The Sooner State’s senior citizens might just be the liveliest in the nation. Every year, the Oklahoma Senior Follies feature some of the state’s best live talent from experienced senior performers, including former actors, radio personalities, dancers and other creative types.
The Ziegfeld-inspired show, rife with flashy costumes and catchy tunes, combines the efforts of The Burbridge Foundation and Oklahoma City University to help contribute to Mobile Meals of Oklahoma County, an organization that provides hot meals to disadvantaged metro-area seniors.
Charlotte Franklin and Jane Hall are the show’s “two top stars,” according to Bobbie Burbridge Lane, the show’s producer and founder of The Burbridge Foundation.
Franklin, a founding board member of the Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre, has had an extensive career in dance, choreography and acting.
Hall is a show business connoisseur who began singing on radio in 1947 at age 16 before eventually moving on to television and then finally to theater, where she discovered a passion for stage acting.
It was a seamless transition, according to Hall, “because I was young and I didn’t know any better.”
She recalled working with a few Follies comrades throughout her career.
“I’ve worked with Charlotte [Franklin] for many years. She is the funniest woman alive,” said Hall of their time together onstage.
Hall stars in a few Senior Follies acts, including a senior-style burlesque routine involving “full body suits [and] someone in a fat suit,” as well as risqué musical numbers.
Entertainment paired with charity represents Oklahoma Senior Follies’ ultimate initiative. The program’s hosts are OCU President Robert Henry and ex-Oklahoma County District Attorney Wes Lane.
With proceeds going directly to The Burbridge Foundation, many deserving seniors will receive needed support. The Oklahoma Senior Follies’ organizers and performers agree that outcome is what makes for a true hit show.