With nothing but time on the clock, Sing Song is going through a “countdown” for this year’s performance.
The theme centers on the music industry’s biggest hits throughout the past few decades, paying special attention to the American music-performance show era.
“It’s a nod to the famous countdown programs in our music industry throughout the past 40 years,” said Tom Craig, director of student activities and productions. “We’ve hit on multiple generations from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, all the way to the present.”
Craig said the theme is a convolution of shows like television’s American Bandstand, Soul Train and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, and radio’s Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 countdown.
“One of the things that really excited us was how songs have become iconic elements of specific generations based on their playtime, whether it be on the radio, on the jukebox, on an iPod or an MP3,” he said.
As the other themes were tossed around, and the running list of ideas kept getting longer, Craig kept coming back to the counting down idea.
“So, as it evolved, we saw movies like Hairspray, which is a take-off on American Band Stand, and the concept started coming together from there,” Craig said. “That setting from that movie is kind of the encapsulation of what we are recreating here on the Sing Song stage.”
In fact, the beginning and ending songs of the show, Bandstand Boogie and You Can’t Stop the Beat, are taken from American Bandstand and Hairspray.
The atmosphere is set up to allow the audience to experience what being in a studio during a taping of a show like American Bandstand would be like.
“From the DJ booth to the studio audience to the house band and singers on the stage, everything is evolving around that show concept and the countdown theme,” he said. “You will see the theme developed through the atmosphere on stage, what’s going on, what costumes people are wearing, all the way to the upstage where they have incorporated different forms of countdown in almost every act.”
The host and hostesses’ acts will have every audience member reminiscing the past. Every chosen song was featured on a countdown, many of them hitting No. 1 on multiple charts around the world, which is how Craig found them.
“We picked our songs by scouring through years and years of Billboard charts,” he said. “So, they all have been very popular songs in their generations.”
The show also acknowledges two calendar events during the performances: The hosts and hostesses will perform Stevie Wonder’s Superstition in honor of Friday the 13th, while their rendition of the Beatles’ All You Need Is Love is dedicated to Valentine’s Day.
The show has one last twist: the production team and representatives from each participating act will join the host and hostesses in the last performance.
Singing the No. 1 song of all time, based on Billboard‘s Hot 100, they will dance to Chubby Checkers’ song, The Twist.
“It will be an exciting recreation of a movement that started to sweep the nation in the ’60s, and that’ll be a lot of fun,” Craig said.
Craig said tickets are still on sale for Friday’s 8 p.m. show, though it’s two-thirds full already. Saturday’s shows at 2 and 8 p.m., however, are both sold out.
“There’s still plenty of options to see the show,” he said.