Hell Week, Part 2 – Thursday, Friday, Shabbat

Posted on 20th February 2013

Thursday was the most singing I’ve ever done in a single day. At 8AM I woke up as the singing was to begin at 8:45 for Valentines Day. I was scheduled from 8:45 to 4PM on Singing Valentines, whereby quartets comprised of PGC members would deliver Valentine’s Day messages in song, during class, to those whose loved one’s had donated a given sum to habitat for humanity. In four separate quartets, I raced from building to building, from class to class, singing my heart out for all “My Honey”ies, “My Valentine”s, “My Little Margie”s and to members of faculty, staff, and students. Highlights were as follows: singing at Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks and Aunty Anne’s Pretzel’s and PGC members receiving free food from them. Singing for the elderly head of the Chemistry Department (Madeline Joillet) and of course singing for “her majesty” Amy Gutmann, President of The University of Pennsylvania. Embarassingly enough, a quote of me calling her, “her majesty” even made the Daily Pennsylvanian. I can only hope she didn’t read it.

Amy Gutmann Valentine


Following all the normal shifts, I was then on a shift for Phone Valentine’s for those to whom we were unable to deliver in person. These included two good friends back home. Phone shift went all the way till 5:30 a which point I raced home, changed, ate a little something and then headed off to full rehearsal at the Zellerbach Auditiorium.

Rehearsal again ran well past midnight, and left me more than half dead. I think I’m truly beginning to understand the meaning of incorporeal.

Friday I thankfully had no classes, but to make up for the lack of things for me to do, of course, I had another walkshift at 10AM. I managed to quickly run out of Penn Glee Club flyers and so, while waiting for my shift to end, I decided to help out the Pan Asian Dance Troupe in advertising their show, “Revenge”. There I met a sweet girl by the name of Donna, who was somewhat bemused with my marketing techniques.

The afternoon was spent grading homework for CIS121 that I had thus far neglected, and I only just managed in time for our staff meeting. After the staff meeting, I had only just enough time for Kabbalat Shabbat, before I was off to the theatre for our very first performance!

Tap Finale

It was well received, much the same with the matinee performance. However, after the two, I was thoroughly exhausted!

In the afternoon, there was the Glee Club Graduate Club reception, where we sung a few songs from our standard repetoire, however, unfortunately I was fairly out of practice with a number of the pieces.

Our final performance Motzei Shabbat, was filled with members from the OCP (Orthodox Jewish Community at Penn) and I felt very well supported. A few tears came to my eyes as I was asked to speak along with the seniors, on what it felt like to be partaking in my final show.

Following the end of the show, we had ‘strike’, taking apart the set and emptying the theatre. This took us till around 1AM at which point the cast party began. Mark Glassman and Erik Nordgren, an old alum and our conductor respectively were both present and helped add to the environment. Mark’s ‘roast’ was particularly entertaining, and though I wasn’t savaged quite enough, it was still hugely enjoyable. Finally at around 3AM, hell week came to a close and my eyes were laid to rest.

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