By Victoria Martinez
A little bit of old Hollywood is coming to Solvang on Saturday, May 5, when the musical revue “Hollywood Revisited” brings the glitz and glamor of 1930s to 1960s Tinseltown to Solvang Festival Theater.
The event, sponsored by the Solvang Breakfast Rotary, will benefit the Solvang Senior Center, which has outgrown its 1983 modular building and wants to begin a capital campaign soon to support future growth of the center.
Bringing Hollywood Revisited back to the valley was the idea of Solvang Rotary board member and event co-chairwoman Linda Johansen, who brought show producer Greg Schreiner’s musical revue to town for a fundraiser several years ago.
Schreiner, the curator of special collections at the Hollywood Museum in Hollywood, is one of the most well-known collectors of movie costumes, having accumulated over 500 costumes over the past 30 years.
What began with one Marilyn Monroe costume has developed into a career of bringing old Hollywood back to life through song, dance, and stories from the era. A pianist by profession, Schreiner shares his collection in his show, which is a singing, dancing extravaganza featuring authentic, spectacular costumes from favorite Hollywood films.
“It’s a very fun show,” Schreiner said.
Full of anecdotes and stories about Hollywood stars from the past, accomplished vocalists sing and dance to movie-related music while wearing the costumes of Hollywood legends such as Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Julie Andrews, Gene Kelly, Bette Davis, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, and more.
“I think people love the old Hollywood,” he added.
Shreiner will bring three performers who will embody the persona of approximately 30 different Hollywood icons. He will play the piano and emcee the show.
“It’s so wonderful to see these costumes come alive again,” Shreiner said. “It’s a fabulous experience for me.”
Organizers of the event are excited to experience Hollywood Revisited.
“I’m excited about the actual performance,” said Solvang Rotary board member Jan Clevenger. “I think it’s going to be fantastic.”
Clevenger believes the event has the potential to reach out to people of all generations, not just those who may feel nostalgic when hearing and seeing Hollywood icons from years past.
“It’s something new and refreshing,” Clevenger added.
Organizers are also looking forward to supporting the Solvang Senior Center through the event after many years of giving back to the center. Though a capital campaign has not been launched, the Senior Center, which has approximately 450 members, is expecting growth in the future. Money from this fundraiser is intended to be seed money for an eventual campaign.
With more than 20 events held at the center each week, such as daily lunch, mah jongg games, exercise classes, and services such as tax preparation, the center is using most of the rooms in its 2,800 square-foot facility for two or more purposes, having to transform rooms multiple times a day depending on the scheduled activities.
“The center is not meant for as much use as it’s been getting,” said its director, Ellen Albertoni. “We are outgrowing our center.”
Albertoni and others have been dreaming of a new center in the same spot where more services can be offered, friendships fostered, and resources provided for the community as a whole.
“We need a space where we can serve more of the community,” Albertoni said. “It’s our seniors, but it’s our community too.”
“It’s imperative that we support the event because the need to expand the Senior Center is critical to support the programs and the growing senior population,” Clevenger emphasized.
Hollywood Revisited will take place at 6 p.m. May 5 at Solvang Festival Theater, 420 Second St. Tickets cost $55 per person and include a Mexican dinner. Wine, beer and margaritas will also be available along with an auction.
Tickets can be purchased at the Solvang Senior Center, 1745 Mission Drive, or at www.eventbrite.com under “Solvang Events.”
For more information on Hollywood Revisited, visit www.hollywoodrevisited.com. For more information on the Solvang Senior Center, call Albertoni at 805-688-3793 or visit www.solvangseniorcenter.org.