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Following World War II, American servicemen came home and started families, the youngsters of whom became known as the baby boom generation — officially anyone born between 1946 and 1964.

Now, with those first boomers joining AARP and dipping into the Social Security pool, they’ve become a major societal force — and the subject of a musical revue entitled “Boomers” now entertaining audiences at Vanguard University.

Kerry Meads and Vanda Eggington, who conceived and created this musical potpourri in San Diego back in 1993, are present in abundance at Vanguard, with Meads directing and Eggington functioning both as musical director and performer in the seven-person ensemble.


As the second production of Vanguard’s American Coast Theater Company for 2009, “Boomers” covers an enormous field of history from the mid-1950s to the present, with a special emphasis on the turbulent 1960s. There may not be enough Beatles references for some whose musical tastes came of age during that period, but with more than 150 song snippets packed into a little more than two hours, some things have to be relegated to the back burner.

Eggington joins a sprightly company which includes her husband, Paul Eggington, who also designed the nostalgic setting (though Mike Buckley is credited with the extra-busy floor design) which resurrects such icons as the smiley face, the peace symbol and Mickey Mouse.

Also present is the company’s artistic director, Susan K. Berkompas (the driving force behind the theater company), along with Fernando Christopher, Tameca De Vant, Rich Wordes and, as a nerdy professor narrating the show, James Whitson. All have fine voices, though De Vant’s clearly is a cut above the rest.

Together, and backed by a lively four-piece combo (Nick Galaura, Kenny Rex Goss, Rik Ogden and Janice Rodgers Wainwright), these Boomers blaze their way through history. They’re weaned on television, and we see glimpses of scores of the decade’s popular shows flash by.

As the ‘60s arrive, the mood turns grim with JFK’s assassination, the peace marches and the drug culture. With this, of course, comes the music that shaped the era, culminating in Woodstock.

Following intermission, we ease into the ‘70s and disco as the show begins to focus on relationships, which seem impossible to sustain. Each performer has his or her turn in the spotlight and transitions are accomplished quite smoothly, a credit to Meads and choreographer Deborah Marley.

“Boomers” is at once a nostalgic trip and, for younger audiences, a history lesson set to music. It’s six decades of American life condensed into a stirring musical and dramatic experience.

If You Go

What: “Boomers”

Who: American Coast Theater Company

Where: Vanguard University, 55 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa

When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturday, at 2 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 9

Cost: $20 to $25

CALL: (714) 619-6424

TOM TITUS reviews local theater for the Daily Pilot.