Early in the first act of I Know What You Did Last Semester, the Class of 2002’s second-year show, a heckler in the balcony shouted, “Where’s the plot?” It soon became apparent that this year’s show had none. Presented in February, the show offered a series of songs, dances, skits and videos stitched around the theme of accreditation. LCME accreditors, played by Max Laurans and Premila Bhat, wandered through scenes of the school, comparing the official view to their own observations. “This medical school is out of control!” said the accreditor played by Bhat. “There is an utter lack of discipline!”
The dazzling opening number, choreographed by Jacqueline Park, offered a wild view of life on Cedar Street, with male med students as leering Lotharios and the females as gum-chewing schoolgirls dressed in Mary Janes. The show featured appearances by Dean David A. Kessler as himself, plus cameos by Nancy R. Angoff, M.D. ’90, HS ’93, M.P.H. ’81, associate dean for student affairs, and Ruth Katz, J.D., M.P.H., associate dean for administration, also mocking themselves. Kessler mimicked himself giving a speech and, departing from the script, announced to cheers as well as boos, “This show is the best I have ever seen since coming to Yale.”
The show, produced by Scott Berkowitz and Tracey Cho, also targeted a doctor-patient encounter course conducted by Thomas Duffy, M.D., depicting it as TV’s obnoxious Jerry Springer Show. Another skit made fun of the TV quiz show Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?, with contestants answering medical exam questions and others on the order of “Which third-year student soiled his pants during the boards?” One contestant made the mistake of turning to “lifeline” Pietro De Camilli, M.D., chair of cell biology, for help in choosing between GTP and GDP. For at least three years in a row the show has poked fun at his inflection, which allegedly renders the two abbreviations indistinguishable to students.
During the second act, first-year students took the stage briefly to sing an unintelligible ode to Robert H. Gifford, M.D., HS ’67, the recently retired deputy dean for education, to the tune of a Tom Petty ballad. For a second prank, first-year students hiding in light fixtures above the ceiling dropped ping-pong balls on the stage. Second-years refused to let that pass. A quickly typed message of congratulations soon flashed on the screen behind the stage, followed by a note of surprise. “We didn’t know you had any balls.”
The show ended with the entire Class of 2002 singing “We’re on the Wards,” to the tune of “We Are the World.” “We’re on the wards,” they sang, “but we’re not doctors. We’re the ones in your hospital rooms asking dumb questions.”