Unless you want to be seated on Route 6 near the big neon sign, you had better get your Providence Newspaper Guild Follies tickets ASAP.
Tickets are moving out the door for the 40th anniversary edition of the Follies, to be held on Feb. 22 at the Venus deMilo in Swansea, Mass. As always, the show is held on the last Friday in February at the Venus, so the cast and audience will be outside the reach of Rhode Island law. This is an event that sells out every year.
The Follies, of course, is the original spoof of all things Rhode Island: our cozy state’s politics, quirks and cultcha. The show spoofs the news events (and occasional non-events) of the previous year in song, skit and comic stand up. It is presented by the Guild, the union which represents workers at the Providence Journal, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and other New England newspapers.
Politicians know there is only one thing worse than being lampooned at the Follies and that is being ignored.
The Follies was started in 1973 to heal the wounds after a bitter 13-day strike by the Newspaper Guild against the Providence Journal. Ever since, the show has brought together Rhode Island’s business, labor, educational and political elite for a night of fun, frolic and laughter.
This year’s 40th anniversary of the event that is just too silly to die will bring together the usual gang of suspects along with some recent additions to the state’s political penumbra.
``No one is safe during this show. We make fun of top politicians, union leaders, celebrities and just about everyone who made headlines during the past year,’’ said Gene Emery, producer of this year’s show.
As always, the show will be capped with a mystery guest drawn from the sphere of politics. Past mystery guests have included Alan Fung, Buddy Cianci, Barney Frank, John Kerry, John Chafee, Lincoln Chafee, Jack Reed, Nancy Mayer, Patrick Kennedy, Claiborne Pell, Bill Murphy, Elizabeth Roberts, Bill Bradley, Ron Machtley, Bruce Sundlun, Ed DiPrete, Bob Flanders, Joe Garrahy, Richard Licht, Joe Paolino Jr., and Claudine Schneider.
For tickets, call the Newspaper Guild at 421-9466, or order on line at www.RIGuild.org/tickets.pdf Tickets are $65 each and proceeds go towards the PNG college scholarship fund. Cocktail hour begins at 7 p.m. followed by the famous Venus buffer dinner and the show.