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Its Jingle Bell Swing time

Northwest Senior Theatre starts the holidays off right

Thanksgiving is just a week away, and with it comes the beginning of the holiday season and all its traditions, including the annual holiday show by the Northwest Senior Theatre.

A group of actors from Forest Grove, Portland, Hillsboro, Aloha and beyond who re-entered acting after retirement, NWST hits the 600-seat of the Alpenrose Dairy Opera House Wednesday with its holiday revue, 'Deck the Halls and All That Jazz.'

The show features a wide array of holiday favorites, including a jazzy rendition of 'Jingle Bells,' a snappy version of 'White Christmas' and others, in addition to comedy and dance.

NWST board member Betty Merrill said part of the appeal of the group's shows is their ability to offer seniors a lively showcase of entertainment from the past, in addition to providing a multigenerational experience for families that share a love of theater.

'People are so pleased to find a place where they can hear music of their era. Most shows are things for younger people,' Merrill said. 'This variety show is full of things they'll remember. Everybody knows the holiday songs.'

The organization, which also travels throughout the area to perform at senior centers, is celebrating its 20th year in the spotlight. Its members rehearse weekly, and plan, coordinate, choreograph and design each show.

Merrill, herself a veteran of Portland Civic Theatre, said the program is beneficial both to its audiences and its members, who see the program as the perfect way to soak up the limelight.

The group doesn't simply use the phrase, 'Creativity is ageless,' as a slogan. It's a way of life for the members.

'It's the only thing out there for us to be in,' said Merrill. 'It's good for us and it's good for the audience.'

Come to the show

What: Northwest Senior Theatre performs 'Jingle Bells and All That Jazz'

When: Nov. 16-19. Shows take place at 2 p.m. daily. A $5 donation is suggested.

Where: Alpenrose Dairy Opera House, 6149 SW Shattuck Road in Portland.

Info: Visit nwseniortheatre.org.