The Late Late Late Show with the Class of 2020


Photo courtesy Paige Nixon

JPD performers gather to sing Piano man at the end of the show.

Junior year is one of the most critical years in a student’s educational odyssey at Prep. Copious amounts of homework from advanced placement classes, the outset of college counseling, and increased leadership in various campus activities are just some of the few matters that occupy the minds of the junior class each year. Among the many events within the Flintridge Prep junior year, there is one highly anticipated occasion that countless alumni never forget: Junior Parent Dinner.

The Junior Parent Dinner is an event completely planned and executed by the junior class–with the help of faculty advisors–for the parents of the junior class. The Class of 2020’s Junior Parent Dinner revolved around the theme, “Late Night,” voted on by all the juniors during their sophomore year. The parents first congregate in the lower library to mingle and bid on items or services offered by the juniors. This year’s junior class had quite an selection for the silent auction such as Christmas decorations and a bread basket. The parents then head out to Ahmanson Plaza where they participate in a live auction auctioneered by our very own Mr. Lewis and enjoy dinner prepared for by the cafeteria staff and waited on by members of the junior class. The final part of the evening included a show featuring acts of music, stand-up comedy, and even a yo-yo performance; emceed by Charlie McCormick ’20 and Kevin Ashworth ’20, the show left the audience laughing, clapping, and even singing along, showcasing the talents of  Class of 2020.

Photo courtesy Mia Bella Chavez
Charlie McCormick ’20 cracks a joke with co-host Kevin Ashworth ’20.

An extravaganza of this magnitude requires meticulous planning, and this event was no different. Every year, students apply to be on different committees in charge of planning multiple parts of the big night, some of the committee members even being meeting over summer break to plan the evening.

“Working on a committee was an awesome bonding experience,” remarked Tess Robertson-Neel ’20, a member of the fundraising committee, which organizes both the silent and live auction. “We met every Tuesday since the beginning of the school year to discuss and brainstorm the donation contributions of our classmates. Some of us even began our preparation last year as fundraising sophomore helpers.” Under the mentorship of Mrs. Fox, the fundraising committee worked tirelessly to organize the auctions, and the funds raised for the 2019 Prom and the Class of 2020’s senior year funds.

In addition to organizing the fundraising, everything from the programs to the show itself was coordinated by committees to make the Junior Parent Dinner a night the junior class’s parents would never forget. Saya Sarma ’20 of the design committee, which was in charge of decorations and the set for the show, recalled that “working on the design committee was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. We had lunch meetings once a week, where we picked table arrangements and ordered decorations for the library. Our theme was late night talk show, so we were inspired by different backgrounds of talk shows. We loved the backdrop of Jimmy Fallon, so we modeled the library after that.” Irene Jang ’20 of the programs committee, in charge of (you guessed it!) programs and t-shirts, echoed this sentiment, stating “I had a really good experience! My committee was a really good little group and things went smoothly. The designs that we made were done for the Los Angeles Skyline. It gave it an LA feel with the stars to indicate the ‘late night.’ The neon sign was also another factor to hint at the night time.”

Julia Boberg ’20 performs a solo to Lovely by Billie Eilish.

The hallmark of the evening, the show, was an experience many of the juniors enjoyed. The audition and rehearsal process took course over many weeks, sometimes into the late night. Maggie Cole ’20 reminisced that “even though rehearsals were long (and always magically the day before a test), they were still pretty fun and it was cool seeing how talented my classmates were.” Sylvie Shure ’20 agreed, stating that “the rehearsal process was, at times, intense, but it was fun! My favorite part was watching everyone else’s acts. It was definitely worth the time commitment to have that experience.”

The big night ran smoothly, featuring acapella singing, musical entertainment by the Business School Dropouts, and a rendition of The Titanic with recorders and Jason Kreinberg ’20 as the iceberg. However, the Class of 2020 had its fair share of nerves building up to and on the big night. “The night of the performance was stressful,” remarked Shure, however, “it felt really great to showcase everything we had been working so hard on and to hear how people responded to it.” Violet Bretz ’20 agreed, remembering that “on Saturday night, I was nervous backstage, but I knew the parents would be supportive and I was mainly just excited to perform with so many of my friends from my grade.

Photo courtesy Mia Bella Chavez
Evan Gi ’20 and Charlie McCormick ’20 as Jack and Rose from The Titanic with Maggie Cole ’20 playing recorder in the background.

The plates now cleaned off and curtains closed, the Class of 2020 look back very fondly on their Junior Parent Dinner experience, making countless memories from the rehearsal process and the actual event. Cole reminisced that “the very first rehearsal there was some confusion and miscommunication about one of the acts and someone feeling hesitant or unprepared to go up and do their act at the actual rehearsal, so everyone just started singing ‘Hey There Delilah’ with the person performing and it was super great to all come together like that.” Robertson-Neel remembers “ordering pizza and garlic knots and talking about the world while we meticulously cut out receipts for the parents.” McCormick, one of the two hosts of the evening, remarked that “hosting the show was definitely a highlight. Our advisors, last year’s hosts, Kevin, and I worked really hard on the script to make sure everything went well and we had a lot of fun in the process. Being able to just joke around on stage was a great experience, and I’m lucky I had the chance to host the Late Late Late Show.”

Overall, the Class of 2020’s Junior Parent Dinner was an experience full of laughs and tears, one that no junior will ever forget from their time at Prep.