Students display talents in Varieties showcase, winner announced

The People’s Choice winner of the night, greek pairing “The Popularity Application,” humorously showcased the hierarchy of high school cliques. The skit centered around the main character’s need to breach the barriers behind popularity labels in order to fulfill her dream of attending an elite university.

Robyn Riley

Students traded in studying or going out in Campustown on Feb. 22 for performances by their classmates. Varieties, which showcases the talents of Iowa State students, hosted its 83rd annual final performances of the series which began in November. 

Originally started in 1931 during the Great Depression, Varieties served as a source of free entertainment for people to come and enjoy. Today, it has evolved into a full-fledged talent show, and is mostly made up of greek sororities paired with fraternities. However, one doesn’t have to be greek to be involved.

The final show consists of four different performances that were put on by the final groups. Each show was 20 minutes long, with three vignettes in between. A vignette is a short demonstration of a talent a student may have, such as dancing or juggling. Themes, choreography, music, scripts and costumes are all created by student co-chairs for each group.

“The thing I like about Varieties itself is that it’s a very unique opportunity. You don’t really hear a lot about a fully student run, produced, choreographed, designed, built mini-musical,” said Grant Bargfrede, producer of the show and senior in public service in administration in agriculture.

The students don’t have major theatre backgrounds and they put on some of the best skits you can see Bargfrede said.

This year, Varieties started with 400 participants in November and was narrowed down to the four competing groups in the finals.

The night began with the show titled “Joey Ravioli’s Guide to Women.” Joey, the main character, was desperately trying to figure out how to get a girlfriend. In the end, he realized that just being yourself is way to find true love.

The second act of the night, “Behind the Makeup,” was about Batman and the Joker, but from the Joker’s perspective. He loses faith in himself becoming a villain and ends up finding himself in the end.

“I love every person I’ve met through this experience, and it’s been such an amazing time. You all get so close as a group, and it’s just fun performing with everyone,” said junior Ali Marino, one of eight co-chairs for the group.

The third act, “The Popularity Application,” was a classic example of high school cliques coming together. This act received the “People’s Choice Award” for the audience’s favorite act of night.

The winning act selected by the panel of judges was, “A Turn in Time.” This told the story of a girl who didn’t appreciate her family until she went back in time and witnessed how her parents and grandparents lived.

After the performances, awards such as best vocalist, best actor and best music were given out to performers from different groups.

Charlie Kiesling, audience member from Polk City said, “The energy was fantastic, as well as the talent. It’s just amazing how the groups choreographed everything.”