Talent. Talent everywhere.
On Saturday, March 25, the Night Owl Café at Keene State College (KSC) was booming with energy, laughter, applause and tears during Saturday Night Jive with a total of eight acts.
The Social Activities Council (SAC) hosted Saturday Night Jive at KSC where students could showcase their talents, ranging from acts with a service dog, to stand up comedy and all the way to some punk rock and singer-songwriter acts.
SAC events coordinator Sean Jablon said, “The nice thing about Saturday Night Jive is we can pretty much have anyone [perform].”
The show had two hosts, Tim Peterson and Mason Robbins, who introduced each act with the help of Hootie the Owl, KSC’s mascot, who was also involved in the show at different points.
Prior to this event, students were required to audition to become a part of the night in front of judges in the Mabel Brown Room.
“It starts off with auditions. We usually hold two nights of auditions and from there, the planning is ‘do we want food, do we want drinks,’ things of that nature, the more practical things and then we figure out the order and we find hosts,” said Jablon.
The audience was able to vote on their favorite acts and the winners took home cash prizes.
The show opened with an act by KSC’s improv club, 3 Ways ‘til Sunday. This club is comprised of 12 members, seven of who participated in Sunday night’s show: Andrew Bennington, Brendan Callery, Dominique Pascoal, Haley Monahan, Jessica Chapman, Patrick Regan and Alexandria Saurman.
Their act was based largely around the ideas of people in the modern world with the use of comedy.
The set lasted about 10 minutes and by the end, many people were laughing and there was a loud applause at the end. 3 Ways ‘til Sunday was part of the three way tie for second place.
Also in the first half of the show was Mackenzie Donovan and her service dog, Rue.
Next was Justin Mahan in “Justin Mahan’s Magical Mayhem,” where he performed psychic magic with the help of some audience members.
3 Ways ‘til Sunday President Regan was brought back on stage where he performed a stand up comedy set around some darker jokes. He was also part of the three way tie for second place.
During the intermission, two students, Marisa Benson and Hannah Soucy, said that they both were enjoying the show and while they were there to support everyone, they are also close friends with Regan.
The second half of the show began in an upbeat way with the band Riverlight playing a three-song set. Some people in the audience could were seen bobbing their heads and tapping their feet to the beat of the music.
Riverlight was also part of the three way second place tie.
Following Riverlight was another standup act by Nick Tocco.
Tocco kept the crowd laughing during the entirety of his set, making jokes about his dietary habits and Keene’s newest attraction, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and the fact that his last name is Tocco.
Tocco ran home with the $500 first place prize for his comedy set.
“I felt really good, I felt really relieved after I got done because I was nervous going in because I had done stand up comedy before because I used some material I knew kinda worked, but I was also working in some new stuff, so when I do that I’m always nervous,” Tocco said.
Despite his nerves, Tocco made the crowd visibly and audibly laugh continuously, and he received a loud applause with some whistles when he was finished.
Tocco said, “I went towards the end and I was pretty intimidated after seeing some of the other acts, but after I got off the stage, I felt like I had a decent shot.”
Tocco said one of his role models and inspirations is Chris Farley because of the way he owned the room during his time.
“I think the biggest thing for me because I haven’t done stand up in so long, [winning] gave me way more confidence now and it worked. I hadn’t done it in so long, I didn’t know if I had it anymore,” said Tocco.
Following Tocco was another standup act, Dominique Pascoal. Pascoal said “the energy of performing” is her favorite part about getting up on stage and feeding off the crowd.
Pascoal said she hopes to get to Tocco’s ability at some point in her comedy career.
The last act of the night was Joe Mucci who sat on the stage with his guitar and sang a song which brought visible tears to some audience members’ eyes.
Audience member KSC student Ashley Hoffer said after the show, “I thought it was really awesome; I didn’t know how much talent we had on campus, so it was really cool to see everyone get on stage and show everyone [their talents.]”
Mary Curtin can be contacted at email@example.com