The Will Rogers Follies
April 14-17 & 21-24 , 2005
Directed by Paul Hustoles
Choreography by Paul Finocchiaro
Scenic Design by Tom Bliese
Costume Design by David McCarl
Lighting Design by Steven Smith
The show opens with a tribute, of sorts, to our nation's heritage.
Later on, Will Rogers (Christopher Arn Kind, standing center) and the dancers pay tribute to the American heritage.
The whole family gets into the act. Left to right they are: Will Rogers, Jr. (Jeff Hatleli), James Rogers (Noah Bjork),
Will Rogers (Christopher Arn Kind), Freddy Rogers (Carter Johnson), Betty Rogers (Erin J. Drevlow)
and Mary Rogers (Magdelena Morrow).
Will takes time out to ponder his life.
Will is joined by his father, Clem Rogers (Tharen Callanan) for a recreation of Custer's last stand. The cowboys are
(left to right): Toby Adam Miller, Chris Kuisle, Bryan Gerber as Custer and Jason A. Stone.
Betty (Erin J. Drevlow) speaks with the sisters (left to right): Liz Dowd, Akia S. Fleming, Jacleen Olson,
Sophia Bera, Danielle Mann and Carrie Soler.
Music by Cy Coleman
Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Book by Peter Stone
Produced by Pierre Cossette, Martin Richards, Sam Crothers, James M. Nederlander, Stewart F. Lane, Max Weitzenhoffer in association with Japan Satellite Broadcasting, Inc.
Directed by Tommy Tune
Choreography by Tommy Tune
Opened May 1, 1991 at the Palace Theatre and ran for 983 performances
Will Rogers is famous for saying "I never met a man I didn't like," and anyone who has ever seen or performed in WILL ROGERS FOLLIES will agree that there has never been a man-or woman-who did not like it.
Subtitled "A Life In Revue," WILL ROGERS stands out among musicals because of the magic of its protagonist. Rare is the man who transcends decades and rises to the level of legend. Will Rogers does this not only because of his accomplishments, but because of his philosophy, which espouses respect and confidence in the goodness of his fellowman.
The curtain rises on a Follies-style tribute to the man whose daily newspaper column sent America on its way each morning with a smile on its face. In fact Will was a multimedia sensation, performing a weekly radio talk show as well as starring in motion pictures.
Between rope tricks which entertain the audience while the show girls are changing their costumes for The Follies, Will soothes us with his old-fashioned common sense. The songs Never Met a Man I Didn't Like and Give a Man Enough Rope are parables set to music.
Now it's time to get to know Will, his friends and family. Will introduces us to the aviator Wiley Post, to his six sisters, and to his father Clem. Born to parents who were part Cherokee, Will learned early on to be proud of his heritage.
When Will turned nineteen, he set off, despite his father's protests, to be a cowboy down in Argentina. It was at the train depot that Will first laid eyes on Betty Blake, the woman who would become his wife. But how theatrical is that? Not enough, apparently, because Mr. Ziegfeld quickly rewrites history and lowers Betty romantically from the Moon to recreate her first meeting with Will!
Once married Will tours the country performing his routine until the day his big break arrives, and he is offered a part in Florenz Ziegfeld's Follies. After six fabulous seasons, Will is called to Hollywood to perform on the silver screen.
After much success and a run for President in 1928, Will assesses his life. It is time to spend more time at home. Nonetheless, Will is called on to soothe the nation's jitters after the stock market crash. It seems that his straight talk and simple truths create quite an impact on the nation. You will find that your audience responds in much the same way.
When Wiley Post and Will lose their lives during a flying adventure in Alaska, the nation mourns its lost friend. The musical version, however, is an upbeat celebration of this folk hero who made the world "a whole lot better place" than it was before he entered it.
Other delightful musical numbers include Will-a-Mania, It's a Boy, My Unknown Someone, Presents for Mrs. Rogers and Let's Go Flying.
* Prelude: Lets Go Flying
* Let's go flying
* Never met a man I didn't like (short version)
* Give a man enough rope
* Hand in Hand They will Cross The Land
* It's a boy
* So long pa
* My unknown someone
* Wild west show ; Dog act
* We're heading for a wedding
* The big time
* My big mistake
* The Ziegfeld follies (My big mistake)
* Marry me now ; I got you ; First act finale
* Entr'acte, Give a man enough rope ; Rope act
* Look around
* Our favorite son
* No man left for me
* Presents for Mrs. Rogers
* Will-a-mania (reprise)
* Without you
* Never met a man I didn't like