Barry Switzer is 76 years old. One of these days, he might slow down. Chances are, he’ll never be neglected.
But the same can’t be said of some Oklahoma senior citizens. So Switzer has agreed to be king of the 2014 Oklahoma Senior Follies, a variety showed patterned off the famed Ziegfeld Follies.
“You damn guys put my age in the paper all the time, so everybody knows I’m … old, so I might as well do it,” Switzer said.
Switzer will preside over the show, sitting on a throne. He won’t perform.
“Hell no,” Switzer said. “First thing I asked, do I have to sing or dance? They told me I didn’t. I don’t even have to open my mouth, I don’t think. That’s one of the reasons I accepted. I hope nothing but sit in the damn throne and stare out at ’em. It’s supposed to be really neat, everyone says it’s great. They bring in the professionals.”
The Senior Follies is intended to reinvigorate the senior community and raise money for Mobile Meals of Oklahoma County. The three previous productions have raised money to provide more than 70,000 meals for home-bound, frail and elderly Oklahomans.
Bobbie Burbridge Lane founded the Follies after participating in a similar event in Dallas. She asked her close friend, Oklahoma Supreme Court justice Yvonne Kauger, to recruit Switzer. Lane is commonly referred to as “she who must be obeyed,” so Switzer quickly came aboard.
“We feel that having him, this is the biggest shot we have had to help our senior community,” said Lane. “Our fragile, homebound seniors … for the most part have been just put on a shelf, forgotten and certainly neglected. Mobile Meals has lost a huge part of their federal and state funding with cuts.
“This Follies is all about re-energizing our senior community.”
Among the entertainers planned for the Follies are Grammy winner Jody Miller, international actress and singer Charlotte Franklin, dancer/choreographer Robert Windsor and actor Terry Runnels.
“Our Follies have only seniors clear up to and beyond 90 years old,” Lane said. “Sing, dance, present side-splitting comedy. Show, by our example, our senior community that they can also get up out of their chairs and get active. Maybe they don't perform, but their talents are needed and wanted in this community, and we value them.”
The fourth annual Oklahoma Senior Follies will be staged at 7 p.m. June 13, 3 p.m. June 14 and 3 p.m. June 15, at Oklahoma City University’s Kirkpatrick Auditorium. Tickets go on sale Monday and can be purchased by calling the OCU ticket office at (405) 208-5227 or online at http://www.okcu.edu/ticketoffice.