Inside Iowa State

Inside Archives

Submit news

Send news for Inside to, or call (515) 294-7065. See publication dates, deadlines.

About Inside

Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

January 28, 2005

Student Varieties shows open this weekend

by Anne Krapfl

After 70-plus years, Iowa State's student Varieties continues to entertain. Semifinal performances of the student talent competition will be held the next three Saturday evenings (Jan. 29, Feb. 5 and Feb. 12), with shows at 6:30 and 9 p.m. all nights in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Tickets are $7 and available at the main desk of the Memorial Union.

In this elaborate, high-energy, talent-show format, teams of students -- seven this year -- write and perform a 20-minute skit that includes a stage set, costumes, musical numbers and a live band.

"They're like mini-musicals," said Brady Smith, ISU senior in ag studies and producer of this year's Varieties. "Those that tend to do the best are funny, but actually have a plot, too."

The songs, he said, typically feature homespun lyrics set to well-known tunes.

Most Varieties teams represent sorority and fraternity chapters at Iowa State. Smith noted that one of the teams this year is made up of music department students.

It takes three shows to get through all the semifinal performances.

The Varieties shows also feature several vignettes -- five- to eight-minute performances by groups in a competition of their own, and M.C. teams, one per weekend, that develop their own "performance" and compete for the right to emcee the final "Sweepstakes" performances.

Sweepstakes weekend is Feb. 25-26. The Sweepstakes Varieties features the top three skits, top three vignettes and top M.C. team, as judged in the preliminary rounds. Sweepstakes performances begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, and 6:30 and 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, also in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Tickets are $8.


"Those that tend to do the best are funny, but actually have a plot, too."

Brady Smith,
Varieties producer