Jen SchmidtSpecial to the Bonanza

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March 31, 2011
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Star Follies 2011: Incline's favorite education fundraiser kicks off Friday night

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Feathers, lace and sequins dot the chaotic landscape of the ladies' dressing rooms, which are always about 20 degrees warmer than summer in Mexico.Heels are tossed aside, pantyhose draped over chairs, false eyelashes secured in a flurry of glitter and glue three minutes before stage time.Over the years we've seen endless gobs of makeup, top hats, witches, wizards, Blues Brothers, chickens, occasionally (but never again) canes, criminals, robots, rock stars, extra-tall shoes, fifth-graders in neon wigs and so many more men in dresses than we want to believe.We are one motley crew come show night at Star Follies. Why, oh why, do we do it?Let us rewind. It's the first night of all-cast rehearsal in February and we've dragged our feet for several hours learning the show's opening and closing numbers.I'm still trying to regain control over my second left foot during a water break, when the kids bust out a nearly-perfect and incredibly peppy performance of “Club Can't Handle Me” that they've practiced for maybe … two weeks? It is my honest belief that some of us dance to prove that the kids can't outshine the adults. Although, as Ron Stichter points out, the adults don't have a snowball's chance.A fourth-grade transplant, I had the good fortune of attending Incline's elementary, middle and high schools. Star Follies was brand spanking new in the years that I was buckling down under what felt like Atlas' load of AP classes and college applications. I'd like to think I dance to give Incline's kids the same private-school-for-public-cost education I received. My second reason is that, even if I had found the time for Follies back in the day, I never would have had the guts.Follies marks six weeks of the year that we are required to spend goofing off with some of our favorite people. Sometimes we dance to make new friends, too. Nothing says “blossoming friendship” quite like hastily pinning your neighbor's unruly hair under a wig cap while she stands patiently in her skivvies.Some of us dance because we've watched the show for years from the sidelines and it looked like fun — and all of us dance because it is. I believe many of us even dance and lip-sync because it's the right thing to do for Incline's schools.Some of us do it because we are hams and we love to show off — no names here — and some because it's the first chance we've ever had to shine within the community.Some of us get roped in one year and are hooked, so we keep coming back for more. Like a dim-witted moth to a bright and beautiful flame, I knew before I even started last year that I would participate in Follies as long as I lived here.Maybe I do it because I adore the choreographers, or I've never worn traditional Indian garb (believe it). Maybe it's because this is my first year with a lead and I'm crossing my fingers that if we pack the house I can handle it. Maybe I just think men look nice in dresses. I can't say for sure.I do know that we work hard because we want to put on a fun and entertaining show for you. But most importantly, we work hard every year because this is our chance to make a better future for Incline's youths. It makes us feel like dancing.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Mar 31, 2011 12:30PM Published Mar 31, 2011 12:27PM Copyright 2011 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.