Sunday, March 02, 2008

Wit of Mandamus IV

On Friday 29 February 2008, at 8pm in the Student Lounge at Loyola Law School, the latest installment of a tradition at the school took place: Wit of Mandamus IV. Law Law Stud proudly reported from both Wit of Mandamus III (which he also produced and performed in) and Wit of Mandamus II (which he assisted in producing and performed in), and now, with the aid of a Canon Elura 85 DV camcorder, as well as the trusty but soon-to-be-retired Canon PowerShot S70, the Stud brings you reportage from the leading edge of LLS social life.

The show began with an introduction from Professor John Nockleby, the inspiration for the first show. This was followed by the introduction of the Master of Ceremonies, SBA Vice President Mike Hanna, and then the House Band, who played a cover for D.R. Harris' "You Will Always Get Your Way".

Next up was Sri Panchalam and Cameron Fredman. First, Cameron, one of the founders of Wit of Mandamus, paid homage to Professor Nockleby:

Cameron has a transcript of the dedication on his blog.

Sri and Cameron then brought a musical conversation to the evening with Frank Loesser's "Baby, It's Cold Outside":

For Cameron's take, and a video from a different angle, see Cameron's blog.

Next was Sheri Guerami with a flute solo, playing a piece from Handel. Well, it started as a solo anyway. Check it out:

The House Band, joined by Eric Newman on acoustic guitar and lead vocals, then performed a cover of the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want:

For another angle, see here.

Taking a pause from all the music, Seth Weiner performed spoken word in an act that had the audience hollering in support. When Seth began, many thought it nice; but about half a minute into the act, Seth's skills really began to show:

Seth's act led to an opening for more spoken word, including a performance from first-year student Daniel Ediger (shown here rehearsing before the show) ...

... to an enactment of an avant garde poem performed by Todd Feldman:

Returning to a musical milieu, Andrew Walsh, accompanied by Music Director Zack Domb, performed on his piccolo bass:

Returning from his performance in Wit of Mandamus III was Dennis Martin, who performed a piece.

The top half of the program was rounded out by Professor Stan Goldman, who related the circumstances of "a tragic indiscretion in [his] youth" which led him to pursue a career as a law professor.

Opening the bottom half was Jonathan Stout, who appeared "live via satellite" playing a duet with Producer John Given.

Following the duet, for something very different, was a "secret act" by a first-year student, who will remain anonymous, with an audacious act:

After the thrills, Meryl Chambers brought some of that Southern charm by channeling Bonnie Raitt's "Angel from Montgomery:

Zack has a different video with a closeup of Meryl here.

Following Meryl's angelic offering was Greg Strausberg, Vice President of the Entertainment and Sports Law Society, performing "Wild Deed" (to the tune of "Wild Thing"):

Bridging heaven and hell was Adrian Rodriguez, performing "Samba Pa Ti", with all of Carlos Santana's mannerisms:

Following that brilliant performance, Professor Jay Dougherty reminded the audience of the importance of maintaining interests and hobbies outside the field of law, then proceeded to wow them with a blues number:

Zack Domb and the House Band, joined again by Eric Newman, then performed the Domb hit "Melanie".

In a semi-musical exposition of great skill, Mike Hanna then performed an extended encore to the amazing beatbox of Wit of Mandamus III.

Following Mike Hanna was the incomparable Craig Kirkwood, who performed an original piece, "Every Day":

That was one tough act to follow! Fortunately, the Stud had in reserve a song that neatly closed out the night, with a reminder to the audience of where they were and why they were taking a break, in "Law School Musical".

The piece was originally written by Owen Jarvis, whose original YouTube video can be found here. The piece has become a popular law school anthem since its release in September 2007; indeed, a large portion of the audience applauded upon recognition of the song after the first line, and even sang along happily to the chorus of "one-L life is hell".

Finally, Mike Hanna closed out the night with thank yous.

This has truly been the most wonderful Wit of Mandamus the Stud has had the opportunity to participate in, and amazing props go to John Given and Zack Domb for pulling it together, and to Mike Hanna for being Master of Ceremonies. Thanks to Zack's friends Terry Miller on drums and Eric Newman on sound and on acoustic guitar, and to Cameron Fredman for coming back to contribute. The turnout was between 120-140 people, almost or about twice last year's turnout, and was facilitated in great part by the popularity of the principal members of the production and performance teams, as well as to Facebook, which made promotion much easier. Thanks also to the members of the audience who came to watch and gave the show that unique vibe it needed to roll the way it did.

The Stud hopes to continue attending these shows, and invites all readers in the Los Angeles area next year about this time to look into attending!

Note: Not all acts described herein were accompanied by images, still or moving, out of respect to requests by particular performers.

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