Who would have thunk it?
That a packed house at the opening night show of Broadway stars Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin would devolve into a KU Schmaltz Fest.
That’s right, schmaltz fest.
"Mandy went to KU," explains promoter Mark Edelman. "So in the middle of the show he started talking about KU and everybody in the audience started yelling that he should do the cheer, so he started doing the KU cheer."
As in the famous Rock Chalk Chant that evolved from a cheer former KU chemistry professor, E.H.S. Bailey created for the KU Science Club in 1886. An incantation that former president Teddy Roosevelt reportedly called the greatest college chant he’d ever heard.
You know the drill; "Rock Chalk…Jay-Hawk…KU"
"So he did that on stage and then Patti said, ‘Isn’t there anymore?’ And he said, ‘No.’ So she said, ‘Do it again.’ And the whole crowd did it with him. It was funny."
Think of it as a christening of sorts.
"If they were there, they didn’t say anything," Edelman says. "Of course I did it too since I got a master’s degree from KU – I’m a Jayhawk – it took me seven years, but I got the degree."
The show, which features performances of the great Broadway showtunes by two of Broadway’s biggest stars, continues tonight and Sunday.