Published on Incline Star Follies (http://inclinestarfollies.org)

North Tahoe community comes together for 14th annual lip-synch event

By kathieg
Created 7 May 2013 - 2:56pm

(North Tahoe Bonanza, written by Kyle Magin)

Courtesy photo<br />
From left, Patty Franklin, Michelle Lockard, Edee Campbell, Steve Caswell and Marsha Tejeda were dressed to impress at an Incline Star Follies rehearsal Monday at Incline Elementary School.

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — In its 14th
year, the choreographers of Incline Village’s March 22-23 Star Follies
promise something new this year.

Inspiration for past numbers came from
across the cultural landscape — Broadway showtunes, Fox’s hit “Glee,”
“Saturday Night Live” and Disney movies.

Without tipping their hat,
choreographers concede the crowd will recognize a few of 2013’s numbers
from behind YouTube’s red and white “play” button.

“I’m really looking forward to the crowd
reaction to see how the viral internet sensations play,” said Incline
resident Karen Osborne. She is in her 11th year of choreographing both
student and adult numbers in the hit lip synch show.

Follies annually puts community members
and Incline High, Middle and Elementary students on stage at the Cal
Neva to raise money for Incline’s public schools, drawing residents to
see their neighbors impress — or ham it up.

“Every year I stand by the door at the
end of the shows,” said Don Hertel, the San Diego resident who directs
the show and serves as head choreographer. “And I hear from people who
tell me they’ve been coming for 12 years, 10 years or as long as we’ve
been going and they still love it.”

While this year’s show pays homage to
its showtune roots — Hertel founded the concept more than 30 years ago
and employs it in a few different communities — the choreographers
pushed for the inclusion of the inbox-stuffing viral videos.

This year’s assistant choreographers are
Osborne, Incline resident Nancy Porten, Incline High School Senior
Kayla Goldberg and newcomer Lily Baran, who owns Incline’s Tahoe Players
dance studio. Baran is choreographing 14 IMS students — some with no
dance experience.

“I was surprised at how well they did
when rehearsals began,” Baran said. “I like to choreograph when I show
up and I was throwing a lot at them and they’ve been able to get just
about everything.

“They’re really high-energy and athletic, we have some stunts I think the crowd will like.”

Working with a group that bucks
traditional co-ed dancing norms — girls can be taller than their male
counterparts — Baran threw in a few lifts that’ll put the IMS boys high
above the Follies stage.

Follies is a labor of love for Hertel,
beginning once the current year’s show ends, when he starts gathering
ideas for next year’s numbers. Osborne began crafting her numbers in

“All the kids this year have been great
to work with. It’s my job to make them look good and they get a lot of
rehearsal heading into the show,” Osborne said.

Goldberg — who’s been dancing at Tahoe
Players since she was three — takes her second crack at Follies
choreography after she did it last year for one of the high school
numbers. This year she crafted a dance for her fellow high school
students in one number — a recognizable top-40 hit — as well as an adult

“As soon as Karen gave me my song, I
went home and started working on it,” says Goldberg, who began mapping
the dance out in late December. “My main goal in choreographing these
numbers is to make sure everyone feels like a dancer. I have given them
moves that can be challenging but have kept the overall experience

While the students worked since January
perfecting routines, some attendees find deciding which show to attend
is the hardest part. The Saturday 8:30 p.m. show is a favorite for
friends and family of the 105 cast members — 46 students, 59 adults —
and the crowd is a boisterous bunch. The historically placid 6 p.m.
Friday crowd is gaining ground as a favorite for Hertel.

“The parents and grandparents have been
anticipating and waiting to see their kids in the show and are bringing a
lot of energy now,” Hertel said.

So make a call on which show to attend and get ready to enjoy while the cast presses “play” on a community classic.

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