The Vaudevillians are having fun, and for 17 seniors that means putting on a show full of burlesque, dancing, Broadway and hoedowns.
The Vaudevillians is a seniors’ entertainment troupe, with men and woman ages 61 to 80 practicing and demonstrating different styles of performing art. On Nov. 4 and 5, the Vaudevillians will be holding their 14th annual benefit concert at the Surrey Arts Centre.
The annual fall show raises funds for the Vaudevillians’ performing arts bursary at Douglas College, an initiative that was started in 2003 by Jim Trimble.
Eighty-year-old Pat Trimble, Jim’s wife, has been involved since the beginning.
“He decided we really needed to have a reason for being. Not just getting out and performing, but that we should register and be a non-profit organization and raise money,” Trimble said.
The first year, the show was a sold out success.
“The audience was with us right from start til finish, and we got lots of applause. It was wonderful,” Trimble said. “So we have continued to do it for 14 years.”
The bursary is provided from an endowment fund that now is more than $100,000. The amount the Vaudevillians can add to the fund varies each year — once they were able to put as much as $7,000 in the fund, and last year, because of a poor turnout to the benefit concert, it was only $3,500.
This year, Trimble said they have already sold enough tickets to cover their costs. The group is hoping to get more people attending — and not just seniors.
“It’s something our grandchildren can come to and we’re not embarrassed,” Trimble said.
“Good, clean fun,” Judi Georgetti, 77-year-old performer and Cloverdale resident, added.
This year’s show, called Vaudevillians Having Fun, will run at 2 p.m. on Nov. 4 and 5, and will feature a number of different acts. Music tends to be from the 1930s to the 1950s, but there will also be skits and dancing. Roger Bose, of Cloverdale’s Bose Farm, will be the emcee for the evening.
“We even have a strip number,” Dan Minor, artistic director, said.
“Burlesque,” Trimble corrected.
And, at the beginning of the show, each performer gets up on stage and says who they are and how old they are.
“We’re all very proud of how old we are. Because what we do is certainly not what the average 70, 80-year-old people do,” Trimble said. “But that’s okay, my grandchildren think I’m very cool.”
Minor smiled before he replied.
“Her grandchildren look forward to seeing Grandma perform every year because they get a chance to see Grandma’s underwear” as she does the can-can.
Tickets to Vaudevillians Having Fun are $22, and available at the Surrey Arts Centre box office. For ticket information call the box office at 604-501-5566.