Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Libel Show (P)review: No Spoilers!

Last night Rule 12(f) and I attended the second dress rehearsal of this year’s Libel Show after being invited by the producer to write a (p)review of the show which runs three nights from today March 24 through Friday March 26. For those of you that don’t know, the Libel Show is an annual sketch comedy performance, now in its 102nd year, that is produced, directed, written, and preformed entirely by law students.

More than a simple exercise in fun (though it is, of course, fun), the Libel Show donates a substantial amount to charity each year. According to Mario, the show hopes to donate $4,000 to PILA this year (an amount that will be matched by the Law School Foundation). Additionally, the Libel Show will also be raising money for Law Hoos for Haiti at the show. So, for those of you planning to attend, you can feel confident that you are laughing, drinking, and giving back all at the same time. (Aside: I wonder if I can count time spent at show as public service hours?)

I can’t get into any details of the songs or sketches without breaking a pinky-swear oath the Libel Troika made me swear, but I am allowed to give some general impressions of the show. It is very good: high production values, excited and energetic performers, and plenty of humor. The writers also made sure to take no prisoners and no one is safe from some good-natured barbs along the way.

The performances are awesome all around. There are so many talented law students out there that it makes me want to vomit up my jealous heart. Particularly upsetting to me is that Paul Belonick, the athletic, articulate, and perfectly coiffed former VLR editor-in-chief, also has a voice that could move the most jaded soul. Life is truly not fair.

Indeed, if I were forced to choose, I would say that the singing is one of the most amazing parts of the Libel Show. I mean these kids don't just sing well - they sing, well, amazing.

Because no honest review could be perfect, there are a few things that could be improved/disappointed me a little:
  • Volume of the microphones. Sometimes I couldn’t understand the lyrics of some of the songs, or the lines of some of the sketches, because the mikes weren't loud enough. Hopefully this technical difficulty will be ironed out before the show opens. So this isn't much of an issue, really
  • The special guest introduction wasn’t quite as special as it has been in the past. But then again, who is as awesome as last year’s guest Sam Waterson, and Teddy Kennedy two years ago? Answer: no one.
  • The length: The show could have been just a tiny bit punchier. All of the acts were very good, don't get me wrong, but the fun does stretch out over a few hours.
  • Last year’s Con Love video made me want to cry I laughed so hard. Nothing in this year’s production moved me to tears. But this might have been mainly because I saw the show without the benefit of a large drunk crowd. It's also not as universal as "Con Love" was - it's pretty funny, but the audience will find that most of the jokes might be a little bit UVA-specific, whereas "Con Love" was humerous to anyone who ever took Constitutional Law, which is probably what made it so popular in Above the Law's Nationwide Contest.
However, these small criticisms are outweighed by all the show had to offer. I wish I could be more specific, but again, the Troika will literally kill me. Trust me, tough, there is some good stuff! Some of the highlights for me:
  • The comedic musical numbers. Dancing, singing, brightly colored costumes—all my senses came alive!
  • The band. The music was great, the songs really kept the tempo up, and Matt Farmer played the violin. A tall Princeton man on a violin! Enough said.
  • Great stage management. Even though I saw a rehearsal, the transitions between set-ups seemed smooth and there were no awkward pauses between scenes. The same can be said for the lighting / cues / etc.
  • Great make-up and costuming.
  • Free beer.
The Libel Show Band was more talented than ever this year.

So, for those of you regretting that haven’t yet bought tickets yet (and you should buy tickets), there are still open seats available to the Wednesday and Friday shows-- tickets can be purchased at the door for $15. Do it. Or be lame.

I can't spoil this sketch, but it made me laugh and brought back some (not-so) fond memories of OGI- Rule 12(f)

Finally, I want to give quick shout-out to fellow UVA Law Blog editors Justincredible and J. Crew Model who lent their dance “skills” to the show. You should feel free to pester them in the hallways to teach you their sick moves and/or to break it on down.

JCM didn't have to modify his usual club dance for this routine.

Who says you only get to wear your tournament jersey once?

But yeah, I hope everyone enjoys the shows tonight, tomorrow, and Friday as much as 12(f) and I did.

Related:
102nd Libel Show [Official Website]

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review SwampPoodle. Can't wait to go see the show!

Anonymous said...

two years ago was Kennedy AND Scalia

Rule 12 (f) said...

Er, yes, Scalia. A completely accidental omission on our part.

Anonymous said...

I understand that reviewers have to either be kind or make hallway enemies ... but this show was not enjoyable. Spreading out 7 or 8 weak giggle over two hundred minutes seemed quite unsatisfactory.

I don't want to spoil anything, so I will withhold commentary on particular skits.

Snore.

Anonymous said...

Disappointed. Just not as good as last year.

Anonymous said...

What do you expect lawyers are generally uncreative and humorless

Anonymous said...

Yeah, let's bash libel anonymously on the internet!

Fuckin A guys, this is /law school/. They put in an incredible amount of effort to create a legitimately entertaining and polished performance FOR YOU - and all you can do is say waaaah last year was better?

Anonymous said...

3:03, u mad?

Anonymous said...

8:49:

You posted a comment at 8:49 on a Friday morning. Something tells me everything about your life is "quite unsatisfactory".

Anonymous said...

I thought the show was a lot of fun. Great job to all the cast members.

Anonymous said...

I thought the show was great! Great job guys who put this together.

Anonymous said...

8:49 (AM!!!!!) here. Sorry I woke up for class and posted that I didn't like your show, 4:56 and 3:03.

But you're right, I do choose to anonymously review (or bash?) the Libel Show on the internet. And you then anonymously bash me. Live it and love it (I hope we're friends in real life).

I didn't have fun. Sorry friend. And I'm just not huge on saying how amazing unamazing things are. I appreciate the work that went into it, but I hoped it would be funny and it wasn't. Sue me. LOL (because it was a legal joke!!!).

Anonymous said...

1:46, you really don't understand the distinction between anonymously criticizing a show, and a person anonymously criticizing an anonymous poster?

Anonymous said...

I thought it was quite good. Great show Libel.

Anonymous said...

1:11 + 4:43 = PARENTS OF UVA LAW STUDENTS

Anonymous said...

seeing scalia's sweaty, bloated visage on that screen was truly horrifying. don't repeat that.

Anonymous said...

THE INTRO SUCKED !!!!

THE SUCKING INTRO RUINED THE WHOLE SHOW!!!!!

I will give a lot of credit to some very talented law students doing some pretty funny stuff. Was this broadway? No, but they did a great job. The intro though was terrible. For those who dont know it has become a tradition to get celebrities of the legal world to do the intro -- SPRIGMAN? are you kidding me? Some people here said look, the libel show took time and effort -- generally agreed but there was NO effort here!!! and it sets the tone for the rest of the night! INTRO SUCKED!!!

Anonymous said...

SAYITTOMYFACE!!!

Anonymous said...

8:15: Yes, it is a tradition of 102 years to get a celebrity Wait, no, it only happened twice.

Anonymous said...

I think the show was a lot weaker than last year. The writing could've been a lot better. There was nothing witty/punchy about any of the skits. The "Club UVA" was funny because it sounded good, but once again, nothing was impressive when it came to the writing. Overall, I was disappointed. Great acting and performance - poor writing.

Anonymous said...

Arrrrgh that pirate skit was bahhhh-rutal me mateys.

Anonymous said...

It was up and down, probably too long, but overall great job.

But Mad Hatter was incredible. Couldn't stop laughing.

Anonymous said...

Mad hatter was definitely my favorite. Absolutely brilliant.

Anonymous said...

There were quite a few funny skits. Captain Honor code was pretty good, the interview parallel skit was great, Mad Hatter was great, the Martha B song was good, and the S.Ct. dog feeding skit was also quite good. Overall, I had a good time.

Anonymous said...

The interwebs are evil, the impulse to anonymously bash is too strong, even if the libel participants were talented, which they usually are not because lawyers are generally humorless drones

Anonymous said...

seppuku is the only honorable option for those involved in the libel show

Anonymous said...

Are the videos ever going to be posted? I want to show the silent film to a few people at GULC.

Anonymous said...

I think Dean Trujillo wouldn't mind posting the silent film to the UVA website...

Anonymous said...
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