Some of the cast of “The ’60s Show” ham it up in rehearsals Monday at the Mariner Theatre. From left to right are Nolan Bunting, Michael Hurd, Bobbye Tripplet Hurd, Daniel Wysocki and Sunrise Sjoeberg. The set is a reproduction of the “Laugh-In” wall from the 1960s comedy variety TV show.-Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Some of the cast of “The ’60s Show” ham it up in rehearsals Monday at the Mariner Theatre. From left to right are Nolan Bunting, Michael Hurd, Bobbye Tripplet Hurd, Daniel Wysocki and Sunrise Sjoeberg. The set is a reproduction of the “Laugh-In” wall from the 1960s comedy variety TV show.-Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Forward into the past: ’60s Show crosses generational boundaries

Calling itself “a trip down Penny Lane” — uh, that would be a Beatles song — “The ’60s Show: A Curious Celebration of an Era” is more like a bridge between the past and present. With cast and crew from the Baby Boomer, Gen X and Millennial generations, the Homer Council on the Arts variety show attempts to answer the question, “What were the 1960s like?”

OK, never mind that. As singer Grace Slick said, “If you remember the ’60s, you weren’t there.” Or did Paul Kantner, Dennis Hopper or Robin Williams say that? To answer the question right, you need a cast of 38, a rocking house band with a guitar player who really was at Woodstock (but only in the audience) and an irreverent show poking fun at the political and cultural icons that made the 1960s one of the most influential in modern history.

“It’s woven together with the young characters in the show who think they know something about the ’60s and the characters who were there,” said director and writer Sally Oberstein of the show’s format.

The show takes place in a café where younger and older people hang out. The kids want to know something about the 1960s, but it turns out they don’t know a lot at all, Oberstein said.

“When they talk about Jerry Garcia, they’re talking about Cherry Garcia,” she said, comparing the Grateful Dead musician with the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor.

“That’s what makes this so dynamic,” said assistant director Hannah Heimbuch. “We have all these different age groups in the café having conversations about their lives and the music just flows from it.”

Oberstein directed previous variety shows like “Old Songs and Chapstick” and “Duct Tape and Reruns.” Writers Michael McKinney and Alan Olson helped her write the story, with help from assistant director Hannah Heimbuch. The multigenerational cast not only sets up the plot, but it expands the show’s appeal, Oberstein said.

“I wanted this to be entertaining to people who are younger. Even if you don’t know the ’60s, hopefully we won’t lose people with the ’60s humor,” she said. “It will be entertaining to any age level, and especially entertaining to people who lived through it.”

Numerous costumes and wigs allow the cast to play dozens of characters. At a photo shoot on Monday, some of them vamped for the camera in front of a replica of the Laugh-In Wall, a set piece of the Dan Rowan and Dick Martin TV 1960s comedy in which characters pop out of doors and shout quick jokes. The costume lineup included actors playing real people like Marilyn Monroe and characters like Fred Flintstone and Mary Poppins.

“We have a million-and-one costume changes, many of which will happen on stage — which is a cool part of the show,” Heimbuch said. “It’s everything from Davy Crockett to Winnie the Pooh to Fidel Castro to John Wayne.”

A Baby Boomer herself, Oberstein compared the 1960s to the 1920s, another decade that was culturally and politically memorable. Politically, socially and musically, the 1960s left its mark on history. All those elements have a place in “The ’60s Show,” but especially music.

“We’ve got everything from Johnny Cash to Grateful Dead to Joni Mitchell. We’re trying to cover it, which is impossible,” Oberstein said. “If we did one year we couldn’t have done it in two hours.”

Anchoring the musical numbers are strong singers like Sunrise Sjoeberg and new talents like Maggie Goedeke, as well as a multigenerational stage band. Music director Patrick Latimer, a Homer High School student, sings and plays keyboard and saxophone. He’s joined by Gen X talent Dylan Smith and former Elders on Fire member Hal Spence. Spence actually attended the Woodstock music festival, a few miles from where he grew up in New York. Rounding out the band are Kelly Jay on drums and vocals, Shelly Erickson on piano and keyboards, Cathy Stingley on fiddle and vocals, Anchorage Symphony violinist Daniel Perry, Pauli Hall on piano and a special appearance by the Homer Ukulele Group Society.

The music should get people snapping their fingers and tapping their feet, Oberstein said. 

“People are going to want to dance and move,” she said. “It’s musical comedy, but there are a couple of places you’ll have to take a breath.”

“I think people will find themselves wanting to sing along to much of it. They’re familiar, catchy songs,” Heimbuch said. “It’s going to be a great show. It’s going to be funny, sweet and sad and memorable — and really great music.”

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.

 

The ’60s Show: A Curious Celebration of an Era

When: 

7 p.m. Saturday; $8 youth, $12 HCOA members and $18 general admission

3 p.m. Sunday; $5 youth, $10 HCOA members and $15 general admission

Where: 

Mariner Theatre

Tickets:
Available at the Homer Council on the Arts, online at homerart.org and at the Homer Bookstore

Writers:
Sally Oberstein with Michael McKinney and Alan Olson

Director: 

Sally Oberstein

Assistant Director: 

Hannah Heimbuch

Musical Director: 

Patrick Latimer

Production Manager: 

Sara Woltjen

Stage Manager: 

Maureen Sullivan

Assistant Stage Manager: 

Mary Langham

Stage Crew: 

Sabina Karwowski and Harmon Hall

Set Design/Props: 

Harmon Hall, Susan Bunting, Jennifer Norton, Schulzie and Bobby Paulino

Costume Crew: 

Lynne Burt with Marie Walker, Belinda McCormick and Susan Bunting

Lighting: 

Jessie Bolt

Sound: 

Axel Gillam

Craft Service: 

Maggie McCormick

Cast (all actors, singers and dancers unless noted):

Britny Bradshaw, Nolan Bunting, Landon Bunting, Brian Duffy, Maggie Goedeke, Ian Hall, Hannah Heimbuch, Michael Hurd, Curtis Jackson, Jules Joy, Maggie McCormick, Michael McKinney, Vonda Nixon (dancer), Audrey Russel, Sunrise Sjoeberg, Larry Slone (dancer), Bobbye Triplett Hurd, Daniel Wysocki

Musicians:

Patrick Latimer – keyboard / saxophone / music director / vocals

Kelly Jay – drums / vocals

Dylan Smith – bass / vocals

Hal Spence – guitar / vocals / keyboard

Shelly Erickson – piano / keyboard

Cathy Stingley – fiddle / vocals

Daniel Perry – violin

Pauli Hall – piano

Homer Ukulele Group Society


Michael Hurd as Fidel Castro in “The ’60s Show.”-Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Michael Hurd as Fidel Castro in “The ’60s Show.”-Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

More in Community

Town Crier

Update: Town Crier has been updated with new information on closures at… Continue reading

Lione Rae Bell

Lione Rae Bell was born at 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 26, 2021,… Continue reading

The Homer Police Station as seen Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Cops and Courts

Information about fire, police and troopers is taken from public records consisting… Continue reading

Mama Mona, Lakshmi, Georgia and Lil’ Stripe (Photo courtesy of Alaska Mindful Paws)
Pets of the week: Mama Mona, Lakshmi, Georgia and Lil’ Stripe

How is this possible, folks, that this sweet family of four is… Continue reading

Cooked by a combination of pan frying and steaming, delicate tofu and vegetable dumplings require a delicate hand and patience. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Chubby bites of goodness

Pan-fried and steamed tofu and vegetable dumplings take patience and practice.

Homer High School. (Homer News file photo)
School announcements

School district risk level update and upcoming events

Kim Terpening's "Wetands Daydream" is part of the Homer Drawdown Peatland exhibit showing at the Pratt Museum & Park through Oct. 10, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Peatlands exhibit at Pratt merges art and conservation

In its exhibits, the Pratt Museum & Park has used artistic expression… Continue reading

The Alaska Grown logo.
Homer Farmers Market: Winding down for the season

Vendors will continue through October, but market booth closes this Saturday.

The masthead for the Homer Weekly News.
Years Ago

Homer happenings from years past

Most Read