What, you may ask, is so special about a doctor who talks out of the side of his mouth? A comedian who puts you to sleep? An obstetrician who keeps the big event moving on schedule?
Find out when some of South Florida's pre-eminent medical professionals reveal their secret skills at the second annual Physicians Talent Showcase, a fundraiser for children in need Tuesday night at the Harriet Himmel Theater at CityPlace.
Among nearly 20 medical personnel taking the stage are Dr. Richard Wayne, a comedian (also in charge of the laughing gas in the anesthesiology department at West Palm Hospital); ventriloquist, singer and guitarist Dr. John Fernandez (director of emergency medicine at West Palm); country singer Dana Oaks (CEO of West Palm Hospital); and emcee Dr. Maureen Whelihan (obstetrics/gynecology at JFK Medical Center, Wellington Regional, Palms West and Good Samaritan hospitals).
Whelihan's fellow emcee will be Dr. David Soria (chief of emergency medicine at Wellington Regional Medical Center), who may be best known as the medical specialist on WPTV-Ch.5.
Fernandez had a band (U2 and Led Zeppelin were a specialty) in medical school at the University of South Florida, and after they won a talent show, he called home to tell his mother he was at a “crossroads”: Doctor or rock star?
“She said, ‘If you don’t become a doctor, I’m going to kill you,’ “ Fernandez recalls, laughing.
He was a little intimidated by some of the classically trained talent he performed with at last year’s show, which drew a packed house and standing ovations. This year, it’s Fernandez’s ventriloquism partner feeling stage fright: “He says, ‘I’m no dummy.’ "
If you want to know if your doctor has a hidden talent, others scheduled to perform include:
Dr. Marie Ambroise Thigpen (neonatology at St. Mary's Medical Center, Jupiter Medical Center), who will dance, acccompanied by pianist Dr. Robin Arrigo; vocalist Dr. Sarah Ferrer-Bruker (internal medicine and dermatology resident at West Palm Hospital); classical guitarist Dr. Kenneth Fuquay (pulmonology, Jupiter Medical Center, Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center); opera singer Dr. Xavier Garcia (veterinary medicine); New Age pianist Dr. Jeronimo Guzman (oral and maxillofacial surgeon at Jupiter Medical Center, Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center); classical pianist Dr. Linda Kiley (obstetrics and gynecology, Jupiter Medical Center, St. Mary’s and Good Samaritan hospitals); dancer Dr. Jose Navarro (plastic surgeon, JFK and Jupiter medical centers, Palms West, Wellington Regional, West Palm hospitals); and vocalist Dr. Robin Shecter (dermatology, Wellington Regional Medical Center).
There’s also a band made up of Dr. Tim Abou-Sayed (plastic surgeon at JFK, Jupiter Wellington Regional medical centers) on keyboard, guitar and vocals; Dr. Dan Higgins (vascular surgeon, Good Samaritan and West Palm hospitals) on guitar; Dr. Thomas Rowe (surgeon, Jupiter Medical Center) on bass; Dr. Robin Sykes (plastic surgeon, Jupiter Medical Center) on keyboard and vocals; and drummer Dr. Jack Zeltzer (vascular surgeon, Palms West Hospital, Wellington Regional and JFK medical centers).
The Physicians Talent Showcase is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Harriet Himmel Theater at CityPlace, 700 S. Rosemary Ave, in West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $50 and benefit Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches, which supports formerly homeless children, and the Kretzer Piano Music Foundation, which provides performance opportunities and scholarships to children from low-income families. Info: 866-449-2489, KretzerPiano.com.