The cast and crew of the Senior Variety Show were hopeful that people would come to see the very first show of all senior performers on Sept. 8, 1995. Much to their surprise, it was a sell-out crowd at Ames City Auditorium for the “Celebration of Aging.” Now, the Senior Variety Show is in rehearsals for the 25th annual event. “Celebrating Silver, Creating Gold” will take the stage on Friday, Aug. 16, at 7:30 p.m. and a Saturday, Aug. 17 matinee at 2 p.m.
Originator of the show, Betty Boccella, recalls how nervous the production crew was that first year. “We thought we had a unique, entertaining show that people of all ages could really enjoy,” she stated, “but we were afraid no one would come. We were shocked and thrilled at the crowd that came out that night! If we hadn’t taken the risk, the show wouldn’t be getting ready for its 25th year!” There have been two performances every year since 1995 to accommodate the crowd that comes to see the show.
Once again, this year’s show is under the direction of Julie Minot and Ronnie Lindeman, the successful directing duo from last year. “We are honored to be part of this very special celebration year,” stated Minot. “The show includes a reflection from the first show in ’95, but the rest will be fresh songs, dances, laughs and more; a little something for everyone.”
More than 525 different seniors have performed in the show up to this 25th year. “There is a very rich history of some great senior performers; people from all walks of life,” reflects Boccella. “The original purpose was to showcase older adult performers, demonstrating that seniors can live vital, enriching lives, even into their later years. It’s been a great testament to the community in that regard, and also a very meaningful event for the performers themselves.”
In recognition of the 25th anniversary, this year’s production will include a pre-show and intermission highlight video from shows through the years. States Boccella, “We hope the audience enjoys looking back with us, as much as we’ve enjoyed preparing the video. It brings back lots of great memories!”
Tickets for the 25th Annual Senior Variety Show, “Celebrating Silver, Creating Gold!,” are now on sale for $10 at the following locations: In Ames, Heartland Senior Services (205 S. Walnut Ave.); Mary Kay’s Flowers and Garden Café, (3134 Northwood Dr.) and Worldly Goods (223 Main St.). In Nevada they are available at the Ben Franklin Store (1038 6th St.), and in Story City at the RSVP/Senior Center (503 Elm Ave). Tickets will also be available at the door for $12. For further ticket information, please call 515-292-9394, visit Facebook page (Senior Variety Show Story County) or website: SeniorVarietyShow.org.