A cappella groups and comedy clubs plan joint Valentine’s Day performances
The coming weeks will feature a variety of a cappella and comedy sketch performances for Valentine’s Day.
Sofia Gaviria Partow, Contributing Photographer
All things raunchy and romantic are in the air at Yale. Over the next two weeks, a cappella and comedy groups will be performing around campus to celebrate Valentine’s Day through songs and skits.
Seventeen Yale undergraduate a cappella groups fall under the representation of the University’s Singing Group Council. Many of these groups have long-standing Valentine’s Day traditions that will continue this season.
“A bunch of people interested in a cappella and comedy in the same room… there’s bound to be some sparks flying,” wrote Joey Cumpian ’25, a member of the Yale Alley Cats, one of the a cappella groups that is preparing a show.
Red Hot Pussy Jam, a joint performance between The Alley Cats and Red Hot Poker, will be held at Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall on Feb. 17 at 9 p.m. This will be the second-annual Valentine’s Day collaboration between the TTBB — or Tenor I and II, Baritone and Bass — a cappella group and comedy club, an idea developed last year by suitemates Logan Foy ’25 and Chesed Chap ’25, respectively the Cats’ musical director and the director of Red Hot Poker.
Cumpian, a member of The Alley Cats, described the performance as somewhat unconventional.
“We like to think that our show breaks up this romantic month with a bit of humor and fun,” he wrote to the News. “Expect lots of raunchy comedy, a short but sweet set list of upbeat songs, and a LOT of new material that we’ve never done before.”
Cumpian also mentioned the possibility of premiering a new a cappella arrangement involving rap, as well as a short film screened at the show. With a significant portion of The Alley Cats’ repertoire being love songs, the performance is set to combine the more traditional elements of Valentine’s Day celebrations with humor and wit.
One way in which the groups will subvert this traditionalism in their joint performance is by featuring some Cats in comedy sketches and throwing a few Red Hot Poker members into a cappella arrangements.
“It’s a beautiful marriage of sketch comedy and a cappella,” Chap, Red Hot Poker’s director, said. “I think a lot of our audience last year was really curious about what Red Hot Poker and The Alley Cats could possibly have in common, and they were really surprised with the experience.”
The Shades V-Day Jam is also on the horizon, with two performances on Feb. 9 and 10 taking place at 53 Wall St. Shades’ repertoire consists of musical arrangements from the African Diaspora and African American tradition.
One of the a cappella group’s larger showcases of the year, it will include music from renowned artists Stevie Wonder, Rihanna and Sam Cooke.
Erin Kearney ’27, who joined Shades in the fall, encouraged audiences to take a break from the bustle of Yale and join the group in its celebration of love.
“You can expect sensuality, lots of energy, and all things romantic!!” Kearney wrote. “Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love and the joy and warmth that we are capable of bringing one another. That’s incredibly beautiful to me and I think it’s reflective of the energy we’re really trying to channel with V-Day Jam.”
The Fifth Humour, Yale’s oldest sketch comedy club, will also be showcasing its talents with a performance at Trumbull Theater on Feb. 9. “Kissing Booth” is slated to include sketches centered around couples therapy and Cupid, along with other non-Valentine’s Day related humor.
Inspiration for the show’s title, reminiscent of the 2018 Netflix film starring Jacob Elordi and Joey King, arose when group members jokingly brought up the idea of setting up a kissing booth to fund the comedy club’s ventures, according to Dora Molot ’27.
Molot encouraged audience members to leave their serious sides at the door, a tactic she often employs before her own performances.
“They can expect to giggle, maybe even to full-on laugh. And they can expect sexy,” Molot said. “As a group, our tendency is to write a little sexy anyways. I would say this is the sexy show.”
Something Extra and the New Blue, both SSAA — or Soprano I and II and Alto I and II — a cappella groups, will also be making appearances around campus over the next two weeks to celebrate love.
Rather than a traditional performance, the New Blue is collecting singing Valentine’s orders, meaning that any Yale community member can request a love song to be performed to a person of their choosing, anywhere on campus.
This year, the group will also be accepting virtual Valentine’s requests, in which a song performed by the New Blue is sent to a person’s inbox along with a note. Importantly, the identity of the sender can remain anonymous.
Something Extra’s performance, entitled “Something SExy,” will take place on Feb. 15 at 53 Wall St. According to their group’s Instagram page, the performance will be “a raunchy, R-rated (respectful), and ridiculous take on collegiate a cappella.”
Details about the time and location of each group’s performance can be found on their respective public Instagram accounts.