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Fall Follies: the musical?

The 20th anniversary production of Fall Follies opening night filled every seat and stairwell in the Massey Performing Arts Center.

The show opened with the decision to make the show a musical and fittingly started with a song.

The opening skit harpooned Belmont’s health services, introduced you to an incompetent doctor, a lovestruck nurse, a robot, the fact that Belmont has a morgue and why your Belmont prescriptions never seem to work.

“A Belmont student isn’t going to notice. Just keep filling their prescriptions with Tic Tacs,” said Belmont’s “friendly neighborhood doctor.”

Follies went back to Nashville, Tenn.’s academic roots with a skit about Lipscomb, Belmont and Vanderbilt’s founders. The characters of Cornelius Vanderbilt, David Lipscomb and Adelicia Acklen went on a journey to find the perfect location for their new institutions of learning. They predicted what would they’re schools would look like.

“Our women will be smart and our men will be gross,” said Vanderbilt.

There was even a jab at Belmont’s mascot.

“Bears, bears and gazebos everywhere,” said Acklen

A Cornelius Vanderbilt musical number ensued, and the skit ended with Vanderbilt and Acklen forcing Lipscomb to enforce very strict rules at his university.

Belmont’s buildings took the stage, bemoaning the new and improved look of campus.

“Another long day of being a building on Belmont’s campus,” said  one of the old buildings to the rest sitting around a table.

They were trying to cope with their replacement and loss of builder Schmidt’s attention.

“Schmidt would stay all night if he had to to satisfy all my needs,” said one of the buildings.

It included the song “Why Do You Build Me Up,” which elicited the most laughter of any song throughout the night.

The high point of the entire show was the kiss cam during the sportscast. They had a live camera that circled the audience eventually finding President Robert Fisher and his wife Judy Fisher, who locked lips on screen to the uproarious laughter and applause of the entire audience.

By the end, a question appeared: was Follies really a musical? As the show continued, the songs got sparser and sparser. Distress ensued on stage because it really wasn’t all that musical. To remedy the problem, the cast came out and combined all of the musical numbers  into one for the finale of the show.

The cast, writers, production team and band were phenomenal throughout the show. It was one of the most impressive Fall Follies yet.

This article was written by Sydney Mathieu. 

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