‘Alzheimer’s: The Musical’ looks at aspects of aging - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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‘Alzheimer’s: The Musical’ looks at aspects of aging

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Posted: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 5:22 pm

“Alzheimer’s: The Musical” doesn’t make fun of the disease, but rather at aging for the good and bad.

The musical, which opens Friday at Ghostlight Theatre in Surprise, features three women who talk and sing about life, from medication to being single.

“It’s a fun show that addresses so many senior issues in a fun, comic way, from getting old to all the things they really think stop working,” said Matt McAuley, director of the musical.

McAuley, who is Ghostlight’s co-artistic director, also mentioned that Alzheimer’s disease rarely gets mentioned throughout the production.

“These women are forgetful at times, but it’s more about how they feel about life,” McAuley said.

Surprise resident Francine Rose, who portrays Joan, agrees with McAuley.

“This is a really a play that has a positive attitude towards growing old,” Rose said. “The musical shows that the older you get the more you’re entitled to say.”

Rose has a favorite line in “Alzheimer’s: The Musical.”

“‘Why are you hooking up with a young chick, when you can go with a hot old bird that’s waiting for your call?” said Rose with a laugh.

The musical isn’t often performed at theaters, which is why McAuley thought it would be a good fit for Ghostlight’s first black box production at Valley Vista High School’s Performing Arts Center.

“The school has a smaller performance space, and they’ve given us use of that in addition to the main stage,” he said. “This musical was perfect for that.”

In addition, McAuley said the black box productions will feature good quality plays that are not as well known.

He also added “Alzheimer’s: The Musical” gives more than one older actress an opportunity to be featured in a production, which normally doesn’t happen.

“We have so much talent out here in Sun City, Sun City West and Sun City Grand,” said McAuley. “There aren’t many opportunities to feature this many older actresses.”

Rose and Janice Lombardos of Sun City West have appeared in productions at Ghostlight, while Christa Houck is a newcomer to the theater.

“I love to act, and I’m enjoying the fact (Ghostlight) is giving women our age a chance to act, and with some very good material at that,” Rose said.

She believes audiences will see just that in “Alzheimer’s: The Musical.”

“These women in this show are saying they’re alive and trying to get every amount of joy out of life they can,” said Rose. “And I’m doing the same thing.”

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