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Will Rogers standingWill Rogers

On this page:

Bacon and Beans and Limousines (new page)
President's Organization on Unemployment Relief radio broadcast. October 18, 1931

Favorite Quotes

"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.

"It's great to be great, but it's greater to be human."

"In order to succeed, you must know what you are doing, like what you are doing, and believe in what you are doing."

"All I know is what I read in the papers."



Will Rogers the move star

Will Rogers the writer
Will Rogers the writer

The Rogers Family
The Rogers family


Will Rogers and Wiley Post in Alaska, August 1935


James Whitmore, autographed photo  
James Whitmore performed "Will Rogers' U.S.A." for the last time
where he began Ford's Theatre in Washington D.C.



"The Will Rogers Follies: A Life in Revue"

The Will Rogers Follies logoProduction Staff | Awards | Synopsis

The Will Rogers Follies opened at
the Palace Theatre in New York City on May 1, 1991.

Production Staff

Produced by Pierre Cossette, Martin Richards,
Sam Crothers, James M. Nederlander,
Stewart F. Lane, Max Weitzenhoffer, and William E. Simon

Book by Peter Stone

Music composed and arranged by: Cy Coleman

Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green

Settings Design Tony Walton

Costume Design Willa Kim

Lighting Design Jules Fischer

Sound Design Peter Fitzgerald

Projection Design Wendall K. Harrington

Wig Design Howard Leonard

Orchestrations Billy Byers

Musical Direction Eric Stern

Musical Contractor John Miller

General Management Marvin A. Krauss Associates, Inc.

General Press Representative Richard Kornberg & Associates

Casting by Julie Hughes and Barry Moss, CSA

Production Stage Manager Peter Von Mayrhauser

Associate Director Phillip Oesterman

Associate Choreographer Jeff Calhoun

Directed and Choreographed by Tommy Tune


Awards (1990-91):

6 Tony Awards for Musical, Score, Director, Choreography,
Costume Design and Lighting Design
3 Drama Desk Awards for Musical, Music (tie) and Choreography
The New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical


Will Rogers is famous for saying "I never met a man I didn't like," and anyone who has ever seen or performed in WILL ROGERS FOLLIES will agree that there has never been a man-or woman-who did not like it.

Subtitled "A Life In Revue," WILL ROGERS stands out among musicals because of the magic of its protagonist. Rare is the man who transcends decades and rises to the level of legend. Will Rogers does this not only because of his accomplishments, but because of his philosophy, which espouses respect and confidence in the goodness of his fellowman.

The curtain rises on a Follies-style tribute to the man whose daily newspaper column sent America on its way each morning with a smile on its face. In fact Will was a multimedia sensation, performing a weekly radio talk show as well as starring in motion pictures.

Between rope tricks which entertain the audience while the show girls are changing their costumes for The Follies, Will soothes us with his old-fashioned common sense. The songs Never Met a Man I Didn't Like and Give a Man Enough Rope are parables set to music.

Now it's time to get to know Will, his friends and family. Will introduces us to the aviator Wiley Post, to his six sisters, and to his father Clem. Born to parents who were part Cherokee, Will learned early on to be proud of his heritage.

When Will turned nineteen, he set off, despite his father's protests, to be a cowboy down in Argentina. It was at the train depot that Will first laid eyes on Betty Blake, the woman who would become his wife. But how theatrical is that? Not enough, apparently, because Mr. Ziegfeld quickly rewrites history and lowers Betty romantically from the Moon to recreate her first meeting with Will!

Once married Will tours the country performing his routine until the day his big break arrives, and he is offered a part in Florenz Ziegfeld's Follies. After six fabulous seasons, Will is called to Hollywood to perform on the silver screen

After much success and a run for President in 1928, Will assesses his life. It is time to spend more time at home. Nonetheless, Will is called on to soothe the nation's jitters after the stock market crash. It seems that his straight talk and simple truths create quite an impact on the nation. You will find that your audience responds in much the same way.

When Wiley Post and Will lose their lives during a flying adventure in Alaska, the nation mourns its lost friend. The musical version, however, is an upbeat celebration of this folk hero who made the world "a whole lot better place" than it was before he entered it.

Other delightful musical numbers include Will-a-Mania, It's a Boy, My Unknown Someone, Presents for Mrs. Rogers and Let's Go Flying.

Will Rogers and Wiley Post
Photos from "The Will Rogers Follies"
Rockville Musical Theatre, November 2002
Click a photo to enlarge