In late October, although finals still seem like a distant many-headed legendary beast with +5 Dexterity and +∞ Crippling Anxiety, I knew I wasn’t the only Level 1 chaotic-good Paladin of Law already hearing that gunner the Reasonably Prudent Person whispering outline ultimatums and warnings against failure. My brain felt overtaxed and was flirting with joining the Tea Party. The human blood in my veins had been flushed away by a flood of enough caffeine to fuel an army of Starbucks bloggers. I’d been hitting the books and supplements like they owed me money. My knuckles were black and blue (although weirdos swore they were white and gold), and I was in desperate need of a break and a less physical study method.
I was raised on the idea that if something wasn’t working, you simply blew on it or used a Game Genie.
Or the sacred Konami Code.
In other words, you don’t have to reinvent Wheel of Fortune: The Game to find solutions to life’s little hiccups. (You may try scaring life or telling life to hold its breath or drink water upside down, but this rarely works). Want excitement? Do something exciting. And have health insurance. Or at least no shame. Want to experience vicarious excitement through your humble, newly insured, shameless journalist? Then look no further, dear reader, than the distance between your face and the The Law News.
I’m a fairly reasonable guy, and usually, I’ll agree with the Reasonably Prudent Person’s assessment of a situation. Normally, I’m down with R.P.P. (yeah, you know me), but I was dying for a deus ex slackin’off, a few divine hours of reckless abandon. So, naturally, when an article idea pitched at a The Law News meeting called for coverage of try-outs for W&L’s upcoming production of Legally Blonde: The Musical, I figured the best way to get the scoop was to audition.
“Omigod, you guys,” is a phrase I have never written before. But, judging by its frequency in the literature I ran across while researching the musical, its use seems mandated when discussing LB: The M. Pictures from the production leave the impression of a flamboyance of tickled flamingoes soaring at sunset through cotton candy coral clouds in an air as rarified and pink as a salmonella steak. If pink is still reeling from being unseated by orange as the new black, no one told the costume and set designers, who I will be disappointed to learn aren’t Backstage Barbie. What I discovered in my investigation repulsed me immediately, but, like Pizza Rat, its dogged cuteness would soon get to me.
On or about October 29, I moseyed from the Law School over to Lenfest Hall for the audition, humming my song and toting a pocketful of dance moves. I wondered whether the Reasonably Prudent Square would accompany me to the theater, but, of course, the faithless killjoy stayed behind at my carrel, after giving me his lunch money and muttering something about learned Hand’s formula. Prudence ditched, I sloughed off negligence as I left the building and raced headlong into the rosy pink heart of recklessness. Only appropriate, perhaps, for Radical Rich Reckless, as I’m called around my house.
I appreciate theater as much as the next person, unless the next person is Oliver Cromwell. As a lad, I spent many summers at Bible camp, earning my Bible-pitching badge and reprising my role year after year in musicals dramatizing the antics of a Jesus-praising anthropomorphic hymn book couple, the spawn they inexplicably brought into the world, and the dastardly man-rat who attempts to foil said Jesus praising, all with a penchant for singing. And that’s another menagerie of words I’ve never strung together before. So while I’ve got gospel hands down to a (young-earth, of course) science, I only ever played the human-book grotesques’ pet dog. My acting repertoire was limited to barking, sticking my tongue out, and wearing dog ears. The only way I would be less prepared was if I were auditioning for Cats.
Perhaps there would be a role for me, after all.
The undergrad actors, on the other hand, killed it, belting out show-tunes with moves like Javert. That they brought their Amajor game was readily apparent. What was less clear, in my anachronistic opinion, were the judges’ standards, and they were fuzzier to me than Bigfoot footage (“Bigfootage”). To my dismay, it appears that The Running Man, The Carlton, and even The Moonwalk are to today’s dance moves as a monocle is to today’s fashion statements. No matter how righteous the monocle, no one wears them much anymore. And my audition rendition of “Wrecking Ball” (try-outs called for a pop song, and this was the last big one I remember before telling pop it wasn’t going to work out between us anymore) was met with mixed reviews from the three judges – a polite smile, a chuckle, and utter indifference, respectively.
Before leaving, I revealed that I would be unable to devote the required time to the production, that this was all a re-e-eckless sham for a scoop, and I graciously bowed out of consideration. Quite professionally, the judges betrayed no outward signs of their deep unspoken regret that I would not be available to play the lead. Alas, give my regards to Broadway.
If I’m honest, I was turned off by the bubblegum sugariness of LB: The M at first hot pink blush. But the energy of the other performers was reckless and infectious, and somewhere amid all the song and sashaying, I had fun. And I’m substantially certain that you will too, once you witness the passion these actors bring to the stage.
All this to say that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. If you don’t know that, you don’t know Jack. So in March, take a night off to laugh at the law with a cast of honest-to-ohmigod talented thespians. Put down the casebook and, for a few hours, be reckless. It’s only reasonable.