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Revue receives rave reviews

Kristen Durbin | Sunday, February 12, 2012

After three nights of risqué comedy and envelope-pushing musical numbers, the 37th annual Keenan Revue came to a successful close, director Brian Bettonville said.

“We’ve received entirely positive feedback so far,” he said. “We love that people loved [the Revue,] and we’re happy to provide that for them.”

Producer Raymo Gallagher said “The Revue Strikes Back” was a consistent success throughout all three shows.

“All the staff and actors are very proud of the show they put on all three nights because it was a great product,” he said. “We could tell by reactions throughout the show that people were enjoying it, and we got positive reviews from students and even some parents in the audience.”

Though the two-hour Revue included parodies of pop culture and skits focused on the quirks and traditions of Notre Dame, but Bettonville said a few acts stood out to audience members.

“The performers of the final song, ‘December 1963,’ did a phenomenal job every single night,” Bettonville said. “A short called ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ also got a good crowd response.”

Junior Mike Butler said the “SAOPA” skit, which put a unique Notre Dame twist on the recent Internet censorship debate, was the highlight of his first Revue experience.

“My favorite skit was the censorship one for sure,” he said. “I thought it was really cool how they incorporated all the stuff that happened to [the Revue] last year and just bounced back and used it all to make the show even better.”

While last year’s Revue was altered throughout the weekend in response to criticism about its coarse humor, Bettonville said this year’s Revue remained relatively constant throughout the weekend.

“One skit was cut, and there were many more tweaks than full changes,” he said. “All these decisions are left up to us, so nothing was explicitly cut and we made alterations ourselves with suggestions.”

Junior Dallas Bunsa said issues with last year’s Revue didn’t affect his expectations for his first time attending the Revue this year.

“I heard some people complaining about the lack of original material in the Revue, but for me, everything was new,” he said. “I was pretty impressed with all of the choreography throughout the show.”

Though the Revue is sometimes cited as an outlet for taking campus stereotypes too far, Bunsa said he thinks the show’s jabs at different groups were all in good fun.

“A night full of poking fun at just about every different group of people … is great,” Bunsa said. “I think it’s important to be able to laugh at yourself or have fun poked at you.”

Senior Lauren Metayer said she enjoyed the Revue overall, even if some of the humor “seemed forced.”

“I thought the Revue was pretty good, and the Pokemon skit in particular was really witty and creative,” Metayer said. “Some of the jokes about Saint Mary’s girls seemed forced and predictable at times, but I may just have a soft spot for Saint Mary’s since I transferred from there to Notre Dame.”

With another year of the Revue under their belts, seniors Gallagher and Bettonville are optimistic about the future of the campus tradition.

“I think this year sets it up to be a good Revue next year, and I don’t foresee any issues that would prevent them from putting on a show next year,” Gallagher said. “A lot of actors and guys on staff are coming back next year, and they know what it’s about, so it should be good.”

Looking forward to next year, Bettonville did not give specifics, but guaranteed the event will aim to please.

“We haven’t picked our successors yet, but the Keenan Revue will always move forward,” Bettonville said.