Lawyers let their guard down during The Annual Gridiron ShowWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
By Sanya Ali, Toledo Free Press Staff Writer
Attorneys will showcase their sillier sides during the 81st Annual Gridiron Show, a talent and variety show put on by the Toledo Junior Bar Association.
The show pokes fun at national and local current events and includes skits, songs and dance numbers. Tickets are on sale for any interested in attending, though photography and videography are prohibited. The event and content of the skits are off-limits to the working press.
This year’s event will take place in the Valentine Theater on May 21. The Junior Bar advertised the show mainly through social media.
Sarah Skow, one of the co-presidents of the Junior Bar, has been participating in the show for the past seven years.
Skow, a defense attorney, said she believes lawyers in this city have a special relationship and understanding of law based on their participation in the show each year.
“It is, I think, one of the primary vehicles about why we refer to the ‘Toledo way’ of practicing law,” Skow said. “It inspires camaraderie and develops relationships between colleagues.”
Skow learned about the event from her father, the late Judge William Skow, as well as colleagues in the legal field. Her father, a former attorney, participated in the event when she was a child.
Robert Tucker, an associate attorney at Robison, Curphey & O’Connell LLC, first participated in the event in 2010. He has since taken on multiple roles, including actor, singer, dancer and writer, sometimes more than one at a time.
Tucker said even though he is not interested in theater, he has always enjoyed participating in the Gridiron Show alongside other the other lawyers.
“A lot of people in the legal community talk about how Toledo is a good place to practice law,” Tucker said. “A good reason why it is the way it is is because young people get to know each other in the Gridiron Show.”
The show constantly evolves to fit new generations’ ideas of comedy. The performers hope to emulate popular comedy variety shows, while adding a Toledo twist.
“It has always been a satirical review of sorts,” Skow said. “I think, in our best moments, we strive to be like the ‘Capitol Steps’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’ in some of our materials. It has evolved over the course of 81 years from various venues and also to the cast members are changing.”
One member of the cast has been onboard for over four decades, a record for the show. Skow said this proves that the show is the perfect outlet for both “ the young and young at heart attorneys.”
Gridiron provides what Tucker called a “non-adversarial” environment in which friendships can be formed outside of the traditional courtroom setting. The show has given Tucker and the other lawyers involved a creative outlet and a forum for socialization.
“I also think its really funny and a lot of fun to do,” Tucker said. “I’ve made a lot of good friends and done a lot of things I would not have done.”
Skow agreed that the bonds built with fellow lawyers leading up to the show are unrivaled in the legal field.
“I chose to participate because it really is a great way to meet other attorneys in town and to put on these performances,” Skow said.
The law firm of Connelly, Jackson, & Collier will host a pre-show party for the cast and crew before the show and hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served in the lobby of Valentine Theater prior to opening.
Tucker said though time has run out to participate in this year’s production, the Junior Bar is looking for patrons to fill the seats and laugh along with the performers.
Skow said she hopes the audience laughs along during some or all of the show, as she and the other performers have been working tirelessly and had fun putting it together.
“I understand that other bar associations had something like Gridiron, but they stopped some decades ago,” Skow said. “We’ve been able to continue it here because of the camaraderie it builds.”
Skow also said she hopes the true personal natures of Toledo’s lawyers comes across well through the show.
“It’s about building a sense of community to the young lawyers and Toledo Bar Association and I think that’s why we all do it,” Skow said. “It’s a fun way to show what our legal community has, and that’s a lot of good quality people.”
For tickets, contact Josh Peterson at email@example.com.
Tags: "Toledo Way", & Collier, 81st Annual Gridiron Show, attorneys, Connelly, Curphey & O’Connell LLC, dances, Jackson, lawyers, Photography, Robert Tucker, Robison, Sarah Skow, Saturday Night Live, skits, songs, Toledo Junior Bar Association, Valentine Theater, videography, ‘Capitol Steps’