The substance of each year’s Parody is TOP-SECRET right up until opening night of the show. However, to give you a sense of what the HLS Parody, as an institution, is all about, here’s a trip through the last three decades of Parody productions:
The HLS Drama Society inaugurated the 1980’s with a memorable production of Supraman—The Parody, in which the superhero came to the Law School in order to stamp out evil and win the heart of Lois Lein. The following year, the Drama Society decided to take a different direction, and produced a series of original productions instead of Parodies. Contempt of Courtship (1981) followed one student’s misadventures in love at the Law School, and Summery Proceedings (1982) dealt with Harvard’s brilliant idea to start a summer camp for pre-L’s.
The Parody returned in fine form in 1983 with North by North Middle, in which HLS was overrun with Hitchcocknian spies in crop-dusting planes. 1984: A Romantic Musical Comedy (1984) did the seemingly impossible by mixing Orwell, romance, and showtunes. Starry Decisis (1985) followed the exploits of three aliens who appeared in Harvard Square and wrought havoc on the Law School.
The Drama Society began the 90’s with a trip to Oz in The Crimson Slippers, or There’s No Place Like Holmes (1990). West Law Story (1991) and The Malfeased Falcon (1992) followed, furthering the trend of increasingly professional productions. The Phantom of the Law School (1993), My Fair J.D. (1994), and The Cocky Lawyer Picture Show (1995) rounded out the early 90’s with shows of theretofore unparalleled complexity. Raiders of the Lost Hark (1996), a multi-media extravaganza, followed. Backbench to the Future (1997) moved to a local elementary school during Pound”s renovation, but Reasonable Men in Black (1998) returned to Ropes-Gray.
The Surreal World (1999) lampooned reality shows, I Know What You Made Last Summer (2000) returned to the horror theme, and the 2001 technologically ambitious spy thriller License to Bill featured four would-be heroes and a nefarious villain. Hearsay Anything (2002) told the love story of Harry Hart and Sally Sole, and in 2003, Lord of the Briefs (2003) featured a Forrest Gump-inspired lead character triumphantly winning the Ames “Best Brief” prize over a Gollum-like character doomed from the start. H-Men(2004) told the story of six super-powered students and their quest to save the law school from attack.
With Finding Nemo Contributorily Negligent (2005), Parody returned to the variety show format of earlier shows, but returned to a more plot-driven story in Lawst (2006) which tells of a group of shipwrecked students who must recreate both society, and of course law school, after being stranded on a deserted island. The mystery thriller, The Da Vinci Model Penal Code (2007) followed, and in 2008 The Parody followed the adventures of the boy wizard with a spectacular production in Harry Issue Spotter, and the Goblet of Breyer. The Hark Knight (2009) continued this success by following Batman as he tries to stop the law school from falling into chaos as Dean Kagan ruthlessly aims for a spot on the Supreme Court. Students took the financial crisis into their own hands in Ocean’s Replevin (2010) by plotting to steal Harvard’s endowment. Vampires and werewolves clashed over control of Harvard in Twilitem: De Novo Moon (2011), almost allowing all outline banks to be regulated into oblivion.