Monday, January 27, 2014

Schtick at the Whitefire

Saul Ilson, John Shull, Marcia Rodd, Barbara Minkus who took the photo!
If you can’t make it to Grossinger’s or other Borscht Belt resorts in the Catskills, you’re over fifty and an old joke is like an old friend; mark  your calendar for a Sunday matinee at The Whitefire in Sherman Oaks.  There’s good news and bad news.  The bad news is that Ronnie Schell, one of those comics you’ve seen a million times but may not know his name, who has starred in the show may not be appearing.  To top that off, the understudy for the show I saw had emergency surgery, which left playwright, lyricist, composer / director of DON’T LEAVE IT ALL TO YOUR CHILDREN, Saul Ilson, to step in at the last minute (after fixing the sound system and apologizing to the audience for a late start) to fulfill the old adage that the Show Must Go On.  To his credit, the show, though a little long, rolls along merrily with the unflappable Ron Ross at the keyboard who never misses a beat.

The ensemble, Barbara Minkus, Marcia Rodd and John Shull carries on with song and dance all dedicated to living life in their senior years.  Old jokes punctuate the musical numbers and monologues. If those ‘do you remember’ emails with photos of skate keys and penny candy are your cup of tea, then this is the revue for you. It’s a trip down memory lane as well as a kick in the pants to keep dancing and singing and to live your life to the fullest.  The songs and schtick run from the silly to  sweet nostalgia.  Each actor plays their own strength:  Minkus has always been the cutie pie, Rodd is elegant and sincere.  Shull, the big nostalgic guy, has television and stage credits as long as your arm. Ilson does his best to keep up and the audience was with him all the way.

There’s not a stitch of pretense in this one.  The audience, mostly senior citizens or their parents, bopped along with the catchy tunes and nodded knowingly as the stories rolled along.  One of the best was about a Jewish guy who went to a Dude Ranch and wanted to ride a horse.  The wrangler had a horse that understood Yiddish! Oy!


Written and directed by Saul Ilson
Sunday Matinees only at 2PM
through March 30, 2014 (no shows February 9 or 16)
Whitefire Theatre
13500 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 990-2324
$30.00  Group Rate (10 or more) $25.00
Tickets and information:
800 838 3006

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