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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Mr. Brandeis entertains and fundraises for fight against cancer

Published: April 12, 2013
Section: Arts, Etc., Top Stories

With contestants strutting in swimwear to talent performances incorporating song, dance and comedic routines, students gathered as contestants competed in the 2013 Mr. Brandeis Pageant. Sponsored by Relay for Life, the pageant featured students both personally invested in the fight against cancer and those whose compassion has led them to become dedicated to the cause.

Beginning with a synchronized dance routine, the contestants sported athletic shorts and ties as Justin Timberlake’s “Suits and Ties” resounded against the walls of the gymnasium. Breaking into solo routines, contestants such as Makalani Mack ’16 and Gustavo Lopes ’15 emerged as skilled dancers, while others relied on comedy in lieu of dancing abilities.

Progressing to the swimwear competition, contestants sported swimming trunks to speedos, to the enjoyment of the crowd. Dillon Morris ’14, who also performed in Liquid Latex, stripped off his sweatshirt before hitting the runway, amid cheers from the audience, while Gustavo Lopes ’15 brimmed with confidence even as he sported an inner tube in the shape of an animal. Unleashing his dreadlocks, Lopes commanded the stage. To cheers of support, Max Bernstein ’15 emerged down the stage sporting a polka-dot bikini top as the song “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-dot bikini” cleverly played in the background, seizing a unique spin on the swimwear competition.

Audience members were encouraged to aid in the judging process, exchanging donations to Relay for Life to add points to the scores of their favorite contestants. Announcing the goal of raising a total of $95,000, the hosts for the evening Matt Peabody ’13 and Kasey Dean ’14 announced that as of Sunday, Relay for Life had already fundraised a total of more than $25,000 in the fight against cancer.

Transforming to formal wear, contestants polished up quickly from beachwear to suits. During the talent portion of the competition, Dillon Morris was able to play a wide array of popular songs, including “Paparazzi,” “Forever Young,” and “Friday” to Adele’s “Forever Young” using solely four chords on his guitar. An impressive feat in itself, Morris’s capacity as a singer was still able to emerge despite his focus on creating a comedic and entertaining performance.

Stealing the show, Fred Berger ’15 displayed the unique talent of crafting a sandwich using only his feet. Delivering hilariously timed lines, he emptied a bottle of deli meats onto the floor before stripping off his shoes to reveal his bare toes while dramatic music contributed to the humor of the scene. Assuring the audience “My feet are mad clean,” he carefully grasped pieces of turkey between his toes. Responding to demands from the audience to eat his creation, he cleverly asserted, “This is a talent show, not a freak show,” before courteously placing the sandwich on the judge’s table to the amusement of the crowd. Laughing, judges Mohammed Sidique ’15, Amanda Kelly ’08 and Clayton Campbell ’13 resisted the temptation to eat the creation.

Once again, Lopes seized the stage, demonstrating his amazing talent and unique style as he walked confidently onto the stage sporting a backpack. Casually shrugging off his bag, he picked up a pair of headphones and began moving with expertise, demonstrating his talent through breakdancing. Complementing his performance by juggling a soccer ball as well, his athletic ability only awed the audience further. His performance as a whole was not only technically sound, but brimming with style while incorporating difficult moves.

Malaki Mack wooed spectators through his emotional rendition of the Bruno Mars song “When I was Your Man,” hitting the notes with ease. Lopes, Berger and Mack emerged as standout performers during the talent competition, while contestant Yoni Sebag ’13 delivered a hilarious comedy act before placing a cake, potentially more appealing than the sandwich previously crafted by Berger’s feet, before the judges. Performing a comedic routine focused on baking a cake, his remark “always kosher” while reaching for salt added what can only be deemed a very Brandeisian touch to the act.

At the conclusion of the evening, contestant Pat Seaward ’13 emerged as the winner of the pageant. Reflecting his personal commitment to the cause, Seaward lost his father to a malignant brain tumor when he was only six months old. Contestants further raised funds for the cause as they were auctioned off as dates to audience members. Despite the pain and suffering endured by contestants and audience members alike who may have lost loved ones to cancer or helped loved ones through battles with cancer, Mr. Brandeis Pageant 2013 depicted the endurance, perseverance and dedication to the battle against cancer.