Park City Follies will give audiences a Valentine’s Day special
Virtual event features new skits and videos
The Park City Follies is old enough to drink.
The annual musical love letter that pokes fun at the town’s idiosyncrasies, will celebrate its 21st birthday with a special Valentine’s Day virtual presentation.
The show will start at 8 p.m. and viewers can access the fun by visiting follies2021.com.
“We recommend people to tune in a little early, because we’ll have some fun things that will be on the site before the show starts,” said Josh Mann, a member of the Follies creative team along with Andy Cier, Tom Clyde, Paul Tan, Terry Moffitt and Rick Klein. “It’s like when people arrived early when we performed at the Egyptian Theatre. You never knew what was going to happen. Who knows, there may be a line at the bar, but we hope there really won’t be a line at the bar if you’re watching from home.”
Follies 2021 will be more like a variety show, and unlike last year’s Follies, which mostly showcased historical footage of past shows, this year’s presentation will feature scenes that were created over the past three months, Cier said.
“Last November, we were planning on performing an in-person Follies,” he said. “We had a storyline, script, songs, videos, music and a whole bunch of stuff. And then we realized the pandemic wasn’t going to end anytime soon.”
So the team came up with new skits and new music, Mann said.
“We tried to make it newer, fresher and a little shorter,” he said. “In the end, we promise that there will be things that the people who tune in will not be able to unsee.”
“I would say that this would be the most visually disturbing Follies, ever, and unlike when we performed at the Egyptian, if you’re sitting in the center seats, you’re trapped and can’t get out,” he said with a laugh. The beauty of an online event is you can just shut your computer off.”
The best way to describe Follies 2021 is “Live from Tom Clyde’s Barn,” Mann said.
“We start at the Egyptian and quickly make our way to Woodland where we can socially distance and have a show at the barn,” he said.
What does not take place at the barn will take place around the community, including Main Street, Mann said.
“It’s a show about places in the pandemic and a variety show that is a sign of the times, perhaps,” he said.
“What Josh is saying is that there is no plot,” Cier interjected. “It’s also not very long. So depending on your speed it’s the equivalent to three glasses of wine.”
In addition to the tenacity of the creative team, this year’s production is made possible by sponsors The Park Record, Julie Hopkins, Miller Law Group and UTopia TV, Mann said.
“We have some expenses, and anything left over will benefit the Egyptian Theatre,” he said.
Follies has always been a fundraiser for the theater, which has been closed since last March, Mann said.
The idea to continue producing an online Follies this year was inspired by the success of last year’s Follies that pivoted from a live show at the Egyptian Theatre to a virtual platform after the team decided it wouldn’t be couth to perform a live show during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mann said.
Approximately 7,000 people from all around the world tuned in to watch, he said.
“There were people watching in New Zealand, and there were people watching from somewhere in Africa,” Mann said. “And I think it’s because Park City, itself, has that reach. People care about the town. Even though they may have moved from Park City, they are willing to tune in and spend a little bit of time to check in.”
Many viewers reached out to Cier to congratulate the team for keeping the Follies going.
“We heard a lot of people say how much they loved it, and how much they needed the laughs,” he said. “It was nice to hear, because that was our intent. We thought if we can’t get together physically, we could still share some laughs.”
The creative team also wanted to honor the legacy of those who participated in past Park City Follies performances.
“It is something uniquely Park City, and we owe it to everyone who came before us to continue that. Park City is a great place, and it’s a great place to make fun of.”
When: 8 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14
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