The title came before the show. It happened in a parking lot one warm, South Florida night in 2008 when a follower asked the topic of Rick and Betsy’s next show. They had no idea. Rick saw someone loading a walker and said, “Maybe something on assisted living.” Betsy elbowed him and said derisively, “Yeah, right. Assisted Living: The Musical®.”
Six months later, Assisted Living: The Musical® was up. Within the first two weeks, a local review attracted the attention of The Associated Press. An article on the wire produced interviews and features on BBC Scotland, BBC World and ABC World News.
The authors enlisted the help of Douglas Gray, a producer, who helped develop the show through two New York workshops respectively under directors Jeffery Moss and Bill Castellino. Its “out-of-town” tryouts produced more than a year of SROs at The Villages, the Pelican Roost of Central Florida. A San Francisco premier with an Equity cast resulted in universal raves, and ran there for six weeks.
In 2013, the show found manager Chris Alberts and agent Chris MacNeill (it now has a “two-Chris” limit). Then, Assisted Living: The Musical® began playing restored vaudeville houses and other small theatres from Arizona to New York, Florida to Vermont, and Tennessee to Michigan.
Frequently, it’s asked back to theatres in unusually short times… as little as six months. Each time this happens the show sells more and more tickets. Like some sort of bizarre senior Rocky Horror-thing, people return again and again… but not yet dressed up as one of the show’s characters… intentionally, anyway.