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Senior Follies set to delight Lodi audiences on Sunday

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Posted: Thursday, March 1, 2018 11:30 am

On Sunday, the Senior Follies — a cross between a variety show and an old-fashioned Broadway revue — will take the stage at Hutchins Street Square.

Every year, the show brings out performers with serious talent, but this year is exceptional, said Mike Bartram, who co-directs the Senior Follies with his wife Sabrina Willis-Bartram.

“This is the most talent we’ve had for Senior Follies,” he said.

The level of quality among the performers this year gave the Bartrams a difficult task: Cutting the 24 acts that auditioned down to 18, the number that would fit into the time available for the show.

It was challenging, Bartram said, especially since the performers at the Follies don’t often have a chance to shine on stage.

“When you picture Senior Follies, you picture something where the quality’s not quite as high, but this group proves that wrong for sure,” he said.

This year’s 17th annual Senior Follies will include a rock band, guitarists, vocalists and ukulele strummers.

“We have a John Wayne impersonator this year — that’s new,” Bartram said. “We’ve never really had an impersonator.”

Those who have attended past Follies performances will see some old favorites among the new faces. Vocalist Phil Ochoa will return to the stage this year.

“He’s a Sinatra-esque singer, he’s very talented,” Bartram said.

Dr. Floyd Zatrow will sing and tap dance to “Pennies From Heaven,” and two groups who study tap with Lodi instructor Susan Sixkiller will perform.

Accordion player Arthur Brogli is a crowd favorite, Bartram said.

“He’s really commanding and the music is incredible,” he said.

The Bartrams, who also direct Changing Faces Theater Company and Lodi’s Got Talent!, worked to mix up the types of performances and spread them across two acts, split by an intermission.

Each of the performers auditioned for a spot in the Follies, and they’ve been rehearsing and putting a lot of work into their acts.

The Bartrams have led three larger rehearsals, where each group or performer works with the tech and lighting crews at Hutchins Street Square to figure out staging.

The performers, all seniors, take the opportunity to share their talents and hobbies with the Lodi community seriously. It’s not just an amateur talent show, Bartram said, but a high-quality revue.

“We want it to be as professional as we can,” he said.

He hopes that Lodians will give the performers their audience.

“Come out and be entertained!” he said. “It’s really fun.”

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