It’s that time of the year again – As the song trills: It’s Follies Time at The Veeeenus De Milo!
Longtime Rhode Islanders know what that means. So for the uninitiated, or if you’ve been living in a yurt for the past year, the event is always held the last Friday in February, which is Feb. 26th this year. It is the social and political event of the season - the Providence Newspaper Guild’s annual Follies show at the Venus de Milo in Swansea, Mass.
As always, the Follies, a spoof of all things Vo Dielun, but especially our cozy state’s entertaining political culture, is slated for Feb. 26, a Friday evening, as always. While tickets are moving out the door, there are still some left for this year’s Follies of 2015 show.
So, unless you want to squint at the show from your seat near Route 6, you had best get your tickets ASAP. The show, as always is presented by members of the guild, the union that has represented Providence Journal employees since 1959 and now also bargains for workers at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and other New England newspapers.
The Follies began in 1973 to salve the wounds of a divisive and bitter 13-day strike by the Newspaper Guild against the Providence Journal. The idea was to get the state’s labor, business, political, educational and legal elite together for a night of food, drink, song, fun and laughter. It has been held every year since.
Follies veteran Gene Emery is this year’s producer. He says this year’s edition is a fine show. The cast has a lot of material to work with, from Linc Chafee’s aborted presidential campaign, the for whom the truck tolls topic, the PawSox stadium frittata, the ongoing 38 Studios mess, a judge caught with his pants down, the Cranston Senior Center cross-dresser, and a tribute to a politician who gave the Follies much material over the years, the late Buddy Cianci.
This event features one of New England’s longest cocktail hours, the fabulous Venus three-Lipitor buffet and a mid-winter night of fun and meet and greet. Cocktails begin at 7 p.m. This is where you get to see the pols mingle with the hoi-polloi. Dinner begins at 8 and the show at 9. Tickets are $65 per person and the proceeds go to a guild college scholarship program.
As is always the case, the show will be capped with a mystery guest chosen from the ranks of politicos. Past mystery guests have included Linc Chafee, Cianci, John Kerry, when he was a Massachusetts U.S. Senator, Jack Reed, Bill Bradley, Ron Machtley, Arlene Violet, Joe Garrahy, John Chafee, Ed Diprete, Bruce Sundlun, Claiborne Pell, Alan Fung, David Cicilline, Joe Paolino Jr., Len Cabral, Joe Montalbano, Bill Murphy, Nancy Mayer, Charlie Fogarty, Elizabeth Roberts, Patrick Kennedy, Barney Frank, Richard Licht, Bob Carothers and Bob Flanders.
For tickets, call the Providence Newspaper Guild at 401-421-9466. Be there or be very square!