"We're older than we look, but not inside."
So began the chorus of the 4th annual Follies at Somerset House. Each year, the residents, under the direction of well-known Director Barbara Poggemiller, take out their top hats, polish up their canes and dance, sing and deliver sketches worthy of an old-time vaudeville show. This year was no different.
With passion and creativity, to a packed standing-room-only crowd of their peers, about 25 residents, led through the evening by emcees Frank Fish and Art Poggemiller, kept the audience laughing, singing and clapping. As with any good vaudeville performance, clowns delivered weather reports throughout the show. Plus, an Easter Parade, a Mad Hatter's Tea Party, and Dinner at Somerset, a sketch that laid the waiter out.
The piano man, Bill Watt, started playing the keyboard a few years ago when he found he no longer had the wind to play the trumpet. Bill's keyboarding skills added to most of the evening's numbers. When Bill's skills were needed elsewhere in the program, Phyllis Cripps took over the ivories.
Musical numbers ranged from sweet, "Alice Blue Gown," a little raucous, "Get Me to the Church on Time" and "Side by Side," "Singing in the Rain," complete with umbrellas, a little rap accompanied by a bass guitar playing chef, and a men's chorus complete with beer mugs. To all the singers, dancers, poets and musicians, we applaud you. The evening ended with the full chorus and the audience singing "When You're Smiling." We did.
The audience was delighted with how the staff jumped in and assisted in the background or became part of the "Follies." It was amazing the things that Kristina kept pulling out of her neckline.
At a time when some people think about slowing down, this group at Somerset House gets going. The practices and rehearsals went on for weeks and, like Christmas morning, it was over too soon. Has someone suggested taking it on the road? Courageous and outrageous! This group of people is the epitome of both. I salute you all. Thank you for pulling up your courage and being the wonderful outrageous people you are.
SENIOR LIVING VANCOUVER ISLAND - April 2009
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