It was the last performance of Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit in Tacoma Little Theatre’s 99th season . . . meaning that the dead can return as needed when “spirited” séances go wrong.
Peggy and I met friends for dinner at the seriously crowded Spanky Burgers & Brew on Sixth and Pine. We chose Spanky’s because they are quick and only minutes away from TLT. We got caught up quickly on our lives. This was fairly easy since we had just met for dinner the night before. Donn and Deb had been to Spanky’s with their son and his wife. The son, Sean likes the peanut butter burger. We all enjoyed our various burger versions and then left so others could sit. This was a good thing to do since friend Jake Nyman and his family rushed for our seats. Jake will be the next president of the Transportation Club of Tacoma. I’m the newsletter editor.
I dropped off Peg at TLT and then circled the block looking for parking. Donn dropped off Deb and then circled the block looking for parking. Donn ended up at the end of the block. I ended up half a block away after my secret spot was already taken. Chris Serface, the managing artistic director and his supporters have been doing such a great job in play selection and audience gathering that even the last night of post-Halloween production still resulted in sparse seating and sparser parking. When office manager Karen Christensen took the stage to welcome everyone to the performance she hinted at the possibility of parking help coming.
Before the performance I chatted briefly with Ron and Beth Stone. Ron and I spent a couple of terms serving on the board of TACID several years ago. Ron is Professor Emeritus of Occupational Therapy from the University of Puget Sound and owner of Ronald G. Stone Occupational Therapy Services.
Sitting down with Peg and looking over the set we were amazed at the simplicity as well as the attention to detail and elegance. I think many people in the audience were ready to move in. I’m guessing that Judy Cullen’s set design and Blake R. York’s building and technical skills combined for an excellent facade that stood up well. Judy Cullen has designed for Book-It Repertory Theatre, Tacoma Opera, Tacoma Musical Playhouse, Tacoma Actors Guild, and Bathhouse Theatre, as well as Tacoma Little Theatre. Blake has been doing a fantastic job behind the scenes as well as on-stage. We look forward to seeing more of his talents.
The actors did a great job. Outstanding were Jed Slaughter as Charles and Deya Ozburn as Ruth. I’ve seen Jed in many TLT productions. We thought he did the best job with the English accents. His was minimal.
New to me, I thought, was Deya Ozburn as Charles’ wife. Deya came onstage and I immediately thought of the character Mrs. Elizabeth Bligh from the Australian TV production A Place to Call Home. Mrs. Bligh is the cornerstone of refinement and manners . . . and iron will. Deya has worked in theaters from Sonora, California to Seattle, Washington. She was a founding member of The Outfit Theatre Project, serving as Executive Press Secretary and Webmaster for it’s debut season, and is a co-founding Board Member of Tacoma Shakespeare Company. Deya is a produced playwright, and is also a member of The Writer’s Foundation, and has worked with many theatre festivals around the South Sound region. It turned out I had first seen Deya as the girl friend in The Underpants.
Dinner, friends and live theatre. It doesn’t get too much better than that. The final production of the 99th season for Tacoma Little Theatre will be “the Scottish” play. An interesting choice in today’s political climate. – www.tacomalittletheatre.com/blog?tag=2017-2018