Felipe Cerón (MBA ’22) reports on HBS most expected comeback.
Oh, we’ve missed live performances.
As I write this piece the show hasn’t happened yet, but if you were lucky enough to get tickets (and I mean it, four 200+ people shows sold out in one day, and the team had to squeeze in another performance) you’ve already seen it. Given what I know about the show, I would gamble it was a success, and I am of course unbiased.
The show prep starts before the semester. Writers scramble to come up with witty satire expressed through classic songs that we all love. This is the essence of the show.
With the foundational material at hand, vocal coaching, weekly rehearsals, stage managing and costumes are all part of what the 60+ people that form this community do to prepare. There are singers, actors, band members, directors, coaches, marketing and even finance people. All get together to accomplish one specific goal: making a comedy out of our HBS experience and then showing it to everyone. What’s an educational experience if you can’t make fun of it?
Of course this experience is a live performance in normal years, but given the pandemic, it’s been streamed for the past couple of times. This will be the first live HBS Show in years!
I talked to a couple show members to get their take on what the experience has been for them. First off Travis Britain (MBA ’21) who is a show director.
Why be a director?
What I love about HBS Cabaret and HBS Show Club is how it brings together the creative community at HBS—there aren’t many places where you can get a group of future CEO-types to all sing show tunes together. If I can help build that community while musically roasting HBS then it’s time well spent.
What is the show about?
Cabaret is a quirky one. It’s not like the HBS Show in the spring, which has one central plot line all the way through. Cabaret is more of a collection of musical parodies of HBS, like “Waving Through a (Zoom) Window,” “Welcome to the SPAC Parade,” and “Quarantine Queen.” Bangers only.
What have been the biggest challenges?
Trying to revive the live performance tradition post-Covid-19 has been an adventure. Just finding a venue still in business was much harder than expected. Good thing we had a case on turnarounds in LEAD so we’re basically experts.
What gets you excited about the show?
Just imagine what this thing is going to look like on show day—groups of students around tables cheering for sectionmates on stage dancing, singing, and playing live music, all in costume, all poking fun at HBS. It’s gonna be a blast!
I also talked to Yoshita Agrawal (MBA ’23), a cast member.
How has your experience been in the HBS Show?
A sense of community of people who are excited about similar things as me. I feel a little more belonging when practicing dance with my team than I do anywhere else.
Also, there is a sense of pride in me that I am addressing the creative part of me and finding time to do it. The scheduling and accountability helps because there are people who act if I show up. And they are very understanding of everyone’s busy schedules. So, I can ask freely what I need.
All this leads to a tangible outcome, a performance. In which I might show the broader HBS world who I am. Or show a part of me to the world.
Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy the show.
Felipe Cerón (MBA ’22) is a Chilean who worked in consulting and retail. He is a musician, and he is an avid fan of films. Getting in the ring, laughing over a beer and reading inspiring books are among his favorite pastimes. He thinks Pisco is the best beverage ever created.