Theater: Will Rogers Follies

Photo: Alicia Donelan

‘The Will Rogers Follies: A life in Review,” will take the stage at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre from Jan. 12, to Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. under the direction of Carbonell Award winner Matt Martino joined by fellow Carbonell winners choreographer Shea Sullivan and Broadway performer Matt Loehr.

Maltz regulars will remember the award winning trio in the Carbonell-winning musicals,“Crazy for You” and “The Music Man.”

“I cannot think of three artists that I’m more excited to have collaborate for the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s production of ‘The Will Rogers Follies: A Life in Revue than Mark Martino, Shea Sullivan and Matt Loehr,” said Andrew Kato, the Theatre’s producing artistic director and chief executive. “They are all incredibly talented artists individually, and are absolutely unstoppable when they join forces. Our audiences are in for an extraordinary treat!”

“The Will Rogers Follies” depicts, in song and dance, the bigger than life, life of Will Rogers, American philosopher and showman who is famously credited with saying ‘I never met a man I didn’t like.

Rogers was born on a cattle ranch in Oologah, Oklahoma in 1897, starting his show business career as “The Cherokee Kid” in Texas Jack’s American Circus and Wild West Show. From there he moved on to master every communications/entertainment venue from radio to television to stage including starring in the renowned Ziegfeld Follies. He died in an airplane crash in 1935. He was 38 years old.

“I’m sure this musical is something that many readers of South Florida Gay News would love to see,” Martino said. “There are incredible dance numbers with glamour and glitz; some with tap and some with cowboy ropes. Sets and costumes are eye-opening.”

“I can’t imagine not liking the show,” he continued. “There are show girls and strapping handsome cowboys. It’s the perfect marriage of spectacle and joy, and it’s a relief to escape from all the negative news for a while.”

The production features a cast of 23, a nine-piece orchestra, some 300 costumes, and 22 musical numbers. The musical will showcase the scenic design of Carbonell nominee Paul Tate dePoo, lighting design by Carbonell nominee Paul Black, costume design by Carbonell nominee Gail Baldoni, music direction by Carbonell winner Helen Gregory, and sound design by multiple Carbonell nominee Marty Metz.

Mark Martino was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. He went to college at William and Mary where he studied theater. His career has progressed through various stages of acting, producing and now directing. He loves his work and his favorite out-of-town theater is the Maltz.

“It’s a totally professional organization with the feeling of family,” he said. “You can tell people care about their mission. It’s just a great place to work.”

Martino and his husband, Jose Fidellino were married in 2008 in California and make their home in New York City.

The Maltz-Jupiter Theatre is located at 1001 East Indiantown Road in Jupiter. Information and tickets are available online (www.jupitertheatre.org) or by phone at 561-575-2223

Pride at Maltz

In conjunction with “The Will Rogers Follies: A Life in Revue” the Maltz Jupiter Theater will hold its Seventh Annual Gay Pride Night” on Saturday, Jan. 30. Tickets for the event may be purchased for $39.00 by calling 561-575-2223. The password is COWBOY. Regular seating starts at $55.

Pride Night guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres in the conservatory at 7 p.m. They will adjourn to the theatre a little before the 8 p.m. curtain. After the show, they will join the cast for a post-show dessert meet-and-greet featuring ice cream provided by Pride Night supporter Kilwins of Jupiter.’’

In addition to Kilwin’s of Jupiter, Pride Night is sponsored by Morgan Stanley and supported by South Florida Gay News, Get Out! South Florida on WBZT, and Compass Communiy Center.

“As a business leader in our community, we feel it’s extremely important to welcome everyone to the Maltz Jupiter Theatre,” said Andrew Kato, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s producing artistic director and chief executive. “When we started our annual Pride Night initiative seven years ago, we wanted to take that invitation to the Theatre one step further by creating an annual event. Pride events in the northern Palm Beach County area are rare, so we created an exciting yearly event that mixes socializing with a show. Theater is the sort of place that should always be welcoming everyone, and we love welcoming members of our LGBT community each year for Pride Night.”


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