Photo: Gabor Molnar // Wikimedia Commons
This past Thursday, one of Penn’s premiere A Capella groups, the Allegros, debuted their first-ever fall show. The co-ed singing group was formed last spring but has already received significant attention for their controversial usage of instruments in a cappella music.
Parents of the lead vocalist Haley Pisciotta (C ‘19) were “enthusiastic to see [their] daughter perform” and decided to buy out every seat in Iron Gate Theatre to see the Thursday evening performance. In addition to Pisciotta’s mother and father, her family’s pet dog, parrot, and liger came to cheer the college junior on.
“It was pretty heartwarming to know that, although the whole place was basically empty, my parents were willing to go that extra mile to support me,” Pisciotta told a UTB reporter. “Most families would just buy a half-page program ad and be done with it. But my parents also bought all of our ad space, too.”
This is not the first time Pisciotta’s parents supported their daughter’s college musical career. During the Allegros' first show in the spring, they bought half the tickets to the theatre, reserving 60 seats to themselves.
Spring concertgoer Julia Zhao (W ‘20) recalled the experience in an interview. “It was a little weird to just see two people sitting in the middle of a sea of empty seats. The reserved all the ones in the front, too, so everyone else had to sit in the back. I was really uncomfortable.”
This year’s Friday and Saturday shows received a relatively ordinary turnout, however, with Pisciotta’s family only reserving 10 seats for the 2 parents and 3 pets.
“Do I think it’s kind of weird that they come to every show? Definitely,” one anonymous Allegros performer said. “Just imagine looking out into a crowd and seeing only 2 people. There’s barely any applause. We shout out the tech and lights crew and there’s like, a liger roaring and that’s about it. Even during the Friday and Saturday shows, it’s really weird to see them here again and again.”