Musical pokes fun at life in the Law School

The University's Law School is in great danger. The evil Dean Vader has created the Mon-Star - an armored law building with enough power to destroy an entire campus - to usurp the rank as the top law school.
By
  • Emily Ayshford
March 08, 2004

The University's Law School is in great danger.

The evil Dean Vader has created the Mon-Star - an armored law building with enough power to destroy an entire campus - to usurp the rank as the top law school.

This was the premise of the Theater of the Relatively Talentless' play "Law Wars" - a law-themed parody of "Star Wars."

The musical followed the adventures of Loot Shepardizer as he searched for the power of the "Fritz" - a reference to Walter Mondale's nickname. Shepardizer, along with Leia Lawrence, Para-League-Pee-Oh, and Dell-2-D-2, worked to save the Clinical Alliance from the wrath of Vader.

Written and directed by University Law School students, the musical showed last weekend at Coffman Union Theater. It also featured faculty and prominent alumni.

Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch, former Vice President Walter Mondale, Hennepin County District Judge Kevin Burke and U.S. District Court Judge James Rosenbaum made cameos in the production.

Hatch, a Law School alumnus, said he didn't know what to do after performing his lines on stage.

"I think the audience knew I was a bit befuddled," he said.

Although Hatch has minimal theater training, he said he has had acting experience.

"Well, I am in politics," he said.

Hatch said he was impressed with the play's witty jokes and would participate next year if he is invited.

"They had me laughing pretty hard," he said.

Sarah Ruter, the play's director, said they held auditions in November, but everyone who tried out was invited to be part of the production.

Ruter said the cast and crew worked about 50 to 60 hours during the past six weeks on the play. She said that school and homework often take priority in a law student's life, and it was difficult planning around that schedule.

"Everyone's really given a lot of effort and a lot of time," she said.

The play mocked law students and professionals alike. The song "Campus Roads," sung to the tune of John Denver's "Country Roads," poked fun at law students who go home to safe western suburbs nightly.

The song "How Do You Solve a Problem" made fun of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia with the lines, "When a decision goes his way, it hurts children, trees and gays."

The three performances sold approximately 1,100 tickets - approximately 500 more than last year.

Ruter said she hopes the annual musical continues to be successful because it is a unique break for law students.

"It's a great opportunity for us to break out of our rather serious Law School world and make fun of ourselves."

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