Harvard-Yale weekend is not about football. Well, yes, there is a big football game that we all stumble off to early Saturday morning. But there is more, oh so much more. The weekend is in part a show — we rub it in the face of our Cantab counterparts how much better our college social life life turned out. Remember that we were not too different from them in high school. And a rare few of you even considered going to Harvard (before they rejected you). But whether you find yourself on Saturday under the flag of your residential college, dressed in blue, or surrounded by drunk old men in fur coats in your crimson attire, this weekend will not be one to forget. scene goes on assignment to break down the biggest weekend in the Ivy League into digestible chunks — to help absorb the alcohol. So here goes, in plain, easy-to-read “English” for our guests.
If you’re lucky and you’re from Harvard (we’ll let that statement stand), you’ll be on a bus today on your way down to New Haven. If you’re lucky and you’re from Yale, you’ll be drunk by 2 p.m. Harvardians are scheduled to arrive after 6 p.m. scene recommends a balanced night of parties, one club visit maximum, and maybe a concert or performance — if you’re sufficiently marinated beforehand. This Friday could be the greatest night you’ll ever forget.
7:00 Rugby match — A popular way to kick off the night, the Harvard/Yale Men’s rugby match usually draws a crowd. Hop on a bus from Payne Whitney Gymnasium and walk opposite the field house when you get there. Bring your own big red cups.
7:30 p.m. Yale/Harvard Battle of the Bands — Milo, Seneca and Skin the Goat will face off against Harvard bands Second Act, Subject to Change, and Invisible Downtown. They will perform at the Off-Broadway Theater, and the cover charge is $3. It’s sponsored by the Yale College Council and Turn It Up, and they won’t mind if you drank on the bus.
7:30 p.m. The Breaks — A two-women show written by Yale professor and emotional guru Deb Margolin. Also performed at 10:00 p.m. in Nick Chapel in Trumbull College. It’s bound to be a great show, but here’s a hint: Theater will be to your night as Bacardi 151 will be to your morning.
8:00 p.m. A cappella, a cappella, a cappella. And some singing, too — The Baker’s Dozen and the New Blue will be singing with the Harvard Callbacks in Branford College. The Harvard and Yale Glee clubs will also be performing in Woolsey Hall.
8:00 p.m. Improv Comedy — Just Add Water will make up funny stuff with Harvard’s Immediate Gratification Players in the Davenport College common room at 8 p.m. The Purple Crayon and Harvard’s On Thin Ice will make people laugh in Saybrook College at the bottom of entryway I.
8:30 p.m. Still more a cappella — Shades and the Alley Cats will sing with the Harvard Din and Tonics at St. Thomas More Chapel.
9:00 p.m. In case that wasn’t enough — The Spizzwinks and Something Extra will perform with the Radcliffe Pitches in the Berkeley College common room. Mixed Company and The Duke’s Men are also singing with the Harvard/Radcliffe Opportunes in Silliman College. If your alumni parents are in town, this is the perfect place to take them. And be sure to bring your good old friends Jack D. and Jim B.
9:00 p.m. Toad’s Place party — Doors open at this time, and there’s no cover with a Harvard or Yale ID (one that says you’re 21, smart guy). It’s a private party for alumni and students with $1 drafts at the bar all night. Do alumni wear tube tops? Don’t try your fake license because they won’t let you in. You absolutely need a school ID for this shindig.
10:00 p.m. Alchemy, Brown Couch — This band, founded by recent Yale graduates and former Baker’s Dozen singers Brian Smith ’01 and Mike Himmelman ’98, will go on stage at 10 p.m. There is a $12 cover and open bar from 6 until 11 p.m., including food. Brown Couch is a mix of Dave Matthews and Lynyrd Skynyrd, with a twist of Blues Traveler — this is a guaranteed good time if you don’t mind dropping some dough at the door.
10:00 p.m. Co-op Dance Party — The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Co-op of Yale will host a dance party in La Casa Cultural on 301 Crown St. They promise the straight DJ will play gay music this time. This is a party to gather the gay people of Harvard and Yale. That’s right — there’s gay life outside Yale. No, really.
12:00 a.m. The Viola Question — The VQ will perform improv comedy in Ezra Stiles College. They will welcome you as long as you aren’t covered in your own vomit. Well, it depends how much.
Yes, you will feel like ass this morning. But let us bring you in on a little scene secret: The best cure for a hangover is more drinking. Captain Kangaroo knew it, Fat Albert knew it, and now so do you. So haul yourself and that Harvardian you don’t recognize out of your bed and get on the buses that leave every few minutes from the gym. Do like Kurt Vonnegut and make your “Breakfast of Champions” a gin and tonic. Saturday will be sunny but cold and windy. You may get splinters in your ass, but you’ll never forget it. (Hint to Harvard: Why do you think Yalies stand for the whole game?)
8:00 a.m. Tailgates — We admit, this is atrocious. But if you go early the drinks are warmer, the food is more abundant, and the crowds are manageable. But no matter how early you go, the DKE pledges will already be there pounding Popov. All of the fraternities will be out in force. Be sure to catch the combined Beta-Theta tailgate for some yummy goodness!? Sports teams and each of the colleges will also be represented — watch out for Stiles with classic Popeye’s and 40s. scene strategy: Head to the alumni tents because you can scam better food, and make sure you head over to the Harvard area at least once. The final clubs may be snooty, but they can cook and there’s free alcohol there, too. The nicest food and drink are actually among the Lexus SUVs and the Beamers in the parking lots, where the wine doesn’t come from a box, the Dubra has been exchanged for the Ketel One, and you can get cheese and bread without a hamburger.
12:30 p.m. The Game — And we’re spent.
4:30 p.m. Nap time — You’re going to be tired. If you take off your shoes and place your body on a piece of furniture, your friends won’t draw on you with a Sharpie for being a lightweight.
8:00 p.m. The party winds down — Only the bold and shameless (read: alcoholics) will be out in full force Saturday night. We suggest tracking down your Harvard honey from the previous night for seconds.