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Florence's Holly Jolly Folies Brings 'Warm Fuzzies' to Central Oregon Coast

Published 11/19/23 a 4:45 p.m.
B
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff


(Florence, Oregon) – The first week in December in one central Oregon coast town heralds the beginning of all things glittery and all-gooey-inside, with a bunch of adorable kids showing off their talents for a special holiday theater run.

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Children's Repertory of Oregon Workshops (CROW) in Florence hits the holidays with its annual production of The Holly Jolly Follies, held on the main stage of the Florence Events Center, December 1 – 3. It's what organizers say is “ sure to give you the 'warm fuzzies' along with a whole lot of laughter.”

Director Melanie Heard, a central Oregon coast resident, is also playwright of this kooky and cool production. She's penned this charming and uplifting script entitled “Home.” The central theme this year revolves around Elfis and Prissy – two recurring elf characters that have been named “Florence’s cutest couple” in years past. Elfis receives an official invite to perform with the World Famous Flying Elvis-es in Las Vegas, but that means leaving the love of his life behind to pursue his dream. Meanwhile, Prissy faces the exciting prospect of a new suitor. Will this be the end for the two elf lovebirds, or will there be wedding bells?

The Follies will feature assistant direction by Genevieve Shahan, musical direction by Maree Beers, and live musical accompaniment by Rhianna Haines and Marty Adams, plus many other musicians, volunteers, and performers.

As always, there will be delightful variety-style performances, intermixed throughout. This year’s offerings include the incredible Flight Dance Team -back with two original new works choreographed by Heard, entitled “Sparkling Diamonds” and “River,” plus several beautiful vocalists, teen and adult tappers, C.R.O.W.’s dance class performances, a commercial spoof, and live music. Then as is the wacky tradition in this distinctive Oregon coast production, the World Famous Tutu Dads who will shake their tail feathers as Vegas Showgirls like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Putting the Follies together is no easy feat, since it involves such a diverse crowd of talents – not to mention a huge cast of volunteers. But C.R.O.W. is no stranger to the task, having taken the reins for this community event back in 2016. “The Follies is an important gift to our entire local community,” said Heard. “It is my honor and privilege to bring this beautiful show to life each year, and I’m truly thankful to each and every person who helps to make it possible.”

Ticket sales from the Follies support C.R.O.W.’s free and low-cost arts programming, including scholarships for youth, educational materials, and production costs for the non-profit’s Spring mainstage production (Disney’s Newsies), which will hold open auditions in January and be performed live on stage in April, 2024.

For tickets to The 2023 Holly Jolly Follies, visit the Florence Events Center website at www.eventcenter.org, or call 541-997-1994. Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for kids 12 and younger. Military can receive an in-person discount at the box office window of $2 off. Showtimes are Friday at 7 pm, Saturday at 7 pm, and Sunday at 2 pm. For additional details, visit www.crowkids.com.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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