The Sharps, Boston College’s only all-female a cappella group, took a lively trip to fabulous Las Vegas for their fall café Saturday evening. McGuinn 121 was transformed into a dazzling casino for the concert, with dice and playing cards adorning the performance space.
Opening up with energy, Maggie Chipman, MCAS ’21 and Sharps Vice President, showcased her smooth, melodic voice with the group’s rendition of BØRNS’ “Electric Love.” It was evident from the beginning that this show offered much more than just musical prowess. Throughout their performances, The Sharps playfully added theatrical flare and comedy to the songs that gave life to their arrangements and kept the audience on their toes.
The Sharps slowed it down with “Sober” by Lorde without sacrificing any of their energy. Beatboxing by Chipman provided an intense foundation for the staccato harmonies in the opening of the song. The song’s urgency commanded the room, as did the vocals of featured soloist Amadis Welch, MCAS ’22.
With Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” The Sharps were in their element. The group added theatrics and choreography that felt casual and spontaneous—along with a lively and comical guitar solo from Harper Barbaree, MCAS ’22. The addition blended perfectly with the piercing vocals of soloist Lilly Higgins, Sharps president and MCAS ’20.
Next, The Sharps welcomed the Williams Octet, an all-male group from Williams College that kept everyone engaged between The Sharps’ two sets. Opening with a fast-paced mashup of One Direction’s “Drag Me Down” and Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble,” the performance made listeners forget there was ever tension between the hit artists.
Closing out with a feel good arrangement of “Africa,” the Williams Octet left the audience clapping and eager to hear what The Sharps had to offer in their second set.
Emerging once again to round out the show, the group brought the café’s theme to life with clever costumes that embodied the vibrance of the Las Vegas Strip. With guest appearances from Marilyn Monroe (Sophia Summers, MCAS ’23), a Vegas Bride (Maggie Chipman, MCAS ’21), and Elvis Presley himself (Harper Barbaree, MCAS ’22), the city was personified through some of its most iconic figures.
But it was Emma Fritsch, MCAS ’21, that truly brought “The King” to life with her high-flying performance of “Viva Las Vegas.” Shortly after, The Sharps took the opportunity to empower their listeners with a powerful and confident performance of Bea Miller’s “S.L.U.T.” Soloist Anabel Johnson, MCAS ’20, grinned back at her fellow singers as she captured the spirit of the song through her upbeat performance.
Ellie Falanga, MCAS ’23, continued the upbeat mood with a performance of Sia’s “Alive.” Falanga’s high-powered vocals and impassioned belting brought cheers of approval from audience members throughout.
Closing out this year’s fall café, The Sharps invited up former members to join in on a cheerful performance of the group’s theme song, the Bee Gees’ “If I Can’t Have You.” The song served as an ideal conclusion to a night of camaraderie, casinos, and costumes.
Featured Image by Jess Rivilis / Heights Staff