by Sasha Ryu
Every year, dozens of hopeful entertainers audition for a chance to perform at Thursday Night Live — the school’s biggest talent show of the year. This January, seniors Collin Colson, Riccardo Contaldi, Nathan Gelman, Sam Ross, and Jake Shraga MCed the show, delivering what was easily one of the most memorable performances in modern TNL history.
For weeks in advance, Contaldi and Gelman perfected dozens of jokes on current events. The long-time stand-up comedy duo wowed the crowd with their effortless chemistry and clever punchlines. Veteran MCs Colson, Ross, and Shraga also put on a fantastic show; their EDM track, Cream of Mushroom Soup, had the entire audience in stitches. Shraga’s impeccable comedic timing, Colson’s kinetic ability, and Ross’s masterful quips combined to form what can only be described as perfect chaos.
Senior Caia Costello started the show strong, singing her original song, Pretend Red. Senior Shalini Agrawal was the second solo act of the night, fearlessly belting out Alicia Keys’ If I Ain’t Got You. Next was freshman Theo Ortiz, who left the audience speechless with his touching rendition of Jack Stauber’s Oh Klahoma.
Seniors Sawyer Clark and Katie McEnroe were the only non-musical acts of the night, each becoming crowd favorites with their incredible dancing skills. Clark had the audience gasping in excitement with her sassy tap number, while McEnroe dazzled the crowd with her effortless footwork.
Senior Maya Kurani performed an acoustic version of Dua Lipa’s popular single, Don’t Start Now. During the second act, Maya’s younger sister, freshman Bella Kurani, performed an equally mind-blowing cover of Rhianna’s Umbrella.
That night, senior Eva Gangi, a gifted lyricist and performer, also debuted her original song, Waste. Her sincere delivery and sheer talent left several members of the audience with tears in their eyes by the end of the song. Senior Jacqueline Herbert, sophomores Allison Bui, Aryan Kapoor, Angelina Linville, and returning freshman duo Lilah Bruza and Donya Derashandeh also delivered deeply moving performances – all of which received well-deserved cheers from the crowd.
Seniors Elizabeth Duvall and Maxine Edmonds sang Take a Hint from the hit Nickelodeon show Victorious. The two would make a second appearance, alongside senior Jamie Blough and freshman Frankie Evans. Singing in perfect four-part harmony, the girls effortlessly executed a wildly intricate combination of synchronized snaps and claps.
Perhaps the most anticipated act of the night was a performance from Alex Chapman, Matthew Holm, Kurt Kroesche, Don Weller, Steve Hammack, and Dan Ross of the school’s beloved Teacher Band. The talented ensemble had the entire audience on their feet, clapping along to their cover of The Middle.
To close the show, juniors Johnny Wilkens, David Marselli, Sergei Litovchenko, Soren Wilde, and sophomore Ian Moore returned to the stage for their second performance of the night, alongside rapper and vocalist junior Trevor Ross. Their upbeat original song, When We There, had the crowd dancing and cheering in their seats. It was truly the perfect end to the perfect show.