Friday, April 18, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Breaking legs on local stages back when

Theater offerings were often featured on the front page of the Daily Republic back in 1968.

Theater offerings were often featured on the front page of the Daily Republic back in 1968.

By
From page A2 | January 10, 2014 | Leave Comment

Since 2006, I have reviewed more than 100 local theatrical productions and gained a profound appreciation for both the enormous effort that goes into making a quality show and the tremendous benefits both performers and theater goers derive from it.

Numerous community theater and school programs kept the arts alive through the years, including The Belfry Players, Young Actors of Fairfield, Fairfield Civic Theater and more. Venues included the now-demolished Armijo Auditorium, community center and just about anywhere a stage could be found or made.

Local residents recall stories of “breaking legs” back when:

Barbara McFadden: My parents were very active with the Belfry Players. Rehearsals were in living rooms and shows were done at school cafeterias. The first show I ever performed in was with them and directed by (now Fairfield Mayor) Harry Price. I also worked with “We, The Valley Stage Co.” which folded shortly before Fairfield Civic Theatre began. I performed with FCT at the groundbreaking of the Fairfield Center for Creative Arts when it was still a dirt lot, and also performed at its Gala Grand Opening – exciting times for all of us involved in local arts.

Liz Towne Andrews: In my youth, I was terribly shy. I started dancing when I was 7 and became quite serious about it. By age 13, my mom signed me up for private singing lessons with the wonderful Connie Lisec. Although I was nervous, Connie talked me into auditioning for the musical “Oklahoma!” being produced by Young Actors of Fairfield. That experience would change my life forever. Not only did I get over my shyness, but it made me a very confident person and I have been involved in theater since. When looking back at the shy little girl I once was, I shudder to think what my life would have been like without dance and theater.

Jim Treganza: I have many happy memories of performing in the old Armijo auditorium under the direction of drama teacher Jack Burrill. Later, I worked briefly with Dr. Phil Rashid to try and save the building, but it was too late. They had already decided to build that “multi-purpose” facility in the Civic Center, which is of course worthless for any type of serious theater.

Lillian Miller: Armijo and Fairfield combined to put on a production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” when I was in high school. There was a huge dance scene, some really talented singers, and it was on the gym floor at Armijo (it was too big for a stage). It was a fantastic production, I still have the entire musical memorized and I can almost remember the dance.

Alan Thomas Hirschenhofer: I remember how the rec departments used to have plays in the summer at the city auditorium. One year, I’m thinking 1970, I was in a production of “Peter and the Wolf.” I remember the trees kept falling over during the play on the set and I think I yelled out to the “grandfather” to be careful because the wind was blowing so bad he could get hurt. We stayed out of trouble, had fun and made new friends from all over town. Whatever happened to such a successful program?

Kevin Tenney: My senior year at Fairfield High, all the guys in a play (Randy Allen, Michael Duch, Casey Jones, Steve Medina, Jim Quinn, and my brother, Dennis and I) would go down to the park after rehearsals and play full-contact football with absolutely no safety gear. Our drama teacher, Mrs. Dougherty, asked us to quit until the play was over. She didn’t want any of her actors getting injured. Of course, we didn’t listen. When we showed up for the final dress rehearsal, I was on crutches and Steve had his arm in a sling. Since I was the lead and Steve was the main villain, Mrs. Daugherty looked like her head was going to explode. We didn’t have understudies, so Mrs. Dougherty didn’t know what to do. Steve then pulled off his sling, and I threw down my crutches. It was a joke. We were both fine. I don’t think Mrs. Dougherty knew if she wanted to kiss us or kill us. Probably both . . .

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at tonybethkaci@gmail.com.

Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

‘Same Time, Next Year’ opens in Benicia

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
‘We Got Next’ Comedy Tour stops at Dimitri’s

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

Man to stand trial in rural Vacaville killing

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Puppies to take part in Vallejo dog show

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Barbecue brings big crowd, progress to Parkway Gardens

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Afisivalu announces run for Fairfield council

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Tonnesen seeks Fairfield City Council seat

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Family matriarch celebrates 100th birthday

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Assist-A-Grad wraps up interviews

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Night closures possible at Merchant Street ramp

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

Napa County bridge to close for work

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Town hall on crime set in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Crash shuts I-80 offramp to Highway 12

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Suisun City police log: April 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: April 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Weather for April 18, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

 
.

US / World

Putin’s choice of words shed light on Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Who gained, and what, at Ukraine talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Ukrainian unity on display with peaceful rallies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Deal reached on calming Ukraine tensions – for now

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Salmon released in California river restoration

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Jury convicts husband in Iraqi woman’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
1 dead, 1 injured in California boating accident

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

BART fined $210,000 for worker deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Military shell prompted evacuation of hundreds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California health care sign-ups exceed projections

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Obama: 8 million signed up for health care

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Dirty creek, old purse solve four-decade mystery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Man said to be homesick for prison gets 3 1/2 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Chelsea Clinton expecting first child this fall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Holder: Hate crimes ‘an affront to who we are’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

S. Sudan: 12 die after mob attacks UN base

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Peru volcano prompts evacuation of 4,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Nigeria: Fate of 115 abducted girls unknown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Spate of Mideast virus infections raises concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Samples collected from oil slick not from plane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Confused, chaotic scene described on sinking ferry

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
.

Opinion

Food brings back fond memories

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11

 
Is Jeb Bush too old school for the new GOP?

By Doyle Mcmanus | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

Internationally out of touch

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
Watch out for grandson scam

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

Why so much spent to find a plane?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
Editorial Cartoons for April 18, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History for April 18, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My husband tells our sons that they don’t need to listen to me

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B13

 
Horoscopes for April 18, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B13

.

Entertainment

 
Week in preview April 18-24, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

Review: ‘Heaven Is for Real’ heartfelt but dull

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lost radio program featuring Hank Williams found

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
‘Real Housewives’ TV star faces battery charge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Ill, hospitalized Miley Cyrus postpones more shows

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment calendar April 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Dodgers get to Bumgarner early for win over Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Badminton update: Rodriguez, Armijo head toward post season

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B7 | Gallery

MEL boys roll to easy win over SCAC

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Short-handed SCAC girls ‘gut out’ all-star win over MEL

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Sharks beat Kings 6-3 in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Montreal team sign Chad Johnson to 2-year contract

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Seattle 1B Choi banned 50 games for positive test

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Dodgers’ Puig focuses on baseball despite issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Miguel Angel Jimenez set for Champions Tour debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Sponsorship woes put Swan Racing future in doubt

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Ex-quarterback McNabb spends day in Arizona jail

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Season wrapup: Sacramento Kings’ ‘new era’ off to slow start

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Clippers-Warriors series billed as must-see TV

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Kuchar builds on Masters momentum, shares Heritage lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
War of words in Northwestern-athletes’ union fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Shumenov gets big chance in ring against ageless Hopkins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Boston Marathon makes room for more runners

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Stanford takes lead at LPGA LOTTE tournament

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Vanden clinches at least share of SCAC boys tennis title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

Toyota Camry gets a top-to-bottom makeover

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
Hot models at this year’s New York Auto Show

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Judge won’t order recalled GM cars to be parked

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Cyber cops: Target hackers may take years to find

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Walmart jumps into the money transfer biz, loudly

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Obituaries

Sealwyn Shirley Brucefield Shepherd Malkiewicz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13