The Nifty Fifties

Sunday, Apr 25, 2021 at 2:00pm

Tibbits Opera House
14 South Hanchett Street
Coldwater, MI 49036

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Travel to the 1950s with poodle skirts, jukeboxes and ice cream sundaes with Tibbits Young Audiences’ spring musical, “The Nifty Fifties” at Tibbits Opera House.

“The Nifty Fifties” by Tim Kelly with music and lyrics by Bill Francoeur is a funny, top-tapping tribute to the 1950s. It tells the story of Gracie Stanley, who has gotten herself into hot water by promising to deliver her distant cousin, rock star Ziggy Springer, for the high school dance.  When Ziggy is unavailable she and her friends decide to fake his appearance. The story takes some turns and features memorable characters include a singing soda ****, a snooty rival, a “totally square” building owner, a paranoid brother, plus a beatnik gang and its “bad dude” leader.  

The cast is made up of 23 students and includes cast members from Coldwater, Allen, Hillsdale, Quincy, Union City and even Fremont and Angola, IN. Cast members include Isabel Christopher as Gracie Stanley, Ashlyn Caswell as Rose Marie Famiano, Ivy Witmer as Evelyn Webber, London Elkins as Muffin Mansfield, Saylor Fraley as Ann Collier, Brianna Barle as Jane Connolly, Joel Miller as Donald Spinney, Emma Tennyson as Louise, Lily Witmer as Virginia Segal, Bree Tappenden as Edna Stover, Jonah Pentecost as George Bullock, Malachi Payne as Jughead Jarvis, Colton LaFountain as Bob Stanley, Logan Foster as Sinbad Gallucci, Maggie Vitto as Roxanne, Madelyn Grife as Misty, Pierce Smith as Ziggy Springer, Olivia Harris as Laverne King, Maggie Bustos as Beverly Griffith, Cady Fillmore as Officer Moore, Athena Benedict as Mrs. Nicholson, Bella Tappenden as Barbara, and Kennedy Austin as Judy.

“The Nifty Fifties” is directed by Julia Littley and produced by Tirsha Odisher with musical direction by Jayne Lillis. Jeff Harvey serves as assistant stage manager. Laura Odom has designed costumes with Betsy Tappenden as her assistant, with set design by Leon Kriser and Matt Biolchini and Stephanie Burdick as set assistants, props by Stacy Guertler, and makeup design by Abby Austin. This production is generously sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Coldwater.

Tibbits Young Audiences offers programs both for and by area youth to develop their interest in the arts. Two shows yearly, a non-musical in the fall and a musical in the spring, provide students an enjoyable introduction to the world of theatre. By putting on a show, they learn teamwork, discipline, theatre skills, self confidence and an appreciation for the arts.

“The Nifty Fifties” will run April 23 and 24 at 7pm, with a 2pm matinee on April 25. It is presented with generous support from the Kiwanis Club of Coldwater. All reserved seating tickets are $7 each.  Starting Monday, April 5, tickets will be available online at, at the Tibbits Administration Office located at 93 W. Chicago Street, and at the door.

This event listing provided for the Coldwater community events calendar. Community events are not associated with or sponsored by AARP, but may be of interest to you. If you have an event to share, let us know!

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