Joe the Plumber has been becoming more-and-more active in the local theater community. Plumbing for the stars has its benefits! Still, I was surprised when he proposed going to see "Young Frankenstein" at the Sacramento Community Center Theater. After all this time, Joe's going 'all theater' on us....
Reading the program shortly before curtain, I was dumbstruck to see that Jillian Owens was going to be in the ensemble. Jillian Owens! The long-legged beauty, who reigned at the Broadway Academy in the year 2000 time frame, and whom I hadn't seen since 2001, was going to be performing!
Later, I discovered Mel Brooks was promoting Jillian in last Sunday's Sacramento Bee:
Among that cast is Carmichael native Jillian Owens, who as part of the ensemble will make her first hometown appearance as a professional actor.Afterwards, we went to the stage door to greet Jillian. To my surprise, Joe already knew, and greeted, a hairdresser associated with the show. The hairdresser apparently needs Joe's services (too much hair in the drain). Life is all about networking!
Owens attended Mira Loma High School and danced at Broadway Academy and Dance Theatre West. She performed in several of David L. MacDonald's Best of Broadway productions.
"Dave was one of my mentors," she said in a telephone interview from Omaha, Neb., during the tour. Owens also performed in "Evita" and "West Side Story" at Davis Musical Theatre Company before studying musical theater at New York University.
A bit of an overachiever, Owens finished the NYU program in three years in order to start her professional career sooner.
"I did a couple of shows while in college through which I got my Equity card in my sophomore year," she said. She graduated in 2004 and stayed in New York.
While auditioning and waiting for acting gigs, she worked in arts administration, as house manager at the Joyce Theater and then at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
"I lied about my age when working in arts administration," said Owens, who is 27. "I lied up."
Owens has been with the "Young Frankenstein" tour for seven months.
"I'm looking forward to performing on the Community Center stage," she said. "I haven't been on it since I was an angel (in "The Nutcracker") for a couple of years with the Sacramento Ballet."
Brooks, who said he'd never visited Sacramento, took the opportunity to tout the hometown actress.
"The ensemble is really sensational," he said. "One of the best ones is someone you might have heard of – Jillian Owens, a lovely, lovely actress."
Jillian Owens and Christopher Ryan (who plays Dr. Frederick Frankenstein).
Just heavenly having Jillian back in town! I was a bit surprised she remembered my name after ten years (I have trouble remembering people's names after ten days....)
What about the show itself? Great show! Something about a monster....