By Cynthia Woolbright
Apr 02 2008
When you talk of puppy love, you don’t usually picture the geriatric set. But in the Whidbey Playhouse’s upcoming production of “Social Security,” love is not only blind — but ageless.
“There must be something in the water,” sighs Trudy over the familial chaos around her.
Director Mary Lou Chandler is at the helm of this risque comedy about finding love at any age that will run April 4 to 26. “Social Security” focuses on trendy Manhattan art gallery owners Barbara and David Kahn (Dona Dausey and Ed Bennett), whose lives are upended when Bab’s Mineola housewife sister, Trudy (Mary Anderson), deposits their eccentric mother Sophie (Cori Siggens) on the couple’s doorstep while she and her husband Martin (Kent Peckenpaugh) head to Buffalo to rescue their sexually precocious college student daughter from a ménage à trois with two men. Barbara and David introduce Sophie to suave nonagenarian artist Maurice Koenig (Jim Siggens), who offers to paint her portrait and soon begins to brighten her life in ways she never expected in her twilight years.
“Everyone, as human beings are sexual people,” said cast member Cori Siggens. “The show is definitely for a mature audience that can laugh at ourselves and our sexuality.”
The laughs start from the get go from this cast of stage veterans with solid stage chemistry that is brought to life by a director with great enthusiasm for the show.
After falling asleep reading many scripts trying to pick season shows, director Mary Lou Chandler found “Social Security.”
“I was astonished to find that not only had I stayed awake through the entire reading,” she said, “I caught myself laughing aloud many times.”
Chandler said the show is humor with a huge message.
“You are never too old to find love and sex again,” she said.
Having experienced life with a live-in parent herself, the director said she can relate to Barbara and David’s predicament.
“It’s life in the sandwich years,” she said. “The playwright was able to bring out many things people will be able to relate to because you’re never too young or old to love.”
The play has been a “pure delight” for real life lovebirds Cori and Jim Siggens.
“It’s been very funny on the set,” Cori said. “We can always make each other laugh and rehearsals crack me up.”
The actress, who met her husband in 1998 and married him shortly after, said she could relate to Sophie’s experience of finding love later in life.
“I know what it’s like to become a whole person after finding someone to love,” she said.
This production, like countless other Playhouse shows before it, has been a labor of love with family members and friends filling the volunteer ranks building sets, sewing costumes, and coordinating things in front and behind the curtain.
“If it wasn’t for all these talented volunteers we wouldn’t be able to bring everything together,” Jim Siggens said.