They rolled out the pink carpet to celebrate the opening weekend of Jackie “The Pink Lady” Goldberg’s fourth annual musical production, Rockin’ with the Ages – The Beat Goes On! And they have a lot to celebrate: a sassy production written, directed, and choreographed by Cate Caplin, a cast of talented seniors aged 60 and above who look as young as their photos in the program, and a happy move from various performance venues in the Valley to the Theatre of Arts Arena Stage in Hollywood.There is even a song based on The Pink Lady’s mantra, “Get up, Get out, and Get a Life!” Written by Rick Solomon, the bouncy tune sets the mood and pace for the show, admonishing a demoralized group of actors for giving up when the show they were rehearsing closed before it opened. After thinking it over, the 15 professional actors, singers, and dancers decide to
audition for parts they had seen advertised in a local show business publication. One by one, and sometimes two by two, they trot out their favorite routines and schticks in preparation for the big audition. And when in doubt, they ask “What would Mickey and Judy do?” Acknowledging that show biz people are “a special kind of people,” they prove it with their energy, stamina, and bountiful good spirits, embracing their roles with gusto and even drawing the audience into their acts to sing the “Hideeho” responses to Vernon McGhee’s “Minnie the Moocher” and to wave flags to accompany Richard Fox’s rousing rendition of “Proud to be an American.” A special delight is Dominick Morra, who at 79 exhibits a voice that is melodious, endearing, and strong enough to crack walnuts. Also worthy of special note are Deborah and William Bartlett, who dance gracefully together, as most married couples wish they could, and Bill brings the house down with several rounds of spirited tap dancing. But the real star of this production is the spectacular array of costumes put together by Ann Closs-Farley. They are variously beautiful, amusing, well-fitting, and appealing, and involve nothing short of magic for the actors to change in and out of them in a matter of seconds. If this two-hour production has a flaw, however, it is that the simple plot line eventually disappears as each of the 15 performers charges onstage to deliver a number that has less and less to do with the number that preceded it. The second act, especially, begins to resemble the annual production of Mrs. Cartwright’s 4th grade dance class, where the audience sits and fidgets while each child gets an opportunity to do a solo—or two or three—regardless of his talent or relevance. Or charm. Fortunately, in this show there is almost enough charm to go round. The Beat Goes On! Is double-cast and performances will run Thursdays at 2 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 1 and 5 p.m. through Sunday, November 11th. The Theatre of Arts Arena Stage is located at 1625 N. Las Palmas, in Hollywood. For tickets, call 818-606-6679 or email pinklady7@earthlink.