Friday, November 9, 2018

Ode to our Troops, Thank you to Our Vets and Theater for All Ages

Before I begin this post,  I want to say thank you to our Veteran's.  This coming Monday we will be celebrating Veteran's Day across the country.  Last night I had the great privilege of attending the Heatherwood Follies which was produced to coincide with this celebration, as a musical revue performed by members of the an independent senior living residence on Cape Cod.  Invited by a cousin who was making her theatrical debut at around age 70,  it was an invitation I found hard to refuse.  I fortunately arrived early as there was not an empty seat in the house.  

Although I did not know what to expect,  I found this to be quite an enjoyable event.  The musical revue was put together by fellow resident Dorothy Strauss, who began her career as a dancer at age 5 and performed professionally throughout her life.  She ran the Cape Cod Conservatory Dance Program from 1994-retirement in 2009. She has put together a "follies' show for this community for the past 4 years and had a wide range of participants ranging from singers, dancers, musicians and even a bit of stand-up comedy in a program piece called "Laughter is the Best Medicine.".  (See video below for the laughter part)

Dorothy spent many years performing for the USO Troops and tied this into the closing number of the show when she had the ensemble sing songs from each branch of the armed services including the Air Force, Army, Marine Corp, and Navy.  She invited members of each group in the audience to stand up and be recognized.  All audience members were gleefully singing and shared a sense of pride and Patriotism in a very positive light.  

The show was quite impressive.  As someone who has been involved with community theater much of my adult life it was such a heartwarming opportunity to experience the level of comrade that was built by this production.  It was great to give each stage member a moment to shine in front of an audience.  This age group often has a lot to say but aren't always recognized.  They proudly shared their talents and had a unique opportunity to be a part of a venue amongst peers.   A few, in particular had great voices and sang well known Broadway show tunes from South Pacific and The Music Man.  One gentlemen sang an old tune from the days of Al Jolson.   

Perhaps the biggest thing I got out of the show was the importance of community theater for all age groups.   The show was close to two hours long but moved constantly.  My cousin had been rehearsing since August.  I spoke to a few other participants after the show and they all said this was one of the best things they had done since moving to this residence.   They looked forward with pride to their weekly rehearsals and were so excited to be a part of the "Follies".  My cousin had a huge grin throughout the show and it made my drive down to see it SO worthwhile.  

Please listen to the video below and remember to thank those who served before us to bring us the freedoms we cherish today. Happy Veteran's Day.  

Wendy is a realtor with Coldwell Banker Needham and also works on the lower Cape.  She has her SRES and enjoys working with this age group to help them with downsizing and finding property for the next phase of their search.  For more info click here

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