DRACUT -- Most participants of the Council on Aging's annual Talent Show enjoyed the event more because they didn't know the fifth annual event would be the last talent show attended by the senior center's executive director, Joyce Shadan.
Town Manager James Duggan broke the news to selectmen on Monday about Shadan's plan to retire in October from the department head position she's held since January 2001.
On Tuesday, Shadan asked a Sun reporter to focus instead on the senior singers, dancers and actors who performed skits and musical numbers in this year's talent show that had a "senior prom" theme.
The featured guest singer-host of Tuesday's talent show, Gregory Curtis, opened by crooning several popular songs for the audience of about 100 seniors, plus a panel of judges that scored the event, which was sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care.
Next, Curtis introduced each of the talent acts, remaining nearby the stage to hold up an "applause" sign at key moments during each of the performances, beginning with guitar duo Rocky Provencher and Mike Langlois performing several high school prom-related songs.
In one especially well-received combination comedy skit/singing act, two members of the Lowell Senior Singers, Arthur Kostoulakos, 83, and Nancy Katin, 75, made the Dracut seniors laugh as Kostoulakos played a high school boy who preferred to take Katin's high school girl character on a bowling date, rather than dancing the night away at the senior prom.
The overall talent show winner was perennial favorite, 79-year-old Ray Breault, who engaged the crowd in clapping along as he played spoons on his knees and hands in time with a peppy French-Canadian melody, first sitting down, then standing up while also doing a skillful tap dance in his specially made tap shoes.
Mike Langlois and bride of 50 years, Carol Langlois, were named the event's "prom king and queen" for a day.
"You have to give the performers a lot of credit for getting up there. It's a good event, and they really like doing it," said Shadan. "This stuff is the fun stuff that we do."
Asked about her post-retirement plans, Shadan, a Lowell native and 26-year Groton resident, said she hasn't yet made any.
"I'm going to take a little break, then decide what I'm going to do," said Shadan.
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