Every year, spring brings a bevy of fashion changes as parkas, hats and mittens give way to short skirts, athletic shorts and short-sleeved T-shirts.
However, there is another fashion sensibility that takes over in the spring, one dominated by khakis, white dress shirts, formal ties and of course cardinal-red blazers. The MadHatters will once again take the main stage at the Overture Center Saturday night for their annual spring extravaganza, promising the best showmanship, spectacle and musicality expected of the men’s a cappella singing group.
For the MadHatters, the spring show represents the capstone achievement for a long and busy year. Besides dozens of performances a semester, the group has toured extensively and is preparing to release a new album sometime later this year.
“This year has been great for the Hatters. We recently were able to take a tour to Mexico, singing for tourists at various resorts throughout the Yucatan,” senior group member Mike Jurken said. “This was such an incredible experience, and it also has really increased our international presence on the music scene. We will also be heading to the studio to record our fourth studio album in a couple of weeks after the concert, which is exciting.”
For the opening act, the MadHatters welcome back extreme juggler Marcus Monroe. Monroe has performed with the group the past few years and usually proves to be a crowd favorite, effortlessly mixing comedy and impressive juggling stunts.
The annual show is usually quite successful, generally selling out the very large Overture Hall — a feat even the most highly lauded traveling shows cannot do — but the Hatters aren’t content to settle on past success and so have made several improvements to the show this year.
“This year we will be improving our presence on stage by having a different microphone setup that will allow us to interact with the audience and each other better. It will create the opportunity for everyone to have a much better performance, and also change things up as a cappella has been relatively unchanged in that aspect in the last 12 years on this campus,” Jurken explained.
Additionally, the MadHatters will be performing several new songs along with old favorites from years and concerts passed.
But more than crisp harmonies and a well-executed pop rock sound, the MadHatters bring a fun and charismatic showmanship to every performance, and it’s never on display better than during the spring show.
“Really, I think people like the MadHatters because we are not only just a singing group but also a group of friends. We fortunately, or unfortunately, spend a great deal of time together both in and outside of Hatters, which really strengthens group morale as a whole. This energy can be seen on stage in everything we do,” Jurken said.
In the past, this quirky energy has manifested itself into such things as ridiculous pop medleys of Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, hilarious video introductions or guest appearances of Bucky Badger — and this year should be no different.
So, if you’re looking for top-notch fun and entertainment this weekend, the MadHatters shouldn’t disappoint.
MadHatters will perform at Overture Hall, Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10, $14 or $18 depending on seating and can be bought at the Overture Center box office or online at www.overturecenter.com.