Delaware lawyers to run wild in ‘Public Enemy’ musical

Attorney David Bever, from Felton, is surrounded by flappers, from left, Lindsay Orr, Karine Sarkisian, Valerie Dunkle and Jeanne Cahill. The Delaware State Bar Assocation Musical Players will perform “The Public Enemy” Sunday at Central Middle School.
on Sunday in “The Public Enemy.” (Submitted photo/Janine Salomone)

DOVER — Contrary to popular perception, even lawyers like to get the chance to loosen up and let their hair down a little.

That’s especially true when it comes to the state’s group of legal performers known as Profundo Bono – or the Delaware State Bar Association Musical Players – who will bring their original take on the gangster epic “The Public Enemy” to stages in Delaware this weekend.

Members of the state’s legal community will perform “The Public Enemy: Runnin’ Wild!,” a musical revue in support of the Combined Campaign for Justice at 7 tonight and Saturday night at the Tatnall Theater in Wilmington and will perform Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Central Middle School Auditorium in Dover.

Felton’s David J. Bever, an attorney for the Dover-based law firm of Barros, McNamara, Malkiewicz and Taylor, is excited that he is one of the performers in the production.

“It’s an absolute blast,” Mr. Bever said. “The entire cast is close and rehearsals are a great time to hang out with friends and do something completely different than the day-to-day work of an attorney. If it wasn’t fun, we wouldn’t do it.

“We’re always trying to see who can have the most fun, do the silliest thing or come up with the best new idea. We hope that the audience sees that and enjoys it as much as we do.”

Tickets to the high-spirited revue are $25, available at the door and at www.dsba.org/profundo-bono-musical/ and all proceeds will go to the umbrella organization that supports three nonprofit legal organizations that assist low-income Delawareans.

Mr. Bever said that for members of the state’s legal community to get together for something like a charitable musical helps show they are normal people, too.

“Absolutely, it’s an opportunity for attorneys to work together, both for the shared cause of raising money to provide legal services to those who otherwise would not be able to afford an attorney,” he said. “I think that it shows that attorneys are just normal people as well. We enjoy stage productions, singing and telling jokes just like everyone else.”

The unique event started in 2004 and takes place every two years.

It’s produced by the Delaware State Bar Association, which says it owes much to the comedic talents of former Superior Court Judge Robert Young, who has penned each of the reviews since the show started.

Past shows have been loosely based on such classics as: “Macbeth,” “A Tale of Two Cities,” “Moby Dick,” “An American Tragedy,” “Madame Bovary” and “The Crucible.”

The script sticks faithfully to the title and the primary characters and may even include a few well-known lines or scenes from the 1931 James Cagney film, but after that the group says “no intellectual property attorney will ever have to worry about threats of infringement.”

The shows include 15 to 20 songs along with several dances, a live band and a rousing ending.

Mr. Bever said he has been performing with the group for the past eight years. This will be the eighth show he has been in.

He said what he enjoys the most about the shows is the freedom the performers get to take.

“‘The Public Enemy’ is set approximately before the passing of prohibition and it’s about the interaction of gangsters, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, bartenders and flappers of the era,” Mr. Bever said.

“That’s not what the show is really about though. It’s about using the period to make jokes, sing songs and make the audience and the cast have an immensely enjoyable time.”

Mr. Bever said he started singing in a choir when he was about 8 years old and enjoys getting the rare opportunity to perform in front of people.

Naturally, he is especially looking forward to Sunday’s matinee performance in Dover.

“Dover is always a highlight for me,” said Mr. Bever. “Most of my family and friends come to the Dover show, although a few come to Wilmington as well.

“Other attorneys from around town come to see the show as well as my co-workers, my friends and family and anyone else who catches my enthusiasm for the show.”

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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