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Old folks at home


(L to R):  Judy Schultz, Liz Clifford, Chris Bigney, and Russ Cole in a scene from Old Folks at Home.

(L to R):  Judy Schultz, Liz Clifford, Chris Bigney, and Russ Cole in a scene from Old Folks at Home.

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 phillipsba@yahoo.com to reserve your ticket or get one at the library or Alpha and Omega.

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Charlotte’s Web


 

Steven Kern as Templeton, Ian Murphy as Wilbur, and Tinsley Nulph as Charlotte.

Reviewed by Tom Noreen

Spiders. I like spiders and I really liked the Cedar Springs High School’s presentation of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web! Director Justin Harnden should be proud of the superb performance by the cast and crew of this children’s classic. With a cast of 39, and a crew of 13, not counting other student and parent volunteers, Justin did a great job.
Tinsley Nulph portrayed Charlotte with grace and compassion as she wove her web of magic to save Wilbur the pig from the smokehouse. Ian Murphy played Wilbur with relish, as he came to realize the value of friendship and sacrifice. Steven Kern excelled in his role as Templeton the greedy, self-centered and conniving rat. Molly McCarthy and Harrison Brown were spot-on in their performance as the stuttering Goose and Gander as were Dereck Sissell and Holly Lewis as the Sheep and Lamb.
Kristen Valentine (Fern) played her part as Wilbur’s first rescuer well, as did Seth Cosier and Rachel DeLeeuw, who portrayed her parents the Arables. Wyatt Phillips was delightful as her rambunctious younger brother, Avery. Shelby Hubble and Devin Burke had a great time playing Fern’s aunt and uncle, Edith and Homer, while Levi Velting definitely had the flair for his role as Lurvy their farmhand.
Sean Murphy, as the first place winning pig, Uncle, did a fine job of upstaging his older brother! The other members of the cast were wonderful in their roles. These included the story’s narrators Whitney Badge, Silver Gonzales, Corey Willette, and Kayla Ovokaitys, Katie Esakson (Reporter), Espen Haugland (Photographer), Alexis Lucarelli and Courtney Alvesteffer (Spectators), Morgan Bennett and Felicia Jones (Judges), Emilie Petty, Kylie Wells, Aaron Burton, and Claire Willette (Fair-goers), Kendall VanPutten, Sirena Johnson, Dalton VanEss, Taylor Atkins, Monique Wilks, and Kaci Clark (Crowd Members), Sean Herp (Announcer) and Nicole Clark, Briana Brugel, and Brooke Lubben (Little Spiders).
The crew was fantastic in keeping the show moving. Lights and sound were super. A big thanks to Student Directors Olivia Larsen and Autumn Fish, Stage Manager Brandon Jones, Costume Diva Kristie Rice, Sound Techs Kody Hall and Mitch McClees, Light Tech Brett Markosky, Sound FX RJ Moore, and Stagehands Mike Stafford, Jacob Detloff, Megan Brunett, Liz Moore, and Kate Miller.
The set design was fantastic. The large red barn, with its loft for Charlotte, filled the stage. Costumes were very well done.
The cast and crew should be proud of their successful and entertaining show! Thanks to the community and school administration for supporting the arts in Cedar Springs.

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