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Spider People

Tonight and next weekend at Peabody Auditorium

By Esther Dyson

NO MATTER WHAT you do, pretty girls will always be more enticing than dressed-up Hasty Puddings. Curtis E. Von Kann, director of this year's Law School Show, has put together a fast-paced farce out of a solid book and a huge but wonderful cast. The Spider People, a saga of law students in "the seamless web" of the law, is intelligible to people who know nothing about law, but stays very close to home--at Harvard Law School.

Larry Thrunch (played by David Sonenberg, who studied acting in London before coming here) makes a delightful hero as he begins to regret selling his soul to the Spirit of Law (Ed Overtree, a Princeton Triangle alumnus) in order to be "Number One" and catch the affections of Mary Wealth (Gretchen Hackbarth, a B.U. drama major). Sonenberg and Overtree make a slick, professional pair as they battle competing students and then each other. Like the rest of the cast, they can sing, although everyone at times has difficulty being heard.

Except for a tuneless bomb ("Hell No!) and two slow love songs that haven't a funny line in them, the songs are lively and clever, but spoiled by extremely unimaginative choreography. One step to the right, kick, one step to the left, kick, one step to the back, kick ... gets dull. However, "The Comic Strip", was evidently choreographed by Bryna Rifkind (as Joy Juice), a Lesley junior who has been in two previous Law School shows and has her bumps and grinds down pat.

The characters compensate for the choreography by their obvious delight in what they are doing, particularly Adam Yarmolinsky and Abram J. Chayes, the law school professors, playing two janitors in "Trash Is Our Bag". Yarmolinsky shuffles his broom with a coy smile as he explains about the mess in Chayes' office and all the mimeographed sheets students print that he has to sweep up.

The show covers and destroys a good number of modern-age foibles, but you are apt to find the law student next to you laughing in the strangest places.

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