Review —This past Saturday night, while many of you were out celebrating your Halloween and family weekend — catching up with family, dressing up as your favorite superhero or simply staying in bed, binging the latest installment of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” — I was at the annual family weekend variety show, which commenced at 8 p.m. in Levin Ballroom on Oct. 28. 

Emceed by Amanda Duncan, a sweeter-than-sugar folk-pop singer, the night’s show featured a roster of numerous on-campus dance and music groups. The performances of some were better than those of others, as would be expected. Not every group can be the best group on campus. That is simple logic. However, on this night, none of that mattered. What made the night special was the sheer passion that was demonstrated by each respective group in their act.

 Bearing witness to the variety show was reminiscent of the feeling you get when a child hands you a drawing that they made specially for you; it isn’t necessarily a good drawing, but it nevertheless makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, because it is not the quality of the product that matters but the heart and soul that went into it. 

Some of the performances at the variety show were reminiscent of a storm of multicolored crayons scribbled on a sheet of printing paper, while others were more refined — simple drawings of flowers perhaps, composed of two or three colors. I’d hang them all up on my wall though, for each one is colorful and bursting with passion.

Most wonderful were the people imparting their enthusiasm for their respective crafts: the student performers themselves. Sitting in the audience, I was surprised to see fellow students dancing hip hop whom I did not even know could dance in the first place; I saw people rapping whom I never knew were rappers. There was a certain allure in all of this, not knowing who might show up next on stage to surprise you with their particular set of skills. I will not go into detail as to which groups were extremely talented and which were not. I think that it was evident to the audience, who were obviously applauding only to be polite at the conclusion of some of the acts.  


Chelsea Madera/the Justice

DANCING IN THE DARK: Student dancers perform a choreographed piece. 


Still, be it rapturous or polite, the applause was indicative of a collective appreciation for what was unfolding onstage for the two and a half hour duration of the event. The parents sitting in the audience seemed to be especially enthralled, simply because they were experiencing some of the fruits of their exorbitant tuition bills. 

After a rather unpleasant performance (that is a generous term, for the record), one parent, who noticed the press pass hanging around my neck, turned to me and said, “I’d hate to have your job.”

To be completely honest, I’ve had harder nights “on the job.” The variety show was an absolute delight from start to finish just by sheer virtue of the excitement I felt watching my peers perform on stage. How good each performance was is irrelevant; I’m just happy to see that students at Brandeis have creative outlets that they can share with the community at large.