Photo Gallery | Froio Senior Center Variety Show


PITTSFIELD -- After the performances, the audience laughed, cheered, and clapped for more.

The Froio Senior Center on Thursday held the "2014 Goodtime Variety Show," featuring seniors showing off their talents for their peers.

Pittsfield resident John Bedard, 79, and his dance partner, Rita, didn't miss a beat dancing to the rock ‘n' roll jam, "Rock Around the Clock," written by Bill Haley and His Comets.

Rita, who is part of an assisted living program, let loose a loud cheer when she started twerking -- shaking her hips vigorously.

"I was a teenager [when it was released]," Bedard recalled fondly.

There was a piano rendition of Beatles' songs, "Yesterday" and "When I'm Sixty-Four," and a charming line offered to audience members when the pianist told the crowd, "I am sure everybody here is only 54." The audience, eleven rows deep, burst into applause.

Lanesborough resident Sue Wagner got a large ovation for singing the timeless song, "Over The Rainbow" from "The Wizard of Oz." So did the Elvis Presley impersonator.

Jack Soules gets ready to perform backstage as Elvis during the Froio Senior Center variety show in Pittsfield. Thursday, May 8, 2014. Stephanie Zollshan /
Jack Soules gets ready to perform backstage as Elvis during the Froio Senior Center variety show in Pittsfield. Thursday, May 8, 2014. Stephanie Zollshan / Berkshire Eagle Staff / photos.berkshireeagle.com (Stephanie Zollshan)

"I like how everyone has such guts, and they have some talent and it just comes out and they let it all hang out," Wagner said. "It's just a lot of fun."

Pittsfield resident Flo Brett, 74, who coordinated the variety show, saw it as an opportunity for "seniors to entertain seniors."

Her partner, Roger Gutwillig, was told by Brett three years ago that she wanted to put on a talent show that would welcome everyone. He was surprised, "She's the one that listens when everyone talks."

On Tuesday, Brett wrote a witty sketch comedy, "Match.com," which she stared in alongside Gutwillig.

The two posed as 50-year-olds on a date, and they get more than they expect when they stop in for a drink at a cafe.

Brett orders coffee, but first she must decide the size of the coffee, the type of bean, the type of cream, the type of sugar, and a litany of other questions including whether she wants a Styrofoam cup or mug.

Gutwillig, hoping to avoid the questions, orders water. But first he must decide whether he wants the water imported, local, mineral or from the tap. He must decide whether he wants a lemon, lime or orange. He has to decide if he wants a 12 ounce, 16 ounce, or 22 ounce. And the questions go on.

"I think it was hilarious and also seeing their sense of humor was awesome," said Samantha Dominguez, 18, who was in the audience.

"I was surprised at how tight it was," Gutwillig said about the skit. "It had everything. It was very complete. We embellished it. She was confident about it."

By the scene's end, the waitress notices the seniors walked away without paying the bill.

"I got stiffed again by a couple of seniors," she says, receiving an ovation.