Getting older as a laughing matter

Gene Eagle
The mysterious peddler from out of nowhere, played by DeLeon Grabowski, holds a mirror he uses to straighten up the crooked folks in the “Crooked Town” skit performed Thursday evening in McCloud by the Mount Shasta Senior Theatre Group. Dale Haines crouches nearby and is about to get his turn to see what a pitiful sight he has become.

The Mount Shasta Senior traveling theatre group drew plenty of laughs, raves and applause during their 35-minute “Funfaire” revue performance Thursday evening at McCloud Elementary School.

Following a free spaghetti dinner, a 15-minute one act play called “The Crooked Town” began the evening’s entertainment. It was followed by several tongue-in-cheek skits that made it seem respectable to make sport of older folks and their idiosyncrasies.

Music director and group spokesperson Janet Stensaas explained that, “since we are a senior theatre we have quite a bit of our own material that is directed to and about senior citizens.”

Members of the group are 50 and over and have been together for about two and a half years, Stensaas said.

Their skit entitled “AAADD” (Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder)  was narrated by Dea Fryer and performed by Crystal Swan. It depicted what most older people go through: “Where did I put that?... I forgot to...”

“I think everybody can relate to that,” said Fryer.

“The Wisdom of Maxine,” read by Laverne Wilson, included several pearls of wisdom, including, “How do we know that global warming isn’t just Mother Nature having a hot flash.” This one garnered laughs mostly from adults.

In the Sing With Us segment, the youngsters sang “Row Row Row Your Boat” and “Now I Know My A B C’s.”

“Recently a polled group of children 4 to 8 years old were asked, ‘What is love?’” Fryer told the audience. “We got some very interesting and funny responses. One child wrote, ‘Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on aftershave cologne and they go out together and smell each other.’

“Another wrote, ‘Love is when my puppy licks my face even after I left him all day long.’”

The audience gave the group and extended  round of applause at the conclusion of the program.

“I thought the evening’s show was great,” said Bruce Robison.

“It was so true,” said Margaret Milner. “It was well planned and well rehearsed.”

Members of the cast were Dea Fryer, DeLeon Grabowski, Joanne Moonflower, Dale Haines, Crystal Swan, Thamar Wherrit, LaVerne Wilson and Janet Stensaas. Cast members Susie Boyd and Joan Lucas were unable to attend.

“We had a great time in McCloud,”?said Stensaas. “It was a wonderful audience. So many friendly faces.”

Funfaire was sponsored by College of the Siskiyous, The McCloud Community Resource Center, and First 5 Siskiyou Children and Families Commission.