"Nine" Musical

Contra Costa Civic Theater in El Cerrito CA 2009

In January 2009, I was cast in "Nine", presented at Contra Costa Civic Theater in El Cerrito CA community theater, playing the role of gun-totin' "Lina Darling".  

On Broadway, Antonio Band Aeras, at 42, took the role of movie director Guido Contini, a character based on Italian director Federico Fellini from whose 1963 classic film "8 1/2", the musical was adapted by Arthur Kopit, music and lyrics by Maury Yeston. Raul Julia played Contini in the original 1982 Broadway production directed by Tommy Tune that won the Tony Award for best musical.


"Wizard Of Oz" Musical

Mountain Play Marin County 2008

In 2004, I decided to checked off the bucket list performing in a community theater play, doing Victor/Victoria at the Masquers Theater in Point Richmond CA.  While rehearsals were underway I attended a Mountain Play (Mt. Tamalpias, Marin County CA) production for the first time, it was "My Fair Lady".  I announced to my boyfriend (now husband, Jamison Smeltz), that I would be in a Mt. play, he laughed a little ;)  After taking a Broadway dance class for the first time, and doing another play, "The Cocoanuts", I was ready to audition for the mountain.  The thrill of getting that call for callback auditons, then the casting call, is just that, thrilling!

Friends are made fast in theater, and lots of them.  It was cast perfectly for every role, gave me a real understanding of why a Director picks who he/she picks to do the job.  

Being in the chorus for this production was a real job too, lots of singing, dancing and costume changes, all on a huge outdoor stage on top of Mt. Tam.  Each Mt. Play has something a little extra special to throw in.  For this play they coordinated an airplane to fly overhead at just the right time with a banner saying "SURRENDER DOROTHY".  They also included the "Jitterbug" scene that was edited out of the movie.



"The Cocoanuts" Musical

 Contra Costa Civic Theater in El Cerrito 2008

From the stage to film, the Marx brothers first sound film was "The Cocoanuts".  Penned by George S. Kaufman, original music by Irving Berlin, the plot takes place at a resort hotel, giving Kaufman opportunities to lampoon the big Florida development boom of the 1920s. Groucho runs the place, assisted by "straight man" Zeppo, Chico and Harpo arrive with empty luggage, which they plan to fill by robbing the guests blind. 

I was delighted to be in CCCT's presention, a very high energy show, lots of dancing and general silliness played to sold-out audiences.  The talented choreographer, Amy Nielson also played the role of "Harpo" to perfection, never saying a word!  The band being onstage for the whole show added another special flavor to the set.  All in all, time well spent!


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