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A CAPELLA REVIEW

Razzle Dazzle ’Em

The Muses’ Spring Concert Reveals True Talent

By Marjan Bolouri

MIT Muses

10-250

May 3, 7 p.m.

In Greek mythology, the muses presided over the arts and sciences, inspiring others to excel in these endeavors. On Saturday night, the audience in 10-250 beheld an MIT Muses offering that was nothing short of inspiring.

Although the crowd in 10-250 was smaller than that which shows up for most 5.111 lectures, the hundred or so who came got a pleasant surprise in the opening act. Dartmouth’s Final Cut, a group of ten strapping yet stylishly lacking young men, declared their universal truth about a capella: “It’s supposed to get us babes.” Regardless of what happened after the concert, the group’s five-song set received a warm welcome from the females in the audience.

A skit about picking up women at parties, complete with obligatory freaking, established a lighthearted tone that perfectly matched the song that followed, “Truly Madly Deeply,” which featured comical boy band-like motions and rotating soloists crooning to the MIT ladies in the front row. The soloist in “Burnin’ Down the House” brought the crowd to its feet, though his interpretive dance moves proved that MIT guys are not the worst dancers around. Logs fans, fear not: the Final Cut has a way to go before they can pack Kresge.

The Muses bounded onto the stage with Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8-er Boi,” an unfortunate choice for a first song. Soloist Vanessa Speed ’06 handled the remarkably difficult single gracefully, hitting all the right notes.

Any hints of a sub-par performance can be attributed to the Muses’ challenging choice of songs and a few haphazard arrangements. In “Head Over Heels,” Stephanie Cho ’06 led her fellow Muses to overcome their brief stage fright. Her unique and enchanting voice melted the stiffness with ease, at times being overpowered by the intense background vocals. Well-choreographed, sharp movements contributed to the overall positive experience.

A skit about passing on Muses wisdom to the newest group members left the audience befuddled. Laced with a capella humor, the sketch probably hit home with those in the know. Some fans couldn’t help but scratch their heads when Toni Ferreira ’04 told the Muselings, “Gold Bond: if you have to ask, you don’t want to know.”

After the uncomfortable interlude, the soothing harmonies of Weifang Sun ’04 stole the spotlight in “Possession.” Reesa Phillips ’06 shone in En Vogue’s “My Lovin’” despite the song’s lackluster arrangement. Fans of En Vogue found this first half lacking the right “you go, girl” attitude, but the Muses hit their target with the energetic “Breakdown” and Reesa’s powerful vocals.

The catchy “One Way or Another” broke the mold; clever choreography, a perfect arrangement, and stellar vocals by Toni Ferreira ’04 revealed a glimpse of just what the Muses are capable of. The group had obviously invested time in the piece, and their hard work paid off in rousing applause and wails of approval.

The concert ended with a premeditated though not undeserved encore that finally revealed the astounding range of Tammy Poon ’05 in Boyz II Men’s “Thank You.” The Muses left their fans thoroughly satisfied and others optimistic about future performances. With such incredible talent among their ranks, the Muses will undoubtedly be singing to a standing-room-only pack next year.