NEOSHO, Mo. — In the planning stages since the first of the year, members of The Silver Follies are preparing for their annual comedy show — 30 years and counting.
“I look forward to having another successful show and our audiences leaving with happy hearts and smiles on their faces,” said Linda Rasmussen, show director for the past four years. “We enjoy hamming it up on stage and bringing smiles and laughter to (our) audiences.”
The first show took center stage in 1989, where it started out as a variety showcase, a community service project at Crowder College.
This year’s show, “The Sunny Side,” takes place today through Sunday at the Elsie Plaster Community Center Auditorium on the Crowder College campus. Featuring area residents aged 55 and older, the show, as the name implies, focuses on the happy, sunny side of life. There will be singing, dancing, joke-telling and skits.
“Although our shows are comedy based, we also present a bit of serious with a patriotic tribute,” Rasmussen said.
Last year’s show, “Making Waves,” took place on a cruise ship, with much hilarity.
Bernadine Sprenkle, the show’s pianist, has been with The Silver Follies since that very first show in 1989. She was also a rarity at the time — she wasn’t 55 when she joined.
“They needed a piano player,” Sprenkle said with a chuckle.
While ages may be a bit fudged here or there, all area seniors citizens are encouraged to join: Current members hail from Joplin, Carl Junction, Neosho, Granby, Pineville and Fairland, Okla. Their ages range from the late 50s to a spry 91.
Aside from Rasmussen and Sprenkle, additional “The Sunny Side” cast members include: Ruth E. Arnall, Dan Boyer, Helen Causer, Beverly Cossey, Julie Doubek, Richard Edwards, Mary Lee England, Teresa Hanger, Dick Keezer, Glennis Naylor, John Naylor, Linda Naylor, Oma Nichols, Sherry Perkins, Bill Porter, Wilma Robbins, Diane Strouss, Bea Watson and Roger Wilson.
“We have a great time laughing at ourselves,” Rasmussen said. “There is such a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the shows.”
Contrary to belief, no special talents are required to join the group.
“I tell everyone that I have no talent; I just pretend that I do,” she said with a chuckle.
The Hoot & Holler Cloggers, out of Bella Vista, Arkansas, will make a special appearance.
Showtimes are 7 p.m. tonight and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5, with children 12 and younger get in free.
Details: Call 417-389-2454.