By Daniel Skora
Ahh, the colors of life. We start out pink or blue. We spend years going through the yellows, oranges, reds and greens, trying to assemble our rainbow. But there can be no rainbow without rain, and so the clouds come, and the intensity of the grays we are required to navigate are tempered only by the capriciousness of fate and our own abilities to deal with them. At the end comes the white, or the black, for the universe holds secret its final inescapable truth. For those who are fortunate enough to reap the benefits of the full slate of colors provided by nature, there’s one that’s perhaps more meaningful and more rewarding than all of the others.
Gold is a treasure, and it’s not surprising that the best years of our lives are referred to as the golden years. Those years are not only a treasure to be enjoyed and savored, they’re a time like no other. They’re a time at which most of the important lessons of life have already been learned. They’re a time uncluttered by work and family obligations, allowing us to partake of those pleasures that we had no time for before. They’re a time of contradictions: of restraint and devil-may-care, of a desire for the simpler things offset by the complexities of maturity. But above all the golden years are a time to love, love, perhaps, as we’ve never loved before.
Tipping Point Theatre is presenting “Kalamazoo”, a comedy about two people in their golden years who find romance and companionship without having the least bit of foreknowledge that they’re in need of such a thing. Peg is an Irish Catholic who enjoys bird watching. Irving is Jewish and enjoys scouring the beaches with his metal detector looking for lost treasures.
Both are in their seventies and have been living alone since their spouses passed away. But with the inevitable role reversal that occurs over time between parent and child, the children of Peg and Irving think it would be a good idea for them to have companionship. And so it is that Peg and Irving, rather reluctantly, and without a thought of who they might meet there, go online. They stumble across each other at a dating site, exchange information, and agree to meet at a Mexican restaurant. Though the meeting begins rather well over two straws and the biggest bowl of a lime-green margarita you may ever lay eyes on, it ends rather poorly after the still-frisky Irving begins inquiring about the possibility of future sexual interaction. Nevertheless, an attraction between the two septuagenarians has occured, and they meet again. Romance begins to blossom and how their relationship progresses and how the two begin to change is what the deeply moving and enormously funny “Kalamazoo” is all about.
“Kalamazoo” (yes, that Kalamazoo, where nearby resides the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary that Peg dreams of visiting) is a delightful, heartwarming comedy made extra special by its two cast members. Arthur J. Beer and Mary F. Bremer-Beer have been performing in local theatre for many years. Not only are they accomplished actors, but are, in fact, husband and wife. Here, the stage belongs to them, and it’s not unreasonable to think that some of those poignant moments between Peg and Irving mean more to the two performers than the mere recitation of somebody else’s script.
“Kalamazoo”, by Michelle Kholos Brooks and Kelly Younger is a Michigan Premier. The show is directed by Christopher Bremer and is performed without intermission. The set, designed by Lisa Charlotte Berg, is a minimalist affair, with just enough properties (by Diane E. Ulseth) to establish place and compliment the script. For those on the before-side of 40, you just might see your parents or grandparents in Peg and Irving. For those on the after-side of 60, you just might see something of yourself. For everyone, “Kalamazoo” is an entertainment that will warm your heart and make you smile.
“Kalamazoo” runs through December 20th. Tickets are available online at tippingpointtheatre.com or at the theatre’s box office, open Mon. through Fri. 10am to 5pm and 90 minutes prior to all performances. Tipping Point Theatre is located at 361 E. Cady Street in Northville, phone # 248.347.0003.