Phone orders only. Call (760) 325-1449

“THE LADIES WHO SANG WITH THE FOLLIES” DEBUTS AT TRAM

Show Features Former Cast Members of the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is proud to present the debut performance of “The Ladies Who Sang with the Follies” on March 9 beginning at 7:00 p.m. on the Pines Café Stage. Headlining the show is 20-season Follies vocalist Judy Bell and two-season Follies vocalist Terri Olsen. The show’s music director is Wayne Abravanel, who was an integral member of the Follies orchestral team for nine seasons.

While not widely known, Tramway General Manager Rob Parkins actually played a pivotal role in the original founding of the Follies. “I was Palm Springs’ city manager when then-Mayor Pro Tem Tuck Broich took Follies Co-Founders Riff Markowitz and Mary Jardin to see our vacant Plaza Theatre,” remembers Parkins. “When they explained the type of show they were thinking about, many thought they were crazy. I didn’t and—along with other members of the city council—pushed to grant them the lease. The rest, as they say, is history. What a treat it is to have this reunion occur at the Tramway.”

According to Tramway Vice President of Marketing Nancy Nichols, “Since opening the Pines Café Stage with our recent holiday choir series, we’ve been trying to decide what we should present as our first headline act? We worked so closely with the Follies for over two decades in promoting our wonderful destination that this seemed like the logical choice…and we still hear how much folks miss the Follies.”

General admission show ticket is $39 (including tram fare) and seating is extremely limited. Phone orders only by calling 760-325-1449. Cocktail and appetizer menu will be available. Pre-show dining in Peak’s Restaurant is also available that night beginning at 4:00 p.m.

Biographies

Judy Bell, Headline Vocalist

Judy Bell

Since she came yodeling out of the hills of West Virginia, Judy Bell has enjoyed an impressive career spanning over 70 years.

Her own musical comedy revue, The Judy Bell Show, was featured at the MGM hotels in Reno and Las Vegas; the Flamingo, Sahara and Frontier hotels in Las Vegas; and the Cinegrill at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

The veteran songstress has played the lead in stage productions of Annie Get Your Gun, The Unsinkable Molly Brown and “Lily Langtry “at Disneyland, and was a 20-year cast member of the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies.

Judy raised a son and a daughter, and revels over her five grandchildren.

“I am once again going to rehearsal, picking out material to make the audience happy, and singing every day to make it all as perfect as I can. What a blast this is to hit the stage again. Love is in the air!”
Judy Bell

Terri Olsen, Headline Vocalist

Terri Olsen

Terri Olsen is a two-year veteran of the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies. Raised in Sunnyvale, California, she knew from an early age that singing and dancing were her destiny.

At 18, she started as a singer-dancer at Marriott’s Great America Amusement Park in Santa Clara, California. Doing six shows-a-day, six days-a-week for two years, she developed the work ethic that serves her today.

From there she moved to Los Angeles and started acting in TV commercials and doing voice-overs. Her first role on television was in Stubby Pringle’s Christmas, with Beau Bridges and Julie Harris. From there she moved to NYC where she performed in four Broadway shows: Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jerry’s Girls, Starlight Express and Into The Light. You can also hear Terri singing back-up vocals for Carly Simon on her hit song, Coming Around Again.

After ten years in New York, she returned to California where she met her husband, Joe. They relocated to Palm Springs when Terri was hired at the Follies.

When the Follies closed in 2014, Terri resumed her solo singing career in the Desert with her band, The Perfect Blendwww.terriolsen.com

“It’s a wonderful homecoming of sorts – it brings back great memories of lots of fun and lots of hard work! Having been in the Follies together, we share a bond like no other. It means the world to me to have this opportunity to perform with these great ladies once again!”
– Terri Olsen

Wayne Abravanel , Music Director

Wayne Abravanel

Wayne Abravanel worked for the Follies for nine seasons as music sketch artist, working with the producer, music arranger, vocal arranger and choreographers to help create the arrangements and notate the countless bars of music that comprise each edition of the Follies.

A native New Yorker, Mr. Abravanel had a successful career on Broadway, playing and conducting the pit orchestras of such shows as Fosse, The Lion King, Sunset Boulevard, Hello Again and Tommy. He also conducted the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show.

Since moving to the desert in 2003, he has been the musical director for a number of local productions. He is also the choral director at Coachella Valley High School, and served as music director and conductor of the Coachella Valley Symphony.

“I knew I would work again with some of the women from the Follies, and am thrilled to be playing for these gargantuan talents. It will be wonderful to team up again with the “Fabulous” Ladies of the Follies.”
– Wayne Abravanel