On this, my tenth production directing and/or choreographing The Will Rogers Follies, after having been dance assistant on the original workshop and Broadway production, and after traveling the country in the cast of the national tour, I am tremendously happy — but not at all surprised — to report that the show still entertains me thoroughly and moves me deeply. Yes, there’s plenty of eye candy and glamor, but our rehearsal process has reminded me that the show is much more than a mere homage to Ziegfeldian dazzle. It is a testament to just how much one American contributed to his fellow man.
Though not a tall fellow, Will Rogers was a “big man” by virtue of his philanthropic deeds, and because of his unique ability to point out both the glories and the inanities of human beings with warmth and humor. In this time of political uncertainty in the USA and in the world at large, Will’s witticisms are as potently resonant as they were over 80 years ago. And the laughter is every bit as comforting now as it once had been.
Will said, “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.” I endeavor to heed his advice most of the time. But as you watch the show, I invite you to let just the right amount of Will Rogers’ wonderful yesterday take up some of today. You’ll leave the theatre just a little bit lighter, and perhaps a little bit wiser.
This production is sponsored by:
Marriner S. Eccles Foundation
S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation