Friday, May 27, 2011

Terri Mascherin (left) is shown with Christmas Spirits cast
members Joseph Stone, Sonja Johnson, Corey Berman,
Mary McNichol and Julian Frazin.
 Each December for each of the past 87 years, the talented writers, performers and directors of the Chicago Bar Association’s Christmas Spirits show have entertained audiences in Chicago with their music and wit. The show is a wonderful vehicle for lawyers to laugh at ourselves, and at those in the judicial, political and business communities with whom we deal every day. Over the years the show has raised the ire of the judiciary, prompted a ringing defense of the importance of free speech from the Chicago Tribune and made many, many audiences laugh.

Today, the Chicago Bar Association Board of Managers adopted a Resolution saluting the members, past and present, of the Christmas Spirits show. The Resolution comes at a time when three key members of the show who have led productions for the past several years pass the microphone to new leaders and prepare to take their seats in the audience (or so they say). Special kudos go to Sonja Johnson, Corey Berman and Mary McNichols upon their retirement from Christmas Spirits. The text of the Board Resolution follows.
This Resolution honors the past and present members of The Chicago Bar Association’s Annual "Christmas Spirits" show, and memorializes the Board of Managers’ heartfelt appreciation to these extraordinary men and women who have entertained us, and have provided us with so much laughter and so many fond memories for eighty seven years (and counting):

WHEREAS, the annual production of the "Christmas Spirits" Bar Show is a cornerstone of holiday entertainment for Chicago Bar Association members and their clients, families and guests;
WHEREAS, "Christmas Spirits" was organized in 1924 by John D. Black, the first Chairman of The Chicago Bar Association's Entertainment Committee, along with Entertainment Committee members, Russell Whitman, Edwin C. Austin, Homer H. Cooper and Richard Bentley;WHEREAS, Using their keen wit and freewheeling sense of humor, the founding members of the Chicago Bar Association's Entertainment Committee charted an ageless course for this "rollicking, impudent and uninhibitively perceptive annual frolic known as Christmas Spirits";
WHEREAS, Since its debut performance in 1924, the curtain has continuously opened on a brand new "Christmas Spirits" production every year for 87 consecutive years;

WHEREAS, on December 7-11, 2010, the 87th Annual Performance of "Christmas Spirits" was presented by a cast of 58, including choreographers, directed by Mary McNichols, lyrics and book by Art Garwin and Julian Frazin, and a Writers Committee consisting of John Corkery, Clifford Berman, Sonja Johnson (who also served as Business and Road Show Manager for many years), David Miller, Joseph Stone, Richard Vittenson, and accompanist Corey Berman;

WHEREAS, "Christmas Spirits" has withstood and weathered the harshness of critics for its impertinent and satirical assaults on important local, national and international figures - - - In 1930 George Packard prophetically wrote:

"Bootleg liquor and Christmas Spirits grow deadlier every year, but the stouter they are the better their patrons seem to enjoy them…The perpetuation of Christmas Spirits as a yearly event seems assured.";

WHEREAS, President Frank Greenberg wrote following considerable criticism of a number performed by John Tucker in the 1969 Christmas Spirits show:
"The show is either worth keeping as a free expression by the Entertainment Committee without censorship by the Board of Managers, or it is not worth keeping at all. We have seen the risks. But it seems to me that you either take the risk of the kind of reaction we have just had or you take an even less acceptable risk of reducing the show to a level of cautious banality, guaranteed to offend nobody and to interest few.";
WHEREAS, in 1929 George Swain, who was described as "an inveterate lyricist," penned the show’s most famous and enduring song "The Junior Partners," which has been performed annually by the cast at every Christmas Spirits show since 1929;
WHEREAS, year after year, the "Christmas Spirits" cast delivers a finely tuned, professional quality performance, with cleverly crafted lyrics poking fun at the legal profession, government at every level, and the sports and entertainment industries, while at the same time reminding us that the "Junior Partners" are the aces who win the cases, and are the ones who bring in all the fees;
WHEREAS, The Chicago Bar Association is fortunate to have had, and have, within its own ranks the most creative, talented, and dedicated members of a professional association of lawyers anywhere in the world.

I, the undersigned, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and complete copy of a Resolution adopted at a meeting of the Board of Managers of The Chicago Bar Association duly called and held at the quarters of the Association, 321 South Plymouth Court, Chicago, Illinois, on the 26th day of May, 2011, a quorum being present, and said Resolution is now in full force and effect.
Dated: May 26, 2011
Terri L. Mascherin
The Chicago Bar Association

Our special thanks also to all the Chairs of the Entertainment Committee (listed below) for their outstanding leadership.
1924 John D. Black
1925 Edwin C. Austin
1926 Edwin C. Austin
1927 Edwin C. Austin
1928 Ernest Palmer
1929 Franklin E. Vaughan
1930 George W. Swain
1931 Holman D. Pettibone
1932 Henry G. Miller
1933 John R. Heath
1934 Don Kenneth Jones
1935 Ralph D. Shanesy
1936 Ralph D. Shanesy
1937 Warren D. Buckley
1938 Warren D. Buckley
1939 Cranston Spray
1940 Chester R. Davis
1941 Thomas R. Mulroy
1942 L. Duncan Lloyd
1943 L. Duncan Lloyd
1944 Pressly L. Stevenson
1945 Thomas J. Underwood
1946 John Jones Sharon
1947 Charles R. Sprowl
1948 Allen D. Holloway
1949 Edwin R. Eckersall
1950 William H. Murphy
1951 Norman B. Eaton
1952 Gene C. Davis
1953 Russel M. Baird
1954 Arlindo S. Cate
1955 Vernon A. Peterson
1956 Robt. W. MacDonald
1957 Edward Hershenson
1958 Robt. F. Gudmundsen
1959 Farrington B. Kinne
1960 Robert F. Hanley
1961 Melvin C. Holmes
1962 Richard G. Kahn
1963 Fred Lane
1964 Gilbert H. Hennessy, Jr.
1965 Charles H. Scholfield
1966 Robert Jay Nye
1967 John H. McDermott
1968 Graham E. Heniken
1969 Royce Glenn Rowe
1970 Joseph L. Stone
1971 Phillip M. Citrin
1972 James R. Dowdall
1973 Julian J. Frazin
1974 E. Leonard Rubin
1975 J. Timothy Ritchie
1976 Joseph Winslow Baer
1977 Leonard Kravets
1978 Howard I. Wittenberg
1979 Dean M. Trafelet
1980 John E. Corkery
1981 Geoffrey A. Anderson
1982 Charles N. Goodnow
1983 Nathan G. Brenner, Jr.
1984 Chloe Arlan
1985 Stanley Zimmerman
1986 Frank T. Steponate
1987 Frederic S. Lane
1988 Gary S. Saipe
1989 Amy T. Dickinson
1990 Evan B. Karnes, II
1991 Chester R. Davis
1992 Mary J. McNichols
1993 Brian R. Gilomen
1994 Jeffrey M. Marks
1995 Sonja R. Johnson
1996 Allen S. Gabe
1997 Arthur H. Garwin
1998 Nandia P. Black
1999 Robert Canel
2000 Clifford Berman
2001 Corey Berman
2002 Loretto Kennedy
2003 Edith Schiller
2004 Richard L. Nagle
2005 Daniel Teinowitz
2006 Keri-Lyn Krafthefer
2007 Diana Vargo-Lewandowski
2008 Larry H. Aaronson
2009 Kathryn A. Kelly

2010 Richard J. Vittenson

Terry Mascherin (left) is pictured with cast members of Christmas

Spirits: Joseph Stone,Sonja Johnson, Corey Berman, Mary

McNichols and Julian Frazin.

that the Chicago Bar Association’s Board of Managers hereby recognizes, and proudly supports, the extraordinary contributions of past and present cast members who have written and performed "Christmas Spirits" through the ages, making it a wonderful holiday entertainment tradition that continues to make us laugh and smile at ourselves and our world. The Board of Managers extends its profound thanks, gratitude, and appreciation to the supremely talented men and women of the legal profession who make "Christmas Spirits" possible. They're each and every one of them a credit to the Bar.