They may be learning how to write amicus briefs and mull over the federal tax code, but in their performance of The University of Shrek-ago: The Law School Musical this past weekend, UChicago law students showed that not all fun is dead for law students.
When I first heard about this performance, I, like I assume most people would, thought “Why the hell are law students doing a musical? Do law students, especially at UChicago, even have fun?” And, what I thought was the most important question: “Who would even go?”
The answer to the latter question is me, a very curious undergrad with a slight obsession for lawyer-based TV shows, and some of my fellow undergraduate housemates who were also eager to fork over five dollars to see exactly what The University of Shrek-ago: The Law School Musical had in store.
Let me start off by saying the Law School Musical students did not disappoint. I laughed throughout the whole show, and it was great to see a group of UChicago grad students genuinely enjoying themselves on stage.
The show was a satirical portrayal of law school life and featured parodied-versions of popular songs tailored to the UChicago Law School experience. My personal favorite line was in a song to the tune of Smash Mouth’s “All Star.” The students sang, “Hey now, you’re a law star/ put your suit on go slay!/ Hey now, you’re a sellout/ go to big law/ get paid.” (Shout out to the show writers for paying tribute to the classic Shrek anthem). The actors were all surprisingly good singers, and their enthusiasm truly shone.
The plot followed the titular character Shrekmore through his journey to get back his “swamp”—the Regents Park apartments. Throughout the show, songs poked fun at the stress of finding a job after graduation, jeered at elements of class life (including cold calls), and called out the Law School for their very white and male faculty. As an undergraduate student, I didn’t understand every not-so-subtle reference to a certain professor or the infamy of tort law, but the laughter of the law students in the room was contagious, so, of course, I laughed along.
I truly applauded the students who participated in this musical. They put themselves out there in front of a largely full audience at Mandel Hall, and they had a good time. These students not only found a way to project some social commentary on the Law School but also had fun while at it.
So all in all, was The University of Shrek-ago: The Law School Musical actually a good show? Well the jury’s still out on that one, but I can tell you I will definitely be looking out for the annual Law School show next winter.