OLD-SCHOOL STAGE SHOW: Any time a vaudeville or vaudeville-type show is presented nowadays, it is very often done with an ironic, hipster wink. As in, variety spectaculars are a thing of the past, but we're being a bit cheeky by reviving the idea for a night or a week. Us? We like that, truly, and we'd never sniff at a hipster, but we like our variety and vaudeville to be on the authentic side. We like to see a show that carries the spirit of grand stage shows boldly forward, complete with visiting guest stars, a host who knows comedy, leg-kicking dance numbers, and plenty of ladies in mega-feathered costumes. There's no need to pay homage to that idea; it lives, in Palm Springs, as it does every winter and springtime. It's called the Follies -- the Palm Spring Follies, if you want to use the full name -- and it is set to open for another nostalgic-sweet, sequin-laden season on Thursday, Nov. 1.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: It's one of the desert's top cultural institutions, and for good reason; the Follies embraces, with flair and fabulousness, the fact that it is celebrating the tunes and trends of a few centuries back via performers who are a bit beyond the traditional starlet age. But, let's be honest: The show's famous Long-Legged Lovelies and Follies Gentlemen, who range in age from 54 to 83, could out-starlet any starlet today. Lorna Luft will be the first special guest, starting on Nov. 1, and there's a holiday vignette ahead, too, for all shows in November and December (plus the oh-so-popular New Year's Eve extravaganza). Seriously, when you have all that, why do you need irony in reviving the variety show idea? It's happening, in Palm Springs, and without a wink and a nod. Welllll, maybe a wink or two, from one of the Long-Legged Lovelies and/or Follies Gentlemen. That might make our night, being winked at from the Follies stage.
DATES: The 22nd Palm Springs Follies will dance from Nov. 1, 2012 though May 19, 2013.