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College Night 2018: Judges’ comments

Judge 1: Tech issues obscured much of what audience cheering and screaming and applause didn’t. Obviously, the game-like atmosphere’s integral to and a tradition for College Night, but each side’s supporters should bear in mind that, by drowning out singers and actors at peak moments, muddying punch lines and melodies, they’re actually weakening their show’s performance.   Audiences/judges can only go by what they’ve seen and heard, so moments blurred in the muddle create a drag on the overall intent. Character’s names, motivations, occupations, attitudes … all lost in the noise, so that what rises above are only the broad outlines of a parody. Parody, like most comedy, is in the details. Without fine edges, it’s a watercolor cartoon.   Both shows suffered from sound issues, but they were especially rough on the first performance of Saturday evening, “All in the Swing: A Golden Musical.” And that’s a shame, because as a riff on cornpone musicals such as “Oklahoma,” with a bit of mustache-twirling villainy ripped from silent films, “All in the Swing” maintained consistent energy and amusement levels throughout, and might have been even smarter, had its script and lyrics been clearer. For the future, it’d be interesting to see if the kids could work with an off-stage band, so as to better blend the sound.   Not enough was available, via script or costume, to clearly distinguish...

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