February 17, 2003

THE CAST AND CREW of Sunol Repertory Theatre's 22nd melodrama, "The Vile Veterinarian, or…How Much Is That Doggie with the Widow?" are gearing up for their March 8 opening night. With leadership from director Phil Mumford and producer Diane Tiessen, the all-volunteer group is whipping up a great show.

The group started Thursday's rehearsal with a birthday cake for not one, not two, but THREE of their number: Patti Balch, Irvin Tiessen and Vivienne Scheib. The saying "you're not getting older, you're getting better" certainly applies to the endlessly creative Patti, who reached the "Big 5-0" on Feb. 12. A much sought after muralist and trompe l'oeil artist, Patti makes time to costume the SRT cast, paint the set and master her part - this season as the catty Kitty Litter.

Patti shares her birthday with Irv, who turned 64 on Feb. 12. Another versatile SRT member, Irv is the group's Prop Master and all around backstage guru. Respectfully known around here as the Birdman of Sunol, he has devoted endless hours to building bluebird boxes and monitoring the avian population his boxes serve. A retired public administrator, Irv serves on the boards of Save Our Sunol and the Kilkare Woods Association, and was appointed last year by Alameda County Supervisor Gail Steel to sit on the Sunol Citizens Advisory Committee.

Vivienne's birthday was Feb. 11, when the SRT founding member turned 82. A Sunol Glen teacher from 1959 until her retirement in 1986, Vivienne served SRT as prompter, curtain puller and prop manager for the group's first ten seasons (1982 - 1992). Illness took her out of the theater game for a few years, but Vivienne reclaimed her prompter's spot last year and will fill that bill again this year. "Since I'm 82 years old, the cast members feel the need to offer me a chair," she says affectionately, "but so far the fun of being part of such a vigorous group keeps me going!"

Hurry over to Little Valley Winery and Bistro, 11986 Main St., Sunol for tickets to "The Vile Veterinarian" opening Sat., March 8 at 8 p.m. in the Sunol Glen School auditorium and playing Fri. and Sat. nights through March 29. Tickets are $10 each.

BARDS, BLUES AND JAZZ: Little Valley continues to offer entertainment most weekends, including open stage poetry readings Friday (2-21) and March 14 at 7:30 p.m. Come and read your own verse or share your favorite poem, all ages welcome. On the music front, you can enjoy the blues stylings of Kenny Blue Ray Saturday (2-22) at 8 p.m., and on March 1 the bistro will sway with the groovy jazz of the Rob Hart Trio. Music events cost $5 per person, and reservations are a good idea. Please call 925-862-9006.

CONTACT CHANGE FOR ACA: Alameda Creek Alliance director Jeff Miller asked me to share his new phone number, 510-845-2233, and invite you to the next ACA meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Community Room at Sunol Glen School. In case you aren't familiar with ACA, it's a community restoration group formed in 1997 that is working to protect and restore Alameda Creek and its tributaries. ACA has over 1200 members and supporters in the East Bay, and is part of a consortium of 12 local, state, and federal agencies that have been pursuing steelhead trout restoration projects for the Alameda Creek watershed since 1999.

Around Sunol
Sunol.net Home