Stern Follies — frighteningly good!
Held on Friday the 13th, this year’s show revealed some promising talent
Published: Saturday, April 28, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2012 23:04
I’ve had an opportunity to be in four Stern Follies events and although the theme, the acts and the classmates change, one thing remains the same: Sternies are exceptionally gifted individuals who know how to have a good time. That’s why the Follies committee decided to make this quality the focal point this year’s show with the tag line “So much talent, it’s scary.”
If you’re perplexed as to why we had a horror theme for an annual comedy show, it’s because of the date on which the show was held this year: Friday the 13th. And while I experienced my own personal nightmare on West 4th Street (losing my voice just hours before I sang live in front of an audience full of my drunken classmates), I still feel it was one of my favorite shows of the four I’ve done.
Why? Because despite losing my voice I got up on stage anyway, overcoming the stage fright I’ve suffered from for over a decade, and, having decided not to cancel last minute, I’m happy to say I’m over it and looking forward to getting back up there again.
But my drama aside, the reason this show was one of my favorites is because it had a little bit of everything and wasn’t overly lengthy as past shows have been. Much of the credit for pulling
together this year’s show goes to the Follies Committee, especially the chairs Eugene Song and Karina Moscu. They organized the show while juggling school and everything else we do at Stern — that’s not easy at all, and one of the reasons they rocked it is because they were organized and had exceptional follow-through.
I’m delighted to say this year’s show highlighted some promising talent that we hope will continue the Follies legacy. It introduced newcomers Ken Herrera (who wrote the script for the host sketches and was the voice backstage), Sarabeth Tukey (one of the hosts and contributors to the show), and Lamarr Shand (last host standing and wicked dancing machine). Also, Prat Panda and Samir Mirza — one of my favorite comedy duos at Stern who should seriously consider their own sitcom — served as hosts again this year, much to the audience’s and my delight.
Content was wonderfully varied. Jason Stokar and Sopie Scharf danced in synch with Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” video. Alex Ruthizer added some standup to the lineup for a second year in a row. We even had promos, including one for the last official beer blast hosted by OutClass, and from LABA club about their upcoming conference, much to the dismay of EEX who also had a conference the same day, but hadn’t done a promo. That’s business folks — got to seize the opportunity. There were also a lot of funny Stern related parodies, including Sexy Sax Man, Hunger Games Theory and one of my favorites of the evening, Stern Wars. We even had a rebuttal, nonchalant as it was — exactly why it was so funny — to the CBS follies video that poked fun at us late last year. Just when I thought I couldn’t be more proud to be a Sternie, that video proved me wrong.
One of the biggest highlights and pleasant surprises of the event was a cameo from our very own Dean Fraser in what we now know will be his last Follies at Stern (you will be missed Dean Fraser!).
The show ended with another Trek compilation video, with this year’s song being Party Rock Anthem. I personally hope that becomes a tradition moving forward because it’s fun to see Sternies living it up around the world. Kudos to Liora Schocken for putting the videos together.
At this point in the article, for anyone experiencing FOMO (or “fear of missing out,” as Linz Shelton recently taught me), fear not! If you weren’t able to catch the show, I strongly encourage you to check out the videos on the official Follies YouTube channel (“folliesatstern”).
All the videos have been organized by playlists for every year, making it easier than ever to find your favorite follies moments. On the music front, two of Stern’s biggest groups of the last few years performed for us: MBA JAM and Net Present Vocals, Stern’s acapella group. After the Andrew Dailey chant subsided (Clap Clap. Clap Clap Clap), Dean Focarile, who has directed NPV through three Follies, dedicated the last song, a Stern version of Green Day’s “Time of Your Life,” to the Class of 2012. In fact, much of the show was nostalgic, more so than past Follies. There’s even a video (Graduation Goggles) poking fun at it all. (And by the way you can catch MBA JAM’s next performance at Webster Hall on May 14.)