Putting on an original musical makes these seniors feel young again

Posted May 18, 2012, at 8:43 a.m.
Bunny Gibson plays the role of Selma Broadwick during dress rehearsal of the original play &quotThe Skylight Club" at the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor on Thursday, May 17, 2012.
Bunny Gibson plays the role of Selma Broadwick during dress rehearsal of the original play "The Skylight Club" at the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor on Thursday, May 17, 2012. Buy Photo
Sharon Smith (left) sits listening as Joanne Fish (center) whispers in the ear of Bonnie Gray (right) during the closing act of &quotThe Skylight Club" dress rehearsal at the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor on Thursday, May 17, 2012.
Sharon Smith (left) sits listening as Joanne Fish (center) whispers in the ear of Bonnie Gray (right) during the closing act of "The Skylight Club" dress rehearsal at the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor on Thursday, May 17, 2012. Buy Photo
Doug Plenge plays the role of Paulie in the Hammond Street Senior Center original play &quotThe Skylight Club" during dress rehearsal in Bangor on Thursday, May 17, 2012.
Doug Plenge plays the role of Paulie in the Hammond Street Senior Center original play "The Skylight Club" during dress rehearsal in Bangor on Thursday, May 17, 2012. Buy Photo
Bunny Gibson (top) and Judy Commeau check their head pieces in a mirror during a quick change of costumes at a dress rehearsal of &quotThe Skylight Club" at the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor on Thursday, May 17, 2012.
Bunny Gibson (top) and Judy Commeau check their head pieces in a mirror during a quick change of costumes at a dress rehearsal of "The Skylight Club" at the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor on Thursday, May 17, 2012. Buy Photo
Laughter is exchanged between cast members Kathy Bernier (left), Brenda Boardman (center) and Bunny Gibson (right) before dress rehearsal of the original play &quotThe Skylight Club" at the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor on Thursday, May 17, 2012.
Laughter is exchanged between cast members Kathy Bernier (left), Brenda Boardman (center) and Bunny Gibson (right) before dress rehearsal of the original play "The Skylight Club" at the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor on Thursday, May 17, 2012. Buy Photo
84-year-old pianist Greg Osborne follows along in the script as actors rehearse the original play &quotThe Skylight Club" on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor.
84-year-old pianist Greg Osborne follows along in the script as actors rehearse the original play "The Skylight Club" on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor. Buy Photo
Hammond Street Senior Center staff member Kelly Gilks belts out Somewhere over the Rainbow into a replica of a vintage microphone during dress rehearsal of the original play &quotThe Skylight Club" at the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor on Thursday, May 17, 2012.
Hammond Street Senior Center staff member Kelly Gilks belts out Somewhere over the Rainbow into a replica of a vintage microphone during dress rehearsal of the original play "The Skylight Club" at the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor on Thursday, May 17, 2012. Buy Photo
Paul Rich, playing the part of Doc Logan, sweeps the stage of the Skylight Club during dress rehearsal of the original play at the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor on Thursday, May 17, 2012 as Edward baker (right) sits backstage ready to prompt those actors that might forget a line.
Paul Rich, playing the part of Doc Logan, sweeps the stage of the Skylight Club during dress rehearsal of the original play at the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor on Thursday, May 17, 2012 as Edward baker (right) sits backstage ready to prompt those actors that might forget a line. Buy Photo

BANGOR, Maine — The giggles, laughter and banter backstage at the Hammond Street Senior Center before a dress rehearsal of “The Skylight Club” on Thursday, May 17, was reminiscent of a fourth-grade play. Actors discussed last-minute costume and prop ideas, scripts were read and reread, and some actors were late arriving. It was hard to fathom these were senior citizens — all 60 years old or older.

Per Lee of Hermon, one of three men in the production, says the show is an “opportunity to express yourself and to be amongst friends.”

A large group of friends is needed to pull off this fundraiser for the Hammond Street Senior Center, which holds several each year.

More than 20 members of the senior center are pulling together to put on this original musical, written by Nancy Taylor. The story line goes something like this: A renovated club, the Starlight Club, is looking to replace its lead singer for one reason. She can’t sing. The ploy to oust Flossie Flanagan (Kathy Bernier) is set in motion and the results are laughter, song and dance.

Bernier, executive director of the senior center, says she is overjoyed with the production in which she is one of the stars.

“The member enjoyment makes my job so rewarding,” she says.

Tickets, which cost $10, still are available for shows at 7 p.m. Friday, May 18, and Saturday, May 19. The show at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 20, is sold out.

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