Musical mob takes over quad

First Year Players stage its largest flash mob to promote its spring musical, 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.'

When Syracuse University students ordered lunch at the Schine Student Center cafeteria on Monday, they didn’t expect a side of music, marching and marketing.

At about 12:37 p.m., SU’s First Year Players staged its largest flash mob of the year.

Flash mobs involve gathering a large group of people in a public place to perform or engage in an unusual activity. 

Photo: Kyle Leach
Ray Lapena, the director of public relations for the First Year Players musical theater group, led a flash mob from the quad to the Schine Student Center on Monday afternoon to advertise for their upcoming production, "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels."

More than 25 FYP cast members and staff marched around the quad and through Schine singing “Follow Me” while they hoisted signs that said “FYP,” “DRS,” and “Follow us for tickets.” 

“It’s actually a traditional warm-up (song) that every single First Year Players cast sings at every single music rehearsal,” said Ray Lapena, event organizer and FYP member. “It’s something that really reflects what we do on a day-to-day basis.”

FYP organized the flash mob to promote Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, or “DRS,” the FYP spring musical opening this Thursday.

Freshman Brittany Hadley is a cast member.

“It was fun,” Hadley said. “Hopefully it is an effective way to reel people in.”

One person in Schine who could not join the mob was massage therapist Joseph Rush, who was giving massages as part of Syracuse’s "Healthy Monday" program.

“This is the first time I’ve seen one,” Rush said. “I definitely enjoyed it. It wasn’t a disturbance at all. It was nice to see everybody excited about what they were doing.”

Flash mobs have become a fixture in Central New York. On March 31, nearly 30 men and women dressed in black staged a fashion flash mob promoting Syracuse Fashion Month. The group lined a sidewalk on the quad while loud dance music played for 10 minutes. 

On Dec. 22, 2009, about 300 people danced to the music of Mariah Carey in the Carousel Center mall cafeteria.

Tickets for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels are on sale now at the Schine Box Office, $4 for students, $7 otherwise.  The show runs April 15-17.  

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