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Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Acting can't be as easy as good actors make it seem. We are blessed here in Santa Rosa to have a repertory company made up of top theater arts students from around the country who put on professional plays every summer. And all right in my back yard.

It's a real boon to the local scene in one way, although it does make you look more critically at some of the less polished productions in community theater. We try not to be too critical, though, because we're grateful for any effort people make to get us out of our easy chairs and into the theater.

Tonight a group of us went to the Santa Rosa JC campus to see the Summer Repertory Theatre production of "Little Shop of Horrors." This delightful piece of dark and sinister musical comedy has been on the local stage before, and done well then, but we thoroughly enjoyed the show tonight.

The energy of the young company is engaging and contagious. I've never been quite so conscious of body language in a stage production, and I think that's a credit to the lead actors, who put so much into their parts. I've been watching so many movies lately that I'm more aware of the subtleties that a really committed actor brings to a role, and you don't always get that on stage, where some business is necessarily broader than it can be on screen.

But we were sitting close enough to the stage that I could see the little things, like an uplifted chin or slightly slumped shoulders, that prove how much the actors believed in what they were doing. Maybe every gesture and nuance couldn't be picked up from the back of the house, but those sitting farther away still get the benefit of fully realized characters.

The villain of this piece, of course, is the plant, and the two actors who performed the part (one moving the body and another doing the voice) were terrific. I think the care and planning that went into the creation of this character are critical to the success of the production, and the designers, along with the two actors, really made it come alive.

We liked the show, and I personally was happy to be out with a bunch of people taking it in together, instead of home alone watching one more DVD movie. I can do that any night, but I don't get many chances like this. It was fun, and it was a pleasant diversion before my audit tomorrow.

garden path

The path through the garden leading to my front door, shown in late July.

Yes, tomorrow is the day the insurance company is auditing the company books. At least, I assume the auditor they're sending will find his way here. He made it last year, but he didn't call this week to confirm the appointment, so I have to take it on faith that it's still on. I definitely wasn't about to call him.

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Kim, Fresh Hell, July 31, Introducing the Jones Family

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