The League Underground is best known for its Junior Bacon
Cheeseburgers and Iced Cappuccinos, popular items off the
Wendy’s and Tim Horton’s menus, but come around 8
o’clock at night and there’s more to experience than
just comfortable dining.

Julie Pannuto
While the League does not offer events every night of the week, students flock to this central location to eat food, socialize and watch a little football. The League is also a great place to study, noticeable in the “cow” booths that line the outer wall

The programs sponsored by the League Underground have expanded
in the last few years and now there are evening events at least
once a week, largely produced for and by the University’s
student body. Individual students and student groups have the
opportunity to showcase their talent as well as watch others at the
League Underground’s Open Mic nights, Thursday Spotlights,
Friday Night Live and Saturday Broadway shows.

Benita Murrel, the program coordinator at the League, explains:
“One thing (that is) nice about the League Underground is its
relaxed and casual atmosphere. Although it is not your typical
‘performance’ venue, students like to perform in the
Underground because it’s not intimidating due to its informal
ambience … there’s a lot of talents out there and we are
here to promote and support them.”

Wednesday nights are home to the Six String Coffee House, which
includes an open mic for people to share their folk-acoustic songs.
Everyone and anyone is invited to perform. The Six String Coffee
House is held once or twice a month for two hours each, starting at
8:30 p.m.

Although these Wednesday nights do not usually have a theme, the
Feb. 11 Open Mic is sponsored by the Vagina Monologues in
anticipation of V-day. This is the first time the Vagina Monologues
is sponsoring the event and they hope to have some artists perform
pieces celebrating women or relating to women’s struggles.
The Six String Coffee House will also be offered on March 10, March
31 and lastly on April 7 with a “Best of the best of the Open
Mic” theme, showcasing the most talented speakers and
musicians of the semester.

The Thursday Spotlight features fun a capella, comedy skits and
ethnic music, featuring various performing groups on campus. The
co-ed a cappella group Dicks and Janes will be performing with
another a capella ensemble, Gimble, Feb. 5 at 8:30 p.m. Although
both groups have their own more formal shows, this night aims to be
a more relaxed and easygoing performance with free admission and
refreshments.

Mid-month, the improv comedy group Com-co will take the stage at
the League Underground. Com-co has been at the University for more
than 25 years, and for this performance its 12 members will bring
out some of their familiar improv games as well as some new ones,
such as “Murder Relay,” “Brian F’s with
us” and “Use a Stick to Find out Which one of us is
Actually a Piñata.” To find out what this actually
means, check out the show on Feb. 12 at 8:30 pm. Admission is
free.

Friday nights alternate between Friday Night Live and Friday
Dancing. Although the “Salsa and Merengue” themed
lesson has passed, there’s still “Disco Hustle”
on March 5 from 9 p.m. to midnight for $3.

If you need something to do on Friday nights before then,
there’s Friday Night Live featuring modern music by local
bands, including hip-hop, rock, ska and even techno music. Local
band Red Edison will play at a free show featuring classic
alternative rock on Feb. 13 at 9 p.m. There are still more bands to
be scheduled for the rest of the semester, so check the League
Underground website at
“http://www.umich.edu/~league/program.html”>http://www.umich.edu/~league/program.html
for updates.

So there you have it, a list of at least 10 new things to try
this semester, whether it’s reliving the disco era with a
dance lesson, courageously sharing your poetry at the Open Mic,
making a fool of yourself at the Com-co improv show, or just being
part of an appreciative audience.

For more information and a schedule of events, go to the League
Underground’s website.

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