This year’s non-stop rollick brings the total of dollars rounded up for legal charities to $1.4M, raised by musically gifted attorneys and judges who collaborate for Night Court, the annual tongue-in-cheek look at the inner workings of the law in Harris County.
This year’s show, The Law of the Jungle II, features the Cirque du Soleil style acrobatics by attorney Darryl Scott (Simba) and choreographer Marty Lundstrum, (Nala) whose voice in one of the leading roles is truly outstanding. The two twirl down a swath of silk that looks as though it came from the O Theater at The Bellagio. The music of Queen, Guns ‘n Roses and twists on favorites from the Lion King, including Res Judicata, to the tune of Hakuna Matata and The Circle of Law, with a wink to Elton John and Tim Rice’s masterpiece, the Circle of Love made for a fun, lively evening. Attorney Debra Baker, Managing Partner at Baker Wotring, writes most of the lyrics with her friend, director Judy Frow, who lives in Oak Forest.
The clever costume designs by the Hon. Tracy Christopher, Justice of the Fourteenth Court of Appeals, Tony Ugueto, Frow, attorney/mediator Janiece Horn and Sharron Wall complement the set design is by Keven Shaw . Constant action is not restricted to the stage, but delights the audience from the balconies and in the aisles of Zilkha Hall.
Executive Producer Brandon Barchus, an attorney and heads PropertyTaxes. law plays Baloo the Bear. Also exceptional in the cast is Tara Taheri, an attorney who plays Cheetah and also sings with The Story Houston and serves on the editorial board of the Houston Bar Association. Taheri studied music at the University of Houston prior to earning her J.D. at South Texas College of Law and practices with the Marshall Taheri Law Group. Notable from the onstage band are John Yow (French horn), Gene Smith (rhythm guitar), Paul Tierce (Bass), Les Fox (Drums), Martin Kastenbaum (Violin) and Susan Kuether (Cello).
Night Court has been a stalwart in musical comedy in Texas for almost 30 years, working to raise the bar of excellence and fundraising to benefit the community through this show. Each performance was introduced by a civic or legal leader like David Mincberg, Chairman of Houston First and CEO of Flagship Properties, or Randy Sorrels, President of the State Bar of Texas , Managing Partner at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz. Past stars like the Hon. Bonnie Hellums returned over the weekend to cheer on their colleagues. Proceeds from ticket sales go to support Child Advocates, Lone Star Legal Aid, Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, the Houston Area Women’s Center, the Beacon, the South Texas College of Law Houston Randall O. Sorrels Legal Clinics and The Family Intervention-Infant Toddler Court.
This year’s sponsors include Hogan Lovells, McGriff, Seibels & Williams, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, BakerHostetler, Risk Settlements, Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc., Common Source, LLC, Houston First Corporation, Bracewell LLP, Les Fox, RBC Wealth Management, the Hadi Law Firm, Jones Walker L.L.P., South Texas College of Law Houston, The Heard Institute and Limitless MedSpa, Fred & Mabel R. Parks Foundation, McFarlane Mediations, The Phillips 66 Legal Department, Tindall England, PC, and Why I Love Houston Properties. Paul Shanklin, who plays Pumbaa, sponsored in honor of his mother, Hazel Ruth Shanklin. More information may be found at www.nightcourt.org.