2017 Santa Cruz Follies Review
By Noel Smith
The Santa Cruz Follies “Best of Broadway… Then and Now” was directed and choreographed by Bari Lee, and had a Santa Cruz County cast of 37 performers all age 50 and over. The Follies is a Santa Cruz tradition that brings audiences of all ages from all over California into the Civic Auditorium each September.
The Director Bari Lee said, “Live Theater is an important part of our history. From Shakespeare to the Follies, theater provides an opportunity for us all to experience art at it’s finest. Theater educates, entertains and opens the hearts and minds of millions of people everyday.”
Imagine having a cast able to present the music and settings for 34 different hit songs from 28 different famous Broadway musicals; it was a magical evening! Just some of the highlights of “Best Of Broadway… Then And Now” started with a barbershop quartet singing songs and harmony that brought back many memories, and that was before the show even started!
The follies kicked of with the chorus high stepping it to Gold Diggers 1935 “The Lullaby of Broadway.” Later, Lee Peterson and the cast did “Brother Can You Spare a Dime,” a heartfelt eulogy to the recession of that time. Joe Ferrara brought back the deep melancholy of “Old Man River” from Showboat.
After intermission, Joe Ferrara, Lee Peterson, Marc Bryant and Terrance Courreault did a wonderful quartet and dance presentation of “Beautiful” from On Broadway. The best bit of silliness of the evening was the playful presentation by Cece Dettle and Jackie Lockwood of “You Could Drive a Person Crazy” from Company. Ethel Lewis (who is 94!) gave a soulful rendition of A Little Night Music “Send in the Clowns.”
The highlight of the evening came from Phantom of the Opera with Terrance Courreault’s wonderful “Music of the Night,” Cece Dettle gave the performance of the evening with “Wishing You Were Here Again” and in the duet by Cece Dettle and Lee Peterson of “All I Ask Of You.”
The Follies ended with the cast singing and dancing to a medley of “45 Minutes From Broadway,” “Little Johnny Jones” and “Love Changes Everything”… a great thought especially when you love music by the Santa Cruz Follies.
Don’t miss the 63rd Santa Cruz Follies’ sentimental journey “The Way We Were” next year in September 2018 at the Civic Auditorium. With all the local talent we have, it will be another smash!