PrimeTime Players

Ben Miles

Recently I had the opportunity to sit-in on a rehearsal for PrimeTime Players’ upcoming, “A Tribute to Rodgers and Hart.” It was a pleasurable preview of what Long Beach audiences can anticipate when the show performs at various venues throughout the city.

Consistent with the stated mission of this traveling troupe of senior performers, which is to bring “free quality entertainment to the greater Long Beach area,” this homage to the legendary song writing team of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart is directed with charm by Ann Martin – with the written narration provided by local theater veteran Barbara Klein (who also performs in the production with her husband, 90-something Ted Klein).

Thanks to Ms. Martin’s lucid helming of the program and Ms. Klein’s thought of intertwining biographical facts from the lives of Rodgers and Hart with the music of this dynamic but dysfunctional duo, the show promises to be both entertaining and informative.

I was intrigued to learn that Hart was a hardscrabble kid who was only five-feet in height and that Rodgers’ father was a prominent Manhattan physician. The former came from an impoverished upbringing, while the latter was from an affluent New York family.

Nevertheless, the two made some of the greatest music of the twentieth century. With Rodgers as composer and Hart as lyricist, they created scores of scores for both Broadway musicals and Hollywood movies, including “Blue Moon,” pleasantly performed here by PrimeTime Player Claudia Clayton; “Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered,” well sung by PrimeTime baritone Henry Aker; and “I Wish I Were in Love Again,” graciously performed by longtime PrimeTime Player and effervescent beauty Margaret Lucas – to mention only a few of the many winning numbers showcased in this PrimeTime presentation of “A Tribute to Rodgers and Hart.”

The shows are free to audiences, but PrimeTime Players operate on a shoestring budget; therefore, donations to this worthy effort are needed and appreciated. To make a contribution to PrimeTime Players call (562) 570-3500.

 Performances Continue

Monday, April 16 (11 a.m.) at Silverado Park Auditorium, 1545 W. 31st St., Long Beach – (562) 570-1675.

Thursday, April 19 (12:30 p.m.) Weingart Senior Center, 5220 Oliva Ave., Lakewood – Call (562) 630-6152.

Friday, April 20 (1 p.m.) Long Beach Senior Center 1150 E. 4th St., Long Beach – Call (562) 570-3500.



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