FALMOUTH – The best of times is now. That was clear at the Falmouth Theatre Guild 60th Anniversary Gala this past Saturday night. When a group of talented Falmouth Theatre Guild performers came together for “The Best of Times is Now” from “La Cage Aux Folles,” it was impossible not to notice the exuberance of longtime Guild member Irene Thibeault, who happened to have celebrated her 90th birthday last week.
When Irene first moved to the town of Falmouth back in the 1960s, the Falmouth Theatre Guild became a kind of second family to her, she says. This year, the Falmouth Theatre Guild is celebrating its 60th anniversary and bestowed on Irene, in honor of her spirited longtime devotion to the Guild, “the sassy assy” award.
A rousing rendition of “The Best of Times is Now,” capped off a sampling of show tunes from Guild performances of the past six decades performed by Guild perennial headliners Jennifer Perrault, Jodi Edwards, Brian Buczkowski, Brett Baird and Peter Cook.
Celebration of friendship and community theater was the unofficial theme of the Gala, which made it most appropriate to honor Irene, as well as longtime Guild member Gil Rapoza, who received a lifetime achievement medal. Gil has been with the Guild for most of those six decades and played a role is almost every show over those years, whether on stage or backstage. He proved he’s still got it, performing “Fugue for Tinhorns” from “Guys and Dolls” with Brian Buczkowski and Brett Baird.
Also honored with a new award were Matthew and Davien Gould, who received “The Heart of FTG” award. The two have been playing all roles at FTG onstage and backstage for around 40 years.
A special video by Brian Switzer debuted at the gala, showing Irene, Gil, Matthew and Davien and hundreds of others performing in colorful productions over the years.
The night ended with what one attendee called “very theatrical dancing” to the big band Stage Door Canteen.