By Jerome Stuart Nichols | Life Editor
Added December 7, 2011 at 9:42 pm
There’s an old adage that suggests everyone has a hidden talent. While that might not hold true universally, it sure was true Tuesday afternoon at Eastern Michigan University’s faculty talent show competition Eastern’s Got Talent.
This year’s collection of faculty talents was a mixed bag to say the least. There were acoustic songs, impressions and even an appearance by the dark knight himself, Batman. But not even Batman could stop the comedic power of LGBTRC director Mary Larkin whose stand up comedy routine helped her walk away with this year’s title.
The unquestionably quirky event began with a curious impression of 19th century author and humorist Mark Twain by Mike Andaloro, which got quite a few chuckles from the crowd.
He was followed by a soaring and angelic cover of the American standard “At Last” by Sherry Owens. The first musical number of the two-hour long event, Sherry wowed the crowd with her unexpected and soulful twist on the classic song. Sherry even provided her own musical accompaniment via acoustic guitar.
The variety continued with Dan Medro who performed a pair of modern classics of musical theater. The performance, which was the most produced out of all the performances, began with a bit of play to the audience. After a quick costume change, he began a truncated rendition of “Mr. Cellophane” from “Chicago.” One more costume change and he was back, this time performing “A Brotherhood of Men” from “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying.”
Next up was Arick Kirkland performing his song “Necessity,” the only original song in the event. The judges applauded his performance for its originality.
Although some might question the assertion, up to this point in the show the performances were rather normal. While entertaining and unique, none of them had the same sort of room flattening energy as the moment Tom Stevick… excuse me, Batman, took the stage. Apparently Stevick traded was too busy washing the batmobile to perform his country music classic “Grandpa Wore a Suit to Dinner.”
Explaining his surprise appearance, Batman said, “I always wanted to be on Dancing with the Stars, but they wouldn’t let me.” The Dark Knight took this rare daytime appearance as an opportunity to perform an interpretive “dance” to the original Batman theme.
After Batman took leave back to his cave, Dave Leapard was next to give his country inspired performance of “Nobody Knows” as made famous by The Tony Rich Project. Had it not been for the preceding madness, Leapard’s performance might have had a much more striking impact. But he gave the song inspired life despite being the most awkward follow up since Titanic 2.
By the time Mary Larkin took the stage, the energy surrounding Batman’s appearance still hadn’t dissipated. But once she got into her satirical seminar for workplace improvement, old Batsy was left out in the cold.
During her set,Larkin provided the audience with insightful ways to make your workplace life easier. Her first tip, make up fake appointments on your calendar to avoid questions when arriving late to work. She made sure to note that labeling events with key terms like “transgendered” or “lesbian” would allow “9:30 girls” to avoid questions all together when arriving an hour and a half past the 8 a.m. requirement.
The rest of Larkin’s four-part seminar included tips on social networking, mistaken identities and purchase cards, which carried the same helpful cache as her first. The judges applauded her for her practical advice.
What would happen if God let his interns plan the world in an afternoon? Phil Simmons and Jennifer Graham offer their answer in the form of their angelic skit.
Simmons and Graham played two angels who’d been tasked with brainstorming the ideas to create the world. Let’s just say their design, much like the real world, was far from intelligent but dead on for hilarity and practicality.
Closing out this year’s Eastern’s Got Talent competition was Greg Peoples singing “What about the Children.” His subdued performance was a fitting close to an event which hopped of the rails moments after it began.
After all was said and done, Mary Larkin went home the winner. But the judges made sure to remind the contestants that everyone is winner, a point which anyone who has never won the Mega Millions jackpot would dispute, vehemently.