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Senior Follies goes country
Jamboree opens at Playhouse
follies2
Dona Cangelosi, center, rehearses a scene with fellow cast members for the Senior Follies Country Jamboree. - photo by Autumn Vetter

If you’re going

The Cumming Playhouse will present the Georgia Senior Follies Country Jamboree at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and at 3 p.m. Sundays, through May 6. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at www.playhousecumming.com or by calling (770) 781-9178.

Get ready for a rootin’, tootin’ good time at the Cumming Playhouse.

The 2012 Georgia Senior Follies Country Jamboree began an 11-show run on Friday.

This is the fourth year of the show, which spotlights the talents of those 55 and older.

Director Kathy Russell, who leads the show with husband Bob, said this year’s production features more than 50 seniors as they act, dance, sing and perform comedy.  

She said the show’s country theme is a big departure from previous productions, which have included oldies rock ‘n’ roll, and Broadway and movie musicals.

“We’re in the South, so we thought if we continue doing this year after year, at some point we’re going to have to do country,” Russell said.

The theme doesn’t seem to be a problem for the show’s cast.

First-time Follies performer Sandy Rubinstein said that was one of the main reasons she wanted to audition.

“I’m a country girl,” she said. “I was born in West Virginia and I call myself the original coal miner’s daughter.

“When they said it was country, I’m like, ‘Yes, I want to sing country.’”

Eileen Leone has been in every Senior Follies production.

“I don’t dare not be in them,” she said. “I love to sing and dance and carry on. I’m a ham.

“This year was even better because I got to buy cowboy boots and a hat and decorate it with feathers.”

Leone said people should come to the show to see her comedy skit, in which she tap dances in a chicken suit.

“You have to see that one,” she said. “I’m a sexy chick.”

Bob Radics, in his second production, said he does “absolutely zero dancing.”

“I have a few solos, a lot of group numbers, and I’m the bass voice for the show,” he said, noting the best part has been watching the show’s development.

“Just thinking about how ragged it was just a week ago and now seeing how well it has gelled together is the best part,” he said.

Russell said the show will feature numbers such as a scene with saloon girls and characters such as John Wayne and May West, and tributes to the Grand Old Opry and the television series “Hee Haw.”

There will also be several numbers from Broadway musicals like “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Oklahoma,” and “Paint Your Wagon.”

“It’s a fast-paced show and we have lots of talent,” Russell said.

Added Radics: “Everybody here is friendly and we just enjoy each other. Most of us aren’t professionals, but we have a great time.”