Theater group looks to answer question ‘Where are they now?’

Ever wondered "Whatever happened to … ?" The Sun City Community Theatre takes a look at the topic with its next production, "Where Are They Now?", scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Starbright Theatre, 2215 Thomas W. Ryan Blvd.

The original musical comedy brings to life characters —- both famous and not-so-famous —- and seeks to answer the question in its title: Where Are They Now?

The 90-minute show takes a fun, tongue-in-cheek look at fairy tale characters, such as the Big Bad Wolf, Snow White and Jack and Jill, who have become part of the human fabric.

The characters come across a little differently than how they are portrayed in children’s books. Humpty Dumpy, complete with a Jewish accent, has some rather telling observations about growing old. In fact, some of his lines raised a few eyebrows and resulted in the language being toned down.

"We went from R-rated to PG-13," said community theater member Joel Rosenfeld.

Even the way the actors take the stage has a sense of fun to it. They emerge from a backdrop of book binders. The scenery was crafted by Vincent Pizzzatola and Mike Fried and took nearly a month to complete.

"The sets are fabulous," said Judy Berkowitz, president of the group. "They’re doing (them) at my house. You should see what my garage looks like right now. … I can hardly get my car in."

The second half of the production takes place in a Parisian cabaret and plays off that Broadway hit. What’s it like to be an aging can-can girl from the show? Members of the community theater group have the answer with a demonstration of how well they can kick up their heels.

Rosenfeld said his favorite part was Maurice the Magician and "his beautiful assistant Babette. To me, that’s the highlight of the show."

Babette is an alluring 6-foot-1-inch blonde who commands attention wherever she goes.

Visual comedy aside, the show can stand on its dialogue merits as the sharp wit of Martha Olson, who wrote and directs the production, shines through.

"She’s so creative; she writes music, she sings, she conducts, she directs; she’s marvelous," Berkowitz said. "I’m enamored by her talent."

Two roles from the group’s last production in August, called "The Happy Senior Cruise," are reprised and take the stage for some unfinished business.

"They were two characters that the audience seemed to have loved," Rosenfeld said. "We’re going to see what Stanley and Vera are (doing now). They tickled the audience’s fancy."

For those who didn’t see "The Happy Senior Cruise," Stanley was a millionaire with a roving eye. Vera, played by Berkowitz, was his once-young wife who finds herself being shoved aside by the ship’s gold- digging nurse.

"It’s poignant, the one part in the play that is a little bit ‘heart,’ " Berkowitz said. "The other stuff is funny and pathos, but this is really ‘heart.’ "

She compared it to a Tevye and Golda moment from "Fiddler on the Roof."

Berkowitz said that part of the production, only about three minutes long, may have brought a tear to her eye when she first read it, but the other vignettes brought on tears of laughter.

Hearing the actors’ accounts of what the show entails, one has to wonder which group will have more fun, those watching or those on stage.

"The actors are having a blast," Rosenfeld said. "This is such a fun production to do. … The more over the top we can get our performers to be, the better the show will be."

Tickets are $8. For tickets, call 702-257-1810, 702-838-3849 or 702-838-2908.

Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at jhogan@viewnews.com or 702-387-2949.

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