LYNN HAVEN — The new production from Kaleidoscope Theatre, “Sex, Please, We’re 60,” is intended for “mature” audiences. But just because the players are older and the subject matter adult-oriented doesn’t mean the humor is above stooping to a little immature playfulness.
“The title alone conjures up images and humorous situations often experienced by the ‘mature’ generation as they go through yet another stage in their lives,” said Linda Hawk, a longtime Kaleidoscope volunteer who portrays a frustrated romance novelist in this show.
Directed by Barry Hertzog, who recently starred in KT’s production “The Love List,” “Sex, Please, We’re 60” opens tonight for a three-weekend run. As with most screwball comedies, the plot hinges on a complex web of desires vs. misunderstandings.
“The characters created by the cast will have audience members poking each other in the sides and laughing from curtain open to curtain close,” Hertzog said, adding that the humor is not offensive and the play will appeal to ages 18 to 100.
Hawk said that, once she heard the play’s title, she couldn’t pass up the chance to read the script and audition in the hope there would be great roles available for women 50 and older. She wasn’t disappointed, finding the play a “comedy of errors about Viagra, menopause, hot flashes (and) screaming fits of unexplainable fury.”
“The script has come alive, and our cast has gone over the top with the hilarity,” she said. “Though it is a mature comedy with adult language and situations, I like that the play is not a vulgar or offensive production.”
Mrs. Stancliffe’s Rose Cottage Bed & Breakfast has been successful for many years, with guests — almost exclusively women — returning year after year. Stancliffe’s neighbor, the elderly, silver-tongued, Bud “the Stud” Davis (Marco Andrews), believes they all come back to spend time with him. Prim and proper Stancliffe (Alice Haynes) denies this, but doesn’t do anything to prevent it. In fact, she reluctantly accepts that Bud is good for business.
Stancliffe’s other neighbor and would-be suitor, the fanny pack-wearing Henry Mitchell (Chuck Giambra), is a retired chemist who has developed a little blue pill. “Venusia” (named for Venus, the goddess of love) is designed to increase the libido of menopausal women. It is untested, and side effects are unknown.
Now three older women arrive: Victoria Ambrose (Hawk), whose personal life lacks romance; Hillary Hudson (Marie Cox), a friend of Henry’s who agrees to test the Venusia; and Charmaine Beauregard (Lois Carter), a “Southern Belle” whose libido has no need of chemical augmentation.
The fun begins when Bud gets his hands on some of the Venusia and tries to entertain all three ladies. However, the gals mix up Bud’s Viagra with Henry’s Venusia, and soon discover the pill has a strange effect on guys — giving them the symptoms of menopause, complete with hot flashes, mood swings, weeping and irritability.
The men aren’t the only ones who suffer, Hawk said. “My biggest challenge was perfecting the art of crying uncontrollably onstage, to quickly becoming furious, to becoming seductive, back to crying, to becoming hysterical, etc., in a way that the audience would be able to understand my rambling words underneath.”
Hertzog always thought “acting is more fun and directing is more work,” but he said the cast came together so smoothly this time that this was an easy show to direct.
“Usually, it has been my experience that as a show gets closer and closer to opening night a director runs around with worry on their face, pulling hair out and wondering when the magic is going to happen and bring the show together,” he said. “There are usually one or two rehearsals when you have doubts and wonder what you have gotten into. That never happened … I was very pleased and surprised at how fast they learned the show.”
‘Sex, Please, We’re 60’
- What: Comedy about sexual hijinks of senior citizens, recommended for mature audiences
- Where: Kaleidoscope Theatre, 207 E. 24th St., Lynn Haven
- When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Feb. 8-9, 15-16, and 22-23); 2 p.m. Sunday matinees (Feb. 10, 17 and 24)
- Tickets/reservations: Call 265-3226
- Details: KT-Online.org