Show features eight local songters

 It’s called a staged musical reading, but it’s a collection of wonderful songs with simple, yet fluent, spoken lines that tie the whole story together. ‘Taking My Turn’ is a collection of songs and stories about aging — the aches and pains, sex after 60, broken dreams, but also coming into your own with the time to pursue simple pleasures. It’s an award-winning musical by the same team originally conceived and adapted by Robert H. Livingston with music by Gary William Friedman and lyrics by Will Holt. The show opened this week and will run through Sunday, May 8 with performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and ending with a special matinee on the final Sunday. Curtain is at 8 p.m.

In Marathon, the theater selected two young and talented directors to direct the cast of four mature men and four mature women. Devin Clarke and Jenn Mixon-Eich said the production will resonate with everybody.

“When you listen to other people’s stories about aging — the trials and tribulations and joys — you can connect with them,” said Clarke.

This is the fourth and last mainstage production of the 2015/2016 season, a revival from about 10 years ago when it was performed by a different ensemble. As the youngest member of the cast, Jim “Boomer” Kelly said they were able to make some clever changes to “I Never Made Money From Music” so the number makes sense.

“I play the part of Charles, a retired railroad steward, who chose a ‘safe’ 9 to 5 job,” Kelly said. In the original score, the singer was African American who could have played with Louis Armstrong. But we changed it around so I could have played trombone with Peter Cetera of Chicago.”

Marilyn Tempest sings “In April” a touching tribute to her deceased son.

“I don’t care who you are, if you’re sitting in the audience, you’re going to be crying before she’s finished.”

The cast sings many songs as an ensemble, but each vocalists has a chance to shine including George Lancaster with “In the House,” Heidi Ferrel with “Vivaldi,” John Hunt with “The Kite,” The Weekly’s Lesley Aaron with “I Am Not Old,” Mike Chaplin with “It Still Isn’t Over,” and Cathy Supp with “Two of Me.”

For co-director Mixon-Eick, it’s a hard choice between the “I Like It’ and “Pick More Daisies.”

“I find myself singing those songs as I am driving myself home after rehearsal,” she said, laughing.

This isn’t the first time Mixon-Eick and Clarke have co-directed a show. She said he’s an artistic genius.

“He’s absolutely a creative genius. He’s got a great, young mind and fresh ideas,” she said.

Clarke is just as appreciative of his co-director.

“We work really well together. She really helps the actors understand their character and motivation,” he said.

The show is dedicated to the memory of Bill Ross. The active theater member passed recently.

“This show tugs on every possible heartstring.”     Jim ‘Boomer’ Kelly

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