Don’t miss Mr. Brown’s opus: ‘N.U. Unplugged’
Nevada Union High School’s N.U. Unplugged returns to the Don Baggett Theatre Friday night. Mr. Loren Brown, the behind-the-scenes mastermind of the annual event, looks forward to another evening of quality entertainment performed by some of Nevada Union’s most accomplished young musicians.
Mr. Brown suggests that since the earliest shows, about 10 years ago, N.U. Unplugged has improved in sound quality and become more sophisticated. This is a massive understatement on par with calling Jack the Ripper a “cheeky mischief maker.”
For whatever reason, the musical focus of the early years of N.U. Unplugged seemed to be guitar prowess, with soloists playing in the blues, classical and intense-shredder-freakout styles. At the more recent performances, variety has been the key word. While Mr. Brown’s personal preference is the blues, he tries to appeal to all tastes when choosing acts.
This year, Mr. Brown says classic rock fans can expect to hear some Led Zeppelin covers, while enthusiasts of harmony-driven folk music will be delighted to enjoy performances of Simon & Garfunkel hits.
And, naturally, there will be a Metallica song performed by a violin, cello and harp trio, for that important, but often neglected demographic of… well, I don’t know what you’d call them, but they, too, will be entertained on Friday night.
Mr. Brown’s fervent support of Nevada Union’s music scene, coupled with his legendary sense of humor, has endeared him to many students over the years. One late night during my all-too-brief four-year stint at Nevada Union, two student musicians snuck onto campus under the inky black cover of night with the intent of re-arranging the letter board in front of the school to read “We Love Mr. Brown.”
Tragically, the duo was caught in the act by a patrolling police officer and their parents were called to come pick them up. Two letters short of finishing the job they started, the pair still took pride the following morning when students and faculty arrived and were greeted by a letterboard exclaiming, “We Love Mr. Bro.” The mysterious Mr. Bro, wherever he may have been that morning, must have been flattered by such a public declaration of affection.
Like any decent school talent exhibition, N.U. Unplugged can be relied on, year after year, to provide an ample amount of unintentional comedy. Years ago, the brilliantly-named Pyfunkorean Theorem caused a hilarious ruckus when they invited audience members to leave their seats and come to the front of the stage to dance, contrary to the clearly stated wishes of the school administration.
Thankfully, everyone danced with skill and there were no injuries. Had someone been hurt during the hullabaloo, it’s likely our community would have been torn apart by some dramatic “no dancing” legislation before being ultimately saved by a rebellious youth looking not unlike Kevin Bacon.
Over the past decade, N.U. Unplugged has given young musicians in our community a venue and an opportunity to perform in front of delighted friends, proud family and loudly hooting strangers. I encourage you to attend this Friday’s performance to see for yourself why the audience keeps coming back.
N.U. Unplugged begins 7 p.m. Friday at the Nevada Union High School’s Don Baggett Theatre, 11761 Ridge Road in Grass Valley. Tickets are $10 at the door and $7 in advance. Advance tickets are available at the student store on campus.
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