by Alysa Obert '11 and Amanda C. Thompson '11
Shelves in the lobby of A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel were crammed with canned food, and the pews inside were packed with Gordon students, alumni, friends and family whose donated cans had purchased admission to the new Homecoming variety show, 255 Grapevine.
255 Grapevine claimed the time slot formerly filled by faculty talent show nodroG, which will now take place in spring. The new event was the brainchild of theatre professor Norm Jones and theatre/English major Amy Laing ’11, who was also stage manager of the show. Laing said she hoped the show would have “audience involvement and form . . . a stronger sense of community between departments.”
255 Grapevine’s 14 acts and 100 performers pulled the audience in like no Gordon show had before. Talents ranged from country music to Broadway farce to a four-person piano face-off modeled after the popular Guitar Hero video games, with props provided for audience participation in each.
Noni Mason ’93 and her husband, Jared, choreographed one of the main attractions, “Stomp,” which invited the crowd to click their pens in time with the beat. Assistant professor of music Michael Monroe’s four Piano Heroes played the 1812 Overture on two grand pianos. “We asked you to bring cans,” said Monroe. “But we forgot to ask you to bring cannons.” Instead, the audience was given brown paper lunch bags and cued to inflate and pop them when the theme sounded.
The beloved Dr. Marv Wilson told everyone about his wild goose chase after a Gordon van was stolen in New York City. “How good it was to come home to 255 Grapevine,” he said. Jennifer Hevelone-Harper ’92, history professor at Gordon, shared her experiences as a student and as a faculty member at 255 Grapevine.
Two days after the show Laing was still beaming. “I am so happy with the way it went,” she said. “It was fun and created the sort of community experience we were looking for.”
Photos and video of the event:
Professionally produced DVD, and blue laser discs, are now available capturing the fun of 255 Grapevine--North Shore Story, Piano Hero All Stars, Mark Stevick's skits, Noni & Jared Mason in Bring it Home, The College and Alumni Choir, and many more fine performances in a show running for 1 hour and 29 minutes. The DVD is indexed so that individual performances can be selected for playback.
DVD - $12.50 incl. postage Blue laser disc $22.50 incl. postage -
Or purchase them from the Gordon Bookstore:
DVD $10.00 Blue Laser Disc $20.00
Orders can be placed with Chris Gilbert of Lamp Post Media at: christopher.gilbertgordon.edu
Or mailed with checks to:
Lamp Post Media
10 Munroe Street,
Beverly, MA 01915
Ph: 978 969 2821