A ship. A storm. And a Christmas tale of heroic proportions. This heart-warming inspirational new musical is based on the true story of Herman Schuenemann, known as Captain Santa, who goes down with his ship on a storm in Lake Michigan – leaving his widow to raise their daughters, run the family shipping business and continue her husband’s mission of giving away thousands of Christmas trees to the less fortunate of Chicago. Can she take on the doubters and naysayers, or will she break under the pressures of widowhood, judgmental people and the restrictive customs of the day? What Barbara Schuenemann and her daughter Elsie do to resurrect Captain Santa’s legacy is nothing short of a holiday miracle.
It’s 1990 and Iraq has just invaded Kuwait. Anna King knows that war is contrary to her Amish ways and figures her father might not approve of her getting involved in any way. Yet, wanting to do something to help America’s troops, Anna and her feisty friend Sofia volunteer to write letters of encouragement to the men who are deployed into the conflict. Anna just wants to be a blessing… Sofia just wants to find a husband. What could possibly go wrong with such a pure and noble mission?
It turns out plenty! Especially when all these lonely pen pals happen to get a weekend pass to surprise the girls, and end up arriving at Fern’s Cheese Shop where the two girls work – on the very same day!
Will Anna’s father find out about her secret mission? Will Sofia finally find a husband? Will true romance be in the air for Anna (or is it just the Limburger cheese?)
Come watch the drama unfold at this new show, Dear Soldier Boy, written by Martha Bolton, with original songs composed by Wally Nason.
Assisted Living: The Musical is performed by its authors Rick Compton and Betsy Bennett. The show promises “The Tales Granny Will Never Tell” and it delivers.
The show romps through the “best years of their lives” at Pelican Roost, an active senior living community, where 70-something is the new 20-something, only with looser skin. The place oozes with characters, each with unique answers to later life’s questions.
“It’s like a cruise,” explains Pelican Roost resident Naomi Lipschitz-Yamamoto-Murphy, “except the final destination is not The Bahamas.” Naomi is one of 18-characters played by the two actors.
The show’s authors have a different take on aging than some. “Old age is no more about fixed incomes and disability than youth is about student debt and hangovers,” says Rick Compton.
“Imagine a world in which no one expects you to work, no one can get pregnant, and where you get a 20% discount just for being alive,” Betsy Bennett says. “That’s Assisted Living.”