Recap: P.A.O Winter Concert
It’s nights like Wednesday night that make me happy to be involved in the Suffolk University community. The Winter Concert held by the Performing Arts Office showcased the talents of 10 of the office’s student organizations. Ranging from improv comedy to Spanish inspired dance the concert fully expressed just how many creative outlets students at Suffolk can express themselves in both professionally and personally.
Hosted by Ashley Niemiec of Sketchual Misconduct and Zack Barker from Seriously Bent, the night flowed smoothly from group to group with musical groups intermingled with comedic and dance groups. Kicking off the night was the Jazz Ensemble to get everyone in a festive swanky mood. Singer Antonio Roulet surprised with his low vocals and seductive stage presence. Past Jazz performances have tended to be a bit of a bore but the group has apparently switched it up for the better. Suffolk’s premiere sketch comedy troupe Sketchual Misconduct came up next with their skit “Letters from the Store”, parodying a group of southern belles reciting letters from their husbands in active duty, with stories of the husbands braving the long lines and chaos of “the store”. This was my second time seeing this skit as they performed it for their end of semester show “Flying Circus” just days before and luckily the group continued to get a great reaction out of the audience.
Suffolk’s award winning a cappella team Ramifications came on stage thirdly to roaring applause. One of the more popular groups here at Suffolk, the “Rams” always seem to please. Tonight they performed “Stillness is the Move” by the Dirty Projectors and “Feel Again” by One Republic. Senior Stephanie Rubino sang solo on Stillness and she showed a talented side to herself that came as quite a shock. Knowing Rubino personally her talent is obvious but her range shined through with their performance that night. Finishing off the first half of the night, contemporary music ensemble Rhythm, lead by front man and senior Clayton Nickell rocked the house and finished the first half strong. Nickell wowed with his vocals, especially on their first song “All These Things That I’ve Done” by The Killers. They commanded the stage and had a commanding, albeit, staggered stage presence.
After the break and more witty banter from the hosts, Rampage took the stage. They started strong however forayed in a tired performance with both songs. Front woman Aubrey Bryan exploded onto the stage at the beginning of their rendition of “Everyday” by Bon Jovi but the performance lost steam. The talent is still there, but the excitement lacked. The Step Team came out next to present a brilliant heart pounding routine. Most impressively, the performance kept on for a while. Everytime you expected them to wrap it up, another member would begin another part of the routine. To add some culture into the mix, latin dance group Pasion Latina put on a lackluster performance. The passion behind all of the members is obvious and helps but overall the group seemed out of sequence and in need of more rehearsal time. Next, as they prepare to take on nationals for collegiate improv in Chicago, Suffolk’s acclaimed Seriously Bent comedy troupe had just the right amount of awkwardness mixed with dead kitten jokes and some spring break hijinks. One of the more energetic and consistently pleasing groups on campus the veteran members and new additions worked well together to keep the audience on their feet and busting their gut with laughter. Member John MacGregor managed to share his energy and charm with the whole audience and one downside would be that they weren’t on stage for as long as they deserved to be.
After another performance by Rampage, the Suffolk University Dance Company came out to present their routine, choreographed by sophomore Shaela Carpinito, to “Latch” by Disclosure ft. Sam Smith. Earlier in the night the group did another routine to “All I Want For Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey however it lacked excitement but when they returned for round two the performance grabbed your attention with a slow interpretation of the song that ended with a bang when the girls switched back to the original tempo and got the crowd rowdy and ready for a good time. Carpinito displayed a real talent with the routine’s seamless fluidity and expertise. Definitely one of the best groups of the night, I’m excited to see where they go leading up to next semester’s spring showcase. To keep the momentum moving and the audience excited, hip-hop dance crew W!cked beat the ground and our hearts with a rousing medley of songs and choreography. The sheer amount of members all working off one another was truly a sight worth seeing. Members Teonna Anderson and Nick Guerrieo grabbed my attention and didn’t let go until they walked off. The performance titled “W!cked on Fire” tore up the stage and ended the night of in a suitably intense and memorable fashion.