With a title like "Sex Please, We're Sixty," it's likely patrons of Alpena Civic Theatre's newest play are in for a little fun.
"I like to call it a cozy comedy," said Chip Lavely, who is co-directing the show along with first-time director Scott Edgar. "It's a titillating situation that never goes too far."
Written in 2008 by playwrights Michael Parker and Susan Parker, it's also considered a comedy farce.
News Photo by Diane Speer
Appearing in Alpena Civic Theatre’s newest show, “Sex Please, We’re Sixty,” are front row left, Julie Meyers, Pat Skiba and Nancy Mead. Performers in the back row are Rick Messler, Karen Thompson and Sharon Shiemke.
"For those who don't know what a comedy farce is, it takes usual people and puts them in unusual situations which makes it very comical."
"Sex Please, We're Sixty" is set in the modern-day Rose Cottage Bed & Breakfast in New England, where guests return year after year (mostly women) to soak up the atmosphere. Mrs. Stancliffe, played by Karen Thompson, serves as proprietress of the B&B.
Her next-door neighbor, the silver-tongued Bud Davis, believes the women are repeat customers because of his prowess in the bedroom department. Pat Skiba appears on stage as this amusing character who calls himself Bud the Stud.
Mrs. Stancliffe's other neighbor is Henry Mitchell (Rick Messler), who has routinely proposed marriage to her everyday for the past 20 years even though she always turns him down. In order to move their relationship along, Henry, a retired chemist, has developed a little blue pill patented under the name "Venusia" after Venus, the goddess of love. The pill is intended to increase the libido in menopausal women.
The audience gets to know three female guests at the B&B, including Victoria Ambrose (Sharon Shiemke), a romance novelist suffering from writer's block, and Charmaine Beauregard (Julie Meyers), a quintessential southern belle who has a rendezvous with Bud and whose libido doesn't necessarily need to be increased.
Finally, the third guest is Hillary Hudson (Nancy Mead), an ex-partner of Henry's who will test his Venusia. Complications and more fun arise when Bud unwittingly ingests the blue pills and then begins to experience all the stereotypical menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings.
"It's a lot of fun a semi-bawdy show for the whole family," Lavely said. "I think the audiences are really going to like it."
Edgar, who served as assistant director to Lavely for ACT's fall musical, "Hallelujah Girls," is finding the co-directing experience to be both rewarding and challenging. He said he loves all aspects of the theatre from appearing on stage to working behind the scenes to directing.
In addition to co-directing, Edgar also has helped with set building along with Tom Robson. Lavely designed the attractive set, with Adam Pieczynski as set director and Nancy Mead as set painter and muralist.
Costumes are by Marilyn Kettler, and lighting is by Derek Spack. Serving as stage manger is Jackie Grulke.
Lavely said a special thanks goes to the Habitat ReStore for lending the theatre the furniture used on stage. He also expressed his thanks to Evelyn Hunter for her advice on the show.
"Sex Please, We're Sixty" opens March 14 and runs through March 24. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. For reservations, call the ACT box office at 354-3624.