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‘Mom’

23094e22-a6c0-11e6-a332-8dea80877534-1020x692Now in its fourth season, this is another network comedy that continues to fire on all cylinders. The bulk of the credit goes to the show’s two leads (Allison Janney and Anna Faris) who play a mother-and-daughter pair coping with life as recovering alcoholics. 9:01 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, on CBS.

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IMG_9749Thanks to absolutely everyone for all the birthday love. It’s been quite a weekend. First, a great visit with Tammi and Bradetta in their new neighborhood, then viewing the NYE fireworks with a stalwart group of college friends. Then my fifth annual Polar Bear Plunge at Matthews Beach with brave/crazy members of my family (love you Brandon, Kayla, Chris and Jenny) on Jan. 1st. Next, the second annual Cozy New Year gathering (including my birthday) at an undisclosed location with a collection of beautiful and talented artists (Jenni, Matthew, Valerie, Jeff, Laurell, Adrian,Dara, Elizabeth and Sheila, you are the best). A nice visit with Mom Shirley, and then finally a great dinner with dear friends I hadn’t laid eyes on in over a year (Darcey, Brian, Deb and Chris, you are truly lovely souls). What’s next?

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‘Mom’

momChuck Lorre’s new sticom ends its freshman season with one character celebrating a year of sobriety, while another goes into labor. Initially the show  was a little off-putting — humorously dealing with teenage pregnancy, addiction and prison time — but it has become a gem due to the one-two comic punch of its leads (Anna Faris and Allison Janney). Season finale, 9:30 p.m. Monday, April 14, on CBS.

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So, here we are now into the second month of a new year. How’s it going?

I turned 50 back on Jan. 2nd. My sister Jenny threw me a great party, inviting all sorts of family and many of my good friends. It was an amazing afternoon. Thanks sis (and Mom, who funded the operation).

The remainder of January was spent in rehearsal (for “The Drowsy Chaperone”) and performance (“Casting Call” at Breeders Theater). Often I did both on the same day. I was very proud of the “Casting Call” cast. After a seemingly endless rehearsal process, they emerged with a pretty damn funny show. Take a bow Scheide, Erika, Teresa, Laura, Andrew and Eric. You done good.

It’s the end of Hell Week for “Chaperone” and I’m thinking we just may pull it off. It’s a cute, 1920s-set “musical within a comedy.” I play Feldzieg, the producer of the “show within the show.” I’m working with a whole bunch of insanely talented people. Lots of late nights and hard work, but here we are. “Ding-a-ling!”

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What a nice day. I found a lovely alternative to the way I usually want to spend this holiday (Hint, it involves cowering in a corner cut off from all communication).

I drove down to Mom’s in Tacoma and helped her out with household stuff, then we drove up to Jenny and Kirk’s place for what has become a lovely tradition, a Valentine’s dinner. All the kids were there (Kira made a brief appearance before heading out with some friends), some of Kayla’s friends and Kirk’s Mom, Shirley.

Nice chat, some poetry reading and storytelling, exchanging of cards…and food. Sister Jenny always does such a great job with the dinner.

Then the drive back to Tacoma (with a quick phone call from Mom’s brother, Dick and his wife Betty) where we watched the last part of the “The Amazing Race” premiere on tv. Good stuff.

Nice day. Good food. Lots of Love.

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Emotionally, it was a tough year. Early in 2009 my dear friend/co-worker, Janine Dallas Steffan passed away unexpectedly. At work I still look over to her desk (even though she reitred in 2008) and miss seeing her smiling face.

Also in January last year my Mom was hospitalized unexpectedly and had major back surgery. She’s recovering, but it’s been a lot of work, for both my sister Jenny and myself (not to mention Mom). We both get down to see her on alternate weekend, to help her out.

Performance-wise. I did a musical version of “Jane Eyre” last February for Seattle Musical Theatre. I played the butler, Robert, had a couple of great lines and worked with a wonderful director, Gregory Magyar (alas, he’s since moved to Texas). The music from that show still haunts me. In a good way. Also in Jan. I played Father Kenny in a great production of “A Man of No Importance” for Showtunes Theatre Company. Frances Leah King was another great director to work with, and that show still gets me weepy.

In May it was “Guys and Dolls” at SMT, then another show (“The Last Magician”) with Breeders Theater at the E.B. Foote Winery. Sept./Oct. brought one of my most wonderful and thrilling theater experiences, “The Producers” at SMT. Ja wohl! Then it was on to “Guys and Dolls 2.0” for my dear friend, Loretta in Federal Way and “The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge,” which I’m still working on today (more to come on that one).

Other highlights of 2009. A great hike with my Uncle Roy (and other assorted family) in June in celebration of his 82nd birthday. The reunion (of sorts) of a whole bunch of former Edge of the World Theatre performers, also in June. A visit from my sister Suzie and her kids that included a trip to “Twilight”-land (Forks and La Push) and a great gathering at my Mom’s house. And my lovely vacation to Sechelt and Vancouver Island in Canada (see previous posts). And topping it off was a nice New Year’s Eve at my friend Marsha’s house on Queen Anne (see photo).

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Table reading of "Snowbound"

Blogging live from a reading of the new play by TM Sell, “Snowbound.” It will be performed this winter by Breeders Theater at E.B. Foote Winery.

BT is a theatre troupe I’ve been working with for years. We perform twice a year at the winery. I actually won’t be involved with “Snowbound.” But they needed help with this reading, so here I am.

After having breakfast in Bremerton yesterday (see previous blog entry), and an afternoon rehearsal in Federal Way for the murder mystery, I pretty much collapsed on the sofa Sat. night.

Today I was up early. Breakfast at the most excellent Joe Bar, then off to Tacoma to spend the afternoon with Mom. Housework, watering plants and grocery shopping. Mom seemed o.k. Not as peppy as usual, but her leg was bothering her again. Now in Des Moines for the reading.

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