“Diversity Rally, Libel Show Successes”
Law Street Journal Article (May 1990)
By Randol Schoenberg
This year’s Libel Show had a lot to prove. Last year’s show created so much animosity that many people questioned whether we should continue the law school tradition. But thanks to the strong leadership of Jennifer Vane, Doug Emhoff and Mary Ann Soden, the Libel Show regained its former glory to the delight of all who attended.
The audience seemed to be won over by the very first skit. When the opening statements of the three organizers were suddenly interrupted by the entrance of The Church Lady (Chris Johnston) the crowd roared with approval. Johnston called in his superior dancers (Sam Chuck and Steve Atlee) and began his show stopping rap. The crowd went wild.
The Libel Show Band (Maureen Baker, Bobby Skorpil, Andy Tebbe and Sean Luner) softened the crowd up before the curtain opened on the first skit and continued to perform throughout the show. The show owed its coherence to the band, who patiently worked and waded through 20 hours of rehearsals with the singers and actors. Baker’s rendition of the hit song (Black Velvet) was a big hit and a real crowd-pleaser. All of the skits went off without a hitch and got lots of laughs. In stark contrast to last year’s show, there were no complaints of offensiveness or violations of the harassment code. Highlights included “The Post-Conviction Love Connection” which starred Nikki Varyu, as a lovelorn love student, Chris Johnston as her would-be convict lover, and Jim Burgess as emcee and Chuck “Woolery” Weisselberg.
Doug Emhoff and Joan Marsh repeated their “Weekend Update” routine once again, ending in a capella Lambada sign-off. Mary Ann Soden added a touch of wry humor with her speech of pregnant innuendo as Sandra Day O’Connor. Ben Fishman filled in between skits with his hilarious “Top 10 List”, and Mike Hoffman thrilled the audiences the star of both “Al Caprone’s Fashion Show” and “Simon Says”. Jenny Vane led a cast of singers in various songs including a rousing “Rock Lobster”. Patty Berry showed her theatrical talents singing in “Top of the Class” and cackling like a chicken as Judy Resnick in “Simon Says”. I had lots of fun in “Dean Wiley’s Press Conference.”
There was only one complaint heard after the show and that was that it ended too soon. At just one hour, the show was half as long as last year’s disaster. The program was only one page long and the performers didn’t find themselves pelted by projectiles from an unruly audience. Much of the credit must be given to the people behind the scenes to make the show run smoothly. Debby Martin and Rebecca Mares worked the lights, and Mike Zwick adjusted the microphones between skits.
The Libel Show had a lot to prove this year. It proved it all and more.