After three nights of risqué comedy and envelope-pushing musical numbers, the 37th annual Keenan Revue came to a successful close, director Brian Bettonville said. “We’ve received entirely positive feedback so far,” he said. “We love that people loved [the Revue,] and we’re happy to provide that for them.” Producer Raymo Gallagher said “The Revue Strikes Back” was a consistent success throughout all three shows. “All the staff and actors are very proud of the show they put on all three nights because it was a great product,” he said. “We could tell by reactions throughout the show that people were enjoying it, and we got positive reviews from students and even some parents in the audience.” Though the two-hour Revue included parodies of pop culture and skits focused on the quirks and traditions of Notre Dame, but Bettonville said a few acts stood out to audience members. “The performers of the final song, ‘December 1963,’ did a phenomenal job every single night,” Bettonville said. “A short called ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ also got a good crowd response.” Junior Mike Butler said the “SAOPA” skit, which put a unique Notre Dame twist on the recent Internet censorship debate, was the highlight of his first Revue experience. “My favorite skit was the censorship one for sure,” he said. “I thought it was really cool how they incorporated all the stuff that happened to [the Revue] last year and just bounced back and used it all to make the show even better.” While last year’s Revue was altered throughout the weekend in response to criticism about its coarse humor, Bettonville said this year’s Revue remained relatively constant throughout the weekend. “One skit was cut, and there were many more tweaks than full changes,” he said. “All these decisions are left up to us, so nothing was explicitly cut and we made alterations ourselves with suggestions.” Junior Dallas Bunsa said issues with last year’s Revue didn’t affect his expectations for his first time attending the Revue this year. “I heard some people complaining about the lack of original material in the Revue, but for me, everything was new,” he said. “I was pretty impressed with all of the choreography throughout the show.” Though the Revue is sometimes cited as an outlet for taking campus stereotypes too far, Bunsa said he thinks the show’s jabs at different groups were all in good fun. “A night full of poking fun at just about every different group of people … is great,” Bunsa said. “I think it’s important to be able to laugh at yourself or have fun poked at you.” Senior Lauren Metayer said she enjoyed the Revue overall, even if some of the humor “seemed forced.” “I thought the Revue was pretty good, and the Pokemon skit in particular was really witty and creative,” Metayer said. “Some of the jokes about Saint Mary’s girls seemed forced and predictable at times, but I may just have a soft spot for Saint Mary’s since I transferred from there to Notre Dame.” With another year of the Revue under their belts, seniors Gallagher and Bettonville are optimistic about the future of the campus tradition. “I think this year sets it up to be a good Revue next year, and I don’t foresee any issues that would prevent them from putting on a show next year,” Gallagher said. “A lot of actors and guys on staff are coming back next year, and they know what it’s about, so it should be good.” Looking forward to next year, Bettonville did not give specifics, but guaranteed the event will aim to please. “We haven’t picked our successors yet, but the Keenan Revue will always move forward,” Bettonville said.
Is Roanoke the Second City of East Coast mountain towns? Maybe.Does Roanoke care? Probably not.Sure, being called the Chicago of outdoor towns might be considered some serious southern shade, but for residents of the Star City, it’s darn-near a compliment.Like Wrangler jeans, Roanoke offers a solid itinerary of outdoor goodness, without the coolness tax, which can sting visitors to a town further south.Photo: Main Street Hub / Karin SmithThe new popularity of the Star City of the South (as Roanoke is called because of its iconic mountain ornament), inspired Diane Hailey to open the city’s 4th true bed & breakfast establishment. In Summer 2018, she cut the Grand Opening ribbon on her own inn to welcome tourists and guests to her adopted hometown. “I really strived to create the best Roanoke lodging option for outdoor adventure travelers,” says Hailey. Born in Waynesboro, Hailey is no stranger to the Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Parkway. “I’ve lived almost my entire life within 30 minutes of either the AT or the Parkway,” she says. “The Blue Ridge Mountains are my family,” she continues.Photo: Main Street Hub / Karin SmithFerrum College brought her to the southern point of the Shenandoah Valley, and she never returned to Augusta County. Instead, life brought her to Roanoke and she quickly jumped in to help Roanoke’s Historic Old Southwest neighborhood wash its face. In 2012, she bought her first neglected home in Old Southwest. “Compared to Charlottesville or Asheville, I purchased the Downtown Duplex for a song. I spent two years learning how to do a lot of the work myself and turned the duplex back into a beautiful single family home, “ Hailey explains. Hailey is quick to admit that she is a rehabilitator and not a preservationist. “I put my own stamp on my projects,” she explains. “My goal with a house is not to take it back to its original state, but to create a unique space for modern and energy-efficient living,” she explains.Photo: Main Street Hub / Karin SmithFor Roanoke Boutique Hotel, Hailey purchased a 3,500 sq. ft home in the same historic neighborhood, and even closer to Downtown. “The house was in horrible condition and had been boarded up and ignored for five years,” says Hailey. Once she took ownership, she gutted the c.a. 1890 structure to its studs and structural brick. After 3 months of careful demolition to expose the brick and rustic charm, the home was redesigned with hikers and mountain bikers in mind. Complete with king size beds, outdoor showering facilities, locked indoor bike storage, wide walkways, and a huge kitchen, Roanoke Boutique Hotel is an oasis for outdoor enthusiasts anxious to find lodging that doesn’t turn away the tired, sore and dirty. “I’m an avid hiker and an Appalachian Trail maintainer (Hailey co-maintains a 6-mile section on Sinking Creek Mountain in Craig County); therefore, I’m well aware of how dirty hikers can get, so I created an inn that embraces dirty gear,” she explains.Photo: Main Street Hub / Karin SmithWith easy access to the AT, Blue Ridge Parkway and Carvin’s Cove mountain biking, Roanoke has a lot to offer outdoor enthusiasts who are looking for value vs. brand name. And the innkeeper at Roanoke Boutique Hotel is more than willing to help plan a guest’s outdoor adventures. “My favorite part of running the inn is helping guests pick their hikes and plan their adventures,” says Hailey. “I make sure visitors maximize their days while they’re in town, and not waste time looking for the best fit for restaurants, breweries, and trails.” “Not everyone can hike the Triple Crown, so I size up their abilities and put them on a trail that won’t ruin their trip.” “If you hike a strenuous trail the first day and have to lay in bed for 3 days after to recuperate, you’ve taken away from the whole experience. I make sure the hike matches the hiker. “Photo: Main Street Hub / Karin SmithAnd Hailey is no stranger to strenuous hikes. In 2016, she and a friend completed the Triple Crown in one day. When a Roanoke Times reporter posted photos of the epic hike while the women were still on trail, the story quickly went viral and the two had a following of several hundred hikers before they made it from Dragon’s Tooth to Tinker Cliffs. The story quickly became one of the most-clicked photo galleries of that year, and remains a vivid memory for Hailey.“I knew that day I wanted to make a living helping people get outdoors.”