Service League Follies roll in with a laugh
Kevin Doss is guaranteeing a few belly laughs, along with song and dance, at the Service League’s Follies on Saturday and Sunday. Plus, he promises a “Thriller.”
The premise of the show alone is enough to bring an out-loud chuckle. The tale begins with a mother, father, three children, grandpa and grandma, stuck in traffic outside of Buna during a hurricane evacuation.
Doss and his wife, Brook, wrote the script for the “Star-Studded Follies” and are directing. The two are speech and drama teachers, Kevin at Lamar State College-Orange, and Brook at Nederland High School. Plus, they are veteran actors, singers and dancers.
He said the script includes lots of jokes, including some geared toward local residents about recent issues.
The Service League’s Follies are held every three years to raise money for the league’s charitable projects, including those for health and education of children.
The Follies feature local volunteer performers and will be held Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., at the Lutcher Theater. Tickets are $20 for reserved seats on the floor, and $10 for the balcony. The Service League recommends reservations for the seats.
Kevin said two door prizes of $500 each will be given away each night, for a total of $2,000, in drawings for ticket holders.
Usually, the Service League hires a New York production company that specializes in community benefit shows. But this year, the league hired the Dosses for a custom show.
“This is something that is totally different than any other Follies,” Kevin said.
The cast is larger than the 2005 production. That year, 37 people were in the show; this year, the cast has more than 100, young and old. High school students from West Orange-Stark, Little Cypress-Mauriceville, Bridge City, Orangefield, and even Port Neches and Nederland are in the production.
“It’s really a community effort and that’s what it’s all about, because these ladies (of the Service League) give right back to the community,” Kevin said.
He said the Service League had decided on the theme of “Star-Studded Follies” and he and his wife had to come up with a show to fit the theme. After brainstorming, they came up with the hurricane evacuation concept to guide the production through the numbers and skits.
As the family is stuck for four hours in the car, the grandmother tells about a game of looking up at a star and imagining you were somewhere else. The youngest daughter wishes she was in Disneyland, the oldest daughter wishes she was in New York City.
Kevin said during the wait, the grandmother needs to relieve herself, and goes into the woods. There, she finds a cemetery and sits on a tombstone. That is the catalyst for a large production number of the classic Michael Jackson “Thriller,” which is 25-years-old this year. More than 50 people will be on stage for “Thriller,” he said.
“It’s awesome. It looks great,” Kevin said.
Another production will be the “All That Jazz” selection from the musical “Chicago.”
Performers in the Follies will include Doug Rogers, director of music at First United Methodist Church in Orange, and his wife, Donna. The Rogers are also veterans of musicals at Orange Community Players. Doug Rogers will do a solo of “The Impossible Dream” from “Man of LaMancha.”
The evacuation in the play has a happy ending. The hurricane dissipates into a tropical storm and heads back to the Gulf of Mexico. The family gets to return home, leading to a finale tribute to the great state of Texas.
More information about the Follies is available through Service League member Cheryl Sargent at 988-4527, or the Lutcher Theater at 745-5535 or 1-800-828-5535.