Northwest Senior Theatre presents its spring show, "The Winner is…" featuring Academy Award-winning songs, on Wednesday through Saturday, May 17, 18, 19 and 20.
Musical director and King City resident Ray Beyer credits assistant director Sue Tenison with coming up with the idea of featuring Academy Award-winning songs.
"We get an idea all of a sudden, and it goes from there," he said. "She did research and got a list of the songs. People remember these songs, and this choice had a good impact on the cast. They are enjoying performing them. I try to introduce new songs for each show, but the old ones are always favorites.
"There is a new couple in the group who are tap-dancers, and they are doing a four- or five-song medley that is a salute to Fred Astaire. We are doing fun songs like 'Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.' As we go along in rehearsals, the excitement is really building. And we will provide the history of some songs like 'Mona Lisa' and 'Over the Rainbow,' which makes it more interesting."
Beyer also credits Tenison with coming up with a puzzle for the program that lists movies on one side and their award-winning songs on the other side for people to match up.
"This is a lesson in the history of this music," Beyer said. "We're all excited about it."
Tenison added, "Ray and I are always brainstorming ideas for shows, and Academy Award-winning songs was a shoe-in choice with its overall unifying theme. I downloaded a chronological list of awardees spanning from 1933 to the present day. Each member of the cast voted on their favorite top five choices, and from that vote, we found our 30 songs. The titles chosen leant themselves to a good balance of solos and group numbers – always a plus.
"There have been a couple of surprise 'favorites' to arise from our rehearsals, including 'Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe' and 'If I Didn't Have You' from 'Monsters Inc.' The Academy Award theme also allowed us to honor Fred Astaire with a delightful tap medley."
According to Tenison, the songs performed in the show range from 1934's "Lullaby of Broadway" to 2013's "Let It Go" from "Frozen," and "Our range of songs takes us to Broadway, college, the movies, Greece, a toy factory and more!"
Other songs in the program sung by favorite performers include "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing," "Colors of the Wind," "It Might as Well Be Spring," "When You Wish Upon a Star," "Never On a Sunday" and so many more.
The performances will take place at the Alpenrose Dairy Opera House, 6149 S.W. Shattuck Road, Portland, at 2 p.m., with people driving buses and vans asked to arrive by 1:30 p.m.
There is free parking, and admission is $5 per person.
For more information visit nwseniortheatre.org or call 503-227-2003.