In the first decades of the 20th century, vaudeville was all the rage. In Palm Springs, California, the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies re-creates a Ziegfeld Follies type show, complete with performers who are old enough to remember the first generation of vaudeville performers. The “Follies” are performers in the truest sense and their popular presentation is an “absolute must-see”. Here's why:
Riff Markowitz has been running the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies for over 10 years. He has become something of a local legend and routes to draw nearly 200,000 people to Palm Springs every year to see the show. The show is held in a building that is a sight to see in and of itself, the Plaza Theater, located in the city's downtown area.
The Follies offers quite a bit of what you might have seen if you had gone to visit a vaudeville performance in the early 20th century. Expect plenty of campy jokes, funny slapstick skits and other entertainment that has kept people entertained for over 100 years. The most famous part of the show is the “long-legged lovelies”. This group of female dancers includes women anywhere from 50 to 85 years of age.
Vaudeville always thrived on offering a huge variety of performers and performance types for the audiences. The Follies is no exception to this rule. With over 125 people in the cast and crew, there's plenty of creativity to go around. You will see everything from acts including animals to singers, dancers and comedians.
Remember that the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies is designed to give you the feeling of a performance that you would have seen in the 1950s or even earlier on. This means that some of the jokes you will hear are a little bit racy and that they're definitely not going to be politically correct according to modern sensibilities. This is all part of the fun. If you are old enough to remember these variety performances, you'll probably get a great rush of nostalgia when you go to see the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies. If you're too young to remember those days, you will get a history lesson in addition to a very entertaining evening.
The Follies is not a simple novel act. Some of the performers that you will see among the female dancers were performers in the USO in World War II and in other venues. The show also makes an effort to include only the best performers you can find. While the cast and crew may be under 150 people, the producers have been quoted as saying that they audit over 500 people every year who want to become a part of the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies. In total, the Follies have entertained approximately 1.5 million people since it was founded.
The Follies will give you a great deal for your money. Expect the show to last about three hours in total and to experience a great many different entertainers within that time. Some of these entertainers have literally been working for a lifetime, so it is a given that you will see some performers who are incredibly experienced and adept at their craft.
If you're traveling to Palm Springs, the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies is an absolute must-see. This is a show unlike any other anywhere in the country and, even more than that, it is a show unlike any other that is produced and performed today. The Follies provides a perfect mix of nostalgia and rollicking entertainment and is not something you should pass up.