|Kut-Ups revue drawing huge crowds
Final performance Saturday at 1 p.m. on Spreckels stage
When you go to the Kut-Ups 40th anniversary show Saturday, July 14, be sure to bring a hankie.
No, you’re not going to sob bitter tears, but you’ll be awash in hilarious laughter and maybe a touch of dewy-eyed nostalgia. And this Saturday is the final performance of their four-day run on the big Spreckels main stage.
It seemed like 60 dancers, 30 vocalists, Larry Broderick’s 30-piece pit band, a dozen comedians and a small army of sceneshifters and platoons of costume-change artists backstage were all in on the action. Of course, I exaggerate. Look, these kids (only I can call ‘em that) are 60, 70 and 80 years old, and they’re ready to pull out all the stops in this grand finale Saturday. They’ve got three shows behind them, so they’re polished to a showbiz gleam.
It’s a fast-paced 150-minute show, directed by Ariel Weymouth-Payne (also one of the dancers) with Broderick at the keyboard (he’s been pianist for the Kut-Ups for almost 30 years).
I don’t know where they find all this senior talent. The North Bay counties must be loaded with ‘em, and as our elderly population grows every year, new talent keeps emerging. There’s little sense in listing the cast – it would take up the rest of this page, but I did put a little mark alongside a few of ‘em just because they really came across.
Besides Broderick, Sharon Griffith, Alan Saunders, Patsy Baxter, Lois Lindstrom, Phylis Imand, Jim Fitzgerald and Joe Baker had their stage bits nailed to perfection. In truth, everyone deserves mention, but no one likes to read massive directories.
Thanks to Weymouth-Payne, the package is so neatly tied and daisy-chain linked you barely have time to check the credit lines until the intermission and mingle with the cast in the lobby after the curtain’s pulled.
It’s a professional show from lighting, costumes and all the traditional stage happenings you begin to wonder how the hell Rohnert Park can contain it all.
You know how it began. Betty Ferra got a bunch of pots, pans, wooden spoons and kazoos for a small group of talented singers and actors, called ‘em the Kitchen Kut-Ups 40 years ago. Ferra’s retired at the age of 93, but her imprint on the Kut-Ups lingers on year after year (she retired in 2008) like moss on a venerable redwood log.
The curtain opens at 1 p.m. Saturday July 14. Tickets are $15 each and get there early, for it’ll be a mob scene. Lines of ticket-buyers might have a tendency to delay the curtain five or 10 minutes, but that’s show biz. After all, you won’t see them again until next year. The box office number is 588-3400.