Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Dec 27th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Forever Young

music_FolliesThe 56th annual Santa Cruz Follies proves that age is just a number

When third generation Santa Cruzan Jim Idleman steps onstage, Jim Idleman no longer exists. In his place stands a tattered Fred Astaire from the 1948 musical film, Easter Parade. At his side, Barbara Wright stands tall, with the grace of Judy Garland. Together, the two perform “A Couple of Swells,” one of several songs that will anchor the 56th annual Santa Cruz Follies, kicking off Sept. 14 at The Civic Auditorium.

“We tried to get this [piece] as authentic as we can,” says Idleman. “We are actually characters in those costumes—we become somebody other than who we are.”

Offering an escape for locals age 50 and up since 1955, the musical revue—a fundraiser for Senior Citizens Opportunities, Inc. (SCO), produced by The Market Street Theatre—gives 40 people the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of a live audience.

According to Lynn Knudsen, a former professional dancer on Broadway, now performing for her seventh year with the Follies, “the concept of what a senior is, is changing. [It’s] no longer an elderly person who wants to play cards,” she says.

The Outreach Coordinator for a fundraising arm of the SCO, Knudsen helps the organization raise money to provide adults with the means to pursue their love of theater via the Follies. Choreography for the variety musical begins in November, auditions take place in February, and musical arrangements commence in May, all in preparation for the September debut.

For Knudsen, the year-long endeavor is “not only a busy time and something to keep [us] occupied—it does something for the spirit.” In other words, “it’s preventative medicine,” she says.

This year’s theme, “Dancin’ Down Broadway,” was chosen by performer, choreographer and six-time director, Bari Miller, who has a theatre arts/dance degree from San Jose State University.

“Dancin’ Down Broadway” presents renditions of celebrated Irving Berlin compositions, including a charming version of “Easter Parade,” equipped with elegant costumes by Kris Wheeler, and comedic duets, like “Anything You Can Do,” by Steve Hendricks and Joyce Michaelson.

Other must-see performances include the charismatic female solos, “Losing My Mind” and “I’m Still Here,” from the 1971 Broadway musical “Follies,” with lyrics by Academy, Tony and Grammy award-winner Stephen Sondheim. His beloved musical numbers from “West Side Story” will also be featured; nine actresses present “America” in its vivacious entirety, while several male performers portray the lovable pack of smart-aleck delinquents, The Jets, in “Officer Krupke.”

“It’s really thrilling to put on these costumes and dance,” says Carole English, of her involvement in “America” and the “Blue Skies” tap dance routine. “What I find is that I’m fearless—when I’m on stage, I’m happy.”

Even past performers, like volunteer usher Lorraine Carini, still feel the Follies “gives you something to live for. There’s something really special about this group. [It] brings a lot of happiness.”

For that reason, Kathryn Adkins, who teaches theater and directs shows at Cabrillo College, can’t wait to direct the Follies for the first time next year. “Working with these people is fabulous,” says Adkins. “The audience loves this. It’s a real gift.”


The Santa Cruz Follies debuts at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sep. 14 and runs until Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Civic Auditorium, 307 Church St., Santa Cruz. $20/Adults, No Cover/Kids under 12. 423-6640.

Comments (3)Add Comment
...
written by Josephine, September 09, 2011
Correction to FYI. Bernstein wrote the music and Sondheim wrote the lyrics :-}
...
written by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , September 09, 2011
Thanks for your article and fun review of the up-coming Follies.

Just a little FYI... West Side Story was not written by Sondheim, but by Leonard Bernstein.

Again, thanks.
Carolyn Thomas Temple
...
written by Lynn L. Knudsen, September 07, 2011
This article truly represents the diversity and spirit of the Follies actors and actresses. Now the "well kept secret" about the Santa Cruz Follies is out! They are not only seniors but they are talented. Remember age is just a number!

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Dancing In the Rain

District Attorney Bob Lee’s death in October stunned the Santa Cruz community, but he had battled cancer fiercely—and privately—for more than a decade. Now one of his closest friends reveals the remarkable inside story

 

Our Gifts - Fiery Sacrificial Lights to One Another

Wednesday is Christmas Eve, Hanukkah ends and the Moon is in Aquarius, calling for the new world to take shape at midnight. Thursday morning, the sun, at the Tropic of Capricorn, begins moving northward. The desire currents are stilled. A great benediction of spiritual force (Capricorn’s Rays 1, 3, 7) streams into Earth. Temple bells ring out. The heavens bend low; the Earth is lifted up to the Light. Angels and Archangels chant, “On Earth, peace, goodwill to all.” As these forces stream into the Earth they assume long swirling lines of light, in the likeness of the Madonna and Child. The holy child is born. Let our hearts be “impressed” with and hold this picture, especially because Christmas may be difficult this year. Christmas Day is void of course moon (v/c moon), which means we may feel somewhat disconnected from one another. It’s difficult to connect in a v/c moon. Try anyway. Mercury joins Pluto in Capricorn. Uh oh … we don’t bring up the past containing any dark and difficult issues. We are to attempt new ways of communicating—expressing aspirations and love for one another, replacing wounding, sadness, lostness, and hurts of the past. Play soothing music, pray together, have the intention for peace, harmony and goodwill. Don’t be surprised if things feel out of control and/or arguments arise. We remember, before a new harmony emerges, chaos and crisis come first to clear the air. We are to be the harmonizers. Christmas evening is more harmonious, less difficult, more of what Christmas should be— radiations of love, sharing, kindness, compassion and care. Sunday, Feast Day of the Holy Family, is surprising. Wednesday is New Year’s Eve, the last day of 2014. Taurus moon, a stabilizing energy, ushers in the New Year. Happy New Year, everyone! Peace to everyone. Let us realize we are gifts radiating diamond light to one another. Living sacrificial flames!

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Let My People Go

There’s a lot to like in Ridley Scott’s maligned ‘Exodus’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Best Bites of 2014

A look back at the year in good taste

 

What downtown business is good for both one-stop shopping and last-minute gifts?

The Homeless Garden Project store. Because it is a community effort and has really useful and beautiful things, and allows you to connect with a lot of folks who are doing great work in Santa Cruz. Miriam Greenberg, Santa Cruz, UCSC Professor

 

Vino Tabi Winery

One of Santa Cruz’s most happening areas to go wine tasting is in the westside’s Swift Street Courtyard complex. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners (SCV), the place has been a hive of activity, and a wine-tasting mecca. Adding to the mix is the lively Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing beer company—making Swift Street Courtyard a perfect spot for a glass of wine or a pitcher of ale.

 

Betty’s Eat Inn

Yes, she’s a real person; no, this isn’t her