Fall Musical a Stunning Performance
Renee Rhodes, Editor
Oct. 15, 2013
Show proves to be a "crowd pleaser"
In what could be called the most stunning Lubbock Christian University musical in years, The Will Rogers Follies: A Life in Review opened last Friday night and wrapped up with a matinee on Sunday afternoon. Directed by Dr. Laurie Doyle and Dr. Don Williams, the show was staged through LCU's annual Family Weekend and attracted families of students, alumni, and members of the community.
Visually appealing were the dance numbers, formations, and use of set. The stairs on the stage were lined with lights that changed color with the mood of the music. The show used these risers for most of the choral dance numbers. This show utilized more choreography than the LCU theatre program had seen in several years. Coupled with impressive lighting effects, the show pleased the eye, especially the number "Our Favorite Son," with an amazing hand routine.
The costumes were well coordinated for the chorus members. The leads stood apart enough to be recognizable in group numbers. With the men largely in black and red, the women in white and pink, the costumes were fun and memorable. The "Six Single Sisters" had a variety of showy dresses in different colors and kept the audience laughing.
The only things lacking visually were some of the props. Against the stunning set and costumes as well as the fantastic singing and acting, items like Clem Rogers's (played by Colton Crawford) askew wings and the horse head stick out.
The show was a crowd-pleaser. Will Rogers, played by senior Caleb Blakeney, even threw in a few of his "signature" (if basic) rope tricks. The music, though not particularly well-known, was catchy, humorous, and engaging. The script was stock full of period humor as well as jokes adapted for the present day: such as Lubbock weather and Obamacare. Real pictures of Will Rogers that coordinated well with the scene added to the story by playing on the screens to the left and right of the stage.
Leads Blakeney and Kallie Clark (as Betty Blake, Rogers's wife) owned the stage. Their voices are not only superb, but their personalities endeared the audience members to them. The two spent a majority of the show onstage, with few exceptions, so they had to be completely engaged.
Overall, Dr. Doyle and Dr. Williams tied together a very beautiful and visually inspiring musical. The attendance was solid, especially considering how many shows opened in the city of Lubbock during the same weekend. The Will Rogers Follies was definitely a huge success. Congratulations to all who helped make it so outstanding.