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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Let the show begin

Parents weekend can be typical. Moms and dads come into town to see how their children are living. They take a look around the apartment, buy groceries, take their kids out to eat and then maybe go out to a bar and try to relive the glory days, but still manage to pass out by 10:30. This year, why not try something different?
Memorial Student Center Complex Town Hall is providing just that – variety. Tonight, Town Hall will present its annual Variety Show. The show features 10 acts of entertainment.
“What else are you going to do with your parents on a Friday night? $4 on a Friday night. You can’t beat that. It shows off the diversity of Aggieland. You’ve got your Mariachi, you’ve got your salsa dancing, Aggie Wranglers. It’s all on the table,” said Ben Jackson, senior biomedical science major and Variety Show MC.
Variety Show is Town Hall’s flagship event of the spring, just as Battle of the Bands is the fall’s main showcase.
“MSCC Town Hall’s purpose is to bring diverse forms of music and entertainment to campus,” said Lauren Brandon, senior kinesiology major and Variety Show executive chair.
The 10 acts on display at this year’s show represent a portion of the actual number of participants who auditioned for Variety Show. Brandon said acts were judged and screened out to ensure this year’s show would be one of quality talent.
“We looked at the quality of performance, style, professional performance, which includes polish and practice, and stage presence,” said Brandon. “It’s an opportunity for students and student groups to showcase their talents and compete against other acts for a prize.
“At stake for the participants is a $300 prize for first place and $150 for second place.”
Five local individuals who represent different aspects of the University and the community will judge the acts. Student Body President Mark Gold and MSCC President Nick Petree will be judges, as well as Adam Knight from Candy 95, Michael L. Greenwald, director of The International Studies Degree Program, and Ella Trumpfeller, director of the Dance Centre.
Last year’s winner, Rachel Jackson, used her success at Variety Show to springboard her confidence toward continuing to perform in front of audiences.
“I had just started doing stand-up comedy the month before,” said Rachel, a junior special education major. “I feel like God blessed me with this gift and I just want to make people laugh.”
Rachel will be returning to Variety Show this year, but this time as the show’s headliner.
“When you win, you can’t compete the following year, but you headline. They are going to give me 20 minutes this time instead of the usual seven to 10 minutes,” Rachel said. “Stand-up comedy is a science and an art form at its best. I thank God that I get better every day.”
In addition to Rachel stand up routine, Ben Jackson, the show’s MC, will entertain the audience through magic and humor.
“Magic and comedy is one of the best combinations of theater that you can do,” he said.
The line-up for this year’s performance includes Aggie Wranglers, Percussion studio, Chara Christian Dance Company, Salsa Fusion Dance Company, Charlie Gore, Aggieland Mariachi, HardChord DynaMix, Lonely Heart Club Band, Hygh Ryza Entertainment and Aggie Fiddlers.
As far as who might take the place of Rachel Jackson as this year’s victor, Ben offers up one guess as who the favorite may be.
“I always root for the individual acts, and the only individual act this year is Charlie Gore. It takes a lot more gusto, or balls if you will, to get up in front of a lot of people and perform without the comfort of other people behind you,” Ben said.
Rachel said to come out and be sure to bring your parents. Anyone who attends will find some aspect of the Variety Show as entertaining.
“If you’re into music, there’s going to be music. If you’re into dancing, there’s going to be dancing. There’s something for everyone,” Rachel said. “It will be done early enough so that if you want to get your groove on at Northgate, you still can.”
The show starts at 7:30 in Rudder Theater, and tickets are $4 for students.

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