Social media tweets and WikiLeaks figure prominently in the national news and in the 39th annual Front Page Follies, but the show will focus on finding fun in state and local stories.
The cast of local media folks and friends is ready to present the Front Page Follies on Saturday, June 17, at the Knoxville Convention Center. The musical revue of the year’s news and newsmakers offers an evening of laughs as the Front Page Foundation, host of the show, raises funds for journalism and broadcast scholarships, a press release said.
The evening will begin with a 6 p.m. reception, followed by dinner, live and silent auctions, and the stage show. Tickets to the event are $125 each. They are available on the Front Page Foundation website at www.frontpagefoundation.org, which also features a preview of auction items.
Among song highlights is “Don’t You Forget D-O-E,” on the confirmation hearing of new U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, to the 1980s tune “Don’t You Forget About Me.” Other Follies parodies include “Suppositions” to the tune of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and a Wiki-Wacky tale of “The Leaks” from the Clinton and Trump campaigns set to Ray Stevens’ “The Streak.”
Meteorologists from WATE, WBIR, and WVLT will give a glimpse of high-pressure weather forecasting to the tune of “Singing in the Rain,” the press release said. News anchors from the three TV stations will introduce the skits.
Expect to see familiar faces in cameo roles when cast members playing Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett hold court at the biggest political power lunch spot since the Regas closed.
Other Follies sketches cover tourism (“Total Eclipse in These Parts” and “All I Need is an Air BnB”); an on-air confrontation between legislative candidates (“Everybody was News/Talk Fighting”); and the Vols’ football fortunes (“We Are the Champions of Life”).
Alan Williams, Local 8 News and CW anchor and a veteran in the broadcast business, is the Front Page Follies honoree. Williams’ depth of experience, knowledge of the community, and active role as a community volunteer has meant a lot to his East Tennessee audience and led the Foundation to honor him this year, according to Frank Murphy, Front Page Foundation president.
Scholarships will be presented in Williams’ honor at the University of Tennessee and Pellissippi State Community College. Knoxville News Sentinel editorial cartoonist Charlie Daniel featured Williams’ time as a “gator kicker” while an SEC athlete at University of Florida in Daniel’s original cartoon for the Follies. Williams once hosted a TNN country dance show, “Dance Line,” and had stints at WBIR, WATE, and WIVK radio before joining WVLT in 1988.
Terry Silver-Alford, University of Tennessee Theatre Department faculty member who has directed Clarence Brown Theatre productions, is the Follies’ director and accompanist. He has also worked with the Sound Company, The Children’s Performing Choir of Oak Ridge. Follies percussionist will be J Miller of Clarence Brown Theatre.
This year’s Follies’ cast includes three new members with extensive performing experience: Geoffrey Scheer of Access Communications, whose roles have included Bob Cratchit in the Clarence Brown Theatre’s most recent production of “A Christmas Carol,” Bruce Patrick of The E.W. Scripps Company, an experienced voice actor; and Timothy Coleman, who performed for more than 30 years at Gatlinburg’s Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre.
Other cast members include: Jere Doherty, Knoxville Choral Society; Margaret Elliott, of PC Elliott & ME; Stacy Holley, Follies event manager; Kristine Kinsey, i105, WFIV; David Haley Lauver, Write Angle Communications; Rachel Wedding McClelland, UT College of Law; John McNair, UT College of Communication and Information; Frank Murphy, Classic Hits 93.1, WNOX; Ernie Roberts, East Tennessee PBS, TnLearn: Mathline; and Melanie Staten, Friday Beacon Communications.
For more information, visit the Front Page Foundation website and Facebook page.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
This press release and photos were submitted by Kay Brookshire.
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