The Will Rogers' Follies


Writers: Peter Stone Cy Coleman Betty Comden Adolph Green


Show Information

Number of Acts
Tony Award®
Best Musical 1991
First Produced
Comedy, Romance, Historical/Biographical
Period, Unit/Single Set
Time & Place
America, 1920s
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Ideal for
College/University, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, High School, Star Vehicle Male, Star Vehicle Female
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes mature adult, young adult, adult, child, late teen characters


Welcome to the celebrated Ziegfeld Follies! As decreed by the great Florenze Ziegfeld himself, the current spectacular celebrates the--somewhat elaborated--life of the great American cowboy, entertainer, and popular star, Will Rogers. With Ziegfeld’s voice booming out instructions, Rogers is your host for the evening. He leads you through his life, from his departure from the family cattle ranch to his exponential rise in fame, concluding finally with his untimely death. Accompanied by the glamorous Follies (led by Ziegfeld’s favorite), he introduces the important characters in his life. We begin in the small Oklahoma town where he grew up and meet his father, Clem, who just wants his only son to take over the ranch. But Will has other plans. He travels the world, experiencing life outside of Oklahoma and becoming a truly cosmopolitan cowboy. Will returns home to marry Betty, the love of his life, and she accompanies him on tour across the country as the star of a popular Wild West Show. When Will is offered a spot on Vaudeville, then a radio show, and finally the chance to be a star in Hollywood, who can refuse?! Though his family grows and Betty desperately wants him home, Will becomes more and more famous for his quirky humor and cowboy tricks. He even runs for President! However, when the Great Depression hits America and Will loses most of his fortune, he finds himself wondering what he has truly done with his life.

Lead Characters

The Will Rogers' Follies guide sections