Westerville News & Public Opinion

Spotlight shines on seniors in 'Forever Young'


Acting has been a hobby for retired Blendon Township police officer David Lilley since he was in high school.

Lilley, along with other senior citizens from the Westerville Senior Center, Columbus' Gilley Senior Center and the Dublin Senior Center, will share their passion for theater and music in their upcoming Forever Young Senior Theater production.

The show will feature an I Love Lucy show by the Westerville seniors, a segment inspired by an old-time radio show by Dublin seniors, and tap dancers from the Gilley Center.

The show will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 1, and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 2, at the Abbey Theater in the Dublin Community Recreation Center, 5600 Post Road. Tickets are $5.

"It will be a lot of fun for everybody," said Lilley, who plays Lucille Ball portraying Carmen Miranda. "Everybody's going to get a kick out of it."

This year marks the third year that the Westerville Senior Theater has put on a Forever Young production, said senior center Program Supervisor Christopher Shirring.

Last year, members of Dublin's senior center came to see the show and asked to sign on to it for this year, Shirring said.

Westerville's senior center focused one act, which features four popular I Love Lucy sketches with a related song performed by a live jazz band in between each one, and Dublin seniors focused on the other.

The partnership is a good one, Shirring said, because Westerville's senior center has a strong musical tradition, while Dublin's senior center has a strong theater component.

"This is the first step," Shirring said. "Next year, we hope to do a full joint production."

The Forever Young productions have been a hit at the Westerville Senior Center, Shirring said, with the members enjoying the chance to share their creativity.

Bob Villwock, who has served as the show's musical director since its inception, agreed.

"It's been fun," Villwock said. "You get all the seniors involved, and they just have a riot."