Arts, On Campus

Sweet, Sweet Chocolate

Sexual Chocolate Performs ‘Willy Wonka’ Themed Show

For those who know Sexual Chocolate (SC) only as Boston College’s all-male step team-and therefore assume that SC’s skills are limited to choreography step dances-are definitely mistaken. By 7 p.m. on Feb. 14, Robsham Theatre was packed full of people excited to see what SC had in store, and when the curtain lifted, expectations were met with much more than just dance.

Valentine’s Day proved to be the perfect backdrop for the Big Show (which also marked SC’s 15th anniversary): the theme allowed the men to not only play with idea of chocolate in a quirky and creative way, but also to give their own version of the origins of Valentine’s Day through a variety show of step, comedy, theatricality, and music.

The show was opened by the Heightsmen (BC’s all-male a capella group) who made several appearances throughout the show as the serenading, green-haired Oompa Loompas. The Heightsmen chose fun, familiar, sultry songs such as “Mirror” by Justin Timberlake and the infamous “Ignition Remix” by R. Kelly. Judging by their dance moves, they were having just as much fun as the audience while they sang. Each of their neatly harmonized numbers was met with great enthusiasm not only from the crowd, but also from the SC members who shared the stage, which made for a fun, welcoming dynamic.

The rest of the show followed the tale of down-on-his-luck Cupid, the neighborhood hacky sack looking for his big break in Unpleasantville-a town without love, happiness, or chocolate. When Cupid meets chocolate entrepreneur Willy Wonka, he is presented with a golden ticket, and begins to plan out how he will use his ticket to rise up as a businessman and a local hero. Along the way, Cupid encounters the salesmen, chefs, postmen, and Neighborhood Watch of Unpleasantville, all with their own ideas on how to make, package, market, and protect the chocolate that Cupid has been gifted. All the while, Detective Valentine and his policemen work to reinforce the strenuous ways of Unpleasantville, infusing the story with elaborate, acrobatic, perfectly-synchronized step performances. These performances served as both impressive numbers in their own right as well as transitions from scene to scene.

In addition to the mind-blowing step and the clever storyline, the Big Show thrived on its spectacular acting. The members of SC got their chance to shine, and everyone was animated and theatrical as they seamlessly delivered their lines. The humor of the show was upbeat and relatable, cracking jokes about pop culture, ’90s Disney shows (i.e. That’s So Raven), and even those Sarah McLauchlan animal rights commercials that make everyone want to cry. If for some reason the on-point comedy was not enough to keep the audience engaged, the cast frequently drew the audience in by breaking the boundary between the stage and seats, whether by sending performers running through the aisles, encouraging the audience to clap, or by transforming the spectators into the interactive audience of a cheesy reality cooking show.

As Cupid’s story escalated, leading him through the typical new-fame stages of narcissism and recklessness, and ultimately resulting in his arrest for robbery by Detective Valentine (hence, Valentine’s Day), the men of SC delivered a performance full of sass and energy, despite the many late-night rehearsals they endured in preparation. What’s more, despite the various scenes of dropping to the floor, rolling around, jumping up and down, running around, etc., only one hat was ever lost, and when it happened, Cupid played it cool.

Once the show was over, and the audience had gotten its fill of Valentine’s chocolate, the men made sure to put the “sexual” back in Sexual Chocolate. In a foxy finale, the boys sauntered down the aisles with roses in their mouths and made sure the audience members got their money’s worth with a sensual striptease (there’s just no other way to say it).

Overall, come 9 p.m., the men of SC had given a witty and fun performance about both brotherhood and chocolate, leaving it all-including their shirts-on the stage.

February 16, 2014

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