Yukon vaudeville show overcomes financial pressure

Whitehorse vaudeville show survives another season despite financial challenges.
Frantic Follies wraps 44rth season and plans to keep going despite challenges. (FranticFollies)

The Frantic Follies vaudeville show in Whitehorse closed its 44th season over the weekend with its co-founder vowing to be back next year despite financial challenges.

More than a million people have seen the boisterous Klondike Gold Rush revue over the four and a half decades.

But Lyall Murdoch said the Follies was forced to trim its budget and shorten its season two years ago when tour company Holland America ended confirmed bookings with its thousands of bus tourists.

About 10,000 people saw the show this summer compared with 25,000 two years ago.

Murdoch, who turned 65 this year, said he's still having fun, but it’s tough financially.

"If we had the customers I'd rather keep going for a while," he said.

Murdoch said he's glad to have offered opportunities to so many young performers – including his own kids - in the 21 person troupe.  

"We thought we were young when we started this show back in 1970, and we were, but on the other hand these kids are you know from 14 to 20 years old, pretty much all the ones we employ now, and they're really good," he said.

Murdoch said he’s also proud that the show has never taken a nickel in public funding.