The Verona Area High School theatre and music departments are kicking off the 2019-20 season with a Broadway hit about one of America’s most famous and well loved humorists.

The five time Tony Award winning “The Will Rogers Follies,” featuring trick rope artist “Shortcut Curly” (Rick) of KG and The Ranger, is set to run Sept. 26-29 at the Verona Area Performing Arts Center, 300 Richard St.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, Friday, Sept. 27, and Saturday, Sept. 28, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29. Tickets can be purchased online at for $14 per adult and $12 for students and seniors. Tickets purchased at the box office door are $16 per adult and $14 for students and seniors.

Claiming to have “never met a man he didn’t like,” Rogers was America’s first international multimedia sensation, whose wit and homespun wisdom went straight to the nation’s heart. The character of Will Rogers (Gabe Bowman) narrates his rags-to-riches story that bursts to life as a Ziegfeld Follies-style extravaganza. The audience will meet his beloved wife Betty Blake (Daphne Buan), his father Clem Rogers (Caylee Lawrence) and Ziegfields’ favorite (Morgan Moll); all clad in costumes designed by Leslie Frank.

The Will Rogers Follies is directed by Steven J. Nibbe and produced by Lauri Halminiak. Student stage managers are Patrick Colquhoun and Parker Mindermann. The original New York production was directed and choreographed by Tommy Tune. The choreographer is VAHS alumnus and former Radio City Rockette Sara Bartlett.

The music was composed and arranged by Cy Coleman. The music director is Heather Thorpe, the orchestra conductor is Eric Anderson. The lyrics were written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green; inspired by the words of Will and Betty Rogers.

Email Unified Newspaper Group reporter Scott De Laruelle at