Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
It only happens once every three year, but it is an event full of laughter, song and dance and memories for years to come.
The Service League of Orange is preparing for its biggest fundraising event, traditionally known as the Follies, which will be held at 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 17 and Saturday, Jan. 18 at the Lutcher Theater in Orange. The event is held once every three years.
In preparation of the event, the Service League of Orange is holdings a Casting Call Party starting at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 4, at Rose Thayer’s Academy of Dance, 1201 16th St. in Orange.
“This is an event for anyone who wants to be in the show,” said Rose Thayer, director of the 2014 Follies event. “We want people to come and try out. We are looking for singers, dancers and actors. We will have a place in the Follies for everyone who shows up too.”
This year’s Follies theme is “We Got Talent” and Thayer knows there is plenty of that in Orange County.
“There are so many wonderfully talented people in our area, and we want as many to try out as possible,” she added. “We would like to have a lot of high school age participants. We want to showcase the talent that we know are in our schools too.”
A “Patron Party” is also part of the Follies experience and it will be held at 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 11, at Sunset Grove Country Club. Admission is $25 and includes hors d’oeuvres and drinks. There will be live and silent auctions as well.
“This is always part of the Follies and it is such a big hit,” Thayer explained. “We have over 65 items already to be included in the live auction and silent auction. And 100 percent of the proceeds will go to charity.”
The Service League’s follies have come a long way since its first Follies event, “Red Silk Stocking Review,” held in 1960 at the Lutcher Stark High School gymnasium. In 1981, the follies were moved to the Lutcher Theater for the first time.
In 2005, the Service League of Orange held its “Gold Silk Stocking Review” to celebrate 50 years of service by the league in the Orange community.
The Service League of Orange, a non-profit organization which was established in 1954, is operated completely by volunteers and supports the community through its numerous activities such as programs for the elderly, art programs for fourth graders in elementary school throughout the county, puppet shows for second-grade children dealing with social issues, scholarships, grants, health programs for school nurses and operation of the gift shop inside Memorial Hermann Baptist Orange Hospital.
Funding for all league programs comes from money generated by the follies fundraiser every three years.
This year’s event is being directed by Adam Conrad, a West Orange-Stark High School graduate and the drama director of Vidor High School.
“This year’s Follies is funny all the way through,” Thayer said excitedly. “It’s a comedy, kind of a play off of ‘Saturday Night Live’ and ‘Laugh-In’ but less than two-hours in length. In years past, the shows ran a little longer they maybe they should have, so we really trimmed it down this time.
“It will have a very fresh appeal and feature a lot of our young area talent,” she continued. “We want as many people as we can to be a part of it, and we want as many people as we can get to come see it because by supporting the Service League of Orange people are helping support many local non-profit charities, and that’s what this is all about.”
Tickets for the Service League’s Follies are available now for $20 for reserved seating and $10 for balcony seating. Tickets can be purchased by calling 409-882-7290 or the theater at 409-886-5535.
Visit www.serviceleagueoforange.com for more information.