On opening night of Fall Follies, the too-small courtyard between MPAC and Wilson seemed as though it was bursting at the seams. All the people you’ve ever seen in line for the cafeteria at 12 o’clock and everyone you’ve had in class and still awkwardly say hello to two semesters later decided to show up for the annual comedy show. The anticipation that the actors, writers and production crew of Fall Follies worked tirelessly to build since the beginning of the semester was tangible as students and family members waited anxiously for the doors to open.
The tickets handed out to people waiting in line, some of whom were waiting for hours, no longer meant anything as the crowd swarmed the entrances. SAPB volunteers passing out programs were shoved against the doorframes as the massive audience rushed to try to get to the good seats.
Ten minutes before the curtain was supposed to rise, a voice came over the PA system asking the students crouched and standing in the aisles to please come back to a later show. It was a full house for opening night. Soon, the wait was over. Recent Battle of the Bands winners, Mocha, took the stage to the fervent applause of the audience. A single spotlight hit the stage, the curtains parted and the show that has kept campus laughing for the past 21 years, began with a song.
The next two hours were filled with witch hunts, therapy sessions and enough costume changes to keep the 10-student cast running on and off the stage. The cast bounced quickly from sketch to sketch, not giving the audience a chance to stop laughing before launching into the next skit. No subject was left untouched. There was a Disney cover about gentrification, every coffee shop in the surrounding area was name-dropped and several popular roles from last year’s performance, including Cornelius Vanderbilt, were reprised.
The show incorporated video segments into the performance for the less plausible and more dramatic sketches. Actors flew across campus like birds and interviewed the university president. The dramatic rendition of an episode from “The Twilight Zone” set in the Massey Business Center was enough to scare anyone away from their copyright law class.
The cast gave a three-show run, including a matinee performance. After gauging the audience’s reactions on opening night, minor modifications to the sketches were made, and the actors loosened up and improvised more and more with each show. Even when the actors couldn’t help breaking character and laughing at their own jokes, it only added to the humor.
The three strong performances given by Follies were enough to leave students roaring with laughter and anxiously awaiting next year’s run.
Story by Paula Ramirez. Photo courtesy of Fall Follies on Youtube.