“Four Old Broads is an uncensored version of [the 1985 – 1992 TV sitcom] The Golden Girls if The Golden Girls took place in an assisted living facility,” said Allie Bailey, director of the Santa Clara Players (SCP) comedy playing Feb. 24 – March 18.
What else could it be but uncensored? It was written by southern belle Leslie Kimbell, who travelled the world for 22 years as an award-winning burlesque headliner and model.
“Four Old Broads is a delightful comedy that celebrates friendship and being alive,” said Bailey, a Campbell resident making her SCP directing debut. “It embraces the concept that life doesn’t stop after a certain age. There is still adventure, mysteries to solve and romance to be had, no matter what your age.”
In Four Old Broads, set in 1992, four seniors in an assisted living home in Georgia are desperate to get away on a Caribbean cruise. But the women get sidetracked as they figure out why residents are suddenly having memory issues. Could the new nurse have anything to do with it?
San Carlos resident and former high school teacher Nancy Martin has remade herself as Beatrice, the burlesque queen who is the ringleader of the four broads.
“Like Jane Fonda’s character in [the recently-released comedic movie] 80 for Brady, Beatrice is sassy, energetic and likes to look as youthful and vibrant as she can,” said Martin. “She realizes the incredible value of friendship by the end of the play.
“I hope that she’ll be an inspiration to mature women in the audience because of her zest for life and for encouraging her friends to continue having remarkable experiences together,” Martin continued.
Marilyn Pifer plays Imogene, a character she likens to Sally Field’s character in 80 for Brady.
“Imogene is somewhat vulnerable because life has dealt her a couple of bad hands, but she’s also open to new possibilities,” said Pifer, a Morgan Hill resident. “I hope the audience will appreciate Imogene’s boldness in taking risks even when she seems to be the most fragile of the four.
“Like 80 for Brady, Four Old Broads proudly puts these women as the focal point of the story and celebrates their wisdom, wit, and zest for life,” said Bailey. “I love that 80 for Brady is part of a new trend of making leading roles for mature women and celebrating them. Hollywood has long hidden women over 40 away except for token Grandma or old lady roles.”
Memory loss is another thread of Four Old Broads, which premiered in 2016.
“We all have family or friends in assisted living facilities and know how society treats people after a certain age. This show allows us to laugh with the characters and celebrate their journey as they try to solve the mystery of why residents are losing their memories at such a quick rate,” said Bailey. “When I read the script, this really struck a chord with me because I lost my father to Alzheimer’s in March of 2021.”
Visit www.scplayers.org or call 408/248-7993 for tickets to Four Old Broads, playing at Hall Pavilion (behind Santa Clara’s Triton Museum of Art), 1750 Don Ave. at Warburton Ave.
The comedy Tangled Webs, playing May 19 – June 10, ends the 2022-2023 Santa Clara Players season. Masks are required inside the theater.