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Bravo, Follies: See it for a night of fun for a good cause

Lions Follies is not the same old song and dance.

And it’s “not your father’s Follies,” either.

A youth movement fills the stage at Hood River Middle School auditorium, home base for the annual spring entertainment extravaganza. “Mayhem at the Madison” features dozens of young people, from primary grades through high school, up there singing and dancing. Numbers such as “Cats” involve large groups of children and youth who, like the adult cast members, have been working hard for weeks or months.

Follies is a community event in its truest sense, and it deserves large audiences. The show is locally produced and performed, and the youngsters range from first-timers to seasoned performers.

You have Friday and Saturday, the second and final weekend of Follies, to go and enjoy. (Performances are April 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $9 general admission and $7 for children ages 12 and under.)

Follies comes around once a year, and has for 38 years. Some of those involved have participated for all or most of that time, and even some of the middle- and high school performers have been involved for 5-10 years. With the number of children involved this year, organizers consider it a kind of transition year. With new faces joining the veterans, adults as well as children, you have a formula for an exciting new generation of Follies, but the tradition deserves an audience. Between the grace of the nine-minute “Cats” number to the comedy of a certain trio wielding mops, “Follies” is a sure-thing for a night of worthwhile entertainment.

And Lions is about more than a night of music and comedy.

Many of your friends and neighbors have been dedicating weekends and evenings rehearsing their numbers and comic scenes, and it all comes together for a good cause: the Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation, which provides eyesight and hearing assistance to those in need.

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