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Sunday, April 14, 2024
The Observer

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A Keenan Revue review

The men of Keenan Hall put on a fantastic show for the 48th Keenan Revue titled “Et tu Revuetè? A Roman Review.”

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of watching the men of Keenan Hall put on one of the largest yearly productions on campus, a spectacle of epic proportions and unbridled hilarity — the Keenan Revue — this year titled “Et Tu Revuetè? A Roman Revue.” The revue is a sketch comedy show which includes musical numbers completely written, acted, directed and produced by the men in Keenan Hall. Most of the residents get involved in some way, shape or form, whether that be as a freshman usher, performing onstage, doing tech or taking on a role as one of the higher-level staff. “I genuinely think nearly everyone in Keenan is involved in some capacity,” senior and  producer Brian Kelley said. “Everyone is encouraged to be here as much or as little as they want and always welcome to the show so that they can enjoy the experience.”

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For the 48th revue, the men of Keenan Hall did not disappoint. The show was two hours of skit after hilarious skit, well-choreographed dance numbers and fun musical numbers. The skit “Deparkment of Darkness” involved a sergeant, played by senior John Donaruma, in the parking police force addressing his recruits as if they were in the Marines and delivering a hilarious monologue. “Trouble in the Dreamhouse” played on the recent “Barbie Movie” while “The News” skit delivered pun after glorious pun. Other standout skits include “20,000 Leagues” and “Post Nuttern Philosophy.” All the actors did a fantastic job delivering their lines and somehow not breaking character despite the show’s humor.

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I also appreciated the live music and dancing. The revue included several musical numbers with a live band and vocalists. The instruments in the band were incredibly varied, including the expected percussion, guitar, bass and keyboard, as well as saxophone, trumpet, flute, and cello. I need to give senior Will Dwortz a shoutout for his vocals in “It’s Raining Men.” He has an impressive voice.

There were two large dance numbers to “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood and “It’s Raining Men” by Geri Hallwell. The choreography for both was great, and the dances were clean, precise and well-executed. It was clear the dancers in both were committed to the numbers. I appreciated the judicious use of costumes to capture the theme of both dances, truly one of the highlights of the show.

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Overall, the production value of the revue was top notch with talented actors, musicians, singers and dancers, a good mix of music, dance and skits, impactful lighting and costumes both apt for each skit and hilarious. Senior and director Jack Lewis described the long process to put together the revue, which began in October with the selection of head staff followed by meetings in the “War Room” in the Keenan basement. There is also a months-long writing and audition process that must whittle 150 skits down to 17 or 18 for the show, taking into consideration a balance of different types of humor, in addition to music and dance. There is also a review of all the skits by Residential Life, PrismND and the Diversity Council.

All the effort clearly paid off, and the Keenan men greatly enjoy the process, making the revue a labor of love. “It’s an unbelievably good time. It’s so much fun, just like invite friends of the show and see them laugh. And every time it happens, I’m like, no wonder this happens every year. We saw it every year because people love the show. And we have so so so much fun doing it,” said Lewis.

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As much as the revue is a long-standing tradition beloved by the campus community and just overall hilarious, it is, at its heart, something for the Keenan community.

“This is, by far, the biggest community thing for Keenan … As much as it is kind of an outward, ‘we’re doing this for the campus’ event, it’s so critical for the community of Keenan as well,” said producer Domenic Fabe. That community aspect, and the authenticity of the men who undergo such a labor of love for it, is what makes the revue so special and unlike any other performance of campus. In the words of Fabe, the revue is “an outward expression of Keenan to the rest of the campus,” and that shows.