BU Today

Arts & Entertainment

Music, laughter, and the Real World

BU Central draws big names this semester

When planning the semester’s events at BU Central, program director Josh Hiscock turns to pop culture’s infallible sources: Rolling Stone magazine, mtvU, and facebook.com.

“The first step for us is always what students are talking about,” he says. “And a lot of us are very into pop culture. We really try to keep up with what’s popular, who’s touring around the country.”

BU Central celebrated its first anniversary as a substance-free on-campus hangout for students last fall, and over the course of the semester about 5,000 students dropped in to attend concerts, comedy nights, and baseball parties. This spring, Hiscock is determined to beat “the magic number,” he says, by bringing in the most diverse entertainment lineup to date.

The season’s programs include an Aerosmith tribute band, a star from both the musical and the movie Rent, and former New Kid on the Block Jordan Knight, as well as local and national comedians and plenty of performance opportunities for BU students themselves. Hiscock and the BU Central staff — which consists of one graduate and one undergraduate student — hope to draw 8,000 students to BU Central by the end of the school year.

“We think we can totally do it with some of our events,” he says. “We did a good job last semester, but I think it’s even better this time around.”

Student volunteers also play a large role in bringing shows to BU Central, advising Hiscock on what bands might draw a crowd and often setting up the venue before each event. “It’s a rewarding experience,” says Allie Flauter (COM’07), who volunteers at shows nearly every weekend. “You feel kind of like you’re on the inside track.”

This week’s events include a reggae performance by Toussaint and the China Band on Thursday, a showing of the BU-BC hockey game on Friday, and a concert by the band Alternate Routes on Saturday. In February, comedians Loni Love and Sherrod Small will appear, and a Real World casting call — where students can prepare audition tapes for the MTV reality show — will take place on February 16. March brings the BU Central Music Festival and an evening with Adam Pascal, who starred in the movie and the Broadway musical Rent.

All events are free and first-come, first-served. For more information, go to www.bu.edu/sao/bucentral.