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Chicago Actor Appears As Will Rogers In Museum Sponsored Program

Lance Brown (left) has been performing as Will Rogers (right) for more than 20 years.

Lance Brown (left) has been performing as Will Rogers (right) for more than 20 years.

Actor Lance Brown will present his inspirational performance Will Rogers, Now! at the Estes Park High School Auditorium, 1600 Manford Avenue in Estes Park, at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 4. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The program is free; donations will be accepted. The program is sponsored by the Estes Park Public Library Foundation, the Estes Park Museum, the Estes Park Library, the Friends of the Estes Park Library and Park School District R-3.

Will Rogers was born on November 4, 1879 in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. “My ancestors didn’t come over on the Mayflower, but they met the boat,” said Rogers. His diverse talents and humanitarian work kept him in the public eye most of his life. He was a columnist for the New York Times, a radio and film personality, a humorist and a grass-roots philosopher. Will’s direct and uncomplicated commentaries about life, politics and the world reflect the values of the cowboy culture in which he was raised.

As he portrays Will Rogers, Brown takes an entertaining and insightful look at our lives and our values. He explores the philosopher cowboy’s take on the universal nature of human folly and uses Rogers’ famous trick roping and playful humor to bring America’s most loved citizen to life.  He reveals the irony of how many of Will Rogers’ comments apply directly to what is happening today.

Brown has an intimate knowledge of his subject and has toured the country as Rogers for more than 20 years. Joseph Carter, Director of the Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore, Oklahoma, commented that Brown’s program was “absolutely the best one-man show I’ve ever seen.” He has done extensive research at the Will Rogers Memorial and authored the 1997 book On the Road with Will Rogers. The foreword to the book was written by Will Rogers’ son, Jim, who said, “as an actor, humorist, singer, writer and humanitarian himself, Lance has a unique connection to, and understanding of Will Rogers.” Similarly, another of Rogers’ sons, Will Jr., called the program “Excellent, an audience-holding experience.”

Some 74 years after his death, Will Rogers’ humor still holds true today. He was quick to point out “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” And “We have the honor of being the only country in the world that ever went to the poorhouse in an automobile.”

For more information on the program, please contact the Estes Park Museum at 970-577-3762 or visit www.estes.org/museum.

Library to Present the Film, “The Story of Will Rogers”

As a prelude to the live Will Rogers event on April 4, the Estes Park Public Library will show a one-hour documentary titled, The Story of Will Rogers, narrated by Bob Hope. The film will be shown on the big screen in the Hondius Room of the Library on Monday, March 30 at 7:00 p.m., and repeated on Friday, April 3 at 3:00 p.m.

The Story of Will Rogers is a unique and well-researched look into the life of lasso-twirling Rogers that incorporates rare film footage. Newsreel sequences, archival footage, photographs and home movie clips converge to paint both an intimate portrait of the beloved cowboy philosopher and to explore the remarkable impact he had on legions of loving fans. The documentary special was produced by NBC Television and originally broadcast in 1961. Both screenings of, The Story of Will Rogers, are free and open to the public.

For more information, please call the Estes Park Public Library at 970-586-8116.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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