Reviewed by Tom Noreen
Ever wondered what life in a retirement home might be like, but were afraid to ask? Scott and Jill Phillip’s new musical Old Folks at Home will give you a glimpse into life at the Aged Oaks retirement home. If you want to see this wonderful spoof, tickets are available at the Cedar Springs Library or Alpha and Omega Coffee and games for the 7:30 p.m. shows on Friday and Saturday, May 24-25.
The show opened to a packed theatre last Friday. The audience laughed all the way through as Scott poked fun at the infirmities that come with age and mileage. Melvin (Russ Cole) still thinks he is God’s gift to women as he chases the ladies around in his walker while in Betty’s (Megan Maddox) royal allusions she portrays herself as Queen for a day taking on personages from Victoria to, well you will have to go to find out! Then there is poor Maude (Liz Clifford), stricken by a stroke she milks more laughs out of 52 words and a palette of facial expressions than Bob Hope could in a Christmas special. Glenda (Chris Bigney) tries to keep the peace as squabbles breakout. Bertie (Judy Schultz) thinks she’s a flapper as she makes eyes at staffer Corey (Sean Murphy).
On the darker side, Wendell (Jon Gamm) feels he as been dumped to die by his son, Adam (Dan Kavanaugh). Anna Ambrose as Rachel attempts to bring reconciliation to Wendell and Adam as little Johnny (Hayden Golczynski) brings joy and purpose into Wendell’s shattered life. All the time, Kathryn-with a capital K (Terri Riggle), tries to keep the home running on an even keel.
Jill’s songs range from the hilarious to the poignant. The Lutheran Children’s Choir’s makes fun of the residents in the title work, Old Folks at Home. The house roared at Stalker with Walker. On the other hand, you could hear a pin drop when Anna sang Forgive. The show closed as the Aged Oak residents got back at the Lutheran kids with their rap song, Old Folks Finale.
The show is as good as it gets, a great story line and super music. Make the time this weekend to enjoy this fantastic production. Tickets are $15 at the door or $12 in advance. Students under 18 are $6. Call Scott at 696-3746 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your ticket or get one at the library or Alpha and Omega.