The 2016 rendition of Showtime played last weekend to everyone’s delight. Although the heavy rains kept some patrons away on Saturday, the show proved once again that a time-tested formula for bringing smiles to the faces of your audience will indeed keep people coming back for more. How time-tested is the formula? 34 years of performances is definitely a success story. If not for productions like Cirque Du Soleil, Beach Blanket Babylon and Phantom of the Opera, Showtime easily would receive even more notice for its longevity.
This year’s melodrama, “Runaway Bride… and Grooms? or Four Weddings and a Funeral Too” featured a lovely group of ladies from the ever-familiar Doomstown, hankering to get married. Unfortunately, all of the eligible bachelors are working in the gold fields in Alviso, “waaaaaaay out there!!” To address their predicament, the ladies decide to look for Mail Order Grooms. Just like any good soap opera, nothing can ever go as planned and Showtime surely is no exception. Like a well-oiled machine, the monkey wrench in their plans involves the notorious criminal mastermind of Doomstown, none other than J.P. Blackheart (played by John Peterson). Blackheart decides to rig the game of selecting which fair maiden will get which bachelor so he can marry Penny Pureheart, (played by Laura Velasco) owner of Penny’s Saloon, which Blackheart has been desperately trying to buy.
Good fortune prevails, not only preventing Blackheart from following through with his plans, instead sending him off to jail for a variety of crimes. Penny finds true love and receives a marriage proposal from Tom Terrific (played by Aiden Kline) who also buys back her bar.
As in previous years, Showtime is split between the melodrama and the Olio’s – variety acts – and this year’s didn’t disappoint. The performances include acts of all ages for audiences of all ages, from 4-year old tap dancers from Linnea Sheehy’s Dance program to the Sizzling Seniors. One constant for the past 10-years is the magical showmanship of Phil Ackerly, who wowed and amazed crowds over the weekend with tricks and illusions.
Showtime also features a silent auction and raffle – all designed to help raise money for the Santa Clara Senior Center’s Health & Wellness Program. The entire event is sponsored by the Santa Clara Women’s League. The Health & Wellness Program includes services such as a Drop-in Blood Pressure Clinic, Health & Wellness “On the Go,” Senior Peer Advocates, Health Education and Coaching, Social Engagement and Support and Registered Nurse Care Management. For the past nine years, Showtime has been written and by Rick Mauck and directed by Robin Burdick. Extra dialog and ad-libs are provided by the cast. The first 25 years of Showtime, were the work of Cleo Stuckrath, the original founder and creator of Showtime. For more information about the melodrama and how you can be a part of it – no acting experience is necessary – please contact the Santa Clara Senior Center, 408-615-3170, or Rick Mauck, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Santa Clara Women’s League is a non-profit charitable organization. For more information, please email scwl@SantaClaraWomensLeague.org.