For 30 years, Martha Hofmeister brings Laughter, Song and Dance to SMU to benefit Minority Law Students
Four shows of “Bar None XXX: Obscenely Funny,” held last Wednesday through Saturday, June 13, completes three decades of direction by local attorney Martha Hardwick Hofmeister and her crew of dozens of talented lawyers, judges, legal assistants and law students, many of whom have the chops to be on stage full time as actors, singers and musicians.
Bar None has been directed by attorney Martha Hofmeister for 30 years. Her seven assistant directors have been with her most of those years, notably the show's choreographer, family law attorney Rhonda Hunter, who also sang in this latest production. The variety show includes their attorney friends, paralegals and a handful of judges who get their comedy on - and the result is hilarious. Many of those in the cast took drama in high school and college and chose Law as a way to feed themselves and their families. A number of cast members are now married to each-other, having met during the 30 years of production.
Profits from the show go to the Sarah T. Hughes Scholarship Fund to help minority law students attend SMU’s Dedman School of Law.
Skits each year are performed in a “Saturday Night Live” format, and the house band is made up of talented musicians who could easily sub for a Late Night talk show. Songs such as “Dancin’ Bar None Style,” to the tune of Gangnam Style replete with terrific dancers had the audience Friday night clapping and singing along.
Christina Melton Crain belted out “White Lawbit,” sung to the tune of White Rabbit as well as Grace Slick sang the original, with lyrics changed to: “One case makes you wealthy, and one case is quite small, and those legal aids referrals don’t pay anything at all, go add malice when your case is small.”
The show opened this year with a Broadway classic, from Les Miserables, “One Show More,” sung to the tune of One More Day featuring Martha Hofmeister’s husband Kent, who leads a local band called The Cat Daddys when he’s not working his day job as an attorney. His rendition of “Now and Then (there’s a witness who lies),” a riff on the Elvis Presley classic, made the audience believe Elvis is NOT dead, but was IN the house.
This year's performance included a beautiful reflective song in the middle of the show, a tribute to James “Jim” Klancnik, an attorney and beloved cast who passed away in March, and a two page color memorial in the show’s expansive program, the Daily Commercial Record. A Who’s Who of law firms is represented in the program, and the lyrics to all the songs sung – in case the words were missed while the audience was laughing too hard to hear them – are also included.
Ushers were coordinated once again by LaVone Arthur, an executive of Baylor-Scott & White, and a member of Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas, a community service club that Hofmeister is also a member of. Another long-term member of the Downtown Dallas club, Holly Roundtree, CPA, coordinates tickets sales. Most of the club's 76 female executives can be seen working in the box office, selling T-shirts and taking tickets at each show every year, to support the effort to raise scholarship funds for deserving law students.
If you hate lawyers, love lawyers, know a lawyer or just want to hear some terrific live singing and laugh until you cry, plan to attend next year's performance of Bar None. Here’s hoping there are 30 more years of shows to come!
Check out the Bar None Facebook page. For more information or to volunteer for next year's show see: http://www.barnoneshow.com/
The Altrusa Club of Downtown Dallas, Inc. meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at noon at The City Club on the 69th floor of the Bank of America building downtown. For more information see their Facebook page or website: www.altrusadtd.com. The service club supports a number of local non-profits helping women and children in crisis and promoting literacy, including: Attitudes and Attire, Kids U and Meals on Wheels. To attend a future meeting contact Monica Urbaniak at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 214-952-5174.