“Growing up in the Church of Christian Science, age was never an important factor to me … However, apparently it is to the rest of the world. It’s nice to know there are others in this world like Pink and Barbara who encourage us to celebrate the contributions that seniors bring to society,” Carol Channing recently said.
According to the recent Census Bureau report, there are now more Americans age 55 and older than at any other time in U.S. history. Exceeding 55 million nationwide, they are more active than ever and the industry of entertainment has come to realize their value in the consumer market, as celebrated names such as Betty White (93), Carol Channing (94), Tony Bennett (88), Angela Lansbury (89), Theo Bikel (91) and even Patricia Morison (100) are still appearing, by popular demand, center stage, in film and on television with an ever growing fan base.
Barbara Van Orden on stage at Catalina Club
“How wonderful Senior Power – We have a dream! I think this is a fabulous endeavor,” said Debbie Reynolds.
Senior Star Search supporter, Carol Channing, and Barbara Van Orden
With names such as Cloris Leachman (89), Florence Henderson (81) and Valerie Harper (75) stealing the show on programs such as “Dancing With The Stars,” and Dori Berinstein’s musical, “Gotta Dance,” featuring performers over 55 headed to Broadway, the idea of creating a “Senior Star Search” seems right on schedule. In fact, Jackie Goldberg (aka The Pink Lady) and Barbara Van Orden have just announced that auditions will be held during Older American’s Month, on May 23rd and 24th for those age 55+, who hear the theatrical calling or yearn to feel the warmth of a spotlight on their face. The final competition is set for July 12th, at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Los Angeles, with an illustrious panel of judges to date include: Director/Choreographer, Michael Kelly; celebrated Director, David Galligan and Academy Award winner, George Chakiris.
“What a wonderful idea,” the esteemed Kirk Douglas also added.
A Competition for Senior Talent – Singers, Dancers, Comedians & Variety Acts – 55 Years Young and Over. Auditions were on May 23rd & May 24th.
Barbara Van Orden and SSS Judge, Academy Award winner, George Chakiris
Final Competition and All Star Show, July 12th, 2015, at 3:00 pm – Judges to date include: Director/Choreographer, Michael Kelly; celebrated Director, David Galligan and
Academy Award-winner, George Chakiris.
The event is at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, 4800 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027.
TICKETS: $22.50 for July 12th show.
PRODUCERS: THE PINK LADY, dynamic Jackie Goldberg, at age 70, began a new chapter in her life. She created a motivational speaking company called, Get Up, Get Out, & Get a Life! to encourage fellow baby boomers and seniors to follow new paths and open new doors to enhance their lives. She is also a proud member of SAG-AFTRA and Actor’s Equity. Prior to reinventing herself, Jackie worked in the fashion industry for over forty years. Dressing in pink became her trademark. Her philosophy of life is to think pink! To feel the energy and the aura that a color can give to people by letting them see life through rose-colored glasses. She founded Senior Star Power Productions, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, as part of her dream to revitalize the careers of senior performers and help seniors who want to begin new careers. Senior Star Power has produced a series of live stage shows featuring a cast who are ALL 60, 70, 80 years young and over. Her production company produces the only senior theatre in Southern California. At a young 82, the Pink Lady’s newest project is called Senior Star Search – a search for talented people aged 55 and over who are still vital, productive, creative, energetic and entertaining.
BARBARA VAN ORDEN’s highly publicized return to the stage after a devastating accident and years of rehabilitation learning to walk again has been well received by audiences and critics alike. Before the accident she was a model appearing in the promotion of numerous products. Her singing career began in New York. She appeared at some of the Playboy Clubs working with talents such as Morey Amsterdam, Soupy Sales and Jackie Vernon and others. Barbara was invited to perform in Vegas, where she was introduced to Frank Sinatra. She was thrilled when he asked her if she would do a club date and perform with him at The Persian Room at the Plaza Hotel in New York. Barbara has had a multi faceted career. Barbara and her husband producer Steve Heilpern were invited to move on to the Universal City Lot, Where they formed CINEQUEST.
Barbara produced for The Academy Of Television Arts and Sciences the highly acclaimed “An Evening with Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Jean-Michele Cousteau. Barbara has also produced events for the American Film Institute Associates. One of Barbara’s special productions was an event honoring the CBS Television Network “We See Eye To Eye”. In 2009 Barbara was back on the boards performing her one-woman cabaret show, which she still performs.
To give back to the many that inspired her, she is currently, along with Michael Sterling, a Co-Executive Producer of LA’s NEXT GREAT STAGE STAR, which has given undiscovered young talent their start. Barbara has two books regarding the entertainment industry in the works. Yes, Barbara Van Orden, a survivor, performer, writer, producer is an inspiration to many in and out of the Entertainment Industry. THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MOTION PICTURE COUNCIL PRESENTED BARBARA THE GOLDEN HALO LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY.
Jackie Goldberg (aka The Pink Lady), George Chakiris and Barbara Van Orden