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Betty’s Big Show: Broadway comes to Lake Kennedy

By Staff | Jan 27, 2015

This weekend, Broadway comes to Cape Coral, presented by seniors from Cape Coral. The Lake Kennedy Senior Center will host “Betty’s Big Show – The Best of Broadway III” for two big shows Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

It’s a day to harken back to the best music, comedy, and dance numbers from Broadway and film. This all new show features many of the greatest show tunes from stage and screen.

The show is produced by Betty Dentzau, and is one of the big fundraisers for the senior center.

“We have dance, acting and singing classes here and we put it all together and put on a show to raise money,” Dentzau said. “Everybody pays for their costumes.”

Many of the songs are from classic Broadway shows from the golden age of stage such as “Gypsy,” “Chicago,” and “Guys and Dolls,” appropriate since the troupe is called Betty’s Guys and Dolls Dance Group.

The troupe began work on this show just after last year’s show, with formal rehearsals starting less than two months ago.

The performers staged a dress rehearsal Monday. The performers are between the ages of 65 and 80.

Suzanne Davies, 67, who has performed at the Cultural Park Theatre, said the show gives them a chance to showcase their talent and make new friendships.

“It’s endlessly entertaining. We’re learning and it’s exercise for the body and the mind,” Davies said. “There’s a new expression that 70 is the new 50, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion.”

John Bruggeman, 66, said he started out with the troupe when his wife was one of the dancers and they needed someone to open and close the curtain. It morphed into something else.

“They needed someone to sing during a costume change, so I sang a song, and soon, I was in the group,” Bruggeman said. “I’ve sung for many years. I sang up north for nearly 20 years in a show choir and today I sing in the Cape Chorale Barbershop Quartet.”

Joe Ortiz, 70, got to use his comedic and vocal talents in several sketches.

“A little of my ham comes out. It’s fun. They’re a lot of work, but it’s a good time,” Ortiz said. “It keeps me young. I love to sing and ham it up. You’ll see a little stupidity and some seriousness.”

Tickets for the dinner show on Friday night are $20 per person. Doors open at 6 p.m. No tickets will be available at the door for the Friday show as they have to order the dinners. For reservations, contact the Lake Kennedy Center at 574-0575.

The Sunday afternoon show is $10, as no meal will be served, with doors opening at 1:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door for the matinee only.

Lake Kennedy is at 400 Santa Barbara Blvd. in Cape Coral.