For students who want to relive—or rather, watch someone else relive—their awkward middle school days, the Second Annual Carl & Carol Pforzheimer Middle School Talent Show was an opportunity to travel back in time.
In a twist on the standard talent show, Harvard students performed as middle school versions of themselves in the event, held Sunday evening in Pfoho Dining Hall.
Hearkening back to middle school talent shows, the venue was transformed into the Pforzheimer Middle School Cafegymatorium.
The talent show included Pfoho students acting as struggling student performers, misunderstood nerds, and one painfully shy teacher, played by Matthew S. Chuchul ’13.
Before the show began, teachers read a long list of announcements reminding students to buy tickets for the Ménage à Quad dance, reiterating the ban on spaghetti straps, and advertising the next week’s Mathletics game—pitting the Pforzheimer Pfighting Pfactorials against the Mather Middle School Math-ers.
Pforzheimer house tutor Jamie Ciocco ’94, who played a middle school math teacher co-hosting the talent show, promised to have “two asthma inhalers at each table in response to last year’s incident.”
My Ngoc To ’14-15—a Crimson editorial writer—performed a piano rendition of Whitney Houston’s “Saving All My Love for You.”
Channeling a nervous middle school performer, To only lost her composure once during the song. Kevin E. Sikah ’15 put together a piano medley of popular Nintendo game theme songs.
Cassandra L. Rasmussen ’13 played a fantasy-loving nerd who was the “founder, president, and sole member of the Pforzheimer Middle School Middle Earthlings.”
“Last year I read Lord of the Rings and decided I wanted to grow up to become just like J.R.R. Tolkien, except female and with more strong female characters in my work,” said Rasmussen, who sang the first piece of her 12-part “Dragon Ballad.”
In the final act, Ciocco performed a song addressing middle school woes like first crushes, cliques, and “pounds of make-up on your zits.”
Ciocco, who co-organized the event, said that the middle school talent show aims to do more than feature comedic skills.
“Lots of Harvard students had a bad middle school experience, so in a way, it’s cathartic,” Ciocco said. “It’s a way to exorcise the demons of middle school.”