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Revue returns to campus

Sara Felsenstein | Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Put your hands up for the Revue.S.A.: the Keenan Revue, Keenan Hall’s signature event, is back again this weekend, with a show Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. 

The tickets for the show sold out in less than 12 minutes when they went on sale Thursday, producer Conor Rogers said.

“Our comedy ranges from satires of musicals to football team jokes, even to pop culture, like movies and TV,” Rogers, a junior, said. “There’s going to be a lot of music this year involved in the skits [in addition to] the music numbers themselves. The guys have done a really good job.”

The Keenan Revue is a Keenan Hall tradition that dates back to 1976 and is now going on its 35th year. About 90 residents of Keenan are involved in the production of the Revue, Rogers said.

Each September, the leaders of the Revue open up a box for theme suggestions to the dorm. This year’s theme developed from one suggestion to call the show: “Party in the Revue.S.A.” Although Rogers and director Tim Treat anticipated that the Miley Cyrus phenomenon would have died down by January, they chose to build on the suggestion, ultimately deciding on the theme Revue.S.A vs. Revue.S.S.R: A Cold War Revue. 

“Not to say there won’t be a joke or two about Miley Cyrus,” Rogers said. 

In September, Rogers and Treat drafted letters to Keenan Hall alumni, as well as former directors and producers of the Revue, asking for donations. Rogers said the majority of the funding for the Revue comes from donations from Keenan Hall alumni, and about 10 percent of the budget is funded by Keenan Hall. Any additional money raised goes to charity, Rogers said. 

This year’s head writers are senior Danny Wheeland, director of last year’s show, and sophomore Brian Bettonville. They have spent months developing the skits. 

Music will play an integral part of this year’s show. A rock band formed by Keenen men will perform for most of the skits involving music. The group will play four songs, two of which feature the performers stripping down to minimal clothing, sophomore band member Mike Rodio said.  

Sticking to the show’s theme, Rodio will be performing Ben Folds’ song, “Army.” The Revue will also feature an original song by junior Zach DuBois. 

“The band practices about an hour and a half a day for two weeks [before the show],” Rodio said. “The strippers start choreographing after break. Everything was put into motion before break. Revue Week is when we take everything that’s been rolling thus far and put it into one big unit. It’s amazing how quickly it comes together when we get on stage.” 

While bits and pieces of the show are compiled throughout the year, the production of the Revue does not begin until second semester. 

“It’s such an established tradition that the process of getting the Revue from conception to performance is not only easy to do but extremely entertaining in the process,” Rodio said. “We have just as much fun putting this thing together as the audience does watching it.” 

Rogers said the Revue brings together Keenan as a hall but also acts to bring together the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s communities. 

“It’s got people from different sections of the dorm that haven’t known each other before. I would say it brings people of all grade levels together in Keenan,” Rogers said. “In some ways, it brings the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s campuses together also.”   

Each year after the Revue, there are some negative reactions to the show’s humor. Rogers said audience members should take everything said during the performance with a grain of salt. 

“You can’t please everyone — there’s always going to be someone who thinks you cross the line. Our goal is not to offend people,” he said. “It’s more of a witty satire and looking at how absurd certain [things in are culture] are. You have to remember that it is a college student production.” 

The Keenan Revue will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Saint Mary’s O’Laughlin Auditorium.