Senior community theaters deliver giggles - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

Senior community theaters deliver giggles

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Posted: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 1:15 pm

Senior community theaters are hoping to make audiences hum tunes and laugh with a slate of shows for the new season.

Janice Lombardos, president of Theatre West in Sun City West, said their troupe intends to tickle plenty of funny bones.

“When you go out for an evening, many folks want to laugh and not deal with serious drama because that’s in our lives every day,” said Lombardos. “We always tend to stick with musicals and comedies.”

Warren Bentkover, president of Sun City Grand Drama & Comedy Club, said their audiences always have loved comedies.

“We really love putting smiles on faces, and I truly believe that our new season reflects just that,” Bentkover said.

THEATRE WEST

Lombardos said she’s excited about Theatre West’s new season, which includes two high-profile plays and a musical that returns with a Broadway revival next year.

The theater opens the season with “If a Man Answers,” revolving around a rich socialite who marries a photographer and attempts to train him as the perfect husband. People might remember the 1962 film with Bobby Darin.

“Moving Mountains,” the theater’s second play and comedy, is about a 65-year-old widower living in a retirement community, giving good cheer, insight and companionship to “mature women.”

“This is a very age-appropriate show for us,” said Lombardos. “There aren’t many plays that are written for us, so actors often perform roles in shows that are much younger. But all of these characters are around the same age as those who live in our community.”

One of their most anticipated productions of the season is the musical “Funny Girl,” which will have a Broadway revival next year.

“We got the rights to this before they announced it was going back to Broadway, so we’re very fortunate,” Lombardos said.

SUN CITY GRAND DRAMA & COMEDY CLUB

Bentkover said he can’t single out a favorite show for the new season.

“They’re all quite funny in some respect or another,” he said. “They all accomplish what they’re suppose to do and that’s make folks laugh.”

“Run for Your Wife,” directed by AriZoni winner Sharon Collar, begins the season. It features a storyline about a man with two wives. He spends most of the play trying to keep the women away from each other.

“English farces are so funny and this is one of the best ones,” Bentkover said.

The troupe also will perform the Italian comedy “Over the River and Through the Woods” and Neil Simon’s “California Suite.”

A film version of “California Suite” featured Alan Alda, Michael Caine, Bill Cosby, Maggie Smith, Walter Matthau, Jane Fonda and Richard Pryor.

The club ends the season with the classic musical “Kiss Me Kate,”  based on Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew.” Famous songs from the show include “Too Darn Hot,” “Why Can’t You Behave” and “So in Love.”

“We have something for everyone, so they can sit back, relax and have fun,” Bentkover said.

SUN CITY PLAYERS

Tom Taylor, publicity chairman for the Sun City Players, said their season features some popular and familiar shows.

Taylor said “Two by Two” isn’t the typical musical, which tells the story of Noah and the Ark.

“It’s really a comedy with music but a laugh-out-loud show,” said Taylor. “This musical is a great showcase for actors with comic chops.”

“Send Me No Flowers” kicks off the season, Taylor said, with a small ensemble cast. The plot is about a hypochondriac who thinks he’s dying this time and makes plans for his wife, which she discovers and misunderstands.

The film version featured Tony Randall, Rock Hudson and Doris Day.

“It’s a classic and hysterical play,” said Taylor. “This season is one of the strongest we’ve had and the lineup is great.”

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