‘Assisted Living: The Musical’: Not Everyone’s Cup of Chamomile

By Connie Bollinger
Contributing Writer
In the spirit of full disclosure, I must tell you that I recently concluded a seven-year battle with my Mother’s dementia, so much of the humor of “Assisted Living: The Musical” playing at the Westport Playhouse this week was lost on me.

However, the pure energy and talent of  writer/performers Rick Compton and Betsy Bennett was not. These two extraordinary people flood the stage with song, dance, and jokes about residing in an assisted living facility.

It put me in mind of those episodes of “I Love Lucy” where Fred and Ethel and Lucy perform at Ricky’s club. It’s pure Vaudeville — or perhaps an evening in the Catskills.

There are songs about loose skin, losing your dentures on steak night, and hypochondria; there are songs about golf carts, elders on Facebook, a 91- year-old man driving “A Ton and a Half of Cadillac Steel.” And of course, Viagra — complete with visual aides.

The audience was really into it, laughing and shouting with appreciation and the lyrics to some of the songs were quite clever.  There’s a ton of talent in these two performers and their bios are extensive. They’re professionals to the core, as is their pianist, Jeremy Goodman.

Goodman’s performance was more than impressive. He was fully engaged in the songs, careful to modulate his playing so he didn’t drown out the singers, and always on cue.

All in all, it’s a fun night.

The Playhouse @ Westport presents “Assisted Living: The Musical” through Aug. 11. Performances are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m., Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.
Tickets may be purchased through MetroTix at www.metrotix.com or by calling 314-534-1111. Tickets are also available at the Playhouse box office one hour prior to show time. Groups of 10 or more should call 314-402-2430 for special rates. For more information, visit www.playhouseatwestport.com

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