Sunday, November 23, 2008

Review - PS Follies 18th Edition: Holiday Show through December 31

This all new18th edition, with guest star Freda Payne plays at the Historic Plaza Theatre through New Year's Eve! The Palm Springs Follies is an annual treat for me and sets the happy tone of the theatrical Christmas season.
This year's show, though in 3 acts, went by quicker than a flash, I was having such a good time.
Ventriloquist/guitarrist Sammy King and puppet parrot Francisco are hilarious, and this is their final appearance as a team this season.
Irina Markova's Russian Poodles (or Russian Wolfhounds, as Riff Markowitz calls them) are adorable -
and Freda Payne sings like an angel. Her classic golden hit "Band of Gold" is, of course, a highlight, as are many classy standards by Ella Fitzgerald. Miss Payne is paying hommage to Miss Ella, the Queen of Scat, and considered by many to be the greatest singer of all time, in a solo show soon to play the Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood. (or so Miss Payne told me after the show) Check out her photo above with yours truly. She looks gorgeous!
The show plays tighter than in previous years. Director Markowitz's monologues are pleasingly crisp and curtailed - they work just right with less milking! Loved his jokes about Sarah Palin, Obama's White House dog and what it's like to grow old. Dorothy Kloss, now 85 - the Oldest Living Showgirl - had a cute dualogue with Markowitz in the third act. She hates going to the doctor, still eats chocolate chip cookies, has a lover 23 years her junior and will even show you her prized Winged Time Step tap dance. Boy, oh boy, I can't do that, and I'm only in my...
The Christmas segment was too trimmed down this time around. Judy Bell, always in great voice, did not do her drunken "12 Days of Christmas". I am putting this request on my Wish List for next year: Put it back in! It's the top!!!! The parody of "Waltz of the Flowers" from Tchaikovsky was a perfect vehicle for the cute and dynamically skilled Leonard Crofoot.
This year's theme Get Your Kicks on Route 66 worked splendidly in the opening number and in Act III's Seems Like Old Times as well as in the always moving patriotic Red, White and Blue finale.
It was great to hear such standards as "The Yellow Rose of Texas", "Kansas City" "St. Louis Blues" and "Big Noise from Winnetka" paying tribute to cities along the famous route.
The costumes, the sets, the Follies - both male and female - all the beautiful sights and sounds add up to a joyous experience that I wouldn't miss for the world! Even if you've seen it many times, it feels better and better like an old comfie shoe!!!! Go see for yourselves!!!!!
5 out of 5 stars


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