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Winnetka’s Village Follies aim for ‘indoor Ravinia experience’

The Winnetka Village Follies will perform
The Winnetka Village Follies will perform "Once Upon a Time" March 14-15 and 20-22 at the Winnetka Community House. | Sun-Times Media File

One of Winnetka’s most beloved traditions will return in 2014 when the Village Follies perform their annual review this March.

The Follies have announced “Once Upon a Time,” an evening of popular narrative songs, dances and comedy skits, will take place March 14-15 and 20-22 at the Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Ave. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m.

“It is an old-time variety show,” said Village Follies Board President Laura Chaveriat. “We try to have as many skits as possible. Folks involved in the show are all over the age of 21, but their ability levels range. We have former professional artists and some who are new to the scene.”

Chaveriat said producers Lane and Sheila Wheeler have lined up 30 skits to fit into the two-and-a-half hour show.

The performance includes a pit band and special effects thanks to lighting expert Rob Woolson.

Seating will be “cabaret style” with rectangular tables set up in front of the stage with 10 seats available at each table. Audience members are encouraged to order box dinners in advance or bring their own picnic dinners to settle in for a full night of entertainment. A cash bar will also be available.

“All are welcome to the show,” Chaveriat said. “We’re billing it as an indoor Ravinia experience. We make it possible for all who join us to have a moment in the spotlight.”

The Village Follies began in the 1930s as the Winnetka Woman’s Club’s annual talent show. Over the years the popular fundraiser has expanded to include both male and female performers from the North Shore and neighboring communities.

“This year’s cast has 50 actors, singers and dancers,” Chaveriat said. “Not only do we have generations involved in the actual production and performance of the show, but we likewise have generations of people who have been in the audience and look forward to it every year.”

The Village Follies are a non-profit organization dedicated to raising money to support the Winnetka Community House and its programs in youth enrichment, art, athletics, theater, dance and fitness.

Tickets are available in advance for $20 each and will be sold for $25 each at the door. To purchase tickets, order box dinners or view general information, visit www.villagefollies.com.

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