follies 2013 kidsby Lee GutowskiIn the time honored tradition of inviting the neighbors over, rollin’ up the rug and having a party, the Riverwest Currents brings you (drumroll, please …) the 2014 edition of the Riverwest Follies! Yes, folks, that’s our very own, homegrown, local talent show! Coming at you on Saturday, March 15, from the funky / fabulous / fun-loving Falcon Bowl – and you’re invited. Not only are you invited to enjoy music, mirth and merry-making – for FREE, mind you (donations gladly accepted) – but you’re also tapped to participate in putting on this family-friendly show. Come on down and hobnob with your friends and neighbors at the classic hall right smack dab in the heart of our community, in a gathering place that has been a social hub for decades.

The Follies never fail to surprise and delight with an evening of fun and camaraderie for everyone from grandpa to the kiddies. It’s free, but donations are gratefully accepted and will go to benefit this very community newspaper. 2014 is the ninth annual shindig, and the lineup is still being booked. We need you to help make it come together. Got a special talent you’ve been honing during the long, cold winter months? Well, we want to see you in action! We’ll talk about how you can do that in a bit. But first, how about a glimpse of what’s on the books so far.

Back by popular demand: a staged radio play. This one is titled, “Bring Me to Life.” It was originally produced in 1947 for the radio series, “Quiet, Please.” This re-enactment will be produced and performed by local folks busting at the seams with talent and flair, including director Kristin Johnson, a graduate of UWM theater department. Replete with an announcer, sound effects, musical accompaniment and a small cast of voice actors, “Bring Me to Life” is a “noir” mystery revolving around a scribe with a case of writer’s block and his quest to come up with a script for a radio play. He’s approaching his deadline, his boss keeps calling and nagging him for the finished product, and you’ll flip when you find how he comes up with the solution to his writer’s block dilemma!

“We had such a great reception when we did this in the past,” said Riverwest Currents publisher Vince Bushell about the radio play re-enactment. Bushell produced his first on-stage radio play, “Northern Lights,” at the Falcon Bowl December 8, 2013.

“Folks were asking us to do another one, so of course,” he said.

“Bring Me To Life” will be directed by Kristin Johnson, and will feature live musical accompaniment by Abby J and the Dots. The clacking of an old-school typewriter provides a fitting background sound to carry the listener through this timeless, nostalgic-yet-contemporary story.

Returning to the stage with a full set of music for your Follies dancing pleasure will be the wonderful Astral/Subastral. Their music is an exhilarating fusion of rock and world beat that will definitely have you up and dancing your winter doldrums away. They’re known to put on “ambitious multimedia performances,” according to a writeup from last year, and will create a warm and inviting atmosphere for all kinds of whirling dervishes. It promises to be the perfect way to shake off winter and welcome the stirrings of the start of spring.

There will be a delicious food available for a nominal price; the delectable menu offerings will be provided by Tess Kenney.

Now for the casting call. We’re looking for YOUR special talents and abilities to be a part of this event. Poetry, craft-making, juggling, a flea circus, stupid human tricks, belting out tunes, your own take on a Shakespeare speech, original songs, plate-spinning … whatever you wish to bring to the stage, we want it. Got a minimum of five minutes to perform your latest work? Holler at us and let’s talk. You can call the Riverwest Currents at (414) 265-7278 or event assistant Lee Gutowski at (414) 212-8283 to put your dibs in to be part of the production. Come on, kids – let’s put on a show!

Stay tuned to this newspaper; we’ll have more program listings and details in the March issue.

Mark Your Calendar!

Riverwest Follies 2014
Saturday, March 15
Falcon Bowl, Clarke Street at Fratney Street
Doors open 7PM Show at 7:30pm
Free! (Donations accepted)
Food for sale – delicious menu by Tess Kenney
Family friendly! Bring the kids!