Destination: The Fabulous Follies
Palm Springs Follies is a Great Road Trip on Route 66
For eighteen fabulous years, the legendary Palm Springs Follies has been taking a theatrical journey down memory lane, to the delight of visitors to the historic Plaza Theatre in downtown Palm Springs, California.
This season, the show’s impresario Riff Markowitz has created another nostalgic trip with the theme of the show “Get Your Kicks.” It is a musical salute to Route 66, lovingly called the “Mother Road” by all who drove the scenic highway.
“Remember when driving was fun?” Riff asks the audience. “The Follies has always taken me back to a happier, simpler time in our America. We all enjoyed living in the good old days, and I trust so did you. If only for just a brief time. Well, just step through the doors of the Plaza Theatre and you’ll find yourself back in those golden days. ‘Get Your Kicks’ is a song and dance road trip celebrating the American Experience.”
The songs highlighted during the ultra entertaining three act show are always beloved standards such as “Get Your Kicks On Route 66.” Plus for the holiday shows Christmas classics are featured, along with the cute “Hanukkah in Santa Monica.”
As has been their tradition from the first Follies show, there is a show-stopping patriotic salute to America and its military veterans.
The Follies also celebrates eternal youth with its cast of ageless long-legged lovelies and the dapper men in the show. The cast ranges in age from 55 to 85 years “young,” and they are the most inspiring ensemble you’ve ever enjoyed. The good feeling they give you puts a spring in your step and a smile on your face that lasts a long time.
The cast kicks up their heels in lavish, Broadway-caliber production numbers. The showgirls wear Las Vegas-style costumes that show off their dynamite figures.
Jill Gordon is 65 years old and proud of it. She’s equally proud that this is her 12th year as a Follies showgirl. Jill started her career in a Vegas chorus line decades ago, then gravitated to television and danced on The Dean Martin Show, as well as Andy Williams, Glen Campbell, and spent a full season on The Carol Burnett Show.
Gordon has traveled the world with various shows, but also has fond memories of driving along Route 66. “There’s this great diner in the middle of the Mojave desert alongside the highway. I just loved it.”
Also standing out from the chorus line is Dorothy Kloss, 85, who is billed in the Guinness Book of Records as the “Oldest ‘Still Performing’ Showgirl in the World.” To celebrate her 14th season with the Follies she does a tap dance solo.
Stunning with a sharp sense of humor, Dorothy doesn’t worry about her feet and body aching after a performance. “I soak them in vodka,” she says with a wink. During her amazing life, she entertained for the USO during WWII, taught a young Bob Fosse how to tap dance, and made a full recovery from colon cancer two decades ago. Off season, Dorothy is in demand to lecture about the secret to her vitality and living life to the fullest.
The incomparable Freda Payne (“Band of Gold”) is the current guest star appearing with the Follies until New Year’s Eve. Susan Anton, the “Muriel Cigar Girl,” who also has appeared on Broadway and in Vegas takes over the guest spot Jan. 7 thru Mar. 7, and May 13 thru May 17. Multi-talented John Davidson appears Mar. 10 thru May 9.
The Follies also presents great variety acts from around the globe. From the Moscow Circus, Irina Markova and her Russian canines are featured, along with the ultra-popular ventriloquist Mr. Sammy King, and his sidekick Francisco, a wiseacre bird.
The village of Palm Springs is a great place to visit during the holidays. Just a short drive from LA, just over two hours on a good day. A convenient place to stay in the heart of Palm Springs is the Palm Mountain Resort. It’s a few footsteps away from the center of Palm Canyon Drive, a shopper’s paradise of boutiques, restaurants and clubs. And it’s a block away from the world-class Palm Springs Art Museum, which has impressive exhibitions that include awesome modern art. In the middle of all the action, the comfy and cozy Palm Mountain Resort gets great group and getaway business because it’s just across from the Plaza Theatre, home base to the Palm Springs Follies. It’s a great destination.