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Kellogg students show their dramatic personae on stage during a performance of Special K! Revue, the annual song-and-sketch-comedy production that is a centerpiece of Reunion weekend.

Special K! Revue keeps the laughs coming

Long-running comedy and dance showcase continues tradition of letting students send up B-school culture

By Adrienne Murrill

5/6/2008 - “Avenue K” was jumping with Kellogg theatrical talent during Reunion weekend (May 1-3). The fictional street, modeled after the Tony-Award-winning Broadway musical “Avenue Q,” was the framework for this year’s 29th annual Special K! Revue, the popular song-and-dance sketch comedy event written, directed and produced by Kellogg MBA students. For nearly three decades, the show has taken a satirical look at B-school life, while providing a forum for the considerable dramatic gifts of the Kellogg community.

This year’s Revue, dubbed “Where Kellogg Comes to Play,” featured five performances that upheld a long tradition of endearing and tasteful mockery centered around the challenges students face as they pursue their business degree. A variety of song-and-dance numbers — interspersed with short video clips, a feature film and audience sing-a-longs — kept Kellogg students, alumni, faculty, staff and their guests entertained for more than two hours.

Executive director Eric Epstein and executive producer Jen Slawson, both ’08, coordinated a cast of more than 20 performers, band director Matt James ’08 led an ensemble of 11 musicians and Ruchi Mathur ’08, technical director, organized costumes, sets and more with her team of 17. In total, more than 100 Kellogg students and significant others contributed to this year’s performance.

The show opened with an energetic rendition called “K’s Back” set to the B-52’s “Love Shack” and the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the full cast. Another popular sketch, which featured Senior Lecturer Scott McKeon, Associate Professor James Schummer and Assistant Professor Jonathan Weinstein, was “DECS Street Boys,” set to the tune of a song by 1990s R&B group Color Me Badd: “Baby, get with me you know my quant skills are fantastic / let me prove to you that I am heteroskedastic / I’ve been working on my odds since I taught DECS 433 / ’Cuz I’ve been dying for you girl to see my OVB,” sang one of the performers.

Other skits included “It Sucks to Be Me,” based on the same-titled song from “Avenue Q,” in which a frazzled Kellogg student learns she doesn’t have it as bad as she thinks; “We’ve Got Trouble,” to the tune of “Trouble” from “The Music Man” about the challenges of recruiting in a strained economy; and “Club Fair,” a medley of tunes that highlighted the diversity found among Kellogg student clubs. Senior Associate Dean Sunil Chopra popped up in a videotaped segment of “Kellogg Update,” a combination of humor from “Saturday Night Live’s” Weekend Update segment and Will Ferrell’s “Anchorman” film. Guest appearances in other videos included Senior Associate Dean David Besanko and Professors Julie Hennessey and Bala Balachandran.

According to Rocelle Bade '08, Special K! marketing director, the show is the essence of the Kellogg experience. "Not only is it a hilarious satire of Kellogg and business school life in which we are able to affectionately poke fun at our friends, the administration, the faculty, and ourselves," said Bade, "but it also represents the true collaborative spirit at Kellogg." She said the show was a result of many hours of hard work by students who committed much of their time to tell the story of Kellogg. "I have been blessed to work with some of the greatest leaders and team members I have ever met. Special K! has significantly contributed to making these past two years the best of my life."