By Kathleen Dillon
A-Lad in B School
Directed by David Granik and Morgan Salvan
2 hrs. 17 min.
Tom Hanks once said that “cinema has the power to make you feel not lonely.”
In a school year that’s been defined by all things virtual and a general feeling of isolation, Stern Follies offered students a night of respite and near normalcy on Friday. Stern’s annual comedy showcase was screened to a live audience at Paulson Auditorium, a seminar hall that’s typically home to Corporate Finance classes and LAUNCH lectures. But that night, the space was repurposed into a makeshift movie premiere. The scene was complete with a step & repeat and red carpet staged at the entrance to Paulson.
The plotline of “A-Lad in B School” follows Stern student Aladdin (Ketriel Mendy) as he strives for a career in investment banking. He becomes convinced that Jasmine (Lesley Siu), a student sponsored by J.P. Morgan, is his key to landing a coveted internship but is unaware that she has her own dreams of leaving banking to go into consulting. Along the way, an OCD Genie (Mary Kate Pedro) offers to help him but Jafar (Lauren Marinaro) and Iago (Mariel O’Connell) are intent on derailing his banking dreams.
The cast was rounded out by Abu (Matt Givner), Magic Carpet (Michael Jarboe), Rajah (Prachi Patke), Temple of Wonders (Nick Foster), and Daddy (Eric Pittel). Viewers were even treated to an appearance by occasional Stern professor Scott Galloway in the show’s final scene.
The storyline was delivered in three acts. Between each one, a series of unrelated skits were screened that touched on topics including COVID-19 protocol enforcement, dating during a pandemic, and virtual recruiting. “Spit in a Box,” a remake of the classic Justin Timberlake parody, was particularly well done.
There were frequent cheers from the audience throughout the show but perhaps the loudest applause was saved for Nick Foster’s rendition of “Let It Go” which featured lines including “online class was a waste of cash” and “you lost all the fun but you’d do it all again anyway.”
The event concluded with a prolonged standing ovation from the audience and the presentation of a makeshift Oscar Award to show directors David Granik and Morgan Salvan. The cast and audience migrated to various local watering holes after the screening to celebrate the show’s success.
Throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, many of us have found ourselves wishing for the return of a sense of normalcy and connection on campus. On Friday, even it’s just for one night, the genie granted us that wish.
Photo Credit: Arianna Sanchez