Gaieties marks its 105th year

As Stanford celebrates the year that it turns 125, Ram’s Head Theatrical Society is celebrating a Stanford tradition almost as old: Big Game Gaieties is turning 105. Gaieties is an original, student-written, student-produced musical parody thatPoster for Gaieties is performed in Memorial Auditorium the week before Stanford’s Big Game against Cal. This year, Gaieties is partnering with the Stanford Axe Committee to host the Big Game Rally on Wednesday evening after the show.

Gaieties has long been one of the bulwarks of Stanford school spirit during Big Game week. Students who can’t attend the game can still participate in going to Gaieties, rallying around what is great about Stanford.

The plot of the show in recent years has developed to emphasize the message of positive school spirit – lampooning Cal less and celebrating Stanford more. This year’s artistic staff was enthusiastic at the opportunity to partner with the Axe Committee.

“This is an excellent opportunity for two separate worlds on this campus to come together and revel in our common ground as Stanford students, said show producer Alejandra Aguilar, ’18. “I am so pleased to use this partnership as a way to connect with our roots as a variety show rallying around Stanford football.”

Unlike in the past, this year’s Gaieties will resemble a piece of musical theater, though its plot is still as ridiculous as it has ever been. Previously, Gaieties has taken the form of a variety show, presenting a series of scenes and acts written by different students but connected by a general theme.

Gaieties is an unprecedented opportunity for students to work on such a large-scale piece of original musical theater,” said Director Zoë Sonnenberg, ’18. “It has been a privilege to work with such a talented and dedicated cast and crew who have worked to make this show exceptional.”

The 2016 show, Gaieties of Future Past, follows the story of two roommates who travel through time and space to deal with their personal disappointments, frustrations and weaknesses. Along the way, they meet important figures in the history of Stanford, Cal and Silicon Valley. The plot may be silly, but the manner of the plot’s telling – with its impressive vocal score and its layered character development – is clean and polished. The dance numbers feature high kicks, tap dance and tango.

As the Ram’s Head students say, “Let’s have a Gaieties!”

Read more about Gaieties.