WRINKLES, THE MUSICAL
A Celebration of Women and Aging
Written by Wilderness Sarchild and Naomi Turner, with music by Grammy Award Winner Jason Howland, Cape Cod recording artist Sarah Burrill, and musical director, arranger, and composer extraordinaire Malcolm Granger.
LOCATION: A large and very active senior living community in central Florida–“Living Legends Elder Alternative Project” (LEAP)
TIME: Present Day
SYNOPSIS: A show within a show. New residents, Jane Diamond, retired dancer, teacher, and choreographer with some Broadway credits and her wife, Sally Adler, (recently married lesbians from Massachusetts) have just gotten settled into their retirement home. Deciding to reach out to the community to stage a show to raise money for charity as well as to make new friends, they place an ad in the “Living Legends Ledger,” the monthly newsletter, calling for actors, singers, and dancers interested in creating and performing a musical entertainment for the annual meeting of the LEAP (Living Legends Elder Alternative Project) Association.
After numerous replies from women aged 60-94, they held auditions and began rehearsal for their Revue, called “Wrinkles, the Musical.” They have been in rehearsal for five weeks and have already developed the kind of closeness that backstage intensity can produce in a short time. Backstage, they share their stories, joys, sadnesses, strengths, and weaknesses. They share their tears and laughter, their sex lives, and their deeply held secrets; they even share a joint. The on-stage Revue also holds the key to much of their history and as the show goes on, more of their personal stories are incorporated into the Revue.
TAKEAWAY: Their stories are ultimately empowering, with the message that through it all–the losses, the sicknesses, even death–we rise above, we persevere, we live life to its fullest. We are strong, active, caring human beings, not invisible old women.
THE EVOLUTION OF WRINKLES, THE MUSICAL or HOW TWO OLD WOMEN LEARNED TO EMBRACE AGING
With their 60th birthdays looming, two best friends chose radically different paths in approaching their 70th decade. One went on a thirty day silent retreat to write poetry. The other headed straight to the doc for Botox, Juvaderm and pretty white teeth. On Wilderness’ retreat, she wrote the poem, “Hags and Crones”, which is now woven throughout “Wrinkles, the Musical” by a chorus of wise Ancients. After Naomi’s cosmetic treatments, she wrote “Cosmetic Surgery Blues,” a dynamic duet in the production.
Over an eight year time span, Naomi and Wilderness invited more than 100 elder women, ages 60 to 95, to meet in workshop settings and interviews. These women shared their profound experiences of aging, from which we created dances, skits and monologues. What you see today is truly a collaboration created by all of these women who are honoring the aging process and challenging the cultural stereotype of “the old woman.”