Esteemed professors get silly in Quad Club Revels

In Quad Club Revels, University staff and faculty lampoon community and university traditions.

By Angela Qian

“Farewell, my Bittersweet, or 99% Noir,” will be making its world debut at the Quadrangle Club on Thursday January 26, as part of Hyde Park’s annual Quad Club Revels. Since 1904, faculty and staff members have been parodying university life in this annual event. Past musicals have featured performances from Illinois representatives, future Supreme Court Justices and President Robert Zimmer himself. This year, for the first time ever, there will be a cheaper option for students who want to watch esteemed professors, like renowned Shakespeare expert Professor David Bevington, clown around.

Professors Ted Cohen and David Bevington, old veterans of this annual event, discussed the history of the event and what would be presented this year. Cohen is the annual moderator of the Latke-Hamantash debate, and Bevington is part of the Court Theatre board. They explained that the Quad Club Revels have been going on for decades, though initially it was only for faculty and Quad Club members—no students were allowed. The event was revived around ten years ago, and since then both professors have participated in a myriad of performances, each with different themes. This year’s “Farewell, my Bittersweet” is a detective-themed musical; Professor Cohen hints at a “complicated plot involving the Internet and a Hyde Park private detective and Eastern European gangsters.”

Professor Bevington says that the “lyrics tend to be quite witty” and adds that he will be playing the role of—accurately enough—a professor. Part of the performance will be commemorating the Seminary Co-op, which will be moving to a different location later this year and thus will not be the same old beloved Co-op  anymore. Both professors add that the Quad Revels is a welcome event to cheer up the community in the otherwise dreary Chicago winter.

The actors that make up the cast are, though not professional, still involved with other productions. Professor Cohen said that much of the cast is involved in the local Gilbert and Sullivan productions. Both professors welcome students to attend the event. The allure of entering a building most students haven’t entered makes the event worth checking out. The writers and performers promise a show that is, according to Professor Bevington, “goofy…it’s a revel!”