If you enjoy a little music, a few dance moves and a whole lot of laughter, no doubt you'll like Pittsburg Community Theatre's latest offering, "The Kids Left. The Dog Died. Now What?"
Betty Brown and David Ward direct the Carole Caplan-Lonner musical revue, which opened last Friday, and wraps up this Sunday at a small makeshift stage at Pittsburg City Hall.
The 8-by-8 stage at the troupe's temporary venue makes little difference in this show because here it's all about the humor and music and the actors have little trouble engaging the upclose audience in their rib-tickling and often heartfelt adventures. Geared for grown-ups, this musical features some 15 songs that tell the day-to-day adventures of the over-50 "empty nest" crowd -- from health problems to midlife crises, the arrival of the AARP membership card, dating and divorce, grandparenting and more.
The show begins with the nine actors -- playing 30 roles -- fretting their advanced age, singing the snappy "Now What," setting the stage for the adventures of this "over-50" set dealing with their kids having left, mothers moved in and backs going bad.
Mark Hinds is hilarious in "Doctors" -- a theme that will be repeated -- about an older man losing his pep, dealing with colon trouble, a bad back and knee, not to mention learning how to golf better ("put golf in front of your family," he squeals with delight). He gets to strut his comic stuff again in the "Computer Dating" and "Computer Chat," during which he plays a newly widowed man who tries his hand at making a match on the Internet. Across the stage from him is Dorothea Rastegar as the reluctant widower who gets coerced by a friend into online dating. The two eventually get together in the touching "New Firsts," following their grandchildren's baseball game.
Also having a hard time with change to great comic effect is Marlene Ward playing beside her husband, David, in "Who Says Progress in Good?" No doubt audience members can relate to her one-liners as she bemoans constantly changing technology: "It's not a present if it comes with batteries" and "There's something wrong with society when you can't turn on the TV set at someone else's house." The two get more laughs, together with the talented Robert Brown and Lisa Luttinger in "Headlights, Tailights," in which the couples race around preparing for their grandchildren's visits.
And then there's the hilarious "Everybody's Got a Cheap Spot" featuring the Wards, along with the ever-comical Siobhan O'Brien and John Gishe, making fun of everyone's little idosyncracies. After all, who doesn't sometimes tear a paper towel in half, reuse a plastic bag or refuse to check in his jacket at the theater?
Betty Gregg, meanwhile, is hilarious in "If You Want to Stay Married," with a glass of wine in one hand, cordially smiling as her husband drives her nuts.
One of the younger cast members, the effervescent Luttinger, shines in "AARP," in which she opens a birthday card from the AARP and a choir above her sings to her the card's contents, reminding her of her advanced age. She's even funnier, however, in the over-the-top "Casserole Stroll," when she struts her dish along with Ward and O'Brien, all trying to capture the attention of a newly widowed -- and highly available -- man.
With so many comic lines and memorable music, this modern, fast-paced comedy is bound to appeal to baby boomers but likely will impress adults of all ages. Under the able direction of Brown and Ward, the troupe deserves kudos for putting together such a delightful, entertaining show -- and doing so in such a small space with few props.
Reach Judith Prieve at 925-779-7178.
What: "The Kids Left. The Dog Died. Now What?"
When: 8 p.m. Feb. 24, 25; 2 p.m. Feb. 26
Where: Pittsburg City Hall, 65 Civic Ave.
Cost: $12 (seniors and students); $15 general admission