YONKERS, N.Y. – It was all aboard the holiday cruise ship Thursday in Yonkers as some of the area’s most talented elders put their skills on display.
More than two dozen senior citizens donned their sailor caps and performed in the city’s annual holiday show, “Cruisin Thru The Holidays,” at the Ukrainian Youth Center on Palisades Avenue.
The afternoon performance, set on the deck of a cruise ship, drew a sold-out crowd of more than 150 people who laughed and applauded as seniors sang, danced and acted out skits.
As much fun as the audience was having, performers said they had even more.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Yonkers resident Barbara Berger. “Everyone just enjoys rehearing and putting on a good show.”
For more than two decades, Westchester's elders have put on the annual holiday show, organized by Yonkers seniors and Westchester County Legislator Bernice Spreckman (R-Yonkers).
On Thursday, the group sang and danced to choreographed songs like “Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” and “What to do with a Drunken Sailor.” Others took part in a hairy legs contest and a handful of couples performed in a version of the “Newlyweds Game.”
There even were a few star sightings at the event as seniors did their best Frank Sinatra or Barbara Streisand impersonations. “Richard Simmons” even led a Zumba session, drawing plenty of laughs from the crowd.
Aside from having fun, Spreckman said the show is a way to keep seniors active and engaged.
“My main thing for seniors is keep them mentally and physically active, keep them feeling younger and not feeling sorry for themselves,” she said. “Here, they’re doing exercises and their moving and they love it.”
For Berger and her husband, Harvey, the show has become a can’t-miss opportunity. Together, the couple has been on stage for the past 10 years and Harvey Berger said they have no plans of slowing down.
“We’re going to keep doing this as long as we can,” he said.
Still, even after being on stage for years, some said they couldn’t shake the performance jitters.
“I like practicing because we can talk to each other and have fun,” Yonkers resident Johnie Sampson said. “Today is a little more stressful.”
The group will take the stage again in June for the annual summer show. Spreckman encouraged any senior citizen in Westchester interested in performing to join when rehearsals begin March 1 at the Ukranian Youth Center.