UCI Greeks Perform For a Cause

The familiar thumping of a volleyball or swish of a basketball was absent from the Bren Events Center Friday evening, as the audience welcomed a different sound: the sound of synchronized dance numbers and classic Broadway tunes. This was no longer a home for sporting events, but a stage for the 35th annual Greek Songfest Broadway Musical Showcase.

Diane Monchusa | Photography Intern

Diane Monchusa| Photography Intern

This year, the UCI Greek Community teamed up with the Child Abuse Prevention Center of Orange County, donating the proceeds of ticket sales to this organization in an effort to bring awareness and financial support to this cause and welcoming all students, friends and family to enjoy a night of entertainment, all in the name of philanthropy. 22 sororities and fraternities collaborated with one another to produce eight renditions of classic Broadway musicals and took to the stage, in an attempt to bring their chapter pride and give the audience a show they would never forget.

Alpha Chi Omega, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Pi Kappa Phi were the first group to take the stage in “All Shook Up.” This performance of the American jukebox musical was fun and lively, with a strong Elvis Presley influence that allowed the audience to access their spunky side and had them dancing in their seats.

Pi Beta Phi and Sigma Phi Epsilon in “Moulin Rouge” provided a sultry change of pace, with a glitzy wardrobe and stellar props. Delta Delta Delta, Phi Kappa Psi and Phi Delta Theta transported the audience to the workplace of the 1980s in “9 to 5,” including an enjoyable comedic presence and superb energy.

Diane Monchusa | Photography Intern

Diane Monchusa | Photography Intern

Gamma Phi Beta, Pi Kappa Alpha and Alpha Epsilon Pi pulled off one of the most impressive performances of the night in “Chicago,” surprising many with their strong vocal display and dancing ability. Kappa Alpha Theta, Phi Gamma Delta and Kappa Sigma’s “Little Shop of Horrors” and Sigma Kappa, Sigma Chi and Delta Lambda Phi’s “Xanadu” were both refreshing performances with captivating dance numbers and costumes. Alpha Phi, Beta Theta Pi and Sigma Nu performed “Bye Bye Birdie,” another classic musical condensed into just 12 minutes, and gave the audience a few laughs with its charming plot and acting.

Delta Gamma and Sigma Pi took the stage by storm in the final act of the evening, putting on a chilling performance of the beloved “Wicked” and hitting difficult notes. This group also  went all out with props, costumes and makeup and went on to win the event by racking up a combination of volunteer hours, many tickets sold and an overall solid performance to take first place.

Throughout the course of the evening, both the energy level and competitive spirit tended to fluctuate. Each sorority and fraternity began yelling and screaming in support of their fellow members who took the stage, chanting in unison and waving their glow sticks franticly, and then immediately becoming disengaged when a different group performed. The rowdiness and rivalry throughout the night did not seem to affect the performances, however, but spurred the groups to give it their all.

Diane Monchusa | Photography Intern

Diane Monchusa | Photography Intern

For those seeking to satisfy their musical cravings, next year’s Songfest would be the place to do it. This medley of musicals produced a great turnout, selling 2000 tickets, and was a valiant effort by the Greek community to access their philanthropic side while simultaneously putting on a solid show. Songfest is an event that will hopefully continue to improve and give back to the community.