Five Wise Guys

The Third Act Project’s video series featuring writer and TAP co-founder Sam Bittman, actor Jeff Kent, bookman/storyteller Matthew Tannenbaum, author/playwright Daniel Klein, and actor Bob Lohbauer as they ruminate on the realities of later life.

Meet the Guys

SAM BITTMAN is the least funny wise guy among these rare comedians. As the show’s producer, however, he takes great pleasure in editing them mercilessly when they make him look bad. Nah. Sam is also the guy who had the notion that an intimate community of old guys could be created in cyberspace and has been watching the Third Act Project blossom ever since. He may even by now have proved to his wife Maggie of 44 years, his three beautiful sons and five grandchildren with two on the way, that he’s not nearly the ne’er-do-well he seemed — notwithstanding his participation in the Five Wise Guys.

“Milk every drop of life that you can … and when you can’t do that anymore, it’s time to go.”

JEFF KENT is an actor, business owner and a former professional baseball player. Oops, no, sorry, that’s the other Jeff Kent. A member of Shakespeare and Company, Jeff has also appeared on many local and regional stages for more than forty years. Also, for more than forty years he has owned and operated Kent’s Vacuum Center in Great Barrington, MA. To quote Jeff, “It’s always good to have something to fall back on in between acting gigs.” Jeff is delighted to be a member of The Five Wise Guys, an eclectic group of artistic misfits pontificating on the art of aging gracefully. Their motto is “Don’t die until you’re dead.” You can and should check out their lively discussions and short films.

“As long as I remain physically and mentally capable I will strive to remain intellectually curious, emotionally open and empathetic to everyone.”

MATT TANNENBAUM has never really had any goals, at least not in any kind of pre-meditated way. I think that describes the mindset underneath all the machinations of his daily life. The one exception is he hates to run for trains or planes. Childhood was such a mystery that he didn’t even know he knew nothing about what was happening to him. Then he turned 30, got a new haircut, found love and a career, never looked back. Now he can safely say he owes it all to chance encounters. Small-town American bookseller longer than he’s been anything else, his work defines him. Tells a joke or two without much prompting. Proud and happy father of two grown women.

“The Third Act Project affirms a joy I think I always knew I had in me; one that I could, and do share with my children, the rest of my family, my closest friends.”

DANNY KLEIN was born at a young age in Wilmington, Delaware, in the biblical year 5700. After attending public schools in three states and four towns, he attended Harvard where, despite his father’s objections, he studied philosophy. Since then, he has written for TV, wrote lots of books, some of which people actually read. He lives in Great Barrington with his wife of 42 years, Freke Vuijst, who has tried her best to make him into a better person.

“I think Sinatra nailed it with ‘I’m gonna live, live, live until I die.’ As for being a member of the Five Wise Guys the answer is simple: for solace and love.”

BOB LOHBAUER is a retired Equity Actor and Special Needs Teacher. He lives with his wife Govane, and enjoys the company of their 4 children, 9 grandchildren and a great grandson. Bob trained with the Lawrence Parke Company of Actors, Hollywood, CA in the 1960’s and with Shakespeare & Company in Lenox MA in 1998. Among the many roles he has played his favorite credits include Willem Mengelberg in Mengelberg & Mahler by wise guy Daniel Klein; Henri in Heroes; Jake Kaufman in Kaufman’s Barbershop; Polonius in Hamlet; Snout in A Midsummer Nights Dream; Dysart in Equus; Father Donnelly in The Marriage of Bette and Boo; Frank in Private Eyes; and La Grue in Red Noses. Bob expects to outlive all the other Wise Guys.

“Mentally, I have never felt more open to new possibility. I said, ‘Yes’ to the Five Wise Guys. What’s to risk? I’m with Molly Bloom – just say ‘Yes!”

Five Wise Guys | Season 2

S2 E1 | “A Five-Letter Word Beginning with a ‘W'”

The Guys are back in a whole new way! Join us for a second season of Five Wise Guys.

e2 | In the Bookstore

On the brevity of human memory and how quickly even famous people fade into oblivion.

e3 | Putting Your Papers in Order

The Five Wise Guys on revisiting events seen through the distance of time.

S2 E4 | Melancholy Baby | Part 1

e4 | A short play in which three older guys come to terms with their sexual identities.

S2 E6 | Reflections on Aging and Sexuality

The Five Wise Guys quote Sinatra...

S2 E5 | Melancholy Baby Pt. 2

Love, lust, libido.

Five Wise Guys | Season 1

S1 E1 | Five Wise Guys (Pilot)

Watch this mix of interesting older guys as they kibbitz about life in the Third Act.

S1 E2 | Health, Mortality & Friendship

Issues of health, mortality and the value of friendships in The Third Act

S1E3 | The Future

Laughs abound as the Guys explore what "future" means at this age and dig into the notion of mortality.

S1 E4 | Tales of the Third Act

Profound loss, memories of major events, and people from their younger lives.

S1 E5 | What’s Left?

The future. Self-striving. Accepting the confines imposed by the realities of aging. What's left? What's next?

S1 E6 | Moving Ahead

How letting yourself off the hook comes a little more easily these days and wondering "what's next?"

S1 E7 | Fathers & Sons

Sharing memories about their and a hilarious recounting of boyhood relationships with stuffed animals.

S1 E8 | Great Performances | Season Finale

In the Season Finale the Wise Guys read from works that address issues of life in the Third Act.