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Little Theatre of Alexandria The Will Rogers Follies

By • Aug 3rd, 2007 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Little Theatre of Alexandria’s production of The Will Rogers Follies [MP3 3:56 1.1MB].

Laura: Wednesday night we saw the Little Theatre of Alexandria‘s production of The Will Rogers Follies in Alexandria Virginia.

Mike: The Will Rogers Follies is a musical, with book by Peter Stone, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, music by Cy Coleman. It focuses on the life and time of Will Rogers, using as a backdrop the Ziegfeld Follies. We get to learn all about his life as a child all the way up through his experiences doing wild west shows and other Vaudeville performances, culminating in his movie career.

Laura: This was a good show. It had lots of energy. They had a really good audience on Wednesday. The main performer, Will Rogers was able to really draw from the audience and maybe do more ad-libbing than he usually does since he had such a good crowd to work with. The singing and dancing were good. The dancing had actually some pretty complicated steps. They all did a good job.

Mike: This was a very impressive show. The dance steps were very complex. It started out on a high at the very beginning of the show. It kind of moved downward a little bit just because of the way the show was written. But they were consistently very good. All the dancing and singing was nice. I think the audience really had a good time with the show.

Laura: The main star of the show, Will Rogers was played by Harv Lester. He has an incredible voice. It was very powerful. However he comes across as very down to earth, wanting just to be everybody’s friend, not angry or uptight. He was just very down to earth and had a pleasant personality. That added with his great singing was really enjoyable to watch.

Mike: Betty Blake, Will’s wife, was played by Elizabeth Yeates. She did a really good job. She had a wide range of numbers to sing. She had a fantastic number in the second act, “No Man Left For Me.” It was a torch song. Singing the blues about being left on her own because Will had to travel so much. She did a great job in the role.

Laura: Z’s Favorite, the other headliner in the Will Rogers Follies, was played by Krissy Silvestro. She also did a good job. She was really spunky. The dance numbers that she did were great. She just had so much energy dancing around the stage when she would come on stage carrying signs to clue people in as to what was going on were really funny. She had this look, not mischievous, not mean. She was just spunky and I really enjoyed watching her also.

Mike: There was a lot of different dance steps. There was a very complex number in the opening scene, “Will-A-Mania.” They had a country line dance that had a lot of different toe tapping and clapping all integrated together. That got a nice round of applause from the audience. Other numbers in the show you had people going up and down the steps, dancing together and it was really nicely done. I really liked all the choreography that was done. Choreographers were Amy Carson and Catherine Weinraub.

Laura: The costumes for Will Rogers Follies were designed by four people: Kathy Dodson, Chris Macey, Jean Schlichting, and Kit Sibley. I thought they were pretty good. They were very much the Broadway Vaudeville style. They were covered, but didn’t leave much to the imagination. They were bright silks and added a nice touch to the Vaudeville style of the 1930’s.

Mike: The Will Rogers Follies is playing at the Little Theatre of Alexandria though Saturday August 11th. Wednesday through Saturdays at 8 PM and Sunday the 5th at 3 PM. THe show is just over two and a half hours.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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