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As the lights dimmed and the crowd grew silent, a row of six emcees strutted out in front of the red curtain Friday at Los Alamos High School’s Duane Smith Auditorium.
The moment Topper Revue emcees Daniel Ahrens, Alexandra Berl, Ethan Clements, Kaitlin Downing, Haley Henson and Richard Jia opened their mouths, they had the crowd laughing.
The six LAHS seniors not only hosted the annual talent show and introduced all 15 acts, but also tied the individual performances together with a central story and theme: “Interred in the Internet.”
As the emcees — trapped within the Internet — struggled to find a way out of their predicament, act after act graced the stage.
From skits to a performance by the LAHS Marching Band Color Guard to group dancing acts, Topper Revue showcased LAHS’ astounding treasure trove of talent.
While a variety show, as implied by the name, generally offers a spectrum of talents, the majority of this year’s acts focused on musical performances.
This lack of variation, however, was compensated by the vocal acuity of the singers. The audience specifically fell in love with Joseph Iriwn and Skyeanne Webb’s performance of Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours,” Renée D’Andrea’s and Louisa Singleton’s interpretation of P!nk’s “Glitter in the Air,” and an acapella version of Lorde’s “Royals.”
Angelique Castillo, Bridget Daughton, Emma Lathrop and Kristen Haertling mastered the art of musical composition as they performed their own compilation of popular songs that all happen to use the same sequence of four chords.
Sarah Bouquin, Alexandr Wang, Madeline LeScouarnec, Alexi Ortega, Emma Lathrop, Marlie Maestas and Kylee Pearl got a good laugh out of the crowd with their skit about “stranger danger,” while two students performed a romantic OneAct that even featured an onstage kiss — or three.
The dance acts were precise and creative, at the expense of many hours of practice. “I can’t even keep track [of how many hours we rehearsed]” said dancer Hannah Dye.
Out of all the acts, however, two seemed to stick out to the audience and emcee Ethan Clements, who particularly enjoyed “either Tristan (Goodwin’s) godly (bagpipe) playing, or (Mr. Rutledge’s) dancing in the dark.”
Goodwin stood solo on stage and played a bagpipe piece with a beat that became faster and faster (and catchier and catchier), while LAHS choral instructor Jason Rutledge showed off his dance moves — in the dark.
In addition to the fantastic acts, the emcees’ dialogue was humorous, as well as poignant. In light of youth’s current addiction to social media, the emcees highlighted the many paradoxes of Internet use that are often swept under the rug.
At one point Berl noted the irony of the fact that, while people may have many Facebook friends (a significant portion of whom are only distant acquaintances), in reality users feel the pang of what she called “#ihavenofriends.”
Along the same lines, Henson pointed out in one of her lines that social media has made stalking “convenient and socially acceptable.”
These serious undertones grounded both the energetic acts and the humorous aspects of the emcees’ dialogue.
The hardest part about being an emcee? “Holding back all the good jokes,” Jia said after the show.
To witness Topper talent firsthand, attend one of the following showings: 2 p.m. today, 7 p.m. Feb. 7, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Feb. 8 and 2 p.m. Feb. 9.