The Follies Bergere'? In Palm Springs...Really!
The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies located at 128 south Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs was opened about seventeen years ago, after a long fight with city fathers, especially one Sonny Bono, Mayor of Palm springs back in the early 90's who was in favor of the comedy style night club....And after a building was found that suited the needs of the owners, the Plaza Theatre Movie House, was soon home the Palm Springs Follies.
When the Follies opened, pundits and newspapers writers all said that the show would never make it in a town like Palm Springs, with its upper class citizens, fashionable shopping centers and 18 hole golf courses that are among the best known in the world....No one would ever pay good money to see a bunch of old ladies dancing on stage......After seventeen successful seasons, and nearly 3 million paying patrons later, I think it is time to let the pundits know they were wrong.
The residents of Palm Springs and the lower desert communities took the show to there hearts and the Follies has gained a world wide reputation for its glamour and excitement....The Follies has even spawned imitators, and you know what they say, imitation is the best form of flattery and fame....The Follies fame has spread and word of mouth and many news and magazine articles later has managed to pack the house for every single performance since its opening.
When the Follies is open for its yearly 7 month run, it has up to ten shows a week....That's quite impressive considering that the average age of the Follies performers is between 59 and 84.....these women put on a three hour show that is a razzle dazzle song and dance vaudeville style showcasing the music and dance of the 30's 40's and 50's.
In addition, the Follies' new season features an outstanding line up of celebrated guest stars, including Kaye Ballard who stars in the Broadway hit show 'The Mothers-in-laws'....Also appearing on stage are the 'Four Aces", 'Melba Moore' and Tony winning 'Anna Maria alberghetti.'
The Follies plays from October 30 to May 17 of each year and this years edition is called Tin Pan alley, and they are looking for all seats to be sold out during the entire season....It is interesting to note that a large part of there audience's are what are known as 'snow birds'....Meaning, they are for the most part retired, come from the northern part of the country where it snows a lot and remember the 30' 40' and 50's and the old style Burlesque.. They come to the southern desert to get away from that kind of weather and they go often to the Follies to see the stars of there youths.
Every Novemeber and December, the Follies presents a lavish holiday spectacular of stars and Santa Claus that ends with a gentle fall of snowflakes falling over the audiences.. Rockin reindeer, a stripping Santa (Yes I said stripping), mischievous elves and songs of the season all combine to make the Follies Idea of Christmas a very unique experience.....The show is nothing you would ever see on regular TV, but rather an HBO or a Showtime special.
Then on December 31, the Follies presents two News Years Eve performances where the audiences get a chance to interact with the performers. Every one is issued party hats, a goody bag and noisemaker....At the stroke of mid night, the follies Man and cast join the audiences in welcoming in the new years with the traditional and sentimental strains of Auld Lang Sang.. Lets face it, even the legendary Guy Lombardo would be green with envy with this gig.
The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies starts there seventeenth season in October.. If you are looking for a unique and some good old fashioned entertainment and you are down in the lower desert, I suggest you make it a point to see the show. You wont be disappointed.