At 7:30 p.m. on June 16th, 1970, the producers of the Frantic Follies sat backstage in their new theatre–an elementary school gymnasium. It was one half hour before showtime on opening night of their first professional summer season (the show ran in 1968 as an amateur production), and they were going over their checklist one last time. The sets were painted, the instruments tuned, the lines memorized, the cast all present and accounted for; everything was perfect. Almost. The only problem was that the cast outnumbered the audience. Sane people might have seen this as a signal that they had chosen the wrong business. Fortunately, the producers were troubled by no such affiction. Their optimism proved justified for, at the end of that first year, after a mid-season move from the school to the Ballroom at the Whitehorse lnn, the company was still afloat. In 1973, the show was moved to the new Bonanza Room at the Whitehorse Travelodge.
By 1975, its popularity had grown to such an extent that it became necessary to present two performances per night. In 1975 and again in 1977, the show embarked on cross-Canada tours, on which they performed everywhere from maximum security prisons to the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. Twice the show travelled to Alert, the Canadian Forces Station four hundred miles from the North Pole.
In 1976, the Company undertook to produce not only the Whitehorse show, but the entertainment in Dawson City’s Palace Grand Theatre and Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Casino. After five years of producing these shows, they discovered that they had lost more money in the casino than they made from putting on the shows, so at the end of the 1980 season they bid a sad farewell to Dawson City. In January 1981, the show joined the “snow birds” for a season and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, for a four-month run. The fall of 1990 saw the Frantic Follies taking to the road again as ambassadors for the Yukon in a whirlwind tour, performing in ten Canadian and American cities in a little over two weeks.
This is our 43rd season entertaining Whitehorse audiences. We invite you to forget the present. Come with us to the great Klondike Gold Rush where you can imagine yourself a Sourdough in from the creeks, loaded with gold and eager for entertainment.