Zak Kapopoulos, Chase Riddle and Grayson Duren | Friday, February 18, 2011
At approximately 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12, Fr. Doyle, Vice President of Student Affairs, made a telephone call to Keenan Hall’s rector, Fr. Dan Nolan. The Revue had to be changed. SAO had received too many complaints about the content of the show and decided it was time to step in. To placate the unhappy, immediate action needed to be taken. Later that morning, the president of Keenan Hall, along with the producer and director of the Revue, met with SAO representatives to discuss the content of the show.
What happened next bordered on the absurd. SAO’s path of destruction left little in its wake, leaving only five out of the original 29 skits untouched. Seven skits had to be cut outright, while numerous others had key jokes, key characters or key lines removed. Seemingly little regard was held for the reputation of the Revue to make key commentaries on campus issues. A critique on the strong conservative stance of the Irish Rover? Cut. DTGTQHJ? Cut. (If you were there Thursday or Friday, you know what it means). A tame song about Jimmy’s love for Golden? Cut. Solely because it contained the name Jimmy Clausen. Think about that for a second. Maybe a skit about inappropriate evening attire? Cut. A parody of the “What are you fighting for?” commercials? Cut. An inoffensive skit about what someone wouldn’t want a pilot to say? Cut.
In one fell swoop, SAO had changed an event known for pushing the Notre Dame boundaries of sensibility (and wide boundaries, those are not) into a bland, uninspiring comedy show. Staff members and performers were outraged. Months of hard work and countless (ok, maybe not countless) hours were instantly perceived as wasted. Many wanted to cancel the show outright, too angry to want to perform a show when what remained were only fragments of the original, woven together piecemeal into a tame collection of subpar comedy. The integrity of the Revue was ruined. Nobody wanted to play by the rules of SAO. Several performers relinquished their roles. Skits were changed on the fly, bits of other skits interspersed in between to save jokes. It was then approximately 5:30 p.m., and we still had not decided whether the show would go on.
As a group, we finally decided that what remained of the show would be performed. We could let the audience know what happened, but damned if we were going to totally disappoint 1,300 audience members, especially when many of them consisted of families of the performers and staff. To each of us, bending to SAO’s will was reprehensible, but to abandon the audience, our fans, without even giving them a taste of the potential of the show, would be infinitely worse.
So we performed, doing the best we could. Cast members read scripts onstage, both off of cell phones and paper scraps. The stage crew adapted to the new set list. Luckily, the Revue band held together the show with another great performance. But the mood was not a happy one, even at the end of the show when anger slowly faded into apathy, the whole show feeling slightly like a chore. But we did the best we could. If you went Thursday or Friday, we really hope you enjoyed the 2011 Keenan Revue. If you went Saturday, we can only hope you enjoyed SAO’s Revue, performed by Keenan residents. We only wish that you know that you missed what we truly thought was a great performance and that if you don’t want to miss it again in the future, please let the administration know. We joke about the demise of the Dillon Hall Pep Rally, but Saturday was the Keenan Hall Pep Rally, and we despised it. So please, remind the administration that the Revue is not just a lewd comedy show tailored to college kids. It is a reflection of and commentary on the subtleties of the Notre Dame life, both good and bad. It truly tries to represent the Notre Dame student population as a whole and to stifle the Revue is to stifle us, the students. Thank you.
Fratres in Christo.
The Keenan Revue Staff
Zak Kapopoulos, Chase Riddle and Grayson Duren