Follow us on Instagram
Try our daily mini crossword
Play our latest news quiz
Download our new app on iOS/Android!

Princeton hosts a parade of entertainers

Students witnessed a slew of celebrity activity on campus last year, from the antics of Ben Folds Five, to the more serene, sing-a-long style of the Indigo Girls, to a reflective John Turturro and a raunchy Jon Stewart.

Drawn by the promise of comedic brilliance and the beauty of free admission, 2,100 students piled into Dillon Gym on March 25 for the local humor of Stewart.


Because the event was part of the alcohol initiative, the trustees provided a $20,000 grant — the largest given thus far under the initiative — to help cover the cost of the performance.

Stewart, who grew up in Lawrence Township, said the show struck a personal chord for him. He delved into Princeton topics — bashing Hoagie Haven, recalling memories as a townie and yelling at students to work on their senior theses. "You have to understand, I view you guys as Einsteins," Stewart said.

The day before he performed, Stewart hinted at what the show would be like. "You can expect — and this may be a little surprising to people — to learn a little something about yourself, and maybe to cry," he said. "I think it is going to be informative. It deals mostly with String Theory, and it is going to be nice."

And it was. But even nicer were the students sitting back on blankets in a darkened Dillon Gym three weeks later, singing lyrics so lustily that during one song the performers almost started laughing out of stunned, pleased surprise.

The Indigo Girls, who recently released an album titled "Come on Now Social," visited the University on April 14 as part of their spring tour for a concert that was moved indoors because of weather, but nevertheless retained a warm, informal feel.

Both USG social chair Carolyn Chao '01 and USG president PJ Kim '01 said they believed the Indigo Girls would bring a unique style to the spring concert. "It's different from some of the bands we've had in the past," Kim said. "I think it will be a good change."


It was certainly a change from the fall concert, which featured Ben Folds Five.

Clutching a beer and grinning, Ben Folds, the band's leader, lifted his foot and stomped on the keyboard early in his set Oct. 28, before hitting it with a stool. As the night wore on, Folds' approach to playing the piano became even more offbeat as Ben Folds Five filled a hot, stuffy Dillon Gym with a line-up of newer songs and older hits.

The USG concert drew a crowd with some students costumed in the spirit of Halloween as cats, Catholic school girls and prostitutes.

In contrast, actor John Turturro — who has worn pink body suits and hair nets, played violent gangsters and crude bowlers — arrived at Princeton on April 7 clad conservatively in a black sweater and white button-down shirt. In a smooth voice, he participated in a round table discussion and articulately dissected his career with the intellectual perspective of an academic.

Get the best of ‘the Prince’ delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe now »

Listen to audio excerpts of The Daily Princetonian's exclusive interviews with Jon Stewart, Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls and John Turturro.