By Natasha Lewin
Written and directed by six-time Emmy-nominated Saul Ilson, Don’t Leave It All to Your Children has landed in Sherman Oaks. Best known for his work with the Smothers Brothers, Ilson’s Don’t Leave It All…. stars three of the four original cast members from its off-Broadway eight-month run in New York.
Barbara Minkus of Broadway’s Funny Girl, Marcia Rodd from Trapper John M.D., and Ronnie Schell from Gomer Pyle USMC return to the stage with newest cast member John Shull of the Star Trek television franchise. The four sing, tell jokes, move awkwardly, and regale the audience with tales of aging both gracefully and distastefully. From online dating to singles cruises to ear hair, Don’t Leave It All…. sees that no AARP joke is too corny or too cliché.
Both Ronnie Schell and his understudy weren’t able to make the Opening Day show so writer/director Saul Ilson had to fill in, which is always difficult for a non-actor to do. But Ilson pulled off the feat with genuine sincerity and ease that could’ve best bled onto the other professional actors who often stumbled and had to call for their lines.
Don’t Leave It All to Your Children runs from Jan. 19 to March 30 only on Sundays at 2 p.m. at the Whitefire Theatre located at 13500 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at brownpapertickets.com, or call (800) 838-3006 for reservations. No shows Feb. 9 and 16.