As I mentioned in my previous post, last night we went to the Harmony Sweepstakes, a regional contest for acappella groups, in Skokie. (The winner gets to travel to San Francisco for the national finals.) We've gone to several of these annual contests, though we had to skip last year since it fell on Easter weekend. This year we were joined by our friend Jen. Eight groups performed for 10 minutes each; in between groups, the winning group from last year acted as hosts and entertained while the judges evaluated the groups. There was a wide range of groups this year: two married couples, a church group (we felt their song selections were too preachy for Skokie, which has a large Jewish population), a couple of younger mixed groups, and some all-male groups, one of which performed songs that can best be described as surreal. Although the surreal group was the most entertaining and won audience favorite (they performed an encore about Canadians), I heard after the show that they had gone over the time limit, even though one of their members acted strictly as a timekeeper. The winning group was one that we'd seen perform a couple of times before, so it was nice to see them win. I particularly liked their arrangement of "Last Train to Clarksville." The contest ended around 11:30, but we hung around to buy some CDs and see if any of the groups would perform an "Afterglow" (singing in the lobby). They didn't, but we bought four or five CDs, so that should tide us over until next March.
Today we might run some errands before driving up to Waukegean. We're going to an improv comedy show featuring a couple of actors from Whose Line Is It Anyway? Beforehand, we're going to get together with a couple of friends for dinner. Eugene also wants to go to a bookstore, so hopefully I'll be able to finish the last time of the writing marathon with some more words under my belt.