Photos by Jerry Millevoi
The wacky plot of this year’s Wharton Follies, “Watchu Talkin’ Bout, Anjani,” centered on Vice Dean Anjani Jain’s plan to turn Wharton into a TV network… or perhaps not. Alumnus Donald Trump, W’68, was recruited to seal the deal which ultimately fell through at the show’s first ever Anjani Awards. The winner, who would get the chance to be on Trump’s new reality series, “The Apprentice,” declined – not wanting to leave Wharton under any circumstances.
Another smash hit, the show played to audiences of nearly 1,600 in Philadelphia on Feb. 12-13 and to 450 in New York on Feb. 20. Attendees in New York had the added incentive of attending an after party at the Metronome Restaurant. Here the cast from the MBA Classes of 2004 and 2005 mingled with alumni and previous Follies casts – another Wharton network.
“When I went back for the show it was the most important and meaningful type of reunion that I could imagine,” said Melissa Tischler, WG’03, artistic director of Follies 2003. “Not only did it provide a reason for my 2003 classmates to travel across the country to see the show, but it gave us a chance to cheer on our friends in the class of 2004 and a chance to meet and instantly bond with the class after that.”
This mini-reunion for New York area alumni is as much a tradition as the Follies itself, which celebrated its 28th anniversary this year.
“The NY alumni show has become an incredible tradition for Follies alumni and alumni in the local area,” said Gladys Chen, co-executive producer of Follies 2003. “Over the past two years, we have had former members of the Follies fly in from as far away as Israel and Moscow.”
The show itself was an eclectic performance of Wharton MBA students, showcasing their talents in singing, dancing, and comedy, very different from their skills with spreadsheets and client presentations. Where else would an audience be exposed to possible TV programming like “The ABP After School Special: Why Billy Can’t Lead”? Audiences had as good a time as the actors did.
“I know there is nothing else that draws classmates from all corners of the world. And I think the show and (almost more importantly) the after party let the recent alums reconnect and catch up with one another,” observed Tischler.
“The Job That I Want” (Sung to “The One That I Want” from Grease)
I’ve got skills at multiplyin’
And I’m made . . . for this role
Of all the can . . . didates applyin’
I better step up, cause I need a job
And my heart is set on you
I better dress up, I better get some suits
Cause I’ll start September 2
Yes you’ll start
Yes you’ll start September 2
You’re the one that I want (you are the
one I want), ooh ooh ooh, honey
The job that I want (the job that I
want), ooh ooh ooh, honey
The one that I want (you are the one I
want), ooh ooh ooh, honey
The job I need, oh yes indeed . . . .