by Patrick B. McGuigan
The annual “Oklahoma Senior Follies” returns August 14-16 at Mitchell Hall.
The show’s new venue, at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, is an excellent “viewer-friendly” place to watch this beloved extravaganza in the grand tradition of the Ziegfield Follies of Broadway that brought Oklahoma’s “Favorite Son,” Will Rogers, to worldwide attention.
Speaking of favorite sons, venerable Dick Sias is the 2015 Follies “king,” in recognition of his decades of service as a business leader and charitable-giver of the first order.
Senior Oklahomans who are stars of Broadway, television and films will grace the Mitchell Hall stage for this year’s show.
Director is the multi-talented Terry Runnels, also a key player in the Oklahoma City Gridiron Show, the parody of all things political.
According to the Follies website, the show was created “both to revitalize Oklahoma’s senior citizens” and to help them by raising funds to benefit and enhance their lives.
A long-time advocate for Oklahoma’s seniors, Bobbie Burbridge Lane has sung for many years in the Dallas Senior Follies. She brought the concept to Oklahoma City after discerning “what it has done for the Dallas senior community.”
Lane continued, “It is my hope that, after seeing our Follies, older Oklahomans will be inspired to dust off their talents – whether they be performing, volunteering or another wonderful skill. This will raise the quality of life … as well as bring a lot more joy.”
Lane presides over the many charitable works of the Burbridge Foundation in Oklahoma City.
As for Mr. Sias, this year’s show royalty, he will preside over the evening of entertainment.
A native of Kansas, he came to Oklahoma decades ago and rose to national prominence through his profitable work running Mustang Fuel Corporation. Although he theoretically “retired” in 1991, Sias has become even more of an honored civic leader since stepping aside from the energy business.
With his late wife Jeannete, who died in 2014, he established the Joullian Vineyards in California. Their wines have become staples of fundraising events in Oklahoma City, and a favored selection of locals who like high-quality dining.
He is, among many high honors, a member of Oklahoma City University’s Business and Industry Hall of Fame.
The three performances at Mitchell Hall on the University of Central Oklahoma campus will be 7 p.m. Friday, August 14; 2 p.m. Saturday, August 15; and 2 p.m. Sunday, August 16.
Ticket information is available online or you may telephone 866-966-1777.