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Feb. 27, 2009

Varieties 'sweepstakes' round fills the Great Hall this weekend

by Anne Krapfl


Junior Lauryn Dermit, Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority; and senior Ben Schmidt, Farm House fraternity; are part of the chaos in Mystery On Board the Regal Crown, one of three skits selected for the Varieties sweepstakes performances this weekend in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Photo by Bob Elbert.

In the mood for a homegrown student talent show? The "sweepstakes" round of the student Varieties competition may fit the bill.

The show includes three mini-musicals -- each about 20 minutes long -- sandwiched by four talent acts of eight to 10 minutes each. Sweepstakes performances are Friday, Feb. 27, at 6 and 9 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m., all in the Memorial Union Great Hall.

Now in its 78th year, Varieties is a student-produced, family-friendly talent competition sponsored by the Student Union Board. Teams hail mostly from Iowa State's fraternity and sorority chapters.

Long road to the finals

The performers selected for the sweepstakes round survived first cuts in early December and a second elimination round the first two weekends in February. All the acts will be judged a third time and awards presented to the best skit and vignette following Saturday's performance. Judges also select numerous "best in show" recipients for acting, singing, writing, costumes, lighting, etc. University faculty or their spouses and local theater people serve as judges.

Here's who qualified for the sweepstakes performances:

  • Skits (mini-musicals that incorporate music with original lyrics, choreography, props and stage settings): Hope for the Holidays, Mystery on Board the Regal Crown, and Royal Ruckus in Edinham
  • Vignette performances (original talent acts): hip-hop duo Philly D and XL, a capella group All in Moderation, soloist Michelle Wallace and dancer Amy V

A change this year to Varieties removed the job of emcee from open competition. Instead, auditions were held prior to the second elimination round. Members of the student improvisational comedy group Grandma Mojo's Moonshine Revival were selected to emcee the second round and sweepstakes performances.

Tickets are $10 (students $8, children 12 and younger $4) and available at the Maintenance Shop box office, or call 4-8349. The box office is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Varieties Sweepstakes

Feb. 27, 6 and 9 p.m.

Feb. 28, 8 p.m.

MU Great Hall

Tickets: MU Maintenance Shop box office