Still crazy after all these years
Can it get any weirder than this: Ronald Reagan accosted by Trolls in sheets? Corey Feldman copping Michael Jackson's shtick?
Such are the live and uncensored antics of Spring Sing, one of UCLA's oldest and most spirited student traditions.
This sort of thing has been going on, believe it or not, for 50 non-consecutive years, a milestone marked by this year's aptly named Golden Anniversary production, "Worth Its Wait."
The Spring Sing phenomenon began with a dare after the Phi Psi fraternity formed a quartet to serenade its favorite sorority, earning the Bruin men the sobriquet "Champion Serenaders of Sorority Row." When another frat challenged them to a sing-off, a tradition was born.
The first official competition was in 1944 in Royce Hall and was an immediate success. Subsequent showdowns were held in the Open Air Theater on campus until 1950, when Spring Sing hit the Big Time and moved to the Hollywood Bowl.
At the height of its popularity, the contest drew more than 10,000 attendees, and celebrities like Ronald Reagan and conductor Andre Previn happily served as masters of ceremonies and judges. (By the way, the Trolls who took on the Great Communicator were a group of high-spirited Bruin women.)
Spring Sing returned to campus in 1966, but soon after went into hibernation for a few years until student and alumni interest revived the event in 1978. Since then, it's been under the wing of the UCLA Student Alumni Association, which has elevated it to its previous grandeur with lavish production numbers, comic skits, dance routines and bands. More than 4,000 saw last year's performance at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
This year's 50th anniversary production of Spring Sing will be held May 7 at 8 p.m. For more information, call (310) UCLA-SAA. Or visit www.alumni.ucla.edu/