By Joe Miciak, Cast ’15
Mask & Wig and Hasty Pudding… two collegiate musical comedy power houses… separated for over 100 years… after a fire-filled feud… finally come together… in a story that was long foretold by really bored prophets… where the denouement is a battle… but in this battle… violence isn’t the weapon… instead they employed the power of music… laughter… friendship… and cross-dressing.
Oh by the way, there isn’t really an epic feud. BUT that does not make this story any less EPIC. Well, maybe a little less epic. If there had been a battle, that would have been…well, pretty epic I guess.
It all started at the crack of dawn: 8:30 in the morning on a Saturday, a point in time rarely seen by most Penn students. The New Guys and SYGs were lined up outside of the bus. They looked scared, naive, and ready to fall back asleep. Meanwhile, the Clubbies stood silently watching over them. They looked flawless, brave, and ready for adventure. As all this was happening, the bus driver was smoking a cigarette. He looked to be about 56 or 57, relatively nice, and ready for a paycheck. I would not come to know this bus driver very well, but he showed great courage that trip, and for that I am forever grateful.
Upon boarding our bus, we each took an ancient Hebrew edible talisman for good luck. I am told they were called bagels, and they were delicious. When we were all seated, the journey began. Over the treacherous Schuylkill River of the Dead, past the fatal Valley of Titan the Forger, and through some other landmarks I can’t really remember. I think I may have fallen asleep. But trust me, they were quite dangerous, as was my slumber. Our heroic bus driver steered unfailingly into that dark night. And we only just whet our new guys’ appetites for all that will come with TOUR in the spring.
We finally arrived in Harvard Square at the crack of night. We were introduced to our gracious and talented enemies (not really enemies), Hasty Pudding Theatricals. They showed us around their Clubhouse, the stage we’d be performing that night, and the long-awaited bathroom. This sacred room greatly excited our caravan of intrepid explorers, especially after taking rest at Sir McDonald’s castle for victuals earlier in the journey.
As the cast began to rehearse the bits we had prepared, some unease silently spread among the performers. So many variables were involved in this show: the stage, the audience, the food nearby. We were unfamiliar with this new land. But this unease turned into anticipation, which turned into excitement, which then turned into hunger. Hunger for LAUGHTER. And hamburgers. BUT MOSTLY LAUGHTER.
After eating some hamburgers, we were ready for the performance. We prepared and dressed up alongside our Hasty Pudding counterparts. Though we initially entered the arena as foes (not really foes), we formed an unbreakable camaraderie in that dressing room — we were not brothers. We were more. We were brothers…dressing up as sisters. And that bond can never be severed.
Soon, it was showtime. We would do our own set of bits, followed by the performance by Hasty Pudding. We would do this two times that night, and we were all ready.
Our first show went off without a hitch. Though the audience was small, they were enthusiastic and ready to laugh. All the hard work had paid off, and it made us ready for the second show. After we finished, those Hasty Pudding bastards (not really bastards, great guys) took the stage. Their fall show was a musical revue of some of their favorite songs from their previous spring shows, woven together by a hilarious plot filled with puns that made us green with Pennvy. Their songs and dances were truly enjoyable, made all the better by the tremendous performers. Seeing such a fun musical comedy performance made us all beyond excited to get the Spring Show up on our own Clubhouse stage in just a few months.
The second show went even better than the first, and afterwards Hasty Pudding held an after-party for us and the attendees of the late show. When the party ended, we got a little sleep at our gracious hosts’ respective abodes before heading out bright and early the next morning.
After a delicious feast hosted at House Korn – with more Hebrew talismans of fortune, this time with a savory substance known as schmear – we embarked on the perilous journey back to Philadelphia. We traveled courageously. We were an unstoppable force of road tripping comedy. That is, until we got stopped by a terrible traffic jam for almost an hour. But our fearless bus driver pushed through this terrifying set back. Powered by his unending optimism, untamable fury, and plenty of cigarette breaks, he eventually got us out of harm’s way and back on track.
We arrived back at Penn later that night, and though we were tired, we all knew it was a successful adventure to Boston. And ringing in all of our ears were the wise words spoken by a sage Hasty Pudding cast member.
And the cow spake thus: “Moo moo moo moo moo moo.”
Thank you to Hasty Pudding for your hospitality and a terrific weekend! We look forward to continuing this relationship for years to come.