Talent Show Recap

The Drakes with Peso

Sean Purnell

The Drakes with Peso

The stars of our student body shone Friday night, which marked MHS’ annual Talent Show. Despite the unexpected technical difficulties that plagued the hours preceding the show, and unexpected dropouts from much-anticipated performers, this year left the audience as awestruck as ever. The stage saw predominantly musical acts, which is no surprise as Madison’s music department has generated countless talented students. With a packed house filled with students and parents willing to brave the unusually high ticket price of $15, the night was ready to commence.


Around 6 PM Friday night, the usual coordinators of the show, Coach Lynott and Mrs Bonnema, were frantic and filled with dread as they grappled with non functioning computer equipment and complex logistical arrangements- the worst that had been seen in years. The atmosphere was tense, and the thought arose that the show may even have to be postponed; yet with perseverance and creative solutioning, the curtains were ready to open at the scheduled start time of 7 PM.


The excitement as the screen lowered to play the opening video sent the crowd into a frenzy. Backed by a barrage of humorous inside jokes which resonated with the senior class, the night’s four emcees- Emma Yost, Emily Pruzik, Kevin Travers, and Joey Goret- were “recruited” one by one. They soon emerged in person, sporting “E=(emcee)2” t-shirts, to introduce the first act- Rob Bazaral and James Mikula performing a duet of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.” Their dual-guitar approach weaved together seamlessly complementing voices, and the impact of Rob’s heartfelt vocals could be felt all across the audience.


The evening continued with the return of long-time talent show veteran Mitra Sharif and her blackout juggling. This year’s act did not disappoint, and the bar of excitement was risen for the remainder of the show. Next came a touching rendition of “Lennon and McCartney” by Dala, sung by the McManus sisters and accompanied by Michael Gribble on piano. This was not the last the stage would be seeing of Michael, however, as the next performance featured him and Sean Bennett playing marching-style percussion to an array of pop hits. Their well-thought-out choreography included humor, light effects, and mind-blowing stick tricks. The theme of solo musical performances was continued by Matt Haughey and Grace Mcculloch, each showing the power that a single voice can have.


Following a brief intermission, and a playful Lip Sync Battle between emcees Joey and Emily, MHS’ token band The Drakes- comprised of Andy Jung, Whitney Xu, and Brian Culligan-  took the stage with a tastefully ironic rendition of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone”, followed by an acoustic take on the Frank Ocean classic “Pink Matter”, which featured guest appearances by Doug Witte and Sean Purnell (AKA Pe$o). Unfortunately, The Drakes’ set was wrought with equipment malfunctions which detracted from the quality, but you can catch them again this Thursday at Faculty Night Live!


To close out a very memorable show, Pe$o and Nicky Davidson delivered to the crowd an awe-inspiring performance combining quick-witted raps and mellifluous vocals, the likes of which had seldom been heard by the MHS community. Following the final note, it was time to announce the night’s winners- a very difficult choice given all the amazing talent.


This year it was Michael Gribble and Sean Bennett who took home the gold with their astounding drumming display. Second place belonged to the McManus sisters, and third to Pe$o and Nicky Davidson.
As the still ecstatic audience left the auditorium, the disappointment of having to end such a special night, and return to day-to-day life was palpable. Such an effect could only have been brought on by another successful year of the MHS Talent Show. Thank you to all the acts, Coach Lynott, Ms. Bonnema, the emcees, and everyone else who helped make this night possible!