Grandfathers bucket list goal hits the right note at Craterian

MEDFORD, Ore. — Alex Bellen just turned 80 years old and it was his birthday wish to perform at the Craterian Theatre.

“Certainly a dream that I’ve had the last 50 years,” Alex Bellen, performer of The Alex Show, said.

It’s a show that’s been a year in the making with months of hard work and preparation.

‘The Alex Show’,  is a roughly 90-minute performance with Alex singing the songs of his choice. He’ll also be accompanied by the Southern Oregon Jazz Orchestra.

“I got up the courage to go talk to them and asked them if they would do my show and they said ‘yes’!”

It’s also a family affair. He says his family from all over the United States are coming to see his performance and join in on it.

“We’ll do a little family combo, grandson on the sax, my son on drums and I’ll be on the piano.”

Bellen has been a performer for most of his life. He performed at his church, in college, in choirs and quartets but he’s never done something quite like performing in the Craterian Theatre.

“I’m feeling pretty good. I will be terrified about five seconds before it’ll be time to go on stage.”

One of the most challenging parts of putting together the show was actually choosing the setlist.

“When I started out, it was mostly going to be 30’s and 40’s music and certainly we have some of that,” Bellen said. “But it turned out I have stuff in the 50’s and 60’s that I like.”

Ever since he made the final list, he’s been practicing non-stop for the big day. His partner, Lynn Hennion, says he’ll practice in the shower with his scripts.

“We did have a window washer out here the other day who when he came in and told [us] he was done, he said ‘oh who was that singing that was the best entertainment the whole time I was washing those windows!'” Hennion said.

It’s the best entertainment that Lynn says she never gets tired of hearing.

“He just gets better and better every time he does it and the show is just going to be wonderful,” Lynn said.

Alex serves as an inspiring reminder that you’re never too old to chase your dreams.

“It’s actually kind of a matter of pride I suppose to be able to at this age do something like that, it’s kinda cool,” Bellen said.

The Alex Show is on Saturday, July 6 at the Craterian Theatre in Medford. Tickets are free for guests at the box office or online at www.craterian.org.

Alex will have a donation box for the Teen Music Theatre for Oregon.

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