Having balled the Christmas wrap into a can, and eaten pies from apple to pecan -- It's time to ring in two-zero-one-four with magical theater for us in store.
Apologies to the late Maggie Crum, if my rhyming provides a conundrum: May critics Jarrett (Charlie) and Craig (Pat) not find my verse forced or, worse, even flat.
Plaudits to publicists, often unsung, they trumpet companies near and far flung. That's you, Dennis Markham, Town Hall's pub czar; and more stars, Marilyn Langbehn and Gary Carr.
Please do include Center REP's Gabe Marin, and Ariel Brewer (or else it's a sin) ... Sharon Cahill from Saint Mary's College also contributes good thespian knowledge.
You also, in this vein, shouldn't and can't forget the Role Players' Barbara Grant. And last but not least for all of his prep, Kudos, Kyle Sircus, of Berkeley Rep.
Now, it would only be fine and fitting to pause for a moment before flitting,to celebrate others in these lilting lines, to wax wistful over those caught in binds
Every local drama-lover should mourn (while lauding Clayton Theater being born) the end of Diablo Actors Ensemble, and the Willows Theatre's last disassemble.
We will miss your venue, Sam and Scott Fryer -- all who shared the joy know I'm not a liar. David Faustina and Eric Inman, Willows' productions had many a fan.
Yo, artistic/managing directors, who thrill patrons, even TV defectors -- A New Year's toast to Eric Fraisher Hayes, and, we do wish there were more Krissy Gray(s).
Even along with Eric's Role Players' troupe, we praise Krissy's Diablo Theatre group; and Johnny B. (Good!) of Butterfield 8, who with Maureen Williams did really great. And, hey, Samantha Samuels and Steve Shore,
Will Esses Productions keep giving more? And Helen Means and Onstage, best to all at Martinez' Campbell Cabaret since fall.
Remember too playwright extraordinaire Galatean's Kathy McCarthy so fair ... Center Rep's Michael Butler, oh so sweet; a charitable reference I could hardly beat. 'Bout Betty Brown you shouldn't be forgetting, nor Pittsburg Community Theater neglecting; and Starlight's Geotty Chapple in the park
Will always provide Orindans a lark.
Sharon Redman from Players Vagabond Stages "Fabulous Follies" of which I'm quite fond -- she reaches out to perform at senior sites, bringing joy to those still hitting the heights. Then there's also the amazing Danny Boyle, who for CCMT dreamcoats his toil ... And who on earth wouldn't be a taker for Music Box Theater and Tielle Baker?
Having marked our calendars for Jan. 11, Lesher Center theater-lovers will be in heaven, as the CoCo drama community arrives to applaud Shellies, awarded for enriching lives.
Every year, including the year in our rear-view, has highlights for all, and some personal, too. We live in a wondrous area for stage, where you can laugh aloud or be touched by a sage. A trip to the city used to be needed to see wondrous theater, we conceded; but clearly that's not the case anymore, since quality shows are at our back door.
The best memories of last year follow here, though I know I will do what I deeply fear ... I will leave out countless plays that moved me and performances that were truly must-see. But remembering James Royce Edwards is easy (With the greatest of ease treesy to treesy); his flight in CCMT's "Tarzan" surely amazing, through Kelly Tighe's monumental set a-blazing.
Ending, as the bard says, can be "such sweet sorrow:" It's hard as life-performers when we can't claim tomorrow. But, as Sarah Boles notes in "Cabaret," that's truly the time when we must hear the music play.
DAE's last performance sang to my soul: "Grace and Glorie" had perfect performers for the role -- incomparable Ann Kendrick was great, and Ginny Wehrmeister completed the perfect slate.
Like you, I thrilled to innovative chances companies dared in dramas and romances. We're blessed with risk-takers like Cal Shakes, where Jonathan Moscone gives fresh takes. Overall, I loved the collaboration between Role Players and the O'Neill Foundation; Role Players put on the popular "Anna Christie," a play that has left many an audience misty ... well directed by George McGuire, the oft-viewed play stoked O'Neill's legend in fire.
The same cast, directed by Eric Frashier Hayes, also showed the master in an earlier phase: Envision, if you didn't see it, performers, the ultimate in reality transformers, bringing to life the earlier version from the playwright,
"Chris Christophersen," a play that hardly sees the light. Remarkably, the cast did this within days, even though differences in scripts might have crazed ... the best performers going through paces that were similar and yet separate cases.
So, there you have my first column of this new year; assuredly, those that follow, you do not have to fear; they will again be in very readable and less flighty prose, but this one is for my audience, as beguiling as a rose.
Reach Sally Hogarty at firstname.lastname@example.org