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Another second-year show: Utterly forgettable, and well worth remembering

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2002 - Spring


Behind every great fortune, the saying goes, lies a great crime. The same could be said of the second-year show. Always committed with the best of intentions, the foul deed exists largely to drive the plot forward and send second-year students singing and dancing to a finale of forgiveness. In recent years the crimes have included the theft of the Cushing brain collection and the cloning of Robert H. Gifford, M.D., HS ’67, the former deputy dean for education. The crime in O Doctor, Where Art Thou?, the revue presented by the Class of 2004 in February, was the kidnapping of Dean David A. Kessler, M.D. It fell to the second-years to find and rescue the dean since, as the script would have it, fourth-years were on the wards, first-years were busy with their studies and third-years just wouldn’t show up.

The second-years raced through the medical school in search of Kessler, displaying a preoccupation with strange diseases, first-year students, sex, digital rectal exams, third-year students, anatomy professors, fourth-year students and bodily functions.

One of the show’s leading targets this year was Nancy R. Angoff, M.P.H. ’81, M.D. ’90, HS ’93, associate dean for student affairs. In a devastating impersonation, Michael Shapiro donned a salt-and-pepper wig plus Angoff’s trademark calf-length skirt, boot and sweater combination, as he portrayed her announcing the dean’s kidnapping to shocked students.

Angoff herself then appeared from the wings angrily demanding, “Who the hell are you?” By the end of the scene, Angoff and Shapiro were singing a duet of “Bosom Buddies.”

“You know I’ll always be there for you if you ever have a problem,” sang Angoff.

“Yeah, if I plan my problem three months in advance. Louise said you’re booked until May,” answered Shapiro.

No show would be complete without a dig at the dean and his past as a thorn in the side of the tobacco industry. With the dean missing, an impostor takes his place, but gives himself away by remembering people’s names and, yes, smoking cigarettes. By show’s end the kidnapper is revealed to be Peggy Bia, M.D., professor of medicine. Her motive? Kessler rejected her proposal for a symposium on—what else—sex.

At the end, the real Kessler confronts Bia, portrayed by Margo Simon, only to forgive her. After a tap dancing sequence featuring Jillian Catalanotti, Reena Rupani, Richard Chung, Michael Shapiro and Carlos Wesley, the entire Class of 2004 took the stage to sing the praises of Yale Med to the tune of “Footloose.”

“It’s Yale Med, Yale Med
Just as great as they said
Submit them over e-mail ...
Everything's great at Yale Med.”

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