‘Welcome to Mayberry’ coming to Hanceville Dec. 3

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The cast of “Welcome to Mayberry,” directed by Jamie Looney (Jamie Looney)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Cullman’s Senior Outreach Organization, founded by Jamie Brown Looney, is becoming known for its comical musical productions. The group put on its first show, “The Hee Haw Show,” back in 2019. Its next production, “Welcome to Mayberry” will be this Saturday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m. at the Hanceville Civic Center. Admission is $10 at the door.  

Looney volunteers with seniors and in 2018 decided to develop a new way to give back. She created the Senior Outreach Organization to bring meals to seniors on the weekends, as well as entertainment. Looney said the seniors love the plays and skits they perform, and she wanted to put together a new play to keep the seniors and audience engaged. She created a production inspired by “The Andy Griffith Show.” “Welcome to Mayberry” features well-known characters Andy Taylor, Opie, Aunt Bee and Barney Fife.  

The seniors began practicing five months ago soon after the last showing of “The Hee Haw Show.” 

The play will also center around characters Ernest T. Bass, Otis Campbell the Mayberry town drunk and the Darlings. Other characters from favorite TV sitcoms will make appearances in Mayberry, including those from “I Love Lucy,” “All in the Family” and “The Golden Girls.” 

Featured musical interludes include songs “Salty Dog Blues,” “You Are My Sunshine,” “Hey Good Lookin’” and more. 

“I thought, they do really good with Hee Haw, but let’s see what they can do with an actual play. Let’s see if I can test their memory and their minds to remember all these skits,” said Looney. 

In all, 16 seniors will participate in the two-hour show. 

“Our Andy Griffith, he’s 81 years old, and he has memorized a whole book pretty much, and Barney has, too. That’s a lot of memorizing for them,” said Looney. “I think it’s really good for them to be able to test their brains and to be able to do the same things they did when they were younger. A lot of them are doing things they’ve never done. It’s tested them and pushed them.” 

Looney said she wants to give the seniors something to talk about for the rest of their lives. “If I’ve got 10 more years to live, I could probably talk about this for the next 10 years.” 

She added, “Not only have they pushed their brains to the limit, they had fun doing it. It has been a good time every practice. We get more laughing in than practice.” 

The Senior Outreach Organization meets at the Donald E. Green Active Adult Center in Cullman every Monday at 1 p.m. 

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