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Saturday, November 27, 2021

Celebrating love by the decade

Treat yourself to the sweet sounds of love this Valentine’s Day weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, Citizens Who Care for the Elderly (CWC) will be presenting Decades of Love – a concert celebrating love through the ages. The show will take place at the Veterans Memorial Center Theatre at 203 E. 14th Street.

Formed in 1975, CWC is a nonprofit organization devoted to assisting the elderly and their family caregivers. The organization throws benefit concerts yearly as a way to fundraise and provide seniors with the highest quality of service possible. Decades of Love will mark CWC’s 23rd annual benefit concert.

The tenderness-themed concert does not only support CWC as an organization, but also lives up to the CWC mission.

“[Decades of Love] represents what Citizen Who Care stands for because it relates to the love and care we have for our loved ones,” said Walter Sykes, a CWC Board of Directors member.

Revisiting tunes from the 1940s to today, Decades of Love will tell stories of different kinds, from family and friendship love to the hilly journey of romance. The show will be performed by a seven-person cast, which includes Valerie Steward-Williams and Demjuan Julian, who are also both the show’s directors and choreographers.

With a cast full of friends, Steward-Williams noted that she and Julian could easily envision what songs would suit whom, although there were a number of steps in the overall song-selection process.

“There [were] a few requests from the cast as to what they wanted to sing,” Steward-Williams said. “For the other songs, [Julian and I] pulled from old movies that we enjoy and we did a lot of research on the top love songs of the decades.”

Some selections include “As Time Goes By,” “Sweet Nothing,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Somebody to Love” and more.

Decades of Love, however, is not just a showcase of song. Each number also unfolds in dance, thus visualizing emotions as well as vocalizing them. Steward-Williams explained how combining the two senses can create a powerful performance.

“Adding live voice with a dance, no matter how simple, makes the song whole and finishes the picture,” Steward-Williams said.

Overall, the performance patches together a montage of how love and expressing it has evolved over time. Julian expressed that Decades of Love has a fresh and endearing line-up in store.

“We have a younger generation of people doing the show this year, so [the concert] will be done with a brand new take that I hope everyone will like,” Julian said. “I hope that the show leaves the impression that with the power of love, you can get through the majority of everything.”

Show times for Decades of Love are 7 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Ticket prices start at $25 for students, $45 for two and $35 for general admission. All proceeds will go to CWC in providing social support programs for seniors and their families.

For further information about Decades of Love and CWC, please visit citizenswhocare.us.

Photo by Valerie Steward-Williams

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