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Tony, Tony, Tony-The HBS Show Has Done It Again!

The Phantom of Baker Library is a two-act musical about Harvard Business School, written and produced by Harvard Business School students, performed on the Harvard Business School campus, to entertain the Harvard Business School family. That’s the key to its worldwide mass appeal.

The 2007 Tony Awards, Broadway’s celebration of the year’s most prolific theatrical performances, are scheduled for June 10. Industry insiders indicate that this year’s nominations will be a mere formality, as the circuit is abuzz in anticipation of the early favorite. According to an international poll obtained by the Harbus, critics have reached a rare consensus by anointing this year’s HBS Show, The Phantom of Baker Library, a shoo-in to sweep nearly every award on the planet.

Opening week (concurrent with closing week) for Phantom will include nightly performances from April 17 through April 21 in Burden Auditorium. How will the show go to market? We caught up with Executive Producer Manish Dalmia (NF) to find out.

“We encourage students to attend as many nights of the show as they’d like, though we have specifically designated each night for certain sections so that they can achieve economies of scale while supporting their classmates. As has been the long-standing tradition, each section will have a pre-party before the show on their given night,” said Dalmia.

Under the tutelage of Director Kent Bennett (NF), Assistant Director Steve Kraus (NE), Choreographer Cassandra Marino (Partner-ND), and Music Director Gilbert Tang (NB), the cast, crew, and orchestra have been preparing tirelessly for the past several months. We can only assume that this tight-knit cast has been wracked by intrigue, infighting, and power struggles. However, the closed rehearsals take place at an undisclosed underground location, so we really can’t be sure. Then again, if everyone on the team shares Lead Actor Matt Mindrum’s (OD) positive outlook, then prospects for camaraderie are most certainly high.

“Beyond the performances, the show gives its participants a chance to work with and become great friends with classmates across sections and across the RC/EC boundaries. There aren’t a whole lot of chances to do that during our two years here, so I am certainly looking forward to that aspect of the show,” Mindrum said.

The dynamic acting duo of Renee Barnett (NH) and Shamika Lee (ND), both of whom will be making their debut on the legendary Burden stage, are quick to reiterate Mindrum’s sentiment. In fact, these two artists join forces daily to hone their craft.

“Shamika Lee has impacted me by teaching me interesting and colorful techniques to incorporate into my current acting library,” Barnett said.

But don’t be fooled. Not everyone in the cast has drank the cross-sectional coordination tonic. Allow Lead Actress Claire Farley to explain.

“I am really looking forward to the night Section H comes to see the show. Not only do we have the most Sectionmates in the cast, we are also the best section,” said the potentially misguided Farley. (Please note that the Harbus found no evidence in support of the assertion that section H is “the best section.”)

Offstage, EC Writer and character actor David Burt (OI) is beginning to believe the hype about Phantom. With the Tony sweep “in the bag,” Burt has his sights set on the springtime Cannes Film Festival.

“I’ve always wanted a Golden Palm,” romanticized Burt, as he envisioned the top prize given at Cannes.

The award would be well-deserved, after Burt spent the Fall Semester virtually locked in a room with his writing team, which included the likes of Chris Tutor (NE) and the blazer-clad Shashaank Mathur (ND). Another cellmate was RC Writer Brian Rosen, who apparently believes in a tougher brand of love when talking about the script.

“It’s completely original, and by original I mean repetitive, trite, and reliant on overused themes.”

Of course, Rosen is affectionately referring to the traditional formula that has proved successful time and again. Since the inception of the HBS Show in 1974, Harvard Business School always seems to be provoked by a villainous menace, whose singular focus is the destruction of this institution.

How will the students and faculty respond to the villain’s challenge this year? Will Farley’s pro-H stance drive a wedge between her and Mindrum? Will their on-stage chemistry suffer? And what exactly is a Harbus? Come to Burden Auditorium from April 17-April 21 to find out!

Important Details:
1. For Tickets and Information, please access www.studentclubs.hbs.edu/show

2. Though patrons may attend any night they choose, Section Nights are scheduled:

Tuesday (4/17): NB, OB, ND, OD, NJ, OJ
Wednesday (4/18): NF, OF, NH, OH
Thursday (4/19): NA, OA, NG, OG, NC, OC
Friday (4/20): NI, OI, NE, OE
Saturday (4/21): Faculty, Staff, Administration, visiting admitted students

3. The HBS Show is made possible with the help of sponsorship assistance from viewers like you. Please participate in the fundraiser at Uno’s in Harvard Square on March 29. When you present an HBS Show Dinner voucher (access at www.studentclubs.hbs.edu/show), a portion of your dinner proceeds will help fund the show!

4. Do you want to be involved with the Production of The Phantom of Baker Library? You still can! There are many positions available-including box office sales, marketing, sponsorships, set building, prop handling, lights, sound and more. Please send an email to hbs.show@gmail.com if you would like more information.

Note: Certain facts have been disguised. Okay, many facts have been exaggerated and/or fabricated. This article was developed solely for the purpose of shameless marketing for the HBS Show, which will take place April 17 through April 21. This article is not intended to serve as an endorsement, source of primary data, or illustration of effective or ineffective management.

March 26, 2007
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