by Molly Gilmore for OLY ARTS
For the well-seasoned performers of Wrinkles of Washington, the show must go on. To quote the title of WOW’s new show, happening Saturday at the Olympia High School Performing Arts Center, they’ve Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance. About 25 performers ages 55 and older will be part of the show, which will feature tap dance by WOW’s “Prime Time Tappers,” belly dancing, hula, jokes and music.
Some performers have a lifetime of experience. Lori Leavitt of Yelm is 91 and has been on stage since she was a 3-year-old member of the Meglin Kiddies, the Los Angeles theater troupe where Shirley Temple got her start. As a young adult, Leavitt had a contract at MGM Studios, where she recalls dubbing songs for such stars as Rita Hayworth. The work was uncredited but paid well, Leavitt said: $225 a week. She’s been singing ever since. “I still have my voice,” she said in a recent phone interview. It might not be as strong as it used to be, but I still sing. I have perfect pitch.”
Robert Williams of Olympia, 85, has been playing saxophone since age 6. His wife, Georgia Williams, 88, is relatively new to the stage — She’s been at it for only two decades. She learned to tap dance when the couple joined WOW in 1997. “I’ve been tap dancing ever since,” she said. She’s one of six Prime Time Tappers who’ll dance Saturday to such songs as “Music, Music, Music” and “On Broadway.”
WOW, a nonprofit, was founded in 1994 to raise money for Senior Services of South Sound and has raised more than $260,000 over the past 20 years. The all-volunteer troupe puts on big shows each spring and fall and is available for smaller gigs in between.
What: Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance
Where: Olympia High School Performing Arts Center,
1302 North St., Olympia
When: 2 p.m. Saturday, June 3
How much: $15
Get tickets: 360-459-0730 | WOW