They say that laughter is good for your health. For more than 30 years, Santa Clara’s annual Showtime has been promoting better health for the entire community with healthy helpings of humor that have raised over $350,000 for the Santa Clara Senior Center’s health programs.
A full evening of appealing entertainment, “Showtime” was Santa Clara journalist Cleo Stuckrath’s brainchild in the early 1980s when the then-new Proposition 13 squeezed funding for Senior Center services.
Every production includes an original melodrama – originally written by Stuckrath on her IBM electric typewriter. Audience participation is a requirement, with big cheers for the heroes and resounding boos for the villains.
This year’s show, “Doomstown Fractured Fairy Tales – or – Once Upon A Time?” is scheduled for March 1, 2 and 3 at the Community Recreation Center. In a change from previous years, both the Saturday and Sunday shows will be matinees.
“Fractured Fairy Tales” tells the story of a group of story-book-land characters who, as result of a superstorm, find themselves displaced to Doomstown – a mythical town that always manages to be the epicenter for the disaster du jour.
All the favorite fairy tale characters are on tap, plus three prince charmings, a Goldilocks who seems to be a cousin of Mae West, and the dwarfs Sneezy, Wheezy, Crabbie, and Cookie who were unaccountably left out of the Disney movie.
The tribulations of the displaced are compounded by a pair of reliably villainous Showtime bad guys B.Ware and B.B.Wolff – who, inspired by the opportunities presented by the disaster, have added an E-Z loan operation to their regular wishing well scam – and an Evil Witch Queen who contracts them to do her dirty work.
But the even the most diabolical plans can go awry in the face of detective work by the indefatigable Sheriff Sam and Deputy Dan – who year after year provide the only barrier between Doomstown and the criminal onslaught. To find out the storybook ending, you’ll have to see the show.
The second half of the show is a series of variety acts called “olios,” that in years past have included Santa Clara’s own Elvis Impersonator, Craig Sala, ever-popular magician Phil Ackerly, and the Town Harmonizers barbershop quartet.
Showtime’s producer, author and director this year is longtime veteran Rick Mauck, with critical support provided by co-producer Robin Burdick. Kathy Smith, accompanist for Santa Clara’s Robert Jones Junior Theater, provides the production’s old-fashioned melodramatic musical accompaniment.
There will also be a raffle, silent auction and plenty of refreshments (including wine and beer courtesy of Santa Clara Kiwanis) organized by the Santa Clara Women’s League.
Showtime curtain time March 1 at 7:00 p.m., and March 2 and 3 at 2:00 p.m. Doors open 90 minutes before show for refreshments and raffle tickets. Pre-show entertainment begins 30 minutes before the curtain. All performances are at the Community Recreation Center, 969 Kiely Blvd. in Santa Clara. Admission is $5.00 Friday, and $7.00 Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets are available at the Santa Clara Senior Center on Tuesdays from 8-11 a.m., Fridays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Community Recreation Center, and at each performance. For more information, call (408) 425-0320 or visit www.santaclarawomensleague.org.