Fathers’ Follies, A Tradition
For 70 years, the fathers of Verdugo Woodlands elementary school have put on costumes and make-up, danced, sang and acted to raise money for the PTA. The Fathers’ Follies has become a public elementary school fundraiser unlike any other in the nation, the world and the universe!
In the 1920s, the Verdugo Woodlands PTA had an annual event where the husbands attended a meeting. They called it “Father’s Night.” Then, in 1948, PTA President Kay Gurash turned the evening over to her husband, John. While trying to figure out how to conduct the meeting, he came up with the “little idea” that it might be fun for the guys to do it dressed as their wives. Swearing each other to deepest secrecy, they raided closets and thrift stores, cut up mop heads for wigs, wrote several skits, put make-up on their faces and added a few songs and dances, and performed in the school cafeteria. The event was so much fun, the wives insisted the father’s do it again every year.
In 1949, PTA husband and professional film actor, Joe Sawyer, veteran of over 100 movies, took over and decided to put on a “proper show.” He moved the production to the stage of Glendale College, complete with orchestra, and singing and dancing choruses and FATHERS’ FOLLIES was born.
Some are Famous, Some are Not, All are Dads!
For 66 years, the dads who have graced the stage include show business luminaries such as actor Mike Mazurki, writer Larry Clemons, and Al Taliafero, who created Donald Duck along with many of the Follies posters. In addition, (and no less important) are the thousands of dad plumbers and accountants and business owners, etc. who may never have performed before but year in and year out don balloon boobs, kick up their sore heals and make fools of themselves for their kids. And even more important are the moms and families behind the scenes finding time in their busy schedules to take on yet another full-time job building sets, editing programs, selling ads, making costumes and rubbing sore heals so that the show can go on.
The Dads Club is proud to be the home of Fathers Follies. All of our rehearsals, set building, etc are held at the Dads Club. Come on by! It’s going to be a great show!