Saturday, February 23, 2008

SN&R Article Number Two Posted

Left: Professor Henry Higgins (Steve Isaacson) reads to Eliza Doolittle (Lauren Miller) in Davis Musical Theatre Company’s My Fair Lady.
Photo believed to be taken by Dannette Vassar - COURTESY OF DAVIS MUSICAL THEATRE

Davis Musical Theatre Company presents My Fair Lady February 22-March 16 (8:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:15 p.m. Sunday) at Hoblit Performing Arts Center, 607 Pena Drive in Davis. Tickets are $16-$18, available online at or by calling (530) 756-3682.

Just as Scott mentioned, Sacramento News and Review posted on-line a second article, focusing on DMTC (the first on-line and print article focused on Herb Shultz):

Lauren Miller screams the line in a cockney Eliza Doolittle accent as a row of fellow actors and extras feign being offended. But Steve Isaacson cannot hold it in any longer.

“BWAAAA-HAAAAH-HAAAAAH!!!” Isaacson blurts out from behind his fellow cast members.

It’s 10 days before the February 22 opening of Davis Musical Theatre Company’s production of Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady at the Hoblit Performing Arts Center. Isaacson will have to learn to control his outbursts very quickly if he is to nail his lead role as Professor Henry Higgins.

It should not be a problem for the veteran community-theater impresario, who co-owns Davis Musical Theatre Company with his wife and My Fair Lady‘s director Jan Isaacson and has starred in so many shows over the years, it’d fill the rest of this space just to list them all.

Spending time with the Isaacsons, Miller and the rest of the cast and crew, you get the feeling you are with a family more than a local theater troupe. Perhaps that is due to the family ties on and off stage.

Of course, there are the Isaacsons. Jan says the couple devotes so many hours to DMTC for the same reason everyone else at rehearsals does: “We all do it for the love of it.”

Miller is married to cast member Mike McElroy; in fact, they first met when DMTC mounted The Music Man in 2003. They started going out about a year later and married a year after that.

“We’ve done a few shows apart,” says McElroy. “That’s not fun.”

“The best part is we get to be together for rehearsal time,” added Miller.

But it means when they get home, most discussions center on their shows.

“It’s kinda sad; that’s all we talk about,” Miller said with a laugh.

The couple are but young pups compared to Rich and Julie Kulmann, who stand beside one another in the My Fair Lady chorus. The Kulmanns, who have been with the company 20 years, have two children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Julie could have been speaking for any of the coupled players as she noted, “If it weren’t for the shows, we would not have seen each other much.”

Herb Schultz, who plays Higgins’ bumbling friend Colonel Pickering (see “The political stage,” SN&R Arts&Culture, February 21) and his partner of nine years, Stuart Leviton, are DMTC benefactors. A veteran comedic actor in several DMTC musicals, he auditioned for both the Higgins and Pickering parts and got call backs for both. He believes his reading of Pickering’s funniest scenes got him the supporting part.

“For some reason, I went into full comic mode,” Schultz said. “I did it in a way I called Dr. Bombay of Bewitched meets Sir Evelyn from Anything Goes. Everyone was in stitches.”

His performance will be aided by lightened hair, heavy makeup and the costumes picked out for him by Jean Henderson, who has been DMTC’s costumer for 18 years. She came to the company first to try out for the chorus in Brigadoon. When it was discovered she knew how to sew, a new volunteer career in community theater was born. She works during lunch hours and pretty much holes up in her impressively arranged clothing floor during the run of rehearsals and shows.

“It’s like playing Barbie dolls with real people,” she says of her role with the troupe. Her long association with DMTC has led to networking with costumers from other companies. That led Henderson to a discovery. “We’re all in it for the same reason,” she said. “We love community theater.”

She particularly loves the DMTC because, you guessed it, “this is like a family.”

Friday, February 22, 2008

Flamboyant Kylie Annoys Some

PETA is agitated against her:
PETA called Minogue cold-blooded for toting a python purse.
As I tried to explain to Gabe, the python could have been thrifty use of roadkill, but he wasn't convinced. Anyway, the question shouldn't really be whether or not Kylie is cold-blooded, but whether or not she was stylish? Do you agree?

Anyway, I found this next thing to be a bit much, not so much stylish as decadent, and more disturbing than the python. Except for the back-bending part, which strikes me as fun:
KYLIE Minogue celebrated winning Best International Female Solo Artist Award at the Brits Awards by swigging a £35,000 ($74,700) Flawless cocktail given to her by another VIP clubber, the Daily Mail reported. The cocktail, a trademark of the exclusive London club Movida, is made from Louis XII cognac, half a bottle of Cristal Rose champagne, brown sugar, bitters and a few chips of 24-carat edible gold leaf. But the bottom of the glass contains the most expensive surprise –an 11-carat diamond ring.

Two security guards were assigned to follow the drink from preparation stage right up until the last drop.

A source told the Daily Mail, the buyer did not want to be named but said: “He’s known in the royal circles.”

The 39-year-old singer added fuel to the gossip fires by moving a ring she was wearing on her index finger to her wedding finger to accommodate the sparkly new accessory before dancing with her gal pals to her popular single WOW.

Clearly enjoying her themselves at the crowded after party, Kylie and Aussie singer Natalie Imbruglia held a back-bending competition to see who was the most flexible.

"It was a close call. But Kylie probably won. It was all just for fun really," a party guest told the Daily Mail.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tuesday & Wednesday Night DMTC Rehearsal Pictures

Left: "The Rain In Spain." Steve Isaacson as Henry Higgins, Herb Shultz as Colonel Pickering, and Lauren Miller as Eliza Doolittle.

Left: Ascot.

Left: "Get Me To The Church On Time" tableaux.

Left: Lauren Miller as Eliza Doolittle.

Left: "Get Me To The Church On Time." Left to right, Trevor Hoffman as Alfred Doolittle, Emily Clark, Scott Sablan, Marisa Casillas, Jenny Parks, Joshua Smith, and Julie Kulmann.
Page Berghoffer In Town from Seattle

Left: Page lightens up the hushed train-station gloom of a Spaghetti Factory afternoon.

Having provided Target Stores with lots of toy designs for last year's Christmas rush, Page is now designing a series of collectible holiday-themed Rubber Duckys (including a Hannukah Rubber Ducky) that will soon hit Costplus stores nationwide.

(What some people do for a living! I suppose I should have gotten a Graphics Design degree too....)
What Moon Over Yonder Window Breaks?

Last night's lunar eclipse!

Plus, there was some kind of pretty, Moon-planet (Jupiter?) conjunction going on last Friday night as well....
You Have To Hand It To Herb!

He knows how to get good press!:

Professor Henry Higgins (Steve Isaacson), Eliza Doolittle (Lauren Miller) and Col. Pickering (Herb Schultz) click their heels to “The Rain in Spain” in Davis Musical Theatre Company’s production of My Fair Lady.

(Photo believed to be by Dannette Vassar - COURTESY OF DAVIS MUSICAL THEATRE)

Davis Musical Theatre Company presents My Fair Lady February 22-March 16 (8:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:15 p.m. Sunday) at Hoblit Performing Arts Center, 607 Pena Drive, Davis. Tickets are $16-$18, available online at or by calling (530) 756-3682.

Two hours before his most recent State of the State speech, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had one thing on his mind.

My Fair Lady.

That’s how Herb Schultz, the governor’s senior advisor on health care, recalls it.

The former action-movie star was preparing for his January 8 address to a joint legislative session when he paused to encourage his health-care reform point person, who was poised to snag a role that night in Davis Musical Theatre Company’s production of the Lerner and Loewe chestnut.

“He was very enthusiastic as I told him that I was going to callbacks that night for leading roles,” Schultz said during a break from rehearsals at Hoblit Performing Arts Center. “He was strongly encouraging, thought it was fantastic.”

Most community-theater actors do not have two constantly buzzing BlackBerrys on the sofa cushion in front of them and a jacket emblazoned with the California governor’s logo hanging on an adjacent armrest. But after grueling hours doing the dance with legislators, lobbyists and policy wonks to craft the administration’s ambitious health-care agenda, Schultz is spending his “down time” pounding the boards alongside computer geeks, high-school teachers and great-grandparents, preparing to play Henry Higgins’ befuddled buddy, Colonel Pickering.

The lifelong theater lover would not have it any other way. Growing up in suburban Philadelphia, Shultz performed in musicals from middle school through high school, always gravitating toward the comedic roles. By college, his life took a more serious track that would eventually lead him to the law and government. The only time he got to satisfy his theater jones at American University in Washington, D.C., was in 1983, during the second semester of his junior year, when he played Motel, the tailor in Fiddler on the Roof.

He and his partner of nine years, Los Angeles-based business lawyer Stuart Leviton, tried to fill the void by seeing all the live theater they could, usually near their second home in West Hollywood or during trips to New York City’s Great White Way. “I had a strong desire for years to get back but did not,” Schultz said of his stage absence.

He finally got back in 2002 when, as a member of the Gray Davis administration, Schultz had lunch with a lobbyist friend who just so happened to be directing a Lambda Players production of the comical farce The Ritz and mentioned auditions were being held the following week. Schultz quickly prepared for and landed the role of chubby-chaser Claude Perkins.

When a friend who was the chief of staff to a state senator invited Schultz and Leviton to the 2003 DMTC production of Guys and Dolls he had choreographed, the couple fell in love with the plucky, all-volunteer company that mounts lavish shows on shoestring budgets. “This is a real community treasure,” Schultz said.

He and Leviton have been financial supporters ever since. But the encounter sparked more than generosity. “It again piqued my burning desire to get back on stage,” Schultz said. Responding to audition notices, he snagged roles in DMTC’s 2004 staging of Bye Bye Birdie and, a part he always dreamed of playing, Sir Evelyn in Anything Goes.

That briefly shaped up to be Schultz’s final local performance. Shortly after the run, he left his job as Schwarzenegger’s acting director of the state Employment Development Department and returned to L.A. to be with Leviton and their bichon-poodle mix, Barnaby. He later became vice president of government programs with Denver-based McKesson Health Solutions. Jaunts to Davis were not on his cross-country itinerary.

But about a year later, Schultz returned to the Schwarzenegger administration as one of a handful of senior advisors, and those DMTC audition bills again caught his eye.

Lest anyone think My Fair Lady is a diversion from a moribund political battle—Schwarzenegger’s health-care proposal was recently shot down by a state Senate committee—Schultz vows that he and the governor continue to vigorously push for universal coverage and comprehensive reform. “Personally, I have not slowed down,” he said defiantly.

Schultz says the tricks of the political trade he’s picked up over the years have made him a better actor.

“I am recognized for my skills, from being a lobbyist and a good political mind, in bringing people with diverse backgrounds and philosophies together to support a goal. I did 1,300 stakeholder meetings on health-care reform. These skills come in handy in working together with a cast.”

His latest cast is now calling him back to the stage, back to rehearsal.

Home at last.
Powerful Earthquake Near Wells, Nevada

Really strong, with a lot of damage potential. The Gods of the Great Basin must not be pleased:
WELLS, Nev. -- A strong earthquake rocked rural northeastern Nevada town Thursday, shattering windows, rupturing water lines and felling brick building facades in the mostly unoccupied historical district. No serious injuries were reported, authorities said.

The magnitude of the quake, initially estimated at 6.3, was later revised to 6.0 by the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo.

An estimated 20 to 25 buildings in the old historical district have been "heavily damaged," Elko County Sheriff's Sgt. Kevin McKinney told The Associated Press by telephone.

The town of about 1,300 was closed to all but residents, the Nevada Highway Patrol said. Because it is a crossroad for travelers on Interstate 80 and U.S. 93 about 60 miles west of the Utah line, officials were posting signs along those highways to fill up on gasoline elsewhere.

"In northern Nevada gas stops are few and far between," said Trooper Jim Stewart. "We don't want motorists stranded in the middle of nowhere."

The temblor, centered in a sparsely populated area 11 miles southeast of Wells near the Nevada-Utah line, occurred at 6:16 a.m. and was felt across much of the West, from northern Idaho and Utah to Southern California, officials said.

...More than a dozen aftershocks were reported.

...Three injuries were reported, but they were "not very serious -- a broken arm, some head lacerations, some difficulty breathing," he said.

Dan Burns, spokesman with the Nevada Division of Emergency Management, said transportation and safety personnel were inspecting roads, bridges and dams in the area for structural damage.

...The Flying J Truck Stop was evacuated because of a propane leak, Undersheriff Rocky Gonzalez said, but no fires broke out. The leak was contained by midmorning.

Gonzalez said deputies were going door to door to check on residents, and the Red Cross had set up a temporary evacuation center at the fire station.

About 37 families had registered at the center but there was no count on the number of people and no indication how many would need a place to stay overnight, said Caroline Punches of the Northern Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross.

A manager at the Flying J said the store was a wreck, with groceries and goods scattered. One woman was reportedly injured when a cigarette rack fell on her.

A man who answered the phone at Wells Elementary School said there were cracks in walls and items were displaced.

"It was pretty bad," said Jane Kelso, who answered the phone at the Motel 6. "Everything in our whole building shook.

"We have cracks in our walls."

In Wendover, Utah, just over the Nevada line, Tammy Wadsworth was ironing clothes when the quake hit.

"I kept thinking, 'When is it going to quit?' A couple pictures fell off the walls," she said. "One of my grandkids ran outside. They didn't know what else to do. It scared them."

...Tony Lowry, an assistant professor of geophysics at Utah State University, said the size of the quake and its location was unusual.

"It's not common at all," Lowry said. "In that part of Nevada, I don't think we've seen any like that in the last 150 years or so.

"It's not one of the places we would've looked or expected."

According the USGS, the quake occurred along the Independence Valley fault system that runs east of Wells and near the Pequop Mountains.

The most recent surface rupture on the fault zone "likely occurred several tens of thousands of years ago," the agency in a statement.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Changes In Real Earnings

Been tanking lately.
Looking More Like A Rout

Obama beats Clinton in Wisconsin, and crushes her in Hawaii.
More News You Can't Possibly Use

Ho-hum. I am a blog addict, the worst kind:
A growing number of people are becoming addicted to their mobile phones, Blackberries and other digital devices, researchers are warning.

Techno addiction can become so bad that people wake up several times a night to check their e-mails and text messages.

...Prof Kakabadse said in the early stages of addiction, workers were often very productive, replying to e-mails and messages, but as time went on there were more serious consequences.

"Some people are very anxious when they don't have their technological gadgets next to them.

"They might get into trouble with their employers as they spend more and more time checking messages."

She said it was often difficult to detect when someone had become an addict, "And when it is detectable it is often too late".

She stopped short of calling for warnings to be put on all gadgets, but said employers should provide training on the safe use of technological devices they provided to their staff.
"My Fair Lady" Tuesday Rehearsal At DMTC

Left: Lauren Miller as Eliza Doolittle and Steve Isaacson as Henry Higgins.

Left: Lauren Miller as Eliza Doolittle.

Left: Herb Shultz as Colonel Pickering, Steve Isaacson as Henry Higgins, and Lauren Miller as Eliza Doolittle.

Left: Trevor Hoffman as Alfred Doolittle. Visible ensemble include, left to right, Jabriel Shelton, Scott Sablan, Marisa Casillas, Jenny Parks, and Joshua Smith.

Left: Trevor Hoffman as Alfred Doolittle, plus ensemble, including, left to right, Laura Woodruff, Joshua Smith, Erin Kelly, Rich Kulmann, Julie Kilpatrick, Marisa Casillas (obscured), Scott Sablan, and Fred Garcia.

Left: Trevor Hoffman as Alfred Doolittle (plus Emily Clark). Also, left to right, Crystal Low, Rich Kulmann, Julie Kilpatrick, Karina Summers, and Stacey Sheehan.
"Clue" Opening At Garbeau's

Left: Photo by Stephanie Hudson

Clue: The Musical
February 29 - April 20
(no performances March 21 - 23)

Mark at Garbeau's writes regarding "Clue", and also regarding a fund-raising opportunity for your favorite theater company.

Even though our core group at DMTC is currently in Tech Week for "My Fair Lady," I'd still like to get as many DMTC folks to make reservations and get out to Garbeau's as possible for the first two weeks. DMTC has a legitimate 501(c)(3) tax id number, so we qualify for donations.
Garbeau's is opening the first two weekends of its upcoming show, "Clue: The Musical!" as a fund-raising opportunity for Sacramento area theater companies (yes, that includes Woodland and Davis). In the process, you get to see a very fun and light-hearted musical murder mystery with some great talent that you probably know...

Here's the deal:

1) Call the box office at (916) 985-6361 to reserve a seat/table during the first two weeks of the run of the show. AT THE TIME OF THE RESERVATION, state that you are attending to benefit - (theater's name). Both show-only and dinner-and-show reservations will be accepted. Your reservation (as always) will be secured by a credit card and is subject to the same no-exceptions cancellation policy as everyone else. The box office will give you that info....

2) Show up, have fun, and try to guess "Who killed Mr. Boddy, in which room, and with which weapon?" Whether you identify the killer or not, $10 of your ticket price will be donated the theater of your choice. (Subject to seat availability, but the potential on a 220 seat capacity house is pretty good!)


1) The theater company must have a legitimate 501(c)(3) tax id number to be eligible to receive donations.

2) To make sure a portion of your ticket gets to the right place, you must name your company at the time of making the reservation. Once you are at Garbeau's, you may NOT exercise an "Oh, by the way, I'm here for (name)" option. (This means that it would be pointless to talk to other existing patrons to let them know they should support your cause. )

3) It bears repeating that anyone who makes a reservation is subject to the same cancellation policy that all of our patrons get. Don't create an awkward situation between theater companies---abide by the policy!

4) Garbeau's is more than happy to have an open-book policy for the other theater heads. If you want to make sure the accounting is right, let us know and we'll show you the reservation listings. (Theater owners may receive one free ticket per owner if they wish. )

5) After everything is totaled, a check will be given to the appropriate theater companies within net 30 days of the event. (This is standard for non-profit events. )

To get more information about the productions, please visit the website at

Thank you!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Land Of The Enchanted

I didn't realize Bush used the occasion of a 2003 New Mexico speech (I was outside the arena where this occurred) to call New Mexico the "Land Of The Enchanted."
Return Of The Green Destiny

Ever since the telephone broke about two weeks ago, it's been nothing but domestic peace and tranquillity. The only phone calls I ever got anyway were from E.'s bill collectors, donation-hungry charities and political candidates, and various salesmen, so I missed the phone hardly at all.

Of course, it's good to have one around in the event of emergencies....

Last night, about 1 a.m., E. heard what she thought at first was the boom of fireworks. Then she realized someone was tipping over garbage cans in the alley. She looked out the window and saw that one of the army of faceless, nameless garbage pickers that prowl the alleys of Sacramento every night was going the extra mile, by flinging all the garbage from every can onto the pavement, and just leaving the big heaps of refuse as he went from can to can looking for aluminum cans to recycle. E. had to call the police right away.

Only trouble was, she left her cell phone in the car, and the home phone, as mentioned, wasn't working. So, in her bathrobe, she quietly crept downstairs and snuck into her car to retrieve her phone, as the noisy interloper poked his head into one garbage can after another. Running upstairs, and using her cell phone, she first alerted me at the office ("MMMMAAAARRRRCCCC!"), then called the cops.

I raced over, and found two cop cars in the alley, their lights a'flashing. Standing in a blaze of light in front of one of the cop cars, the plaid-jacketed suspect held his hands behind his head as the cops dug into his pockets. The cops chewed him out and put him to work putting all the garbage back into all the garbage cans, and setting them all aright.

"We can't cite him with anything," one of the cops told us, "but we can do this."

"He is disturbing the peace! He should be arrested!" E. said. Going into the back yard, Sparky saw me and happily started barking. "Why didn't you bark at the mokum?" E. said to Sparky.

"I will be the detective of the neighborhood," E. said. "I will hide behind the garbage can, jump out, and poke him on the head with a stick! I will throw acid in his face!"

"Even though you have no acid," I reminded her. "Even though I have no acid," she said and smiled. "Sparky, go get some acid!" I said, as Sparky cluelessly wagged his tail in happiness.

"I am the Green Destiny!" E. righteously proclaimed. Ah yes, the Green Destiny, from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon!:
Who am I? I am... I am the Invincible Sword Goddess, armed with the incredible Green Destiny. Be you Li or Southern Crane, lower your head and ask for mercy. I am the desert dragon. I leave no trace. Today I fly over Eu-Mei. Tomorrow... I'll kick over Wudan Mountain!
Candidates Stealing Campaign Songs

I hope the artists give politicians nothing but grief, forever:
He battled the Vietcong but now John McCain has apparently come a-cropper against the Swedes.

The Republican candidate, who had already been banned by John Mellencamp, the American rocker, from using his hits 'Our Country' and 'Pink Houses', found out that he has few fans in Scandinavia when he tried to adopt Abba's "Take a chance on me" as his campaign song. After running into difficulties with the Swedish supergroup, McCain lamented to reporters on board his plane that it wasn't as easy to play the song as he thought.

“It gets expensive in a big hurry and if you’re not careful you can alienate some Swedes,” he joked.“If word gets out to Stockholm that we’re using Abba music, then there’ll be a worsening in U.S.-Swedish relations.”

...Mike Huckabee got a public dressing-down from Tom Scholtz of rock band Boston after he played their hit "More than a feeling" at campaign events. Scholtz left no one in any doubt of his feelings about Huckabee, who, he said was "the polar opposite of most everything Boston stands for." Adding that he was supporting Barack Obama, Scholtz complained: "By using my song, and my band's name Boston, you have taken something of mine and used it to promote ideas to which I am opposed. In other words, I think I've been ripped off, dude!"
RIP, Jenna Faeth

As with everyone else in this society, theater groups rely heavily, even exclusively, on the automobile to bring people to and from the theater, so an accident like this really hurts. It could have been any of us....

From all of us at DMTC, the deepest condolences to Jenna's family, and to the ARC theater community.....

An 18-year-old American River College student has been killed and three others were injured in a one-car accident on Highway 99 in Madera.

Jenna Faeth of Carmichael suffered fatal injuries when the 1986 Toyota she was driving drifted off the highway and overturned several times about 4:30 a.m. Sunday.

Faeth lost control of the car after she tried to direct it back onto the road, the Fresno Bee quoted officials as saying.

Faeth, a 2007 graduate of El Camino High School, was the lead in the college's theater production. "Kimchee and Chitlins," a satiric comedy, was due to open Friday.

Three passengers were taken to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, 30 miles south of Madera.

Andy Hoover, 24, of Orangevale was admitted to the trauma unit with major injuries and was listed in critical condition Monday.

Johnny Sittisin, 19, of North Highlands and Britney Baskerville, 19, were treated for minor and moderate injuries, respectively, and released.

The occupants wore seat belts, and alcohol did not appear to be a factor, the Fresno Bee quoted officials as saying.

The four students were returning from a theater festival at California State University, Los Angeles, in time for a rehearsal of the American River play Sunday.

Other ARC students and staff members who attended the festival departed Los Angeles later Sunday.
Knee-Cap That Standup

Here's a joke that John McCain thought was real funny when speaking to a Republican audience in 1998:
Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno.
Nice to know the gook go-fer has such a wicked sense of humor. Break a leg, there, John!

Monday, February 18, 2008