Fall Follies take a British turn with Beatles music
Upper Arlington senior Jacob Conrad, 18, (center), runs through the choreography for "Sgt. Pepper's Lonley Hearts Club band" while rehearsing for the Fall Follies 2012 production feature the music of The Beatles on Oct. 8, 2012, at Upper Arlington High School. Buy This Photo
Upper Arlington High School students will dance down The Long and Winding Road to prove All You Need is Love -- and the Beatles -- to enjoy this year's Fall Follies.
Choir students will perform classic Beatles tunes with skits and dances at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, and Saturday, Oct. 20; and at 2:30 p.m. for a matinee performance on Sunday, Oct. 21.
Seats may be chosen and tickets purchased and printed from the choir website at uavocalmusic.org. General admission tickets will also be available at the door.
Prices for tickets are $8 for general admission and go up to $14, depending on the seat choice.
Director Eric Kauffman said students will perform classic Beatles' songs such as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Yesterday, Hello Goodbye, Blackbird, Help! and many others, along with "specialty acts," where students present skits and interpretations of Beatles songs.
"This year, we made a policy that the choirs could only sing authentic Beatles literature while the specialty acts could be comprised of the solo artists of the Beatles, such as John Lennon or Paul McCartney," he said. "Some of the students are singing their favorite Beatles' songs while others really researched to find an obscure representation of the guys and their solo careers."
Kauffman said the goal of the Follies has always been "very student-centered and less performance-driven."
"Within the three different nights, the audience will see three completely different shows," he said. "Some of our specialty acts will include everything from Strawberry Fields Forever to Silly Love Songs, to Maxwell Silverhammer, to Imagine."
This is the 10th year for the Fall Follies.
"Quite honestly, the Fall Follies was intended to be a one-time event," Kauffman said. "After an overwhelming response, we not only continued the idea of starting the year with a themed concert, but also began developing the production values that we come to expect today.
"I like establishing early on in the year that every concert in every style of music is a musical event as well as an aesthetic experience," he said. "It also allows us to put a value on our production as we 'sing for our supper' by raising funds through ticket sales.
"The kids take very seriously that people are paying hard-earned money to come and see them perform."
He said the Beatles theme for this year's Follies was "an overwhelming favorite."
"There are years when I want to do something more artistic and although the quality is exceptional, the audience doesn't show up simply because the theme doesn't appeal to the masses," he said. "This year, we hope to combine the very artistic with the very popular and create our best Follies experience ever."
Kauffman said performing in the Fall Follies gives students a chance to learn about and actively participate in putting on a show in a traditional cabaret or vaudeville style.
"Everything is student-driven, from the theme to song selections to choreography to costuming," he said. "As a teacher, I appreciate the educational opportunity to teach our kids the value of music as a consumer and how that translates to popular music of days gone by or today.
"We discuss the influences of the Beatles and the whole British Invasion concept on our American culture and our American popular music," he said. "Most importantly, I want the kids to feel the sense of setting a goal and really accomplishing excellence under a serious time constraint and a very limited budget."
Kauffman said he hopes the community will come out to see Fall Follies.
"I am always amazed at what the production team, staff and students are able to accomplish within the first nine weeks of the school year," he said. "My hope is that this extraordinary effort doesn't go unrecognized, because these students in many ways are putting just as much time and effort now as the students did 10 years ago when we created this concept."