No bats fluttered from the wings of the Chanticleer Community Theater at last Thursday’s preview of Sex, Please, We’re Sixty. In fact, the most gothic moment came before the play began when theater manager Bob Putnam welcomed us to Chanticleer’s “final season.”

In other words, he introduced the senior sex comedy by declaring the company’s financial plight terminal. Chisel the tombstone “R.I.P. 1952-2012” after a few more shows.

Not so fast my friend, as ESPN’s Lee Corso likes to say. For starters, there’s this current talented cast making the most of a mediocre script, guaranteeing lots of laughs for most playgoers for two more weekends.

Putnam contributed a handsome set for the bed and breakfast where Ron Hines as Bud the Stud woos guests lustily whenever his aging back doesn’t lock up on him. He’s joined by Jamie Lewis as the nerdy chemist who designs a pill to pump up the libido of the innkeeper (Lorie Obradovich) he’s been proposing to daily for umpteen years.

And three of her guests played by Terry Benedictis, Sherry Josand and D. Laureen Pickle have fun responding to Bud’s pursuit and then turning the tables on the lothario. Director Jonathan (Let’s Get It On) Wilhoft livens up the program by giving himself and his cast such nicknames as Laureen (Lusty Dill) Pickle.

The girls couldn’t be in better company than old pros such as Hines, who we’re told chose to grow old, not gracefully but disgracefully, and Lewis, who toured long ago with the Nebraska Theater Caravan. I can’t imagine many actors taking this nerd stereotype and making it so appealing that you’re rooting for him to heat up his coldhearted woman.

At its worst, the play gives new meaning to overkill. Subtle it isn’t. The authors don’t seem to think we’ll get the point that the female Viagra gives men menopausal symptoms, so we’re flooded with those symptoms ad nauseam.

But the strong cast still turns it into an entertaining evening that makes it well worth a trip out on 830 Franklin Avenue in Council Bluffs.

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Forget about the daily review that declared the Trans-Siberian orchestra’s concert the kick-off of the holiday season. Most of you know it begins with A Christmas Carol opening this weekend at the Omaha Community Playhouse and its ornery counterpoint, Christmas with the Crawfords returning once more for SNAP! Productions.

In the former, Scrooge is redeemed. In the latter, there’s really no hope for the ax-wielding Joan Crawford, but both Jerry Longe and Ron Osborne nail the roles.

Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to coldcream@thereader.com.


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