a 1:00 p.m. Saturday matinee.

Or, of course, there’s the infamous annual Undie Run, which will start 8:15 p.m. at the UCI flagpoles. This small event of skin-baring has evolved into something monumental, as evidenced by the hundreds of people who have RSVP’d on the Facebook event.

Another example of how huge the Undie Run has become: This year will feature AMP Radio 97.1, and coverage by both the Orange County Register and local Fox 11 news.

Last but not least, “Little Women: The Musical” is still running this weekend. I caught it this past weekend, and it was very professionally performed. Sure, it’s a long play, but it was a long book too! Why spend hours and hours reading the book when you could spend hours and hours watching the March sisters in action?

‘Little Women’ will be performing every night at 8:00 p.m. from Wednesday through Saturday, with a 1:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday at the Claire Trevor Theatre.
Nothing to do this week? You’ve got to be kidding me.