On Saturday, December 6th, Oglethorpe’s literary magazine The Tower held its annual Night of the Arts event, which showcased some of the best talents the Oglethorpe community has to offer. The TLCC game room became the stage for a night where all performers were able to display their passion for their respective craft. Attendants to the event also received a free copy of this year’s The Tower, featuring literary works, photography, and visual art pieces by Oglethorpe students.
As luck would have it, I had absolutely nothing better to do on a Saturday night than to let myself be absorbed by the Oglebubble and another one of its traditions. Not being much of an artsy person, I really didn’t know what to expect from this event.
Turns out, it was an amazing experience, and one that truly explains what’s so unique about our university. When something can make you laugh, cry, and be amazed in the space of two hours, you know there’s something really good going on. Who needs expensive shows and entertainment in Atlanta when you have some of the city’s best artists performing a couple feet away from your bedroom?
The Good: The variety of the performances on offer. It was astonishing to see the diversity of talents that members of our community have. From musical acts, to stand-up comedy, to a drag performance; it was an inspiring sight to behold for anyone interested in any kind of artistic expression. Plus, this is probably the only time in my life I’ll have the chance to see a drag queen hastily assembling a flute. Anything can happen at Oglethorpe, and it usually does…
The Bad: …which leads to the worst performer of the night: the sound equipment. The microphone seemed to fail in the middle of every musical act, and God forbid anyone needed to use the mic stand. Several performers and speakers had visible reactions at this inconvenience (am I right, Dr. Bujak?), and at times it seemed to detract from the experience. It’s up to Oglethorpe to sort that one out.
The Ugly: The fact that the I, the writer in charge of reviewing the event, am also the least artistically inclined person in the Stormy Petrel staff. All ratings for NOA’s performances have been determined by my totally subjective, absolutely not-qualified opinion, so all comments (and occasional insults) are appreciated.
-Jason Thomas (Singer): With an earnest, heartfelt performance, marked by unpolished but sincere vocals, Mr. Thomas opened the night by bringing some emotion to the crowd. 8/10
-Shaun Handy, Ethan Weathersbee, Miles Davidson (Rappers): A gimmicky series of performances by this trio that brought a lot of hype to get people moving. Also, they gave out free shirts. 8/10
-Brad Firchow (Poetry): Clean, top-notch writing, and a touching, personal message characterized the first poetry act of the night. 8.5/10
-Zack Smith (Guitar Improv.): Proving that a well-played electric guitar is still as amazing today as it was 30 years ago. 9/10
-Ash Levy (Singer): Clever songwriting and great instrumentation that are slightly undercut by just average singing. 6.5/10
-Sophia Summerlin (Poetry): Winner of “Handler’s Choice” on The Tower, vivid imagery and clever themes made the audience understand why. 9/10
-Zoe Yaceczko (Singer): With a strong, almost husky voice, Zoe quickly won over the audience as one of the standouts of the night. 9/10
-Ryne Clark (Poetry): Also one of the the MC’s of the event, Ryne managed to amuse the crowd and make them think with his shrewd, thoughtful, and sometimes hilarious writing. 8.5/10
-Sidney Stanley (Singer, Poetry): Proving that you can be great at more than one thing, with an expressive, rich singing voice; deep, personal, and funny verses; and a great stage presence. 9/10
-Prof. Orme (Pianist): A beautiful piano piece by Dr. Orme served as the conclusion for the first part of the event. 8.5/10
-Satana Lux (Drag Performance): Being the first time I’ve seen a drag act in my life, words fail me. Nevertheless, one of the best acts of the night. 9.5/10
-Aleece Bustamante (Singer): Despite a shaky start, Aleece’s powerful voice allowed her to give a strong finish to her performance. 7.5/10
-Margaret Light (Poetry): A very emotional reading of a meaningful, hard-hitting piece that really gave some in the audience pause. 8.5/10
-Katherine Breeggemann (Poetry): Clever use of metaphors in a piece that exudes melancholy, and probably flew over many heads. 9/10
-Monique Bandong (Stand-up Comedy): Who knew that grocery store jokes and ice cream taste-shaming were really funny? 8/10
-Rebecca Rikard (Singer): Great, melodious (and frankly adorable) voice, and strong stage presence made Rebecca the strongest performer of the night on the singing category. 9.5/10
-(NOT) The Jazzy Petrels or MAB and the L-train: With a totally improvised, not acted skit and an amazing musical performance, MAB and the L-train were the closing act of a wonderful night. 10/10
Overall, the performances were moving and spectacular. Oglethorpe truly is a place booming with talent.