It’s not every day that a four-time Emmy award-winning actress comes to Long Beach to perform in one of the city’s many fine theatres, and if one did come to perform it would normally be for only one performance or a fundraising event. However, this time things are different. Michael Learned, best known as Olivia on the television classic The Waltons, will be headlining the cast of the off-Broadway hit comedy Southern Comforts at International City Theatre.
Michael is an extremely accomplished actress. Accompanying Michael is Granville Van Dusen, an extremely accomplished actor who won awards for performances at the Mark Taper Forum. Both have successful stage and screen careers. With the script of acclaimed playwright Kathleen Clark (in residency at International City Theatre currently) and the tutelage of award-winning director Jules Aaron, Michael and Granville will show that experience shines.
Michael and Granville play two adults, mature in their years, whom meet and fall into a December-December romance that gives them something they both never felt they’d receive – a second chance at love. The comedy and drama come as the audience learns that newlyweds, regardless of age, must learn to live with each other while discovering the intimate workings of their relationship. Love is just as difficult when you are 60 as it was when you were 16, and it’s this endearing fact that will have audiences falling in love with this couple every performance.
While a very fun comedy, Southern Comforts does address older people in a much different way than you normally see in a play or in a movie. The play's characters, Gus and Amanda, are a realistic portrayal of many seniors today. They may be older but their lives have not slowed down. In fact, they may be more active than ever.
Life may indeed begin at 60. Come see Southern Comforts and find out. You may never look at your parents – or grandparents – the same way again!
Southern Comforts runs March 18th - April 10th with performances Thursdays - Sundays at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. For tickets, please call the International City Theatre box office at 562.436.4610 or visit their website at www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.
Photo Courtesy of Carlos Delgado/ICT