If you go:

WHAT The Delaware State Bar Association presents “Moby Dick — A Maritime Musical”

WHEN 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15

WHERE Schwartz Center for the Arts, 226 S. State St., Dover


MORE INFO Call 658-5279


Delaware’s legal professionals are taking a break from case law and concentrating on memorizing lines and dance steps for “Moby Dick — A Maritime Musical.” The spoof of the seaworthy classic hits the boards at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, at the Schwartz Center for the Arts.

Superior Court Judge Robert B. Young is the mastermind behind the musical. The effort was nothing new to him as he’s already turned a historical trial plus “MacBeth” and “A Tale of Two Cities” into laugh-inducing productions. Young started writing when he started practicing law in Dayton, Ohio. The bar association had done a political musical production for a few years, and he asked to add a song. Talent was hard to come by for that show, Young said.

“They were loaded with confidence and little else,” he said.

Not so when he came to Delaware and wrote a comedic work for the 300th anniversary of the court. That’s when he met Jim McGiffin, his go-to guy for numbers like one on the criminal code set to “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General.” McGiffin and other talented legal professionals have participated in Young’s other productions, and will join him again in “Moby Dick.”

There are stringent criteria to finding the right material, Young said.

“First, it has to be a major tragedy. Second, it has to be one that everybody was supposed to read, everybody thinks they read, but nobody actually read,” he said.

Still, it’s not natural to set the Melville classic to re-worked tunes by the Beach Boys, Ray Charles,
Gilbert and Sullivan, Irving Berlin, and even a couple of original songs. It is funny, though, especially with legal professionals tackling the 23 musical numbers and dances.

“The group, it’s not just all ham and eggers, there’s some people who do OK,” Young said.
And then there are some who are struggling with kick-ball-changes and hitting high notes. It’ll make for an entertaining fundraiser for the Combined Campaign for Justice, a campaign that provides funds to civil legal services for low-income people.

“It’s at a time when money is hard to come by, and those services are not for criminal cases, they’re for protection for abuse, and housing. They’re really critical services,” Young said.

The show also will play at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, Friday, Nov. 13, and Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Wilmington Drama League.