“You know, you don’t seem old until you stop having fun.”
These are the words of Ronnie Lindeman, who along with Julie Minot, is co-directing the 24th Annual Senior Variety Show, coming up this Friday and Saturday at the Ames City Auditorium.
The show promises to be, “Simply Stellar!,” a theme that Minot said offered a lot of ideas for the show’s creative team to work with. “If it is about the universe or anything in it, it’s fair game (with this theme),” said Minot. “Sun, moon, stars, rainbows or anything in the sky might pop up (as part of this show).”
Nearly 100 performers, plus many who help backstage, are part of this year’s show. “These people are energetic, creative, talented, motivated and some are performing in spite of health challenges or difficult life events,” Lindeman said.
“Our performers are fantastic whether it is coming to auditions, extra rehearsals, outreach events or the ever-dreaded tech week (happening now) … the performers are very supportive of each other. And talk about dedicated help backstage and on tech; we have many of those volunteers back year after year after year and it really shows in how smoothly things run,” Minot said.
Minot and Lindeman, both of Ames, have been involved in the Heartland Senior Variety Shows for a number of years. The show was in need of a director this year.
“Both of us have had a long relationship with the senior variety show, as well as other theater experience,” Minot said. “We were a little concerned about being able to commit the time as a single director as other amazing directors have done in the past, so like ‘a big bang,’ the collaboration was born.” Lindeman added, “We jumped in and found we feed off each other’s creativity nicely.”
This year’s show offers a lot for entertainment.
“The ‘Stellar’ theme offers some really entertaining skits and music for our performers to choose from. The audience will enjoy watching the performers show off their talents, some of which they have realized late in life. Others have been performing since they were in school,” Lindeman said.
“We have a lot of upbeat, updated energy,” Minot said. “Don’t let the chronological age of our performers fool you. Even our sound equipment is giving our performers more flexibility in their acts, and I’m sure the audience will appreciate the added motion and clarity. We also have a brand new visual treat in store that will amaze.”
“I’m telling people that the concept of 60-plus-year-olds having good clean fun performing on stage is entertaining for people of all ages,” Sommers-Garoutte said.
Tickets for the show are $10 in advance and are available at a number of outlets. Tickets are $12 at the door. Proceeds from this year’s show will benefit several senior programs in Story County, including Meals on Wheels, a joint service of Mary Greeley Medical Center and Heartland Senior Services.
Minot and Lindeman say the show will be ready to perform this Friday night. “In the words of Steven Wright, ‘I’m moving to Mars next week, so if you have any boxes…’ That is kind of what tech week feels like (which has been going on this week to make final preparations),” Minot said. “And for anyone who thinks, ‘I’ve been meaning to go to that (show),’ this is a great show to see our rock star performers.”
“I believe we will not just be ready by opening night, but Stellar!,” added Lindeman.