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The greatest show on earth…almost

Paul Raymore, Sierra Sun

Raunchy, sarcastic and unapologetically crude, the Truckee Follies has earned the title of “The can’t miss event of every other year.” The Follies’ success can be attributed to the hard work put in by the talented group of writers, cast and crew involved, and Truckee residents’ fondness for laughing at many of the most notable locals in town.

Sponsored each year by the Truckee Downtown Merchants Association, the Follies continues to be one of the most entertaining local productions staged in town.

“What the Follies is, it’s like a pun on what’s happening in our town, what happens during the year. Some of the things that people can really get a laugh at,” said Ed Candler, who has been involved since the very first Follies.

Though still almost three months away, Director Ted Owens and Producer Mitch Clarin have already begun putting together their teams of writers, stage hands and advertising sales representatives who will lay the groundwork for a hilarious show.

Throughout the years, prominent citizens, local businesses (particularly the Sierra Sun) and the town’s government have all been frequent targets for the Follies often wicked sense of humor, and Owens promises that this year will be no different, though he does hope to incorporate a new theme into this year’s Follies.

“We’re going to take a fresh approach to this show,” he said. “We’re trying to create all new acts.”

Owens expects to be ready to audition actors in late March or early April for the show that will premier April 28, and he is not worried about finding enough gifted locals to fill the parts his writers dream up.

“This town has an extraordinary amount of talent in it. There are a lot of people who have song and dance backgrounds or theatrical backgrounds,” Owens said.

While Owens and his team of writers are hashing out the general themes and acts that will make up the Follies, the Follies Advertising committee is already hard at work extorting… that is, soliciting advertisements for the official 2004 Follies program.

Local business owners beware. The team of advertising representatives has already been set loose and tasked with selling the ads that will finance the Follies and also provide money for downtown cleanup projects and scholarships for local high school students.

Known for their “creative” approach to marketing, the Follies advertising team has often shown a preference for creating ads that feature, shall we say, “wardrobe malfunctions” and a whole lot more.

According to advertising committee member Ed Candler, “Anybody’s invited who wants to join us (on the advertising committee). We do it on Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. and we just sit around and drink a little wine and talk about how to come up with funny ads.”

Bob Herhusky, who has also been involved with the Follies since the very first show, testified to how fun it can be to be a part of the production.

“The idea was just to get recognizable members of the community to go out on stage and make fools of themselves,” Herhusky said, adding “I used to tell people that if you want to get to know people in Truckee, you should go out for the Follies. You’ll get to know so many people that it’ll be like you’ve lived here for five or six years.”

Candler agreed, “It’s really a total town effort. If there’s anything that we do in this town that’s a total town effort, it would be the Follies. It’s not just one segment of the town that gets involved, everybody that wants to get involved gets involved.”

Although the organizers have already begun putting together a rough blueprint for the show this year, volunteers are still needed to help with all aspects of the production including acting, writing, advertising and backstage production.

People who wish to get involved in any aspect of the Follies should contact Producer Mitch Clarin at 587-0493.


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