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Flashback to 1961

Nostalgia has a powerful draw on us. For seniors, that’s especially true. For the members of the K-W Silver Stars, it’s also great fodder for musical comedy, as can be seen with the theatre group’s upcoming production of Waiting for Father Anthony.

Set to open Oct. 25 at the St. Jacobs Community Centre, the play is an original comedy with music from the 60’s by local playwright and theatre educator Peter Mansell. Waiting for Father Anthony touches on the ups and downs of teens of the past and the reminiscences of the adults they are today, told with the music that turned them on.

A rehearsal of Waiting for Father Anthony, the latest production from the K-W Silver Stars. [submitted]
In the here-and-now, a group of church ladies who gather regularly are waiting for the priest coming to replace Father Patrick, who’s leaving the parish. Their reminiscences take them – and the audience – back to 1961, where a much younger Patrick was part of the group as teens.

“We try to encapsulate a little moment in time,” explained producer Leslie-Gail Hill. “We want to capture the music and the social mores of the time that are so different from today’s world.”

It’s a trip down memory lane for the seniors involved in the production, and they want to take everyone along for the ride.

Things take a twist when Father Anthony finally shows up, revealed to be some kind of combination of Brad Pitt and Elvis. – “the ladies all go gaga,” she laughed. They also quickly revert back to their dancing ways from five decades earlier.

For the cast members, it’s a chance to relive some of those moments for real.

“You still feel the same when you hear the music,” said Hill, noting there’s plenty of energy from the older cast. “We dance all the dances of the ’60s.”

More than 50 people taking part in putting on the show, including about a dozen and a half on stage. Everyone is energetic about it, she said.

“There are jobs for everybody in a production like this,” Hill added of the Silver Stars group.

K-W Silver Stars is a non-profit organization, founded in 1994, drawing participants from Waterloo Region and Wellington County. For 18 seasons, the group has been staging two annual productions by seniors for the general public.

The K-W Silver Stars production of Waiting for Father Anthony runs Oct. 25 (7:30 p.m.), Oct. 26 (7:30 p.m.), Oct. 27 (2:30 p.m.) and Oct. 28 (2:30 p.m.) at the St. Jacobs Community Centre, 31 Parkside Dr. Tickets are $18, available at the Centre in the Square box office by calling 578-1570 or toll free 1-800-265-8977 or online at www.centre-square.com.

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