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New local theater company to give Sondheim's 'Follies' its first-ever Las Vegas showing

Metropolis Theatricals

Las Vegas enjoys an abundance of local theater companies that dream up and stage top-rate productions. And one more is joining the fray — and shooting their shot with a massive show that Las Vegas, oddly, has never seen.

The nonprofit Metropolis Theatricals — founded by David James Robinson, Tom Michel, Sean Stephenson (all of the former The Nevada and Vegas Room venues), and Peggy Shaner — will debut April 11 at Aliante hotel-casino with Follies, Stephen Sondheim's lavish 1971 musical about a performance venue slated to be demolished. Some 45 cast members, 30 musicians and 12 showgirls will grace the stage for six performances.

Follies never got a Vegas airing — the very costly work played in only two other cities besides New York when it first came out — until now, which is ironic given its premise. "This is a show about showgirls and imploding beloved arts places," says Michel, who also serves as producer of the show. "Just recently, there was a party of the showgirls returning to the Tropicana before [Bally's] closed it. If the day after that party they [had] imploded the Tropicana, that [would be] the plot of Follies: all the showgirls and all their husbands and friends coming back for a cast reunion one more time. And in this show, what we're really fortunate about is, other productions of Follies that are done around the country use actresses for showgirls. We have 12 legendary showgirls who performed on the Strip, who are back on stage again in this, many of them in their 70s or 80s. And they kick high and are thrilled to be back on stage and we love them."

Tim Molyneux, who serves as a performer, company manager, and associate producer for Follies, explains the show's emotional appeal. "It's about a self-discovery of who we are, back to where we fell in love, where we performed, where we did things that we love to do. And then life [happens]. And so this musical shows us those moments of our regrets and the things we're proud of, the things we wish could change, our childhood dreams that were achieved or not achieved ... around a fantastic musical score."

Michel is confident theater fans will happily travel to North Las Vegas — and spend $100 or more on each ticket — mostly because Sondheim stagings are an event, but also because it'll be their neighbors on stage. "There will not be a person that walks out of this theater that didn't get their money's worth — and that they would have happily paid a lot more to see this production there. Seventy-five people on stage at the end of this show, and guess what? Ninety-eight percent of them are local. And that gives you an amazing opportunity to be even prouder of what you see on that stage, and what you will feel at the end of that show."

The production plays April 11-14; for tickets and more information, visit here.

Tom Michel, producer, Follies, and co-founder, Metropolis Theatricals; Tim Molyneax, performer, company manager, and associate producer, Follies

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Mike has been a producer for State of Nevada since 2019. He produces — and occasionally hosts — segments covering entertainment, gaming & tourism, sports, health, Nevada’s marijuana industry, and other areas of Nevada life.