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Seniors present “Golden Age of Television" at the Playhouse

POSTED: May 8, 2014 12:03 a.m.
Micah Green/

Kathy Russell and Vince Currie practice a scene for “The Georgia Senior Follies: Golden Age of Television” at the Cumming Playhouse. The show is set for 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 3 p.m. Sundays through May 18.

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CUMMING — A Cumming Playhouse favorite returns through May 18.

After taking a year off in 2013, BK Productions is back with its latest rendition of “The Georgia Senior Follies.”

Featuring the talents of those ages 55 and up, the original show, which is in its fifth year, was created by BK Productions’ Kathy and Bob Russell based on a specific theme.

This year the show takes on “The Golden Age of Television,” highlighting scenes and music from classic TV shows such as “I Love Lucy,” “The Honeymooners,” “Gilligan’s Island” and “The Golden Girls.”

Kathy Russell said one of the things that make “The Georgia Senior Follies” so enjoyable is the fact that each year the show is created based around the individual talents of the cast.

“You have to go by the talent that you have,” she said. “You can’t do Jackie Gleason unless you have a Jackie Gleason; you can’t do Elvis unless you have an Elvis.”

While no one in the show claims to be “an impersonator” of any of the icons that are portrayed, Russell said they “just try to be the essence of that person.”

She said “The Golden Age of Television” was more difficult to put together than some previous “Senior Follies” shows.

“It’s a very complicated show,” she said. “There are so many segments and there’s so much material that it was really hard picking and choosing what to represent.”

In the end, the show came together with classic scenes from dozens of TV hits from the 1950s through the 1980s.

There are also renditions of classic commercials and well-known music from the small scene.

The 37-member cast, many of whom have returned year after year to take part in the show, were up for the challenge.

Nancy Long, who is among the tap dancers in the show, said she’ll keep being a part of the cast as long as possible.

“The main reason is that this was an opportunity for me to realize a little girl’s dream that had long ago been forgotten,” said Long, 81. “I grew up in the era of the big band, musical movies and the Ziegfeld Girls, and I always dreamed as a little girl but never had the opportunity. But [Georgia Senior Follies] gave me that platform.”

Fellow tap dancer Rena Lill, 75, added that part of the fun of the show is the bonds those involved forge.

“It’s always a pleasure to work with everyone and see familiar faces again because there are so many friendships that have been formed,” she said.

 

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