The Greens Love and marriage on stage

The Sixth Annual Talent Show by the residents of The Greens at Cannondale on Sunday, June 22, wowed the audience once again. “From Our Hearts to Yours” was an original production, a feast of the love songs that are the best of our popular song inheritance, when lyrics were heartfelt and melody was memorable. Now in their 80s and 90s, these performers knew whereof they sang. These were the songs they sang and danced to, from much younger days.

“From Our Hearts to Yours” had a new format, with personal memories of marriages lasting 68, 64, 63, 61, 56, 48, and 45 years. From the duet of Let Me Call You Sweetheart by Phil Antedomenico and Yvonne French to the bouncy A Bushel and A Peck, the soloists and chorus gave each song the sentiment, humor and wisdom seldom heard anymore. After all, The Greens singers lived through the music of Always, Let’s Fall In Love and I Can’t Give You Anything But Love. For this chorus, they were more than just songs.

The script was written and narrated by Brenda Fay, The Greens activities director, and co-producer with Carmela Tornatore. Every solo and chorus number received thunderous applause, and whistles of approval. Love & Marriage by Colonel Jack and Julienne Daniels, Mary Jane Haiback’s Moon River and Nettie Wechter’s When I Fall in Love had that rare balance of fun and nostalgia, and when Lee and Don Perillo sang It’s Been A Long, Long Time, ending with a kiss, you could sense a Tony, Grammy or Oscar nomination pending.

The cast had been rehearsing since March with The Greens Music Director Pat Spencer and their effort, sincerity, and gumption was remarkable. Sam Paul’s tap dancing, solos by Mary Bohen and Lee Salvin, the Love in Bloom piano solo by Shirley Lewis, chorus singer Joanne Siebrasse and the theatrical professionalism on stage was a two-way inspiration — fun for the audience and an experience that gave the performers the thrill of show biz and the pride of success. As the audience left the Trackside Teen Center, which became a veritable off-Broadway venue, you could hear the humming of love songs and awesome admiration of the  zest for life that was seen, heard and shared “From Our Hearts to Yours.”