It is a well known fact that no generation is like the other. And while the class of 2017 is preparing to bid their farewells, the class of 2018 is introducing themselves as soon to be seniors through the annual edition of Malden High School’s Junior Varieties.
The 77th annual JVs show is meant to showcase different talents in the school and is held every year as the biggest class fundraiser for the junior class of that year. Students can perform any number of talents, from singing, to reciting poetry- playing an instrument, or even dancing. Friends, family, faculty, and students are encouraged to show their support to the current juniors by attending the show. This year, all the money raised will go to the class of 2018.
Last year, JVs for the graduating class of 2017 was spectacular. Senior Jesse Bouley, Vice President for the class of 2017 said that this year, he could visibly see all the hard work the juniors had put into making the show enjoyable for everyone. Since he was a part of the JVs last year as one of the hosts alongside seniors Erin Mulcahy and historian James Mac, Bouley noted that “seeing it all together with [him] not in it this year, [he] really [appreciates] all they work they do.” Which is true, especially considering the amount of practice all the staff and crew put into perfecting the show.
Everyone was hopeful that this year was going to be just as, or even more successful, as last year's JV’s. Students worked hard for a good show to happen. The team met for up to 6 hours after school nearly daily and even on weekends, running through the show to perfect its timing and performances. MHS science teacher Katherine Haskell, advisor for the class, stated that, “[she] doesn’t think one can ever prepare for the hours that [they] had to put in.” The rehearsals, in Haskell’s opinion, was one of the toughest things about JV’s. Junior Dani Urbina, one of the crew members in charge of lights during the show, believed that the amount of work they put in “was crazy,” noting that “the latest [they have] ever been [in practice] was until 10pm, and the earliest [they have] ever gone out was 6am.”
This year, the main theme was a road trip. Titled “Away We Go: The Road to JVs”, the hosts, juniors Shania Ashley and Carla McFarlane took the audience from Miami to Malden, showing us all the amazing people and performances along the road trip in hopes of getting to JVs on time. There were 19 “stops” or acts, and the humorous hosts showed us exactly how fun, and how crazy, a road trip can be. Before the show, Ashley stated that she felt like she was going to forget her lines, emitting the same nervousness that all the other performers had before the show.
For many of the performers, this was their first time being in JV’s. Some people were involved with Dancing With the Teachers this past November and were a bit more familiar with the set up in terms of performances and practice. For Haskell, this is her first time advising an event this large. She has participated in Dancing With the Teachers and in the Lunar New Year show, though there weren’t as many acts or practice times needed. Even though this was a large performance, many people found the experience to be humbling and exciting.
For Class officers, the Road to JVs is one of the biggest fundraisers, and events that they’ll have to work on. Anna Powers, Vice President for the Class of 2018 stated, “[There is] another fundraiser called Dancing with the Teachers, which is this, but on a way smaller scale. So this took a lot of getting used to, and a lot of preparation, but it’s pretty similar to that.” The goal of JV’s is always to get a good performance, but also to raise money for the class’ senior prom. Many of the class officers had to keep track of people, ads, and a million other things.
Many performers wanted to be an act in JV’s simply to help the juniors to raise money. For the MHS Chamber Orchestra, JV’s was the perfect time to reach out and do more performances between the winter and spring concert. The group did a medley of songs including songs like “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson, “All of Me” by John Legend, and “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. Junior Naomi Brill explained that the orchestra “[has] been a group for 3 years now. So [they] kind of figured that [they would] do JV’s and this [has always been their] plan.”
Another performer, junior Zachary Dunphy, aka Uma Hips, which is his popular drag queen persona, sang “I Am What I Am” from La Cage Aux Folles, had his first onstage debut at JV’s. For the past few years, Dunphy has seen JV’s and always thought about performing in it, until one day he decided “why not?” He wanted to offer a new unique performance that hasn’t been offered in JVs before since not many people “are going to be getting onstage in drag anytime soon.” He’s really enjoyed the experience due to “the network of people that [has supported him] every time [he got] on stage.” As the first act in the show, he set the mood happy and proud.
A group of dancers composed of juniors Megan McCoy, Sidney Rodriguez, Ruthie Bilimo and Isadora Alpino, performed to a mix of 90s and early 2000s music. Alpino wanted to be involved with JV’s after seeing MHS alum Kamila Regalado perform to a Beyonce mix her freshman year. They decided that since they did Dancing With the Teachers in the past, they might as well continue dancing now. McCoy stated that one of her favorite parts about their performance was the step part while Rodriguez noted that the transition in songs was really impressive and fun.
There were so many other performances that showed off their talents to the school. There were original songs, and traditional dances. Although sadly Ashley and McFarlane did not get to Malden on time, much of the audience cheered and enjoyed the show.
Freshman Cameron D’Etremont stated that “this was a really good show [and he] loved the liveliness of it all.” This was a sentiment that the crowd clearly echoed as the show ended both nights with huge applause, with even mayor of Malden, Gary Christenson reacting on Twitter saying how this year’s JV’s “will be one of [his] all-time faves.”