Florence Henderson wows Petrolia

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“That girl is a singer. She knows how to perform.”

David Hogan, co-artistic director of Victoria Playhouse Petrolia, is in awe of Florence Henderson. The woman many people know as Carol Brady from the classic TV Show The Brady Bunch is in Petrolia to perform her one woman show “All the Lives of Me” for the first time in Canada.

Hogan and David Rogers are producing the event which took to the stage for the first time Tuesday in previews. Hogan says they are simply “looking after her” and making sure the stage is perfect for her to perform.

And Hogan is sure that will be wonderful. The musical theater buff can name dozens of Henderson’s performances long before Carol Brady was born including Oklahoma, South Pacific and The Sound of Music. Hogan says it is easy to see why Henderson has survived sixty years in the entertainment industry. “She is consistently professional and completely old school in the way she conducts herself as a performer,” he says adding she has said that when she is “on stage, that is the only important thing.”

Convincing the singer/actress to bring her show to Petrolia wasn’t as difficult as you might think. Hogan asked Michael Learned, who has performed twice at the VPP, to pave the way. When Hogan called Henderson, she said yes.

“Imagine she leaves L.A. at 5:30 one Saturday morning not knowing where she was going, trusting her instincts and trusting her friend, Michael Learned….She is so happy here. She said to me, ‘Your team here is unbelievable. I’ve never had a group of people who looked after me like that. It is extraordinary.”

Hogan says ticket sales are starting to pick up but he’s still getting people asking what they can expect at the show. “If you are at all interested in Hollywood and theater she’s got tonnes of stories,” says Hogan reeling off names such as Rogers and Hammerstein, Dean Martin, Judy Garland and Johnny Carson. “She knows all these people… Wickedly funny her stories are rich she’s a huge Hollywood star…and she’s here in little Petrolia! I love it!”

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