Have I mentioned that I have gotten involved with long-time London thespian and educator Art Fidler’s brainchild, Silver Spotlight Theatre, a theatre group featuring and produced by senior-aged performers and staff 55+ with a mission of presenting full-scale Broadway musicals?
Well I have, and I could not be more pleased!
The company’s inaugural show, Babes In Arms by Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart, is being produced by Kelly Holbrough and co-directed by Art and longtime Musical Theatre Productions director Rick Smith, with musical direction by Janis Wallace. It opens March 24 on the Auburn Stage at the Grand Theatre and runs to April 2.
“I think it’s a great idea,” says co-director Rick Smith. “I know a lot of people have an interest in doing something in theatre, but the opportunities just aren’t there. The older people often feel like they’ve been put to pasture and this opportunity will be an important outlet for them. It helps keep people young and it’ll be a lot of fun for them.”
Originally written and produced in 1937, Babes In Arms is the story of young people during the Great Depression of the 1930s looking to raise money to stay off the work farm after their parents leave them unattended to seek their own success on the dying vaudeville stage. Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland starred in the 1939 “I’ve got a barn! Let’s put on a show!!” movie version. The show received a further adaptation in 1978. Silver Spotlight Theatre’s version will see tables turned by having the show’s cast and crew made up of the talents of those 55+ playing these great young roles, and singing some of Rodgers & Hart’s most successful songs that have been performed by a multitude of crooners and chanteuses ever since.
Auditions have been held, thirty roles have been cast and full rehearsals are now in progress, while the Production Crew is hard at work behind the scenes preparing for the March 24th opening.
I have been charged with the responsibility of putting together the play’s Program, a task that I am looking forward to with relish.
Watch my Blog for more news about the play and how you can purchase tickets.
As Silver Spotlight Theatre’s founder Art Fidler is wont to say: “Musical comedy, the two most glorious words in the English language.”
In the meantime, check out Musical Theatre Productions Facebook page for posts about the play https://www.facebook.com/mtplondon
You can read Joe Belanger’s story about the launch of Silver Spotlight Theatre here https://lfpress.com/entertainment/local-arts/new-musical-theatre-company-for-older-actors-crews-opens-in-london