Now And Then

A short documentary about a group of elderly women who perform in a Broadway revue-type stage show. Originally aired on Image Union Episode 0038.

Aired December 8, 1979 on Image Union.

00:06Copy video clip URL The final seconds of Singin’ in the Rain.

00:18Copy video clip URL Roger Ebert and co-host of a pledge drive for WTTW-11. 

00:30Copy video clip URL Opening of Image Union

01:15Copy video clip URL Opening of Now and Then by Lilly Ollinger. The video begins with a group of elderly women rehearsing for performance in a musical revue. The women discuss how beneficial and enjoyable the rehearsals have been. “My family say that it’s taking about twenty years off me and they say ‘Keep it up, Mom, you’re doing great!'”

03:29Copy video clip URL The women arrive for a performance  at the Chicago Public Library Cultural Center. October 23, 1979. The women sing and dance for the crowd. 

04:58Copy video clip URL One of the women addresses the group: “You’re in training just like an athlete. We are in some measure handicapped – we’re not up to par, we’re all going to doctors, we all have our ailments. But, please, watch yourselves. You’re training for something.” 

05:25Copy video clip URL Performance of “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” followed by a discussion of their performances in which men have responded enthusiastically. 

06:52Copy video clip URL A performance of “The Maharajah of Magador” followed by a discussion of the difference between flamboyant onstage performance and offstage shyness. Disbelief and enthusiasm of family members at their performances.  “Senior citizen groupies” who attend all their performances. 

09:38Copy video clip URL Nostalgia for the times of their youth and their appreciation for vaudeville and songwriting of the 1930s. More song performances, including “Ten Cents a Dance.”

11:50Copy video clip URL The need for this sort of group activity for one member after the death of her husband left her alone and isolated. “To tell you the truth I feel like 16, but I know all of my years are in back of me. So, therefore, I’m going to enjoy every day of my life, and I have a spicy life.” Followed by a performance of “Some of These Days.” 

13:42Copy video clip URL One member sings in the group “because I make people happy, especially people that are younger than myself and should be doing something… I don’t know if I inspire them but I like to make people laugh.”  Followed by her singing “You’re Nobody Til Somebody Loves You” and further discussion of the group.

15:54Copy video clip URL Conversation with the group about old age. Performance of “Now and Then” as end credits begin.  

17:15Copy video clip URL End of Now and Then

17:19Copy video clip URL Title card for It’s Not Like That No More with Rudy Horn. “And now one of Chicago’s foremost vaudeville artists, Rudy Horn, and his films.” Footage of a state fair, where vaudeville performances would follow motorcycle races, with Horn’s commentary.

18:00Copy video clip URL Footage of comic performer Hubert Dyer, performing a physical slapstick routine at age 71. Horn discusses the way of life for vaudeville performances. 

19:05Copy video clip URL Footage of Petro and Durant and other acrobats. “He was one of the greatest upside-down men in existence.” 

20:00Copy video clip URL End of footage. 








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