THE CAST AND CREW of Sunol Repertory Theatre's
22nd melodrama, "The Vile Veterinarian, or
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
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
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.