The Providence Newspaper Guild Follies are fast approaching
On the last Friday in February, a crowd of Rhode Island political, business, and media types swarm to the Venue de Milo in Swansea, Massachusetts, for the Providence Newspaper Guild Follies — the equivalent of the Ocean State’s own Academy Awards. A jam-packed cocktail hour and a calorie-rich buffet set the stage for often-scathing send-ups of RI pols and the year in news.
The Follies began as a way to heal the rifts from a bitter 1973 strike at the Providence Journal and have since become an institution. Here are details for the latest one, coming up on February 24:
It will be the 39th edition of the show, which always held on the last Friday in February in the grand ballroom of Venus de Milo in Swansea (a neutral battleground where we get immunity from Rhode Island prosecution).
TurnTo10.com called the February 2011 show “a blast from start to finish” and The Providence Phoenix rated it as “absolutely top-notch.”
“It’s the one time each year when the Little Rhody’s famous and infamous — top politicians, journalists, union leaders, celebrities and other newsmakers — gather for a lyrical lampooning of the events of the past 12 months, and often end up as targets,” said Producer Gene Emery. “It’s the top political event of the season.”
Last year’s show featured some North Providence politicians who looked suspiciously like The Three Stooges, a Lady Ga Ga version of Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, and a rousing mashup that combined the Rocky Horror Picture Show with the traditional all-night sessions of the General Assembly. Last year’s Mystery Guest turned out to be Bob Healey, who appeared to the multitudes as Jesus, complete with a crown of thorns.
Debate rages over who this year’s Mystery Guest will be.
Tickets are $65 and are available by calling the Guild at 421-9466 or by visiting RIGuild.org.
The Guild represents workers at The Providence Journal and other newspapers throughout the region. Proceeds benefit the PNG Scholarship Fund.