Cabaret with history: Grant Avenue Follies at the Nevada Theatre | TheUnion.com

Cabaret with history: Grant Avenue Follies at the Nevada Theatre

Submitted to Prospector

Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra presents the San Francisco sensation, Grant Avenue Follies, performing a cabaret show at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Nevada Theatre.

With roots in the San Francisco Golden Age Chinatown nightclubs of the late 1930s to 1970s, Grant Avenue Follies is a group of senior Asian women, who have been dancing their hearts out for fun, exercise and camaraderie. During their hey days, Chinatown nightclubs, such as the once famed Forbidden City, were often frequented by Hollywood celebrities and returning soldiers from World War II.

At their height, the dancers were known for top quality entertainment (think Flower Drum Song), and some toured abroad to critical acclaim. The award-winning film documentary, "Dancing Through Life: The Dorothy Toy Story," gives historical perspective and will open the cabaret show.

Meet the Emmy award-winning filmmaker, Rick Quan, and the performers in a Q&A after the show.

Today, Grant Avenue Follies support many worthy causes for veterans, children and seniors, helping them raise over three million dollars to date.

Performers now include retired teachers, an architect, professors and real estate investors. Their ages range from 68 to 82. They have a robust schedule with performances at the Chinese American Museum in Chicago, Seattle, Houston, Honolulu and now Nevada City! In addition, they have been honored in Las Vegas for four straight years.

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Cynthia Yee, founder of the Grant Avenue Follies, received the National Jefferson Award for providing service to various communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Grant Avenue Follies have been featured on national television and are proud to be an inspiration to other seniors to stay active and to keep smiling.

Tickets are $20 at the Book Seller, Briar Patch and online at http://www.catsweb.org.

About the Filmmaker, Rick Quan

Rick Quan is a two-time Emmy-award winner with more than 30 years of broadcast experience. He is the first Chinese-American television sportscaster in the country. He currently works at ABC7 in San Francisco as a fill-in sports anchor and field reporter.

His Rick Quan Productions have done work for the Chinese Historical Society of America, Kristi Yamaguchi's Always Dream Foundation and McDonald's. Quan is also an award- winning documentarian.

His "Dancing Through Life: The Dorothy Toy Story" has garnered 12 awards for distinction. He is currently working on a documentary about the late San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. His DVDs will be available for purchase after the show.

Source: Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra