01 Jun 2001

Up Side Story: HBS Show a Sold-Out Success

Re: John Lippman (MBA 2001); Frank Andrasco (MBA 2001); Jeff Gatto (MBA 2001); Margaret Lee (MBA 2001)


With its usual flair and wit, this year’s HBS Show pitted the January and September cohorts against each other — think Jets, think Sharks — in a late March production of Up Side Story. The main characters, Tony and Maria, came from different sides of the calendar, but they somehow managed to fall in love while entertaining the sold-out audience with humor, song, and dance.

Each year since 1974, a group of hardworking students has pooled its writing, acting, and production skills to stage a Broadway-style performance that takes advantage of inside jokes and the MBA knack for showbiz. This year’s show was a collaboration of more than 150 “incredibly talented directors, producers, actors, singers, dancers, band members, and crew who made the magic happen in the blink of an eye,” according to John Lippman (MBA ’01), one of the writers of the show.

This year’s coproducers, Frank Andrasco and Jeff Gatto (both MBA ’01), shared duties that included everything from heavy lifting (they lugged about 1,500 pounds of sound equipment) to working with the administration to finding sponsors. The pair handled all the logistical and business details of the show, while director Margaret Lee (MBA ’01) took care of the creative aspects, including running auditions and rehearsals.

Premier sponsors Novartis and The Boston Consulting Group helped offset the $55,000 cost of the show, as did the sales of some 2,400 tickets to students, partners, faculty, staff, friends, and alumni. “We make fun of all the stuff that makes HBS HBS,” Gatto told the Harbus. The show, he added, offers “a chance to sit back and appreciate how quickly the time flies by, and how much we’ll miss [HBS] after we leave.”


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