The 2021 Junior Variety Show: The First of Its Kind

As many of our readers may know, the Junior Variety Show is an annual event (and a prom-funding rite-of-passage) in which all members of the Upper School Berkeley Carroll community come together and are invited to showcase their talents. Although 99.9% of the variety shows hosted in the past have been in-person events featuring live performances—such as skits, instrumental or vocal gigs, and even roller-skating routines—unfortunately, this event could no longer be enjoyed side-by-side next to our friends and peers due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this fact, we decided that the show must go on, even if it had to be remote—and with the help of Zoom, our hosts Chloe-Marie P. ‘22 and Luke L. ‘22, many performers, and support from other faculty and students in the Upper School, it did. After months of editing videos, sending out emails, coordinating, and advertising the show (both through flyers and memes), we were finally able to appreciate the creativity, artistry, and humor in each performance from a social distance on April 16th.


The show started off with an opening act from Chris K. ‘21, who is known for his memorization skills and impeccably sang the “Nations of the World” song from the Animaniacs and played along to it on piano. Another notable act (if I do say so myself) was a SZA medley of “Good Days” and “Hit Different” performed by myself on the electric guitar, Zoe P. ‘22 on the violin, and Chloe-Marie P. ‘22, one of the hosts. Joseph G. ‘22 also played “Hotel California” by Eagles on the electric guitar. With Mr. Correa on the saxophone and Ms. Prescott on vocals, the two deans for the Class of 2022 gave a group performance of Nina Simone’s Feeling Good. This portion of the show also featured a poetry reading from Weezie W. ‘22, a piano piece performed by Nathaniel S. ‘22, a duet from Serafina H. ‘23 and Nola M. ‘21, and a performance of The Beatles’ “Michelle” by the Acapella Group. There were even two TikTok videos—one being a compilation of students and faculty showing off their pets (or in the case of Mr. Correa, showing off his daughter), and the other being choreography to the “Lock It” dance performed by the advisors of the Class of 2022, which served as an interlude into the second half of the show. 


In the next segment of the Junior Variety Show, Ella S. ‘22 sang a Hindi song called Kabhi Kabhie Mere Dil Mein, blowing all of us away with her powerful voice. Even while in semester school, Noa B. ‘22 still managed to perform “The Way I Am” on both vocals and the piano, acting as an active participant in the show even from afar. The second half of the show also featured a dance performance from Mr. Sanchez, who danced to a song from his childhood in his mother’s backyard and wanted to inspire viewers of the Variety Show to express themselves through dance. Ms. Clapps, her husband, and her daughter also gave a heartwarming performance of the song “Rocking Chairs” by Branches, adding to the many guitar renditions showcased that night. The variety show concluded with a final performance by Dr. Hughes, aka “Artful Dodger,” who sang a humorous parody song based on remote school at BC. 


For the finale of the show, encouraging and supportive messages from BC families were displayed in a slideshow leading up to the moment all of us were waiting for: the moment where Mr. Correa shaved off his facial hair. As part of a bet, Mr. Correa agreed to shave his beard live if the Class of 2022 reached the fundraiser goal, claiming that “if you say you’re going to do something, you better be willing to put your mouth where the money is.” 


All in all, this year’s Junior Variety Show was unlike any other variety show in the past, and it was a huge success in not only raising money towards the Class of 2022’s prom, but in bringing the BC community together even when we’re apart as well. But most importantly, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing beardless Mr. Correa in my American Studies class in the near future.