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Follies returns for annual laugh at all things Park City

Egyptian Theater

Just like a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down – the Park City Follies provides an annual dose of laughter at ourselves…the best kind of medicine.

The Park City Follies opens Friday at the Egyptian Theater for its annual two-week run and will likely provide 90 minutes of laugh-out-loud fun. This year’s edition, “A Follies You Can’t Refuse,” (the logo mimics the one for used for the film “The Godfather)” takes on the battle for court time between tennis and pickleball players.

Long-time writer and MC of the event Tom Clyde points to an interview on KPCW’s Local News Hour when pickleball players accused city officials of discriminating against them for court time under the MARC bubble as one of the creative elements of this year’s show.

“Surprisingly, pickleball has devoured the news hole this year,” Clyde said. “You know, not like there aren't other important things going on like Dakota Pacific and the drought and snow-pocalypse and a few things like that. But yeah, pickleball has been dominant. So that's likely to be a major part of the show.”

Tickets are all but sold out for the show. Clyde likened it to the rush on tickets to the current Taylor Swift tour.

“I think part of his decision to limit the number of tickets you could buy when you when you first called in was to avoid that situation where we had the Taylor Swift scalpers out there,” Clyde said. “I don't know how serious a problem that was, but there were, I guess, some issues with that, but it complicated the purchase process.”

For the first time, Theater Director Randy Barton limited ticket sales to just two per order – even the theater’s biggest financial supporters, the Pharaohs, could only purchase one pair, although they did get first dibs on them.

Barton says there are tickets available for some of the nights, but they are being held for existing and potentially new Pharaoh members.

“So, they're basically available but only available for Pharoah members now and we do take a wait list from the public if we have some that are turned in last minute or single seats are always kind of difficult for us to figure out what to do with.”

People can put their names on the waitlist by clicking on the date they want to purchase tickets for. The link is in the web version of this story at kpcw.org.

Before it became the most popular ticket in town, the Follies started in 2001 as a fundraiser for the Egyptian Theater. Barton says it was an idea that a couple of Parkites lifted from a trip to Steamboat where that ski town celebrated the end of ski season on stage lampooning themselves and their newsmakers. Park City followed with its own version.

“The first year, it was just put on as this kind of a community event,” Barton said. “And it didn't even make it to the second act. Everybody went to the Alamo saloon, and nobody came back after the first act. And there was, you know, just a one-night thing. And then the next year it expanded, and it was always kind of under the direction of who ran the theater at that time.”

After all these years, some of the heavy lifters of the show are taking a few steps back – this is longtime Director Paul Tan’s last production, and major content contributors Terry Moffit and Clyde plan to cut back as well.

“I've stepped back a little bit from taking the lead role on the writing last couple of years, Clyde said. “I think this is like 22 years I've been involved. It's hard to hard to know what happened during the COVID fog. But 22 years of it. And the time commitment is surprisingly big.”

Barton is confident the show will go on as the transition to a new creative team is made over the next several months.