Lindo Meli has left an impression everywhere he has gone, and now he is leaving his mark at Seabrook Village in Tinton Falls.
Meli, 93, is one of a handful of residents who put together the Seabrook Players' seventh theater production, two of which were original shows.
Their latest show, The Wizard of Seabrook Village, is also an original production and tells the tale of Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr and Jack Haley, stars of the Wizard of Oz, as they search for a place to retire.
They eventually get their minds set on Seabrook Village, but the path to becoming members is more arduous than they originally think.
The main characters and all the people they meet, are played by Seabrook residents, including Meli, who plays a doctor who wants to help his patients....even if they don't need help.
Meli said he and the other performers are ready for the latest production.
"This will be a great show," Meli said. "We are all working so hard and giving it our all."
When Meli first came to Seabrook in 2008, he immediately noticed the community theater.
"I had to do something with that theater, that's my baby," Meli said.
Meli reached out to the group that runs the theater and a year later, he was directing and performing in shows at Seabrook.
Meli is no stranger to the theater; he has performed in or directed more than 150 shows on the stage and radio. He even formed the St. Mary's Drama Guild in Queens in 1949 and has worked with great actors such as Ray Bolger, Raymond Burr, Peggy Cass and Lauren Bacall.
He has performed all over the world and even started a theater group while he was stationed in Australia during World War 2 in 1941.
"No matter where I was, I started something," Meli said with a laugh.
The Wizard of Seabrook Village features 24 performers and 13 numbers including twists on some classic songs such as "Somewhere Over The Rainbow."
The screenplay for the show was put together by Meli, Herb Grissen, Art Katz, Bill Sagosz and Norma Linzalone.
The show will run on Saturday, June 9, Sunday, June 10 and Monday June 11 at 7:30 p.m. and every production is sold out. Seabrook residents and family members of the performers will be in attendance to watch the show.
"What I love most is the that I've brought a family together," Meli said. "We have become a family by virtue of a group of people who love what we do together."