Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Rahm stays out of the heat of CBA show kitchen

Larry Aaronson makes a point of personally inviting Rahm Emanuel. 
     "Most politicians like to be skewered at some point," said attorney Jeffrey M. Marks, producer of the Chicago Bar Association annual satiric review, which opens Thursday. "They may not be happy how we skewer them."
     Marks said that most people figure they've made it if they're being made fun of. We get senators, representatives, judges..."
     "U.S. Attorneys..." added show co-writer Cliff Berman, sitting beside Marks in Philip H. Corboy Hall on the second floor of CBA's South Loop headquarters before rehearsals Monday for "Much to Sue About Nothing!" the 94th annual bar show.
     "Governors..." added Marks.
     "Quinn came, often" said Berman.
     "Everybody wants to come," said Marks, referring to the show, now in its 94th year.
     Well, not everybody. 
     Rahm Emanuel won't be attending the show this year because he never comes. Despite being personally invited, despite the lawyer playing him, Larry Aaronson, being his third cousin, and despite the mayor being a traditional source of fodder. The first line the chorus sings is, "Another year we'll make fun of Rahm."
     The lawyerly lampoon goes back almost a century, to 1924, when the smattering of songs for the CBA's Christmas party expanded into "Christmas Spirits,' a full-length revue.
     Rahm's predecessors had it worse and took it better. Mayor William Hale Thompson became Nero in the climactic song of the 1927 show, "The Burning of Rome"

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Tony Calzaretta, playing a frustrated Prince Charles, rehearses Monday for "Much to Sue About Nothing!" the Chicago Bar Association satirical music review, which opens Thursday


  1. I stopped taking this thing seriously when the Greylord scandal broke and the CBA studiously avoided the slightest mention of it in that year's show. Don't dish it out if you can't take it.

    1. I don't think they'll touch on the sexual abuse scandals either.


  2. You really got suckered Neil!
    Many years ago, when Bill Kurtis, a lawyer, was the big guy at Channel 2 News, he somehow got his boss's OK to get that thing broadcast. For years, we were treated to all sorts of praise for their annual show from the local columnists, but we never actually saw the entire thing. Well, it went over like a lead balloon! It was that bad & was never aired again!
    It's an amateurish mess & to paraphrase the long time TV writer & science fiction author, Harlan Ellison, a bunch of 8th graders from Northbrook could do a better writing & acting job than these lawyers!

    1. So you saw it, years ago, and didn't like it then, thus it's forever damned? Is that your point? I watched an hour of rehearsal Monday and thought it looked okay -- as I said, solid dinner theater stuff. I'm going to see the whole show tomorrow, and if it sucks, I'll tell you. But your reasoning is too egocentric for my taste. It's been going on for nearly a century, and lots of people pay $45 a pop to sit through it. There must be SOMETHING going on here.

    2. Yes, it's forever damned! You'll notice they rarely can get any media publicity for it anymore, as the public knows it always sucks. It's just a bunch of in jokes that only the fools that wrote it like.
      As for the people who are actually paying $45 a pop to sit through it, I'll bet that 95+% are lawyers or their spouses & they're there because their law firm paid for the tickets & essentially demands they show up.

    3. Well Clark, I yield the point. It certainly is amateurish. However, that doesn't mean it wasn't also enjoyable. We went to the reception at the CBA beforehand, and that was fun -- Edie met a number of former colleagues. And there was some clever writing -- I enjoyed a song about personal injury law, "Duty and the Breach" sung to "Beauty and the Beast." And Mueller's song, "You're So Indicted," sung to "I'm So Excited," was uplifted. As my late mother-in-law would say, "From their lips to God's ears."

  3. Since lawyers usually find themselves the buts of nasty jokes -- e. g. they should be used in medical experiments since they are as numerous as rats and you are less likely to get attached to them -- it seems only fair that they be given an opportunity to make fun of others.

    The many fans of Arthur O'Shaughnessy among your readers will note that the authors of "Former movers and shakers club" have plagiarized his 1873 poem, "The Music Makers."

    "We are the music makers
    And we are the dreamers of dreams.
    Wandering by lone sea breakers
    And sitting by desolate streams.
    Yet we are the movers and shakers
    Of the world forever it seems."

    One presumes the copyright has expired.



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