March 15, 2004

Of course I saved the best for last! Last week when mentioning the cast of this season's blockbuster melodrama by the Sunol Repertory Theater, I failed to give credit to those who truly work the magic behind the scenes - and one who works the ivory keys in front as well.

The talented crew of this year's production of "Trapped in a Villain's Web Or…Weave me a Loan" are: Derek Johnson, Technical director; Neil Davies, Paul Miller and Bill Webster, Technical Crew; Patti Balch, Costume Director and Set Design; Irv Tiessen, Set and Prop Construction; Phil Mumford, Stage Manager; Lynn Kozma, Prompter; Suzanne Diers, Choreographer; Louise Throop, House Manager; Derek Johnsion and Bree James, Program Design; Monica Schram, Publicity; Tom Harland, Billboard Artist; Diane Fries and Cathy Lipman, Makeup; and the ushers are Sunol Glen School's 7th and 8th grade students. Last and most certainly not least is the talented pianist, G. Allen Schell. A 6-year veteran pianist of SRT, Allen enjoys the challenge of improvising musical sounds to reflect the action on the stage. Allen also plays keyboards in church and classical recitals as soloist and accompanist as well. He currently provides musical direction for the Asbury United Methodist Church and makes his home in Livermore.

Don't miss your chance to experience this year's play by the Sunol Repertory Theater. Thickets are still available for the remaining performance dates of March 19, 20, 26 and 27th. Tickets can be purchased at Sunol Corners Store.

Mark your calendars for another seasonal tradition here in Sunol. Niles Canyon Railway is ready to introduce their annual Wildflower train days and returning this year for those wine tasting enthusiasts are our local vineyards offering premium wine on each Sunday the train is running during the month of April and two weeks in May. So while you are enjoying the scenery of lupine, California poppies, mustard flower, and wild rosemary you can also enjoy a taste of wine. Chouinard Vineyards will be serving wine on the train at 12:00, 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. on April 4, Elliston Vineyards on April 18, Fenstra Vineyards on April 25, Little Valley Vineyards on May 2 and Westover Vineyards on May 9. Another annual tradition for Niles Canyon Railway is their School Trains. The Railroad invites schools to participate in an educational program designed to teach the children train safety, which they call "Operation Lifesaver". After an approximately 30 minute presentation the kids get to ride the hour-long train. According to Al McCracken, Chief Station Agent, this program is very popular and there are still dates available nearly every Wednesday in April and May for those schools interested in participating. Please call (510) 727-4202 for more information. Another popular train rental is their Caboose. You can rent the caboose for a nominal charge plus regular fare for each person attending your party or event. The caboose holds 20 to 25 people and you can bring your own refreshments to serve your guests. Al says, "it's the #1 popular car and the best seat of the whole ride is in the cupola". Please call (408) 249-2953 to reserve the caboose or you can even rent the whole train for larger parties and events.

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