Embrace your wrinkles! Or maybe embrace the face lift! Sixty years old is not the end, it’s a new beginning. Love yourself, love your journey and accept no limitations.
If you are lucky enough to know Chatham’s Naomi Turner, you know this woman embodies those words, so much so that Turner and her friend Wilderness Sarchild put those sentiments into words and music, and with help from composer Malcolm Granger and Cape Cod Theatre Company’s artistic director Nina Schuessler, “Wrinkles, The Musical” was born. The show premiered at the Harwich theater last week.
Each character is a composite of the stories from women Turner and Sarchild met over the nine-year process of creating this show. The plot follows a group of women putting together a revue in a Florida retirement community theater, dealing with their issues and successes as they jump from production numbers onstage to backstage antics. Know how it feels when you get together with your girlfriends and just let it go? That’s the vibe of this show.
You’ll laugh when a song strikes a familiar chord, sigh when an emotion touches you as you’ve been touched and even cry as you’ve cried just as you have when a friend experiences a loss. If you’ve been alive for over 60 years you’ve been there and felt this way at one time or another.
Getting old and loving yourself at the same time is a celebration, a time to rejoice. The town of Orleans embraced their longtime resident tap-dancer Elaine Chase by giving her a chance to live out a dream: dancing down Main Street. That moment is a scene in the show. Dealing with cancer, an unhappy marriage, a younger spouse, coming out, and being single and alone are all touched on with laughter, tears and poignant pauses. These women are bold, bawdy, beautiful and real.
The cast is a true ensemble, each supporting the other in the many song and dance numbers plus the interaction scenes. They are Joanne Callum Powers (Jane), Paula Erickson (Sally), Celeste Howe (Valerie), Sue Lindholm (Louise), Sherry Smith Scudder (Pam), Deb Stringham (Mrs. D), Karen Santos (Diane) and Dana McCoy (swing). The Ancients, a Greek chorus (Janice Bradbury Richmond, Dorothy Beaton and Marie Miller Hayes) were instrumental to the action, and made the audience laugh on more on one occasion. Karen McPherson as Aunt Beulah was a hoot in the second act. You don’t need to read the program bios to recognize the combined amount of theater and dance experience these actors have; it’s evident from the get-go.
Along with Turner and Sarchild’s music and lyrics is additional music by Jason Howland and Sarah Burrill and additional lyrics by Anita Mewherter, Joanne Sinerate, Betsy Smith, deer Sullivan and Erickson. Contributing to the overall sleek production under Schuessler’s keen direction are James P. Byrne’s set and lighting, sound design by J Hagenbuckle and Frances Covais Lautenberger’s costume design. Choreographers Adam Spencer, Leda Muhana, Turner and Sinerate gave the numbers a lot of pizzazz and spunk. Music director Granger on keyboard and his band (Mark van Bork, drums; Sue Goldberg, bass; John Jamison and Rich Hill filling in sometimes) are hidden but not unnoticed; they were fabulous! I always like to acknowledge and identify the behind-the-scenes folks who make it all run seamlessly; they are tech director and stage crew Matt Kohler, stage manager and light board operator Jack Coughlin, spotlight and sound operator Hannah McLaughlin and props mistress Marybeth Travis.
“Wrinkles” is a fun night out for you and your girlfriends. It’s a little over two hours with a 15-minute intermission. It’s billed for mature audiences for its no holds barred approach. Ready to let go? Get your tickets today!
"Wrinkles, The Musical"
At The Cape Cod Theatre Company, Home of the Harwich Junior Theatre
Through June11, Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 4 p.m. No show on Thursday May 25.
Information and reservations: 508-432-2002, ext. 2, www.capecodtheatrecompany.org