Review: (g)imble presents SPOOKAPELLA! feat. Maize Mirchi & The Harmonettes

If you have not yet found the time to make it to an a cappella concert here at the University of Michigan then you should make time!  The Michigan A Cappella community is one of the most eclectic and diverse in the country and internationally recognized.

Erica Searcy sings Alone by Heart.
Erica Searcy sings "Alone" by Heart.

Spookappella, a Halloween themed a capella concert, featured three stunning UofM groups: (g)imble, The Harmonettes and Maize Mirchi.  with special guest Scotch Tape from Malacaster College in Minnesota.  Each group took the stage in their own creative Halloween attire to give the audience a night of a cappella bliss.

Scotch Tape opened the show, followed by headliner (g)imble with their rendition of “Forever and Always,” originally performed by Taylor Swift.  Marianne Gruzwalski, one of (g)imble’s powerhouse soloists, was on the solo.  You would not ever expect such a powerful voice to come out of such a small girl.  You couldn’t take your eyes off this one as she emulated and extraordinary amount of confidence and sass on this song.  What a great performance it was.

The “sometimes sassy, always classy” Harmonettes officially opened the first half of the show with “Nothing Ever Hurt Like You” sung by Lauren Morrison, “Stay” sung by Brennan Couturier and “Goodbye to You” sung by Sarah Short.  This group of classy ladies brought a lighthearted vibe to the stage throughout their set.  Chelsea Selden brought some fantastic vocal percussion to the first two songs in the set.  This girl arguably had the most charismatic stage presence throughout this evening of performance.  There was not a moment when she was not radiating a contagious smile.  Additionally, her continuous step touches made it nearly impossible to sit still while watching.  All in all, the Harmonettes put on a great show!

Maize Mirchi, one of the newest additions to the Michigan a cappella community, opened the second half of the show.  Mirchi is Michigan’s premier South Asian a cappella group and is known for fusing Bolloywood Indian music with more contemporary music  They most definitely know how to capture an audience.  While some of their costumes were a bit distracting, they put on a wonderful show.

(g)imble closed both the first and second halves and had a number of beautiful pieces, most notable being “Either Way” by Guster and “Alone” by Heart.  “Either Way” was performed as a group song as the solos were distributed across each member of the group.  This moving piece provided the audience with some of the most beautiful harmonies of the evening.  However, “Alone” stole the show completely.  With another one of (g)imble’s powerhouse soloists taking the lead, the audience was left with nothing but chills.  Erica Searcy (otherwise known as “Fiercy”) tore the roof off with this song.  While she first seemed a bit apprehensive, she soon settled into what would become the best song of the evening.

All in all, it was a wonderful evening of a cappella.  Be sure to look out for the many a cappella concerts that are held at the end of the semester!  It’s most definitely a quintessential Michigan experience!

Preview: (g)imble presents: SPOOKAPELLA! feat. Maize Mirchi & The Harmonettes

With Halloween right around the corner you can feel the pulse of campus increase with vigor.  Halloween is often the most anticipated celebration throughout the school year, and for good reason.  It’s the one time throughout the year that people can dress up, take on different identities and enter a world that resembles something out of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Although Gimble A Cappella may not be ready to take on the likes of Rocky Horror, they will put on a fabulous show at their 2nd annual Halloween a cappella show, Spookapella!

This  year, Gimble will host Maize Mirchi, Michigan’s premier South Asian a cappella group, and The Harmonettes, one of three all female groups on campus.  Gimble will also welcome special guest Scotch Tape, who are coming all the way from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota to open the show and will begin singing at around 6:45pm.  It should be a great night of a cappella!

Here’s the rundown…

Who: Gimble, The Harmonettes, Maize Mirchi & Scotch Tape

Where: Angell Hall Auditorium D

When: Friday, 10/29 @ 7:00pm

Price: $5 Adults/Students, $3 Children

Enjoy the show!

REVIEW: “Into the Woods”

One of the greatest perks about being a UofM student is having exquisite art right at our fingertips. The school of Music, Theatre and Dance is home to one of the top rated musical theatre departments in the country. This department rarely disappoints and “Into the Woods” was no exception. The University Production of “Into the Woods,” with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, delivered nothing less than what one would expect from this incredible department. The sold out show delighted its audience at the Lydia Mendelssohn theatre last Thursday evening.

The musical flawlessly intertwines the storylines from several of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales as it takes the audience to a place they’ve never seen. Namely, the darker more tragic endings that are not so “happy” after all. The main plot focuses on a baker and his wife and their quest to have a child all while interacting with characters from the stories of Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and Cinderella among others. Sitting in the audience, it was difficult not to lose all concepts of time and space as the cast and crew took you on a mystifying journey through these stories.

As for the performers themselves, Andy Jones and Sam Lips stole the show with their hilarious performances as Cinderella and Rapunzel’s Princes. While skipping across the stage, these two performers nailed the roles impeccably. Their rendition of “Agony” was simply side splitting as the song enlightened the audience to their narcissistic personalities. The two characters provided the majority of the comic relief throughout the show, as they were often unaware of anything that was happening around them.

Additionally, you could not help but fall in love with Olivia Hernandez as she took on the role of Cinderella. She created a character that was relatable and loveable, all while having a powerhouse voice. You could not help but root for her character as she lived amongst an evil stepmother and sisters and was married to a lackluster prince who would rather role around in the “thicket” with another woman than be faithful to her. I must say that Olivia’s interpretation of Cinderella was nearly spot on. Her performance was by far my favorite out of this cast.

The overall production of the show was incredibly high as well. With wonderful costuming, set and lighting design, the show matched that of a professional theatre. As mentioned before, University Productions rarely disappoint and this was but another example of the incredible talent here at the University of Michigan. The show has since wrapped, be I would advise you to be on the lookout for upcoming University Productions!