Nov. 2, 2000
Vol. 20 No. 4

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    Quadrangle Club Revels making a comeback

    If you ever have been inspired to tread the boards or sing your heart out, then members of the Quadrangle Club are looking for you. The Quadrangle Club Revels––a long-lost tradition of comedic vignettes and musical parody––is being revived by producers Lee Behnke, Director of the Undergraduate Latin Program in Classical Languages & Literatures, and Helen DeGroot and Jean Meltzer, veterans of past Revels.

    A 1967 Revels playbill announces a production titled Show and Tell.
    “We’re looking for enthusiastic amateurs who can sing, act or dance,” said Meltzer. “We wholeheartedly welcome faculty, staff and Quadrangle Club members who want to help paint a set, a face, or manage props. Working on the Revels has been a source of great fun and enduring friendship for so many of the Revelers.”

    An informational session for those who want to tap their creative and organizational talents will take place at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, at the Quadrangle Club. Veteran Revels thespian Mary Schulman, who acted in or directed numerous productions, will direct the one-time performance that will take place at the club Saturday, Jan. 27, 2001. Rehearsals will be in January only.

    The Revels, also known at various periods as Christmas Revels and Faculty Revels, began in December 1904. Revels productions ended as World War II began, but performances resumed after the war, and they peaked during the 1950s and 1960s with annual shows. At the end of the 1960s, Revels produc-tions took a hiatus, and in the early 1980s, a brief revival occurred. Staging of performances ranged from one night in the Quadrangle Club to several weekends in Mandel Hall.

    The Revels allows the University community––traditionally known as an intellectual pinnacle––to let loose and poke fun at just about anything, according to Edward Rosenheim, the David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor Emeritus in English Language & Literature. “It’s certainly not highbrow when you come to the Revels,” said Rosenheim. He is teaming up with his Revels writing partner, Robert Ashenhurst, Professor Emeritus in the Graduate School of Business, to develop the new script. The two are Revels veterans, having worked on shows since the 1940s and 1950s.

    “I’ve seen a lot of talent on campus over the years,” said Rosenheim, who has enjoyed seeing colleagues such as Robert Streeter, the Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in English Language & Literature, extend his talents beyond his high-caliber research. “If you think about it, how often can you speak of someone like Bob Streeter, a former dean of the University’s Humanities Division, as a musical comedy writer?”

    Past audiences have witnessed performances of famous intellects, Rosenheim said. Among them are former University Presidents Robert Hutchins portraying a football player and George Beadle as a Quadrangle Club waiter, former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as a young heartthrob with an equally charming musical voice and former University Chancellor Lawrence Kimpton as a faculty exchange mailman and janitor.

    Although the title has not been announced, Rosenheim said, “It’s a musical presentation with a plot––of sorts. In any case, it should be fun, so come and join us.”