Former Everett teacher, students connect in reunion play

Reunion Theatre Group is celebrating its 10th year with a production this month of the play “Five Blue-Haired Ladies Sitting on a Green Park Bench.”

Reunion was founded by former Everett High School theater students in honor of their drama teacher, Bob Henry, who retired from the school in 1979 and went onto commercial work in the Seattle TV and movie industry.

Henry has directed and performed in many of the group’s community productions over the years, including its first in May 2004 of “The Dining Room.”

Now 89, Henry has a small role in the current play, which runs through March 2, with performances at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. The production is staged at the Everett Music Hall Playhouse near Macy’s in the Everett Mall, 1402 Everett Mall Way.

“I was delighted when they asked me to participate this time,” Henry said. “They did not have to twist my arm. Some of these kids were my starring students in the 1970s and they were founding members of the Reunion group. You think that isn’t a kick?”

The cast includes director Janette Reilley, Bonnie Ronan, Jay Wesley Cochran, Janine Snavely, Vicki Lynn Maxey, Kathleen Reynolds and Michael Goodwill, all of whom are Everett High School alumni.

Alicia Jones, Richard Morris and Dizzle Morrison round out the cast.

The poignant comedy involves five Manhattan matrons who meet in Washington Square park in Greenwich Village to confide in each other, talk about growing old, dish the dirt and generally share their lives and memories.

The five ladies include Gladys, a grandma whose husband in is a rest home; Anna, a widow who likes to try new things; Rose, a lesbian Rosie the Riveter; Eva, a widow who once traveled in high society circles; and La La, a former well-known jazz singer.

Whether it’s the script or the talent of Alicia Jones or both, the character La La steals the show, with her funny quips and her haunting version of the Cole Porter song “Miss Otis Regrets.”

Spoiler alert: The second half of the show is about what happens to these old gals in heaven.

Tickets for Reunion Theatre Group’s “Five Blue-Haired Ladies Sitting on a Green Park Bench” are $13 general and $10 for students, seniors and military personnel. Call 425-268-2187 or make a reservation at www.reuniontheatregroup.org.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

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