Now that tax time is over … I can breathe again….

I am so brain dead about numbers and write offs etc., that I nearly have a heart attack each year, putting it all together, for my tax guy! I’m sure many of you share my “post tax” preparations – “sigh of relief!”

Holding On – Letting Go

From l, Barry Wiggins and Iona Morris in “Holding On - Letting Go” at Fremont Centre Theatre.

This is an in depth, sensitive, and “in your face” production, dealing with the up coming death of a family member dealing with cancer. Although the topic is undeniably dark, it is handled here in Bryan Harnetiaux’s sensitive script, with a mix of painful truths and loving humor, repeatedly intertwining. Captivatingly involving! As the play opens, we view a playful and younger Bobby and his wife Lee on a video screen (segment directed by Jed Reynolds). Once both basketball players in college, they later became pro-coaches. After a long and happy marriage, Bobby is terminally stricken with cancer, and a team of specialists are called in to tend to his comfort and needs until the end. Directed with gut-wrenching realism by James Reynolds, assisted by his son Jed Reynolds, James states: “Hospice is one of the more enlightened ways our culture responds to dying. It is to provide relief from pain, acceptance of reality, and comfort for both the patient and the friends and family.” This heart-touching story takes us on a “slice of life” journey, revealing a tough situation for everyone in its path. Looking at his mortality … facing the final chapter of his life at home, surrounded by loved ones and caring professionals … Barry Wiggins as Bobby, gives a heartfelt and brilliantly focused performance! Iona Morris as Lee, his super successful and busy wife, struggling to face the truth, is also powerfully believable! Providing much welcomed comic relief, Amentha Dymally as Bobby’s quirky mother is a bittersweet riot. Jill Remez gives a touchingly compassionate portrayal, as Bobby’s loyal nurse, caught in the middle of this couple’s unthinkable crisis. In smaller roles: Christian Malmin plays a supportive, tho’ rather goofy Chaplin of sorts, on hand to offer Bobby spiritual strength, and Lamar Hughes is touching as a likable returning social worker. Technically tight as well … congrats to Marie Miller for a beautiful set, Carol Doehring for mood setting lighting, Grady Hutt for sound, and Lois Tedrow for costumes. It takes a clever team to create a mood that involves us totally! A thought provoking, deeply moving production … well handled in every sensitive way … Do take the time to catch this true to life, disturbingly worthy drama. Running though May 27 at the Fremont Centre Theatre located at 1000 Fremont Ave. in South Pasadena. For seats, call (toll free) 866-811-4111.

Footnote:

This play runs with the producing support of “VITAS.” These volunteers give their time selflessly to terminal patients and their families. If you feel that you have the “heart” and courage for hospice care, and would like to share the gift of your time … give them a call to learn more. 1-800-966-8709.

Personal “Congrats” to the Much Loved and Multi-Talented Co-Artistic Directors of the Fremont Centre!

Lissa and James.

James and Lissa Reynolds, married nearly three decades, are a dynamic duo, who just began their 15th year of offering high quality, well received productions here, at their theatrical “home away from home.” The proud recipients of the South Pasadena Rotary Club’s 2012 “Citizen of the Year” award … they spread their love in so many ways!

The Heiress

I am so looking forward to the opening of this play! Said to be a spellbinding drama … a masterpiece of love, deception, and betrayal … I have never seen it. The original Broadway production in 1947 earned actor Basil Rathbone a Tony Award nomination, and the 1949 film was the recipient of four Academy Awards, including “Best Actress” for Olivia de Havilland. More recently, The Heiress won the 1995 “Tony” for Best Revival of a play. Soon it will star Richard Chamberlain as Dr. Austin Sloper, opening April 24 at The Pasadena Playhouse. (“Who” of a “certain age” didn’t have a major crush on Dr. Kildare in the 1960s?) Supported by a fine cast, this should be a wonderful theatrical experience! I’ll be there opening night, and tell you all about it. If you’d like to book seats ahead of time … call (626) 356-7529.

All out of “chatter” for this time … Back next week, as always.


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