It's melodrama weekend at Dunbar
A few weekends back, we enjoyed a sumptuous repast at the Glen Ellen firehouse's annual Mother's Day Breakfast. According to Captain Flapjack (a fit moniker for this fellow) who also goes by Rusty Sims (most likely on schooldays), hundreds of people were fed, entertained and delighted. He says close to 800, though final figures weren't available the day we spoke. In any case, it was a great success all around.
Sweetie and I marveled at the careening kids in the bouncy toy, admiring the cautious restraint of some and the unbounded enthusiasm of others, all thrown in together. Quite a scene.
We shared our breakfast table with visiting Sonomans Kathleen and Jerry Hill along with their dear friend, Joanne Hurley. Jerry, looking fit and happy, entertained us with stories while Kathleen and I sampled the good fare. No one left hungry.
Among the celebrity guests at the firehouse was Kate Kennedy and several of her amazing Dunbar School actors. We missed seeing those kids entirely, but did note two of the proud parents who have been helping with this year's melodrama. That would be Kymm Falls, mom of Isabel, aka Jenny Lind; and George Psaledakis, papa of Max, aka Robert Woeful.
I've watched these two in rehearsals and I can promise you a hilarious show. You'll love the various bunches of good guys (and gals) and bad guys (and gals) who all excel. The Bunkhouse boys are among my favorites with their rowdy antics - mostly because of how quietly they sit waiting their turn on stage.
I simply love how Kate coaxes the hidden talents from each of her charges. From the super shy folks who become the noisiest sound crew you can imagine to sweet little Jose who stars as a wily criminal.
"Wrongful Doings at Woeful Ranch, or ... I Hate Dat Wascal!" shows this weekend. Stage professionals Suzy and Squire Fridell initiated the melodrama at Dunbar when their daughter Lexy (now a star on the New York stage) was at Dunbar. That was 19 years ago and the shows continue as a right of passage for fifth-graders at the Glen Ellen School.
I think it's a brilliant way to corral crazy kids in the weeks before promotion. They work hard, they bond and they learn lessons ranging from history (Squire includes a few true historical Western characters), to all of the language arts (reading, writing, speaking, listening) to responsibility. And, on top of all that, the shows are wildly entertaining. Not just for the proud parents (who pack the audience), but for returning Dunbar students (who love to see new students play their old parts), to folks all around the Valley. All children love it; so even if your school loyalties are attached to other campuses, take a little time out to catch Kate and the kids this weekend.
"Wrongful Doings" runs May 27 to 29, Friday through Sunday, beginning a 6 p.m. under the oaks on Haver Stage in Cunninghame Field at Dunbar School, corner of Henno and Dunbar roads. But don't wait to arrive at showtime. Generations of Dunbar families gather on the lawns beginning at 5 p.m. to celebrate another successful school year. Bring your own picnic supplies or buy goodies there.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Your posse (two adults, two kids) gets in for the bargain price of $25. Questions? Call Kate Eagles at 888-9322, who, by the way, is the producer of this year's show. Meanwhile, back to the weekend of the firehouse pancake feed. That was also the weekend of the fabulous fundraiser for Brad Dreyer. Initially I was reluctant to attend, fearing it would be a sad affair. Au contraire, the event was positive, uplifting and highlighted the great solid community that we all share in this Valley. If you'd like to find out more about Brad, Google Friends of Brad Dreyer, and if you're feeling particularly flush, hit the donate button.
See you at Cunninghame Field this weekend.
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