The young and old alike shine bright for Star Follies

29 Mar 2006 - 4:53pm

North Lake Tahoe Bonanza: There are less than 10 days until Star Follies opening night. As April 7 approaches, parents, teachers, students and community members rush to more and more frequent rehearsals on weekday evenings. Follies performers will tell you it's a grueling schedule that takes time and energy - which is why there is ample admiration for Jim Nakada, the oldest Star Follies performer. He'll be turning 90 this year.

"They've always asked me to be in it," said Nakada, who is practicing to take the stage for three performance numbers.

Star Follies is an annual lip syncing variety show that raises money for Incline public schools.

Nakada admitted that he decided to drop his fourth act after a day of dancing and standing for four and a half hours. Since the follies began six years ago, Nakada has been in the show every year except the last.

"I missed last year because I was in Antarctica," he said.

Antarctica was the last continent Nakada needed to visit to be able to truthfully proclaim that he had set foot on all of them

"(The Star Follies) helps the community. It gives children extra funds and unites community members," Nakada said, explaining his interest in the performance.

Jordan Jones, 10, and Katie Orlady, 10, rehearse for Star FolliesDuring the all cast numbers of the play, Nakada will be sharing the stage with a contingent of fifth grade students - most a full 79 years younger than he. Among those students are Katie Orlady and Jordan Jones, the youngest members of the star follies cast. The two girls share the same birthday, Sept. 12.

Kathie Goldberg, who organizes the Star Follies cast, said students must wait until they are in fifth grade to be in the cast because of some of the late night rehearsals and because of the moderated behavior required of performers.

"The bottom line is that participation in the follies is a privilege reserved for the older kids at each school," Goldberg said.

Jones and Orlady didn't express surprise that a man 79 years older than they would be dancing alongside the two on stage.

"Well, there is no business like show business," Orlady said, quoting the name of an act from the performance.

Patricia Hickson
Bonanza Staff writer

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