The Silver Follies of the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre return to The Stage at Island Park for their annual spring show next week, but this one will be much different than years past. The age 55+ singing troupe will be rounding up their favorite skits and songs from their past decade of musical productions with something from every show since 2004 on the lineup.
With a lengthy history as a singing troupe even before their ignition of musicals in ’04, the Silver Follies are known for the fun they bring to the stage and the collaboration they create with each other. Three of the troupe’s members — Marilyn Gorman, Lois Fritz and Jim Martin — have been participating since the mid-1990s, and this is an event they say is very special.
“Last year we did the skits and songs of Carol Burnett, which was a little bit of a combination of everything,” Martin said. “We had fun doing that, and I think because of that, we figured a decade of musicals would kind of bring us all together.”
Collaborations of all kinds are bursting at the seams with the Decade of Musicals, from solos and duets to trios and entire ensemble numbers. Gorman and Martin each have their respective duets, and Fritz is featured in a trio of performers. All three have bit parts and make appearance in the other Follies’ numbers, too. Singing together and having fun is what it is all about, they say, and they know their audiences will love what’s in store, because they’ve heard it before.
“There are a lot of songs that people remember,” Martin said, “different songs that they remember singing maybe in the shower or in the car driving or wherever.”
Songs from “Grease,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “Anything Goes,” “Bye Bye Birdie” and more have been pulled for this production, which features live music to back its performers. Twenty-three songs have been chosen, all sung by 26 Silver Follies.
Before all of this musical action began 10 years ago, the Silver Follies started their outreach program for nursing homes. In late fall and early winter, the troupe heads off to various nursing homes within a 50-mile radius of Fargo-Moorhead, performing folk songs, Christmas songs and other tunes per request of the facilities asking for them. This is just another outlet for the group to come together and perform for some eager ears.
“We go all over, small towns around, yes, in Minnesota, North Dakota, both,” Fritz said. “And now they keep asking.”
“Which is a good thing,” Martin added.
Indeed it is a good thing, and it’s great that a performance troupe like the Silver Follies can remain a fixture for as long as they have. With a decade of musicals behind them and even more years of previous performances, the Silver Follies are set for up years to come.
WHERE: The Stage at Island Park, 333 4th St. S.
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. from May 15-17, 2 p.m. on May 18
PRICE: Adults $16, students/seniors $12, children $6. Call 701-235-6778