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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

UTC to host AIDS fundraiser for Broadway Cares

Published: February 28, 2014
Section: Arts, Etc., Featured

This weekend, Tympanium Euphorium aims to celebrate music while simultaneously raising money to fight against AIDS. On Saturday at 8 p.m., Tympanium Euphorium, one of Brandeis’ undergraduate theater companies, will present their annual benefit event, Brandeis Cares, at the Shapiro Campus Center Theater. Brandeis Cares will donate all proceeds to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, which has raised over $250 million since 1988.

The show this Saturday will feature famous Broadway hits (and ventriloquy), most of which will be familiar to audience members. I will refrain from spoiling what is in store for audience members this Saturday, but if you enjoyed some of last semester’s productions, I would like you to know that you will be able to revisit your beloved Fall 2013 Brandeis musicals. Furthermore, last semester’s vocalists are somehow much improved. Another hint for those of you who are interested: If you enjoy a certain duet from a production that is set in Dublin, Ireland, you will also be pleased. To find out more about what songs will actually be featured, please proceed to buy tickets and attend the show.

While previewing the production during one of Tympanium Euphorium’s dress rehearsals, I was impressed by the vocal quality of each of the performances, many of which brought about extreme nostalgia. Considering that the cast consists of Brandeis’ Undergraduate Theater Company performers and a graduate student, this comes as no surprise at all.

In addition to the actual show itself, Tympanium Euphorium will also host raffles for a variety of prizes, including tickets to see the famed and ever so dynamic Blue Man Group in Boston. Compared to many (actually, most) of the raffles at other Brandeis events, the Brandeis Cares function will reward those who donate with incredible prizes.

From what I watched last night at the Brandeis Cares dress rehearsal, audience members will not be disappointed. It feels more like a musical variety show and will hopefully cater to music lovers. Costumes consisted mostly of everyday clothing, and the stage set was relatively simple, therefore providing an unplugged performance feel. The backdrop was a black and silver city skyline, presumably that of New York City. To add to the stripped-down nature of the production, there was an all-student live band in the corner (very similar to that of last semester’s “Edges”) which provided reliable instrumental music for every single performance and transition.

Although transitions and lighting were a bit rough, what I had experienced was just the first ever dress rehearsal for this year’s production. As someone who sadly only enjoys songs from musicals if previously exposed to the show, I was not the biggest fan of the less mainstream pieces, but nevertheless appreciated the strong vocals.

As with many Brandeis fundraisers, Brandeis Cares has also integrated comedy into their show. I thoroughly appreciated the crude hand motions utilized in one of the songs. The cast members are also naturally charming and dynamic; all of the songs at the dress rehearsal that I attended were performed by charismatic actor-singers.

All tickets for Brandeis Cares will be available at the Brandeis Tickets Box Office in the SCC for $5. Again, all proceeds from the event go to providing services to those suffering from AIDS.