One of America’s longest running theatrical attractions, The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies, is closing its doors after 23 years.
An old-fashioned musical revue designed for an audience who remembers when this sort of entertainment wasn’t old fashioned, it features dancers aged betwen 55 and 84.
Age is all in the head, according to younger members of the company, who say their more mature co-dancers are an inspiration to them.
“I’ve always believed you’re only as old as you feel, age is a number and it doesn’t really matter, and it’s great to have people come and see us and see us doing these things. I myself am so impressed with the 70 something year olds in this show. I’m younger and I just think they’re fabulous,” said Jane Owens, who is 65.
Because it’s the Follies last season, the remaining shows are nearly sold out. But ever since the recession hit in 2008, fewer people have been able to afford tickets, which can cost up to 95 dollars. Ultimately, the financial hole was just too deep to keep going said the show’s co-founder and producer Mary Jardin.
“It was always a challenge to try and sell this show because people just think that every town has their little grannies in tutus on stage, they didn’t realise the caliber of this show and it really is of a Broadway-Las Vegas caliber,” she said.
For most dancers, it won’t be easy to say goodbye, many of them have spent their lives in the showbiz industry.
Dick France is the oldest act in the show with over 20 years of Broadway experience.
“I’ll be sad. I’ll be sad. I’m 84 years old, I’ve been in the business for 70 years and this will be the end for me,” he said.
Fabulous Follies’ final performance ‘The Last Hurrah’ takes place on May 18 at the Plaza Theatre in Palm Springs.