Star Follies 2011: Incline's favorite education fundraiser kicks off Friday night

31 Mar 2011 - 4:00pm

Jen Schmidt, Special to the Bonanza


The men's drag number is one of the more popular aspects of the Incline Star Follies.

The men's drag number is one of the more popular aspects of the Incline Star Follies.
Bonanza file photo

 

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Feathers, lace and sequins dot the chaotic
landscape of the ladies' dressing rooms, which are always about 20
degrees warmer than summer in Mexico.

Heels are tossed aside,
pantyhose draped over chairs, false eyelashes secured in a flurry of
glitter and glue three minutes before stage time.

Over the years
we've seen endless gobs of makeup, top hats, witches, wizards, Blues
Brothers, chickens, occasionally (but never again) canes, criminals,
robots, rock stars, extra-tall shoes, fifth-graders in neon wigs and so
many more men in dresses than we want to believe.

We are one motley crew come show night at Star Follies. Why, oh why, do we do it?

Let
us rewind. It's the first night of all-cast rehearsal in February and
we've dragged our feet for several hours learning the show's opening and
closing numbers.

I'm still trying to regain control over my
second left foot during a water break, when the kids bust out a
nearly-perfect and incredibly peppy performance of “Club Can't Handle
Me” that they've practiced for maybe … two weeks? It is my honest belief
that some of us dance to prove that the kids can't outshine the adults.
Although, as Ron Stichter points out, the adults don't have a
snowball's chance.

A fourth-grade transplant, I had the good
fortune of attending Incline's elementary, middle and high schools.
Star Follies was brand spanking new in the years that I was buckling
down under what felt like Atlas' load of AP classes and college
applications. I'd like to think I dance to give Incline's kids the same
private-school-for-public-cost education I received. My second reason is
that, even if I had found the time for Follies back in the day, I
never would have had the guts.

Follies marks six weeks of the
year that we are required to spend goofing off with some of our favorite
people. Sometimes we dance to make new friends, too. Nothing says
“blossoming friendship” quite like hastily pinning your neighbor's
unruly hair under a wig cap while she stands patiently in her skivvies.

Some
of us dance because we've watched the show for years from the sidelines
and it looked like fun — and all of us dance because it is. I believe
many of us even dance and lip-sync because it's the right thing to do
for Incline's schools.

Some of us do it because we are hams and
we love to show off — no names here — and some because it's the first
chance we've ever had to shine within the community.

Some of us
get roped in one year and are hooked, so we keep coming back for more.
Like a dim-witted moth to a bright and beautiful flame, I knew before I
even started last year that I would participate in Follies as long as I
lived here.

Maybe I do it because I adore the choreographers, or
I've never worn traditional Indian garb (believe it). Maybe it's because
this is my first year with a lead and I'm crossing my fingers that if
we pack the house I can handle it. Maybe I just think men look nice in
dresses. I can't say for sure.

I do know that we work hard
because we want to put on a fun and entertaining show for you. But most
importantly, we work hard every year because this is our chance to make
a better future for Incline's youths. It makes us feel like dancing.

 

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