Shoppers at the soon to be closed Valley View Mall got a surprise treat last summer as The Spectacular Senior Follies again moved in to rehearse for the 2016 production "Bravo Broadway". The sounds of music, laughter and tapping toes filled the corridors of the mall with a bit of joy as over 100 cast members piled into the Community Room to sing, dance and prepare for the upcoming Follies. The Spectacular Senior Follies has used Valley View for rehearsals for several seasons bringing life to the quiet shopping center and amusement to the shoppers and remaining tenants.
Now in its 8th successful season, the Follies kicked off in September. It was a great show and a fitting tribute to Broadway..
When someone hears the phrase 'Tony Award Winning musical', it conjures up a mental picture of the finest of Broadway performances.
The Tony Awards recognize achievement in Broadway productions by celebrating excellence in the theater. The award for
Best Musical is one of the ceremony's longest-standing awards, having been presented each year since 1949.
Many of these musicals are still being performed as revivals across the country to high acclaim due to their long lasting
To celebrate its 8th season, The Spectacular Senior Follies presented "Bravo Broadway", an all-live, all-new tribute to Tony Award winning Broadway musicals that featured many of the songs and dances that audiences and critics loved on Broadway from the Golden Years through current, contemporary musicals.
With performances from classic Broadway shows like "Oklahoma", "South Pacific", "Evita" and "Music Man" to more modern shows
like "Phantom of the Opera", "Crazy for You" and "La Cage Aux Folles" to the latest Tony winners like
"Beautiful - The Carole King Musical", there was something for everyone in the family to tap their toes to
and sing along with.
It was staged with great scenery, gorgeous musical arrangements performed by our live orchestra, beautiful costumes and a cast of over 140 talented, professional entertainers all over the age of 55
The Spectacular Senior Follies ran 5 performances from Thursday, September 15 through Sunday, September 18 with matinees daily at 2pm and a special Saturday evening performance on September 17 at 7pm at the Eisemann Theater Center.
The Follies is not a senior amateur show; our cast of talented performers comes from many different professional backgrounds like Las Vegas, Broadway, Hollywood and other places across the country and all enjoy performing and showing their talents to other residents in the area.
Featuring a cast of professional entertainers, the Follies presented dancers, vocalists, comedians and the highlight of the Follies, the famous Follies Showgirls, who appeared in lavish, over the top costumes to the delight of the audience. Young and old, the Follies offered something for everyone to enjoy.
The Spectacular Senior Follies has come a long way since it began in 2005 as a dream shared by Ned Startzel
and Mark Carroll. Ned, a retired businessman and former Vaudeville performer and Mark, Dallas' own "Piano Man"
came up with an idea to stage a Senior Follies showcase to highlight the talents of local seniors who love
live theater and wanted to continue to perform.
After years of planning, the dream of both men became a reality in September 2008 when the Spectacular Senior Follies debuted on stage at the Eisemann Theater. The Follies was an instant success and Ned and Mark never looked back. The Follies has become a yearly theatrical event and it celebrated its 8th year entertaining the Dallas Metroplex.
The Follies is directed and choreographed by Broadway Tony winner, Michael Serrecchia. Since leaving New York,
Michael has directed many successful productions in Dallas and the North Texas area and is the recipient of
many coveted awards for his work.
The Follies artistic director, Dee Anne Meece, started out as a jingle singer for many national companies and later was featured in many equity theater musical roles. Dee Anne creates and performs in shows at her family's theater in Savannah.
Andy Michlin, musical director, has worked with show business giants like Tom Jones, Lisa Minnelli and Linda Carter. Andy was also a member of the New Christie Minstrels.
Bill Geyer, who has had stints with Harry James, Orrin Tucker and the Don Ellis Orchestra, directed the Up Swing big band.
Michhael Robinson, Follies costumer, outfitted the cast and created the lavish costumes for the Follies Showgirls, using all the sequins, rhinestones, feathers and beads he could find.
The cast included Dallas' favorite storyteller, Rose-Mary Rumbley; Jackie Troup Miller, whose fame started as a tap dancer from the golden days of Hollywood musicals; acrobatic award wunning dancing sensations, The Collettes; The Tap Dazzlers; The Class Act Tap Company and many others.
Not only did the 2016 Follies feature the best-of-the-best of Broadway, it presented a patriotic tribute to America honoring our military veterans with song, dance and flag waving. There wasn't a dry eye in the house and the patriotic grand finale brought the audience to its feet.
The part of the evening the cast enjoyed most was greeting the audience in the lobby after each performance and speaking one-on-one with the people who attended. They stared with awe at the gorgeous costumes of the Follies Showgirls and enjoyed meeting the cast in this informal setting. As one cast member said, "We greet old friends and meet new fans every year. The folks in the lobby are fantastic; always say they'll come back again with even more friends next year; and they do!"
The Spectacular Senior Follies entertains hundreds of senior aged audience members at the daily matinees.
You can tell from the fleet of buses in the parking lot that the Follies is a favorite outing for the many
independent and assisted living facilities that bring their residents to the Eisemann Center for an afternoon
of fun and a chance to relive the days of live theater.
The mix of seniors, middle aged adults and young children indicates that the Follies is a true family destination that everyone can share together.
The Follies presents wholesome entertainment for all ages and theater tastes.
Being a 501-C-3 charity, the mission of the Spectacular Senior Follies is to: preserve the traditions
and legacy of American performing arts for future generations; provide community outreach that inspires
all age groups; educates by example; and reinforces the vibrancy of seniors by presenting high quality performances
with senior entertainers 55 and older.
Each cast member supports our mission with every performance.
The Spectacular Senior Follies tickets are only available from the Eisemann Theater Box Office,(972-744-4650 ext. 4) or the Eisemann Center website (www.eisemanncenter.com ).
Group discounts are available.
Dallas Senior Entertainment
A Ziegfeld Follies style musical theater review with singers and dancers 55 & older. The Spectacular Senior Follies is Dallas musical theater at its best.
Announcing the First Annual Fund Raising Gala where you will be able to meet the cast and creative team of the Spectacular Senior Follies