He never met a man he didn’t like

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 15, 2000

Will Rogers was a man who dedicated his life to entertaining others, especially during

times when moods were low.Sometimes brash for the time, Rogers was in the limelight

from the time he was old enough to twirl a rope.Patrons of the Ritz Theatre were recently

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recipients of a real treat, when The Greenville Area Arts Council presented &uot;The Will Rogers follies: A Life in Revue&uot;.In an audience that ranged in age from those who could remember Will Rogers themselves, to those who remember their parents quoting his

funny cliches and to children of the 21st century, the spirit was light and

humorous.Although the humor was from a period long ago considered archaic, it was not so old that one could not understand it–on the contrary, all ages were truly tickled by the jokes and one-liners.The production troupe was well-practiced, having performed this very show on Broadway for over a year.The show even brought local events to light,

quoting from The Greenville Advocate and relating it in an ad-lib fashion to the story-line.For 2-1/2 hours, the audience was able to forget the troubles of today, and

reflect on the misfortunes of pre-depression times. Presented the way Will Rogers lived, in a jokingly simple fashion.The accommodations of the theater were comfortable, and the lighting was professionally attended to by local volunteers. The sound was sharp and crisp, and all in attendance enjoyed the performance. Some of the humor of the period actually poked fun at today’s history as well, like when Will Rogers gave his explanation of the legislature. &uot;When Congress makes a joke, its a law…when they make a law…that’s right, it is a joke.&uot;Inspired by the written word of Will and Betty Rogers, this portrayal

showed a side that many may not have known. It displayed the &uot;personal, human&uot; side of his life.While Rogers was seen by many hundreds and thousands of people all over the

world, he always remained true in his love for his wife, who he called &uot;Betty&uot; when she was in a good mood, and &uot;Blake&uot; (her maiden name) when he was in trouble.The story illustrated the life of a performer, that which sacrificed the life at home with the family, all for the entertainment of the public.If you did not see this show, you surely missed a wonderful performance, but the Arts Council has two more productions scheduled for this season.On Tuesday Nov. 14, the &uot;Southern Songwriters Showcase&uot; will perform, including such well-known local talents as Rock Killough and some of his friends. The

show will start at 7 p.m., and as is usually the case, Rock’s show will probably sell out early, so interested patrons should stop by The Pineapple to obtain tickets early.The show season will wrap up with a performance that three generations can relate to.Barry Williams, known by millions of people as &uot;Greg Brady&uot; from the hit television show &uot;The Brady Bunch&uot; will be in Greenville at the Ritz on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2001 to perform &uot;They’re Playing Our Song&uot;, and this also promises to be a sell-out.