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The Keenan Revue 2012

Meghan Thomassen | Wednesday, February 8, 2012

While the Stepan Center might as well be a frozen planet in the Hoth system — minus the wampa and the tauntaun — over 4,000 students will make the trek there this weekend to see one of Notre Dame’s longest standing dorm traditions: the Keenan Revue.

“The Revue Strikes Back,” staged by the men of Keenan Hall, is a collection of comedic skits renowned for blending Notre Dame humor with sizzling pop culture critiques and references. Previous burn victims include Snooki, campus parties and Charlie Weis. But the heat doesn’t stop there — most costumes include daisy dukes, rip-off shirts and stuffed bras.

This year’s producer, senior Raymond Gallagher, had to disassemble his costume (consisting of a stuffed bra covered with whipped cream) before sitting down to talk about his role in the Revue.

“I’ve been involved in the last three years,” he said. “It’s a really good time for the people on campus, but [we started] working on it beginning in September, so for us it’s almost a year of fun and enjoyment, getting to know the Keenan guys better.”

Every year, the dorm holds auditions about three weeks before the show and chooses the best skits to include in the production. This year, Gallagher said they held two rounds of tryouts and called back 25 skits.

“It was a really difficult decision process. We were debating for over an hour and a half,” he said. “There was a lot of good material. It’s going to be a good show.”

Gallagher said two of the funniest skits in this year’s Revue are “SAOPA,” written by senior Brian Bettonville, and “Harry Potter and the Swift Who Must Not Be Named,” written by senior Chase Riddle.

“The final skits of each act are both strong,” he said.

Despite SAO’s censorship last year, Gallagher doesn’t foresee any changes being made after the first performance.

“I don’t anticipate censoring, we’re in line with what [SAO] wanted us to do,” he said. “We’re doing stuff that is funny, and whether you go Thursday, Friday or Saturday, it’ll be the same skits.”

After being exiled from Saint Mary’s in 2010 and facing censorship in 2011, Gallagher said the Revue will “strike back” this year.

“We wanted to make a statement,” he said. “Even though we were encountering difficulties, [the Revue] is still a great tradition that’s been going on for almost four decades.”

The Revue is in its 37th year, and its second year at its new home in Stepan Center.

Regarding his costume, Gallagher said the bra-and-whipped-cream combo was an interesting, new experience for him.

“It reminds me that I better not be self-conscious on stage,” he said. “[I shouldn’t] worry about what people think about me, though I might have a bad reputation after this Revue.”

The content for each show is entirely written by the men of Keenan Hall.

“To come up with skits every year that are entertaining — I think that ability, year in, year out, is pretty impressive,” Gallagher said. “We’re going to come back and makes sure it stays what it is, what it’s intended to be.”

Gallagher also said the jokes will cover all aspects of campus life, as well as pop culture references. He said the humor will be consistent with the “striking back” theme.

“[The audience is] never going to be bombarded over and over again with same joke, but we’ll be hitting them from all angles, all types of humor,” he said.

Gallagher emphasized students would be making a mistake if they didn’t attend this year’s Revue.

“It’s still the Keenan Revue, it’s still our take on Notre Dame,” he said. “We’re not shying away from different aspects of campus, we may have even taken it a step further this year.”

Riddle, Keenan Hall resident and Revue veteran, said he was excited to have the same production team from last year.

“The music was one of the best things last year,” Riddle said. “I’m singing one of the songs, which is going to be bad, but it’s going to be fun.”

This year, Riddle noticed the Keenan residents really came together more to produce the Revue.

“[Productions at] Saint Mary’s were just running through the motions, there was no inspiration; now we’re pushing ourselves so much further to be funny in a way that we can all laugh together,” he said. “Even though we’re poking fun at each other, and at Notre Dame, there are some things about Notre Dame that are laughable — we’re hoping everyone can laugh comfortably together.”

If Keenan Hall is the Galactic Empire, then students of the Rebel Alliance should prepare for a full force of attack of jeers, burns and bounty hunters.

On campus

What: The Keenan Revue

Where: Stepan Center

When: Thursday, Feb. 9 – Saturday, Feb. 11, 7 p.m.

How Much: Free but ticketed

Learn More: www.nd.edu/~keenan/revue