February 20, 2007

A real 'Night at the Museum'

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Forget frat parties; the place to be this past Friday night was the Herbert
F. Johnson Museum of Art. In an event that lasted until 2:00 a.m., the Museum Club hosted an affair that had everything one could want in a fun-filled weekend night.

After Hours at the Johnson Museum boasted several student performances and art projects, a movie screening and karaoke. As always, all the floors of the museum were open so that students could take a break from the music and food to enjoy a little bit of high culture.

The night began with a memorable performance by the all-female a capella group Nothing But Treble. They got the crowd involved early and set the stage for the excitement that was to follow.

In a shift from singing to dancing, Shadows Dance Troupe followed. As whistling and yelling escaped from the audience, it became evident that the turnout included friends of the performers who came to show support, as well as students who were there simply to enjoy some nighttime recreation.
Once Absolute A Cappella took control of the proceedings, visitors began to spread throughout the museum. The vacant seats left by people who had gone exploring were quickly grabbed by eager onlookers who had been standing at the periphery.

Students admired the art displayed on the walls of the museum, and enjoyed the pleasant harmonies echoing through the halls. There was a lot to enjoy: not only were all the museum’s daily exhibits open but the mysterious sixth floor (yes, there really is a sixth floor) of the Johnson Museum was also opened to students.

This top floor, usually set aside for meetings and conferences, was used as a movie screening room. While the students on the floors below waited patiently for the Pandora Dance Troupe to begin, those on the sixth floor were eating popcorn and candy in anticipation of “The Da Vinci Code” screening to come.

As this was going on upstairs, there was even more going on at the lower levels of the museum. On the first floor, students made festive masks to go along with the Mardi Gras beads that were being distributed at the entrance to the museum. Decorated with sequins and feathers, the popular masks were modeled by students throughout the evening.

After the Pandora Dance Troupe, Cornell’s first musical theater troupe, Anything Goes, took the spotlight and performed their renditions of numbers from musicals including Rent and Avenue Q. After an excellent and eclectic performance, The Class Notes, Cornell’s first co-ed a cappella group, joined the festivities. This powerhouse display served as yet another reminder that a cappella rules at Cornell.

In between group performances, the crowd was treated to performances from Lindsay Krasna ’08 and Caitlin Kontak ’07, two acoustic guitar players and vocalists. Each one played an enjoyable set composed of both original songs and classic covers and each entertained and delighted the assembled crowd with their skill.

The last performance of the night came from the male a cappella group The Hangovers. With high-energy singing and an interesting dose of comedy, The Hangovers capped off the list of scheduled performers and finished the night of performances on a high note.

However, the night was not quite over, as the end of the scheduled performances for After Hours ushered in an hour of not-so-talented singing and dancing. In other words, there was karaoke.

On the floor above the lobby of the museum, a television screen was set up with speakers and microphones, ready for some serious amateur performances.
As the karaoke brought the night to an end, performers, museum staff, and visitors exited the building with smiles on their faces. Louis Romero ’10, said “The wide range of entertainment brought students with many interests to one place,” and he was right: After Hours at the Johnson Museum had something for everyone.