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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Will Rogers Follies @ WSU

America’s Poet Lariat

Who:         Weber State University Department of Performing Arts
What:        “The Will Rogers Follies”  Peter Stone (book), Betty Comden &              Adolph Green (lyrics) Cy Coleman (Music) directed by Jim Christian
When:        February 7, 8, 9, 19-23, 7:30 p.m. •  2:00 pm matinee: Feb 9 & 23
             American Sign Language interpretation, February 23
Where:       Allred Theater, Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts

Weber State University Department of Performing Arts presents “The Will Rogers Follies,” by Peter Stone (book), Betty Comden & Adolph Green (lyrics), Cy Coleman (Music) and directed by Jim Christian; in the Allred Theater, Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts, February 7, 8, 9, 19-23 at 7:30 p.m. with a 2:00 pm matinee February 9 & 23. American Sign Language interpretation will be provided on Saturday, February 23. 

“The Will Rogers Follies” is truly one of the hidden treasures of the American Musical Theatre.  It combines the glamour and spectacle of the Ziegfeld Follies with the wit, charm and homespun humor of Will Rogers, “America’s Poet Lariat.” 

 Boasting a tuneful and zesty score by Cy Coleman, this family-friendly entertainment is certain to be a new favorite.  Following Rogers’ life from his early ranching days in the Oklahoma territory through to his international fame in entertainment, literature and politics, the show is a whirlwind portrait of an incredible American.  Proud of his Cherokee heritage, Rogers conquered the worlds of vaudeville, Hollywood, newspapers, radio, Broadway, and even ran a mock presidential campaign in 1928.  Among some of his favorite quotes and observations are the following: 

“People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing.” 

“A fool and his money are soon elected.” 

“If stupidity got us in this mess, why can’t it get us out.” 

But his most remembered phrase is his personal motto, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” Will Rogers is a man worth getting to know...and “The Will Rogers Follies” is the perfect introduction! 

WSU graduating theatre major, B.J. Whimpey, has the opportunity to turn out another stellar performance. He has portrayed a romantic lead in “Sleepy Hollow,” a slimy villain in “Tartuffe,” a ruthless king in “A Lion in Winter” and many other notable roles while on the WSU stage. The winsome character of Will Rogers may be his best role, yet.

Catherine Zublin’s costume designs will provide the glamour of the Follies show girls as well as the homespun qualities of Will and his intended, Mary. Van TInkham’s deco scenic design is full of humor. The flexibility of only a few elements provide the set for a home in Oklahoma all the way to the bright night life of New York. Period backdrop artistry and playful lighting will add just the right touches to a night at Ziegfeld’s famous Follies.

Tickets are $12 and $9 for all shows and are available in advance at Dee Events Center Tickets, the Browning Center Box Office, 1-801-626-7000 or weberstatetickets.com or at the Browning Center Box Office beginning one hour before the performance.  

For more information about the play, contact director Jim Christian, jchristian@weber.edu.

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