Premiering in 2002, the Temple Israel of New Rochelle Follies has become one of the most highly anticipated events on the Temple calendar. The Follies, a satirical selection of songs and skits, provides an annual opportunity for the Temple community to ridicule itself Past Follies have included the enchanting “The Mensch of La Mancha,” the scintillating “Realtor on the Roof,” and the tragically disappointing “Oh, Cahana.”Each year, the Follies producers hope to include genuinely talented performers in their show. By “talent,” we don’t mean the ability to eat competitively, schmooze tirelessly, or appear at as few rehearsals as possible. We look for people who can actually sing, dance, be funny and/or act.
However, search as we may, most of our cast comes to us just wishing to recreate the magic of having understudied a secondary role in their elementary school musical. Essentially what qualifies people for roles on our stage is their willingness to bring donuts to rehearsal.
Those of you who have seen past Follies may be saying, “Gee, those shows were so mediocre, why do those cast members willingly humiliate themselves like that? To this, we have three responses: first, a little humiliation can be a humbling and self-satisfying experience; second, here, everyone feels like a star; and, three, no other show would have these people.
The Follies is generally performed in early February. Rehearsals are held on Sunday mornings beginning in late October, with a few evening rehearsals in the days leading up to the show. The actual writing of the Follies can take as much as six months, although it seems like it was thrown together the night before.
For those interested in participating, kindly contact the Temple office and say, “I’m committed (or should be committed) to being a Follies performer. Help me to bring out my inner star.” You will then be forwarded a standard contract making the Follies writers the beneficiaries of your life insurance policy. Once the agreement is signed, notarized and returned, you will be notified as to the date of the first rehearsal.
For more information on Follies, please contact Bruce Turkle at BTurkle@PhillipsNizer.com.