Where there’s a Will (Rogers) there’s a way

East Bay publicist Robert Rezak shares the following item with us from the current production of Will Rogers Follies:

He’s appeared in 22 productions of The Will Rogers Follies, a Life in Revue. But Shane Partlow’s performance in Diablo Light Opera Company’s production, continuing through Sept. 27, will be only his second in the title role.

One reason Partlow is so much in demand for the show is that he’s a professional roper, as was Rogers, the American folk hero who claimed he “never met a man I didn’t like.”

A resident of Los Angeles, Partlow’s television work includes appearances on the series “Will & Grace” and “Gilmore Girls.” He recently starred in the national tour of The Queen of Bingo, an off-Broadway comedy.

Will Rogers Follies is at the Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Tickets are $34-$41. Call 925-943-7469 or visit www.lesherartscenter.org.

“With a top star and cast, along with colorful costumes, fast-paced dancing and exciting songs, the musical is just the thing to stir up our patriotic emotions during this election year,” said Daren A. C. Carollo, DLOCs artistic director. “It’s also another great send off to DLOC’s 50th anniversary celebration that began in June and ends in the fall of 2009.”

Among the 33-member cast is Suzanne Brandt, a San Ramon resident, who plays a Ziegfeld Follies showgirl, a role for which she is well prepared.

At 18 she was under contract with the MGM Grand/Ballys Reno, dancing in the multi-million dollar Hello, Hollywood, Hello, a show which ran nightly for 11 years. Next came a contract with Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, where she danced in 400 cabaret performances. In Las Vegas, she performed in Jubilee!, another multi -million dollar spectacle, with costumes by Bob Mackie, at Ballys Casino.

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