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War against inhilarity

Observer Scene | Thursday, February 9, 2006

It’s that time again. One of the most highly anticipated dorm events returns this weekend to provide three nights of comedy, entertainment and – as this year’s director, James Gower, puts it – mirth.

If the clues weren’t enough, here’s the bottom line -the Keenan Revue has arrived, and it is going to be better than ever.

The Keenan Revue’s Web site begins with the subtle quip “Making fun of you since 1976,” making this the 30th year for the famous campus variety show. The event kicks off tonight and runs until Saturday, ending with a Revue dance for the few lucky ladies who have a Keenan connection.

The process for this year’s show began way back in September, when producer Thomas Flowers, a junior resident of Keenan, began putting the staff together. From there, they worked at developing theme ideas for the show and put together designs for the program and T-shirts. In order to keep the Keenan Revue a free event for students, the staff also had the job of contacting Keenan alumni with requests for donations to help support the performance.

This year, the Keenan Revue staff has chosen to dub the show “World War Revue: The Axis of Humor.”

“Most people think wars are always horrible, but there are some comedic parts,” Flowers said. “We’re trying to find the comedy in a lot of stuff. Our approach is Keenan waging a war on humorlessness. We are getting people to attack inhilarity.”

Some of the skits draw from the overall theme and portray popular historical figures, such as Abraham Lincoln. It will be interesting to see how the men of Keenan take an often-serious subject and stamp it with their own brand of humor. Other highlights of the show Flowers would disclose include the adventures of Indiana Jones, a skit focused on popular Notre Dame Stadium voice, Officer Tim McCarthy and a running gag about Notre Dame’s very own stunt man. But the audience should be ready for a lot more than that.

“We don’t want to give too much away. We have a lot more ultra-secret stuff that we are ready to present at the show,” Flowers said.

Each year the show is put together in an original way, so even seniors coming back a fourth time are in for some surprises. However, there are always the familiar favorites as well. The Keenan Revue has been known to take audience members on a trip down memory lane with familiar songs and themes from childhood pop culture.

The crunch-time preparations for the Revue have been in full swing since Keenan residents returned from Christmas break.

Dorm residents, including head writers Vince Lyzinski and David Fotopolous, were encouraged to generate ideas for skits during the break. Skits are auditioned in front of a selection committee, and everyone in Keenan is encouraged to try out.

Through the years, the Keenan Revue has become quite a large production.

“Including everyone, the Keenan Revue staff, people in the skits, dancers, band members and stage crew, we have somewhere around 80 to 90 people working on the show,” Flowers said.

Nightly rehearsals have been held this week to make sure each one of the performers is prepared for his big debut tonight at O’Laughlin Auditorium on Saint Mary’s campus.

If students don’t already have tickets for this event, they had better start hunting for friends with extras. At the ticket release Friday afternoon, people began to line up hours before the 4 p.m. release time, and each of the three nights was sold out within a short time after.

“World War Revue: The Axis of Humor” debuts tonight at 7:30 p.m.