Arts and Entertainment

OTA presents funny musical about turning 50

— image credit:
for the Sequim Gazette

If turning 40 years old is considered “over the hill,” what happens when a person reaches the big 5-0?


If the birthday itself doesn’t send people reeling, the accompanying milestone likely will do the trick: the inevitable arrival of an invitation to join AARP.


“Too Old For The Chorus, But Not Too Old To Be A Star,” presented by Olympic Theatre Arts from April 29-May 15, takes place in a boho-chic coffeehouse where five regulars — three mature men and two mature women — commiserate about growing old. Critics and audiences alike have cheered this new musical by Mark Winkler, Marie Cain and Shelly Markham as a “smart, funny and sometimes touching exploration of the challenges and joys of aging,” according to


The Los Angeles Times said the show “hits a marketing sweet spot,” with “universal topics” that give way to “good humor and renewed determination.”


“You’ll leave rethinking 50 as 27 with 23 years of experience,” the Los Angeles Times raved.


Director Lee Harwell leads the cast as well as playing one of the main characters.


“Normally I wouldn’t star in a show I’m directing but the other two men who auditioned for the part had to step down,” Harwell said. “So, here I am.”


Harwell fell in love with the script three years ago when he performed the play in Poulsbo. He describes the show as “basically a bunch of little stories” dealing with relationships, careers, technology, tough decisions and more.


“The whole idea of being a baby boomer has been beaten to death over the years,” Harwell said. “But that is what drew me to this play; it is such a new take on the subject.”


One of his favorite lines from the play, Harwell said, is “Time might be a great healer but she’s a lousy beautician.”


“(The play) is an opportunity for us who are approaching the age of retirement to laugh at ourselves and the things we think are important,” he said. “There are three or four songs that are absolutely riveting and cause you to think and feel for the characters.”


“I guarantee there will be times when you are laughing out loud,” Harwell continued. “But it’s not a bad idea to bring a hankie either.”


For more information about the play or to hear examples of the songs featured in the play, go online to

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