Folly Tunes Up for Return to Live Music This October

Singer Karrin Allyson will kick off the 38th Folly Jazz Series this October. (Photo courtesy Folly Theater)

The Folly Theater is gingerly tuning up to re-enter the world of live music this fall with its 38th Jazz Series!

When singer Karrin Allyson takes the stage of the historic theater at 12th and Central on Oct. 17, it will be the Folly’s first sponsored event since March 7, when health restrictions prompted by the coronavirus pandemic forced its closing.

Gale Tallis, Folly executive director, said her organization, like so many other live performance venues, has been trying to determine the best path forward.

“We’re trying to create a comfort level so people are comfortable coming back to the theater,” she said.

“Right now, people are starved for music. People are looking forward to coming back to live music and theater.”

The 120 year-old Folly, which recently completed a $2.5 million renovation that included a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, will follow the latest guidelines of the City Health Department to plan its reopening.

“It’s changing all the time and we’ll be flexible,” Tallis said. “We’re now planning how to social distance with new seating charts and where to have people go to get tickets.

“Initially, we’ll probably not do a bar and concessions…We’re thankful we have a new HVAC system instead of the one from 1961.”

The historic Folly Theater recently completed a $2.5 million renovation.  It opened in 1900 as the Standard and was designed by the renowned architect Louis Curtiss.

The theater, like many other venues, has taken a financial hit, cancelling 50 events due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Tallis declined to reveal financial losses, but said the Folly has had to cut expenses by furloughing its crew and house manager.

“We’ve event temporarily shut off the marquee sign to help save money,” she said.

All that being said, the upcoming Jazz Series has lined up stellar talent to satisfy peoples’ hunger for good music:

-Karrin Allyson, five-time Grammy Award nominee and Kansas native – October 17th

-David Benoit, Grammy-nominated pianist, composer and arranger, Christmas Tribute to Charlie Brown with special guest James Tormé, son of Mel Tormé – December 12th

-Jeff Lorber, Grammy Award-winning keyboardist, composer and producer – January 16th

-Anat Cohen, Grammy-nominated clarinetist-saxophonist and his group Quartetinho – February 12th

-Paquito D’Rivera, saxophonist and winner of 14 Grammies and his Quintet – March 20th

-An Evening with Eliane Elias, multi-Grammy Award winning pianist, singer and composer – April 9th

You can find more information on the jazz series here.

New season subscriptions will be available on July 13 and individual tickets will be available on August 3.

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