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An extremely cynical synopsis of the HBS Show, for those who may have missed it

Pre-Pre show: Get drunk with your section. Discuss numerous ways to get around the no-drinks policy such as hiding vodka shots in your friend’s bra. Decide to hide the vodka in your stomach instead.

Pre show: Find a seat with your section and practise section cheers. Try and find out who from your section is in the show. Puzzle over the weird crap people write in their biographies in the program.

Scene One: Random cheering. HBS in-jokes. Notice a person from your section and cheer so loudly that you are incapable of hearing any of the dialogue. Slight dig at MIT Sloan. Amusing stereotyping of foreigners and the military.
[Really long blackout while they change the scenery]

Scene Two: Notice a cute guy with a good singing voice and wonder why you never spotted him around campus. Wonder who this ‘Dean Light’ guy is and think maybe you should pay more attention to campus politics. Finally get the reference to Paris Hilton the third time it is mentioned.
[Really long blackout while they change the scenery. Take a surreptitious gulp from the bottle of ‘water’ that your sectionmate smuggled in]

Scene Three: A load of cute girls dance suggestively. All the guys in your section ask to borrow your program so they can classcard them. HBS in-jokes. Someone mentions their section to loud applause for no reason. Slight digs at various other business schools.

Scene Five: Lots of in-jokes about HBS nightlife, and a set which is much more appealing-looking than the actual Kong. Vaguely self-congratulatory jokes about American frat boys. Some random Frenchmen pretend to be drunk. Wonder who ‘Rob Kaplan’ is.

Intermission: Go outside to drink more and smoke a cigarette. Bump into one of your professors outside and try to avoid their eye. Remember that you forgot to fill in the negotiation poll. Drink more vodka. Go back into the auditorium and watch the musical director doing a funny little dance in front of the orchestra.
[Really long blackout while they change some more scenery, even though they had the whole interval to do it]

Scene Four: Incomprehensible piece of plot, more scantily clad dancers. A few jokes about how partners aren’t dumb. Some more stereotypes. Try and remember where you heard the name ‘Tim Butler’ before. Speculate as to there really is a crypt under the library. Wonder what the inside of the library looks like and resolve to visit it one day. Someone onstage mentions their section and a large proportion of the audience cheers way too much.
[Really long blackout while they change the scenery]

Scene Five: Lots of dry ice smoke and mood lighting. Good use of the trapdoor in the Burden stage. Impressive singing by a guy in a badly-creased cloak. Very unenthusiastic-looking stage kiss. HBS in-jokes.
[Really long blackout while they change the scenery. Notice that the orchestra are really quite good, and a few of them are quite cute.]

Scene Six: Slightly disturbing romantic interlude between members of the faculty. Plot makes fun of Wharton and, with surprisingly little irony, rich benefactors.

Scene Seven: Plot concludes with unconvincing stage fight. Someone mentions their section to huge cheers, whooping and stomping. More HBS in-jokes.
[Long blackout while the entire cast appear to run across the stage and back several times]

Scene Eight: Finale involving vaguely homoerotic tension between two ex-sports coaches. Much cheering. Much singing about how great HBS is.

Encore: Someone mentions their section to loud and unjustified applause. There is a song about how wonderful HBS is, which we all join in with. People wear Stanford T-shirts, presumably ‘ironically’.

Post show: Get drunk at Tommy Doyle’s with the cast. Decide that they are still good-looking even off stage. Slowly come to the realisation that this may be due to the vodka. Wonder why all the girls in the cast are wearing such short skirts. Go home very glad that, unlike the people involved in the show, you only have to summon up this much energy one night this week.

Conclusion: The HBS Show is full of blatant sexual innuendo, cheap laughs accessible only to current HBS students, and is immeasurably improved by the consumption of alcohol. Sounds like most of my articles. Maybe I should write for the show next year.

April 30, 2007
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