by Kaori Shoji

Maggie Smith, who projects elderly matron authority like none other, plays Jean, who remains a haughty diva even though she hasn’t sung a note in years. She’s the latest addition to stately retirement home Beecham House, which Hoffman draws as a sort of upscale, mahogony- and martini-fueled artists’ commune complete with a marvelously dedicated staff. The place is short on cash, however, and retired opera singers Reggie (Tom Courtenay), Wilf (Billy Connolly) and Cissy (Pauline Collins) plan to hold a benefit concert in honor of Giuseppe Verdi’s birthday to raise money, roping in Jean to sing soprano on “Rigoletto.” You won’t stop smiling throughout. (K.S.)