On Saturday, April 14, the Midnight Ramblers held their senior show creatively entitled “Midnight Ramblers and the Chocolate Factory.” Their performance, alternating with hilarious video clips, parodied the classic “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” as its theme.
An extremely ingenious publicity stunt, they hid 10 golden tickets around the UR campus to ignite hype amongst the student population. The 10 lucky winners got to sit front row for free and supposedly the first five winners received an additional super special prize.
The public relations campaign certainly worked. Strong Auditorium was packed to the brim with numerous die-hard Midnight Ramblers fans. They were out in full force, chanting their favorite Ramblers names, one kid next to me constantly screaming out “I love you, Matt Roe” throughout the night.
The Ramblers began strong with a hilarious introductory video, great costumes and an energetic performance, only to vacate the stage for guest performing woman’s a cappella group After Eight from Cornell University.
After Eight gave quite an interesting performance with some songs containing strong sexual references, which at times were uncomfortable to watch. However, their comical song about Facebook was a hit. It commented on the realities that the popular social networking Web site has, especially in situations such as when one “get[s] drunk and write on your wall.”
The video clips told the story of visiting UR with “Willy Wonka” as the tour guide. The clip about Augustus Gloop, the greedy, naughty, gluttonous child played by senior Matt Roe, was hilarious as he jumps into the chocolate river, a.k.a. the Genesee River.
Following the video, the Ramblers took center stage again. Great performances were given by Roe and senior David Soson. Roe’s rendition of “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” was probably the best I have seen thus far, with Ramblers completely in sync with fancy footwork and Roe’s own bumpin’ booty shake. Soson’s version of Aqualung’s “Brighter Than Sunshine” was also a delightful surprise and was well received by the audience.
“This was one of the best Midnight Ramblers shows ever,” junior Lynn Carrier said, and many agree with her opinion.
Another amusing video clip was the tour given at the bookstore featuring comical freshman Matt Myers as its star. In this story of a boy who wanted everything at the UR bookstore, Stone gave an extremely funny portrayal of something I recall watching on YouTube.
The second act of the show was equally as exciting. Senior Kenny Lotito brought up friend and senior Rachel Thibo from Vocal Point to accompany him during his senior song. A bass saxophone made an appearance, played by Soson, and imaginative choreography made it a sweet performance. Finally, senior Jeff Le sang the beloved Jesse McCartney pop song “Beautiful Soul,” which could make any lucky girl blush in her seat.
The last song, and my favorite of the night, was the newly premiered Justin Timberlake song, “What Goes Around/Comes Around” sung by Myers. Dressed in “hip-hop” garb, the Midnight Ramblers brought the house down with this extremely well choreographed and performed act. The dance moves were hot, vocals sultry, and it was truly a great way to close the show.
Overall, the Midnight Ramblers senior show was undoubtedly a hit with the audience. The four graduating seniors, Jeff Le, Kenny Lotito, Matt Roe and David Soson are certainly leaving big shoes to be filled. But I have faith in the student body to continue being huge fans of their very own Midnight Ramblers.
Han is a member of the class of 2007.