|2001 - 2002||Law students publication, Law - University of Alberta, Canada|
Law Show raises $$$ for Kids' Kottage!
by Owen Kirkalday (2L)
It is fifteen minutes to our 5:30 p.m. call, and it is becoming more and more difficult to put one foot in front of the other on my way to the Meyer Horowitz Theatre. Over the past two weeks of daily rehearsals, I have been to every class, done every reading, and not missed a single rehearsal. This, I know, makes me an oddity. On the other hand, it has also made me totally exhausted, and in retrospect, I probably shouldn't have stayed up until 2:00 AM every night this week surfing the web for lawyer jokes and tandoori chicken recipes. Hell. Hindsight is always 20/20. Also, I probably shouldn't have gone out drinking hard the night before today's alcohol awareness seminar.
5:30 finds me in the stage left balcony, tuning my Banjo, and eating the Coffee Crisp bars so kindly provided backstage. Meanwhile, in the green room, makeup is applied, costumes are sorted out, voices are warmed up, and last minute details arranged. Tonight, Saturday, is the culmination of months of hard work from the executive, the directors, the cast, the crew, and the silent auction organizers. Based on my admittedly sketchy memory of rehearsals, over the last 5 months, the band had something on the order of 65 hours of practice, and I can only assume that the same applies to the other performers. Add to this the time spent writing and developing scripts and songs, designing lighting, arranging music, choreographing dances, administrating, procuring items for silent auction, the time committed to making this show a reality becomes clear.
Why then, if it is such hard work, do so many of us do it every year? I suppose there are as many answers to that question as there are people in Law Show. Some do it for the charity, some to contribute their not insignificant skills to make a professional looking show and some to have a really good reason not to do any reading during January. I have only a couple of reasons. First, as a band member, I have the best seat in the house, for free! Second, come on, law show is a blast. The rush of putting on a show this good, on top of, you know, like, going to law school and stuff, is just great.
And here we are at the culmination of it all. The Last Show. As the house lights fade and the pre-show music comes to an end, I feel all the tiredness drain from my body to be replaced with pre-performance butterflies. What really shocks me, and probably shocks the entire cast, is how I can still laugh at every sketch, even though I have seen each one about a dozen times already. My second big shock comes when, during "Another Law Show" I convince myself that I know the music well enough to look up and actually watch the opening number for the first time. Throughout rehearsals, I had no idea how big and how good the opening act was, having been staring at my sheet music for the last several months. When the audience cheered thunderously for the big opening number, I looked around me and the band was all joining in the applause.
Next was the Western Sketch, an over the top send-up of cowboy movies, fueled by whisky and beans (a lethal combination). It was a tale of four women who prove that brains can defeat brawn, while building a new life in Four Hills Alberta. It was action packed, and didn't pull any punches in its depiction of harrowing gunfights and piracy on the high plains. Following on the heels of this incredible drama was an outstanding song and dance number, "The Lawyer", featuring the world/roots/punk banjo stylings of yours truly, and the much more talented performances of the other band-members, singers, and dancers.
Hot on the heels of the Western was the Blood Sucking Lawyer, featuring the most convincing Transylvanian accent ever heard in a Law Show, and what may well have been the Law Show's most ambitious series of sound and light cues.
The Vampire sketch was a huge hit with the audience, showing off comic timing, technical prowess, and first-rate writing - not to mention funky break-dancing.
Owen Kirkalday (2L)