LEGENDARY pianist Geoff Harvey believes an active mind and a thirst for new challenges are keys to ongoing happiness.
The talented musician became a household name inAustralia through his role as the maestro of popular long-running variety show Midday and The Mike Walsh Show before that.
He’s no stranger to showbiz, but the 81-year-old is a relative newcomer to live theatre and will take to the stage to play piano when comedy revue Senior Moments returns to Sydney in February.
The show comprises a range of sketches and musical numbers and takes a humorous look at ageing.
It will be presented at Parramatta’s Riverside Theatre and The Concourse in Chatswood after a highly successful debut season at Glen Street Theatre early last year.
Mr Harvey admitted to more than a few nerves when he was asked to take part in the project.
“I was used to TV, but I’d never been the guy on stage that everyone was looking at,” he said. “The devil you don’t know is the one you worry about and I felt completely out of my depth.”
His doubts were put to rest once he met his fellow cast members – who include Lex Marinos, Benita Collings and John Derum – and he realised how much fun he was having.
The show deals with all manner of issues people are faced with as they get older – from technology to consternation over the naming of grandchildren.
“We have a go at all those things old people find hard, but it’s a non-offensive, feelgood show,” he said.
Mr Harvey is far from the type to retire quietly and the show is just the latest in a range of challenges he has set for himself since leaving Channel 9, where he was musical director, in 2000.
He took on teaching music for the first time, still has about 20 pupils and is loving the opportunity to share his knowledge with others.
He is still writing music, is collaborating with a friend on a musical project about The Beatles, and playing a lot of church organ in the Bowral and Penrose areas on Sundays.
While he misses Midday, he doesn’t miss the TV industry as it is today, lamenting the cost-cutting culture that predominates at networks these days.
“With politicians you get what you deserve. If people watch it, they will keep putting it on.
“I don’t miss TV today, but I miss the way we did it.”
- Senior Moments, Riverside Theatre, from February 9; The Concourse from February 22. Bookings/details on (02) 8839-3399 (Parramatta) or (02) 8075-8111 (Chatswood).