The Will Rogers Follies
THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES marked my second of three collaborations with Cy Coleman. It’s one of my favorite shows and I’m thrilled I got to do 4-5 different productions (so far).
I played piano in the pit of the Broadway production, and as a vacation replacement for the National Tour. Then I became Musical Director of a massive production with nearly the entire Broadway cast and the full orchestration at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta and the Dallas Music Fair. My latest was when I conducted the show at the Cape Playhouse in Massachusetts and the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine.
The show’s orchestration, by Billy Byers, surpassed even the brilliant work he did on CITY OF ANGELS, and playing with those terrific musicians in the Broadway pit was a career high.
The Cape Playhouse and the Ogunquit Playhouse are stock theatres with very small pits. So I adapted the entire orchestration around the concept of a period radio show – after all, Will Rogers had been a radio star as well as a Follies star.
After over 25 years, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES is due for a revival. If it happens, I hope to be on the team once more.