What do a girl, Puckman, and a President Shirley Ann Jackson impersonator have in common? They were all contestants in Partial Credit’s Jeopardy! themed Fall show on Saturday, November 21. In addition to the RPI-influenced game, guests were treated to the musical stylings of SUNY Albany’s Earth Tones and WPI’s Simple Harmonic Motion, both all-male a cappella groups. They all tried to use the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center Concert Hall to its fullest; Partial Credit is the first of all of the a cappella groups on campus to perform in the main Concert Hall.
The show came complete with a mustached Alex Trebek in the form of Nick Kirsch ’11. They really played up the theme, especially when the contestants were prompted with the question, “What is an appropriate method for rousing the crowd at a hockey game?” (Coincidentally, Puckman, despite his lack of a voice, failed to come up with the right answer for that question, much to the crowd’s amusement.)
However, the Jeopardy! sketch was only a small portion of the evening, serving as little asides to the actual show. Partial Credit performed some of their seasoned favorites such as “Kiss the Girl,” arranged by the Sons of Pitches and performed by John Maderazo ’10, with sound effects from Laura Cox ’10 and Chris Coates ’10, and (the song that always gives me goose bumps) “Baba Yetu” by Christopher Tin and sung by Nick Kirsch ’11. They also performed new songs such as “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam sung by Michelle Santospirito ’10 and “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” by Jimmy Kennedy, which was clearly an audience favorite. And of course, group songs such as “Lullabye” by Billy Joel and “In My Life” by the Beatles were both perfectly clear and full of energy. While most of the soloists were able to fill the massive space of the Concert Hall, there were one or two singers that weren’t always easy to hear. In all fairness, though the performance space was considerably larger than Mother’s, Partial Credit’s past venue.
In addition to Partial Credit, both the Earth Tones and Simple Harmonic Motion added to the levity of the evening with beautifully executed songs. The Earth Tones filled the hall with songs like “There’s a Good Reason These Tables are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven’t Thought of It Yet” by Panic! at the Disco. It would have been nicer to hear them perform without their beat boxer mic-ed, as he seemed to have been competing with the soloist at times. Simple Harmonic Motion won over the crowd with their rendition of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by Elton John, complete with jungle sound effects. Both groups had great stage presence and really seemed to enjoy the opportunity to perform at EMPAC.
Overall, Partial Credit put on another great show, and full credit should be given to whole group as well as the six new performers for their wonderful performances. Even after an encore, it wasn’t enough. Mark your calendars if you missed their fall show, because there will be another performance in the spring, and I highly recommend you stop by.