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Chorallaries and guests entertain with crass humor

Chorallaries Winter Concert

A Million and One Loving Coconuts

Room 10-250.

Dec. 3, 8 p.m.

Featured groups including the MIT Chorallaries, Yale Spizzwinks, and Wesleyan New Group.

By Teresa Esser
Staff Reporter

On Friday night the Chorallaries succeeded once again in bringing music and laughter to center stage in 10-250. The audience members, many of whom arrived an hour or more before showtime to get seats, went away at the end of the evening feeling that their time had been well-spent.

The concert began with a performance by the Wesleyan New Group, who were attired in a variety of outfits ranging from grubby jeans and a ski hat to a white collared shirt and tie. The New Group's songs, like their clothing, catered to a wide variety of tastes, from "I Saw the Sign" and "All that She Wants" by Ace of Base to "This Is Me in Grade Nine" by the Barenaked Ladies.

Audience participation was taken to new heights when the New Group performed "Time Warp" from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Enthusiasm ran particularly high in the upper wings, where zealous concert-goers disregarded space constraints and 10-250's ledge-style seating in order to propel themselves sideways and gyrate back and forth on the lines "A jump to the left" and "Pelvic thrust." The group ended their incredible performance with a song about domination games called "Master and Servant," leaving the audience with a casual, light-hearted attitude and extremely high expectations for the following performances.

These expectations were not quite lived up to by all-male, black-shirted group that followed: The Yale Spizzwinks lacked much of the self-conscious humor of the New Group, though they made up for this deficiency by directing a Mr. Rogers-style serenade toward the writer of this review.

The Spizzwinks preferred to make their jokes about those institutions that they felt could take it, singling out a fictional Harvard student named Andover Exeter III and a faux fraternity called Delta Felta Thigh. They also performed the watch sketch from the movie Pulp Fiction and a hilarious musical rendition of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, sung in the original Old English to the tune of Billy Joel's "Longest Time."

The Spizzwinks' serious numbers included a soulful 12-man barbershop version of "Since I Fell for You," "Madeleine," "Give Me That Wine," a chaotic medley of holiday carols, and a triumphant but contradictory "Relax/I Want Your Sex/Like a Virgin/Faith/Never Gonna Get it/Bicycle Races/I'm Too Sexy/Vogue" finale.

By the time the Chorallaries took the stage, the audience had already been laughing for over an hour, and this caused their opening number about tropical coconuts to come as something of a shock. The mood of the audience was altered further when the lights were dimmed for a moving rendition of "Love Song," which lulled the audience. The Chorallaries then attempted to bring things up to speed again, asking for laughs and contributions to their open guitar case with the song "If I Had a Million Dollars" by the Barenaked Ladies.

When that song finished, the group called for an impromptu break and declared that the "Million and One Loving Coconuts" was perhaps the worst concert that had ever been performed. "I'll bet that if we picked five random guys from the audience, they could do a better job than we have done," complained Chorallary Michael J. Daly '95.

This statement turned out to be a prank, however, for the "five random guys" plucked at random from the second row were actually Chorallaries alumni who had been waiting all night for their chance to perform a humorous rendition of Collective Soul's "Shine."

The blackboard listing of The Top Ten Rejected Gift Ideas for the holiday season brought the concert back to the level of the much-celebrated Bad Taste concert, drawing a mixture of laughter and groans from the audience. The list contained a number of tabloid-derived items, including a Jeffrey Dahmer EZ-bake oven, a Nicole Simpson Pez dispenser, Chorallaries Bobbit boxers ("we have plenty!"), and a remote-control O.J. Simpson Ford Bronco.

The humorous mood was continued into the Chorollaries' rendition of "Finding the River" by R.E.M., which included exceptional interpretive dances by Christopher W. Merkel '95 and Christopher L. Reichert '97.

In all, the Chorallaries lived up to their reputation once again in "One Million and One Loving Coconuts," providing another high-quality dose of music and comedy for the MIT community.