At The Majestic Theater, Dusting Off Old Favorites With the Spectacular Senior Follies

Categories: Stage
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Patrick Michels
Bill Kennedy onstage at The Majestic Friday night
Ned Startzel was 3 years old when the new Majestic Theatre opened on Elm Street in downtown Dallas in 1921. Startzel began writing shows, performed in Vaudeville acts and fought in World War II, while Dallas's theater row rose and fell around the Majestic -- with 10 neighboring theaters downtown, at one point.

Last weekend Startzel brought his 2-year-old Spectacular Senior Follies revue to the Majestic's friendly confines, singing, dancing and -- in a carnival barker's hat and gold vest -- running through Vaudeville-style comedy routines on the same stage where Harry Houdini, Fred Astaire and Mae West once performed.

Startzel, 91, and artistic director Mark Carroll assembled a cast of singers and dancers over age 55 for the show, inspired by the elderly-only Palm Springs Follies, drawing on such local groups as the Dallas Tap Dazzlers and the Greater Dallas Rotary Chorus.

The show was a fundraiser for those groups and the Visiting Nurse Association and the Ms. Texas Senior America Pageant, and four performances last weekend included tributes to the Golden Age of Hollywood, showgirls numbers, and winking nods to the performers' ages, such as  "Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think)," "I'm Gonna Live 'Til I Die," and "Young At Heart."

This slide show's got more photos including a look backstage before opening night, and a few shots from the performance.

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