The Will Rogers Follies is a multiple times Tony-Award-winning musical with musical compositions by Cy Coleman, book written by Peter Stone, and lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden. The musical is based upon the life of well-known performer and humorist Will Rogers who became one of the world's most famous celebrities from the early nineteenth century. It is choreographed and directed by theatre specialist Tommy Tune, involved in many theatre facets including dancing, acting, choreography, production, singing and directing. He has who has won the National Medal of Arts and nine TonyAwards for various contributions to theatre art. Furthermore, the musical has been choreographed by jazz trombonist Billy Byers, and has played the trombone for Buddy Rich, Benny Goodman, Teddy Powell and Charlie Ventura, while also performing alongside the famous Harold Arlen and with the orchestra by Quincy Jones. Jones has been noted for his extraordinary skills that won him a Drama Desk Award in the category of Outstanding Orchestrations. Due to the combined effort of these artists, the musical has garnered much critical acclaim, and has distributed The Will Rogers Follies tickets for a total of nine hundred and eighty-three performances since 1991.
The Will Rogers Follies features a heavy backdrop that comprises of the Ziegfeld Follies since Rogers frequently made the subject of his headlines. In fact, Roger's character describes each milestone in his life in the symbolic form of a sizeable production number, which perhaps truly encapsulates the American success myth of moving ahead in big leaps that help running up the social ladder. His character is seen performing rope tricks between scenes which, while amuses the audience also depicts Roger's identity as an entertainer and performer. The play further goes on to reveal snippets of Roger's typical homespun ways of quoting simple wisdom, his common sense that is perhaps the same as any other American man. These snippets are the most important in expressing his quintessential American personality traits.
The Will Rogers Follies basically focuses on the theme of American values and ideas, with particular emphasis on the concept of success and how it influences a person's sense of self. The play goes on to question the concept of happiness, which the audience are caught up in evaluating, when they see Roger's wife struggling with the implications of her husband's success on their domestic life. The show also encourages the spectators to examine the difference between personal and vocational success, and to decide the significance of one over the other.
The Will Rogers Follies debuted on Broadway after being previewed thirty-three times, in 1991 in midtown-Manhattan at the renowned Palace Theatre. The show closed after completing nine-hundred and eighty one performances in 1993. The original cast of the musical comprised of Keith Carradine as the protagonist, Dick Latessa as Roger's father Clem, Dee Hoty as Roger's love interest, while Cady Huffman played Zeigfeld's most popular chorus girl. As the show went on to be staged, new actors Larry Gatlin and Mac Davis played the character of Rogers, Marla Maples and Susan Anton performed the favorite chorus woman of Zeigfeld, while Mickey Rooney played Clem. The show progressed to undertaking several national tours that included Davis, Gatlin and Carradine in the earliest tour of 1993-94.
The Will Rogers Follies has won several awards including six Tony Awards in 1991 for Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Choreography, Best Costume Design and Best Light Design. In the same year, the musical also took home three Drama Desk Awards in the categories of Outstanding Musical, OutstandingChoreography and OutstandingMusic. Some of the most beautiful songs form the play include Without You, Look Around, Marry Me Now, My Unknown Someone, Give a Man Enough Rope, No Man Left For Me and My Big Mistake. If you are in the mood to watch a somewhat serious musical that throws light on life at large, while it provides you with quality music, then get The Will Rogers Follies tickets.