When more than a dozen Surrey-area seniors get together for a show rehearsal on a rainy Wednesday afternoon, they certainly act young at heart.
Members of The Vaudevillians seniors entertainment troupe will sing, dance and tell jokes during another pair of shows at Surrey Arts Centre’s main stage on the weekend of Nov. 2 and 3, at 2 p.m. daily, showcasing songs from the 1940s and ’50s.
The “Young at Heart”-titled production will feature 14 performers on stage, plus others who work behind the scenes.
This is the Vaudevillians’ “bursary show,” an annual effort to raise money to help send young students to performing-arts classes at Douglas College in New Westminster.
It’s a cause close to Pat Trimble’s heart.
“This is our 16th year with this bursary show, without missing a year, and we think that’s pretty good,” said Trimble, who tap-dances and sings with the troupe.
“Every year we raise around $3,000 or $4,000 with this show, even more, and that’s just ticket sales,” she added. “We welcome people to give a bit more if they can, too.”
This week, the Vaudevillians rehearsed the show at Newton Cultural Centre’s “black box” theatre.
With a bit of “Rock Around the Clock,” some “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and a tribute to Elvis, the music keeps these seniors moving.
Dan Minor is the man who choreographs everything, and he also sings, dances and plays the piano, too.
“This is our big show for the year,” he said, “and when we do our little shows, about 25 or 30 of them a year at various places (around the region), those bring joy to those seniors, and that’s what makes us keep going, you know.”
Earlier this month, the Vaudevillians performed at a home for seniors in the Kerrisdale area of Vancouver.
“We got a standing ovation,” Trimble said with a smile, “and there’s nothing that makes a performer feel better than that.”
The numbers from the current “Young at Heart” show will form the nucleus of the troupe’s “small” show for the coming year.
“So, during part of the year,” Trimble explained, “we’re doing old numbers at our smaller shows and learning new numbers for this big show, and man, does that get the senior brain moving.”
In addition to Minor and Trimble, cast members for the “Young at Heart” show include Alannah Jacques, Andrena Greavette, Anne Fraser, Bernadette Ray, Don Skrypnyk, Doris Carruthers, Graham Lawrence, Jacque Julien, Jo-Ann Pearce, Judi Georgetti, Karen Bonardelli, Penny DeSanto, Shirley Miller, Sylvia Foran and Terri Watts, with Barbara Hall as stage manager.
Tickets for the family-friendly show are $22 at tickets.surrey.ca, or phone 604-501-5566.
The troupe’s website is thevaudevillians.com.